The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Randy Lennox

Randy Lennox is departing as President of Bell Media in the New Year with Bell Group President and Vice Chair Wade Oosterman to assume operational leadership of the division. Lennox joined Bell Media in 2015 as President of Content and Broadcasting and was promoted to Bell Media President in 2017, reporting to Oosterman. Since joining the company in 2006, Oosterman had also served as Bell’s Chief Brand Officer. With his new appointment, Senior Vice President, Brand Devorah Lithwick has been appointed SVP & Chief Brand Officer, effective Jan. 2021. Read more here

Alfredo Tan

Alfredo Tan is joining Rogers Sports & Media as the new SVP of Strategy, Data & Partnerships, starting Nov. 2. Tan has been Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Digital & Innovation Officer at WestJet since 2018. He’s also worked with Facebook as Group Director, Global Marketing Solutions, and at Yahoo! as Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships.

John Vos

John Vos has been promoted to Regional Program Director, Alberta at Corus Radio. The move comes ahead of the retirement of Syd Smith, Director of Talk and Talent at Corus Radio Edmonton, who is set to step down Oct. 31 after 24 years with 630 CHED. Vos has been with Corus for 14 years, most recently as Director of Talk and Talent in Calgary. In his new role, he’ll lead and oversee talk operations in both Calgary and Edmonton, working with executive producers in each market to drive editorial and help execute strategic direction. All full-time talent and the executive producer of CHED will report directly to Vos. Read more here.

Kent Morrison and Ziyah Karmali

Kent Morrison and Ziyah Karmali are the new co-hosting team who’ll helm CTV Morning Live Edmonton, starting Nov. 2. Morrison arrives from Global Edmonton where he’s been anchoring the morning news since 2014. He started his career with CTV Edmonton in 2009. Karmali joined CTV in July as a weather anchor and digital news producer. A former OMNI and Citytv host, she’d been working behind the scenes with the Oilers Entertainment Group and Edmonton Eskimos Football Club since 2017. Morrison and Karmali replace Rob Williams and Stacey Brotzel who had been teamed as show co-hosts since 2012 and were informed following the Sept. 14 show that it would be their last.

Rachel Gilmore

Rachel Gilmore is leaving CTV News to cover federal politics with the national online team at Global News. Gilmore has been with CTV Ottawa since 2018 as a chase producer for Power Play and more recently a web journalist, based in the parliamentary bureau.

Yasmin Gandham

Yasmin Gandham has joined the News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver newsroom as part of the station’s weekend team. A 2020 BCIT Broadcast Journalism grad, Gandham has been hosting an evening talk show on Akash Broadasting’s 91.5 ConnectFM (CJCN-FM) Surrey for the last few months.

Justin Glover

 

Justin Glover has been appointed Promotions Manager for Evanov Radio Group’s Toronto operations including Jewel 88.5 (CKDX-FM) and Z103.5 (CIDC-FM). Glover arrives from Corus Radio in Hamilton where he’d been Promotions Manager since 2014.

 

 

 

Ariel Nasr

Ariel Nasr has joined the National Film Board (NFB) Quebec and Atlantic Studio as an interim producer. Based in Montreal, he steps in for Kat Baulu during her sabbatical year. Nasr’s feature film The Forbidden Story (an NFB co-production) won the Rogers Audience Award at the 2019 Hot Docs Festival. He began his film career as an editing assistant in the Halifax office of the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

Ursula Lawson

Ursula Lawson has been promoted as the National Screen Institute (NSI) management lead on NSI Business for Producers and NSI New Northern Voices. Lawson, Manager of Programs and Development, has been with NSI for over 16 years and is one of the organization’s longest-serving staff members. 

