The Weekly Briefing

The 2021 edition of the Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards, presented by HD Radio, are now OPEN for submissions!

When we founded our inaugural awards program last fall, affectionately dubbed “The Howards” after our publisher emeritus Howard Christensen, we wanted to recognize the great radio borne out of a challenging time for the industry, compounded by the pandemic. A year later, we find ourselves still emerging from that uncertainty and carrying on in the new reality of remote work life, recovering advertising revenue, and a slow return to in-person events.

Responding to an overwhelming number of entries in our talent and production categories last year, we’ve expanded the 2021 awards to 22 categories, including establishing several new awards for commercial and imaging production, and creating separate solo and on-air team hosting honours. We’ve also added a specific category recognizing Campus & Community Radio, and established the Sound of Success Award, in conjunction with Radio Connects, recognizing radio’s ability to drive business.

In an unprecedented partnership with FYI Music News, we’ll additionally be launching the Canadian Radio Emerging Artist of the Year, presented by FYI Music News, nominated, and voted on by radio Program Directors and Music Directors.

Learn more about this year’s awards program here:

We look forward to seeing your entries and will reveal this year’s jury of industry professionals in the coming weeks.

The Canadian Radio Awards are FREE TO ENTER, which wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our first-ever title sponsor, HD Radio, and our Sponsors and Supporters.

REVOLVING DOOR:

Jennifer (Jenn) Lee has been appointed Corus Entertainment’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Joining Corus’ Executive Leadership Team, Lee began her career at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, working with a broad span of accounts, including media and entertainment clients where she was involved with CanWest Global’s acquisition of Alliance Atlantis and various transactions for Entertainment One. She will also assume the role of Corporate Secretary.

 

Darren Dutchyshen

Darren Dutchyshen is taking time off from TSN’s SportsCentre as he undergoes treatment following a recent cancer diagnosis. Dutchyshen, 54, has been with TSN since 1995, and currently co-hosts the evening edition of SportsCentre with Jennifer Hedger.

Cynthia Mulligan

Cynthia Mulligan has returned to Citytv Toronto after taking the summer off to recover from a new round of cancer treatment. The longtime Breakfast Television host was first diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago, receiving news last December that her cancer had returned. 

 

 

Cabral ‘Cabbie’ Richards

Cabral “Cabbie” Richards is joining Sportsnet as Executive Producer of Sports Betting Content. Richards’ broadcasting career started during an internship at The Score where he introduced his Cabbie on the Street segments, featuring interactions with stars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and David Ortiz, among others. He’s also worked with TSN Sportscentre, The Marilyn Denis Show, and more recently has been hosting Bleacher Report’s B/R Betting Show. Sportsnet says details of its content plans for sports betting will be revealed as legalization of single-event wagering rolls out across Canada.

Andi Petrillo

Andi Petrillo has announced she’s stepping away from hosting daily noon-hour talk show, Leafs Lunch, on TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM) Toronto. Petrillo will still be heard on the station, including as a fill-in host. She’d been with Leafs Lunch since 2016, in addition to juggling gigs as a host with CBC Sports and match day studio host with the OneSoccer streaming channel.

Sheila North

Sheila North has accepted a reporter position with CBC Manitoba. North returns to the public broadcaster after a seven-year absence from journalism, during which she served as the first woman to ever be elected Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, representing 30 First Nations in northern Manitoba. Earlier this summer, North finished second in the leadership race for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

Sean Vanderklis

Sean Vanderklis is joining CBC Thunder Bay as the new permanent host of Superior Morning. Hailing from Curve Lake First Nation in southern Ontario, Vanderklis was the co-founder of the One Dish, One Mic podcast with Karl Dockstader. He’s held a number of roles with CBC, including working on CBC Radio One’s Unreserved. Producer Amy Hadley has been hosting Superior Morning since longtime host Lisa Laco’s retirement at the end of December, following an ALS diagnosis. Laco passed away last month.

