Brad Phillips, Senior Vice-President, Corus Audio, is the new President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Radioplayer Canada (RPC). Julie Adam, former Head of News & Entertainment at Rogers Sports & Media, who parted ways with the company earlier this month, has resigned from the position. Momentum Media Marketing, the parent company of Broadcast Dialogue, is the administrator of RPC, as appointed by the board.
Gord Macdonald has retired from 980 CKNW Vancouver after 33 years and 47 years in radio news. Macdonald, 66, started in radio while attending university with summer jobs at CKDA Victoria and CJOY Guelph. After graduating from the University of Windsor in 1979, he went on to work at CKLQ Brandon, MB and then CJAT Trail, BC where he spent five years as News and Sports Director. He then spent three years teaching broadcast journalism at BCIT, the latter two as Program Head. In 1989, he began working at CKNW and in 1991 took over as News Director from the legendary Warren Barker. He’d most recently been serving as morning news anchor.
Bob Cowan, who has been the co-host of Morning Live on CHCH Hamilton since its launch 21 years ago, is retiring. Cowan’s last show is Thursday, Sept. 29, which will dedicate all three hours to the venerable host. Prior to joining CHCH in 2001, Cowan was an entertainment reporter and anchor for Global TV in Toronto and Halifax, host of The Bob Couch on CHRO-TV Ottawa, and on-air at Ottawa’s 54 Rock (CKQB-FM) and CHXL and CFJR Brockville, ON. Tim Bolen will be Morning Live’s new co-host, alongside Annette Hamm.
Jay Richards has left the Saskatoon Media Group after more than 25 years to work in fund development with the LutherCare Foundation. Richards’ resume includes stops at 630 CKRC and QX104 (CFQX-FM) Winnipeg, followed by a 26-year career at CJWW Saskatoon. Richards has won a number of awards over the years including CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) Music Director of the Year.
Peter Morena, Operations, Brand Manager, Program Director and Music Director at RB Communications in Niagara, has announced his retirement from 91.7 GIANT FM (CIXL-FM) and COUNTRY 89 (CKYY-FM) after 48 years in radio. Originally from Toronto, Morena’s broadcast career started in 1974 at CKDM Dauphin, MB. He was hired a year later at CHOW Welland, ON to do evenings. He eventually worked his way up to daytime and then sports director. Morena detoured to rival stations CHSC/CHRE St. Catharines and then CHML/CKDS Hamilton, before returning to CHOW as News and Sports Director, and going on to oversee the switch from CHOW-AM to 91.7 Spirit FM in 1999.
Dana Thompson is the new afternoon co-host on Pattison Media’s JR Country (CJJR-FM) Vancouver, alongside Graeme Gordon. Thompson, who recently announced her departure from The Casey Clarke Show which airs on Stingray’s country network and originates from New Country 100.7 FM (CIGV-FM) Kelowna, had been with the show since 2019. Prior to that, she was the morning show co-host on Hot Country 103.5 (CKHZ-FM) Halifax.
Sasha Teman is leaving Radio-Canada Regina where she’s been a reporter for the past year to join CityNews Montreal as a video journalist. Prior to Radio-Canada, Teman interned with Telesud in Paris.
Alicia Doyle is the new Executive Producer at CHEK News Victoria. Doyle arrives from Global BC where she’d been a producer for the morning news for the past several months. A former weekend/evening producer at CTV Vancouver, she was part of layoffs at Bell Media in Feb. 2021.
John Perras is joining Dave Charles’ consultancy Media RESULTS Inc. as a new partner. Perras, who was most recently a corporate sales trainer for Stingray Radio, offers sales training strategies under the banner of his company, Sales Fundamentals Inc. His focus will be on new revenue generation concepts and sales training for Media RESULTS’ radio clients.
Marlene Kendall is the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at National Screen Insitute (NSI). Kendall joins NSI’s senior management team after serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for the last three years.
