The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Ian Scott

Ian Scott, the Chairman of the CRTC whose five-year term was set to expire last weekend, will stay on as head of the regulator until early January to allow Canadian Heritage to continue its search for a permanent replacement. Scott’s extension will also allow the commission to maintain the status quo on several large files.

Nicolle Arams

Nicolle Arams is joining Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) as Executive Producer. Arams has spent most of her career at CBC, most recently as Executive Producer of Power & Politics. Her hire follows other changes at CPAC, including former CBC News Network anchor Michael Serapio arrival on Aug. 22 as long-time CPAC Executive Producer and English anchor Peter Van Dusen retires later this fall. New CEO and President Christa Dickenson also takes up her new role Sept. 12.

Alyssa O’Dell

Alyssa O’Dell has joined CPAC as Manager, Communications & Marketing. O’Dell arrives from a similar role at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives where she’d been for the last five years. Prior to that, she was an editor and reporter at The Hill Times, among other publications.

Andy Ross

Andy Ross is leaving his position as Director of Brands & Content at Harvard Media and Program Director of 96.3 CRUZ FM (CFWD-FM) Saskatoon to pursue interests outside the industry. His last day with Harvard will be Oct. 14. Ross has been in radio for 42 years, holding production, on-air, Program Director and General Manager roles over the years, beginning at CHWO Oakville, and followed by CJMR Mississauga, CHFI Toronto, CFTR Toronto, CHAB Moose Jaw, KX-96 (CKX-FM) Brandon, Q-94 (CHIQ-FM) Winnipeg, Star FM (CHST-FM) London, Wired 96.3 Saskatoon, JACK FM (CJAX-FM) Vancouver, and Rock 101 (CFM-FM) Vancouver.

Melanie Sampson

Melanie Sampson has left her role as Program/ Promotions Director and Afternoon Host at Stingray’s rewind 89.3 (CIJK-FM) Kentville, NS to expand her graphic design, content creation, and audio services business. Sampson started her career in 2005 with a morning show stint in Miramichi, NB (CFAN-FM) and MBS before moving to afternoons and a music director role in Moncton, NB (CFQM-FM). She then took on middays with Evanov in Halifax (CKHZ-FM) in 2007 before landing at Newcap in Kentville, NS in 2008 where she hosted afternoons until 2013 when she returned to Miramichi to launch new Stingray station (CHHI-FM) as PD and Midday Host. She moved back to Kentville in 2015 to take over the PD role at CIJK. 

Linda Olsen is back on the Global Calgary news desk, alongside Joel Senick, after taking time off this summer to deal with a health issue. Olsen revealed in June she was being treated for an inner ear disorder she described as “challenging at times.”

Mike Yawney

Mike Yawney is returning to television after nearly two years as part of Global’s The Morning Show. Yawney will be producing for the national show as well as contributing tech segments. He was previously the national tech expert for Citytv’s Breakfast Television and CityNews for 17 years until getting caught up in layoffs in Nov. 2020.

Carla Mae Macareg

Carla Mae Macareg has left CityNews 660 (CFFR-AM) Calgary to join CTV Saskatchewan. Macareg had been anchoring with 660 for the last nine months after graduating from the SAIT Radio, Television & Broadcast News program.

Gaby Rios

Gaby Rios is leaving CityNews 660 (CFFR-AM) where she’s most recently been serving as the morning show reporter. She’ll be rejoining Global Calgary where she was previously the aerial traffic reporter for five years up until 2019.

Azzaya Khan

Azzaya Khan has left CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver. With CityNews for the last two years, the 2020 BCIT grad had been an anchor with the station since late 2019.

Michel Therrien and Joël Bouchard are joining TVA Sports and will contribute intermission segments to the network’s Montreal Canadiens coverage. Therrien had two stints as head coach of the Canadiens from 2000-03 and from 2012-17, before becoming an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers. Bouchard coached American Hockey League (AHL) Canadiens affiliate Laval Rocket for three seasons, from 2018-21, before leaving to become head coach of the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. He was released last season. 

