The Weekly Briefing

 

REVOLVING DOOR:

Tony Staffieri

Tony Staffieri, Chief Financial Officer of Rogers Communciations, has left Rogers effective Sept. 29. No reason has been given for his departure. Staffieri had been with the company since 2012 and has also served as a Board Director for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Paulina Molnar has been appointed interim CFO. Molnar has been with Rogers for 16 years and is currently Senior Vice President, Controller and Risk Management.

Ben Mulroney has announced his departure from CTV’s Your Morning to focus on producing after 20 years with the network. His last day on the national morning show will be Friday, Oct. 1. Mulroney said he plans to focus on producing, developing scripted and unscripted projects, including possible collaborations with Bell Media. Mulroney has been with Your Morning since it premiered in 2016. He first joined CTV as an entertainment reporter for Canada AM in Oct. 2001. He joined ETALK’s debut season as a co-host the following year, stepping away from the entertainment magazine in June 2020 saying he wanted to “create space” for new, diverse voices. Mulroney also hosted six seasons of Canadian Idol for the network. Read more here.

Kevin Frankish & Amber Payie

Amber Payie is leaving 105.9 The Region (CFMS-FM) Markham, ON to relocate to Phoenix, AZ with her husband. Kevin Frankish will take over Payie’s afternoon time slot, starting Monday, Oct. 4. Frankish was the longtime host of Citytv’s Breakfast Television in Toronto, prior to his departure from the show in 2018. In the interim, he’s been hosting mental wellness podcast and livestream, The Happy Molecule.

Daniella Ponticelli

Daniella Ponticelli is the new play-by-play voice of University of Saskatchewan Women’s Huskies Hockey. Ponticelli, currently a morning anchor on Global News Regina, has also hosted Saskatchewan Rush lacrosse and national level roller derby. Ponticelli makes history in the new role with Pattison Media the first private broadcaster in Canada to commit to broadcasting a full season of women’s hockey with an all-female crew.

Chris Johnston

Chris Johnston is joining TSN as a hockey contributor to Insider Trading, SportsCentre, 7-Eleven That’s Hockey and TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM). Johnston announced earlier this month he was leaving Sportsnet to join Nordstar’s new gaming company where he’ll cover the Toronto Maple Leafs and NHL for the new gaming company’s sports betting business. His work is also being syndicated to other publications, including the Toronto Star

Kris Pangilinan has left the morning assignment desk at CP24 Toronto. Pangilinan had been with the station the last four years. Prior to that, he worked with CTV News Channel in various production and editorial assistant roles.

Claire Hanna

Claire Hanna is leaving CTV News Regina. Hanna has been a sports reporter and videojournalist with the station since 2018. She’s also worked as a sideline reporter for CFL on TSN.

Dj NoLuv

Dj NoLuv, the National Music Director for Rogers Sports & Media’s CHR stations and the co-host of Saturday night network show, The KiSS After Party, is leaving Toronto to join Acadia Broadcasting’s Halifax stations, Surge 105 (CKHY-FM) and Hot Country 103.5 (CKHZ-FM) as Program Director. He’d been with KiSS for the last seven years.

Chantal Dunn

Chantal Dunn is making an internal move within Rogers Sports and Media to host the midday show at 97.7 Rock (CFGP-FM) Grande Prairie. Chantal arrives from Edmonton, where she’s been a weekend host at SONiC 102.9 (CHDI-FM).

Julia Wong

Julia Wong has joined CBC Edmonton as a national reporter. Wong has been with Global News Edmonton for the last six years. The University of Southern California Communication & Journalism graduate has also done reporting stints with Global Halifax and Global Okanagan.

John O’Dowd

John O’Dowd is leaving his Executive Producer role at Global News Radio flagship station, 980 CKNW Vancouver, after seven years. Prior to joining CKNW in 2014 as the Senior Producer of The Jon McComb Show, O’Dowd worked as a researcher and content producer at Newstalk 106-108 FM in Dublin, Ireland.