RADIO & PODCAST:
980 CFPL will celebrate its centennial anniversary on Friday, Sept. 30 at the London Knight’s home opener, in addition to special on-air segments throughout the week. CFPL’s forerunner CJGC-AM was conceived in 1922 when Arthur Blackburn, owner of the London Free Press Printing Co., was granted one of the first radio licences in Canada. The station began broadcasting from studios in the Free Press building at 440 Richmond Street. Unhappy with the growth of radio, Blackburn struck a deal in 1932 to merge CJGC-AM with Windsor’s CKOK-AM resulting in the birth of CKLW-AM which was to serve both the London and Windsor markets. The merger enraged London residents and businessmen, forcing the Blackburns to withdraw from their partnership and open new London station, CFPL-AM. Corus Entertainment acquired CFPL from Blackburn Radio in 1999. This week, the station is airing several radio specials in celebration of 980 CFPL’s 100th birthday. Read more here.
Numeris says more Canadians listened to radio on-the-go over the summer months as people took advantage of what for many was the first season free of COVID-19 restrictions. Numeris has released its first batch of “insights” which will replace Radio Topline Reports going forward. Reflecting Numeris Radio PPM data for Summer 2022, Numeris says 67.9% of radio tuning by Adults 25-54 was done outside the home. Out-of-home (OOH) tuning was up across all dayparts with the evening seeing the biggest gain, up nine percentage points year-over-year. Vancouver led OOH listening by market at 75.3%, A25-54, followed by Edmonton where 69.3% of tuning was done outside the home. When it comes to live streaming of radio, Edmonton (16%), Vancouver (13%), and Toronto (12%) were the top three markets. Adults 18-45 led streaming by demographic at 12% overall, with seven per cent in that age group streaming on-the-go. Read more here.
Luminate (formerly MRC Data) has announced a partnership with Mediabase that will see the airplay monitoring service’s tracking data fuel its North American music charts, igniting a transition away from BDS. Effective this December, Luminate’s reporting on radio music activity in the U.S. and Canada will become the standard, with its Top40, Rhythmic, Mainstream Rock, Active Rock, Modern Rock, Triple A, Country, Oldies, AC, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, Smooth AC, Christian, Gospel and Latin charts, no longer competing with Billboard, whose charts were formerly fed by Luminate’s BDS service, which tracks radio, television and internet airplay of songs. With the announcement, Luminate has unveiled plans for a new, modernized client and user platform, encompassing all of the company’s data offerings. Luminate says Mediabase is the first of many new data partners that will contribute intelligence to the new platform, slated for launch next year. Read more here.
The CRTC has found that the market of Rouyn-Noranda, Que cannot support an additional commercial radio station at this time. The commission is returning an application filed by Josyane Cossette, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language commercial FM station in Rouyn-Noranda. The CRTC will publish an application filed by Radio Boréale for a broadcasting transmitter to broadcast the programming of community station CHOW-FM Amos, Que. in Rouyn-Noranda as part of the non-appearing phase of an upcoming public hearing.
Michelle Sawatzky-Koop, morning show co-host on Golden West Broadcasting’s Radio Southern Manitoba network, (CHSM-AM, CJRB-AM, CFAM-AM), is one of the recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, for her involvement in local sports and arts initiatives and mentorship of young people in her community. The former Team Canada Olympic Volleyball setter is celebrating her 25th year with Golden West. She’s also the co-founder of the Heroes in our Midst podcast.
Cliff Dumas, the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of branded content studio Everything Podcasts, has been nominated for a Country Music Association (CMA) Award for Broadcast Personality of the Year (Medium Market) in the U.S. for his work on KUZZ Bakersfield, CA morning show, “Cliff and Tanya in the Morning” alongside Tanya Brakebill. Originally from Toronto, Dumas was formerly a longtime host and producer for Country Music Television (CMT) in Canada, a producer and writer for CBC for two decades, and continues to serve as the continuity voice for CHCH-TV Hamilton. Dumas is the only Canadian broadcaster to be named Broadcast Personality of the Year by both the CMA (1990) and Academy of Country Music (2011).
