The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Lisa LaFlamme has joined CityNews as a special correspondent anchoring the network’s coverage of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. LaFlamme joins Rogers Sports & Media just four weeks after the announcement of her departure from CTV National News where she’d been Chief Anchor and Senior Editor since 2011 and with CTV for 35 years. LaFlamme is leading the network’s coverage from London, providing daily reporting for newscasts across television and radio as well as making regular appearances on Breakfast Television. A Rogers Sports & Media spokesperson says how the relationship might proceed beyond the commemoration coverage is yet to be determined. Read more here and find details on network coverage plans in our TV & FILM column below.

 

Lauren Pullen

Lauren Pullen has replaced Mary Cranston as CTV Vancouver’s weekend anchor, as Cranston moves into the late news anchor position. Pullen arrives from Global Calgary where she’s been a reporter for the past five years. Prior to that, she was an anchor/reporter with Global News Kelowna.

Amanda Parris

Amanda Parris has officially stepped away from CBC Music’s Marvin’s Room after six years in the host’s chair. Parris is also the creator, executive producer and showrunner of critically-acclaimed digital series Revenge of the Black Best Friend, which launched on CBC Gem this year, in addition to other creative ventures. Music journalist A. Harmony, who had previously served as the R&B program’s interim host, steps in to host Marvin’s Room.

Steve Pratt

Steve Pratt, who left Pacific Content earlier this year, has announced his next venture, The Creativity Business, a strategy firm designed to help creatives build better businesses and help businesses infuse creativity into their marketing, communications and internal cultures. Pratt has launched a newsletter for those also interested in exploring the space.

Stephen Brunt has left Sportsnet 590 The Fan (CJCL-AM) Toronto. Brunt, 63, had been with the station consecutively for the last 11 years after initially leaving to join Team 1050 (CHUM-AM) as a host in 2001. Brunt is also a contributor to the Globe and Mail and has authored numerous books including 2006 Canadian best seller, Searching for Bobby Orr. Brunt also co-founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Writers at Woody Point literary festival in Woody Point, Bonne Bay, NL. 

Caroline Hunter & Kris Jay

Caroline Hunter has joined Kris Jay on Bounce 99.9 (CFWM-FM) Winnipeg’s new Bounce Afternoons with Kris and Caroline. Jay and Hunter have both had successful solo shows on Bounce over the past seven years with Hunter moving over from middays. The new show launched Sept. 12 in the 2 – 7 p.m. weekday time slot. 

Pete Walker

Pete Walker has joined Stingray as host of The Early Show on New Country 92.3 (CFRK-FM) Fredericton. Moving closer to family ties in New Brunswick, Walker arrives from KX96 (CJKX-FM) Oshawa where he had worked since 1995. Most recently, he was midday host, while serving as Music Director for KX96 and KX94.7 (CHKX-FM) Hamilton. He replaces John Riordon on The Early Show, who is taking up the role of Director of Programming, NB at Stingray. Riordon will continue to host Weekend Country Heat every Saturday on Stingray’s New Country and Real Country stations nationwide. 

Paul Herriot

Paul Herriot has joined the Grand@101 (CICW-FM) Centre Wellington, ON as part of the Billie & Friends morning show, in addition to taking on the role of Operations Manager. Herriot was laid off from Rogers Sports & Media earlier this year after almost 18 years with CityNews 570 (CKGL-AM) Kitchener where he was a technical producer and backfill programming assistant.

Vanessa Murphy

Vanessa Murphy is now being heard afternoons on Move 99.7 (CKPT-FM) Peterborough, in addition to her morning show on Bounce 91.9 (CKLY-FM) Lindsay. Murphy was the winner of Best On Air Solo Host (Small Market) in Broadcast Dialogue’s 2021 Canadian Radio Awards and first runner-up in worldwide radio talent competition, Radio Star.

Greg Beharrell

Greg Beharrell has added Rock 102 (CJDJ-FM) Saskatoon to the list of stations picking up his syndicated show. Beharrell is heard in various markets and dayparts, including 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM) Edmonton, Indie88 (CIND-FM) Toronto, and 95.5 KLOS Los Angeles, among other stations.