David Foot

David Foot has left CJBQ 800 Belleville and the Quinte Broadcasting newsroom to take up a new role with the Belleville Senators Hockey Club as Coordinator of Media and Community Relations. Foot has been the play-by-play announcer for the team since 2017. He started his career with Quinte in 2006 and with the exception of a two-year stint with CJMB-FM Peterborough, has been with the company since.

Bruce Claggett

Bruce Claggett, former Senior Managing Editor at News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver, has joined Vancouver PR firm, Switchboard Public Relations, as Managing Director. The 30-year Vancouver news radio veteran will head up day-to-day operations, with Switchboard Founder Kathleen Reid shifting her role to that of Chief Communications Officer. Claggett was with News 1130 for 17 years, up until layoffs at Rogers Sports & Media in Nov. 2020.

Greg O’Brien

Greg O’Brien has been named news director at CHCH Hamilton. The founder and publisher of Cartt.ca for the last 16 years, one of O’Brien’s responsibilities in his new role will be digital audience development.

Tom Hastings

Tom Hastings has joined Montreal prodco Muse Entertainment in the newly-created role of Vice-President of Scripted. Up until last February, Hastings was Director, Original Programming at Bell Media for the last eight years. Prior to that, he served as CBC’s Head of Drama, TV Arts & Entertainment and as a production executive at Alliance Atlantis.

Rachel Décoste

Rachel Décoste has been appointed NFB’s Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a newly-created position. She’ll act as the lead advisor to the NFB in support of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals and objectives, and ensure NFB’s programs and policies are equitable and inclusive. Décoste is a writer, educator and social policy expert, working with organizations like the Children’s Aid Society, Famous 5 Foundation and the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund. She also worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

Joana Vicente

Joana Vicente is leaving her position as Executive Director and Co-Head of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) after three years to head the Sundance Institute as its new CEO. She succeeds Keri Putnam, who stepped down earlier this year. Vicente has produced over 40 films including Oscar-nominated documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes. She’s also founded three production companies, in addition to a decade at the Independent Filmmaker Project.

Rob Searle

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has unveiled its Board of Directors for the 2021-23 term. CMPA has also two announced senior staffing updates. Rob Searle, previously Senior Vice President of Finance, is promoted to the role of Chief Financial Officer, joining the CMPA’s executive leadership team and reporting to CMPA President and CEO, Reynolds Mastin. The CMPA has also hired Chris Kelsey in the newly-created role of Lead, Human Resources. Previously, Kelsey was the Director of Human Resources at TO Live and has also worked for the ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Sportsnet has unveiled a new slate of multi-platform audio content that shifts the network’s focus to on-demand audio rather than the traditional radio lineup on its flagship Toronto station, Sportsnet 590 The FAN (CJCL-AM). Starting Oct. 4, the network says “flexibility is the name of the game” with shows to move timeslots and increase or decrease frequency to reflect the news of the day. Some shows will also offer on-demand only episodes via podcast platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and Sportsnet.ca and the Sportsnet App. One of the familiar names absent from the new lineup is Scott MacArthur, who had been hosting MLB show, The Lead Off, since 2019, as well as Rob Wong, who’d been with the network for 13 years. Layoffs at Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver included Scott Rintoul, who’d been co-hosting a four-hour mid-morning show that also aired in Calgary, and Adam Forsythe who was a sports anchor and host on both Sportsnet 650 and News 1130 (CKWX-AM). Read more here.

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and media partner Corus Entertainment, have announced the nominees for the 39th Canadian Country Music Awards presented by TD. The awards will be broadcast from London, ON in November, bringing together Canada’s country music industry for the first time in over two years. Nominated for Radio Awards are:

MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (LARGE MARKET)

  • Dayna BourgoinCKKL-FM – Ottawa, ON
  • Stephanie DunhamCISN-FM/CKRY-FM – Edmonton, AB/ Calgary, AB
  • A.J. KellerCFCW – Edmonton, AB
  • Amanda Kingsland CKBY-FM – Ottawa, ON
  • Peter WalkerCJKX-FM/CHKX-FM – Oshawa, ON/Hamilton, ON

MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (MEDIUM / SMALL MARKET)

  • Shilo BellisCJXL-FM – Moncton, NB
  • Lance DollCHAT-FM – Medicine Hat, AB
  • Paul FergusonCHCQ-FM – Belleville, ON
  • Mike Sadavoy CHSJ – Saint John, NB
  • Barry Stewart CFCW – Brantford, ON

COUNTRY PERSONALITY(IES) OF THE YEAR

  • Jennifer CampbellCIKZ-FM
  • Shannon EllaPure Country
  • Jason McCoyPure Country
  • Paul McGuireStingray
  • Greg Shannon, Stella StevensCFCW

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (LARGE MARKET)

  • CFCW – Edmonton, AB
  • CHKX-FM – Hamilton, ON
  • CJJR-FM– Vancouver, BC
  • CKKL-FM – Ottawa, ON
  • CKRY-FM – Calgary, AB

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MEDIUM / SMALL MARKET)

  • CHCQ-FM – Bellville, ON
  • CHSJ-FM – Saint John, NB
  • CICX-FM– Orillia, ON
  • CILG-FM – Moose Jaw, SK
  • CKGY-FM – Red Deer, AB

Find the full list of nominees here.

Paddy Daly, the host of VOCM Open Line, is the recipient of this year’s Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland and Labrador Media Award. Recognizing an individual who has shown outstanding promotion and awareness of mental health issues, Daly has been a vocal advocate for those living with mental illness. The association says the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted his ability to help listeners navigate challenging times.

Ted Woloshyn, who was part of layoffs at Bell Media’s Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) earlier this year, has started his own podcast. The Ted Woloshyn Podcast has thus far dropped episodes featuring celebrity chef Massimo Capra and former CTV anchor Lloyd Robertson. Upcoming guests include Bizarre sketch comedy host John Byner and singer/songwriter Murray McLauchlan. New episodes debut every Thursday.

 

SiriusXM Canada is premiering town hall series, Turtle Island Talks, Sept. 30 on The Indigiverse (Ch. 165). The special event will air several times throughout the day on the channel, in partnership with Canada Talks (Ch. 167), beginning at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT. The show will also livestream on The Indigiverse social media accounts, including Facebook, and be made available on SiriusXM Canada’s YouTube channel and the SXM App. Moderating the discussion is Dr. Pam Palmater, a Mi’kmaq lawyer from Northern New Brunswick’s Eel River Bar First Nation, and the chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University.

Evanov Communications President & CEO Paul Evanov will lead the talent panel at the Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ virtual Connection 2021 event. Featured will be John Derringer, Josie Dye, John Ongaro and Matt “The Hammer” Wreggitt sharing “How to Stay Relevant in a Constant Evolving Digital Landscape.” Scheduled to take place Nov. 4 at 11:30am ET, the panel will discuss the ever-changing landscape and why local radio is still important and relevant, especially in a COVID-19 world. It will also touch on the importance of integration and strong creative synergy on social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, as well as podcasting. More info on Connection 2021, here.

LISTEN: Sept. 30th marks the 7th annual International Podcast Day. This year, instead of hosting a round-the-clock livestream featuring hundreds of podcasters from around the globe, the event’s founders are turning the day back over to the podcast community. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we talk to International Podcast Day co-founder Dave Lee on how you can take part – whether you’re a listener looking to share your favourite shows – or a podcaster wanting to find a unique way to connect with your audience.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill catches up with imaging voice Tara Sands whose work extends well beyond FM into anime, audiobooks and now a podcast. Cundill and Sands talk at length about the pandemic and its effects on the work she does, in addition to a deep dive into her work life and career.