International Podcast Day (IPD) returns Friday, Sept. 30, marking a comeback for the event’s livestream after a hiatus, featuring 23 podcasters from 10 different countries, including Canadian Kattie Laur from Pod the North; Todd Cochrane, CEO of Raw Voice & Blubrry; and the People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Find the complete schedule here and check out our podcast with IPD co-founder Dave Lee for ideas on how to celebrate here.
The Toronto Star is partnering for a new season of The Manjit Minhas Podcast, which launched Monday, Sept. 26, on the Toronto Star Podcast Network. Season 3 will feature 12 original episodes and is produced by Mixxable, a podcast network owned by influencer marketing platform, Influicity. Minhas, who hails from Calgary, has been one of the entrepreneurs on CBC’s Dragons’ Den since Season 11 and founded Minhas Breweries with her brother Ravinder in 1999. The show has been a Top 10 podcast in the business category, featuring Minhas in conversation with Canadian guests from the world of business and entrepreneurship, including Andrew Chau of Neo Financial, Joanna Griffiths of Knix and Michele Romanow of Clearco.
Cinema Reignited is a new podcast from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, powered by Telefilm Canada. In each episode, host Samah Ali explores a different Canadian film that’s been digitized as part of the Canadian Cinema – Reignited initiative. The podcast takes listeners on a journey through the time period during which each film was made, the historical and social context at the time, and how the film relates to broader themes in society through a modern day lens. The first episode will drop in October.
Blue Hotel is the new podcast from Jeff Woods tackling relationships and sexuality, with weekly guests ranging from relationship experts, therapists, sex educators and coaches, to erotic authors, performers, and more. Episodes feature listener submitted stories and questions via the Blue Hotel Hotline, with each episode featuring a narrated erotic bedtime story.
LISTEN: Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media returns to the Sound Off Podcast to discuss recent Tech Surveys for Public and Commercial radio, and the AQ4 Survey which targets air talent. The fourth instalment of AQ was released at Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago in August and is an eye opening piece of research. You can link to the results here.
Through the Fire is a new podcast on the Sound Off Podcast Network, hosted by JUNO-nominated country artist Don Amero, focused on overcoming adversity, re-framing misfortune, and celebrating courage. Guests thus far include fellow musicians Dallas Smith, Christa Couture, and Robb Nash sharing their stories from “fire to fortune” and lessons learned along the way.
Duncan McCue is hosting new show, Helluva Story, featuring a half-hour of international and Canadian audio documentaries and storytelling. Airing on CBC Radio One and SiriusXM, the show made its debut on Sunday with the last piece filed by the late Jody Porter of CBC Thunder Bay, about six Indigenous leaders imprisoned for taking a stand.
Voices, the London, ON-headquartered voice marketplace, has launched Project Marketplace, a new way for clients to discover and hire voice talent. Voices says Project Marketplace removes the “wait and see” experience of auditioning, instead giving voice talent orders, and payment up front, that they can work on right away.
The Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards (aka “The Howards”) are officially open for submissions! Check out this year’s categories and criteria at CanadianRadioAwards.com. Submissions close on Monday, Oct. 14.We’re pleased to welcome new category sponsors Matt Fogarty Voiceovers, Burli, and the Community Radio Fund of Canada. We’ll be announcing this year’s jury soon.
David Ward, on Sept. 27, of cancer. Ward, the longtime Senior Producer and Program Director at Alberta’s CKUA Radio Network, started working with the community radio station in 1982 as a record librarian in its Edmonton studios. He went on to host and produce, eventually establishing himself as the community radio network’s “point person” in Calgary after the network established a studio there in 2001. “For over 40 years, David was a colleague, mentor, inspiration and friend to so many in the immediate CKUA community. He was also a friend to untold thousands more, forging close connections with listeners, donors and volunteers as host of some of our most popular programs,” CKUA wrote in a tribute on its website. Among the shows Ward hosted over the years were The Afternoon Edition, Freeway, Sounds Live and Time for JazzMusic.
