Introducing our 2022 Canadian Radio Awards jury
ChiChi Liu started her career in radio in Taiwan as a program producer and marketing manager with International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) and Kiss Radio, before assuming ownership of Burli Software in 2007 where she serves as President. Burli newsroom software is used by thousands of broadcast journalists in a dozen languages on desktops and mobile platforms in Europe, Africa, Asia, and across the Americas.
Randy Reid is a longtime media executive and currently General Manager of Toronto’s VIBE105® #1 for Hip Hop, R&B and The Culture (CHRY-FM). An award-winning expert in influencer-led media solutions, Reid is also the current President of the National Community Radio Association (NCRA) and CEO/Lead Strategist at VX3 Exchange – a socially driven producer of culturally integrated media content experiences.
Tamara Stanners is the co-founder and co-executive producer of the Squamish Constellation Festival. Her passion for supporting the development of emerging talent led her to a career in broadcasting that has spanned five decades. As Program Director, she helped launch Vancouver’s 102.7 the PEAK (CKPK-FM) and its Canadian Music Development Program, the PEAK Performance Project. She also co-hosted the JRFM (CJJR-FM) morning show and worked on-air at the legendary LG73, after starting her career as Dusty Rhodes at CISN FM in her hometown of Edmonton. On the TV side, she’s hosted on CMT (Country Music Television) and anchored news at every station in Vancouver, except Global, which she now counts among her voiceover clients. Stanners’ bustling voiceover business includes work across TV, radio, and documentaries, as well as two podcasts for Everything Podcasts.
Jean-Marie Heimrath is best known for his leadership as President of Standard Broadcasting’s Sound Source Networks and more recently President & CEO of TPX (The Podcast Exchange), a Canadian trailblazer in the podcast monetization space. Founding TPX followed a more than four-decade career that started in the music industry as a Promotions Manager for Island & Daffodil Records. Gigs with Capitol, Arista, Polygram, and MCA Music Canada followed, before Heimrath transitioned into broadcasting as the Communications and Promotions Director for Telemedia and CJCL Radio. He went on to hold numerous executive positions with Standard Broadcasting. He concurrently was a founder and partner in Toronto’s Clear Channel Group for 35 years, later going on to serve as president of audio licensing and distribution company, SparkNetworks.
Brother Jake Edwards has had a more than four-decade radio career that included stops at Q104 (CFRQ-FM) Halifax, 92 CITI FM and 97 Kiss FM(CKIS-FM) Winnipeg, and Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto, before becoming the morning show ratings leader at Vancouver’s Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) for 17 years. “Bro Jake” went on to host the morning show at TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver where he retired in 2019, the same year he was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.
Nancy Brown Dacko is President of Direct Media Sales, the business development arm of Target Broadcast Sales of Toronto, as well as strategic consultant for Birchall and Associates public relations agency in Oakville, ON. A native of London, ON, Nancy embarked upon her career in sales and marketing at CJBK London. She moved to Toronto in 1984 to join CFGM where she was promoted to General Sales Manager, and then moved to Q107 as Director of Business Development. In 1993, she joined The Weather Network in a similar role. She went on to join the executive team that launched Shop TV Canada in 1997, a division of Torstar Media Group. For the past decade, she’s also served as the Steering Committee Chair for Radio Trailblazers, a Canadian volunteer organization that celebrates and supports women in radio through education, inspiration, and mentorship.
Jeff Rechner, now a voiceover actor based out of Los Angeles with a long list of credits, started his career in radio with stops at stations throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, including CHAB 800 Moose Jaw, 630 CHED Edmonton, and CFOX and LG73 in Vancouver, in addition to serving as the afternoon host on the original JACK FM (CJAX-FM). He was also the first morning host on Tokyo’s first-ever foreign language station, InterFM.
Rob Braide, a life long Montréalais and proud Anglo-Québécois, grew up in Westmount and attended Westmount High and Dawson College, getting his feet wet in radio at Carleton University campus station, CKCU-FM. He landed his first radio job at CHOM-FM and never looked back. A long career in broadcasting saw him manage CJAD, CHOM and Mix 96 (CJFM-FM), and hold executive roles work with Astral Media and Stingray. Braide was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2009. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of Calgary’s Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.