Penny Schreiner

Penny Schreiner has retired from Golden West Broadcasting’s CJSN 1490 after 43 years. Schreiner began working at the Shaunavon, SK station under Frontier City Broadcasting in 1975, holding roles over the years from reception to commercial writing and log producing. After the station was acquired by Golden West in 1994, she went on to spend time as a morning show host and in sales. For the last decade, she’d been working in a news role with Swift Current Online, heard on CJSN 1490, and CKSW 570, Eagle 94.1 (CIMG-FM) and Magic 97 (CKSW-FM) Swift Current.

Sarah Miller & Calum McAnally

Sarah Miller, Program Director at Golden West Broadcasting’s 107.5 BOLT FM (CHBO-FM), is now also hosting the breakfast show from 6 a.m. – noon weekdays. Miller has been with the station since 2016 and in the PD role since 2018. Former morning host Calum McAnally moves to mornings on Golden West’s Mix 103.9 (CJAW-FM) Moose Jaw. 

Eddie Gregory

Eddie Gregory has been named the new voice of the Western Hockey League (WHL) Vancouver Giants. Gregory will serve as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster for 2022-23. He spent the past 18 seasons doing play-by-play in the BCHL for the Coquitlam Express. He’s also a producer for Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver, which holds the Giants’ broadcast rights. He previously worked on various shows for TSN 1040 (CKST-AM).

Cole Schisler

Cole Schisler is joining CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver as an anchor. Schisler has been working as a provincial reporter for Black Press Media for the last year and prior to that spent two years as the editor of the Ladysmith Chronicle

Angela Mullins

Angela Mullins has been named Editorial Director at Pink Triangle Press (PTP). Mullins arrives from the Toronto Star where she’s held various senior roles since 2018 and is currently Senior Editor of Digital Audience Development, a unit she created to engage new “readers” in multimedia content. Mullins joins a content team led by Jennifer McGuire, former Editor-in-Chief of CBC News, who came to PTP in January. Mullins will be working with the Xtra Magazine team, and others, to create editorial content across audio, visual and text. Her career as a reporter began at The Herald Dispatch in West Virginia. She came to Canada in 2011, first working as a reporter for Metro News in London and rising through the ranks to become Managing Editor and eventually Deputy Editor of StarMetro, a brand she was instrumental in creating.

Jeff Norton

Jeff Norton is joining Corus Entertainment in an overall deal with his UK-based creative content company, Dominion of Drama, to head new IP and production venture, Waterside Studios. The new studio will be focused on producing scripted Canadian content for youth and primetime audiences. Originally from Canada, Norton previously worked at The Jim Henson Company in Los Angeles before moving to the UK to join Chorion Ltd. (Noddy, The Octonauts) as senior vice-president in 2007, He founded Dominion of Drama in 2020. Norton has previously worked as a consultant for Corus as executive producer of Trucktown for Nelvana, which Waterside will also work with to produce live-action programming for kids. Read more here.

Christine Diakos

Christine Diakos joins eOne as Vice President, Development, Unscripted – Canada, Television. In her new role, Diakos will be responsible for development, creation and pitching of non-scripted content, with a focus on lifestyle, reality and competition series. Prior to eOne, she was Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Big Coat Media where she served as a Supervising Producer on  Love It or List It (HGTV), Love It or List It Vancouver (HGTV) and Jillian and Justin (W Network). She’s also served in senior production and development roles at Shaw Media and Peacock Alley Entertainment, working on content as varied as A Users Guide to Cheating Death (VisionTV) and Hockey Wives (W Network), among others.

Scott Boyd

Scott Boyd has been elevated to VP, Development, Unscripted and will oversee factual, true crime, and docuseries content. Boyd joined eOne in 2017 as a Development Producer, following eOne’s acquisition of Paperny Entertainment, and quickly progressed to Director of Development, steering such projects as Make it to the Moon (Discovery) and Arctic Vets (CBC). Both Diakos and Boyd report to Jocelyn Hamilton, President – Canada, Television.

Aileen Gardner

Blue Ant Studios has added two newly-created leadership roles within its production and development divisions. Aileen Gardner has been appointed Head of Production, Canada, charged with leading operations for the studio’s slate of productions in Canada. She’ll report to Laura Michalchyshyn, CCO + co-president, Global Production, Blue Ant Media and Sam Sniderman, co-president, Global Production. Gardner arrives at Blue Ant with over 20 years experience in production across the UK, U.S., and Canada with companies like Mentorn, Endemol, Cineflix and Scott Brother’s Entertainment. Since arriving in Canada she has overseen shows such as Nazi Hunters (Discovery), the launch of American Pickers (A&E) and the reboot of Brother vs Brother (HGTV).

