Brittnee Blair and Jedson Tavernier are ET Canada’s newest reporters. The former Big Brother Canada houseguests (Season 3 and 9, respectively) join the entertainment news program alongside hosts Cheryl Hickey and Sangita Patel, and reporters Carlos Bustamante, Morgan Hoffman and Keshia Chanté. Blair has previously hosted W Network’s Movie Date and is an international plus-size model. Tavernier is a Toronto-based model, social media creator, fitness enthusiast and TV personality, working with the Toronto Raptors social media team, in addition to appearing in commercial and brand campaign work.
Omar Dabaghi-Pacheco has been named the permanent anchor of CBC Ottawa News at 6. Born and raised in Ottawa, Dabaghi-Pacheco has been with CBC Ottawa since 2010 when he graduated from Carleton University. He earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Local Reporting for his work on the 2014 Parliament Hill shooting. He has also produced several documentaries for Farm Radio International that have taken him to Malawi and Tanzania.
Isabelle Raghem has announced her decision to leave CBC Vancouver after sharing that she’s been struggling with burnout for the past year. Raghem joined CBC in Nov. 2020. She previously worked as a video journalist with CityNews Vancouver, CHEK News Victoria and CHCH Hamilton.
Tim Morgan and Colleen Rusholme’s morning show on boom 99.7 (CJOT-FM) Ottawa has expanded to Big 101.1 (CIQB-FM) Barrie within the Corus Radio network. Morgan was previously heard in middays on Big 101.1. The Big Breakfast with Tim and Colleen debuted on Big 101.1 on Nov. 1.
Lacey Slater, Marketing & Promotions Director and Assistant Program Director at play107 (CKPW-FM) & 95.7 CRUZ FM (CKEA-FM) Edmonton is stepping away from radio after 16 years. Slater is joining Pure Casinos as their Regional Events & Sales Manager, booking entertainment for their venues in Alberta. With Harvard Media for the last nine years, she previously held promotions roles with Rogers Sports & Media in Calgary and the former Astral (now Bell Media) radio stations in Edmonton.
Matty B McIntyre is making a move back to the West Coast as Content Director for Ocean 98.5 (CIOC-FM) Victoria. Along with programming duties, he’ll host afternoons on the station, starting in December. Currently content director for KiSS 107.7 (CFRV-FM) Lethbridge and 106.5 Mountain FM (CHMN-FM) Canmore, McInytre was formerly on-air at KiSS (CKKS-FM), Z95.3 (CKZZ-FM) and Virgin Radio (CFBT-FM) in Vancouver, among other stations.
Yannick Marceau, who departed Radio X (CHOI-FM) Quebec City after 11 years this summer, has joined BLVD 102,1 (CFEL-FM). Marceau is hosting an extended noon-hour show from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., accompanied by Élodie Déry. He’ll also be heard from 6 – 7 p.m. weeknights, joined each night by a different guest.
Reya Lehoux is leaving 630 CHED and 880 (CHQT-FM) Edmonton to join Global Edmonton. The 2019 SAIT Radio & Television Broadcasting grad has been anchoring, reporting and producing with the stations since Jan. 2020.
Clinton Herman is adding Pattison Media to MY96 (CFMY-FM) Medicine Hat, AB to his duties as afternoon announcer, starting Nov. 7, in addition to his current role co-hosting mornings on 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM) Prince George, alongside Vilma Portillo. With The River since April of last year, Herman has also held on-air roles with 102.7 The Peak (CKPK-FM) Vancouver, and 99.1 Fresh Radio (CJGV-FM) Winnipeg, among other stations.
Mary Anne Lavallee has been appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at Postmedia. With the company since 2014, she previously held the titles of Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & Interim Chief Financial Officer. Lavallee is tasked with leading the company’s “transformation strategy” for fiscal 2023 with a focus on “alignment across the organization and the transformation required to support a profitable and sustainable business into the future,” according to a Postmedia announcement.