Connie Thiessen has been the editor of Broadcast Dialogue and the host of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast since 2018. A 25-year journalist, she started her career with Golden West Broadcasting’s Radio Southern Manitoba network, moving on to reporting, hosting and editor roles with CFCW Edmonton, CKNW Vancouver, News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver, CBC Halifax, and News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax, where as morning editor she led the team to a regional RTDNA and Atlantic Journalism Award. She was a nominee for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week in 2019.
Read more about this year’s jury here. Submissions are open until Monday, Oct. 17. Looking for tips on how to submit an entry that will make an impact with the jury? On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, our editor Connie Thiessen and Canadian Radio Awards administrator James Wallace answer your questions and offer suggestions on how to submit a winning entry.
Suhana Meharchand has retired from CBC after 36 years with the public broadcaster. Meharchand started her career at CHCH-TV Hamilton and CBET Windsor before moving on to CTV affiliate CJOH-TV Ottawa. She joined CBC in 1987, starting as the host and producer of What’s New, a national current affairs program for youth. She went on to anchor the Saturday Evening News for Toronto-London-Windsor and then the CBC Evening News at CBC Toronto. Following its cancellation in 2000, Meharchand moved on to anchor on CBC Newsworld and host Saturday Report. She’d most recently been hosting CBC News Now on CBC News Network.
Evan Solomon has been named the new publisher of GZERO Media, a global affairs news site and subsidiary of New York City-headquartered political risk analysis firm, Eurasia Group. Solomon will also serve as a member of the Management Committee of Eurasia Group. The veteran political journalist has most recently been hosting the nationally syndicated “Evan Solomon Show” on the iHeartRadio/Bell Media talk radio network, in addition to hosting CTV News Channel nightly political program “Power Play” and “Question Period.” Solomon will continue to serve as a special correspondent for the network with a focus on Canadian politics and global affairs. He’ll be based in the company’s New York City office. Read more here.
Terrie Tweddle has returned to Rogers Communications as SVP Communications & Sustainability, the role she previously held before joining the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan as Global Head of Marketing & Communications in late 2020. Tweddle was previously with Rogers for 12 years, the first eight as Vice-President, Communications & Social Media before being promoted to the SVP role in 2016. Prior to that, she held senior roles at Sunlife and Visa Canada.
Amanda Connolly is taking on a new role as Managing Editor of Politics & Breaking News for Global News. An online political reporter for the last five years, she’ll continue to be based in Ottawa.
Jessica Ng is the new host of CBC Radio One Edmonton afternoon show, Radio Active. Longtime CBC Edmonton reporter Min Dhariwal also joins the program as its traffic reporter. Ng was previously an anchor and newsreader on Ontario Morning and Fresh Air and has done fill-in hosting and producing on World This Hour. Radio Active was previously hosted by Adrienne Pan, who passed away in January at age 43. Rod Kurtz, the show’s former traffic reporter, had been filling in, but retired at the end of September.
Kristy Snell is taking a year-long leave of absence from CBC Montreal to begin a one-year appointment as a Journalist-in-Residence at Concordia University teaching and working on a project focused on Indigenous Education. Shawn Lyons will be filling in for Snell on CBC Montreal morning newscasts.
John Lu is returning home to Winnipeg as the host of the Winnipeg Jets on TSN and Winnipeg Bureau reporter. Lu has been with the network since 2000 and had been covering the Montréal Canadiens since 2007.
— Winnipeg Sports Talk (@SportsTalkWPG) September 26, 2022
Dan Robertson is the new full-time voice of the Winnipeg Jets on TSN, succeeding the now retired Dennis Beyak who held the role for 11 seasons. Robertson has spent the last eight seasons as the English play-by-play radio broadcaster for TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) covering the Montreal Canadiens. Hailing from Trenton, NS, he was previously a sports producer for EastLink Community TV, covering Atlantic University Sport and handling play-by-play for the QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads.
