Tara Woodbury has joined Netflix as the streamer’s inaugural Canadian content executive. Woodbury, who joins Netflix Canada as Manager, Canada Series, formerly oversaw domestic and international development at Sphere Media. In the new role, she’ll support the development and commissioning of scripted series in English and French for Netflix in Canada. She’ll also maintain relationships with writers, directors and producers and identify up and coming Canadian talent. Woodbury, who had been with Sphere Media for the last five years, has also served as Executive Producer of medical drama Transplant and produced sci-fi thriller feature Night Raiders by Danis Goulet. Read more here.
Michel Boyer, Ottawa-based National Reporter for CTV News, has announced his departure from the network and journalism. Boyer started his reporting career in 2010 as an intern with CTV Montreal, going on to work as an anchor and reporter with the station before heading west to Edmonton to join Global News in late 2014. He’s been with CTV Ottawa since 2016.
— Michel Boyer (@BoyerMichel) November 1, 2021
David Drake has joined Corus Radio Winnipeg as a Program Manager for Peggy 99.1 (CFPG-FM) and Power 97 (CJKR-FM). Drake was formerly Program Director and Music Director for Pattison Media’s 94.3 The Drive (CHIQ-FM) for the last five years, prior to its rebrand as 94.3 NOW! Radio last month. He previously did a brief stint with Corus as afternoon drive host and music director for 99.1 Fresh Radio.
Sara Hyde has been promoted to Executive Producer at 980 CKNW Vancouver. Prior to joining Corus, Hyde was a longtime freelance producer for CBC Vancouver. She’s also held on-air roles with 103.5 The Bridge (CHNV-FM) Nelson and Q101 (CKMQ-FM) Merritt, BC.
Jessica Dionne DiMonte is moving on from CHOM FM Montreal where she’s been the station’s promotions manager for the last seven years. DiMonte, wife of recently-retired CHOM morning man Terry DiMonte, is also co-host of The Concert Goers podcast.
Taya Fast has joined Global Okanagan as a videojournalist for the Penticton bureau. Fast, a 2020 BCIT Broadcast Journalism grad, was previously a videojournalist and anchor at CKPG-TV Prince George.
Damhnait Doyle is now the full-time weekend host for CBC Mornings on CBC Music. The Newfoundland & Labrador born and raised singer/songwriter has been guest hosting Weekend Mornings for the last two years.
Daniel Vnukowski is the new host of The Classical Jukebox on The New Classical FM (CFMZ-FM) Toronto. The Canadian pianist will be on-air weekdays from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET. In addition to taking listener requests, he’ll be sharing his own selections, thoughts, and stories based on his career as a classical musician. Vnukowski is a founder of the Piano Six – New Generation program which organizes world-class recitals for kids in remote communities and also the founder and artistic director of the Collingwood Summer Music Festival.
Niki Little, former Artistic Director at imagineNATIVE, is joining the NFB’s North West Studio as a Producer, based out of the Winnipeg office. Little is an artist, curator and arts administrator, and along with Jaimie Isaac and Jenny Western, was a founding member of The Ephemerals, who were long-listed twice for the Sobey Art Award. Of Oji-Cree/British descent from Garden Hill First Nation, prior to working with imagineNATIVE, Little was the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC).
Tim Stevenson has been appointed Visual Effects Supervisor at Montreal’s MELS Studios. A 25-year VFX and animation industry veteran, Stevenson has held previous roles at Mokko Studio and Framestore with his filmography including work on Avatar, Jurassic Park (II and III), Happy Feet, and more recently Netflix series Cursed and HBO’s The Nevers. He’s also lectured in animation at Dawson College.
Régine Laurent has been appointed to the TVA Group Board of Directors. Laurent is the past chair of the Laurent Commission on Quebec youth protection, past president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) and a retired nurse. After two terms as head of Québec’s largest health care union, Laurent joined the television program La Joute in 2018, broadcast on TVA and LCN, as a commentator. She resumed that role in September 2021 as part of the TVA Nouvelles team.