Rosa Saba

Rosa Saba is joining The Canadian Press (CP) as a business reporter, starting Sept. 26. Saba has held the same role at the Toronto Star since Dec. 2019 and prior to that was a reporter with Star Metro Calgary, among other freelance work.

Carly Agro

Carly Agro is taking a break from Sportsnet to enroll in the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University. Agro has been a host and reporter with Sportsnet Central since 2014. 

 

Rohan Fernando

Rohan Fernando has been named Executive Producer of the National Film Board (NFB) Quebec and Atlantic Studio, where he will be based out of the NFB’s Halifax office. Fernando joined the studio as a producer in 2018 and has been serving as interim executive producer since April. His most recent credits as an NFB producer include the Labrador Doc Project and Reimagining Nova Scotia (2019). He also recently produced two Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards shorts, on internationally renowned pianist Angela Hewitt and comedian Rick Mercer. 

Roberta Romano

Roberta Romano is taking over the Canadian talent agency formerly known as Fountainhead Talent as owner and president. With former owner Julie Lafontaine passing the torch, the company rebrands as Element Artist Management. Romano, a talent agent in the voice division who worked alongside Lafontaine for almost two decades, will continue to represent the voice roster. The programming division also continues with the same group of agents, including Faith Halman, Alix Kazman, Alicia Faucher, and assistant Carter Aitken.

Scott Musgrave

Scott Musgrave, most recently Head of U.S. Radio at Luminate (formerly Nielsen Music/MRC Data), has joined Coleman Insights as the newest member of its executive team. In his new role, Musgrave will oversee the sales efforts of Coleman Insights, as well as its sister company, Integr8 Research. He’ll focus on new business development across all facets of the global audio entertainment industry, including radio, streaming, podcasting, music, and live events. Before managing sales of BDSradio for Luminate for the past five years, Musgrave spent 17 years at Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron), including nine years as VP Sales/SVP General Manager of its radio station business.

Andrew Forsyth

Andrew Forsyth has parted ways with Luminate. Forsyth had been a consultant for the company since 1996, dating back to its origins as BDSradio/MRC Data. He’ll continue providing consulting services to the broadcast industry under the banner of Forsyth Consulting.

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Jamil Jivani

Jamil Jivani, whose nightly network talk show was canceled by Bell Media in January, has filed suit against the company claiming he was fired because he didn’t “fit a stereotype that Bell thought a member of the Black community should conform to.” Jivani, 34, first went public with details of his dismissal in February. A graduate of Yale Law, author, community advocate, and special adviser to the Ontario premier, Jivani was initially recruited by Bell in July 2020 to fill in on The Evan Solomon Show where he focused on Black Lives Matter. He was subsequently offered the 10 – 11 p.m. time slot on Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto that fall. Bell then promoted Jivani to a nightly 7 – 10 p.m. show airing on seven stations across the network. Filed in Ontario Superior Court, Jivani’s statement of claim was posted to his Substack blog with the precursor “Many of you have heard about what transpired when Bell Media fired me in January. Well, now it’s time for them to answer for their racism.” The suit seeks damages for breach of contract and wrongful dismissal in the sum of $42,500 (representing the compensation the Plaintiff would have earned during the common law notice period of six months); damages for the “bad faith manner of dismissal” in the amount of $300,000; and punitive damages in the amount of $200,000; plus costs. Read more here.

Daniella Ponticelli has made history as the first woman to announce play-by-play on a USports broadcast as the University of Regina Rams took on the Manitoba Bisons on Sept. 2. The first female voice of the Rams, Ponticelli was also the first woman to work on a Saskatchewan Roughriders’ radio broadcast. She additionally serves as the play-by-play voice of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey broadcasts, heard on Pattison Media stations and the HuskieFan app.

Pattison Media Kelowna has launched RocketFAN.ca, an extension of its new broadcast rights partnership between the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and 104.7 The Lizard (CKLZ-FM). A companion website to the broadcasts, Pattison says the site sets a new standard for radio partnerships in the league, establishing a 24/7 year round site dedicated to on-demand coverage for Kelowna hockey fans, boosters and advertisers. RocketFAN will feature the latest team news and information, in addition to play-by-play and full game and goal call replays, under the direction of 22-year play-by-play veteran Regan Bartel.

