David Suzuki has announced he’ll retire from CBC’s The Nature of Things next spring after 43 years as host of the longest-running television science program. Suzuki, 86, announced his pending retirement Sunday night during an interview with Ian Hanomansing on The National. A professor and geneticist prior to joining the public broadcaster, Suzuki had a desire to connect television audiences with a better understanding of science. He began his television career in 1970 with weekly children’s show Suzuki on Science, going on to host Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio and half-hour television series, Science Magazine from 1975-79. The Nature of Things premiered on CBC in October 1979. The show’s 62nd season will debut Jan. 6, 2023, with Suzuki’s final episode set to air in the spring. CBC says new hosting plans for the series will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Read more here.
Mark Sutcliffe will serve as Ottawa’s next mayor. Sutcliffe, 54, retired from daily radio last year after stepping back from his mid-morning talk show, Ottawa Today on CityNews Ottawa (CIWW-AM). He had been on-air for two decades in the market with stops at 580 CFRA and Rogers TV, in addition to 15 years as a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen. Sutcliffe garnered 51% of the vote in Monday night’s election, campaigning on a promise of fiscal frugality and a cap on property tax hikes.
Tandy Yull has joined the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) as Vice President, Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Yull arrives from the CRTC where she’d been a Senior Manager for the last 23 years, most recently in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Prior to joining the commission in 1999, she served as CAB’s Manager of Television Policy and Social Issues. Erin Dallaire also joins the CAB as Manager, Collectives Services, supporting the administration of the Canadian Broadcasters Rights Agency (CBRA). The CAB added Lesley LeRoux as Manager, Communications and Lindsay Royston as Director, Finance earlier in the summer.
The Scott & Kat Show, hosted by Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan, is expanding to more stations within the Corus Radio network. In addition to being heard in mornings on 91.5 The Beat (CKBT-FM) Kitchener-Waterloo, the show is airing evenings, from 6 – 9 p.m. on 93.1 Fresh Radio (CHAY-FM) Barrie. The duo are also heard on the Canadian Radio Award-winning Scott and Kat After 9 podcast. Callaghan recently revealed she’s behind the text-to-speech voice featured on TikTok.
Christian Tanna of I Mother Earth is joining Durham Radio’s 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM), serving Greater Toronto and Oshawa, as the station doubles down on its rockstar talent. Tanna is taking over hosting duties on new and emerging artist spotlight, Generation Next Radio. He’ll be heard weeknights at 8 p.m. and weekends at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., starting Nov. 7. He takes over from in-demand music producer/mixer/engineer Brian Moncarz, who is stepping away from the show after a decade. Tanna joins Cone McCaslin of Sum 41 on the 94.9 The Rock lineup. McCaslin joined the station in April with Sunday night music discovery show, Cone’s Cave, dedicated to punk, garage rock and metal. Read more here.
Mike Luck, or Lucky as he is known as one half of Craig and Lucky on 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) Oshawa, has joined the NHL on Sportsnet broadcast team as a play-by-play announcer. Luck, who has called the OHL’s Oshawa Generals for 15 seasons, has been tapped to call select national Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets broadcasts on Sportsnet, including Hockey Night in Canada.
Lisa Evans is now being heard on SiriusXM’s 70s on 7 on weekends, the channel’s first Canadian host. She’ll also continue to co-host mornings on Harvard Media’s Play 107 (CKPW-FM) Edmonton and middays on Kraze 101.3 (CKIK-FM) Red Deer.
Kevin Nimmock has left CTV Calgary where he’d served as assignment editor for the last four years. Prior to joining CTV Calgary, Nimmock was the morning producer for CTV Morning Live Winnipeg and a reporter with Moncton’s Times & Transcript.
Stephanie Florian has joined Global BC as a part-time weather reporter/anchor. Florian arrives from CTV Vancouver where she’d been a weather anchor since 2014.
Andrew Burns has been promoted within SiriusXM Canada to Manager, Editorial. He has been working with SiriusXM since 2013 as an Interactive Content Editor. Burns’ early career included stops at Corus Radio Toronto, and JACK FM, Citytv, and OMNI.
Kathy Shaw has accepted a new position with Pattison Media as General Sales Manager at Island Radio. Shaw arrives from Stingray Calgary where she’d been a Senior Account Manager since 2016. Prior to that, she held sales, marketing and creative roles with Bell Media and Standard Broadcasting in Calgary.