Kevin Beggs, Television Group Chair of global content leader Lionsgate, has been elected Chair of the Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) Board of Directors. He succeeds Randy Lennox who served in the role for three years. A 23-year veteran of Lionsgate and a member of its corporate senior management team, Beggs has spearheaded the strategic expansion of the company’s television production operations. He also shepherded eight seasons of Mad Men, seven seasons of Orange is the New Black, eight seasons of Weeds, and six seasons of Dead Zone.
Bryson Masse is the new Regulatory and Communications Advisor at Competitive Network Operators of Canada (CNOC). Masse was previously a Regulatory Analyst at TekSavvy Solutions and has also worked as a reporter at The Wire Report.
Chris Burke has been appointed Vice President, Digital and Analytics, at Cogeco Connexion. Burke most recently served as VP, Digital Technology at Manulife’s Global Wealth and Asset Management. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Digital Solutions and Sales Enablement at RBC, responsible for the evolution of global client and employee digital experiences across web, mobile, and social media.
RADIO & PODCAST:
The Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards, presented by HD Radio, is partnering with FYI Music News to present the inaugural Emerging Artist of the Year prize. Voted on by Canadian radio programmers and music directors, the award recognizes a deserving emerging Canadian artist or group who has charted in the top 50 but has yet to break into the top 40 in any format, between Oct. 31, 2020 and Oct. 1, 2021. Tabulated using Mediabase data, this year’s nominees are: Wild Crush, Hailey Benedict, Dooms Children, Mattmac, Locals Only Sound, Kristopher Bracken, and Kiwi Junior. PROGRAMMERS AND MUSIC DIRECTORS, your task is to vote for the Emerging Artist you believe has the most potential and is most deserving of a prize package provided by FYI Music News. If you’re already subscribed to Broadcast Dialogue as a programmer or music director, we’ll be sending you a link early next week to cast your vote. If you’re not subscribed and would like to cast a ballot, learn more here.
BBC Studios has launched BBC Podcasts Premium, its first subscription podcast service for listeners in the U.S. and Canada, offering ad-free listening for a range of its most popular titles, as well as exclusive access to new, original audio series on Apple Podcasts for CDN $3.99/month. Ad-free titles include the BBC Global News Podcast, with twice daily briefings on weekdays and daily editions on weekends; Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time history series; and celebrity interview series Grounded with Louis Theroux, named one of Apple’s Best Shows of 2020. New, original audio series include Nuremberg: The Trial of the Nazi War Criminals, starring Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer; 5 Minutes On from BBC News, featuring real-life stories behind the headlines; and forthcoming eco-investigation series Song of the Right Whale.
The Stingray Podcast Network has added The SIXth Man – A Raptors Podcast, hosted by diehard Toronto Raptors fan Dave Lawrence. The podcast explores all things Raptors from the games to players, trades, injuries, and league-wide rumours. Each weekly episode will include a full recap of the previous week in the NBA, along with stories and interviews catering to Raptors fandom.
Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast Podcast Network is partnering with YouTube star and Kin Community Network contributor Amanda Muse on her podcast Friendo. New episodes will drop weekly with the first episode of the new season featuring Canadian YouTube sketch comedy star Julie Nolke on “Staying Hungry and Humble After Viral Success.” While living as an expat in Malaysia, Muse started her YouTube channel to document her journey into motherhood with her two children and connect with women around the world. She’s since returned to Toronto, producing content on everything from raising tweens to the stress of job loss.
Microtherapy has released new versions of its Radius suite of products that will support the new radioCount audience measurement data. Radius, the radio scheduling and analytics tool, HUB airtime negotiations platform, and ATC campaign management application have all been updated. “Since the announcement that radioCount would be measuring 22 former Numeris diary markets this fall, our team has being working tirelessly to make sure that all our products are ready when the Fall 2021 radioCount data is released on November 25th,” said George Parkinson, President and CEO of microtherapy, in a release. “With the first radioCount survey release just a few weeks away, we are pleased that our broadcasting and media buying clients will have everything they need to analyze the results and to buy and sell radio airtime using the radioCount data.”