SIGN OFFS:

Ed Mason

Ed Mason, 75, on Sept. 28. Mason started in radio as a host at “Club 590″ CFAR Flin Flon, MB in 1963. He quickly ascended to morning drive at CHTM Thomson, making stops at CKSA Lloydminster, CHAT Medicine Hat, CFPA Thunder Bay, and CHOV Pembroke throughout the remainder of the ’60s. In 1970, he joined CKDA Victoria where he rose to the position of news director. The CHUM newsroom in Toronto followed in 1974 where he only stayed a year before heading back west to Edmonton where he would go on to spend the remainder of his career. Mason joined the morning drive show at CHQT Edmonton in Feb. 1975, also serving as news director. After the station was acquired by Corus Entertainment, Mason eventually moved over to become the morning voice of news on sister station, 630 CHED, in 2005. Over the years, Mason earned the nickname “Uncle Eddie” or “Uncle Ed.” In addition to anchoring, he was a long-serving police reporter, known for his vast inside contacts. Notably, Mason landed an exclusive interview in 1979 that went worldwide after he was able to get through to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran where staff were being held hostage. Mason retired from Corus Radio in Aug. 2014 after nearly 50 years on-air. In 2013, he was recognized with the RTNDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dennis O’Neill

Dennis O’Neill, 63, on Sept. 24. O’Neill began his broadcast career at CKEK Cranbrook in 1977. From there he went on to hold on-air and production roles at CFJC Kamloops, CFRW Winnipeg, CHIQ-FM Winnipeg, and then CKXY, CKLG, and CKKS-FM Vancouver. He started as a part-time instructor in the radio program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in 1994, while also working at Vancouver’s Wordnoise Studios and CFOX-FM Vancouver in production. He’d been a full-time instructor at BCIT since 2011.

TV & FILM:

CWA Canada and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) are welcoming a proposed $1 million settlement in a class action suit filed on behalf of hundreds of reality and factual TV workers who have worked at Cineflix Canada. Filed in 2018, the $35 million class action’s statement of claim was based around the experience of Property Brothers story editor Anna Bourque, who routinely worked 50 to 70-hour work weeks without overtime, vacation or premium pay. The agreement, submitted Monday for court approval, follows three years of negotiations between Cineflix and law firm Cavalluzzo, CWA Canada and IATSE. The proposed settlement would see $1 million in compensation for all employment standards entitlements for nearly everyone who has worked for Cineflix as employees or independent contractors since Oct. 2016. Cineflix has until March to decide whether to sign a collective agreement that’s already been negotiated or pay an additional lump sum. Read more here.

Cineflix Productions and Ping Pong Productions are partnering to launch Shiny Screens Entertainment, a joint venture with showrunner Will Spjut. Based in L.A., the new production company will develop and produce unscripted series and formats for the global market. As part of the deal, Cineflix Rights has the exclusive first-look to distribute Shiny Screens Entertainment content internationally. Spjut is a 20-year television industry veteran with development and executive producer credits, including Border Wars, Nashville Star for USA Network, and The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals for Netflix. Ping Pong Productions is behind Discovery series Expedition Unknown, TLC’s Dr. Pimple Popper, and other hit titles.

TSN has announced its broadcast schedule for the Toronto Raptors’ 2020-21 regular season. The network will deliver 41 regular season Raptors games and comprehensive NBA Playoffs action, culminating with the NBA Finals. TSN television coverage of the Raptors will be complemented by live radio coverage of 41 regular season games on TSN 1050 Toronto. SportsCentre will also follow the Raptors throughout the season, delivering breaking news and highlights, with The Shift With Kayla Grey featuring interviews with players and team personnel.

Sportsnet will deliver 41 Toronto Raptors broadcasts on Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE and SN NOW, starting Oct. 22. Additionally, Sportsnet 590 The FAN will air 41 radio broadcasts beginning Oct. 20. From the booth, play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin will deliver the call alongside game analyst and former Raptors point guard Alvin Williams. Courtside and new to Sportsnet, former Raptors 905 broadcaster Amy Audibert will deliver insights, news and interviews as analyst and sideline reporter. From the desk, Brad Fay returns to anchor pre-, post- and half-time coverage alongside Sherman Hamilton and Danielle Michaud. On Radio, play-by-play announcer Eric Smith and analyst Paul Jones have on-the-go fans covered with live broadcasts on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s), the new professional rugby league, has announced TSN as its official Canadian television broadcast partner. The league’s launch event, dubbed The PR7s Inaugural Championship, includes nine Canadian players and two Canadian coaches. The inaugural men’s and women’s tournaments are available to TSN and TSN Direct subscribers on Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on TSN.ca and the TSN app, and from 4 – 6 p.m. ET on TSN4.