George Rusic has moved from Toronto to Calgary with Sportsnet to host the Big Show with Rusic and Rose in the morning time slot on Sportsnet 960 (CFAC-AM) as part of a revamped fall lineup. Rusic will also host sports betting show, Inside the Lines, airing Sunday mornings on Sportsnet 960, Sportsnet the Fan 590 (CJCL-FM) Toronto, and Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver. Sportsnet 960 is also debuting Hockey Central 960 in the 1 p.m. MT time slot, Tuesdays to Fridays, hosted by The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian.
— Sonia Sunger (@SoniaSunger) October 4, 2022
Sonia Sunger has returned to the Global BC anchor desk. Sunger comes back from an extended maternity leave that began in March 2020.
Randi-Marie Adams is joining Global Okanagan as a video journalist. Adams arrives in Kelowna from Prince George where she’d held the same role with Pattison Media CKPG-TV since early 2021. Prior to that, she was with Bell Media’s CJDC in Dawson Creek, BC.
Alana Pickrell has left CTV News Northern Ontario for CTV Atlantic where she’s now a video journalist, based in Moncton. Pickrell had been with CTV, based in Sudbury, since early 2020. Prior to that, she was a VJ and weekend anchor for TBT News in Thunder Bay.
Stephanie Swensrude is leaving CFJC-TV Kamloops after just 10 months to return home to Edmonton and Global News as a reporter. Swensrude is a 2021 NAIT Radio & Television grad.
Jesse Brown, the publisher of Canadaland, has announced he’s stepping down as Editor-in-Chief. Brown, who founded the news site and podcast network in 2013, has posted for the organization’s top editorial role, saying “for years now my job at Canadaland has been podcast host/reporter/publisher/editor-in-chief. It’s a bit much.”
Danger (aka Darren Grieve) has a new show on SONiC RADiO (CKKS-FM) Vancouver as host of RessureXtion Radio Sundays, airing from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grieve also serves as an airborne traffic reporter for Rogers’ CityNews stations in Vancouver. SONiC Morning Show Producer Andrew Berridge also joins the lineup Sunday nights at 9 p.m. with the New Music Discovery Show.
Mira Laurence is the new co-host of the Ocean 98.5 (CIOC-FM) morning show, alongside AJ Cruze, starting Oct. 14. Laurence was most recently a rinkside Vancouver Canucks reporter for Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver. She’s best known for her 14 years with CTV Vancouver Island where she was a host and reporter.
Heather Prosak has joined Evanov Communications’ HOT 100.5 (CFJL-FM) Winnipeg in middays. Program Director Adam West was formerly heard in the time slot. Prosak was the former Program Director and morning show host at Stingray’s XL 103 (CFXL-FM) Calgary, up until parting ways with the station in April to launch Knowledge Media.
John Kennedy has left Klondike Broadcasting to join The Canadian Press (CP) in Toronto as a reporter/editor. Kennedy, a 2018 Humber College grad, had been a reporter and anchor with 96.1 The Rush (CKRW-FM) Whitehorse for the last four years.
Jamie Chisholm is Acadia Broadcasting’s new Director of Digital Marketing for New Brunswick. Chisholm has been with Acadia since 2019, serving as the Sales Director of its Huddle.Today platform. Acadia says he’ll continue to support those customers, while helping new customers assess their marketing needs to complement existing radio campaigns with digital offerings. Prior to joining Acadia, Chisholm had a 16-year sales career with Xerox.
Vanessa Webster has left radio to join Linamar Corporation in Guelph as an apprentice electrician. A 2019 Humber College Radio grad, Webster had been working as a creative writer and producer with Byrnes Communications’ The River 105.1 (CJED-FM) and 101.1 More FM (CFLZ-FM) Niagara, as well as 104.7 Heart FM (CIHR-FM) Woodstock for the past few years.
Tammy Frick, the longtime Executive Director of Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, will take on the role of CEO of The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy), effective Oct. 31. Frick succeeds Beth Janson who left the organization in April. Frick is also a founding member of Music and Film in Motion (MFM), which transitioned to Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION) in 2014, and where she has served a secondary role as Associate Executive Director. Louis Calabro, who has been serving as Interim CEO for the last six months, will return to his position as Vice President of Programming & Awards. Read more here.
Matthew Cowling has been named VP, Marketing & Growth for Paramount+, based in Toronto. Cowling had been Head of Marketing for Prime Video in Canada for the last year, following seven years at Bell Media where he had served as Director of Marketing. Cowling has also held senior marketing roles at The Weather Network, CBC, and Universal Music Group in Australia.
