The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

John A. MacDonald

John A. MacDonald has assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) as Edward Rogers claims authority over his own reconstituted Board of Directors. MacDonald has been with RCI since 2012 and holds the role of Lead Director and Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee. In the meantime, Edward Rogers has initiated proceedings in B.C. Supreme Court to confirm his new board of directors with arguments to be heard, starting Nov. 1.  

Pablo Rodriguez

Pablo Rodriguez has been returned to the role of Minister of Canadian Heritage. The Montreal MP previously held the position from July 2018 to Nov. 2019 when he was succeeded by Steven Guilbeault and became Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. A longtime environmental activist, Guilbeault assumes the role of Minister of Evironment and Climate Change. François-Philippe Champagne retains the Innovation, Science and Industry portfolio.

Phil Kallsen

Phil Kallsen has accepted the role of Regional Program Director, Southwestern Ontario, with Bell Media, overseeing seven of the company’s radio stations in London, Windsor and Kitchener. Kallsen, who also runs radio consultancy, PH1L K, will be mothballing his consulting business while under contract with Bell.

Tish Iceton

Tish Iceton is leaving 98.1 CHFI Toronto to pursue her voice acting career full-time. Currently the narrator of two popular Investigation Discovery series in the U.S., Fear Thy Neighbour and A Time To Kill, Iceton has spent the last 16 and a half years with Rogers, including creating, writing, and hosting CHFI weekend shows The Now & Then Countdown and Sunday Morning Rewind.

Jim Toth

Jim Toth has been named the new afternoon host on Corus Entertainment’s 680 CJOB Winnipeg. Starting Nov. 1, The Jim Toth Show will air weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. The program will explore both news and sports stories, including station broadcast partners, the Winnipeg Jets and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Toth will also join Cameron Poitras as co-host of Jets at Noon, which will be extended to a full hour. Toth most recently hosted the TSN 1290 (CFRW-AM) morning show for the last four years, up until this past February when Bell Media abandoned the radio brand in Winnipeg, Hamilton and Vancouver. Prior to joining TSN, Toth held various roles at CJOB, including hosting the 680 CJOB Sports Show, the Jim Toth Upperdeck Sports Show, and acting as the station’s lead Jets reporter. Read more here.

Marcella Bernardo

Marcella Bernardo is leaving CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver to join CBC in her hometown of Kamloops as a reporter/editor. Bernardo joined News 1130 in 2017 after spending a year and a half as News Director for Roundhouse Radio (CIRH-FM). Prior to that, she was a reporter and anchor with 980 CKNW for more than a decade.

Jennifer Basa

 

 

Jennifer Basa is leaving CTV Atlantic to join CTV News London as a multimedia journalist/fill-in anchor. Basa has been a videojournalist with CTV Atlantic, based in New Brunswick, since January. Prior to that, she held a similar role with Global News in Kingston.

Nick Westoll

Nick Westoll has left Global News Toronto to join CityNews as a multimedia journalist. Westoll had been with Global for the last five years, starting as a Humber College intern with the station in 2016 and going to hold roles as a web writer and digital broadcast journalist. 

Emerald Bensadoun

Emerald Bensadoun is leaving Global News Toronto, where she’s been a Multiplatform National Reporter for the last two years, to join The Globe and Mail as a Content Editor. Prior to joining Global, Bensadoun was a digital writer and chase producer for CBC News in Toronto.

Sarah Rieger

Sarah Rieger has moved on from CBC Calgary. A reporter there since 2017, prior to joining the public broadcaster, she worked as an associate editor at HuffPost Canada.

Raynaldo Suarez

Raynaldo Suarez is leaving CityNews 660 (CFFR-AM) Calgary to join CityNews 1130 Vancouver (CKWX-AM) as a Network News Anchor on CityNews Everywhere, the new overnight newscast airing across Rogers Sports & Media radio stations. Saurez is a 2020 graduate of the SAIT Broadcast Journalism program.