UNINTERRUPTED Canada, NFL Canada, and Bell Media have collaborated on new original documentary Northern Ties, which profiles rising Canadian talent in the NFL while celebrating the strong ties between the players and their home country. Focusing on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool of Abbotsford, BC; Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard of Sherwood Park, AB; and Miami Dolphins safety Jevon Holland of Coquitlam, BC, the hour-long feature was led by TSN Senior Features Producer Josh Shiaman. It’s slated to premiere on TSN on Oct. 8 and will also be available for streaming on Crave.

Paul Rabliauskas

CTV Comedy Channel has ordered all-new original scripted comedy, Acting Good, loosely based on the life of stand-up comedian Paul Rabliauskas. Produced by Kistikan Pictures Inc., the series was co-created by Rabliauskas, who is set to star alongside Amber-Sekowan Daniels (Diggstown), Eric Toth (Still Standing), and Pat Thornton (Filth City), who also serve as co-writers. Acting Good is set to shoot on location in Manitoba early next year, with production and additional casting to be announced in the coming months. The series is set in the fictional fly-in reserve of Grouse Lake First Nation in Northern Manitoba, inspired by Rabliauskas’ home reserve of Poplar River First Nation. 

Andrew Phung

CBC and Pier 21 Films have confirmed casting for new, original comedy Run The Burbs from comedian, writer, and actor Andrew Phung and his best friend and collaborator Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon). Premiering on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2022, production is underway in and around Toronto and Hamilton. Phung executive produces, writes, and stars in the series as a stay-at-home dad. Joining him on screen are Rakhee Morzaria (Note to Self, Private Eyes) as his wife Camille Pham; and Zoriah Wong (Nancy Drew) and Roman Pesino (Odd Squad) as their children. The cast is rounded out by Canadian talent including Ali Hassan (CBC’s Laugh Out Loud), YouTube sensation Julie Nolke (Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self), Jonathan Langdon (Utopia Falls), Simone Miller (Detention Adventure), Samantha Wan (Second Jen), Candy Palmater (The Candy Show), Chris Locke (Workin’ Moms, Mr. D), and Baroness von Sketch Show’s Aurora Browne.

Lori Loughlin

Super Channel has announced the return of original series When Hope Calls to Super Channel Heart & Home on Dec. 18 with a special two-part holiday premiere entitled When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas. Each episode will also be available to stream on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its broadcast premiere. Subsequent Season 2 episodes will follow later in 2022. Lori Loughlin (When Calls the Heart, Fuller House) is set to guest star in the holiday premiere, reprising the role of Abigail Stanton. Canadian Morgan Kohan also returns to When Hope Calls in her starring role as Lillian Walsh, with further casting to be announced. Set in the fictional prairie town of Brookfield, production is currently underway on the holiday episodes outside of North Bay, ON where the series is filmed on location. 

Thunderbird Entertainment Group, its factual arm Great Pacific Media, and animated division Atomic Cartoons, have released an update of 18 new and returning series they’re working on in partnership with Disney+, Netflix, CBC, Discovery Canada and Syfy. The company has crew working on nine additional shows, either previously announced or remaining confidential, for a total of 27 programs currently in production. Thunderbird says with demand for content still increasing, the need for high quality, diverse content continues to explode. Many of its 2021/22 productions focus on highlighting BIPOC talent and telling the stories of underrepresented groups, including: Cocomelon Lane and Dogs in Space for Netflix; Reginald the Vampire for SyFy; Gut Job, Styled (working title) and Deadman’s Curse (working title) for Corus; Strays, the highly-anticipated Kim’s Convenience spin-off for CBC; and Dr. Savannah Wild Rose Vet for APTN and Cottage Life. 