LIFE 100.3 (CJLF-FM) Barrie, the listener-supported Christian Radio network serving Central Ontario, raised over $127,000 during its latest Sharathon fundraiser, Oct. 27-28. LIFE 100.3 reached 102% of its goal, ending the fundraiser more than five hours early. Some of the funds raised will go toward new database and finance software and a new vehicle for the LIFE Street Team. LIFE 100.3 has repeater stations in Owen Sound at 90.1FM, Peterborough at 89.3FM and in Huntsville at 98.9FM and can be heard online at lifeonline.fm.
SiriusXM has announced its holiday music lineup featuring 19 ad-free channels including two new channels, Holiday Instrumentals and Noël Incontournable. Available now on the SXM App, SiriusXM will again launch a collection of holiday music online channels, including 70s/80s Christmas, Jolly Christmas, Rockin’ Xmas, Holiday Chill-Out and Jazz Holidays.
LISTEN: Ryan Jespersen, who was relieved from his morning talk show host position at 630 CHED Edmonton last year, joins Matt Cundill on the Sound Off Podcast to talk about filling a need for real talk in the digital space. In this episode, Jespersen discusses his start in radio and television in Red Deer, his time with Breakfast Television, Alberta politics and how he’s monetizing his new show. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Dave Kotyk, on Oct. 31 after a brief illness. A cameraman for nearly four decades in the Toronto market, Kotyk worked with CBC News and CTV (CFTO), before joining the Global Toronto newsroom in an ENG camera role. He’d been with Global part-time for more than 20 years.
Richard (Rick) Bray, 72, on Oct. 3. After graduating from Carleton University, Bray started his career with the Ottawa Citizen, joining CBC in 1978. He was with the public broadcaster for two decades as a writer and editor with CBC Toronto and producer of “Sunday Morning.” He eventually went freelance to write for publications like Vanguard and Defence Magazine. Indulging his interest in tech and the military, Bray’s work took him to Germany, Bosnia, Afghanistan and the Canadian Arctic, among other destinations.
TV & FILM:
Blink Studios is a new Toronto-headquartered content venture launched by former eOne executives John Morayniss, Patrice Theroux, Jeff Lynas and Nelson Kuo-Lee. Backed by Endeavor Content as its anchor investor, lead strategic and priority distribution partner, Blink Studios will also have offices in Los Angeles, operating as a full-service, independent studio focused on development, production and monetization of scripted and unscripted content. Morayniss will lead the studio as its CEO, with Theroux acting as Executive Vice Chair, Nelson Kuo-Lee as CFO and Jeff Lynas as COO. Additionally, former CBC executive and Twitter VP Kirstine Stewart has been appointed as Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Directors. Chris Rice, Co-President of Endeavor Content, will also join the Blink board. Read more here.
WIFT Toronto has announced its 34th Annual Crystal Awards honourees to be recognized at a Luncheon Gala on March 8 at Toronto’s Arcadian Court. This year’s award recipients are: Creative Excellence Award, Jennifer Holness, President, Hungry Eye Film & Television; Digital Trailblazer Award, Ana Serrano, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University (previously Chief Digital Officer, Canadian Film Centre and Founder of CFC Media Lab); Mentorship Award, Anita Lee, Executive Producer, English Program (Ontario Centre), National Film Board; Outstanding Achievement in Business, Jane Tattersall, Partner & SVP, Post Toronto; and Special Jury Award of Distinction, Dr. Shirley Cheechoo C.M., filmmaker/writer/actor and founder, Weengushk Film Institute.