Zachary Frank

Zachary Frank is VP, Development, Blue Ant Studios. He’ll work with the studio’s team in Los Angeles to further expand its development slate of limited and returnable series with an emphasis on the Canadian, UK and American markets. He’ll report to Jennifer Harkness, SVP, Unscripted, while working closely with Aileen Gardner in Toronto. Prior to joining Blue Ant, Frank was Senior Director at Cream Productions, where he developed projects for CNN (History of the Sitcom), Discovery ID (If I Should Die), Bell Networks (Fear thy Roommate), and Corus (The World Without).

Robyn Stewart

Robyn Stewart is the new Executive Director of Women in Music Canada, a registered non-profit dedicated to fostering gender equality in the music industry. Based in Winnipeg, Stewart is a 20-year music industry veteran, currently serving as Executive Director and CEO of the Western Canadian Music Alliance and BreakOut West. Prior to that, she held roles as a talent buyer and event manager. 

Nia Addison

Nia Addison has been promoted into the newly-created position of Customer Success & Renewal Contract Manager at Promosuite. Addison will manage the contract renewal process in collaboration with PromoSuite’s sales and customer success teams. She’ll also continue to work directly with PromoSuite customers.

 

 

 

RADIO & PODCAST:

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a report on how newcomers are consuming radio and audio. MTM found newcomers show an overall greater interest in online audio content than traditional radio. Just over three quarters of newcomers consume online audio, putting them roughly on par with those born in Canada (80%). Newcomers are less likely to listen to AM/FM radio in comparison to Canadian-born individuals (36% versus 66%). However, newcomers’ usage of traditional AM/FM radio grows as they age and with higher household income levels. In terms of most-used music streaming services, newcomers and Canadian-born individuals are both more likely to use Spotify and Apple Music than any others. SoundCloud has also found unique popularity among Newcomers, used by 12% versus 3% of Canadian-born individuals.

Canadaland has selected Acast to lead distribution and accelerate promotion and sales for the podcast network, both domestically and globally. Boasting more than 8 million listeners per year and 10,000 monthly paying supporters, through the new partnership, Acast says it will “further expand Canadaland’s impact by making its shows available to audiences across all markets and podcast platforms.” Advertisers will be able to buy ads and sponsorships on Canadaland podcasts via the Acast Marketplace. Acast Canada’s portfolio includes eOne and Apostrophe Podcast Network.

The Toronto Star and iPolitics have signed on as media partners for upcoming podcast, The Paul Wells Show, scheduled to launch in mid-September. Hosted by the veteran political journalist, the show will focus on politics and culture with the initial 20 episodes to feature politicians, public figures and commentators, including David Cohen, U.S. Ambassador to Canada, and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Anne Marie Owens, Editor-in-Chief of the Toronto Star, said in a release that they’re hoping the partnership will help boost listenership of the newspaper’s audio offerings, which include It’s Political with Althia Raj, launched last year. The Paul Wells Show is produced by Antica Productions, in partnership with the National Arts Centre of Ottawa, and the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Wells will join the Munk School for the 2022-23 academic year as its inaugural journalist fellow-in-residence. Read more here.

CBC North has launched new podcast, Giant – Murder Underground, a seven-episode series revisiting the Sept. 18, 1992 labour dispute that saw nine workers cross a picket line at the Giant Gold Mine in Yellowknife. Minutes later they were killed in a horrific explosion, sparking one of the most labour-intensive murder investigations the RCMP has ever seen. Thirty years later, Giant tells the complex story through the voices of those who lived it, from police investigators and union members to victims and murder suspects – many of whom have never spoken publicly before. Hosted by CBC Yellowknife’s Rachel Zelniker and produced by Peter Sheldon, the first three episodes are available now on CBC Listen and everywhere podcasts are available. The next four episodes will be released on Sept. 21.