Jason Almeida

Jason Almeida is headed to Toronto where he’ll head up the promotions departments for 13 stations in five markets as Regional Promotions Director for Bell Media. Almeida arrives from Bell Media Calgary where he was responsible for marketing and promotions for both CTV and the radio cluster there.

Stephanie Gosine

Stephanie Gosine has joined Corus Entertainment as Project Manager, Creative Diversity. Gosine arrives from Blue Ant Media where she was most recently Delivery Manager, Media Services.

Kenny Caughlin

Kenny “The Hitman” Caughlin is joining MAX 97.7 (CHGB-FM) as morning show host. Caughlin has lived in Collingwood for 20 years and previously worked at 1050 CHUM, Q107 (CILQ-FM), AM 640, MIX 99.9 (CKFM-FM), Z103.5 (CIDC-FM), and Country 95.3 (CING-FM), among other stations. He also co-owns and operates Power 92.5 and 102.5 KiSS FM in the Turks & Caicos Islands. He’ll join MAX 97.7 beginning Sept. 20.

Vik Sahi

Vik Sahi has left Move 103.5 (CHQM-FM) Vancouver’s The Nat & Drew Show to work full-time as a Mortgage Expert. Sahi has been producing the morning show for the last five years.

Bahadur “Bobby” Dhillon

Bahadur “Bobby” Dhillon is joining Pattison Media’s sales team at 102.3 Now! Radio (CKNO-FM) and up! 99.3 (CIUP-FM) Edmonton. Dhillon was previously an Account Manager with Rogers Sports & Media in Edmonton for the last eight and a half years. Prior to that, he was an Outside Sales Rep with Sun Media.

Chris Drake

Chris Drake has been appointed Senior Vice President, Global Head of Revenue for Firstlight Media. Drake will lead the Toronto-headquartered company’s global sales efforts to help Tier 1 content providers and distributors deploy streaming and entertainment platforms built on the company’s Gen5 architecture. Drake joins Firstlight Media from Verizon Media, where he’s been Global VP, Media and Entertainment with responsibility for all aspects of the company’s broadcast, media, sports and operator businesses.

 

Jennifer Askin

Jennifer Askin has joined All3Media International as SVP, North America. Askin, who is based in New York, will manage the distributor’s sales across the U.S. and Canada and build out the company’s factual co-production slate. Askin joins All3Media from her entertainment consultancy Askin & Co. Prior to that, she was VP of Sales at Kew Media Distribution.

Lainie Elton

Lainie Elton has joined MK2 | Mile End as VP, Licensing & Digital Strategy. The former eOne sales executive arrives from levelFILM where she was VP of Sales for the last four years. Stephanie Azam also joins as VP, Development & Acquisitions as the distributor pushes further into the English-language market. Azam was formerly with Telefilm for the last 13 years as National Feature Film Executive, English-Language Market.

Alistair Hepburn

Alistair Hepburn will succeed Sue Milling as Executive Director of ACTRA Toronto. Hepburn moves up from his role as Director of Film, Television and Digital Media (FTDM) at the branch with Milling to stay on in an advisory capacity through the transition and remain on the board of FilmOntario until its AGM in November. Hepburn served as a Business Representative with sister union, Equity, before coming to ACTRA Toronto as Director of the FTDM department in 2016. Milling came to ACTRA Toronto in 2009 from United Steelworkers. She led the FTDM department before becoming Executive Director in 2013. 

Farrell Hall

Farrell Hall has been appointed to the newly-created position of Chief Inclusion officer at 9 Story Media Group. Working with internal and external stakeholders, Farrell will create and execute diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that will impact all aspects of the business, including 9 Story’s animation studio, Brown Bag Films. Reporting to Vince Commisso, President and CEO of 9 Story, Farrell joins the Executive Leadership team, based out of Toronto. Most recently, he held the role of Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Toronto.