Lisa Broadfoot has been appointed Vice-President, Industry and Business Affairs at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA). She’ll join the association’s senior leadership team and play a strategic role leading business affairs support for CMPA members across project development, financing, production planning, sales, and business growth. Prior to joining the CMPA, Broadfoot oversaw production financing at Boat Rocker Media for its slate of kids and family, scripted, and animated productions, while negotiating production service agreements with clients like Nickelodeon, Spin Master, Mattel, and Netflix.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Unifor welcomes the 26 workers at CKWX-Vancouver (CityNews 1130 radio), which the #CIRB awarded certification this week! Thank you for joining us and we’re excited to fight for your rights as media workers.#savelocalnews pic.twitter.com/GMAbvHwc5G
— Unifor (@UniforTheUnion) September 30, 2022
CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver employees have unionized. Unifor Local 830-M will be overseeing workers at the Rogers station with the certification covering positions like the Legislative Reporter, Producers, and Anchors with talent agreements. The bargaining committee has been elected with Unifor’s National Representative Mark Cameron and Local 830-M President Tanya Luciani prepping for bargaining. CityNews television workers were already unionized under Unifor. “This is a big victory for radio workers in Canada,” Unifor Media Director Randy Kitt told Broadcast Dialogue in an emailed statement. “Workers in the media sector see that collective bargaining is the answer to better work/life balance, fighting inflation and better working conditions. We look forward to fighting in their corner as they go into bargaining for their first contract.”
Radio Connects says AM/FM radio streaming is growing, according to the latest Radio On The Move 2022 data. It indicates that since 2020, streaming AM/FM via a digital device has increased by 6% to represent almost 15% of tuning by Canadians, 18+, with the use of smart speakers fuelling that growth. The report says streaming of AM/FM Radio continues to grow and is on equal footing with ad-supported Spotify.
Signal Hill Insights has been releasing early results from The Canadian Podcast Listener 2022, which indicate gains in podcast listening during the pandemic are holding. After showing incremental growth between 2017 and 2020 in its annual survey of more than 3,000 Canadian adults, Signal Hill says podcast listening shifted to a higher gear from the first year of the pandemic (2020) to the second year (2021). Canadians who say they ‘ever listened’ to a podcast shot up four points from 44 to 48%. That was followed this year by a five point increase, with more than half of Canadian adults (53%) now saying they have listened to a podcast. On the heels of increased sampling of podcasts from 2020 to 2021, regular listening climbed sharply from 2021 to 2022, with monthly, weekly and daily listening each posting the highest year-over-year growth since they started tracking in 2017.
Corus Entertainment’s CISN Country 103.9 Edmonton will broadcast, Yards for Hope, its annual Radiothon in support of Hope Mission, an organization helping the hungry and homeless. Over the last six years, the Yards for Hope broadcast has raised over $1.8 million. Kicking off Oct. 6 at 6 a.m., the award-winning CISN In The Mornings with Chris, Jack and Matt, will march down the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Starting at one end zone of the football field, the morning team will broadcast LIVE from the field and move one yard for every thousand dollars donated. They’ll continue to move up the field, aiming to travel 110 yards and reach the other end zone by 9 a.m. on Oct. 7 – a total of 27 hours on-air. To donate, listeners can call Hope Mission at 1-855-836-HOPE (4673) or go online at Hope Mission Radiothon.
LISTEN: Broadcast Dialogue publisher Shawn Smith is on the latest Sound Off Podcast talking about continuing the legacy of Canada’s broadcast publication of record, his recent acquisition of CARTT.ca and the Canadian Radio Awards. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Mike Oldfield, 83, on Sept. 17, of lymphoma. Born in London, England, Oldfield grew up in North Bay, ON, starting his broadcast career at local TV station CKGN-TV in 1958 as a trainee audio operator, switcher, cameraman, director, producer and program host. He remained with CKGN-TV until 1962 when he moved on to Kitchener to work as a technician at CKCO-TV. Oldfield then joined CFTO-TV Toronto doing sound for many of the musical variety shows and remote broadcasts produced for the CTV Network. He eventually left Toronto for Vancouver and worked sound on several Hollywood movies shot in 1970 – The Grove, later released as A Name for Evil with Robert Culp and Samantha Eggar; The Return of Charlie Chan with Ross Martin, Leslie Neilson, Richard Haydn and Louise Sorrel and McCabe and Mrs. Miller with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. He joined CBC Vancouver in 1971 as a temporary Film Sound Technician and then did a brief stint with BCTV before filling a permanent Film Sound position with CBC. He continued work there in film recording and sound effects until 1991 when the department was shuttered, moving on to oversee audio on the nightly newscasts from Studios 42 and 44. Oldfield retired in 1995.