Dave Tomlinson

Dave Tomlinson has joined KJR AM 950 Seattle where he’ll host Seattle Kraken broadcasts, alongside Everett Fitzhugh. The retired NHL’er was previously a hockey analyst and colour commentator with TSN and a former morning show co-host on the now defunct TSN 1040 (CKST-AM). 

Shea-Lynn Noyes

Shea-Lynn Noyes is joining Sportsnet The Fan 590 (CJCL-AM) Toronto as host of a segment entitled “Best of 590.” Noyes is a freelance host, NBA analyst, and model, operating under the banner of her content creation company, She’s Got Game.

Katie Stanners

Katie Stanners is on the move from 104.9 Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM) Edmonton to KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) Edmonton where she’ll serve as Assistant Content Director, Music Director and Midday Host. Stanners had been with Virgin Radio since Nov. 2019 as morning show co-host and later morning show producer when the station started airing the syndicated Brooke & Jeffrey in the Morning in the a.m. time slot.

Michael Pedersen

Michael Pedersen is the new Station Manager/General Sales Manager for The Raven 100.7 (CKCC-FM) Campbell River, the Type B community radio station serving the Comox Valley and local Homalco First Nation. Pedersen was previously with Red FM, starting as a Technical Director with the Vancouver station and then Station Manager in Calgary. He’d also served as Red FM’s Director of Digital Media since 2019.

Steve MacArthur

Steve MacArthur has been promoted to Regional News Director for Nova Scotia with Acadia Broadcasting. MacArthur re-joined the company six months ago as News Director for newly-acquired Halifax stations Surge 105 (CKY-FM) and Hot Country 103.5 (CKHZ-FM). He was among those caught up in layoffs at Rogers Sports & Media last November that extended to News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax where he was Morning News Editor.

Carley Fortune

Carley Fortune has resigned as Executive Editor of Refinery29 Canada. Fortune’s debut novel, Every Summer After, is being published by Penguin in May and she’s already working on a second. Fortune had been with Refinery 29 for the past three years. She’s previously held editorial roles with Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail, The Grid TO, and Toronto Life.

Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones has joined radio software solutions provider, microtherapy. Jones has previously held Client Service roles at Nielsen IMS, Ipsos, RealityMine and Vividata and most recently was Revenue Director at Telmar for the last four and a half years.

Ben Groot

Ben Groot has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Vancouver’s BBTV Holdings. Groot has been with BBTV for almost eight years, previously serving as Acting CFO for the company for the last few months and prior to that was Vice-President of Finance for six years, serving as BBTV’s highest ranking finance executive.

Barbara Lange

Barbara Lange is stepping down as the Executive Director of SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers) at the end of the year. Lange has served in the role for 12 years, guiding SMPTE through a period of growth, extending the society’s leadership as a global standards organization, and working to make the organization more inclusive across the media and entertainment industry. Lange will be engaged in the leadership transition with the search for her successor underway.

Garry Shepherd

Garry Shepherd has joined Pippin Technical as a Technologist. Shepherd was formerly an instructor in the Broadcast Systems Technology program at SAIT for the last two decades. He started his career as a Broadcast Technologist with CJFB-TV Swift Current where he spent 23 years.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Radio Connects commissioned Angus Reid to poll 1,564 Canadians 18+, asking them how they feel about returning to work, whether they’ve managed to save money, and where they plan on spending in the next few months. The results show Canadians who are listening to AM/FM Radio on an average day have money to spend, know where they want to spend it, and are ready to move on. Specifically, 72% of Canadians say they are resuming regular activities. 77% of those planning on discretionary spending report listening to radio daily, as do 84% of those commuting to work. Read the full report here.

imager, formerly IMGR, has announced a rebrand and restructure as the radio imaging partner continues to evolve. Updated daily, the imager library services CHR and Hot AC stations, while all other formats will be delivered via a new service, imager Custom. imager is now being offered at imager.us on an entirely new user platform the company bills as more intuitive and user-friendly. imager is available in Canada via Orbyt Media