Fred Blair, 82, on Aug. 24. Blair started his career as a reporter at CFNB Fredericton in the late 1950s. He eventually moved over to CBC Radio and later television, where he rose to the position of Senior Editor and Newsroom Supervisor, in addition to serving as the face of political reporting in New Brunswick. After many years of reporting, Blair joined the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick as its Executive Director. He eventually moved on and tried his hand at private consulting before going to work for Conservative Member of Parliament Greg Thompson. Blair ended his career running Thompson’s constituency office in St. Stephen, NB.
TV & FILM:
How do you possibly sum up 50 years of CityTV history in one story and give tribute to so many talented people? Here is my attempt, told with love. It’s been amazing Toronto, thank you. #CITYTV50 https://t.co/Uo1qzmz24h
— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) September 29, 2022
Citytv is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first broadcast this week. City launched on Sept. 28, 1972 on channel 79 from its studios on 99 Queen Street East in Toronto, the former home of the Electric Circus Nightclub. The company was made up of 36 founding investors, including channel licensee and cable TV pioneer Phyllis Switzer, television host Moses Znaimer, broadcast lawyer Jerry J. Grafstein, and film producer Edgar A. Cowan. Eventually acquired by CHUM Ltd., Rogers Communications has owned the Citytv stations since 2007. Known for its innovative programming and loose delivery style, the channel gave birth to original programming like Cityline, Electric Circus, Breakfast Television, and Late Great Movies, in addition to news delivered unconventionally with no desks and anchors reading the news standing up or on stools. Among the on-air segments looking back at five decades of Citytv, was a piece celebrating the station’s iconic continuity voice, reporter and late night anchor Mark Dailey, who was with City for 31 years, up until his passing in 2010. Other City alumni over the years include Brian Linehan, Gord Martineau, Jeanie Beker, J.D. Roberts, Ivan Fecan, Jay Nelson, Dini Petty, Jeff Ansell, Bill Cameron, Stephen Lewis, Peter Gross, Jim Tatti, Christopher Ward, John Burgess, Bob Hunter, Anne Mroczkowski, Glen Cole, Ann Rohmer, John Gallagher, Monika Deol, Denise Donlon, Steve Anthony, Avi Lewis, Kevin Frankish, and Avery Haines, among many others. Read more here.
The Legacy Awards honoured olympian Andre De Grasse, broadcaster Kayla Grey, and film festival founder and diversity advocate Fabienne Colas at the inaugural edition of the CBC-televised tribute show this past Sunday, the country’s first major celebration of Canadian Black talent. This year’s award recipients were decided upon by The Legacy Awards’ Advisory Committee comprised of industry specialists in music, film, TV, and pop culture and The Black Academy, the Toronto-headquartered organization founded by Scarborough actor/producer brothers Stephan James and Shamier Anderson, who co-executive produced and hosted Sunday’s awards show. Read more here.
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has announced the nominees for the 2022 DGC Awards for Feature Film, Documentary and Short Film. Selected from nearly 450 submissions, the nominations are led by Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, and Danis Goulet’s Night Raiders. Each secured three nods including Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film nominations for Goulet and Cronenberg. The nominees for Television Series, Movies for Television and Mini Series were announced in August. Winners will be announced at the first-ever West Coast DGC Awards Gala in Vancouver on Nov. 5.
BAFTA has announced an expansion of its awards activity in North America and will introduce year-round presentations of BAFTA Special Awards, honorary recognition presented to those that have made a significant and outstanding contribution to film, games and television through a particular project(s) and/or their work. This marks the evolution of the Britannia Awards ceremony, previously hosted once a year in Los Angeles – the last taking place in 2019. Special Awards can be put forward by members, the sector committees, and the BAFTA North America Board, chaired by Kathryn Busby. The move is part of the organization’s expansion of North America operations including an inaugural presence at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will award the 2022 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence to actor and musician Gary Farmer. The annual prize recognizes professional and personal achievement by an Indigenous actor, of any gender, from Turtle Island. Farmer will receive his award at the imagineNATIVE Awards on Oct. 22 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Farmer’s career has spanned more than four decades. He is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of First Nations media in Canada and the founding director of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network. Born in Ohsweken, ON, his first major television role was on CBC’s Spirit Bay (1984). He subsequently played police captain Joe Stonetree on syndicated TV series Forever Knight (1992-94) and Chief Tom in CBC series The Rez (1996). Recent credits include Resident Alien, Reservation Dogs, and Blood Quantum, among other projects.