Tom Misselbrook

Tom Misselbrook has been appointed to the newly-created role of SVP, Scripted Sales and Development, Cineflix Rights, as the distributor continues to grow its scripted portfolio. Based in London and reporting to Cineflix Rights Head of Scripted James Durie, Misselbrook will work alongside the sales and acquisitions teams, with a focus on selling existing and new content. Misselbrook was most recently Executive Director, Sales for Miramax.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast has announced its fall 2020 lineup of new and returning podcasts which doubles down on the network’s investigative series with two new shows. Hosted by Global Halifax reporter Sarah Ritchie, 13 Hours: Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre, pieces together the April 18-19 tragedy that left 22 dead, hour-by-hour, as it happened, what could have been done to prevent the killings, what police knew and the ensuing communication breakdown. Launching Nov. 9, new episodes will be released bi-weekly. Whatever Happened To, launching Nov. 19, is hosted by Global Toronto reporter Erica Vella and updates headline-grabbing stories that have fallen out of the news cycle, including Fukushima, The Chilean Miners, Zika Virus, The Ice Bucket Challenge, and Lac Megantic. Global Calgary’s Nancy Hixt is also back with Season 3 of Crime Beat, while the new season of The Super Awesome Science Show looks at the science of COVID-19. Read more here.

Audible has introduced Canadian Audible Originals, a new series of podcasts, audio series and audiobooks, featuring Canadian creatives like actor Colm Feore, CBC Dragons’ Den star and tech entrepreneur Michele Romanow, and Anishinaabe author and Globe and Mail columnist Tanya Talaga, among others. Romanow hosts The Revisionaries, in which she talks to startup founders about the crucial missteps that led to big breakthroughs, while Feore (The Umbrella Academy, House of Cards) narrates True North Heists, a true crime podcast that looks some of Canada’s most infamous robberies. Upcoming releases will include Imminent Disaster, a sketch comedy series from Canadian screenwriter and performer Catherine Hernandez (Crosshairs); Oracle and Oracle: The Dreamland Murders, a psycho-thriller audiobook and series from Toronto writer Andrew Pyper; and The Secret Diaries of Detective Murdoch, a 10-part companion to the long-running Murdoch Mysteries television series, narrated by its star Yannick Bisson and produced by Shaftesbury. Read more here.

Shaw Rocket Fund, Wattpad, and Shaftesbury have announced a new narrative podcast project, culminating from the inaugural Shaw Rocket Fund Accelerator Writing Contest which asked writers to create inclusive stories for Canadian teens. The aim of the prize is to pair an emerging creative writer with industry mentors to guide them through the creative process of creating a finished podcast. Shaftesbury will serve as the project’s first production partner, working with winner Loridee De Villa across all aspects of production, including a five-day writer’s room, budget prep, logistics meetings, casting, and production/recording of the 10 x 20 minute narrative podcast, based on her winning story The Infinite Worlds of Ella Jane.

The 2020 Canadian Podcast Listener study is out of field with Signal Hill Insights offering a sneak preview ahead of the study’s mid-November release. Among other findings, CPL 2020 reports that podcast listening ranks in the top tier of media activities for holding attention at 64%. It also finds that podcasts uniquely serve listeners looking to be both entertained and learn something new.

39 Online, the National Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC) virtual Community Radio Conference, will take place Oct. 26 – Nov. 6. It will feature two sessions a day, in addition to the organization’s AGM, Community Radio Awards and online gala. Learn more here.

Pure Country will air the 2020 iHeartCountry Festival across all 13 stations in Canada on Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. local time. The festival’s seventh incarnation will be hosted by iHeartRadio personality Bobby Bones and feature Dierks Bentley, Lady A, Sam Hunt, and Kelsea Ballerini, among other talent. 