Tarik Robinson

CBC Calgary and CBC Edmonton have announced that Tarik Robinson has been named the new producer and host of KEY OF A, airing Saturdays from 5 to 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One and on CBC Listen. Robinson, known for his work with hip hop group Dragon Fli Empire and as a solo artist, calls Calgary home. He succeeds longtime CBC Calgary producer Katherine Duncan in the role. Robinson says he intends on shaping each episode of the show like the cassette mixtapes he made growing up, “curating journeys through the musical landscape of Alberta every Saturday.” 

boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto has had to reimagine its infamous Halloween programming with the departure of longtime producer and character voice Derek Welsman earlier this year, the station’s primary host of its “Boo 97.3” spooktacular for the past seven years in the role of Igor. Left with the challenge of reinventing its Halloween programming, Program Director Troy McCallum says the station decided to incorporate iconic/memorable scenes from blockbuster Horror, Thriller, and Sci-fi films into songs that not only have a Halloween vibe but also speak to the subject matter of the scene. Dubbed “fused intros,” the station used a similar approach in the production of its Apollo 11 tribute in 2019. Produced by new Senior Imaging Producer Dan Macintosh, the five-hour Halloween special will be broadcast across Stingray’s Classic Hits stations.

LISTEN: South Asian broadcasting trailblazer Shushma Datt will be recognized at the upcoming Jack Webster Foundation Awards with the 2021 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award, which honours an exemplary B.C. journalism career. Datt, who faced significant racism from mainstream media, persevered and started her own 24-hour South Asian radio station on a sub-carrier frequency, later becoming the first Indo-Canadian woman to be granted a CRTC licence with the launch of Sp!ce Radio AM 1200 in Burnaby in 2005. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome Datt to talk about her media journey, how far the industry has come and how far it still needs to go.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of the Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill welcomes Montana Getty to talk media, sport and politics. The granddaughter of late Alberta Premier and former Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Don Getty, she talks to Matt about why she chose a career in broadcasting which has thus far taken her to Edmonton, Dawson Creek and now Saskatoon. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

TV & FILM:

Genius Brands has entered into an agreement to acquire WOW! Unlimited Media for approximately USD $53 million in cash and stock. Based in Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles, WOW!’s animation production clients include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sony, Hulu, Dreamworks, Moonbug, Peacock and Mattel. Genius Brands says WOW!’s Canadian production facilities enable a number of profitable synergies for the company, including access to various federal and provincial tax credits which will allow Genius Brands to transfer its current animation production at great savings from China. Michael Hirsh, CEO of WOW! will join the Board of Directors of Genius Brands and continue his responsibilities for Mainframe, Frederator Studios, Networks and Platforms.

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report with 2020 data that indicates the share of writers from underrepresented communities receiving upper-level staffing credits increased in multiple categories, including Co-Executive Producer (from 25% in 2019 to 28% in 2020) and Consulting Producer (from 24% in 2019 to 33% in 2020). The combined share of Black and People of Colour who received credits for entry-level Story Editor and Executive Story Editor positions rose by 14% to 46.9% and by 5.5% to 52.6%, respectively. However, participation of Indigenous writers decreased, dropping to 1% in 2020 from 4% in 2019. The share of East Asian (1.4% in 2019 to 2.8% in 2020) and South Asian (3.2% in 2019 to 3.6% in 2020) writers increased slightly, but still not on-par with Canadian population numbers. The share of writing credits received by LGBTQ2S writers also decreased across different formats, dropping from 8.6% in 2019 to 6.9% in 2020 in live action and from 4.1% to 1.7% in animation.

The Women in Film and Television Canada Coalition (WIFT-CC) has released its latest research study: Deciding on Diversity: COVID-19, Risk and Intersectional Inequality in the Canadian Film and Television Industry, authored by Dr. Amanda Coles of Australia’s Deakin University, and Professor Deb Verhoeven, Canada 150 Research Chair in Gender and Cultural Informatics at the University of Alberta. The report found that despite opportunities the pandemic has presented to do things differently, the Canadian film and television industry remains characterized by uneven, closed and defensive networks to the disadvantage of equity-seeking groups. It also noted that current approaches to “diversity” remain widely tokenistic and focused on adding a minimal number of “diverse” people to meet equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agendas set by policymakers. The report calls for a national screen industry data taskforce to inform organizational and policy decision-making. It also calls for a zero-tolerance approach to EDI failures, with clear consequences as a prerequisite for government funding.