Jawn Jang has announced his departure from 980 CKNW Vancouver after two years with the station and nearly a decade in radio. Jang says he’ll be “turning off the mic and moving to a new adventure.” He joined CKNW in Sept. 2020 as a fill-in host and contributor to the daytime talk shows, including The Jas Johal Show. Prior to Corus, Jang was co-host of “The Playbook” on Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver, alongside Satiar Shah.
Karyn Pugliese is now Editor-In-Chief at Canada’s National Observer as Linda Solomon Wood moves into the role of publisher after 15 years as EIC. Pugliese is tasked with developing reporting and podcasting teams and leading daily publication and newsletters. As publisher, Solomon Wood will continue to lead business strategy and organizational growth. Prior to joining the National Observer in 2021 as a columnist and editor, Pugliese was Managing Editor of Investigations at CBC.
Anthony Furey has left Postmedia and is now True North’s new Vice President of Editorial and Content. Furey will oversee newsroom operations as well as contribute his own columns and video commentary. He’ll also be hosting a regular podcast breaking down the daily news.
Ruairi Doyle has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PressReader. Co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Alexander Kroogman has transitioned to the role of Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors. Doyle joined PressReader five years ago, initially serving as the General Manager and R&D Lead at PressReader’s EMEA office based in Ireland, later relocating to Vancouver as Vice President of Product, and more recently SVP, Product and Operations. Before PressReader, he held leadership roles at Google, Independent News & Media, and not-for-profit Apps for Good.
Brandon Davis has been appointed to the newly-created position of Chief Operating Officer at Project 10 Productions. He’ll work alongside CEO Andrew Barnsley, responsible for the day-to-day management of Project 10, as well as the execution of its new business growth strategy. The announcement comes following a highly successful year for Project 10, including the premiere of the Amazon reboot of Kids in the Hall and the second season of Son of a Critch slated to premiere on CBC in early 2023. Davis has served as a strategic advisor to Project 10 for the past seven years and is also Managing Partner for professional baseball player Vernon Well’s private equity firm, JayChris Management.
Nicole Shizuka Oguchi and Phil Klapwyk have joined Vancouver’s Omnifilm Entertainment as the company ramps up production activity. Shizuka Oguchi joins as Head of Physical Production and Klapwyk as Business Development Executive. A seasoned film and television unit production manager and line producer, Shizuka Oguchi has worked on high profile features including Steven Spielberg’s The BFG and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Klapwyk was known for his leadership at IATSE 891 for the past seven years.
Louis Vachon has joined the board of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. He will also join the Board’s Management Resources and Compensation Committee and Risk and Pension Fund Committee. Vachon is an Operating Partner at J.C. Flowers & Co. Previously, he was President and CEO of the National Bank of Canada, from 2007-21. Vachon is also a corporate director who serves on the boards of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Groupe CH Inc., MDA Ltd. and Molson Coors Beverage Company.
RADIO & PODCAST:
LISTEN: The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) Connection ’22 came back with a bang as the event returned in-person for the first time since 2019, Oct. 18-19. If there was a theme that emerged this year, it’s that radio, in particular, is faced with more uncertainty than ever amid audience and advertising pressures and questions around a changing regulatory landscape. In spite of all of that, there was a measured level of optimism from broadcasters. Broadcast Dialogue spoke with several executives, in addition to Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) President Kevin Desjardins, on their takeaways from this year’s event. We also caught up with Evanov Communications President Paul Evanov, whose late father and radio pioneer Bill Evanov was inducted into the OAB Hall of Fame, one of the highlights of Connection ’22.
Deloitte’s Josef Hrebik told last week’s Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) conference that broadcasters should prepare for potential negative growth as economic uncertainty starts to impact discretionary spending. In an outlook entitled “The Future of Broadcasting,” Hrebik, who leads Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications (TMT) and Business Growth Strategy at Deloitte, discussed what the “new normal” looks like as the industry’s key drivers – listenership, advertising and operations – continue to be pressured. According to Deloitte projections, advertisers will likely continue to allocate less of their total spend to radio. With that allocation 11.3% in 2019 and 8% this year, Hrebik said that number could decline to 6% by 2026 as money funnels to new channels outside broadcast radio and video. Read more here.