TV & FILM:
Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a new report that indicates one in five English-speaking Canadians and one in six Francophones have “cut the cord” and canceled their paid TV service. MTM says while the majority of Canadians (69% of Anglophones and 74% of Francophones) continue to subscribe to services like cable, fiber optic or satellite TV, many are choosing to forgo paid TV and opting out. “Cord Cutters” tend to be younger, well-educated and often have children under age 12 in the home, according to the report, which also found that streaming Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) content and subscribing to multiple SVOD services is higher among Cord Cutters, who spend more time watching SVOD and YouTube content than traditional TV subscribers. Read more here.
Vividata’s newly-released Fall 2022 insights on cross media and consumer behaviour find that almost half of Canadians are watching content on a smart TV. Among the Study of the Canadian Consumer’s findings, which was in field from July 2021 to June 2022, Vividata says an estimated 58% of Canadian adults now have at least one connected/smart TV within the home, nearly double the 28% ownership in 2020. About 49% watch content on a connected/smart TV, while 38% still have a traditional television set. Vividata also found that 21% of all adults are watching TV content on their smartphone with 32% of those viewers under 35. Those under 35 are also nearly twice as likely (14%) to watch TV content on a game console compared to the average. The report indicates 27% of Canadian adults are subscribing to three or more streaming services. Read more here.
MIPCOM Cannes Diversify TV Awards, dedicated to championing and promoting diversity and inclusion across the international television industry, will take place during MIPCOM on Oct. 19. Among the Canadian programs shortlisted are CBC’s Proud to Be Me, CBC/HBO Max series Sort Of, Radio-Canada’s Pour Toi Flora, and Quebecor/Club Illico’s Audrey’s Back.
CTV comedy Jann and Trevor Anderson film Before I Change My Mind led this year’s Rosie Awards winners, handed out during the Calgary International Film Festival. Jann picked up Alberta Film and Television Awards for Best Scripted Series or Mini-Series; Best Production Designer/Art Director for Louise Middleton; and Best Costume Designer for Andre Ricard. Before I Change My Mind won Best Scripted Feature, Made-for-TV Movie, or Made-for-OTT or Specialty Cable Networks; Best Cinematographer (Scripted Over 30 minutes) for Wes Miron; and Best Screenwriter (Scripted Over 30 minutes) for Fish Griwkowsky & Trevor Anderson. View the event photo gallery here.
Jennifer Archer, a screenwriter from Springwater, ON, is among the winners of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 2022 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Each individual and writing team selected receives a $35,000 prize and mentorship from an Academy member. A live read of selected scenes from all five winning scripts will be performed in November at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Archer’s script “Into the Deep Blue” revolves around a character rebuilding his life after the death of his mom, a DUI, and mandatory grief counselling.
The Slaight Family Foundation and Canadian Film Centre (CFC) have been presented with the first-ever award for Distinguished Service to the Industry from the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC) in recognition of outstanding support for the screen composer sector. The award was presented at the inaugural Canadian Screen Music Awards (CASMA) on Sept. 21, celebrating excellence in scoring original music for the screen. The award recognizes CFC and The Slaight Family’s work to support screen composers through their partnership in delivering the Slaight Music Residency, an immersive program that helps integrate music creators into the on-screen storytelling process, boosting their professional networks and expanding career opportunities. The Slaight Family recently renewed the program for an 11th year with a $200,000 grant. CFC is currently accepting applications for the 2023 cohort with the application deadline on Oct. 31. Find the full list of 2022 CASMA Award winners here.