Canadaland has unveiled its fall podcast slate, headlined by the introduction of Jeopardy! champion Mattea Roach as the incoming host of weekly political pod, The Backbench. Roach, who claimed the title of most successful Canadian to ever appear on the quiz show earlier this year with a 23-game winning streak, “brings her unparalleled intelligence and rabid curiosity” to the host’s seat, starting Sept. 20. In October, Karyn Pugliese, Executive Editor of Canada’s National Observer, will host Canadalandback, leading an all-Indigenous team of journalists in an exploration of three generations of resistance from Idle No More to Land Back and the Nova Scotia lobster wars. Later this fall, Canadaland will also introduce limited series Ratf*cker: Confessions of a Dirty Tricks Operative, a promised tell-all featuring political fixer David Wallace “about his decades of misdeeds in the dirty-tricks business…” Read more here.

Story Studio Network is relaunching The Daily Brief with Dave Trafford as NOW & NEXT, starting Monday, Sept. 12. The branded content studio’s flagship current events podcast will be co-hosted by Erin Trafford and highlight three news stories of the day with The Daily Brief to be a featured segment within the show. New episodes will drop Monday – Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is looking for local podcasters to be part of the festival experience. For the second year in a row, CIFF will be hosting a podcasting booth at Eau Claire Market, Sept. 24–27. Accepted podcasters will have the opportunity to connect with filmmakers to discuss topics, whether that be about the festival, the film industry, or the stories being told.

Doug & Mary Kirk

Durham Radio’s WAVE 98.3 Vancouver held its launch event at Frankie’s Jazz Club in downtown Vancouver on Aug. 26. Among those in attendance were morning show host Tara Jean Stevens, midday host Vickie van Dyke and afternoon drive personality Danny Mags, as well as Durham Radio owners Doug and Mary Kirk. They were accompanied by a smooth jazz Canadian supergroup featuring Cat Levan, Walle Larsson and Steve Oliver. Durham’s first station outside Ontario, WAVE 98.3 made its debut on July 18.

The Rock 98.5 (CJJC-FM) Yorkton, SK celebrated the first day of school by offering lucky winner AJ Dutchak a limo ride to school, along with three of his buddies. They were accompanied by a couple of Yorkton Terriers Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League players and Jordan Patzwald and Randy Atkinson of The Rock, along with limo driver Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit. Stops included a “toast” with Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley

Now! Radio and its success as a format is the subject of a webinar set for Thursday, Sept. 15. It will feature Ken Benson from P1 Media Group, Benztown’s Andreas Sannemann and Ross Winters and Mark Hunter from Pattison Media. Register here.

IMPEL, SX Works Global Publisher Services (SX Works), and the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) have announced completion of a strategic partnership that expands North American and international mutual licensing and back-office administration, ensuring music publishers are accurately and fairly compensated. The partnership empowers IMPEL’s independent music publisher members to license their digital rights directly in Canada with the CMRRA and the U.S. via SX Works. In addition to the collection of digital royalties, IMPEL members can also opt in for licensing in other areas with CMRRA, including physical products and broadcast mechanical collections. In the initial phase of the partnership, CMRRA members were able to join IMPEL’s multi-territory licences across Europe and beyond with more than 500 CMRRA clients already enrolled and distribution set to begin this year.