SAVE THE DATE: The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) has announced that its 87th Annual Conference will take place at the Fairmont Banff Springs, June 7-8, 2023. More details to come.
SiriusXM has quietly dropped four of CBC/Radio-Canada’s music channels as the satellite radio provider and streamer moves to bring more of its programming in-house. SiriusXM is no longer broadcasting CBC Radio 3 Classic (channel 162), CBC Country (channel 171), ICI MUSIQUE Franco-Country (channel 166) and ICI MUSIQUE Chansons (channel 163). It’s introduced several new channels in their place, saying it remains committed to reflecting Canadian artists and continues to meet or exceed its CRTC conditions of licence. SiriusXM says The Verge (ch. 173) continues to play new and emerging Canadian indie and alternative music, including many of the artists heard on CBC Radio 3. Making its debut is a 24/7 channel dedicated to Canadian hip-hop/R&B, Mixtape: North (ch. 164). In place of Chansons and FrancoCountry, SiriusXM has introduced new French music channels Attitude Franco (ch. 163), featuring French-Canadian rock music, and Racines Musicales (ch. 166), playing French-Canadian and Indigenous country, folk, and Cajun. Pop genre artists heard on Chansons will now be featured alongside hip-hop artists on Influence Franco (ch. 174). SiriusXM has also introduced Top of the Country Radio (ch. 171), programmed by the SiriusXM team and featuring the best of Canadian country music. Read more here.
The Community Radio Fund of Canada (CFRC) has announced a call for applications for the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI). The Canadian Heritage funding supports community, campus and Indigenous radio stations in hiring journalists to create original civic journalism that covers underserved communities across Canada. Successful applicants can receive up to $55,000 to hire a reporter for the period from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. Stations eligible to apply include not-for-profit Canadian radio stations who hold a CRTC broadcasting license for a Community, Campus or Indigenous Type B radio station. Learn more here. Applications close Nov. 21.
This morning on boom 973 Mornings with @stujeffries we go back to the day AFTER the @BlueJays won the 1992 World Series. #backintheday #radio @BroadcastDialog – news, traffic, birthdays, horoscopes… All like it would have been in ’92. pic.twitter.com/EdgevZQLMl
— boom 97.3 (@boom973) October 25, 2022
Stingray’s boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto marked the 30th anniversary of the Toronto Blue Jays 1992 World Series win on Tuesday’s morning show with Stu Jeffries. The station marked the big event for Toronto, by going back 30 years to the day after the Jays won the title, creating fictitious morning show “The Stu Morning Zoo,” with the show’s production elements re-imaged to give it a ‘90s vibe. Jeffries was joined by traffic and news broadcast legends Paul Cross and Evelyn Macko, in addition to “Gadget Guy” Marc Saltzman. Horoscopes and “Celebrity Birthdays” features also included Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, whose birthday was Oct. 25.
Rawlco Radio hosted the 23rd Annual C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer Research on Oct. 20, with the 12-hour live broadcast raising $396,555. Saskatoon listeners continue to support the heritage fundraiser benefitting Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan and local breast cancer research projects. Since it began in 2000, the C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer Research has raised more than $5.7 million dollars for breast cancer research with 100% of proceeds staying in Saskatchewan.
LISTEN: Bryan Barletta is back on the Sound Off Podcast to talk about the evolution of his company, Sounds Profitable. Barletta discusses some of the podcasts he’s on-boarded, like The Download, and podcasters he’s worked with including Arielle Nissenblatt, Lauren Passell from Tink Media, Tom Webster, Evo Terra, and James Cridland. He also talks about the value and difference between programmatic and dynamic ad insertion and how (and if) you should be using it to monetize your show.
Henry Pike, 93, on Oct. 19. Pike was the oldest volunteer at VOWR 800 AM St. John’s, NL, gracing the Wesley United Church community station’s airwaves for more than 60 years. Pike started volunteering with VOWR in 1958 after picking up a date at the station following her Sunday evening shift. Pike, who drove a 1955 Pontiac at the time, was recruited by the station manager to transport some equipment the following week. He married Frances a few years later, acting as her show’s operator. Their two children also went on to volunteer at VOWR. In recent years, Pike continued to host on the station on a bi-weekly basis, including “Music for Relaxation.”