Daniel MacIvor is joining Pink Triangle Press (PTP) as its new Creative Development Consultant. MacIvor will work with Chief Content Officer Jennifer McGuire on the development of new television, digital and podcasting projects. MacIvor is a writer, performer, filmmaker and producer who divides his time between Toronto and Nova Scotia. A recipient of a Governor General’s Literary Award, the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, a New York Obie Award and a GLAAD Award, as a screenwriter he has written the films Marion Bridge, Wilby Wonderful, Trigger and Weirdos, for which he won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Screenplay. Last year, he directed his first documentary feature, The Work.
Andrew Frank has been named co-president of Mongrel Media, set to lead with founder and now co-president Hussain Amarshi. He’ll also executive produce all Canadian films the company distributes. Frank has been with the company for 16 years, the last nine as VP, Sales & Acquisitions.
Trevor Hodgson is joining Vancouver-based Fireworks Media Group as Chief Operating Officer. Hodgson will spearhead new business, reporting to CEO Jesse Fawcett, who founded the prodco last year. Hodgson has been running his own consultancy, First Look Media, for the last 25 years. Prior to that, he served as VP of Business Affairs for Force Four Entertainment/Entertainment One, among other roles.
RADIO & PODCAST:
Edison Research and NPR have released the fourth edition of their Spoken Word Audio Report, which shows continued growth in share of listening, particularly with those ages 13-34. The Spoken Word Audio Report has been tracking the medium’s growth since 2014. This year’s report indicates time spent with spoken word audio has grown 45% over the last eight years and 214% with younger demos over the same period. The report says 46% of the U.S. population now listens to some form of spoken word daily, up from 45% last year. For the first time ever, those daily listeners are spending more time with spoken word than music at 51% and listening for an average of two hours and 19 minutes per day. Read more here.
Rogers Sports & Media has applied to the CRTC to reduce Canadian content quotas for KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) Edmonton and Country 106.7 (CIKZ-FM) from 40% to the standard 35%. A quota established when the stations were first licensed 18 years ago, Rogers’ application says “it’s important to recognize that we live in a changed cultural ecosystem in which our radio stations now compete with global online platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music) for listeners and for advertising dollars – online platforms with no regulatory obligations, including minimum Canadian content levels. In addition, the Canadian radio sector has been and continues to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…and that English-language commercial radio stations in Canada continue to be the hardest hit with a revenue decline of 29.6% from 2019 to 2021.” Rogers says its radio stations have recorded significant losses in the last few years (with total revenue losses of 44% between broadcast years 2018-19 and 2020-21). It maintains that having a minimum 35% threshold for the next licence term would provide it “with the flexibility to adjust to changes that are beyond our control, while maintaining a baseline that was established by the Commission for all commercial radio stations in the Regulations.”
Dan and Mary Lou Smoke, the hosts of Smoke Signals, a First Nations radio program on CHRW Radio Western, Western University’s campus radio station, have been recognized with honourary degrees at the school’s fall convocation. Smoke Signals has been on-the-air since 1991 and is recognized by the National Community and Campus Radio Association (NCRA) as Canada’s longest-running Indigenous campus radio program. The couple, who are both CTV London alumni and now both 68, started the program to promote and educate others about Indigenous identity and culture. The Smokes have also taught in Western’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS), including “The Representation of Indigenous Affairs in the Mainstream and Alternative Media.”
Takara Small is hosting They Did That: History Lost and Found, a new podcast for Sony Music Entertainment and UK podcast publisher Somethin’ Else, highlighting innovators and trailblazers who helped build our modern world, but were forgotten or erased from history books because of who they were: women, LGBTQ+ or people of colour. Small is a technology contributor to CBC News and BBC World Service Radio. She also served as the host of CBC Podcasts’ Death in Cryptoland.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee is America’s #1 Christmas song, edging “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms for the first time in five years by a fraction of a percentage point, according to P1 Media Group’s annual Christmas Music Research. This year’s research tested the appeal of the 40 most-played and 40 most-streamed Christmas songs from the 2021 Holiday Season, based on Luminate’s holiday charts. There are 10 new entries for 2022: Frank Sinatra – Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow (#32); Darlene Love – Winter Wonderland (#34); Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus is Coming to Town (#35); Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas (#40); Taylor Swift – Last Christmas (#42); John Legend – What Christmas Means to Me (#53); NSync – Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday (#55); Sia – Snowman (#56); Jonas Brothers – Like it’s Christmas (#57); and Gwen Stefani – You Make it Feel Like Christmas (#60). 27% of those surveyed said Christmas music should begin in early November, while 24% preferred the beginning of December. 48% said Christmas music programming should stop on New Year’s Eve, 24% on Boxing Day and 16% Christmas Day.