The Wilders, the Toronto-headquartered music supervision company under the creative direction of Jody Colero, and Senior Vice President Asha Dillion, is expanding to Los Angeles. The company’s new hires include seven-time Guild of Music Supervisors Award nominee Sean Mulligan, whose career includes supervision of over 35 feature films and television series, including Molly’s Game (STX), Come From Away (Apple TV+), and Deputy (FOX); Music Supervisor Tiffany Su, whose credits include African Royals In America (Hulu), 16 & Released (MTV), and My Celebrity Dream Wedding (VH-1); and Music Supervisor and Australian native Victoria Beard, whose credits include Blue Bayou (Focus Features), Awake (Netflix), and Moonshine (CBC). Most recently, the company provided music supervision and production on Sort Of (HBOMax), Clement Virgo’s Brother, in addition to writing all of the original songs and score for children’s animated series My Little Pony: Make Your Mark (Netflix) and My Little Pony: Tell Your Tale (YouTube).
CBC News consumer affairs program, MARKETPLACE, will mark the show’s 50th season when it debuts on Friday, Oct. 7. MARKETPLACE co-host David Common and former host of 16 years, Erica Johnson, will look back on the impact of the show’s investigations, some of the promises it’s tested, and the policies that its investigative journalism changed in a one-hour special set to air on CBC TV and CBC Gem. MARKETPLACE first premiered on Oct. 5, 1972 with Joan Watson and co-host George Finstad at the helm of the show. The first episode explored the rising cost of food in Canada. Those who’ve worked on the show since then include Harry Brown, Bill Paul, Christine Johnson, Norma Kent, Jacquie Perrin, Jim Nunn, Wendy Mesley, and Tom Harrington. Stompin’ Tom Connors wrote the show’s original theme song, The Consumer, an ode to Canadian frugality. Read more here.
Prime Video has announced the start of production on a new Canadian Amazon Original documentary based on the life and career of legendary Canadian children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs—or, as he is more commonly known, Mr. Dressup. The documentary celebrates the origins and history of one of Canada’s most beloved CBC children’s shows that entertained five generations. Release is set for 2023 exclusively on Prime Video in 240 countries and territories worldwide, followed by a broadcast window on CBC in Canada. The documentary will combine never-before-seen archival footage, interviews with series puppeteers and musicians, the Coombs family, and other notable Canadians, all sharing the impact the series had on them.
The Beachcombers is set to get the animated treatment as the iconic Canadian series marks its 50th anniversary. Industry veterans Blair Peters and Nick Orchard have teamed up to bring an animated version of the CBC adventure drama to life, which broadcast 387 episodes over 18 seasons. Peters, who lives on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast where the series was filmed, and Orchard, who worked on the original series, have inked a deal with the show’s original creators and plan to pitch their animated series to broadcasters next spring. One of the most successful Canadian television series of all time, the half-hour adventure show had its original run on CBC TV from 1972 to 1990, the second-longest-running scripted television series, next to Degrassi. The Beachcombers has been licensed to over 35 countries worldwide
Paramount+ Canada has announced that the highly-anticipated new season of Yellowstone, from MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, will be available exclusively on the service in Canada, with two new episodes streaming as of Nov. 13. Since its launch in March 2021, Paramount+ Canada says it has more than doubled the amount of content on the service, with over 8,700 hours of programming currently available, including 1883, Halo, Mayor of Kingstown, SEAL Team and The Offer.
Sinking Ship Entertainment (SSE) is partnering with Swimsuit Competition – the production company led by Samantha Bee (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) and Kristen Everman – on Best Day Ever, a new children’s sketch comedy series created by Emmy-winning producer, director, writer Allana Harkin. The team will be taking the project to MIPCOM 2022. SSE says the single-camera, ensemble-driven show will follow a style more similar to adult-driven sketch shows like I Think You Should Leave and Key and Peele.
Canadian Geographic’s first feature documentary, Returning Home, is now available via Crave, CTV.ca and the CTV app. Returning Home follows Orange Shirt Day founder Phyllis Jack Webstad on a cathartic, nationwide educational tour, while back home in Secwepemc territory, her family struggles to deal with the multi-generational trauma of Canada’s residential school system. The documentary, shot during the pandemic amid one of the lowest salmon runs in recorded history, connects Canada’s colonial history with the plight of Pacific wild salmon in B.C.’s Fraser River.