Numeris has announced that its initial dataset from its VAM (Video Audience Measurement) solution will be available to clients on Nov. 24. Covering Ontario and French Quebec (roughly 50% of the Canadian market), the first dataset reflects viewing habits from August and September 2021. The second release, including October data, will be available in December with ongoing monthly data releases to begin in January. Numeris says cross-platform video measurement will give clients a better understanding of the consumer video journey across different platforms and devices. The inaugural dataset, for example, reveals that the preferred device for Ontarians and French Quebecers consuming Digital Pure Play video is the big screen, regardless of age, with Smart/Connected TVs accounting for 50% of Pure Play viewing.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has opened registration for Prime Time 2022, Feb. 3-11. The media production conference will be a hybrid event, offering an expanded suite of online programming and virtual meetings, as well as pop-up networking events across the country. More details about the in-person events will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Registration is once again free this year and open at PrimeTime2022.com.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has partnered with the National Screen Institute to offer BIPOC producers access to the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) intensive training EAVE On Demand Access Program. Tailor-made for delivery in Canada, the program focuses on building stable and strong production companies owned by BIPOC creators, along with the development of their intellectual property for national and international financing and distribution. The program builds skills in enhanced revenue streams, distribution, export, and co-production with an aim to facilitate professional cross-border relationships. Recent graduates have seen a 182% increase in co-production projects after participation. Valued at CDN $30,000 per participant, 33 producers will be selected. The deadline for applications is Nov. 22.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has teamed up with children’s television writer, producer and creator, Keith Chapman, to develop and produce new original preschool series Bella’s Bro-Bots. Inspired by Chapman’s daughter, the animated series is gearing up for development this fall. Chapman is the creator of award-winning kids’ shows including Paw Patrol and Bob the Builder. His latest preschool show, Mighty Express, launched on Netflix in September 2020. His new animated movie, Ozi, animated by Mikros Paris and produced by GCI Films, launches in September 2022.
Network Entertainment has acquired the rights to Andrew McCarthy’s best-selling memoir, Brat: An 80’s Story. Vancouver-headquartered Network will adapt the book, which was released earlier this year, into a documentary that McCarthy will star in, direct, and produce alongside Brian Liebman of Liebman Entertainment, with Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray, Paul Gertz, and Brian Gersh executive producing. McCarthy is best known for his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less Than Zero, and as a member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. Brat will follow McCarthy as he seeks out other members of the Brat Pack to find out what being part of the famed group meant to each of them, reconnecting with actors he hasn’t seen in years and discussing the iconic films they made from 1982-89.
Hot Docs has announced that Citizen Minutes, a short documentary compilation commissioned by Hot Docs that premiered at this year’s festival, is now available for streaming on Crave. Intended to inspire interest and engagement in democracy and public affairs, Citizen Minutes features eight original short docs by Canadian filmmakers that celebrate stories of civic participation across the country. Since their world premieres at this year’s online Hot Docs Festival in April, the films have gone on to screen independently at over 25 Canadian and international film festivals. Citizen Minutes will also be included in this winter’s Docs For Schools, Hot Doc’s educational program that reaches over 120,000 students across Canada.
Nicholas Campbell, known for his role as Gordon Cooper on CBC’s Coroner, will not return to the show until an investigation is complete after he reportedly used racist slurs on the set of another film project, according to a report from CBC News. The incident allegedly occurred on the set of the film Impasse, while shooting in Orangeville, ON, northwest of Toronto, last month.
Screen Nova Scotia has announced the nominees for the 7th annual Screen Nova Scotia Awards Gala, which will take place virtually Thursday, Nov. 25. Nominated for Best Television Series are Diggstown, Season 2 (Freddie Films, Circle Blue Entertainment); I Am Syd Stone (Rebel Road Films); Spirit Talker (Tell Tale Productions, Rebel Road Films); and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Season 28 (IoM Media Ventures). Feature film nominees include Taylor Olson indie drama Bone Cage (Afro Viking Pictures, Bone Cage Productions); sci-fi thriller Tin Can (Cut/Off/Tail Pictures); and William MacGillivray’s Under the Weather (Picture Plant).
Vevo has announced an agreement with Shaw Communications to make the Vevo app available for Shaw TV customers. Shaw TV IPTV customers across Western Canada will now have on demand access to Vevo’s extensive music video library, which includes official releases, live performances and other Vevo original content. Rogers was the first Canadian provider to announce a similar agreement, making Vevo available to its Ignite TV subscribers, last month.