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast podcast network is adding Canadian-made history podcasts, Everything 80s and Canadian History Ehx, to its catalogue. Everything 80s is exactly that, transporting listeners to the decade of giant cell phones and VHS tapes. Hosted by Jamie Logie, the podcast dives into 1980s pop culture from movies, TV shows, and games to toys and music, in addition to historical events that took place over the decade from a Canadian perspective. Canadian History Ehx explores Canada’s history from nostalgic TV to war, historical figures, Indigenous history, and profiles on small town Canada. The podcast is created and hosted by history aficionado Craig Baird. Read more here.

Podcast Day 24, a live one-day conference for podcasters taking place in New York, London and Sydney on Oct. 4, has announced the speakers lineup for its North American event, including Bumper co-founder Dan Misener, CBC podcast hosts Tom Power and Duncan McCue, and investigative journalist and producer Martha Troian (Kuper Island). Podcast Day 24 is presented in partnership with Radiodays Europe, the British Podcast Awards, and the Australian Podcast Awards. To be held at the SVA Theatre in the heart of Chelsea, the New York event will feature podcasters, publishers, platforms, and media and tech companies operating in the space with topics to be covered spanning podcast business models, ethics, and AI to audience development, monetization, data, and storytelling. Read more here.

980 CFPL London has announced an extension of its broadcast rights deal with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for another five years. The station first acquired the rights during the 2016-17 season and will air every home and away game during the season. Host of 980 CFPL’s London Live, Mike Stubbs, will continue to serve as the London Knights play-by-play announcer. On Sept. 30, 980 CFPL celebrates a century of serving the London community and will commemorate the milestone occasion at the London Knight’s home opening game that day.

SiriusXM’s Top of the Country competition crowned SACHA from Warkworth, ON as this year’s winner. The fourth annual competition and talent search by SiriusXM Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), saw SACHA appear at the CCMA Awards on Sept. 11, in addition to taking home the grand prize of $25,000. The three finalists, including Josh Ross and Shantaia, performed for a crowd of country music fans and listeners tuning into the live show on SiriusXM’s CBC Country (ch. 171) before a headlining set by CCMA Awards co-host and nominee Tenille Townes

CCMA 2022 Radio and Industry Award winners include: Paul Ferguson of CHCQ-FM Belleville, who won Country Personality of the Year; CFCW Edmonton, Radio Station of the Year (Large Market); CHCQ-FM Belleville, Radio Station of the Year (Medium or Small Market); Pure Country Top 50 of 2021, hosted by Shannon Ella with special guests Dustin Lynch & MacKenzie Porter, which won Country Music Program or Special of the Year. Ben Knechtel was named Video Director of the Year.

LISTEN: Over 600 college radio stations in more than 45 countries will celebrate World College Radio Day on Friday, Oct. 7. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome the event’s founder Dr. Rob Quicke. You’d be hard pressed to find someone more passionate about college radio or with more street cred in the space as one of the students who helped launch the UK’s first-ever FM college station at Oxford University in the ’90s, in addition to 15 years as the General Manager of campus station WPSC-FM Brave New Radio in Wayne, New Jersey. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: Dervla Trainor, founder and co-owner of the V.O. North conference, returns to the Sound Off Podcast, as the event makes an in-person comeback, Sept. 16-18 at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto. Trainor talks about steering her voiceover business through the pandemic and what we can expect at Canada’s premiere voiceover event. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Bob McCord

Bob McCord, 82, on Sept. 12, at his home in California. McCord got his start in radio at CKLC Kingston in the early 1960s. Stints at WIFE Indianapolis, Indiana and WONE Dayton, Ohio doing the 8 p.m. – midnight show followed before he landed at 630 CHED in the summer of 1965. He left CHED in early 1966 to work at KLIF Dallas before returning to Edmonton later that same year to take over the afternoon show. He remained with the station until 1978 when he attempted to obtain a licence for a new rock station in the city. The application was denied, but he found success a few years later, in 1981, when he was awarded a licence for a contemporary country station. CISN-FM was launched on June 5, 1982 as “The Big 10-4.” McCord had long been retired to Laguna Beach, California where he moved after retiring from radio in 1988, concurrent with the sale of CISN-FM to Shaw. Read more here.