TVO Original Documentary Beautiful Scars tells the story of a Canadian rock star who, after a lifetime of searching, finally discovers his true identity. Known for his bands Junkhouse and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, Tom Wilson takes us on a journey of self-discovery from his secretive upbringing to his self-destructive music career and the shocking discovery of the lie he had been told his entire life. Based on Wilson’s bestselling memoir of the same name, Beautiful Scars exposes the incredible reality about Wilson’s biological family and ultimately leads to the discovery of his real identity as a Mohawk man. The doc premieres Oct. 31 on TVO, TVO Today and YouTube.
toober, the Toronto-based live television app connecting viewers to specialty television from around the world, has launched 12 new channels. New offerings added to the platform include Scream Flix, an English-language channel from U.S.-based streamer Jungo TV that features Asian, European, and Hollywood horror films; Front Row, an English-language music channel from Jungo; A8 Esports, featuring live and classic tournaments, esports talk and video game enthusiast content; and Toro TV, featuring everything from 80s action films to extreme sports. Toober is also picking up two Vietnamese channels from Jungo including drama channel Phim Viet and On Sports, in addition to Cinemundo Pinoy, a Filipino channel featuring Tagalog dubbed films. Also joining the lineup are martial arts channel Black Belt; Napoli International TV, the first satellite and cable TV dedicated to Italians abroad; lifestyle channel MyZen TV; and Museum TV, dedicated to visual arts. All channels are available to every subscriber with no add-on or bundled packages required. toober is available in Canada on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Apple TV, Google TV Playstore, and Roku, as well as in the U.S. and Mexico via LG, Roku and Apple TV.
Shaw Communications has launched Shaw Stream, a new 4K device that allows Shaw Fibre+ internet customers to access their favourite streaming apps like Netflix, Hayu, Prime Video, Tubi and YouTube in one place on their TV, in addition to games and music apps, and makes them navigable with Shaw’s voice remote. Shaw Stream users will also have the ability to rent on-demand content through Shaw On Demand. Shaw Stream is available as an add-on to Shaw Fibre+ internet plans, starting at $5/month.
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has announced the full programming for the 23rd annual Festival, with in-person events Oct. 18-23, followed by online festival selections Oct. 24-30. imagineNATIVE will present over 147 works from 16 countries in over 55 Indigenous languages. The festival will include 19 feature films, 13 thematic shorts programs, nine Digital + Interactive Works, nine audio works, six exhibitions, five music videos, and an artist spotlight on Mohawk filmmaker and visual artist Shelley Niro. imagineNATIVE’s Opening Night Gala on Oct. 18 will be Stellar, Darlene Naponse’s (Anishinaabe) love story set in a Northern Ontario dive bar while natural disasters unfold. The Closing Night Gala on Oct. 23 is ROSIE by Gail Maurice (Cree/Métis), the story of a young, orphaned, Indigenous girl who is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart Aunty Fred, in the fringes of 1980s Montréal.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Unifor is calling for respect for Toronto Star staff, who the union says were blindsided by news of a court application to dissolve NordStar Capital Inc., which controls Torstar and the Toronto Star. Employees learned of the dispute between owners Paul Rivett and Jordan Bitove via a Globe and Mail article on Sept. 29, rather than the employer. An application filed by Rivett in Ontario Superior Court suggests the 50/50 partners are embroiled in a feud with Rivett claiming publisher Bitove allegedly “obstructed progress” of cutting “unnecessary overhead costs” and “failed or refused to provide a budget or plans” for the areas he’s responsible for overseeing. Rivett sought a court order requesting that PricewaterhouseCoopers facilitate a sale or transfer of Torstar assets. Rivett and Bitove purchased Torstar for $52 million in 2020. “The news of another sale or a transfer is unsettling, to say the least, and comes at a time when the Star is poised to move from its 1 Yonge St. location,” said Randy Kitt, Director of Unifor’s Media Sector, in a release. “The media sector – with barebones newsrooms and constant cost-cutting – needs more stability, not less. This dispute between the two owners adds additional uncertainty for workers and the public, and should have been communicated clearly from the start.” The union says it has not received any word of changes in day-to-day operations, including layoffs.