100 Dragons has begun principal photography on Hello (Again) in Toronto. The new CBC Gem original series created by Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Kim’s Convenience) and Nathalie Younglai (Coroner) will stream in 2022. The rom-com follows an overworked line cook who rescues a supernatural little girl and is hurled back in time where he tries to find a way to break the time loop so he can win back his ex-girlfriend. Directed by Melanie Chung, the series stars Alex Mallari Jr. (Workin’ Moms, Ginny & Georgia) and Rong Fu (Workin’ Moms, Hudson & Rex). The series is produced by 100 Dragons founder Teresa M. Ho (Frankie Drake Mysteries, Departure, Anne with an E) and executive producers Liu, Younglai, and Mallari Jr.

Grace Dove as Aline Spears

Ayasew Ooskana Pictures has announced the start of production on new original five-part psychological drama (5X60) and feature film Bones of Crows, commissioned by CBC/Radio-Canada in association with APTN. Created by Marie Clements, the character-driven series features an ensemble cast including Grace Dove (Monkey Beach), Philip Lewitski (Wildhood), Glen Gould (Cold Pursuit), Michelle Thrush (Pathfinder), Gail Maurice (Night Raiders), Cara Gee (The Expanse), Karine Vanasse (Cardinal), Angus Macfadyen (Robert The Bruce), Rémy Girard (District 31), Graham Greene (Molly’s Game) and Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas). Bones of Crows unfolds over 100 years, told through the eyes of Cree Matriarch Aline Spears as she survives a childhood in the residential school system, going on to work for a special division of the Canadian Air Force as a Cree code talker in World War II. The project will be shot originally in English, with Cree and Ayajuthem spoken in key scenes. Filming locations include the Thompson-Nicola Region (Kamloops, Vernon, Quilchena), Greater Victoria Area, Greater Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has secured international distribution for The Hardy Boys on Disney+ outside the U.S. and Canada. Season 1 (13x60min) and Season 2 (10x60min) of the live-action mystery series will launch in select international markets in 2022. The inaugural season of The Hardy Boys debuted in North America locking in the #1 program spot last spring on YTV in Canada, garnering a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Young Adult Series, two DGC Award nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and Best Picture Editing, and a CSC Award nomination for Best Cinematography in TV Drama. Nelvana and Lambur Productions recently wrapped production of Season 2 in Toronto and Southern Ontario, which is set to premiere on Hulu in the U.S., YTV and STACKTV in Canada, and Disney+ internationally in 2022.

Corus Studios has expanded its partnership with Hulu in the U.S., adding more titles to Hulu’s lineup, including pre-sale of gold-hunting series Deadman’s Curse (8×60), currently slated to make its worldwide premiere on HISTORY in Canada in 2022. In addition to over 200 episodes sold earlier this year, Hulu has also acquired Project Bakeover (10×60), unscripted demolition and restoration series Salvage Kings (Season 1 – 10×60 and 2 – 10×60), and home renovation series Worst to First (Season 1 – 10×60 and 2 – 10×60).

TVO Original series Unsettled premieres Nov. 7 and will air its full 10-episode season on Sundays, with additional broadcasts Thursdays and Fridays. The series will also stream following the premiere on TVO.org, YouTube and Roku. Produced in association with TVO and APTN, Unsettled tells the story of an Indigenous adoptee who grew up with little connection to her roots and her return to her First Nation. Written, directed and produced by Jennifer Podemski and Derek Diorio, Unsettled was filmed almost entirely in Nipissing First Nation. Out of 55 roles, the cast includes 50 feature Indigenous actors. The production also served as a fertile ground for emerging filmmakers from the cinematography program at Canadore College. 