SiriusXM is running Halloween-themed programming from scary stories to Halloween-themed playlists across its music, talk, comedy and entertainment channels. SiriusXM’s Scream Radio limited run channel will also feature Halloween countdown “The Freaky 50” and play scary score music, sound effects, and spoken word stories 24 hours a day through Oct. 31 on channel 105. In addition, SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live will launch a “Virtual Trick or Treating” Halloween special for kids and their families. The channel will spin non-stop kid-friendly Halloween music and play messages from children sharing what they plan to dress up as this Halloween, their favourite candy, or something special they’re doing to celebrate whether they’re at home or not. “Virtual Trick or Treating” will begin Saturday, Oct. 31 at 5 a.m. ET and run through Nov. 1 on channel 78.

Lake 88 (CHLK-FM) Perth, ON raised $103,767 during its second annual Lake 88 Radiothon for local hospitals last Thursday. With the help of volunteers from the hospital foundations serving the Almonte General Hospital, Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital and the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, donations were taken over the phone or via Zoom from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Funds raised will go toward the purchase of equipment to support frontline workers.

The 19th Annual CKNX Health Care Heroes Radiothon in Wingham raised $342,677 for 10 area hospitals on Oct. 18. Since 2002, the event has raised more than $12 million for hospitals in mid-western Ontario.

 

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Corey Tremere, midday host at Ocean 100 (CHTN-FM) Charlottetown. Tremere talks about how Canada’s smallest province is coping with the pandemic, what lies ahead for radio, and how the approach of local and social continues to pay off in the smartphone era.

SIGN OFFS:

Ray Zinck

Ray Zinck, on Oct. 14. Originally hailing from LaHave in Lunenburg County, NS, Zinck started his 45-year news radio career at CFDR Dartmouth in 1971, before moving to Yarmouth to join CJLS Radio. After a brief return to CFDR, he crossed the country to work as news director at CKKC Nelson, BC in 1973. Two years later, he returned to CJLS, starting as a reporter and then news director, before eventually becoming co-owner, President, and General Manager in 1998. Zinck and fellow broadcaster and co-owner Chris Perry announced the sale of Radio CJLS to Acadia Broadcasting, along with their respective retirements, in 2015. Among the accolades Zinck earned over the years was the RTNDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

TV & FILM:

CBC/Radio-Canada is once again making 24-hour news channels, CBC News Network and ICI RDI, more widely available as Canadians face a resurgence of COVID-19. CBC News Network is now available to all cable subscribers on free preview on Bell TV, Rogers, Cogeco, Eastlink, and SaskTel, among other distributors, as well as TELUS and Shaw as of this week. CBC News Network is also accessible on CBC Gem, the CBC News app, and CBC.ca. ICI RDI is now available to Vidéotron, Bell TV, Cogeco, TELUS, Rogers, and Shaw subscribers, as well as at ici.radio-canada.ca/rdi and the Radio-Canada Info app.

Rosemary Barton

Rosemary Barton Live headlines expanded political coverage from CBC News, starting Nov. 1. Airing Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on CBC News Network, and simulcast from 11-11:30 a.m. ET on CBC TV and CBC Gem, CBC’s chief political correspondent “will provide a dynamic mix of breaking political news and compelling conversations with newsmakers and Canadians across the country,” according to a release from the public broadcaster. Barton moves into the timeslot previously occupied by the now cancelled, The Weekly with Wendy Mesley. The network’s expanded political offerings also include new weekday show, CBC News Live with Vassy Kapelos, featuring the latest COVID-19 and political updates at 5 p.m. ET, followed by Power & Politics in prime time from 6-8 p.m. ET, beginning Monday, Nov. 2 on CBC News Network. 

Alanis Obomsawin

Alanis Obomsawin has been chosen as the 13th Glenn Gould Prize Laureate. During her 53-year filmmaking career, Obomsawin has devoted herself to chronicling the lives and concerns of First Nations people. Chosen from a list of international candidates across a broad spectrum of creative disciplines and nominated by the general public, the prize includes a cash award of CAD $100,000. Honouring the spirit and legacy of Canadian pianist, writer, and broadcaster Glenn Gould, every two years, the Glenn Gould Foundation convenes an international jury to award the prize to a living individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts. 

