The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Chris Carter

Chris Carter has been named as the new Parliamentary Bureau Chief for CBC News. Carter, a former editor at the Toronto Star, has been with CBC since 2011 as Senior Producer, Politics for CBCNews.ca.

Richard Dettman, longtime business editor at News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver has announced his retirement, effective Nov. 27. Dettman has been with the station for 17 years, also contributing to CityNews Vancouver and Breakfast Television. He started his career with CJVB Vancouver in 1975, and along the way worked for CKO-FM-4 Vancouver, and later as news director at CFVR, CKMA & CKSR-FM Abbotsford. He initially joined CKWX as a beat reporter in the ‘80s and then again as business editor from 1996-2000. He’s also been a business contributor to Global BC over the years.

Hannah Witherbee

Hannah Witherbee moves from evenings to middays on Edmonton’s Play 107 (CKPW-FM). She replaces Johnny Infamous, also known as the DJ for the Edmonton Oilers, who departed the station in early October. Filling Witherbee’s evening slot is Jenna Winterburn who was most recently heard evenings and weekends on KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) Edmonton.

Malik Shaheed

Malik Shaheed has joined 95.9 Virgin Radio (CJFM-FM) Montreal’s morning team, alongside Vinny, Shannon & Adam, as a contributor to the show’s new segment New Music Friday. Shaheed is a former MusiquePlus VJ, who has interviewed artists from Beyonce to Kanye West, and is also founder of non-profit Youth Stars, which promotes youth empowerment and entrepreneurship for kids. 

Chris Fernick

Chris Fernick is leaving Bell Media Kitchener-Waterloo where he’s been in engineering and technical maintenance for more than a decade. Fernick will be joining the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) as a Computer Network Technician.

Louis-Philippe Neveau

Louis-Philippe Neveu has been appointed general manager of TVA Sports. Neveau joined TVA Sports in 2014 as Executive Producer of Hockey. Prior to that, he’d been with RDS for a decade as a senior producer. 

Peter Akman, who was released by CTV News in January after an off-colour tweet in the early days of the pandemic, has landed a new job with Hauwei Canada as VP of Public Affairs. Prior to January, Akman had been with CTV since 2013 and a senior correspondent for W5 since 2018. 

Irena Koutcher

 

Irena Koutcher has been hired by TLN Media Group as a National Account Executive, Media Marketing Solutions. Koutcher has previously worked with the Bell Media sales team in Toronto, Reader’s Digest, and TC Media, among other organizations.

The CMPA (Canadian Media Producers Association) has added six new members to its Board of Directors, following a partial board election as part of a commitment to elevate voices from underrepresented communities. The new board members are: Damon D’Oliveira, Conquering Lion Pictures; Archita Ghosh, e→d films; Jennifer Holness, Hungry Eyes Media; Chantal Jackson, Vendetta Entertainment; Darcy Waite, Turtle Mountain Media; and Haydn Wazelle, Tabula Dada Productions.

Janet Yale

Janet Yale has joined the Board of Trustees of WPBS-TV, the PBS station serving Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. Yale, most recently, chaired the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel and previously served as President and Chief Executive of the Arthritis Society (Canada), Executive Vice President at TELUS, and President and CEO of the Canadian Cable Television Association

Steve White

Steve White has been nominated and is expected to join the Board of Directors of Shaw Communications Inc., following the Jan. 13 Annual General Meeting. For the past 11 years, White has served as President, Comcast West Division of Comcast Corporation. He’s currently assuming new responsibilities as President and Special Counsel to the CEO of Comcast Cable. Prior to joining Comcast in 2002, White held senior leadership positions at AT&T Broadband and Telecommunications, Inc. 

Nicole Mendes

Lark Productions has hired former CBC exec Nicole Mendes as VP, Scripted Development, overseeing the Vancouver production company’s development strategy. Mendes was with CBC-TV for 10 years, starting out as an executive assistant in 2010 and moving up to Scripted Prime Time Development Coordinator, and eventually Executive in Charge of Production, overseeing production and development for the Drama department.