Jamie Oliver returns to CTV Life Channel to celebrate social occasions in his all-new series, Jamie Oliver: Together, premiering Thursday, Nov. 4. In each hour-long episode, Oliver invites audiences into his kitchen as he prepares for everything from the ultimate barbecue to a laid-back brunch. The season wraps up for Canadian audiences with hour-long special, Jamie Oliver: Together With Canada on Dec. 9 that put his own twist on steak frites while incorporating nods to Canadian dishes and ingredients like poutine and Niagara garlic. 

Citytv is starting production on Canada’s Got Talent in Niagara Falls next month, featuring Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Kardinal Offishall, and Trish Stratus as judges, alongside host Lindsay Ell. The talent competition will air exclusively on Citytv and Citytv.com this spring. Canada’s Got Talent is produced by Fremantle, SYCO Entertainment, McGillivray Entertainment Media Inc., in association with Citytv. For McGillivray Entertainment Media, Executive Producers are Scott McGillivray, Angela Jennings, and Mike Bickerton, with Jonathan Payne acting as showrunner. 

Liquid Media Group has announced a strategic partnership with film packaging, distribution and financing marketplace, Slated. Vancouver-based Liquid is partnering with Slated to bring objective analysis to producers using data analytics to measure the strength of a production’s talent and producing team, the quality of the script or screener, and to optimize the potential for financial returns. Slated is also offering a newly-launched Screening Analysis virtual test screening service, which helps filmmakers optimize their films in post production and match completed films to the right distributors. Liquid and Slated will also work together to provide packaging, financing, sales and distribution services to film and TV projects.

Stingray has announced the launch of ad-supported TV channels and premium SVOD and AVOD services with eight major TV and OTT providers: Altice USA’s Optimum Stream and Suddenlink Stream (U.S.), Amazon Prime Video (Italy, Netherlands and Spain), Claro (Brazil), Local Now (U.S.), Plex TV (Canada, Europe and United States), Pluto TV (Brazil), Struum (U.S.) and Totalplay (Mexico). The partnerships with Local Now, Plex TV and Struum, are new, with the other agreements solidifying existing relationships. The deals expand the distribution of Qello Concerts by Stingray, Stingray Karaoke, Stingray Classica, Stingray Naturescape, Stingray DJAZZ and Stingray Music.

Fairchild Media Group, including Fairchild Television, Talentvision and Fairchild Radio, says its 11-hour fundraising event for the Toronto SickKids Hospital in September raised $405,552. This year’s event highlight was the500,000 Steps For the Kids Challenge which featured 10 radio DJs and TV presenters. Fundraising for SickKids has been an annual Fairchild charity event since 2003, and with the support of the Chinese community has raised over $5 million. Fairchild’s next fundraising event is Dec. 2, benefitting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Vancouver Film School (VFS) is offering a new program in its School of Animation, Creature Animation, beginning in May 2022. A fundamental pillar of modern live action and full CG animation, Creature Animation focuses on photo realistic movement and performance. Unlike VFS’s other programs, the accelerated six-month program is aimed at industry professionals with successful enrollment requiring significant educational and/or professional experience in animation or VFX as the program is a specialization in itself. VFS says the Creature Animation program was developed in response to the industry’s growing demand for creature animators and reaffirms the institution’s commitment to staying on the cutting edge of the creative media arts industry.

Women in Animation Vancouver’s Animation Career EXCELerator Program (ACE) will premiere its film, Pivot, at Spark Animation Festival, starting Oct. 28 and streaming throughout the festival. The team will also present a panel as part of the D&I Summit, a series of presentations focused on diversity and inclusion. Widening our Lens: Advancing Women in Key Creative Roles, A Focused Discussion will see ACE 2 participants discuss the program. ACE Executive Producers Rose-Ann Tisserand and Tracey Mack will also outline plans for ACE 3, which is expanding nationally across Canada with the support of Netflix and opens for applications Oct. 29.