The TVB/Dynata Coronavirus Media Usage Study, has published an update, based on a national U.S. survey conducted Sept. 17-24. It finds that Television remains dominant in reaching vast audiences with TV reaching 84% of all respondents, outpacing radio (58%), social media (55%), and video streaming platforms with ads (27%), among other platforms. This was also the case among A18-34, A25-54, A35+, respondents living in urban, suburban, and rural areas as well as African Americans and Hispanics. Among all news sources, local broadcast TV is the most trusted (79%) with adults 18+. That also extends to the websites & apps of local broadcast TV stations (70%) which were cited as the most trusted digital news sources. Social media (39%) was the least trusted news source. Respondents felt that broadcast TV news (50%) gave them the best information and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Cable TV news (25%) was a distant second and social media (13%) a distant third.

Keshia Chanté

CBC says the new season of Battle of the Blades will launch with a special two-hour live premiere Thursday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Season 6 of the competition series was set to premiere Oct. 15, but production and training were temporarily halted after a member of the production team tested positive for COVID-19. CBC has also announced that singer-songwriter, TV host and actress Keshia Chanté will be joining Ron MacLean to share hosting duties this season. 

Bilal Baig

CBC has greenlit new original comedy Sort Of (8×30) from Sienna Films (Trickster, Cardinal). Created by Bilal Baig (Acha Bacha) and Fab Filippo (Save Me), and starring Baig, the series follows a fluid millennial who straddles various identities from sexy bartender at an LGBTQ bookstore/bar, to the youngest child in a large Pakistani family, to the de facto parent of a downtown hipster family. The half-hour single-camera comedy began production in Toronto last week. The cast includes Gray Powell (Hudson & Rex, Designated Survivor), Amanda Cordner (Baroness von Sketch Show, The Expanse), Ellora Patnaik (Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek), and Grace Lynn Kung (Transplant, Star Trek: Discovery), among others. It will air on CBC and CBC Gem in 2021.

Marie Clements’ award-winning feature Red Snow premieres on CBC Gem Oct. 23, and on CBC-TV Oct. 24. Filmed on location in the Northwest Territories and the desert interior of B.C. (Ashcroft Band Lands, Cache Creek and Kamloops), Red Snow is the story of a Gwich’in soldier from the Canadian Arctic, who is caught in an ambush in Afghanistan. Shot in four languages, including Gwich’in, Inuvialuktun, Pashto and English, it features Tantoo Cardinal, Asivak Koostachin, Mozhdah Jamalzadah, and Samuel Marty, among others.

Deepa Mehta

Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing has acquired Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy. The adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s 1994 Canadian best-seller of the same name, will make its debut on Netflix on Dec. 10. The coming-of-age story is set against the backdrop of 1970s Sri Lanka as tensions escalate between the minority Tamils and Sinhalese.

Mixed↑, the feature film directorial debut from multi-disciplinary artist Howard J. Davis (aka HAUI), will launch on OUTtv on Nov. 11. The film, born out of HAUI’s own experiences as a queer and BIPOC person, takes a look at what it means to be mixed in today’s society. The film features testimonials from HAUI’s biological and found family, including actress and activist Tantoo Cardinal, stage and screen performer Thom Allison, and multidisciplinary artist Jani Lauzon. The film was co-produced by Vancouver-based trans filmmaker and producer Jack Fox.

TVO Original documentary Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head premieres Nov. 3 on TVO. The doc looks at the legendary Hamilton punk band’s history as it gets set to release its greatest hits and prepare for a cross-country tour, while lead guitarist Gord Lewis battles crippling depression. Marky Ramone is among those featured.