RADIO & PODCAST:

CBC Radio One leads A12+ in both Toronto and Calgary in the fall PPM release from Numeris, completing the 13-week period covering May 31 to Aug. 29. In Montreal, 98.5 CHMP-FM is #1 for A12+ (Franco) with an 18.7% share, down from 23.0%, while CJAD 800 is #1 with Anglo listeners with a 28.4% share. CKNW grabs the #1 spot, A12+, in Vancouver with a 12.1% share of hours tuned (down from 13.3%). UP! 99.3 sweeps in to take #1 in Edmonton, posting a 10.0% share of hours tuned. Find David Bray’s full breakdown here.

Harvard Broadcasting has become Harvard Media. The company says the rebrand allows it “to combine radio and digital media to form a powerful, full-service enterprise.” Harvard Media, one of the Regina-based Hill Group of Companies, says that as multiplatform company, it’s aiming to combine the power of local brands, personalities, events, and content with its digital products and services to deliver results-driven integrated marketing programs. Hill Group acquired Regina’s Carbon Marketing in late 2019.

Pacific Content and the UK’s Fresh Air Productions have announced a partnership that will see the branded content companies collaborate in the audio storytelling space on commissions, pool talent and create a so-called “centre of expertise” for podcast production, measurement, promotion, and distribution. The two companies say they’ll also work on global partnerships with podcast and tech platforms, global media agencies, and brands.

MTM JR. says music streaming is the most popular way for Canadian kids to consume audio, according to its “Turn it up!” report which looks at how kids, ages two to 17, are listening across music streaming services, AM/FM radio, and podcasts. Among the report’s findings are that music streaming, at 60%, is overwhelmingly the most popular way to listen to audio content, particularly among anglophone teens, ages 12-17. Spotify is the top music streaming service with anglophone children, while YouTube is preferred by Francophone kids. Just under half of young anglophones (45%) reported listening to the radio in the last month, either terrestrially or online. MTM JR. says radio use among Francophone children has continued to decline over the last two years, possibly driven by decreased car travel time during the pandemic. Podcasting remains a niche activity with just over one in 10 children listening. Read more here.

Bob McCown

Bob McCown is the latest broadcaster to sign with SiriusXM Canada. The Bob McCown Podcast, which the former Sportsnet host launched in May of 2020 after parting ways with the network a year earlier, will be featured in SiriusXM’s collection of podcast content. In addition, new episodes of the podcast will premiere first as shows on Canada Talks (channel 167) at 6 p.m. ET weekdays, starting today, before being made available on the SXM App and other major podcast platforms. SiriusXM says the collaboration will also include the creation of additional content. The Bob McCown Podcast is co-hosted by John Shannon and initially made its radio debut on Sauga 960 AM (CKNT-AM) this past March. Read more here.

The Sound Off Podcast Network’s newest offering is Backstage Stories: Crew Are People Too, hosted by Ted Bird, morning show host at Lite 106.7 (CHSV-FM) Hudson, Que. The podcast is dedicated to the unsung ranks who toil in the shadows of the live entertainment industry. Featuring technicians, stagehands, crew, and roadies, as well as artists, performers, and managers, the opening episode features Ghislain Arsenault, who was running a modest trucking company out of Montreal when Celine Dion’s husband and manager, Rene Angelil, approached him in 1996 about providing transportation for Celine’s North American tour. 

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, veteran radio host Susan Knight, who is currently heard on Victoria’s 91.3 The Zone. In this episode, you’ll hear how much Knight loves radio – from its ability to connect whether it is voicetracked or live, in a disaster, or at 5 a.m. Host Matt Cundill and Knight also talk about her venture into voiceover work. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

Julian Taylor

Julian Taylor’s Jukebox, a new three-hour radio show, launched last Sunday on ELMNT-FM in Toronto and Ottawa. The musician and former 106.5 ELMNT (CFPT-FM) Toronto afternoon drive host is giving up his weekday hosting gig to launch the syndicated program, which will focus on BIPOC and Independent artists. Represented by Greg Nisbet of RadioMogul, First Peoples Radio and Taylor are partners in the new show.