Kelsa Kinsly, on Oct.17. Kinsly got her start in broadcasting at CFOX Vancouver in 1990, also contributing to Corus Vancouver stations Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) and MOJO Radio (CHMJ-AM). She moved to Toronto in 1998 to act as the contributing Canadian host of the Howard Stern Show during its brief run in syndication on Q107 (CILQ-FM). Kinsly went on to briefly host Breakfast Television at CTV Halifax before heading stateside in 2003. Stints in news and traffic followed at WLUP and WFLD FOX32 Chicago, NBC 10 WCAU Philadelphia, and The Weather Channel. From 2008 to 2018, she held various roles with iHeartMedia in Los Angeles, including reading news for KNX, K-EARTH, KFI, The Wave, and KFMB San Diego. She also had numerous acting credits to her name.
Alan Black, 64, on Oct. 17. A longtime journalist and editor with The Canadian Press (CP), Black joined the wire service in 1987 after starting his broadcast career in radio, including several years at CJAD and FM 96 (CJFM-FM) Montreal. He started in the sports department at CP, holding roles over the years in the Ontario bureau, national desk, and later overnight editor – his last position with the company which he held for eight years, before retiring in 2018. Among Black’s career highlights was covering 17 Olympic Games during his 31 years with CP.
“Tom Allen” Labanowich, 63, on Oct. 10. Allen had a more than 45-year broadcasting career, working throughout Ontario, including CKPC 1380 Brantford, ON and Energy 108 Hamilton. He also did a brief announcing stint with the Canadian Traffic Network (CTN).
TV & FILM:
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has announced its Special Awards recipients to be recognized at the first West Coast DGC Awards, Nov. 5 in Vancouver. The DGC Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to director Sturla Gunnarsson, whose films have been recognized with a multitude of awards, including Emmy, Genie and Gemini Awards, a Prix Italia, and an Oscar nomination. He’s also worked on series from The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents to Degrassi and Schitt’s Creek, and directed Sarah Polley, Stellan Skarsgaard and Gerard Butler in Beowulf and Grendel (2006), and William Hurt and Molly Parker in Rare Birds (2001). His documentary, Air India 182, won both DGC and Gemini awards. The Don Haldane Distinguished Service Award will be presented to long-serving DGC BC Chairman Allan Harmon; and the DGC Impact Award to Alberta DGC member Brock Skretting, who helped lead grassroots intiatiive “Keep Alberta Rolling.” Cheryl Nex of EP (Entertainment Partners) Canada will be named a DGC Honorary Life Member.
MIPCOM’s Diversify TV Awards saw three Canadian series recognized. Pour Toi Flora, Sort Of, and Proud To Be Me won in the categories of Representation of Race and Ethnicity, Representation of LGBTQIA+, and Representation of Diversity in Kids Programming, respectively. Read more about this year’s winners here.
UBCP/ACTRA, the autonomous branch of ACTRA in British Columbia, has announced this year’s nominees for the 11th Annual UBCP/ACTRA Awards, recognizing acting, voiceover, and stunt performer talent. Among the projects garnering multiple nominees are Agam Darshi’s Donkeyhead; Letterkenny spinoff, Shoresy; and Stephen Campanelli coming-of-age comedy, Drinkwater. Find the full list of nominees here. The winners will be announced on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Vancouver Playhouse.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) have announced the successful conclusion of negotiations, resulting in an agreement in principle on terms for a new Standard Agreement. The terms for the new three-year agreement will be sent to the CMPA’s Board of Directors, and distributed by the DGC to its members, for ratification. The current agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2022.
William F. White International (WFW) has announced a partnership with Big Sky Studios (BSS), a new full-service 187,000 sq. ft. film and television studio in Winnipeg, owned and operated by Vancouver-based Eighth Avenue Development Group. The first phase of BSS is now officially open, with the building’s recent renovation including transforming 137,000 sq. ft. of existing interiors into two soundstages at 17,000 sq. ft. and 12,800 sq. ft., renovated production offices, workshops, on-site equipment rental and specialty areas for film departments. The second phase will see the addition of two purpose-built 15,000 sq. ft. clear span soundstages with 40-foot-high ceilings, along with indoor climate-controlled loading. Manitoba’s Film and Media Tax Credit, the most competitive in Canada (up to 65% on Manitoba labour, or up to 38% on eligible Manitoba expenditures, and a 10% increase on the labour tax credit on the third film shot within a two-year period), has proven to be a significant incentive for producers.