SiriusXM has unveiled its extensive holiday music lineup with 22 holiday-themed channels, including new channels: Jingle Jamz, Cool Jazz Christmas, and Kids Christmas. Find the full list here.
LISTEN: Is Radio Playing Dead? On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill expounds on the stations and shows he’s hearing that are mailing it in, doing smash and grab type bits that don’t build brand for either the station or the personalities; and radio’s share of the audience against streaming and podcasting continues to diminish as a result. Spoiler: Matt does not twist his ankle coming off his soapbox. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Gary Wilkinson, 50, on Oct. 28, following a short illness. Hailing from North East England, Wilkinson started his radio career in the mid-1990s in Ireland at Atlantic 252 under the on-air pseudonym of “Pizzaman.” From there, he joined Chrysalis Radio and Galaxy North East before crossing the pond to Canada and landing in swing at Power 92 (CKNG-FM) Edmonton in 2001 and later Power 107 (CFGQ-FM) Calgary where he was on-air as “Mojo.” He eventually returned to the UK, going on to roles with Wyvern FM Worchester, Metro/TFM and BBC Newcastle, Zetland FM Redcar, and Merge 104.8 Muscat, sometimes on-air as “Nick Jordan.” He’d most recently been heard on Frisk Radio and YO1 in the North East, in addition to other freelance and voiceover work.
Alan Dever, 72, on Oct. 18, from spinal cancer. Following his graduation from McGill, Dever worked with CBC for over two decades, starting in 1979 in Montreal as a television reporter and assignment editor. He went on to work on The National in Toronto, before heading to the West Coast to manage the network news bureau in British Columbia. Dever left the public broadcaster in 1999 to accept a communications and community relations position with BC Rail. He held a similar role as Vice-President, Government and Community Relations with Vancouver’s Canada Line Rapid Transit project from 2005-09. In more recent years, he’d been operating his own creative and editorial service from his home base in Port Moody, BC.
Dan DuGas, 70, on Oct. 7. DuGas got his start as an all-night operator at CKLG Vancouver in 1974 that whet his appetite for a career in broadcasting. After time as a student at BCIT, he headed north and joined CJCI Prince George in 1978. A short time later, he became Music Director and Program Director of the newly-launched CIBC-FM. After moving away from broadcasting for a period in the late ‘80s, DuGas returned to the business in 1991 with CKPG Prince George as a part-time announcer and later joined the sales department, while continuing his Sunday show. He retired from Pattison Media in 2017 and moved to Vancouver Island.
TV & FILM:
Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CSE), Rogers Communications and Sportsnet have announced a new agreement that will see the longtime partners continue to collaborate across media and sponsorship through the 2032-33 season. With the renewed partnership, Rogers will maintain the naming rights of Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. The landmark deal also extends the 24-year broadcast partnership agreement between the Canucks and Sportsnet, which will remain the team’s exclusive regional TV and radio partner. Rogers will also work with Canucks Sports & Entertainment to support youth hockey in the community through various initiatives with the Canucks for Kids Fund.
Join Omar Sachedina for an unforgettable journey to his mother’s homeland of Uganda. Watch Fri 9/10mt on CTV.
— CTV News (@CTVNews) November 1, 2022
CTV Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Omar Sachedina takes viewers on an intimate journey back to Uganda where his mother was born, 50 years after she and thousands of other Indians were expelled from their home. Filmed this summer, the CTV News special Expelled: My Roots in Uganda with Omar Sachedina airs Friday, Nov. 4 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV, CTV News Channel, CTV.ca, CTVNews.ca, and the CTV and CTV News apps. The hour-long documentary follows Sachedina as he travels to his family’s homeland, alongside his mother Salma and sister Nafilia, marking the first time his mother has returned since her expulsion in 1972, the year Ugandan dictator Idi Amin ousted the Ugandan Asian community from the country. The special includes insight from Canadian Visa Officer Michael Molloy, who helped lead the operation that brought over 6,000 people to Canada.