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced that Canadian country artist Patricia Conroy and promoter Randy Stark have been selected as the 2021 inductees into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Stark is well-known in radio circles, starting at London Records in Calgary in 1972, before going on to work with A&M Records, GRT, and Warner Music Canada where he ascended to VP, Marketing and Promotion. Stark served as both CCMA Director (1997-2003) and CCMA President (2000-02). He also owned and operated his own radio charting service, Trax Report, from 2007-18. In addition to managing several artists, Stark played a role in the radio careers of Deric Ruttan, Gord Bamford, Bobby Wills, Michelle Wright, Aaron Pritchett and Clayton Bellamy, among others.

SIGN OFFS:

Norm Macdonald, 61, on Sept. 14, after a private battle with cancer. Born and raised in Quebec City, Macdonald got his start in comedy performing at clubs like Yuk Yuk’s in the Ottawa area in the mid-1980s, which led to a spot at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. After appearing as a contestant on Star Search in 1990, he went on to work as a writer on Roseanne during the 1992-93 season before leaving the show to join the cast of SNL. With SNL until 1998, among Macdonald’s more memorable impressions were Larry King, David Letterman, Burt Reynolds, and Republican senator Bob Dole. Macdonald went on to star in his own comedy series, The Norm Show, from 1999 to 2001. Starting in 2013, he hosted podcast, Norm Macdonald Live, for three seasons, which led to Netflix talk show, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, which ran for one season in 2018. More recently, Macdonald had a recurring role on ABC sitcom The Middle. He also served as a consulting producer on the Roseanne reboot in 2018, among other voiceover, television and feature film credits. Read more here.

TV & FILM:

Voss Capital has acquired approximately 10.5% of the outstanding shares of Vancouver-based Thunderbird Entertainment Group. Voss Capital analyst Taylor Henderson said they believe Thunderbird is well-positioned to benefit from the growth in content budgets of the top streamers and studios, specifically singling out Thunderbird’s animation division, Atomic Cartoons. Voss CIO Travis Cocke added that Thunderbird stock “represents an attractive long-term investment and continues to be under-followed and undervalued in the public markets.” 

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and children’s book publisher Kids Can Press have announced the Nelvana/Kids Can Press Talent Incubator: Black Write Edition, designed to discover, support, and mentor emerging Black storytellers and illustrators. Story proposals or illustration portfolios are being accepted through the blackwrite.ca website with selected candidates to be paired with creative advisors in animation production or book publishing to develop and fully realize their work. The deadline to submit is Nov. 30. The initiative is part of Corus Entertainment’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan that aims to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the company’s workforce, business and content as well as industry partnerships.

Videotron and TVA Sports have announced a partnership with new East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team, the Trois-Rivières Lions. Under the agreement, the new Trois-Rivières arena will be named the “Colisée Vidéotron” and TVA Sports will become the exclusive official broadcaster of the Trois-Rivières Lions’ home games. Coverage will begin with the home opener on Oct. 21 vs. the Newfoundland Growlers. Justine St-Martin will host the TVA Sports broadcasts with Sébastien Goulet doing play-by-play and Alexandre Picard providing analysis. Former Montréal Canadiens player Marc-André Bergeron is the team’s general manager. The team is affiliated with the Montréal Canadiens and the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League (AHL).

WildBrain has announced new Strawberry Shortcake animated series, Berry in the Big City, and a new global franchise program encompassing toys, games, books, music, learning and experiences. Berry in the Big City premieres Sept. 18 in a double-episode event on the official Strawberry Shortcake channel on WildBrain Spark, the company’s AVOD network on YouTube and YouTube Kids, where it will be available initially in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. The series is being produced by WildBrain’s Vancouver animation studio with Michael Vogel, one of the creative forces behind My Little Pony: The Movie, acting as showrunner.

Apple TV+ has teamed with WildBrain to become the new home for Yo Gabba Gabba!, including a new original series, comprising 20 half-hour episodes, and the entire Yo Gabba Gabba! library. The new series will be produced in partnership and collaboration with WildBrain and Yo Gabba Gabba LLC, co-owners of the IP. Yo Gabba Gabba! follows a previously announced partnership with Apple and WildBrain, along with Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions, to make Apple TV+ the home for all things Peanuts.