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has announced the first phase of its new campaign “DGC Green: Here’s How.” The campaign starts with the launch of a new microsite at dgcgreen.ca and #HeresHow, providing tips that each of the eight caucuses within the DGC can use to help reduce the climate impact of screen production as well as highlight industry resources available. Tips range from ways to reduce printing to steps that can be taken on a production level to cut the industry’s reliance on diesel generators by using grid power.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Google is rolling out Google News Showcase, its new product experience and licensing program for news, across Canada in French and English. It has also announced three new partnerships with Les coops de l’Information, Le Devoir and Torstar, who join Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, Saltwire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press as partners, encompassing over 100 publications across the country. The launch builds on News Showcase deals signed with nearly 1,000 news outlets in more than a dozen countries. With a commitment to pay publishers more than $1 billion USD in the first three years of the initiative, Showcase will allow partners to curate their content on Google News and Discover with all clicks on the articles going directly to the publisher’s website. 

Beringer Capital has announced it has acquired a majority stake in financial media platform, Benzinga. Founded by Jason Raznick in 2010 and headquartered in Detroit, Benzinga boasts a staff of more than 100 and a readership of nearly 25 million each month—spanning more than 125 countries. Toronto-based Beringer says it was particularly impressed by Benzinga’s authentic voice, which seeks to bring investors highly digestible and timely information, as well as its editorial coverage spanning traditional financial markets, politics, biotech, cannabis, cryptocurrencies, and sports betting. Benzinga and Beringer Capital will look to grow the platform’s subscriber and user base, including deeper content vertical coverage, new forms of media, and expanded B2B partnerships. 

Crave has launched a mobile-only subscription tier available direct to consumer, and in future through participating wireless carriers. Offered in two tiers, the Crave Mobile plan ($9.99/month) and the Crave Total plan ($19.99/month), both offer access to HBO, HBO Max originals, SHOWTIME, and French-language content, among other offerings, while STARZ remains available as a separate add-on. The Mobile plan is limited to web and mobile app streaming only and doesn’t allow for casting or downloads.

Twitter has unveiled a new Billboard chart that ranks the most talked-about songs on the platform globally. Hot Trending Songs Powered by Twitter provides a real-time ranking, based on conversations over the last 24 hours and past seven days. The weekly chart will cover activity from Friday to Thursday, and will be posted alongside Billboard’s other weekly charts on billboard.com and Billboard’s Twitter handles, @Billboard and @BillboardCharts every Tuesday. The list at launch is dominated by K-pop acts like BTS and Lisa, who both appear on the chart multiple times. BTS hit “Permission to Dance” is #1, despite debuting back in July. Adele’s new hit “Easy On Me” is also trending. Read more here.

The Canadian Media Directors’ Council (CMDC) YA Future Impact Awards, recognizing young professionals making a difference in the media industry, will be livestreamed on Twitch on Oct. 28. Winners across 11 categories will be announced at the virtual show. Originally launched in 2017, this year marks the 4th awards show for the CMDC Youth Ambassadors Program. Learn more here.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Rogers gained 175,000 net new postpaid wireless subscribers in the third quarter, its best subscriber performance in 13 years, according to the company’s Q3 report. Rogers reported net income of $490 million in the quarter, down 4% from $512 million in Q3 2020. The report says service revenue growth in Rogers’ Wireless and Cable business was offset by lower Media and Wireless equipment revenue. Wireless service revenue increased by 3% in the quarter, mainly as a result of a larger postpaid subscriber base and higher roaming revenue as global travel resumed, while Wireless equipment revenue was down as a result of fewer device upgrades. Media revenue decreased by 3% in Q3, primarily as a result of the NHL and NBA completing their seasons late in the third quarter last year due to COVID-19, partially offset by higher Toronto Blue Jays game day revenue. Media adjusted EBITDA decreased by 63%, or $56 million in the quarter, primarily due to higher Blue Jays player payroll and lower Media revenue, offset by lower sports programming and production costs associated with the timing of the NHL season last year.