Spin Master Corp., in association with Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures, has announced the all-star voice cast ensemble behind upcoming animated feature PAW Patrol. The movie, which will star Kim Kardashian West, Dax Shepard, Jimmy Kimmel, and Tyler Perry, among others, is the Toronto company’s first feature film. Set for release in Aug. 2021, it will be directed by animation veteran Cal Brunker (Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; Escape From Planet Earth). Spin Master Entertainment’s Executive Vice President Jennifer Dodge will produce the film and Ronnen Harary, Spin Master’s co-founder and co-CEO; Adam Beder, Spin Master’s Executive Vice President Strategic Partnership & Franchise Development; as well as Peter Schlessel will executive produce.

Apple TV+ has teamed with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions, to become the home for all things Peanuts, bringing together new original series and iconic specials in one place. New animated Peanuts originals coming to Apple TV+ include a second season of the Daytime Emmy-nominated Snoopy in Space, and a slate of brand-new specials marking Mother’s Day, Earth Day, New Year’s Eve and Back to School – all to be produced by WildBrain’s animation studio. The new series and specials join the previously announced The Snoopy Show, premiering in Feb. 2021; a brand-new Peanuts 70th anniversary documentary film from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain, set to premiere next year; and the Daytime Emmy Award-winning Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10. 

Nelvana has appointed Blue Socks Media, a Charlotte, NC-based rights management and distribution company, as its distribution partner in the continental African territory. Known for its global distribution and licensing success for the early childhood TV franchise, Raggs, Blue Socks will secure broadcast partners for Nelvana’s premium content including Babar, Franklin and Max & Ruby, in addition to newer series Ranger Rob, The Dog & Pony Show, Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe, Bakugan, and more.

The Fabienne Colas Foundation has announced that Telefilm Canada is coming on as a major partner of the Being Black in Canada Program, a mentorship, training, and creation program entirely dedicated to Black filmmakers. Telefilm joins previously-announced partners Netflix, the National Bank and Canada Media Fund. As a result of the cross-industry partnership, the 2020 program will expand to include 20 new participants from Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax, and over the next two years extend its reach to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver with an aim to support a total of 70 new filmmakers and 55 alumni by 2022. Participants from the program benefit from mentorship and training by experts across multiple areas of film production including screenwriting, directing, editing and post-production. They’re also provided with the opportunity to create individual documentary shorts that address the issue of social integration of Black communities in Canada.

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) will host the 25th Annual WGC Awards virtually on April 26. Nominations are open until Dec. 4 for scripts in the following categories: Children’s, Comedy Series, Documentary, Drama Series, Feature Film, MOW & Miniseries, Preschool, Tweens & Teens, and Shorts (including Web Series, Drama or Comedy Series with episodes under 15 minutes in length). The awards are open to WGC members only. Guidelines and the entry form are available via the WGC online members portal. 

The 2021 ACTRA Toronto Awards are going virtual with performance nominations now open in the categories of Male, Female, Male Voice and Female Voice. The deadline to submit is Oct. 31. 

 

The BANFF World Media Festival has opened submissions for the 2021 Rockie Awards International Program Competition. The final deadline for submissions is Feb. 5. Learn more here.

 

 

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. ended Fiscal 2020 with 18 programs in various stages of production, and deals with Netflix, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, PBS, GBH, Bell Media’s Discovery, APTN, Corus Entertainment and CBC, among others. Revenue for the three months and year ended June 30 was $21.1 million and $81.3 million, compared to $12.9 million and $57.7 million for the comparative periods of fiscal 2019, increases of $8.2 million and $23.6 million respectively. The majority of the revenue increase was related to growth in the kids and family division. Adjusted EBITDA was $2.9 million and $15.5 million for the three months and the year ended June 30, compared to $1.0 million and $12.8 million, year-over-year. The three month increase was due to more production service work and licensing and distribution revenue growth due to an increase in the number of proprietary shows delivered over the comparable quarter. 

CTV has confirmed additional November premiere dates for its Fall 2020 schedule, including the return of Young Sheldon, airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Nov. 5. The schedule sees that followed by new Chuck Lorre-produced comedy B POSITIVE (Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT), starring Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford. 