Andrew Buck

Andrew Buck has joined Premiere Digital as EVP, based in Toronto, and responsible for expanding the company’s distribution services and SaaS tools on a global level. Buck will report to Michele Edelman, Head of Growth. Up until earlier this year, Buck was CEO of Toronto & Los Angeles based Juice Worldwide, the company he co-founded in 2004 to focus on OTT film, TV, and music distribution and acquired by Vubiquity in 2015, and again by Amdocs in 2018. 

Todd Ireland

Todd Ireland is the new EVP of Enderby Entertainment Canada as the Los Angeles-based production and finance company sets up a Canadian arm. Ireland, who is based in Kelowna, is a Métis screenwriter who has worked on ReBoot: The Guardian Code and Continuum, among other series.

 

Randy Reid

Randy Reid, General Manager of VIBE 105 (CHRY-FM) Toronto, is the new board president of the National Campus & Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC). Newly-elected to the board are Cassidy Villabrun-Buracas, CFUV 101.9 FM, Victoria, to the position of Indigenous Director and Meredith Lister, Station Manager at University of British Columbia Okanagan campus station, Heatwave Radio in Kelowna.

Phil Carmichael

Phil Carmichael has joined broadcast graphics provider Bannister Lake as Director, Sales and Marketing. Carmichael started his career at CBC Calgary as a broadcast technician before focusing on broadcast graphics, specializing in sports production. Most recently, he’d been working in various roles with ChyronHego

Drew Bennett

Drew Bennett is PromoSuite’s new Director of Sales. Bennett arrives following a three-year run at RCS where he was Sales Manager of Scheduling Products and the founder of RCS Academy. Prior to RCS, Bennett spent 12 years with MusicMaster as Learning and Development Director.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released its Audio Streaming report looking at the growing penetration of at-home connected devices, with a focus on music listening on YouTube, music streaming services, AM/FM radio streaming and podcasts. Key findings include that streaming audio is most popular among students and younger Anglophones with 94% of those under the age of 35 having streamed audio in the past month. The report also looked at COVID-19’s impact on audio streaming. Compared to Fall 2019, the most significant change in Spring 2020 was a noticeable decline in the use of streaming music services (47% to 42%) and even more so, podcasts (31% to 21%). MTM says AM/FM radio streaming has remained relatively stable over the past five years. Unlike many other forms of audio, AM/FM streaming is less common among students (19%) and more common among 35-49 year olds (30%). When looking at Francophones, COVID-19 hasn’t changed online audio listening habits, however comparing Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, an increase in listening to music on YouTube (from 58 to 66%) and a decrease in use of streaming music services (from 39 to 33%) was observed. One in four French speakers listens to AM/FM radio online, with Francophones aged 35-49 (32%) more likely to listen to the radio continuously. 

Bell Media is seeking to amend its condition of licence for TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) Montreal, in an attempt to reduce the number of hours devoted to local programming during the broadcast week from 96 to 63 hours. In its application, Bell says at present, 96 of the 126 programming hours in the broadcast week are locally produced, including sports updates, as well as approximately 90 minutes of traffic reports.

Andi Petrillo

TSN Radio 1050 (CHUM-AM) Toronto has announced new noon-hour radio program, The Lunch with Andi Petrillo. Airing weekdays, the show will feature Petrillo in conversation with personalities from the world of sports as well as roundtable discussions on the impact of COVID-19 on major league sports, athletes and mental health, athlete activism, and issues facing minor hockey. TSN 1050 says Leafs Lunch, which ordinarily runs in the noon – 1 p.m. ET timeslot,  will return to the airwaves along with the 2020-21 NHL season, with Petrillo as host. 

Gord Martineau and Dr. Fabio Varlese

Gord Martineau and Dr. Fabio Varlese are co-hosting Aging Better in Uncertain Times, a new show for Evanov Radio Group. Covering topics from COVID-19 to mental health and living longer, the program is airing Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. ET on Jewel 88.5 (CKDX-FM) Toronto. It will also be available as a podcast on major streaming platforms.

BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) has begun announcing the winners of its annual awards, starting with the Radio Creative categories. Winners so far include Red 89.1 FM (CKYE-FM) Vancouver for Best Commercial Creative (Large Market) and The Wolf 106.9 FM (CHWF-FM) Nanaimo in the Small Market category.