LISTEN: Sam Cook is currently the host and executive producer of The Shot, a singer/songwriter competition show filmed in Toronto, but she’s also spent time as a radio host, podcaster, VO artist, and on-screen with TV networks like YTV. On the latest Sound Off Podcast, she and Matt Cundill talk about her start interning for David Letterman and her transition to teaching the hosts of tomorrow at Mohawk College. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Chris Rose

John Christopher Rose, 74, died peacefully on Sept 2, of kidney failure with the help of MAID. Born in East York, ON, Rose started his journalism career at the Associated Press (AP) typing copy from the dictatype machine. He worked his way up, eventually becoming a radio reporter with AP in both Toronto and Ottawa. Rose went on to become an editor and political reporter with Broadcast News (BN). In the mid-1980s, he joined CBS as part of a newsroom videotext development trial. He returned to Canada in 1986 to work for CTV National News and was involved in the development and launch of their 24-hour news channel in 1997. Following several years of teaching broadcast journalism and film production in Toronto, Rose trained as a chef. He retired to Vancouver Island in 2013 to pursue another passion, golf, but confessed, unlike his professional career, he never got better. 

Bill Onn

Bill Onn, 93, peacefully at Greater Niagara General Hospital on Aug. 26. Born in London, ON, Onn was an avid electronics buff who started working for a local radio shop and local radio station, CFPL, at their transmitter site in his early teens. He went on to join General Electric Canada as an electrical parts salesman, getting his first major position in radio at CHLO St. Thomas where he would meet his future wife, Ruth Carless. Onn joined CKEY Toronto in 1964 as an electrical engineer where he stayed until his retirement in 1990 as VP of Engineering. He concurrently ran his own business, BES, which specialized in supplying radio transmitter apparatus, much of which he built himself, in addition to installing mini radio antennae transmission towers in the Toronto area. In 1993, Onn was named Engineer of the Year by the The Association of Central Canada Broadcast Engineers (CCBE). ​​

Fred Locking

Fred Locking, 73, on Aug. 23. Locking began his broadcast career in Brampton at CHIC-FM, which would later become CFNY. He joined CFRB Toronto as part of the station’s sports team in the late 1970s and for a time served as the Toronto Argonauts arena announcer and as part of the broadcast team for the Toronto Blue Jays, alongside Bill Stephenson and Dave Hodge. Locking went on to work at TSN from 1991 to 2004 after which he joined Skywords as a morning traffic announcer. He retired from Skywords in 2019.

 

TV & FILM:

Omar Sachedina assumed the role of Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News on Monday, Sept. 5.

Omar Sachedina assumed his role on the CTV National News anchor desk Monday night addressing the controversy around Lisa LaFlamme’s exit from the network head on. On his first night succeeding LaFlamme as Chief Anchor and Senior Editor, Sachedina told viewers “we typically cover the news, but lately we have become the subject of it.” He went on to acknowledge “the inspiration and mentor that Lisa LaFlamme has been to me over the years.” Sachedina found himself the target of public backlash as Bell Media rushed to name him as LaFlamme’s replacement on the same day the veteran anchor revealed that her contract had been terminated prematurely after 35 years with CTV. Read more here.

The Canada Media Fund’s 2021-22 Annual Report indicates that its investments in the screen-based industries triggered a record-breaking $1.9B in production. According to the report, every $1 of CMF funding generated $5.16 in production activity, the highest leverage ratio since the public-private partnership was founded in 2010, helping create close to 217,000 jobs in Canada’s screen sector. CMF programs delivered $359M in funding for the development, production, promotion, and export of 1,433 television and digital media projects in 2021-22. Read more here.

Shamier Anderson & Stephan James

Shamier Anderson and Stephan James will host The Legacy Awards later this month, the first major Canadian awards show to celebrate and showcase Black talent. The Scarborough-born brothers, actors and producers, who are also executive producing the awards show (alongside Daniel Abrams and Norbert Abrams), are the founders of Bay Mills Studios and The Black Academy, a Toronto-headquartered, membership-based organization that operates at the intersection of Black popular culture and social justice. Set to air on CBC and CBC Gem on Sunday, Sept. 25 in a live, 90-minute telecast, the preliminary lineup of performers includes Jully Black; Deborah Cox; Keysha Freshh; Izzy-S; Kardinal Offishall; SATE; Savannah Ré; and DJ 4KORNERS, with confirmed presenters so far including comedian/actor King Bach, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean; and media personalities Arisa Cox, Brandon Gonez, Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Amanda Parris, and Odario Williams. Read more here.