Blue Ant Media has announced the U.S. launch of two free streaming channels on Amazon Freevee, formerly known as IMDb TV, including natural history channel Love Nature and home renovation and real estate channel, Homeful. The launch builds on Blue Ant Media’s expansion into the emerging free streaming space and grants audiences in the U.S. free access to Blue Ant’s extensive library of exclusive programming on the two channels.
Gusto TV is now available through the Xumo app on Rogers devices in Canada. A pioneer in the free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) space, XUMO offers viewers the opportunity to tune in to over 2,550 channels with free premium programming across 26 genres, including Local News, Weather, Action & Drama TV, Westerns & Country TV, Latino, Crime TV, Game Shows & Daytime TV, and Horror & Sci-fi.
Omnifilm Entertainment says its recent Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) certification and funding through the federal Creative Export Canada (CEC) Program, will enable the company to expand its subscription-based fitness channel, Movement by NM, in the U.S. and beyond. Movement by NM offers a library of premium fitness classes across dance, HIIT, boxing, kickboxing, and yoga, led by elite trainers. In addition to foundational classes, subscribers can access original productions, including short documentary, The Adaptive Athlete, which follows Canadian boxer Leo Sammarelli, and the Your Turn and On Movement series, which profile individuals and their movement stories. Recent acquisitions include 2022 Oscar-winning short documentary The Queen of Basketball, executive-produced by Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal, and Precious Leader Woman, a film about world-renowned Canadian snowboarder Spencer O’Brien.
Prime Video has announced the premiere date for Amazon Original scripted series Three Pines, adapted from Louise Penny’s best-selling Chief Inspector Gamache series. The eight-episode, one-hour drama, shot in Quebec, follows Gamache (Alfred Molina) as he investigates cases that happen beneath the idyllic surface of the Quebec village of Three Pines, finding long-buried secrets. The first two episodes will premiere exclusively Dec. 2 on Prime Video, in Canada, the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Greenland, with two new episodes released weekly until the Dec. 23 finale. Among the main cast members are Rossif Sutherland, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and Sarah Booth. Three Pines is produced by Left Bank Pictures, the Sony Pictures Television-owned production company behind The Crown, with Canadian prodco Muse Entertainment providing production services.
CTV has announced that Lilly Singh will host and executive produce the inaugural season of the network’s previously announced primetime quiz show Battle of the Generations, that will see Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z face off through multiple rounds of nostalgia-packed pop culture trivia. Nationwide casting for the show is currently underway, with production on the 20-episode, one-hour quiz show set to begin in February in Toronto. The announcement comes on the heels of Blink49 Studios and Bell Media’s multi-year partnership with Singh and her company Unicorn Island Productions on a first-look global scripted and second-look unscripted deal. Singh and Unicorn Island also have a first-look unscripted deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio.
Crave has ordered a fourth season of its hit original series Canada’s Drag Race. Applications from Canadian drag artists, 19+, are open now. Seasons 1-3 of Canada’s Drag Race are currently available to stream on Crave in Canada and on World of Wonder’s SVOD platform WOW Presents Plus in the U.S., in addition to more than 160 countries around the world.
ZoomerMedia is set to debut a new television series on Nov. 14 focused on the journey B.C. seafood makes from sea to table. Your Nation’s Table, hosted by television host and producer Carmen Ruiz y Laza and Chef Robert Clark, provides insight into the harvest of wild seafood along the rugged B.C. coastline, and the colourful characters responsible for catching, processing, and preparing it. The season’s six episodes, filmed in remote destinations across B.C., highlight how spot prawns, salmon, crab, geoduck, sablefish and tuna are harvested. Viewers will also be offered tips by top chefs on how to shop for, prepare, and which B.C. wines to pair them with.
Kelly and Ramya makes its debut on AMI-tv on Jan. 9, while continuing to be a staple of AMI-audio and podcast platforms, where over 1,500 episodes have been broadcast as Kelly and Company. Airing weekdays from 2 – 4 p.m. ET from AMI’s state-of-the-art new production studio in Toronto, Kelly and Ramya gives voice to the disability experience in Canada. Hosts Kelly MacDonald and Ramya Amuthan will cover lifestyle and entertainment, community events and discuss issues that impact the disability community. Joining the duo are over 30 contributors, sharing advice on everything from assistive technology to human rights, employment, health and wellness, all through a disability lens.