WildBrain has reported its fourth quarter and 2021 year-end results for the periods ended June 30, 2021. In Q4, revenue grew 21% to $112.6 million, compared with $92.9 million in the prior year, driven by the deal with Apple TV+ for the Yo Gabba Gabba! library, ongoing recovery in Spark and the strength of its Consumer Products business. Fiscal 2021 revenue increased 6% to $452.5 million vs $425.6 million in Fiscal 2020. Content Production and Distribution revenue increased 12% to $44.6 million in Q4 2021 vs $39.7 million in Q4 2020, benefiting from the Yo Gabba Gabba! deal and distribution agreements with Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia in the current quarter. Q4 2021 revenue at Spark increased 81% to $11.7 million vs $6.5 million in Q4 2020, reflecting ongoing recovery in advertising revenue. Fiscal 2021 revenue at Spark was $45.8 million vs $62.3 million in Fiscal 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19 as well as YouTube’s ad policy changes for kids and family content in early 2020. 

Corus Entertainment kids networks, YTV, TELETOON, and Treehouse, have announced their fall lineups that include spinoffs of series like SpongeBob SquarePants, reimaginings of animated classics like Animaniacs and Looney Tunes, and continued seasons of Sesame Street. New series hitting YTV include the premieres of The Croods: Family Tree (Oct. 2) inspired by the blockbuster DreamWorks Animation film, and Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years (Oct. 3), the CG-animated prequel that follows 10-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as The Patrick Star Show (Oct. 3), following a younger Patrick Star living at home with his family, where he hosts his own variety show. TELETOON’s lineup includes HBO MAX Original series Tom & Jerry in New York (Sept. 18); Jellystone! (Oct. 10), featuring an ensemble of Hanna-Barbera characters; and Aquaman: King of Atlantis, produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Rolling onto the Treehouse schedule is new 2D-animated Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go! (Sept. 18), animated series Little Ellen (Oct. 1) featuring a 7-year-old Ellen DeGeneres navigating life in New Orleans, and The Wiggles: Live from Hot Potato Studios (Oct. 9).

Double Tap TV, AMI’s popular television program focusing on tech from an accessibility point of view, has returned for its fourth season on AMI-tv. Airing every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Double Tap TV hosts Steven Scott and Marc Aflalo offer viewers an in-depth dive into the consumer tech industry – always asking, “Is this accessible to people with disabilities?” 

Global News has announced plans for its 2021 federal election special, Decision Canada. Live coverage will be available on Amazon Prime Video channels, Roku, the Global TV app, the Global News YouTube channel, and streamed on Globalnews.ca, as well as Corus’ HISTORY network. Global News Radio stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton and London will also provide commercial-free coverage beginning at 7 p.m. local time. Decision Canada is led by Global National Anchor and Executive Editor Dawna Friesen and Ottawa Bureau Chief and host of The West Block Mercedes Stephenson. They’ll be supported by an election night panel, featuring Global Toronto Anchor Farah Nasser and Senior National Affairs Correspondent Eric Sorensen. Chief Political Correspondent David Akin will offer comprehensive riding results, while regional anchors involved in election night include Global Halifax’s Sarah Ritchie, Global Toronto’s Tracy Tong, Global Winnipeg’s Lisa Dutton, Global Calgary’s Joel Senick and Global BC’s Sophie Lui

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is producing new broadcast special, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in partnership with APTN, CBC/Radio-Canada, Insight Productions and Canadian Heritage. In recognition of the new federal statutory holiday, also known as Orange Shirt Day, the one-hour, commercial-free primetime special honours the stories and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples affected by the tragedies of the residential school system in Canada. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will broadcast and stream live Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. ET on APTN, CBC, CBC Gem, ICI TÉLÉ and ICI TOU.TV