Eternal Spring (長春), a feature documentary about Chinese comic book artist Daxiong from director, writer and producer Jason Loftus, will represent Canada in the nomination process for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards. (Lofty Sky Entertainment)

Eternal Spring (長春): The Heist of China’s Airwaves has signed a worldwide license deal with VICE, complemented by domestic deals with ARTE France / Germany, RTS Switzerland, VG Norway, Current Time (Russian Language, European Territories), and Al Jazeera Doc Channel (MENA), with more sales announcements to follow. Sideways Film is repping world sales on the Canadian production on behalf of Lofty Sky Entertainment and director/producer Jason Loftus. Telefilm announced on Aug. 24 that Eternal Spring will be Canada’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards, the first documentary, first animated film, and first Mandarin-language film to be chosen by Canada. The film will open theatrically in Canada on Sept. 23. 

Mike Holmes

Blue Ant Media has acquired Mike Holmes’ extensive library of unscripted original series and specials. The deal gives Blue Ant ownership of over 200 hours of programming from the past two decades, including all seasons of Holmes on Homes, Holmes Makes it Right, Holmes Inspection, and specials like Holmes for the Holidays, Holmes in New Orleans and Mike’s Ultimate Garage. As current licenses expire, the library will launch in FAST exclusively on Blue Ant Media’s free streaming channel Homeful, which showcases real estate, design and decor. Over the coming months, audiences in the U.S. and Canada will see Homeful introduce the Holmes content on platforms including Roku, LG and Xumo. Blue Ant International now holds distribution rights to Holmes’ catalog, which will debut at MIPCOM 2022 this fall. As part of the partnership, Blue Ant will also commission new original programming with Mike and his kids Michael Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes.

W Network is the exclusive home of Emmy Award-winning daytime drama, Days of our Lives, in Canada, starting Sept. 12. Following the last airing of Days of our Lives on Global on Friday, Sept. 9, the series will move to W Network weekdays at 1 p.m. ET/PT. The series will remain available to stream live and on demand with STACKTV and on the Global TV App through a subscription to W Network via a TV provider. The change comes as NBC Universal moves Days of our Lives from NBC to its Peacock streaming service in the U.S. Days of our Lives aired its 14,000th episode in 2020 and remains NBC’s longest-running series. 

 

Alan Schwarz

Tracking the Ten launched on Bell Fibe on Sept. 5. The docuseries, produced by Alan Schwarz, sees the filmmaker track down 10 guys he grew up with – all born and raised in Oshawa and who celebrated their Bar Mitzvahs in the same year, 1973. The six-part series sees Schwarz track down the group after nearly 50 years.

 

Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is back in-cinema for its 41st edition, Sept. 29 – Oct. 9, which includes revamped film series and a new international film competition for emerging directors. This year’s program features roughly 130 feature films and 100 shorts screening across seven Vancouver venues, as well as 20 other events. All films will be presented in-cinema, with a small curated selection of titles available for streaming across British Columbia on VIFF Connect. The festival will officially open with Bones of Crows by Métis filmmaker Marie Clements, the epic tale of Aline Spears, a Cree matriarch played by Grace Dove (Monkey Beach) who survives the residential school system and becomes a code talker for the Canadian Air Force during WWII. The closing gala presentation will be South Korea’s Broker by VIFF favourite Hirokazu Kore-eda, a sprawling crime story about a baby kidnapping scheme starring Song Kang-ho (Parasite). 

FIN Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) has announced its full program, featuring 178 films, in 29 different languages from close to 30 countries and the return of a full slate of special events. Screenings will be presented over eight days at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane in Halifax with 77 films being presented virtually throughout Atlantic Canada online via FIN Stream, Sept. 15-22. The Opening Night Gala will be Clement Virgo’s Brother. Virgo has had a long relationship with the festival and Atlantic Canada, with some of his most celebrated work, including Poor Boy’s Game and The Book of Negroes shot in Nova Scotia. Wrapping up this year’s festival is Closing Night Gala screening, The Whale, directed by critically-acclaimed filmmaker, Darren Aronofsky.