Stingray Music has announced its Holiday offering of over 100 curated channels like Classical Christmas, Hot Country Christmas, Reggae for the Holidays, Mellow Holiday Jazz, A Very Punk-Rock Christmas, and Merry Indie Christmas. Linear TV holiday channels are also available as of Nov. 1 from partners including Bell, Rogers Communications and Videotron, who will offer Holiday Favourites and Franco Fêtes throughout the Christmas period.
CTV Drama Channel has revealed its all-new lineup of 17 holiday movies that air, beginning Friday, Nov. 5 with Christmas In My Heart and continuing with at least two premieres each week leading up to Christmas Eve. Ten of the 17 films are Canadian productions. Viewers can also stream dozens of holiday movies on the Holiday Hub, along with holiday-themed episodes, and other specials on CTV.ca and the CTV app.
ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:
Torstar has signed a multi-year agreement with Meta, formerly Facebook, that will see the publisher get paid for showcase links to feature articles from Torstar publications as part of the “News Innovation Test” program. The company has already reached agreements with 17 other Canadian outlets, including The Globe and Mail and Le Devoir. Torstar also recently signed a partnership with Google that will see articles highlighted in Google’s News Showcase.
CBC News says Facebook comments on its stories will remain closed indefinitely. CBC News Editor-In-Chief Brodie Fenlon outlined in a blog post that an ongoing experiment has been positive and resulted in improved staff well-being with marginal impact on the public broadcaster’s web traffic. “Fears we were limiting free speech were unfounded. We saw a surge of comments on our website during the federal election, for example, and our viewers, listeners and readers are free to have their say in many other places, including their personal Facebook pages, on Twitter and through our ombudsman process. That is why, going forward, comment sections will remain closed on our Facebook pages, with a few exceptions,” wrote Fenlon. “We will open comments for call-outs to ask specific questions of the audience in order to help us cover stories and issues more comprehensively, and on a few pages that have small but healthy commenting communities. But otherwise, they will remain closed.”
New Canadian Media (NCM), the member-based, non-profit digital news organization founded in 2017 to highlight the voices of immigrant diasporas which often go unheard, has reached a milestone 2,000 stories. NCM covers international, national, provincial, and local issues from an immigrant perspective on a wide range of topics from current affairs and education to politics, health, arts and culture. Thus far, the publication has a 200-strong collective of contributors.
NewMusicNation.ca, the online video music channel launched in July by MuchMusic icon Ed the Sock (aka Steven Kerzner), has surpassed 100,000 views in its first few months as it looks to solidify itself as a destination showcase for independent Canadian artists. Since its Canada Day launch, the channel has received more than 1,000 video submissions from artists looking for exposure on NewMusicNation’s VJ-hosted digital shows like Yo Canada, VideoFlow, Metal Momentum, Rapsody, Punk Projekt and NerdMusicNation. Launched with a $40,000 crowd-funding campaign, Kerzner said the channel is just embarking on a path to monetization by recruiting a salesperson to start approaching advertisers. It has also initiated a Patreon campaign that offers monthly subscribers additional content and access to the channel’s music video catalogue. Read more here.
REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:
Bell and TELUS have filed letters with the CRTC supporting the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and National Pensioners Federation (NPF) procedural request to delay the commission’s upcoming public hearings on the Rogers Communications Inc./Shaw Communications merger. With the hearings scheduled to begin Nov. 22, they argue there is too much uncertainty surrounding control of the company. Following a hearing in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, a judge is set to rule Friday afternoon on Edward Rogers’ petition, who as chair of the Rogers Control Trust which controls 97.5% of Class A voting shares, asserts his newly-appointed board is legally constituted to take over from RCI’s existing board from which he was ousted as chairman last month.