Global News will air Decision BC, the network’s comprehensive coverage of the B.C. provincial election on Oct. 24, across its platforms. The simulcast starts at 6 p.m. PT with Chris Gailus and Sophie Lui of Global News Hour at 6 anchoring the main broadcast, along with results analysis from legislative reporters Keith Baldrey and Richard Zussman. Reporting live from the main party headquarters will be Neetu Garcha with the B.C. NDP, John Hua at the B.C. Liberal camp and Kylie Stanton with the B.C. Greens. On the radio side, the Global News 980 CKNW panel will be hosted by Simi Sara and feature Moe Sihota (NDP), Puneet Sandhar (Liberal) and Jonina Campbell (Green). 

Global News’ Decision Saskatchewan special will air Oct. 26 from 8 – 11 p.m. CT on Global Regina, Global Saskatoon, Globalnews.ca, and the Global TV App. Regina and Saskatoon were made available on the Global TV App this past Wednesday, bringing to 10 the number of free news streams on offer.

 

TSN, Hockey Canada, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) have announced the broadcast schedule for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. Live from Rogers Place in Edmonton, TSN will cover all 28 games, beginning on Christmas Day, for the first time since the 2005 tournament and culminating with wall-to-wall coverage of all four quarterfinal games on Jan. 2, both semi-finals Jan. 3, and the Gold Medal Game on Jan. 5. The network’s World Juniors coverage kicks off Dec. 20 with all 10 pre-tournament games.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Netflix added 2.2 million subscribers in Q3, a significant slowdown in growth after adding record net subscribers of 10.1 million in the second quarter and 15.8 million in Q1 this year as the COVID-19 quarantine kept audiences home. Bringing the streaming giant’s global subscriptions to 195.15 million, the growth was below Wall Street expectations and the company’s own forecast which had predicted net adds of 2.5 million in the quarter. The news initially brought shares down 6%.

Apple has launched Apple Music TV, a 24-hour music video livestream featuring new music videos and premieres, curated music video blocks, chart countdowns, live shows, events, and guests. The free service, which debuted Monday morning, is so far only available in the U.S. on the Apple Music and Apple TV apps. There’s already some indication there’ll be crossover with hosts from Apple Music Radio. With the new channel supporting this week’s release of Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You album on Thursday, an interview with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe will be featured. Spotify announced back in July it would also be introducing “video podcasts” as the digital giants try to grab video share from Google-owned YouTube.

Blue Ant Media has acquired digital consumer tech publication Mobile Syrup. Published by Ian Hardy, the independent publication that focuses on Canadian mobile tech, gaming, and telecom news, was founded in 2007. Blue Ant also owns digital brands Cottage Life and Animalogic. The company said in a release that the acquisition is part of a long-term strategy to grow and diversify its Canadian business, by adding new platforms and genres of content. 

Maureen Googoo

Ku’ku’kwes News, an independent, Nova Scotia-based, Indigenous news site run by Mi’kmaw journalist Maureen Googoo, crashed last week after being flooded by those looking for news on the conflict around the Sipekne’katik First Nation fishery. The crowdfunded site was overwhelmed with traffic as the #MikmaqRights hashtag got a signal boost from actor Mark Ruffalo, among others.


REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Cogeco’s controlling shareholders have turned down a revised $11 billion takeover offer from Rogers Communications Inc. and Altice USA. Cogeco says it received a second unsolicited offer on Sunday, despite its unequivocal rebuff of an earlier $10.3 billion offer in September. Cogeco says the revised non-binding proposal was reviewed by Gestion Audem Inc., a company controlled by the members of the Audet family, which holds a controlling interest in both Cogeco and Cogeco Communications, indicating it does not intend to sell its shares and will not support the revised proposal.