The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) returns with its 18th edition, Sept. 20-25. #MIBFF22 will present 95 films from 25 countries, including 12 World Premieres, 10 International Premieres, 25 Canadian Premieres and nine Quebec Premieres. Opening night will take place Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Imperial Theatre with the International Premiere of Matt Waldeck’s Lovely Jackson (USA), followed by a Q&A session with the director and exonerated prisoner Rickey Jackson, who withstood 39 years of wrongful incarceration for a murder he didn’t commit. #MIBFF22 will close at Cinéma du Musée with the Canadian Premiere of Manuel Schapira’s Tropique de la Violence (France). 

 

CBC/Radio-Canada is the lead partner in “From Pepinot to PAW Patrol® – Television of Our Childhoods,” which will run until Sept. 1, 2023 at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. Canadians are invited to reconnect with the shows that shaped their childhoods for more than 70 years, including Anne of Green Gables, Bobino, Degrassi, La boîte à surprise, Mr. Dressup, PAW Patrol, Pépinot, The Friendly Giant, Takuginai and Watatatow. Highlights include the legendary Tickle Trunk and costumes from Mr. Dressup, in addition to hundreds of excerpts from favourite shows. Still images, archival material, and original props, puppets and scenery are also on display.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

MuchMusic Intimate and Interactive returns with two all-new specials featuring multi platinum artist Tate McRae and social media sensation Johnny Orlando on the revived @much digital multi-platform offering. Calgary-born McRae sits down with VJ Georgia Kolev on Sept. 21 for a feature interview and performance of her #1 multiplatinum-selling single, “you broke me first” and platinum hit, “she’s all i wanna be.” On Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. ET, fresh off the release of his most recent album, all the things that could go wrong, Orlando speaks with MuchMusic’s Teddy Tong and delivers an acoustic set of two new songs, ”someone will love you better” and “coping (1621).” Both specials were shot in front of a live audience at MuchMusic’s new Queen St. W studio. With 1.8 million followers on TikTok, @much VJs have recently covered OSHEAGA 2022, Harry Styles’ World Tour, and the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

CBC/Radio-Canada, CityNews, Global News, OMNI, Quebecor, and TVO are among the broadcasters that have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appealing for stronger policies to help combat an increase in targeted threats against racialized and female journalists. Among other things, the letter calls for a process to be established whereby media organizations can provide police with summaries of multiple incidents and patterns of abuse that might not be apparent when police rely solely on reports from individual complainants. It also asks that police forces review and improve their respective processes for making complaints of hate speech and harassment. An earlier appeal was sent to Ottawa Police interim chief Steve Bell, Toronto Police Chief James Ramer, and Justice Minister David Lametti, among others, in August calling for greater coordination and a formal complaint process.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talks series returns in person on Oct. 4 with an inside look at scandals in our national sport as investigative reporting on organized hockey in Canada reveals a toxic culture of sexual, possibly illegal, misconduct. The event, taking place at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, features TSN senior correspondent Rick Westhead, TSN Executive Producer Ken Volden and The Athletic’s Katie Strang. They’ll discuss their investigations in conversation with CTV National News journalist Judy Trinh. Part of the CJF’s J-Talks program exploring pressing journalistic issues, the fall J-Talks Live season launches Sept. 13 and 15 with online discussions about news startups. 

Innovation, Science & Industry Min. François-Philippe Champagne has announced that Canada’s telecom service providers have struck a formal agreement committing to provide support and assistance should another provider be faced with a major network outage. With some emergency services and small businesses impacted by Rogers massive July 8 network outage for more than 15 hours, Champagne had directed service providers to take immediate action to improve network reliability, setting a timeline of 60 days to enter into a formal agreement that would guarantee emergency roaming, mutual assistance, and a communications protocol for advising the public and government during major outages and other emergencies. Read more here.