ACTRA Toronto Council has approved a name change to their juried performance awards. Its Voice categories will now be known as Outstanding Performance – Gender Non-Conforming or Male Voice and Outstanding Performance – Gender Non-Conforming or Female Voice, while its On Screen awards are now Outstanding Performance – Gender Non-Conforming or Female and Outstanding Performance – Gender Non-Conforming or Male. Gender non-conforming performers can be submitted based on the gender of the character or as the performer identifies. ACTRA Toronto hopes the change will make the awards more inclusive for trans and non-binary performers. The deadline for submissions to the 2022 awards is Oct. 31.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Quebecor has unveiled QUB, a new platform that brings content from Quebecor’s news and entertainment brands together in one place. Available via the web and mobile app, the content stream aggregator features four main sections: news, video, music and radio, featuring articles, video and audio clips, music playlists and podcast suggestions from more than 50 Quebecor sources and media outlets. The vast majority of the content is free, with the exception of recently-launched subscription streaming service, Vrai, dedicated to exclusive unscripted specialty content. Read more here.

The Narwhal is launching a three-person environmental journalism bureau in Ontario after nearly 10,000 people signed up to support the non-profit’s expansion eastward. The team will be led by Ontario bureau chief Denise Balkissoon, who joins The Narwhal after serving as executive editor of Chatelaine. Fatima Syed, host of Canadaland politics podcast, The Backbench, and Emma McIntosh, who most recently covered Queen’s Park for Canada’s National Observer, also join as reporters.

DAZN has recruited Canadian actor Will Arnett to help promote the streamer as the go-to destination in Canada for live football. DAZN will carry every NFL game, live through NFL Game Pass including preseason, regular season, and the playoffs (including the Super Bowl); in addition to NFL RedZone – seven hours of nonstop football every Sunday; every Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Women’s Champions League, and UEFA Europa League soccer match; and other major domestic men’s and women’s European soccer league matches and hundreds of Major League Soccer games. Returning for a second season is Rookie Diaries with rising Canadian rookie star Chuba Hubbard, a documentary style show hosted by Adnan Virk that features ongoing check-ins with Carolina Panthers running back Hubbard as well as self-filmed, behind-the-scenes VLOG content. The DAZN Soccer Show joins the roster as a new weekly studio show for soccer fanatics, hosted by the crew from Footy Prime The PodcastJames Sharman and Brendan Dunlop, soccer legends Danny Dichio and Craig Forrest, voiceover talent Jeff Cole and producer Dan Wong.

TSN and 7-Eleven have announced an extension of their ongoing partnership, with the addition of a multi-platform sponsorship of all BarDown gaming content. The integration includes a weekly gaming segment on 7-Eleven That’s Hockey featuring a BarDown personality chatting all things gaming with a TSN Hockey analyst, as well as Digital Sportscentre features focused on sports and gaming. It also encompasses YouTube content like biweekly gaming series BarDownloadable, hosted by Marissa Roberto; monthly Quiz videos hosted by Daniel Zakrzewski; and bi-monthly Franchise Mode content play with Corwin McCallum. 7-Eleven also continues as the Title Sponsor of 7-Eleven That’s Hockey, TSN’s longstanding daily hockey news show with host Gino Reda

The Crave app is now available on select LG Smart TVs across Canada, providing customers with direct access to programming from HBO, HBO MAX, Showtime, and Starz, plus Crave Originals, and French-language TV and films from Super Écran. LG Smart TV owners – with select models from 2017 and newer – can now access Crave on their television’s webOS platform by opening the Crave app directly using their remote, or by saying “Crave” into their LG Magic Remote. The Crave app is also available via digital media players like Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation, Roku, and Xbox One.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Xplornet Communications has announced the acquisition of Swift High Speed, a rural broadband service provider headquartered in Steinbach, MB. Swift High Speed provides fibre-to-the-home and fixed wireless services to over 6,000 customers across rural southeastern Manitoba. Through the agreement, Xplornet has acquired all of Swift High Speed’s customers and operations including 218 km of fibre optic network and 119 broadcast tower locations. As part of the acquisition, Swift High Speed is splitting off its employees and equipment and will launch a new service-based fibre optic installation business, Swift Underground, with the same ownership group. Xplornet has retained the new organization to operate the existing network and build out its new fibre-to-the-home network in the region. Xplornet says the acquisition is a cornerstone of its fibre-to-the-home and 5G rollout in the province with this phase seeing the company invest $40 million to bring high-speed broadband to over 14,000 homes in the region.