Super Channel has announced that Dane Cook is partnering with the Canadian broadcaster to produce feature documentary, Brace for Impact: The Dane Cook Story. The documentary will chronicle Cook’s meteoric rise to stardom, personal life, and more than three-decade career. Cook will serve as executive producer on the documentary, alongside Adam Scorgie and Shane Fennessey’s Score G Production Films and Rocky Mudaliar’s Abrupt Films. Also on board to produce are Upstream Flix and Gruvpix Films. The doc will be written and directed by award-winning director, Brett Harvey (Breaking Olympia: The Phil Heath Story and Inmate#1: The Rise of Danny Trejo). Licensed by Super Channel in Canada, the Super Channel Original is anticipated to air in late 2024.
Super Channel and Blood in the Snow Film Festival (BITS), a showcase of contemporary Canadian horror films, have announced that a hybrid version of the film festival will return this November. The on-air portion of the festival features six films and a variety of shorts for fans across the country to enjoy nightly on Super Channel Fuse, Nov. 21 – 26, including the World Premiere of The Devil Comes at Night from writer/director Scott Leaver. The in-theatre portion of BITS will be presented at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto, with screenings at 7 and 9:30 p.m. each night, showcasing an entirely different lineup of 12 programs comprised of nine features and selected short film programs. In-person highlights include the acclaimed Polaris by KC Carthew; sci-fi comedy Relax, I’m From the Future by Luke Higginson; and Rodrigo Gudiño’s The Breach with music by the film’s producer, Slash of Guns N” Roses. Find the full festival lineup here.
Baking All The Way, directed by and starring Yannick Bisson, along with Cory Lee, Colin Mochrie, Deb McGrath, and Jayne Eastwood, is set to have a one-night only theatrical release across Canada. Shot in Hamilton, cities screening the holiday film Nov. 28 include Calgary, Edmonton, Penticton, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Ottawa, Waterloo, Whitby, and Kanata. The film will have its broadcast premiere on Super Channel on Dec. 3. Cory Lee also recorded an original song for the movie, “Suddenly Feels Like Christmas.”
Wild Media Entertainment’s new feature film The Dogs, has begun principal photography in Northern Ontario. Directed by Valerie Buhagiar, the film is an adaptation of Allan Stratton’s best-seller of the same name. Key cast include Donovan Colan (Spirit Halloween, Zoe), Kathleen Munroe (Patriot, The Void), Asher Grayson (Kids vs. Aliens, Tuff Boy) and Kris Holden-Reid (Departure, Umbrella Academy). The film is produced by Wild Media Entertainment in association with 2ofaMind Productions and funded in part by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Paul Flint, Kevin C. Bjerkness, Perry Dellelce and Brad Pelman serve as Executive Producers.
Hollywood Suite is set to air two newly-restored classics from the Canadian film canon – the 4K restoration of Guy Maddin’s Tales From the Gimli Hospital (1988) (Nov. 9) and 2K digital remaster of Zale Dalen’s cult hit Skip Tracer (1977) (Nov. 29). Both titles are available to stream on demand. The Maddin restoration is part of a broader movement to make hard to find Canadian art house films accessible to a new generation of movie lovers. As part of Telefilm’s Canadian Cinema – Reignited initiative to restore and re-release Canadian films of historic and cultural importance, the Toronto International Film Festival hand-picked the restoration of Tales from the Gimli Hospital to premiere at this year’s festival. Utilizing materials from Library and Archives Canada, the digital remaster of Skip Tracer was produced by Justin Decloux of The Great Canadian Cinema Library. Considered an essential entry in the Canuxploitation oeuvre, Dalen’s feature film debut was the first Canadian film programmed at the New York Film Festival in 1979 said to have influenced subsequent cult films including 1984’s Repo Man.
Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the full lineup for its 22nd edition taking place in-person from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 and online from Dec. 5 to Jan. 2. Selected from over 2,000 submissions, the lineup includes 86 films curated into nine program strands. There are 41 features and 45 shorts from 19 different countries. Films in competition will vie for 15 film awards and $223,500 in cash and prizes. WFF’s opening night will set the tone with the Western Canadian Premiere of White Noise, Noah Baumbach’s parody of an ideal American nuclear family under threat, featuring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. Other significant award-contenders having their first Canadian festival showings at Whistler include Guillermo del Toro’s PINOCCHIO, a stop-motion reinvention of the classic tale set in fascist Italy, and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s epic Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Angus Reid says one in three Canadians have cancelled at least one subscription to a streaming platform in the last six months, while 8% have dropped more than one. The report says Canadians are making hard choices about what streaming services to keep as subscription costs increase and platforms threaten to crack down on password sharing. Canadians in households with lower incomes are more likely to drop paid streaming subscriptions with 12% of those with a household income of less than $25,000 cancelling multiple subscriptions, compared to 5% of those with a household income of $150,000 to $199,000. For at least half of those cancelling, Angus Reid says the decision to do so was made “in direct response to a persistent and ongoing cost of living crisis roiling households.” Despite this, viewing trends are working in favour of streamers with over 85% of people subscribed to at least one streaming service, up from around 50% in 2016, according to the report. Nearly 17% of Canadians now have at least four streaming subscriptions. Read more here.
Cineplex has announced a collaboration with TikTok that will allow brands to integrate with curated TikTok content in a customized two-minute segment shown in theatres during the Cineplex Pre-Show. The inaugural big screen curation launches Nov. 4 with beauty brand DECIEM, to be followed by Interac in December. Playing across all Cineplex screens in both regular format and VIP Cinemas, the TikTok integration will be featured in its recognizable vertical format and displayed in two-minute segments featuring a number of videos from Canadian and international TikTok creators.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
The Rogers/Shaw merger is headed for a potentially protracted hearing process with the failure of a second attempt at mediation. Quebecor Inc., Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications attended a mediation session with the Commissioner of Competition last week as part of the Competition Tribunal process that failed to yield a negotiated settlement. In a statement issued on behalf of the three parties, they indicated disappointment with the outcome, saying they believe litigation “is both unnecessary and harmful to competition.” During a case management conference this week, Competition Bureau lawyer Derek Leschinsky made it clear the bureau is seeking nothing less than a full block of the merger. Four weeks have been set aside for hearings, set to begin Nov. 7. Read more here.
Unifor is calling for amendments to Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, directed specifically at preserving local news as employment levels in broadcasting decline. Unifor Media Director Randy Kitt told the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications (TRCM) on Tuesday that Unifor wants C-11 amended to ensure the Broadcasting Act mandates the CRTC to support local news, including by “developing, financing, producing or promoting local news and information programming,” with the creation of a news fund. “In 2014, the CRTC said we didn’t need to fund local news anymore because advertising is coming back. They got it wrong,” said Kitt in his testimony via Zoom. Read more here.
The CRTC has hosted a first-of-its-kind in-person meeting including regulators from Canada, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong and the U.S. to find better ways to combat scams. The Combating Scam Communications meeting offered an opportunity to share insights into current initiatives and cross-border enforcement challenges. Opportunities for greater international collaboration to disrupt scam communications were also explored. Representatives from the five countries agreed to continue their collaboration and seek engagement from other regulatory agencies in jurisdictions that may be the source of or suffering from scam communications. The meeting preceded the International Regulators Forum and International Institute of Communications’ Annual Conference held in Ottawa, Nov. 1-4.
The CRTC has approved an application by The News Forum for mandatory distribution of the specialty channel’s national news service. The News Forum, which is airing newscasts every 120 minutes, is now in line with the commission’s updated Distribution of National News Discretionary Services guidelines. Launched in 2020, the right-of-centre news channel features programs including Boom or Bust, hosted by former Conservative cabinet minister Tony Clement and The Buck Stops Here, helmed by former BNN Bloomberg host Catherine Murray, among other shows. Read more here.
Cogeco has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Aug. 31. Revenue increased by 14.0% to reach $746.9 million. Revenue from media activities decreased by 4.1%, as the radio advertising market continued to be impacted by supply chain disruptions limiting other customers’ businesses. “As for our radio broadcast operations, while the market remains challenging, Cogeco Media has continued to perform well in the ratings. Several of our radio stations topped the charts, including 98.5, which remains Canada’s most popular radio station,” said Philippe Jetté, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogeco, in a release. “Our efforts to develop new advertiser niches are beginning to produce results.”