Corus Entertainment reported Q4 revenue of $361.3 million, up 13% from $318.4 million in the prior year’s quarter. On a consolidated basis, advertising revenue increased 22%, subscriber revenue was up 3%, while merchandising, distribution and other revenue grew 9% compared to the prior year. The increase in ad revenue was attributable to the rebound over pandemic driven lows year-over-year, up 12% in Television and 32% in Radio. Television revenue increased 32% in the fourth quarter and decreased 6% for the year ended Aug. 31. Radio’s segment profit increased by $3.1 million in Q4 and declined $1.9 million for the year. Segment profit margin in Q4 was 17%, up from 6% in the prior year. Segment profit margin for the year was 15%, compared to 16% in the prior year.

Quebecor and Videotron are welcoming the Federal Court’s refusal to grant TELUS’ motion for an interlocutory injunction to halt the award of 3500 MHz spectrum licences in Western Canada. The court rejected Telus’s assertion that Videotron needed to have physical infrastructure in Western Canada to be eligible. Quebecor said in a release that it’s disappointed by “relentless efforts” by Telus to discourage the entry of a fourth player into the wireless market to create healthy competition.

The Competition Bureau has obtained a court order to advance a civil investigation into conduct by Google related to its online advertising business. The Bureau is investigating whether the digital giant’s conduct is harming competition in Canada. An order, granted by the Federal Court, requires Google to produce records and written information, with the Bureau specifically looking to determine whether the company’s practices are impeding the success of competitors; and/or resulting in higher prices, reducing choice and hindering innovation for ad tech services, and harming advertisers, publishers and consumers.

The Centre of Excellence on PTSD (CoE – PTSD) has collaborated with Dr. Rob Whitley of McGill University’s Douglas Research Centre to develop a set of guidelines for journalists reporting on veterans, especially when covering issues related to PTSD, mental health and suicide. The guidelines are available for download, in addition to Whitley’s recently-published paper examining media coverage of the suicide death of Afghanistan war vet Lionel Desmond.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has opened applications for the autumn 2021 edition of its mentorship program. This round of mentors features 30 Canadian journalists working in radio, television, digital, and print. This round’s roster includes Abigail Bimman, Ottawa correspondent, Global National; Arvin Joaquin, video journalist, OMNI Filipino; Elamin Abdelmahmoud, culture writer, BuzzFeed News and Host, CBC’s Party Lines and Pop Chat; Ka’nhehsí:io Deer, reporter, CBC Indigenous; and Nam Kiwanuka, host/producer, TVO, among others. The deadline for applications is Nov. 12. Find more details and a complete list of mentors, here.

The Jack Webster Foundation has announced its 2021 Student and Indigenous Student Journalism Award recipients. The 2021 award recipients, who’ll receive $2,000 each are: Sadie-Ann Chung, BCIT; Abby Luciano, KPU; Lauren Vanderdeen, Langara; Katarina Sabados, UBC; McKenna Hadley-Burke, UBC; Kayla MacInnis, KPU; and Kiara Collinge, BCIT. The Student Journalism Awards are made possible with the sponsorship of the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) and the estates of Don Matheson and Keith Bradbury, both former B.C. journalists. The Indigenous Student Journalism Awards are supported by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF).  

FRIENDS, formerly Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, has launched a new national ad campaign featuring cameos by actor Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries), rocker Bif Naked, comedian Vance Banzo (TallBoyz) and the voice of comedian and actor Colin Mochrie. The ads began airing this week in Cineplex theatres across the country as well as on television and online. FRIENDS says it’s renewing its focus on working to ensure Ottawa lives up to commitments to reign in “Big Tech” platforms like Facebook and Netflix, as well as restoring and improving funding to CBC/Radio-Canada.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

WABE (Western Association of Broadcast Engineers) is reminding everyone that delegate pre-registration cut off is today (Oct. 28) at 5 p.m. MT for the association’s virtual convention, Nov. 3-4. WABE is unable to guarantee that registrations received after that date will be granted convention site login credentials prior to the start of the convention. Find the complete convention and papers schedule, including presentations from Telos Alliance, Radioplayer Worldwide and more, here


CBC/Radio-Canada project engineers Patrice Dumont, Philippe St-Pierre, and Dai Dam talk about the new 420,000 sq. ft. Maison de Radio-Canada in the latest issue of Professional Sound and how its new all-IP production hub and innovative design are breaking new ground. Read more here.