Avery Haines

W5 is back for a 56th season Saturday, Oct. 2 on CTV. The series returns with an exclusive television interview with the truck driver convicted of causing the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April 2018. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu and his wife Tanvir Mann sit down with W5 Host and Managing Editor Avery Haines in season launch episode “The Humboldt Driver.” Also this week, CTV Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme contributes “Escape From Kabul” – the story of the chaotic mission taken on by a group of volunteer Canadian veterans to evacuate Afghan citizens, after the country was taken over by the Taliban last month. 

Canadian Jewish TV has announced the launch of its second season, Oct. 2 on OMNI. The program, hosted by Ieden Wall and Susan Minuk, will air Saturdays at 10 p.m. across Ontario, with weekly repeats Thursday and Friday night. The program debuted last September from Wall’s North York living room and featured taped remotes and Zoom interviews with Jewish luminaries like movie mogul Robert Lantos and sportscaster Dan Shulman. This season will mark the introduction of new segment “The Art of Conversation” in which host Wall will jump from the CJTV studio onto the streets of Toronto, making conversation with strangers in proximity. The segment marks a return to Wall’s roots in broadcasting as host of Rogers Cable 10 man-on-the-street show “Off-the Wall.” Scheduled for guest appearances during the upcoming season are real estate tycoon Sam Mizrahi, recording artist Amy Sky, and fashion icon Jeanne Beker.

Rogers Group of Funds is awarding $7.5 million in grants and investments to support more than 60 original projects through the Rogers Cable Network Fund and Rogers Documentary Fund. Shining a spotlight on unique stories and diverse voices from across the country, the majority of the selected projects are from equity-seeking creators and will be widely available to audiences across major Canadian networks. To further support equity-seeking storytellers as recently announced, Rogers Group of Funds has partnered with the Black Screen Office and the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC Creators to create a new $750,000 Fund to support BPOC creators. 

Telefilm has announced changes to the International Promotion Program with travel expenses once again eligible. Production companies whose producers and directors are invited to submit their projects in development to co-production markets may be eligible for funding of $3,000 (and subsequently, $1,500). Guidelines, eligibility and assessment criteria are available here. Telefilm has also relaunched its Theatrical Exhibition Program to stimulate the return of the in-person cinema experience and encourage Canadian exhibitors to showcase Canadian films. The maximum funding for theatres has increased to $30,000 per theatre and $500,000 per corporate group in 2021-22.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa, have renewed their dedicated incentive for the co-development of television projects between Canadian producers and South African producers. Find program details here. Eligible projects are television programs in drama, documentary, children and youth genres. The closing date for applications is Oct. 20.

The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the first titles in its film lineup, six World Premieres and one Special Presentation, The Power of the Dog from Netflix. Plans are underway to present the 2021 festival as a hybrid, online and in-person event. From Dec. 1-31, audiences across Canada will be able to stream up to 100 films from Canada and around the world, access filmmaker Q&As, and attend a virtual Awards Celebration via WFF’s online screening platform. WFF21 will feature up to 40 feature films and six short film programmes.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Twitter has rolled out its Tips feature globally across iOS as the app continues to evolve to try to help creators monetize. Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s Consumer Product Lead, told a global press event that with a focus on evolving the app “beyond 280 characters,” monetization presents a huge opportunity to those with followings to earn income and an economic incentive to increase healthy discourse. The Tips feature will enable one time payments via third party platforms like Cash App, GoFundMe, or a Bitcoin address. Twitter is also introducing a fund for Spaces hosts that will provide financial, technical and marketing support for creators interested in creating recurring programming, in addition to rolling out access to ticketed features so Spaces hosts have the option to get compensated. Additionally, Spaces creators will be able to enable Recording and Replay, so people can experience conversations after they happen. Twitter also has a number of features in beta including monthly subscription service Super Follows, NFT authentication, and Heads Up which allows users to gauge the “vibe” of a conversation before choosing to jump in. Read more here