Cogeco Communications subsidiary Cogeco Connexion has entered into an agreement to purchase DERYtelecom, the third largest cable provider in the province of Quebec for $405 million. DERYtelecom is based in Saguenay and offers internet, television and telephony services to approximately 100,000 customers in over 200 municipalities, including Estrie, Lanaudière, Montérégie and the Laurentians. DERYtelecom’s revenue for the 2020 fiscal year was estimated at $105 million, according to Cogeco. 

Raj Shoan

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed former CRTC commissioner Raj Shoan’s latest appeal fighting his 2017 dismissal from the commission. Shoan was seeking a declaration that allegations of racism within the regulator should have been investigated, however the court said the issue should have been raised during his initial application and was inappropriate to be heard by a review court. Shoan previously raised the issue of racism within the commission in 2016, around the time of his first dismissal from the regulator. While he won a judicial review and was reinstated in 2017, that lasted just days before the federal cabinet revoked his appointment.

 

Canadian Business is out with its list of fastest-growing companies in Canada, measured by revenue growth over the last five years. Among those in the media category making this year’s list are Renfrew, ON-based My Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), which ranked #391, recording five-year growth of 81%. Vancouver’s Thunderbird Entertainment Group ranked #403 with 68% growth, while theScore came in #237 with 298% growth. Other notable mentions include Victoria publishing platform SendtoNews, which ranked #70 overall; while Quebec City’s Squeeze Studio Animation came in at #65. 

Bell Media, in partnership with the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), has launched the inaugural Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity in Advertising (IDEA) competition. The campaign that best demonstrates a clear message of diversity and inclusion will receive $1 million in media inventory on Bell Media platforms. Open to national and international brands and their agencies and evaluated by a panel of diverse judges, the competition seeks groundbreaking work that celebrates diversity through advertising. Brands and their agencies can register to receive more information about how to enter here.

Francine Pelletier

Francine Pelletier has been named Concordia University’s 2020 journalist-in-residence. The former The Fifth Estate correspondent, award-winning documentarian, and weekly columnist for Le Devoir, plans to increase the profile of documentary journalism through a virtual workshop series and other activities.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

The NAB Show Product of the Year Awards were announced at NAB Show New York, during a virtual Product of the Year Awards celebration. The awards recognize the most significant and promising new products and technologies being showcased for the first time. New this year, winners comprise exhibiting companies from both NAB Show and NAB Show New York. Among the winners are Ross Video, which earned two awards for its Ross Graphite PPC (Portable Production Centre) in both the Graphics, Editing, VXF, Switchers and Remote Editing categories. Tieline the Codec Company was recognized for Gateway in the Hardware Infrastructure category, while Blackmagic Design was named Best Overall Winner in the Acquisition Category for its Ursa Mini Pro 12k. Find the full list of winners, here.

NexTech AR Solutions, a Vancouver-based augmented reality solution for eCommerce, AR-enhanced video conferencing and virtual events, acquired the AiRShow app from TRICK 3D earlier this month and has now announced it will have in-app purchases and ticketing capabilities beginning in early November. The AiRShow application has the ability to turn artists or hosts into ‘live’ holograms that you can watch performances from and interact with in your living room. Available to download on iTunes and Google Play Store, NexTech plans to leverage the AiRShow technology for its virtual events platform InfernoAR as well as for its AR eCommerce business. AiRShow marks the company’s seventh acquisition and third AR application which continues to tie together its augmented reality (AR) offerings with the goal of creating a complete AR ecosystem.

Sophi.io, The Globe and Mail’s artificial intelligence-based automation and prediction engine, has won the Online Journalism Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism, handed out by the Online News Association (ONA). Sophi is an artificial-intelligence system that helps publishers identify their most valuable content. Using natural language processing, its predictive capabilities help publishers discern which content to paywall to maximize subscription revenue. Sophi Automation also places 99% of the content on The Globe and Mail’s digital pages, including its homepage and section pages, and is now also being used for print laydown. Sophi was previously recognized with the 2020 North American Digital Media Award by The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in the category of Best Digital News Start-up.