Babbl Communications has launched an early release of its home internet offering to residents of Richmond, Parksville, and Nanaimo, BC. Advertising a contract-free service, the third-party internet service provider is based in Richmond, founded by telecom entrepreneur Jason Speers, who was formerly a Sales and Retail Manager with Shaw Communications.

 

 

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has undertaken its first annual study looking at how newcomers to Canada consume news and their perceptions of Canadian media. Focused on those who’ve arrived in Canada in the last five years, the study found that newcomers are more likely to cite social media as their main source of news content than Canadian-born news consumers, 18+. Facebook was the most commonly mentioned source, with Twitter also one of the top sites mentioned. Newcomers are also less likely to subscribe to a linear TV service (21% vs. 39% of those Canadian born). They’re also less likely to tune into radio news (six per cent vs. 10%). Read more here.

Actor Victor Garber and Global News anchor Farah Nasser will host World News Day: The Climate Crisis on Sept. 28.

Global News anchor Farah Nasser and actor Victor Garber will host World News Day: The Climate Crisis, a virtual event on Sept. 28 highlighting the vital role journalism plays in providing the public with facts about the climate emergency. Now in its fourth year, World News Day celebrates the power of journalism to effect change, presented by the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and the World Editors Forum (WEF). Registration for the 90-minute event is free, open to a global audience and available in all time zones. Outlets featured include Al Jazeera English, BBC, CBC News, Deutsche Welle, Global News, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, National Observer/Indigenous Leadership Initiative, The New Yorker, Reuters, The Sacramento Bee, The Straits Times, South China Morning Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Univision.

The 2021 Webster Awards finalists have been announced, recognizing excellence in journalism in B.C. One winner in each category will be announced during the Nov. 3 online awards ceremony.

 

The 2021 Pattison Media Prairie Equity Scholarship, which recognizes Broadcast/Digital Media students in underrepresented groups in the industry (Indigenous persons, Women, Persons with Disabilities and Members of Visible Minorities), will award two $2,000 scholarships in November. The deadline to apply is Oct. 8. Applicants must be a resident of Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba and be attending a recognized Broadcast or Digital Media program on a full-time basis, at a post-secondary institution in one of those provinces. Learn more here.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has made the decision to cancel its planned in-person return to Las Vegas next month, citing the surge of the Delta variant. In a message sent to the NAB Show community, Chris Brown, NAB’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Global Connections and Events, said with maintaining the safety of the industry a priority, “it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person.” The largest media and entertainment industry event in the world, NAB Show is now looking at a return, April 23-27, 2022. In a recent interview with Broadcast Dialogue, Brown had placed attendance at between 45 and 55% of a regular year, with this fall’s show still set to occupy two halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Sony, Canon, Panasonic and Ross are among the vendors who had announced over the last week that they were pulling out of the event. Some virtual 2021 NAB Show content will be available through NAB Amplify.

Dielectric and Merrill Weiss Group have filed a petition with the FCC, clearing the path for first computational directional FM antenna pattern modeling. Dielectric’s groundbreaking research resulted in the recent FCC filing, expected to be approved this fall. The new rule paves the way for the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years — that passes the torch from physical to AI-driven simulated modeling. Read more here.

The World Broadcasting Unions (WBU), the coordinating body for broadcasting unions who represent broadcaster networks across the globe, is strongly endorsing theCall to Action on Emergency Alerting”, which supports the implementation of international standard alerting format Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). The Call to Action requests a scale up of efforts to ensure that by 2025 all countries have the capacity for effective and authoritative emergency alerting that leverages the CAP, suitable for all media and all hazards. WBU says the CAP standard makes public alerting faster, easier, less error-prone, and more understandable and helps broadcasters be certain an alert is authentic and authoritative.