W5 reveals a critical shortage of volunteer firefighters across Canada as it opens its 57th season of investigative journalism Saturday, Oct. 1 on CTV. In the season premiere episode, “Under Fire,” W5 Host and Managing Editor Avery Haines investigates a series of deadly fires that volunteer fire crews couldn’t get to in time, speaking to survivors who believe the staff shortage was a factor in their loved ones’ deaths. CTV News’ Science and Technology Specialist Dan Riskin also investigates invasive species propagating in North American ecosystems, from wild pigs in Saskatchewan to boa constrictors in Florida. W5’s new season is led by Haines; Investigative Correspondent Molly Thomas; and CTV National News Anchor Sandie Rinaldo; with contributions from CTV News correspondents.
Pamela Anderson’s highly-anticipated HGTV Canada debut, Pamela’s Garden of Eden (8×60), premieres Nov. 3. The Corus Studios Original follows Anderson as she takes a break from Hollywood and embarks on a massive restoration of her grandmother’s six-acre waterfront legacy property on Vancouver Island. Over the course of the season, contractors work alongside Anderson through the stresses, struggles, budget and time constraints of the renovation.
CBC is marking the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday, Sept. 30 with an extensive lineup of Indigenous-led original programming showcasing First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences across CBC, CBC Gem, CBC News Network, CBC Kids, CBC Radio One, CBC Listen and CBC Music. Also known as Orange Shirt Day, CBC’s programming will include a CBC News Special, hosted by Chief Correspondent Adrienne Arsenault, as well as broadcast presentations of ʔəm̓i ce:p xʷiwəl (Come Toward The Fire) and Buffy Sainte-Marie Starwalker.
CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel) is marking the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a full day of special programming allowing viewers to reflect on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples across the country and the long and continuing road to reconciliation. In partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and APTN, CPAC will broadcast the national commemorative gathering Remembering the Children: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which will take place at LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The one-hour live broadcast will honour residential school survivors, their families, communities, and all the children who never made it home. CPAC will also broadcast special programming from its archives throughout the day.
Rogers Sports & Media is commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with special features and stories across its sports, news and entertainment properties. Sportsnet programming includes a profile on Ryan Francis, a member of Acadia First Nation in Nova Scotia, who is providing support to Indigenous women and girls in the region to stay involved in sports and physical activity, while Blue Jays Central is spotlighting Baseball Canada Junior National Team member, Kaleb Thomas, the first player living in an Indigenous community to ever play for the program. Citytv will air Remembering the Children, a one-hour live broadcast honouring residential school survivors, their families, their communities and all the children who never made it home.
Camp of Dreams, a documentary following NHL player Ethan Bear, and his annual hockey camp at the Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan, is set to air on TSN1 and TSN5 on Friday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. ET, in conjunction with Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. As an NHL player with humble beginnings, Bear faced challenges and levels of bigotry that most athletes couldn’t begin to comprehend. He is now giving back and paving the road for future Indigenous athletes.
CTV News special, Reconciliation and Reconnecting – The Path Forward, airs on CTV, CTV2, CTV News Channel, CTVNews.ca, and the CTV News app on Friday, Sept. 30. Produced by CTV News Winnipeg, the special is hosted by CTV Regina’s Nelson Bird and CTV Winnipeg’s Taylor Brock. Featuring stories from across Canada and interviews with residential school Survivors and Indigenous community leaders, the special focuses on Indigenous youth who are regaining and embracing their heritage as they share their contributions and influence on Indigenous culture in Canada.
OMNI TV’s new Elevator Show, hosted by Ieden Wall, sees the host commandeer a condo elevator and use it as a stage for comedy bits, man-on-the-street interviews and variety acts. Residents gathered outside the open elevator become the studio audience. To bring Wall’s concept to life, technical producer Efim Bulshtein set up 27 cameras throughout an undisclosed condo building in the GTA—in stairwells, hallways, garbage rooms, underground garage, sauna, and electrical rooms to allow Ieden to “roam and improvise the show without boundaries.” The Elevator Show debuts Oct. 8 on OMNI 1 across Ontario. The premiere features an interview with Dini Petty, a surprise drop-in to a neighbourhood convenience store, and a live performance by Jewish magician Ben Train. Set to make appearances during the season are Natalie Portman, Howie Mandel, and former National Post columnist Rebecca Eckler.