Bridge Studios is slated to build 42 new sound stages over the next four years in Burnaby, B.C, bringing the number of sound stages operated by Bridge Studios to 55. The new studios will be housed on both the current Bridge Studios Boundary campus and new sites, including: Griffiths (four sound stage facilities on five acres, opening in 2023), Lake City (21 sound stages on 18 acres, opening in 2025), and Marine Way (16 sound stages on 18.5 acres, opening in 2026). Currently with 13 sound stages, Boundary will add an additional sound stage by 2026. The new construction will include facilities with 50-foot-high stages, ranging from 9,000 to over 30,000 sq. ft. British Columbia’s film and TV production has hit new highs, generating a record $4.8 billion in direct spending in 2021. Vancouver ranks as the third-largest film & TV production centre in North America.
Rogers is investing in Indigenous stories and voices through Creative BC’s newly-launched Rogers Indigenous Film Fund Program, funded by Rogers Group of Funds. First announced in 2021, the multi-year $1 million fund supports emerging, early and mid-career Indigenous filmmakers and content creators to develop new works from concept to full production with the support of Creative BC and other funding agencies. Eligible applicants can apply for up to $20,000 to cover activities like research and development, community engagement, and scriptwriting. They’ll also have access to online professional development throughout the duration of the program and beyond, in addition to coaching and mentorship supports.
Telefilm Canada has joined the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (AIFF) as a partner to support Indigenous audiovisual productions and increase new training and mentorship opportunities for Indigenous creators in the Arctic region. The Arctic Indigenous Film Fund is an international collaboration established in 2018 by global partners, the International Sami Film Institute, Nunavut Film Development Corporation, Greenland Film Makers, Archy, Russia and the Canada Media Fund. AIFF creates a platform for Indigenous filmmakers from across the Arctic to collaborate and actively works to give young Indigenous people in the region opportunities to work in the media and digital business in their own communities.
Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund have announced the 16 first feature-length film projects from emerging independent filmmakers selected under the Talent to Watch Program for fiscal 2022-23. A commitment of $3.5 million will be invested into the projects. As part of Telefilm’s modernization efforts, the Talent to Watch Program was relaunched earlier this spring with changes, including a funding increase of $250,000 (up from $150,000) per film and up to $150,000 for documentary projects. In addition, this year’s Talent to Watch recipients will have access to a new mentorship program administered by the National Screen Institute (NSI) and the Institut national de l’image et du son (INIS). Read more about this year’s selected projects here.
Blue Ant Media has announced the launch of its free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel HauntTV on VIZIO WatchFree+ in the U.S. The channel’s extensive library of paranormal-themed programming is available to VIZIO audiences beginning this month. Additionally, VIZIO will premiere two original series from Blue Ant Media during its Fall Fest line-up, including Haunted Gold Rush (2 x 60), Blue Ant’s first-ever original FAST-first docuseries exploring ghostly mysteries along B.C.’s historic Gold Rush Trail and the U.S. premiere of Hotel Paranormal, Season 2, narrated by Dan Aykroyd. Those series will debut on HauntTV Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, respectively.
CBC and Pier 21 Films have announced that production is underway in and around Toronto on the second season of original comedy series Run The Burbs (13×30). Created by Andrew Phung and Scott Townend, Run The Burbs welcomes some new faces to the neighbourhood for season two, including new cast member Sharjil Rasool (New Eden) playing Camille’s cousin Nikhil and an array of guest stars including Dakota Ray Hebert (Run Woman Run), The Great Canadian Baking Show’s Ann Pornel, and comic and actor Gavin Crawford. As previously announced, veteran showrunner Anthony Q. Farrell joins the creative team as Executive Producer and showrunner. The second season will premiere on CBC and CBC Gem in winter 2023.
Super Channel has acquired a second season of six-part limited series, The Pact, from Lionsgate Television. The hit BBC thriller will return for a second season with an all-new story and cast Nov. 22 on Super Channel Fuse, with each episode available on Super Channel on Demand the day following its linear premiere. BAFTA-winning actor Rakie Ayola, who played DS Holland in season one, returns, this time in the lead role as social worker Christine Anthony. She also serves as executive producer on the series, which was filmed in and around Wales.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), in partnership with ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto and the Miles Nadal JCC, with sponsorship from the Canada Media Fund (CMF), have announced the six Canadians chosen from over 180 applicants to participate in the first-ever Accessible Writers’ Lab. Running until November, the lab will bring writers with disabilities together with established showrunners and senior writers to experiment with what an accessible TV writers’ room might look like, with an aim of breaking down barriers and creating pathways for creatives in the disability community to thrive in the Canadian television industry. The Accessible Writers’ Lab is designed and led by award-winning disabled writer, performer and consultant Ophira Calof.