VICE and the TELUS Fund have announced that three previously-announced docuseries focused on the mental health and wellness of young Canadians are now available to stream on VICE’s online Take Care hub. The chosen producers created insightful docuseries about finding happiness in a hobby no matter your skill level, the mental health concerns of young Asian-Canadians, and how water can be a tool for better well-being. Watch the docuseries for free, here.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The Competition Bureau has issued a request for information (RFI) to help gather facts about Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw. It’s inviting those with relevant information to help assess potential impacts on competition in the areas of mobile wireless services to consumers, consumer and small business internet services, fibre transport services, the supply of programming to television providers (or Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings), and the provision of relay distribution services to BDUs. The bureau is encouraging the sharing of relevant information by Oct. 29. It says it’s using all of the tools at its disposal to advance its investigation, including obtaining court orders requiring Xplornet, Bell, TELUS and Vidéotron to produce information related to mobile wireless services.

Eastlink plans to invest close to $26M to take its mobile service further into New Brunswick over the next couple of years. The project will expand existing coverage from Shediac to the Miramichi in 2022, followed by Bathurst and the Acadian Peninsula. The expansion will also include an increased retail presence in more communities. 

Bell has announced further reductions in monthly pricing for mobile data plans from Virgin Plus as of Oct. 5. The reduced prices come into effect in advance of federal expectations announced in March 2020 that 2 gigabyte (GB), 4 GB and 6 GB data plans that include unlimited talk and text should be available at prices 25% lower by early 2022. According to Statistics Canada data supplied by Bell, pricing for wireless service has declined 31% since Jan. 2019.Since the start of 2021 and prior to these latest decreases taking effect, Bell says wireless prices have declined by 15%.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is calling for police investigation into a recent wave of targeted threats made against Canadian journalists. Last week, Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, publicly urged his followers on Twitter to ‘play dirty’ with journalists requesting comments around the party’s ties to the far right. Bernier proceeded to specifically target three journalists by publicly sharing their email addresses. In response, Twitter suspended Bernier’s account for 12 hours. Over the past week, dozens more reporters, many of whom are female and/or journalists of colour, have been inundated with intimidating emails and messages on social media with threats of violence, sexual assault, harassment, and death.

The Dalton Camp Award $10,000 essay competition is now open for submissions. The annual award is presented by FRIENDS (formerly known as Friends of Canadian Broadcasting) for the best original writing on the link between Canadian media and democracy. A prize of $2,500 will also be awarded to the best essay by a post-secondary student writer. The deadline to submit is Dec. 24. The Dalton Camp Award was created in 2002 in memory of the Canadian public affairs commentator. Previous winners include Radiyah Chowdhury in 2020 for her essay The Forever Battle of a Journalist of Colour and Christopher Cheung in 2021 for Blind Spots.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Keith Pelletier

LISTEN: Dielectric has changed how FM broadcast antenna manufacturers validate directional pattern studies for new FM broadcast antennas. The company’s groundbreaking research has resulted in the recent FCC filing of a Petition for Rulemaking, written with leading broadcast consultancy, Merrill Weiss Group, and expected to be approved this fall. The new rule paves the way for the first directional FM pattern verification rule change in 58 years — a rule change that passes the torch from physical to AI-driven simulated modeling. On this sponsored episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, David Rusch talks with Keith Pelletier, General Manager of Dielectric, about the ramifications of this rule change for broadcasters in both the U.S. and Canada.

NLogic is launching real-time TV performance management platform, Catalyst, in Canada with its partner Adgile. Broadcasters, agencies and advertisers will be able to access real-time TV impression-level exposure and consumer behaviour measurement to attribute business outcomes to advertising. Catalyst is able to look at TV’s effects over both the long- and short-term. Following NLogic’s partnership with Adgile this past Spring, both companies have worked towards integrating NLogic’s audience API into Adgile’s Catalyst platform which harnesses the structured first party advertising content data that Adgile creates through its patented visual recognition technology. “We have always believed in the power of TV and consider it one of the most effective channels to build growth for brands. With Catalyst, we can prove it”, said David Phillips, President and COO at NLogic, in a company announcement. “In addition, we have exciting plans to expand Catalyst further as we work towards building a complete picture of how all forms of TV contribute to brand growth.”