Michelle Shephard’s provocative look at journalism, TVO Original The Perfect Story, will have its world broadcast premiere on TVO, TVO.org, YouTube and smart TV services on Oct. 18. nfb.ca is also streaming the film, starting Nov. 1. Co-produced by Frequent Flyer Films and NFB, the feature doc is an intimate look at the ethical and moral challenges sparked by the friendship between foreign correspondent Shephard and a young Somali refugee. The documentary questions what stories are told, why, and who gets to tell them. Shephard is the recipient of three National Newspaper Awards, earned over two decades of foreign reporting at the Toronto Star, as well as a Michener Award. Her filmmaking credits include the Emmy-nominated feature Guantanamo’s Child and The Way Out.
CTV Comedy original series Acting Good premieres Oct. 17. The 10-episode, half-hour irreverent comedy is loosely based on the life of Anishinaabe stand-up comedian Paul Rabliauskas. Shot on location in Manitoba this Spring, Rabliauskas stars as Paul who, after a botched attempt to move to Winnipeg, retreats back to his eccentric family in the fly-in community of Grouse Lake First Nation. Acting Good is co-created by Rabliauskas, Amber-Sekowan Daniels, Eric Toth, and Pat Thornton, and produced by Kistikan Pictures and Buffalo Gal Pictures. It joins the CTV Comedy lineup on the channel’s 25th anniversary, which originally launched on Oct. 17, 1997 as The Comedy Network. According to viewer data provided by Bell Media, CTV Comedy is the #1 Canadian Entertainment Specialty Channel with the A25-54 demo for a fourth year in a row.
Hollywood Suite’s Shocktober programming is back, including the premiere of original production Cinema A to Z: Monsters on Oct. 16 and the next two episodes of the Blumhouse Into The Dark anthology on Oct. 31. Viewers can also stream 100 Halloween favourites on Hollywood Suite On Demand starting Oct. 1. Additional Shocktober premieres include The Tingler (1959), Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971), He Knows You’re Alone (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Clue (1985), April Fool’s Day (1986), The People Under The Stairs (1991), Dead Again (1991), Fear (1996), Hellboy (2004), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Ghost Rider (2007), and The Babadook (2012).
Cinespace Studios has entered into a 30-year lease with PortsToronto that will see Marine Terminal 52 developed into a studio facility. Cinespace previously renovated Marine Terminal 51 four years ago, which has since become a Canadian hub for Netflix productions. Marine Terminal 52 re-development will involve conversion of the 130,000-sq. ft. warehouse facility into three production stages and support spaces in line with the City of Toronto’s “Strategic Action Plan for the Film, Television and Digital Media Industry.” The studio says the new development will create more than 300 new jobs onsite. Read more here.
Beach House Pictures, a Blue Ant Media company, has announced a significant expansion of its operations, bolstering its position in Asia. The company has partnered with Raghav Khanna, former head of Netflix’s documentary productions in Asia-Pacific, to launch Riverland Entertainment in Mumbai. The newly-formed production company will partner with local Indian talent to create content for global and Indian audiences, while leveraging Beach House Pictures’ international expertise and reach, including access to its post-production facility Space Lion Studios. Tasked with developing a slate of unscripted series and documentaries for streamers and broadcasters, Khanna will serve as Managing Director of Riverland and work closely with Beach House founders Donovan Chan and Jocelyn Little.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Overstory Media Group has acquired Vancouver alt weekly The Georgia Straight. The move returns the 55-year-old news, lifestyle, and entertainment publication to West Coast ownership. It was acquired in 2020 by Toronto-based Media Central Corporation, which filed bankruptcy proceedings in March. Joining Toronto’s NOW Magazine, nowtoronto.com, and cannabis platform CannCentral.com under the MediaCentral banner, the transaction saw a streamlining of editorial and ad sales across the properties and a move away from The Georgia Straight’s longstanding focus on arts and culture. Overstory says reinstating the publication’s focus on entertainment, music, food and news is its first order of business. Based in Victoria, Overstory now encompasses more than 12 digital-first publications and employs 50 full-time employees across the Vancouver Tech Journal, Calgary Citizen, Halifax alt weekly The Coast, and Capital Daily serving Greater Victoria, among other publications. Read more here.