Alberta Film, the Edmonton Screen Industries Office, the Calgary Film Centre, Alberta Media Production Industries Association and the Calgary Film Commission, in partnership with Access Canada have announced the second cohort of the Alberta Producer Accelerator (APA) Program. The APA Program: Scripted Television will offer training, one-to-one mentorship, and access to key decision makers for up to 10 selected producers. The APA Program is open to producers with a registered Alberta business, who have worked in the industry for three years. Interested applicants must apply by Oct. 30.
The Canadian Creative Accelerator (CCA), run jointly by the Consulates General of Canada in Los Angeles and New York, has opened its winter cohort to film producers who identify as women or film production companies that are at least partly owned and/or managed by producers who identify as women and are working within scripted production and development. Applicants should have a lead project that is either a finished production, or in the advanced stages of development (at least 60% of financing in place) with the goal of finding U.S. partners or buyers for the project or format. The initiative aims to increase the scope and global reach of Canadian television, film, music, live entertainment, and contemporary arts. Applications close Nov. 11.
Hot Docs has opened submissions for micro-docs highlighting ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things to make their communities better for the second season of Citizen Minutes. Completed films will launch at the 2023 Hot Docs Festival and then screen across Canada and internationally. Selected filmmakers will receive $10,000 – $35,000 to film their short documentary. Hot Docs is looking for pitches, two to eight minutes in length, that capture Canadian stories of people or groups actively involved in advancing social and cultural fabrics, exploring (but are not limited to) themes like resilience, healthy democracy, empathy, empowerment, and social equity. Apply by Nov. 2.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Numeris is now including TikTok insights as part of its cross-platform VAM (Video Audience Measurement) dataset. Based on the first three weeks of the new broadcast year, the measurement agency says TikTok is second to YouTube when it comes to popularity with teens, with A2+ spending 5.4 average weekly viewing hours on the short-form video platform. While teens, ages 12-17, represent 7% of the population, they represent 22% of the TikTok audience in Ontario and 36% of the audience in Franco Quebec.
Glacier Media, Village Media, Castanet, Black Press Media, Golden West Broadcasting, Great West Media, The Alberta Newspaper Group, Narcity Media, Zoomer Media, Ici Média, TV5, Gravité, Métro Média, M32, and Indiegraf have joined forces to sell national ads in order to achieve the scale many agency buyers are looking for. The Local News Collective describes itself as a “brand-safe environment that connects deeply with local audiences from coast-to-coast” as “the largest hyper-local digital news collective in Canada.” The collective spans 370 sites across 46 publishers.
IndieGraf has officially launched the News Startup Fund, a new three-year, $3.5 million fund to support the launch and growth of startups filling local news gaps in underserved communities. The fund is a scale-up of its Indie Capital program that has so far provided $1 million in seed funding to small news publishers.
BBTV Holdings has announced its acquisition of Outloud Media, a Detroit-based creator economy business with expertise distributing and monetizing creator content across social media platforms like Facebook. The acquisition bolsters BBTV’s Multi-Platform Partnership solution, which provides content creators additional revenue across multiple social platforms. Vancouver-based BBTV says Outloud Media’s existing operations and expertise will help drive incremental higher margin Base Solutions revenue for BBTV and its content creators, while also providing greater access to incremental data and insights. Outloud Media generated US$4M in revenue over the last 12 months.
QYOU Media is acquiring a majority ownership stake in Maxamtech Digital Ventures, a six-year-old India-based venture creating tech and games for the mobile gaming industry. It also operates proprietary platform Gaming 360 and a variety of gaming destinations for companies including Vodafone and Glance. The acquisition continues the recent push by QYOU Media and The Q India to ramp up its portfolio of direct-to-consumer products. KPMG estimates there are 420 million online gamers in India, making it second only to China, driven by a growing younger population with more disposable income, combined with a rapid rise in the use of smartphones. Revenue in the mobile gaming business is expected to reach over $5 billion USD in 2025, largely fueled by discovery and adoption of free to play games, a specialty of Maxamtech’s Gaming 360 platform.