TVA Group recorded revenues of $130.5 million in Q3, a year-over-year decrease of $20.2 million. Net income attributable to shareholders was $7.6 million for earnings of $0.18 per share, compared with $0.44 per share for the same quarter of 2021. TVA reported $14,067,000 in adjusted EBITDA in the Broadcasting segment, a $7,557,000 unfavourable variance mainly due to the decreased profitability of TVA Network, which posted an 8.2% decrease in its advertising revenues, combined with increased investments in content. The specialty channels were also affected by declining advertising revenues and lower profitability, with the exception of TVA Sports, where adjusted EBITDA remained stable as a result of considerably lower costs compared with the same period of 2021, when the channel broadcast the Stanley Cup finals. $2,585,000 in adjusted EBITDA in the Film Production & Audiovisual Services segment (MELS) was reported, a $7,980,000 unfavourable variance due to decreased profitability of soundstage, mobile and equipment rental as well as visual effects services, while postproduction posted an increase.
CBC News has announced the closure of the public broadcaster’s China bureau, citing its inability to secure visas for its journalists from the Chinese government to work as permanent correspondents. Brodie Fenlon, CBC News’ Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Programs and Standards, outlined the broadcaster’s ongoing efforts to facilitate coverage abroad in a blog post published Wednesday. CBC has had a China bureau for 40 years, however its last Beijing correspondent, Saša Petricic, returned to Canada as the pandemic took hold. Its journalists have only returned for the 2022 Winter Olympics under heavily restricted conditions. While efforts have been made since 2020 to obtain a visa for Radio-Canada Info reporter Philippe Leblanc, Fenlon says despite numerous exchanges and requests for meetings over the last two years there is still no visa. Leblanc will instead work from Taiwan for the next two years. Read more here.
Ann Medina has been inducted into the CBC Hall of Fame. Medina, who becomes the Hall’s ninth member since its founding in 2014, was chosen for being “a woman of influence who broke the ceiling many times over.” Medina started her career in journalism in Chicago in the 1960s, going on to join NBC and ABC. She met CTV producer Jack McGaw in 1974 while on assignment in Ottawa. They married a year later and she joined CBC that same year. She soon made a name for herself as a foreign correspondent, going on to work on The Journal and then Saturday Report where her contract was prematurely terminated in 1987. After leaving the CBC, she went on to serve as Chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and became one of the first residents at the Canadian Film Centre (CFC).
The Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and Bell Media have announced that Big Brothers Big Sisters and its agency, Humanity, have won the 2022 Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity in Advertising (IDEA) Competition. The 2022 competition focused on campaigns highlighting LGBTQ+ communities with the winner awarded $1 million worth of inventory on Bell Media platforms. Big Brothers Big Sisters will debut the winning campaign in the coming months. The award-winning idea features a brand evolution that embraces self expression and champions authenticity in the eyes of the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. Open to national and international brands and their agencies, and judged by a specially curated jury from the Canadian media sector, the IDEA Competition seeks to create meaningful change in the media industry and encourage greater representation of diverse communities in Canadian advertising.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Aiir and PlayoutONE have entered into a merger agreement. New York based Aiir Inc., an online digital solutions provider for radio stations, has agreed to merge with the UK-based radio automation software company. The new U.S.-based company will be called Aiir Group Inc. and will be led by Ricki Lee as Chief Executive Officer with Dave Brierley-Jones taking on day to day responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. The merger is expected to be completed by Jan. 1. The companies say they’ll be announcing a new ‘world first’ product for the industry shortly that they’ve been working on together for the past few years.
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the not-for-profit organization dedicated to the education, awareness, and promotion of industry standards for the transmission of video, audio, and ancillary information over an IP infrastructure, as well as products based on those standards, has expanded its membership access to individuals including consultants, engineers, and educators, sole employees or sole proprietors of a corporation and individuals who do not formally represent any company within the media industry. The new membership level is also open to students, researchers, and others actively associated with an institution of higher education.