Matthew Rodrigopulle

Matthew Rodrigopulle, on Sept. 8, suddenly at his home in Regina. A 2020 Ryerson University (Toronto Metropolitan University) graduate, Rodrigopulle started pursuing a passion for sports journalism while he studied contributing to The Ryersonian as a sports reporter, as well as FanSided. He joined Sportsnet in 2020 writing scripts and putting together highlight packages, while also acting as an ongoing contributor to Leafs Nation and working as a teaching assistant in the School of Journalism. Rodrigopulle left Sportsnet this past March to join Global News Regina as a reporter and digital broadcast journalist.

Elmer Tippe

Elmer Tippe, 89, on Sept. 7. Originally from Eatonia, Saskatchewan, Tippe began began playing banjo and fiddle at the age of eight and started entertaining professionally at 15, playing dances up and down B.C.’s Fraser Valley with his two older brothers as “Ray’s Harmony Five.” After his brother Clarence was killed by a drunk driver, he and brother Ray went on to form The Pine Mountain Boys. After moving to Pitt Meadows, BC, Tippe began his broadcasting career at CJJC Langley in 1969, the province’s first full-time country music station. He moved over to Supercountry CKWX Vancouver in 1975 as the all-night DJ, later moving into middays where he stayed for 25 years until 1991. “The Elmer Tippe Show” featured segments like star phone-ins from Nashville and “Elmer’s Choice,” a special song chosen by Tippe each day.  He concurrently recorded several albums and had three charting singles in the 1970s. Tippe was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002, in addition to the B.C. Country Music Hall of Fame (which in its inaugural year awarded Tippe both Male Vocalist of the Year and Disc Jockey of the Year in 1977), the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame, Western Swing Society Hall of Fame, and numerous Country Music Broadcaster Awards.

TV & FILM:

The Global Montreal team at launch in Sept. 1997 (Corus Entertainment)

Global Montreal celebrated 25 years on Wednesday, Sept. 14. In 1997, Global News became the third English-language television network to broadcast in Quebec. The milestone anniversary was celebrated with a special broadcast on Global News Morning and stories throughout the day showcasing the significant events the station has covered over the last 25 years. Three members of the original launch team are still with the station including News Director and Station Manager Karen MacDonald, Global National reporter Mike Armstrong and Videojournalist Karol Dahl.

CityNews and CBC have announced their respective plans for coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday, Sept. 19. CityNews will air a six-hour live news special anchored by Lisa LaFlamme, who has been on the ground in London as a special correspondent. She’ll be joined by Royal historian and author Helen Carr, Canadian author Daniel Richler, and other special guests. Also reporting from London are CityNews reporters Cynthia Mulligan and Tammie Sutherland, who join LaFlamme as part of extensive multi-platform coverage. In addition to the CityNews live special of the funeral, audiences can listen or stream continuous coverage throughout the day, with reports from LaFlamme across CityNews’ radio stations. She’ll also joins Jordan Heath Rawlings on The Big Story podcast with a special episode to be released this Friday, Sept. 16. CBC’s coverage includes CBC News Special: Funeral for Queen Elizabeth. Anchored by CBC News’ chief correspondent, Adrienne Arsenault, and Morning Live host, Heather Hiscox, live from London, the coverage will begin at 5 a.m. ET on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem and cbcnews.ca. CBC Radio One and CBC Listen will also carry live coverage featuring The Current’s Matt Galloway, live from London, and World Report’s Marcia Young, live from Toronto, beginning at 5:30 a.m. ET.

 

Lionsgate and Bell Media have struck a co-development deal to produce comedy and drama series for the global market. The multi-year partnership will enable Lionsgate to act as the global distributor outside Canada for select Bell Media original programming produced locally in English and French, including projects co-developed with Lionsgate. Bell Media will distribute projects developed under the pact within Canada. Announced at Content Canada, an industry gathering of streamers, broadcasters, studios, producers and content creators happening concurrent to TIFF, the two companies say the deal “builds on the momentum of recent Canadian success in a global market, which has a keen interest in Canadian content.” Read more here.

Fanshawe, Seneca and Centennial College are collaborating on a new set of microcredential courses to address the skills shortage in Ontario’s screen-based industries as the province’s production sector continues to ride the wave of demand for streaming content. The suite of eight short programs is designed to help industry professionals upskill and current students learn additional in-demand production and technology skills. Among the courses offered will be Grip/Lighting and Television and Film Production Accounting Basic Skills at Centennial; Location Sound, Previsualization and Virtual Production – Unreal at Fanshawe; and Media Organization for Unscripted TV Avid, Output and Delivery for Unscripted TV – Avid and Virtual Production – Unity at Seneca. The post-secondary collaboration is being developed with funding from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ Challenge Fund and the support of industry partners Avid, The Stratagem Group and Unity. Also partnering on the project is media training program, POV, which will help members of equity-deserving groups access the microcredentials to further diversify representation in the sector. Read more here.