The 27th Annual Webby Awards’ early entry deadline is fast approaching on Oct. 28. Honouring the best of the internet including Websites, Advertising, Video, Social, Apps, Podcasts and Games, new categories this year recognize the Metaverse, Web3 and work in Responsible Technology. Last year’s awards drew over 14,000 entries.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Corus Entertainment cites lagging ad sales for a consolidated revenue decrease of 6% to $339.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the same quarter last year, while revenue was up 4% to $1.6 billion for the full year. The company, which has released its Q4 2022 and full year 2022 financial results, saw consolidated segment profit drop by 45% and 15% respectively, compared to the same periods in 2021. In the television segment, revenue decreased 6% year-over-year in Q4 to $314.2 million. For the full year, it increased 3% to $1.5 billion. TV advertising was reported to have decreased 14% to $151.9 million year-over-year for the quarter and increased 2% for the year to $859.6 million. Subscriber revenue, meanwhile, increased 2% to $127.7 million for Q4 and was up 4% for the year to $518.5 million. Radio revenue was flat at $25.4 million for the quarter, compared to Q4 2021, and increased 9% to $105.9 million for the full year 2022, compared to 2021. Read more here.
Facebook has threatened to pull news content from its platform in Canada, should Bill C-18’s adoption compel it to revenue share with news publishers. Meta briefly took that approach when similar legislation was passed in Australia last year, but later backtracked and restored news content on the platform. In a blog post, the company said it believes the Online News Act “misrepresents the relationship between platforms and news publishers, and we call on the government to rethink its approach to help create a more fair and sustainable news industry in the long-term.” The post goes on to say that “faced with opposing legislation that is based on false assumptions that defy the logic of how Facebook works, we feel it is important to be transparent about the possibility that we may be forced to consider whether we continue to allow the sharing of news content in Canada.”
Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez has announced the rollout of two Budget 2022 commitments to support news. Canadian Heritage will be relaunching the Special Measures for Journalism component through the Canada Periodical Fund with a new investment of $40 million over three years, starting in 2022–23. This funding includes a $1.5 million investment over three years through the fund’s Business Innovation component for unique new projects that focus on innovative ideas to support magazines and community newspapers. The government will also invest an additional $10 million in 2023–24 for the Local Journalism Initiative to strengthen support for local journalism in underserved communities. Details are available on the Canada Periodical Fund webpage.
Bell has announced the launch of Bell Ventures, a corporate venture capital initiative that will see the company invest in young, growing companies that provide advanced tech solutions that “further differentiate” Bell’s 5G and fibre networks and deliver solutions for customers, including network security, robotics, telematics, clean tech, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), and the metaverse. Companies that Bell Ventures invests in will benefit from Bell’s management and technological expertise and will be able to leverage Bell network assets to build use cases and accelerate market adoption. Bell Ventures investments so far include AST SpaceMobile, Metaverse Mind Lab, Sanctuary AI, Tiny Mile, and Grandé Studios. Bell Ventures will be led by Curtis Millen, Head of Bell Ventures and Senior Vice-President, Corporate Strategy & Treasurer, Bell.
Cogeco has won the PROSPÈRE award in the Employer Builder category at the first edition of the Gala Prospérité Québec organized by the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ). The award is given to an employer who has built and maintained a culture based on values and excellence in management of its human resources. Over the past year, Cogeco has introduced a number of new initiatives, including a modern FlexWork policy, a new employee survey tool targeting the most important dimensions of their work lives, new employee resource groups to foster inclusion and diversity, and a new professional development and training platform.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
NAB Show New York, held Oct. 19-20 at the Javits Center, reports preliminary attendance of 9,576 at this year’s event. The show floor featured 245 exhibitors showcasing the latest technology in media and entertainment. “The turnout for NAB Show New York reinforces the power of our brand and the value of in-person trade shows,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt, in a release. “We are incredibly thankful to our exhibitors, speakers, partners and attendees for making this event a success, and we are excited to build on the momentum leading into NAB Show in Las Vegas.” The 2023 NAB Show New York will be held Oct. 25-26, 2023.