The Peak, the daily Canadian business newsletter, has announced it’s hit 100,000 readers, boasting a 53% open rate. Launched last year and backed by a $350,000 seed round with the support of The Logic and TechTO, The Peak also publishes a daily podcast, hosted by co-founder Brett Chang and Jay Rosenthal, which is distributed as part of the Curiouscast podcast network lineup. Corus Radio also started airing The Peak Daily Minute on its talk radio network across the country earlier this year.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
— Google Canada (@googlecanada) October 5, 2022
Google has launched an online campaign against Bill C-11 featuring the tag line “Keep YouTube Yours.” The campaign was launched Wednesday, one day after the company’s President of Global Affairs, Kent Walker, was in Ottawa to lobby government officials. In a blog post, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neil Mohan writes “what’s deeply concerning is that the current version of the Bill has the potential to disadvantage the Canadian creators who build their businesses on our platform, and change the personalized experience of millions of Canadians who visit YouTube every day.” Mohan says in its current form, Bill C-11 would require YouTube to manipulate its algorithm according to the CRTC’s priorities, rather than the interests of Canadian users. Google maintains that will put Canadian creators at a disadvantage as when users are recommended content that is not personally relevant, they react by tuning out, skipping the video, or even giving it a ‘thumbs down’.
The Nieman Foundation is accepting applications for the class of 2024. Approximately 24 journalists from around the world will be selected to participate in the 2023-24 academic year at Harvard. Candidates can additionally be considered for the Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship in Journalism Innovation or the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship. The deadline for applications is Dec. 1.
Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) has launched Opening Doors, a program aimed at helping women advocate for policy and systemic change within the Canadian digital workplace. With partner, Women and Gender Equality (WAGE), Opening Doors will enable women to engage with decision makers from top Canadian corporations to re-examine company policies and establish best practices to increase the contributions and hiring of women in the ICT industries. Opening Doors will put an emphasis on underrepresented communities, with the goal of attracting people who identify as women between the ages 25-35, and 50% of its delegates from equity-deserving groups. Applications will close Oct. 24.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
ADVERTORIAL: Dielectric’s latest article for Broadcast Dialogue discusses its Artificial Intelligence Optimization (AIO) procedure, which ensures the geometry for each antenna generates the broadcaster’s desired radiation patterns while maintaining FCC compliance. Dielectric’s use of High-Frequency Simulation Software (HFSS) helps to drive the computer simulation process for Dielectric’s AIO antenna modeling with some of the tech’s earliest beneficiaries being Canadian broadcasters in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Read more here.
Blue Ant Media has acquired Media Pulse, the Canadian connected TV (CTV) marketplace for media buyers and publishers. As Blue Ant continues to expand its free streaming channels, Media Pulse will become a stand alone entity under the Blue Ant Media umbrella, with Christopher Law and Deborah Gurofsky continuing to lead the company as Managing Director and VP, Partnerships, respectively, reporting directly to Mitch Dent, SVP, Media Sales & Group Publisher, Blue Ant Media in Toronto. Media Pulse focuses specifically on aggregating and curating the most popular, broad and niche connected TV apps, platforms and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD), with its CTV exchange powered by Column6, an ad platform built for advanced CTV publishers. In addition to Media Pulse, Blue Ant Media uses Column6 for CTV ad serving and ad break management for some of its FAST channel inventory.
NAB Show’s Broadcasting Engineering and IT (BEIT) Conference, taking place April 15-19, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is now accepting proposals for technical papers and panel sessions until Nov. 4. Selected papers will be presented during BEIT, designed for broadcast engineers and technicians, media technology managers, contract engineers, broadcast equipment manufacturers and distributors, engineering consultants and R&D engineers. The conference focuses on technical issues facing today’s media professionals with an emphasis on the evolution of next-generation content delivery systems for radio, television and the broader media and IT ecosystem. Paper and session proposals may be submitted online through the 2023 BEIT Call for Papers and Panels portal. Submissions for conference sessions, panels, exhibition floor theaters, speakers and other events are also being accepted for NAB Show programs through Nov. 4.