DGCThe Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has announced the 17 long-listed films for the 2022 Jean-Marc Vallée DGC Discovery Award. This list highlights some of the “best emerging directors to watch” this festival season. The 2022 Discovery Award Long List includes: Cette Maison (This House), Miryam Charles; Queens of the Qing Dynasty, Ashley Mackenzie; Geographies of Solitude, Jacquelyn Mills; Framing Agnes, Chase Joynt; Riceboy Sleeps, Anthony Shim; Something You Said Last Night, Luis De Filippis; When Morning Comes, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall; Anyox, Ryan Ermacora & Jessica Johnson; Until Branches Bend, Sophie Jarvis; Dark Nature, Berkley Brady; Rosie, Gail Maurice; Broken Angel / MaaShwaKanManiTo, Jules Arita Koostachin; Before I Change My Mind, Trevor Anderson; Francheska: Prairie Queen, Laura O’Grady; Golden Delicious, Jason Karman; Reset, Min Bae; and Slash/Back, Nyla Innuksuk.

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has received a $450,000 grant from RBC Emerging Artists through the RBC Foundation to support the next generation of Canadian creators and filmmaking talent over the next three years. The announcement was made at CFC’s HOMECOMING event Sept. 11 where CFC alumni, residents, and other screen-based creators, entrepreneurs and industry members were present. The grant will provide emerging Canadian creators in CFC’s acclaimed Norman Jewison Film Program and Actors Conservatory with support to launch and accelerate their professional careers in the screen-based industry, including skills training and networking. Additionally, it will provide CFC’s network of more than 1,900 alumni with access to a series of curated forums, such as masterclasses and panels, to enhance networking and career opportunities.

Relish Interactive has reorganized its divisions and rebranded as Relish Studios. The company says the name change reflects the Toronto-headquartered studio’s ongoing evolution into a multi-platform production company and content creator. The company is now divided into three divisions — Digital, Games, and Animation. Relish Studios will continue to be led by founders Paul Pattison and Sacha Raposo. Veteran producer Luke Carroll, who started last year as SVP Animation, continues to lead the growing animation division. Joining the leadership team as VP Digital + Games is EdTech entrepreneur Carrie Purcell. Founded in 2007, Relish Studios is known for Apple App Store hit Weirdwood Manor

Asian Television Network (ATN) has acquired Canadian distribution rights for two more TV channels from Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), Sony YAY! and Sony PAL. Sony YAY! is India’s go-to kids channel, targeted at those 2-14 years. Sony PAL is the general entertainment channel (GEC) from the SPN stable. With the tagline ‘Yeh Pal Humara Hai’, which means ‘This moment is ours’, Sony PAL aims to bring positivity through content offerings that inspire viewers. ATN already has a long association with Sony Pictures Networks India and distributes five channels across Canada, SET HD, Sony SAB, Sony MAX, Sony MAX2 and Sony AATH. Sony YAY! And Sony PAL launched Sept. 13 on TELUS Optik TV in Western Canada.

Super Channel Heart & Home is set to premiere How I Got Here, a documentary series exploring family roots and connections from FORTÉ Entertainment, on Sunday Oct. 9. The Super Channel Heart & Home Original follows second-gen children as they accompany their parents back to their country of origin, to relive the sacrifice, struggle and dramatic circumstances that led to their families coming to North America. The series features stories from seven Canadian-based families and three from the U.S. Each of the 10, hour-long episodes will be available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its linear premiere. View the trailer here.

Canada’s Got Talent, Citytv’s most-viewed original series in over a decade according to the network, will start production on a new season next month in Niagara Falls. Set to air on Citytv, and stream on Citytv.com and Citytv+ next Spring, the network has announced the return of #CGT judges’ panel – Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Kardinal Offishall, and Trish Stratus – alongside host Lindsay Ell. Season 2, produced in partnership with Fremantle, SYCO Entertainment, and McGillivray Entertainment Media, will film at the brand new OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino. The season will broadcast nine episodes, featuring six audition shows, two semifinals, and a spectacular live two-hour finale. The public can sign up to be part of the live studio audience free of charge by visiting Citytv.com.