Roku is unveiling its Roku Ultra player in Canada. The fastest and most powerful Roku player to date, Roku Ultra streams in 4K supporting Dolby Vision® and HDR10+ and featuring Dolby Atmos® audio quality as well as private listening via Bluetooth connectivity. The Roku Voice Remote Pro allows users to use hands-free voice for actions like “Hey Roku, show me action movies,” among other features like a lost remote finder. Software updates to the Roku interface include: Featured Free, an improved experience for discovery and engagement of free content; a Save List where users can now save movies and TV shows from across the Roku platform; and the addition of French-Canadian voice search. Roku OS 11.5 will begin rolling out to Roku devices in the coming weeks with Roku Ultra available at major retailers in Canada in October.
DAZN Group has announced its acquisition of ELEVEN Group’s global sports media business. The deal expands DAZN’s capabilities in the live sports streaming sector, with the transaction propelling DAZN to become the broadcaster of top football leagues in Portugal and Belgium. ELEVEN Group’s business will also complement DAZN’s existing market-leading positions in Italy, German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria & Switzerland), and Spain, where DAZN holds top tier domestic football rights. ELEVEN also has a presence in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets, giving DAZN a greater foothold in the region. The acquisition of ELEVEN-owned and U.S.-based Team Whistle, boasting over 700 million followers across its channels, will also give DAZN access to younger audiences.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez and the federal cabinet have referred the CRTC’s June CBC/Radio-Canada licence renewal decision back to the commission for re-evaluation. The decision is based on the receipt of 16 petitions from groups including the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), ACTRA, l’Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM), the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), the Black Screen Office (BSO), the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), public broadcaster watchdog FRIENDS, and others, requesting that the decision be set aside or referred back. According to an Order in Council, cabinet “is satisfied that the decision derogates from the attainment of the objectives of the broadcasting policy.” Read more here.
The CRTC is seeking comments from the public in response to an application filed by television service providers to increase the price cap for basic TV packages from $25/month to $28/month, with subsequent yearly adjustments based on inflation. Bell Canada, Cogeco Communications, Bragg Communications (Eastlink) and Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) are proposing tying any annual increase in the price of the package to the annual consumer price index for the period ending Dec. 31 of the preceding calendar year. The basic TV package includes local and regional TV stations, channels with mandatory distribution, community, and provincial legislature channels (where available), and provincial and territorial educational channels. Providers can also include other local TV stations (where less than 10 local stations are available), local radio stations, stations affiliated with major American networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) and PBS, and educational channels of another province or territory. The CRTC is welcoming comments until Oct. 28.
SAIT has announced its 2022 Alumni Award honourees which include Global Calgary anchor Linda Olsen and Sportsnet reporter Kyle Bukauskas. Olsen, who graduated from SAIT’s Cinema, Television, Stage and Radio Arts in 1988 is the 2022 Distinguished Alumna recipient, while Bukauskas, a 2013 graduate of the Radio, Television & Broadcast News program, is receiving the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Rise, the award-winning advocacy group for women in the broadcast technology sector, has revealed the shortlist for this year’s Rise Awards. This year, the awards – which drew 250 nominations from over 10 countries – have three new categories: Ally, to be rewarded to a male who has significantly helped the gender diversity cause; Project Management or Delivery; and Business Operations. The Woman of the Year, sponsored by Zixi, is chosen by the Rise Advisory Board and will be announced at the ceremony. In partnership with BT Sport and Timeline, it will be held Nov. 10 at BT Sport Studios in London and streamed live.