Bell has announced its intention to acquire Distributel, saying that with its investment the ISP will benefit from expanded resources and access to tech required to support the next stage in its business growth. Upon the acquisition close, Distributel will continue to operate independently with existing operations to continue under the leadership of Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. Subject to regulatory approvals, details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Astral has acquired Imagine Outdoor’s entire digital out-of-home advertising network in Alberta. The new digital screens bring Astral’s total digital inventory in Alberta to 39 faces, including 12 new screens in Calgary and Edmonton.

 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Firstlight Media, the cloud-native and cloud-agnostic OTT platform, is rebranding as Quickplay. The Toronto-headquartered company will leverage the Quickplay name as it previews a new generation of cloud-native capabilities at IBC 2022, Sept. 9-12, in Amsterdam. Quickplay’s OTT platform is designed to build and run scalable applications in the cloud using cloud-native technologies, including containers, microservices, a service mesh, APIs, and immutable infrastructure. OTT providers including Sportsnet’s SN NOW, India’s aha 2.0, and PLDT’s Smart in the Philippines, are among those using the Quickplay platform.

Vizrt Group has acquired Flowics, a provider of cloud-native, browser-based, live, and interactive graphics platforms for content producers. With the addition of Flowics, Vizrt Group customers of all three of its brands – NewTek, NDI, and Vizrt – can advance their content creation capabilities through HTML5 graphics and live data integrations. The Flowics platform gives customers control over the creation, integration, and playout of HTML5 graphics for fast-paced productions and digital or multi-screen extensions, including sports statistics, timing and scoring, betting, weather, and finance information, in a code-free approach. 

NAB Show New York is introducing the Cine Live Lab, a new destination on the show floor featuring daily, hands-on demonstrations of the latest tools and techniques in cinematic storytelling and live broadcast production. Presented in partnership with AbelCine, the Cine Live Lab is open to all NAB Show New York badge holders and will take place Oct. 19-20 at the Javits Center. Designed to highlight the synergies between cinematic and broadcast style production, the lab will feature three premier sessions from AbelCine, including managing cinematic multi-cam projects, audience experience goals, identifying production team member roles, and equipment and skillsets required of crews. Supporting partners include Sony, Fujinon, Reidel and Multidyne.

A message from WABE (Western Association of Broadcast Engineers) President Rob Brown

Hello Technical Professionals and Friends,

Rob Brown

The Western Association of Broadcast Engineers is pleased to welcome exhibitors, sponsors, and delegates in less than a month to our 2022 convention!  We are excited to be back ‘in-person’ for our 72nd annual convention, October 4th & 5th, 2022, at the Best Western Premier Calgary Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre!  

Tomorrow is the last day of our extended “Early Bird” delegate registration deadline. It’s not too late to register and get the discounted price. After all, it is one of the best convention and membership rates of any professional group and a great value.

We left WABE in 2019, not knowing that we would not be returning for two full years! Now we can shut our screens off and see each other in person. Together we will get updates from the industry, hear about new emerging technologies, and be challenged by what we learn.

Not knowing what to expect, we polled our delegates and exhibitors and found that a shorter two-day program was preferred. We also made good on our goal to re-establish the official ‘not for profit’ status and WABE is now a registered society in the province of Alberta.  We have also reviewed and corrected our bylaws to ensure that we use inclusive language.

WABE will also reflect that inclusivity by having our first female President, Tessa Potter.  With her leadership, we will embark to develop a strategy plan to shift WABE to include the wider media technical professional, including pursuing partnerships with the world of community broadcasters and post-production houses. Very exciting times are ahead as we use the shift created by the global pandemic to reinvent and reinvigorate the organization.

We continue to build on our 72-year history as Western Canada’s association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals. The event includes an impressive list of presenters and networking opportunities for delegates, sponsors, and exhibitors alike. The exhibit hall is fully sold out.

We will honour those in the industry with an awards luncheon. A remarkable list of nominations was received. This is also an election year, so we are looking for our next executive member.  Let us know if you are interested or know someone who would like to commit to serve the organization in a challenging yet rewarding chapter in its history.

For more information on Western Canada’s premier broadcast industry convention and trade show, please watch our website at wabe.ca.  Follow us on social media and watch your email inbox for more news and details about this must-attend event.

Rob Brown

WABE President