Patrice Belanger

Bell Media and Productions J have announced that well-known Quebec actor, TV and radio host Patrice Bélanger will host Survivor Québec, set to premiere on Noovo next spring. Set on a deserted island in the Philippines, Survivor Québec is currently recruiting participants, who have until Oct. 2 to apply.

 

Incendo has announced two additional horror films slated for production in 2022, in conjunction with FOX-owned streaming giant, Tubi as part of their continued content initiative. Driven by the success of the genre and consumer demand for themed content, the projects include Marry F*** Kill, an original film written by Ian Carpenter and Aaron Martin (Terror Train), as well as The Amityville Curse, an adaptation of Hans Holzer’s novel scripted by Dennis Heaton (Motive). Incendo is in pre-production in Montreal on the films and will also represent distribution on a global scale; Tubi is the commissioning U.S. licensee for both projects. Incendo and Tubi initially partnered earlier this year on a remake of cult classic Terror Train, which will premiere Oct. 21 in the U.S. as a part of Tubi’s annual month-long Halloween inspired genre celebration, Terror on Tubi.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

ZoomerMedia is pushing further into the digital publishing space, acquiring Buzz Connected Media, owner and publisher of Daily Hive.  Headquartered in Vancouver, Daily Hive boasts over 3.1 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. The company also operates in-house branded content studio, Hive Labs. ZoomerMedia previously acquired blogTO in January of this year. The multimedia company, best known for operating VisionTV, The New Classical FM (CFZM-FM) and Zoomer Radio (CFZM-AM), says with the addition of Daily Hive it becomes the largest Millennial and Gen Z focused media platform in Canada, “and provides ZoomerMedia a national audience that is unrivaled in terms of demographic, online and social media reach and engagement.” Zoomer acquired Buzz Connected for $16.4 million, comprised of $6 million in cash, a $5 million promissory note, issuance of $3 million in ZoomerMedia shares and assumption of Buzz’s $2.4 million outstanding debt obligation. Read more here.

Frank Magazine Atlantic, the Halifax-based version of the tabloid-style magazine featuring news, satire, and opinion, has shut down. “We regret to announce the death of Frank Magazine Atlantic, 35, which occurred on September 14, 2022,” the publication announced Tuesday on its website. “Stricken with a rogue’s gallery of grievous and irremediable medical conditions, death was quick and (mostly! – ed.) painless.” Owned by Cape Breton entrepreneur and investor Parker Rudderham, the publication had been operating with a small staff in recent years led by Managing Editor Andrew Douglas. Earlier this year, Frank was one of the media outlets that challenged attempts by Nova Scotia’s Mass Casualty Commission to suppress publication of video surveillance tapes of the RCMP’s takedown of Gabriel Wortman in April 2020.

Rumble has announced that the video-sharing platform’s user base reached a new record in August, increasing its global monthly active users (MAUs) to 78 million, representing 77% year-over-year growth. A new record of 63 million was also reached for MAUs in Canada and the U.S., representing 103% year-over-year growth. Rumble says a substantial portion of that growth came from users in the 18-24-year-old ‘Gen Z’ age group. The platform has announced plans to launch Rumble Exclusives, a livestreaming lineup featuring independent creators and a two-way dialogue with their audiences. The first daily livestream, hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, will start later this month and see Greenwald stream exclusively on Rumble at 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday to interview guests, discuss current events, and interact with audience questions and comments. Following the Rumble livestream, he’ll continue with a Q&A session exclusively for subscribers on Rumble’s subscription-based community platform, Locals. Greenwald’s “System Update” channel launched on Rumble in Aug. 2021 and currently has more than 200,000 subscribers. 

mike bendixen

Mike Bendixen, former Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) program director and National Format Director, News & Talk Programming, who parted ways with Bell Media last November, has launched a new newsletter on Substack. The broadcast media veteran promises “analysis of the news of the day and how it’s being covered.” His inaugural post discusses his early experiments with TikTok at CFRB and why research indicates those in the content business should embrace the platform.