Shaw Communications has announced consolidated financial and operating results for the quarter ended Aug. 31. Consolidated revenue increased 2.1% year-over-year to $1.38 billion, adjusted EBITDA increased 3.4% year-over-year to $614 million and net income increased 44% to $252 million. Fiscal 2021 consolidated revenue increased 1.9% year-over-year to $5.51 billion and adjusted EBITDA increased 4.6% year-over-year to $2.50 billion. Fiscal 2021 results include incremental Wireline Consumer revenue of approximately $20 million following the CRTC decision on final aggregated Third Party Internet Access (TPIA) rates and higher equity-based compensation costs of approximately $24 million due to the significant increase in Shaw’s share price following the Rogers transaction announcement in March.
TVA Group recorded operating revenues totalling $150.7 million in the third quarter, a year-over-year increase of $31.2 million. Net income attributable to shareholders was $19.0 million or $0.44 per share, compared with net income attributable to shareholders of $8.4 million or $0.19 per share for the same quarter of 2020. Third quarter operating highlights include $21,538,000 in adjusted EBITDA in the Broadcasting segment, a $4,600,000 favourable variance due to the increase in adjusted EBITDA at TVA Sports, partially offset by a decrease in adjusted EBITDA at TVA Network. For the third straight quarter, advertising revenues at TVA Network and specialty channels were up over the same quarter of last year, but also rose 22% compared with the same quarter in 2019. In the Film Production & Audiovisual Services segment (MELS), $10,565,000 in adjusted EBITDA was recorded, a $7,618,000 favourable variance due to increased profitability of soundstage, mobile and equipment rental activities.
Cogeco, TELUS, and Stantec are the inaugural Canadian companies of 44 recognized by the His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales with the Terra Carta Seal through his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI). The Terra Carta Seal recognizes private sector companies driving innovation and demonstrating their commitment to, and momentum towards, the creation of genuinely sustainable markets. The seal is being awarded to companies whose ambitions are aligned with those of the Terra Carta, a recovery plan for Nature, People and Planet, launched in January.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and the Fédération professionelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ) are among the industry groups supporting a first-of-its-kind research project taking an unprecedented look at the mental health and well-being of Canadian journalists and others involved in news and editorial work. The Taking Care Survey is seeking anonymous input from thousands of newsroom staff and freelance journalists. Led by Matthew Pearson, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Ottawa, and Dave Seglins, a veteran journalist and trainer with CBC News, in partnership with the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, the survey will collect responses throughout the month of November. Read more here.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is calling on B.C. Premier John Horgan’s government to abandon a plan to impose a $25 tariff on requests for information made under the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The proposed legislation, Bill 22, was tabled in the provincial legislature on Oct. 18. In addition to the so-called “prescribed application fee”, the legislation, if passed, would also add additional loopholes to allow departments and/or agencies to avoid accountability for not fulfilling a request. Michael McEvoy, the province’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, has issued a critical analysis of the government’s bill. The CAJ is also endorsing a rebuke of Bill 22 outlined in a recent letter from several B.C. journalism schools.
BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:
Bell Media has launched Bell DSP, its ad tech marketplace that leverages a previously-announced strategic partnership with advanced advertising technology company Xandr. The programmatic marketplace, intended to facilitate easier media buying, allows advertisers to use first party data to activate Bell Media digital inventory, in addition to inventory on the open market across multiple formats including digital video, connected TV, and audio. Bell DSP can be accessed via the Bell Marketing Platform, which brings together Bell Media’s suite of data-enabled products like SAM TV and Bell Analytics, with geo-demographic data from Environics. Advertising partners can also bring their own data, allowing for cross device targeting capabilities. Read more here.
NAB is already teasing the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, saying the reimagined event will be built on three main pillars associated with the content lifecycle. “We are reimagining NAB Show to more closely mirror today’s media, entertainment and technology ecosystem in a way that is intuitive and makes it easier for attendees to navigate the event,” said Chris Brown, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, Global Connections and Events, in a statement. “Create” will focus on content creation from pre-production to post, including the latest tools and advanced workflow options to elevate storytelling. “Connect” will be a destination to explore content distribution and delivery, from cloud computing to new media infrastructure, while “Capitalize” will feature content monetization solutions and next-gen technologies creating new revenue streams and fueling the content economy. A fourth pillar in development will focus on critical components impacting all aspects of content creation and delivery.