 

12:36, the Toronto-centric pop culture and current events newsletter, is shifting its publishing model as it ends an 88-month run under SJC Media. 12:36, under the leadership of editor Marc Weisblott, will continue to publish weekly roundups on Thursdays for the foreseeable future and has already attracted an inaugural sponsor.

BBTV Holdings has entered into an agreement to provide content management to the Harlem Globetrotters. Vancouver-based BBTV will provide the Globetrotters with Rights Management, Channel Management and Content Development solutions across multiple platforms including YouTube and Facebook. The Harlem Globetrotters will celebrate their upcoming centennial in 2026.

 

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The Federal Court of Appeal has granted CBC/Radio-Canada (SRC) leave to appeal a June CRTC decision forcing it to apologize to complainant Ricardo Lamour for use of the N-word on-air. Back in August 2020, the n-word was used during a segment featuring Annie Desrochers and columnist Simon Jodoin as part of a discussion about a petition demanding the firing of a Concordia University professor who had quoted the title of a book by late Québécois journalist Pierre Vallières that features the N-word. CBC/Radio-Canada has apologized but takes issue with the CRTC decision which states that CBC “overstepped its authority with respect to the independence of the public broadcaster.” It’s estimated a hearing on the merits could take place in winter or spring 2023.

 

CBC/Radio-Canada President Catherine Tait discussed what reflecting contemporary Canada looks like in her address to Content Canada on Sept. 13, an industry gathering of broadcasters, streamers, producers, studios and content creators, being held concurrent to TIFF. Tait highlighted the public broadcaster’s efforts to produce inclusive programming including Marie Clements’ feature film Bones of Crows, produced in partnership with APTN, and Clement Virgo’s Brother, in association with CBC Films and Bell Media’s Crave. Tait also touched on calls to defund the CBC, saying “At a time of great uncertainty, I believe now is the time for everyone in our industry to come together — not pull apart.” Read her full address here.

Xplornet Communications has rebranded to Xplore Inc. The rural broadband provider says the new brand better reflects its identity, vision, and future. The company’s historical blue and grey palette will be replaced by shades of green, inspired by Canada’s northern lights. The company’s commercial division, Xplornet Enterprise Solutions, is now named Xplore Business.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

On September 7, 2022, Chair of the Board of Directors Michael Goldbloom, President & CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada Catherine Tait, and President of the Broccolini Real Estate Group Roger Plamondon held the official opening of the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal.

Maison de Radio-Canada opens its doors to the public Sept. 24-25, however tours are already sold out. The free, hour-long guided tour of the public broadcaster’s new Montreal headquarters will take visitors behind-the scenes of the innovative new building that earlier in the summer was awarded second place in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Technology & Innovation Awards. Designed to house a staff of more than 3,000, it incorporates cutting-edge, end-to-end Media-over-IP infrastructure with more than 400 IP routers constituting the backbone of the network. As part of the Sept. 24-25 events, Place de Radio-Canada (at the corner of René-Lévesque and Alexandre-DeSève) will host a number of free shows and activities. CBC is promising more tours of the state-of-the-art building on weekends in October.

LISTEN: On this special sponsored edition of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Dielectric President Keith Pelletier discusses a variety of exciting new technologies being offered to TV and FM broadcasters in North America and worldwide. These include breakthroughs in AI-based FM antenna pattern verification, and their IP-connected system that delivers real-time data to effectively monitor transmission lines.

Riedel Communications has acquired SimplyLive. Founded in 2016, SimplyLive provides software-based products for multi-camera production, including an all-in-one production suite, replay/slow-mo, venue gateways, and multiviewers, for sports video and broadcast applications. With the acquisition, Riedel extends its hardware-centric portfolio for video transport and processing with COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) and cloud-based solutions while gaining expertise and resources to offer new services and deployment models to its customers. At the same time, SimplyLive will benefit from Riedel’s global sales and support infrastructure, allowing its product portfolio to reach a wider audience.

Allen Media Group and Toronto-based Quickplay have announced an agreement that paves the way for Allen Media Group’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) products to use Quickplay’s cloud-native over-the-top (OTT) platform. Allen Media owns 27 ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets and 12 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 220 million subscribers, in addition to the streaming platforms HBCU GO, SPORTS.TV, THEGRIO, The Weather Channel app and Local Now. Leveraging the Quickplay platform, running on Google Cloud, Allen Media intends to accelerate engagement and monetization across its portfolio.