Apostrophe Podcast Network has launched its latest podcast series The Miami Chronicles, the first in a non-fiction anthology about crimes that took place throughout the Miami area. Season One, entitled “Booby Trap”, looks at the 1979 murder of 14-year old boy scout Richard “Richie” Brush Jr., who was killed by a booby trap set up by his scout master. As told by Brush’s childhood friend Michael Fragomeni and co-host James Archer, the series uses original sound design and first-hand storytelling to transport listeners to the late 1970s, illustrating how the tragic death wasn’t just a break-and-enter gone wrong, but the string unraveling a web of secrets. Apostrophe launches the series with Acast, which is distributing and monetizing the show.

iHeartMedia’s annual Jingle Ball will be carried live on Virgin Radio stations across the country on Dec. 10 (9 p.m. ET/PT), in addition to the iHeartRadio Canada YouTube channel. This year’s performers include Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes and more. The virtual event will invite listeners into the homes of artists who’ll share personal holiday traditions and perform their hits as well as covers of familiar holiday songs.

SiriusXM’s holiday music lineup features 17 ad-free channels including new addition, Jolly Christmas, featuring upbeat holiday hits, as well as the Holly and Holiday Traditions channels, 70s/80s Christmas, Rockin’ Xmas, Holiday Chill-Out, Navidad and Jazz Holidays. Subscribers can listen online, via the SiriusXM mobile app, and on connected devices. 

The Radio Starmaker Fund board of directors has announced the creation of a new program dedicated to supporting music creation by members of the Canadian industry who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. Effective immediately, the funding stream is available to eligible musicians who have not yet met Starmaker sales criteria. The “stepping stone” program is aimed at removing barriers that prevent otherwise eligible applicants from qualifying for established Starmaker programs. Funding can be requested for any music-related expenses (recording, promotion, publicity, advertising, digital marketing, touring, videos) with the maximum overall request capped at $25,000. The application deadline is Nov. 19.

Life 100.3 morning show host Todd Gale

LIFE 100.3 (CJLF-FM) Barrie held a two-day Sharathon Radio Fundraiser on Oct. 28-29, their second this calendar year as the importance of listener donations continues to increase. The goal for “Sharathon All In” was $100,000 with LIFE listeners chipping in to reach 112% of that goal by noon on day two. 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. 

The 2020 Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare, in support of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation in Swift Current, SK, hit its $150,000 goal thanks to a last-minute donation of $15,000 from doctors at the Cypress Regional Medical Association. The two-day event aired on Golden West Radio’s stations in Swift Current and was supported by swiftcurrentonline.com.

David Bray

OPINION: Broadcast Dialogue contributor David Bray weighs the impact of Numeris’ cancellation of the Fall Radio Release and asks when does “not enough” amount to “too much”? Read more here.

 

TV & FILM:

Nimmi Harasgama and Toronto’s Ali Kazmi in Funny Boy. The adaptation of the Shyam Selvadurai novel has been selected to represent Canada at the 2021 Oscars.

Funny Boy, Deepa Mehta’s film adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s coming-of-age novel, will represent Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards in April. Shot on location in Sri Lanka, among the film’s cast are Vancouver actor Agam Darshi and Toronto’s Ali Kazmi. At least 50% of the film is in languages other than English, namely Tamil. Ava Duvernay’s independent distribution company ARRAY is releasing Funny Boy, which will premiere on CBC-TV Dec. 4 and be released outside of Canada on Netflix, Dec. 10. Read more here.

Telefilm has released its 2019-20 Annual Report: Building Resilience Through Partnership. Among the report highlights are that higher-budget films —over $2.5 million— directed by women have reached the parity zone both in terms of volume and investments. Telefilm also made commitments of $4.3 million to 21 projects led by Indigenous creators, surpassing the $4 million average annual commitment set in 2016-17. Agency support saw 139 feature films travel to 19 countries. Telefilm will hold an annual public assembly on Jan. 21 in a digital format where members of its executive leadership team will discuss the report, as well as priorities going forward.

HireBIPOC has announced the addition of more than a dozen new industry and community partners who’ve joined the initiative to shift hiring practices, increase representation, and eradicate systemic racism in the Canadian media landscape. They include Blue Ant Media, Canadian Independent Screen Fund, Creative BC, Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques, Hollywood Suite, Pinewood Studios, TIFF, and the WIFT (Women in Film & Television) chapters in Atlantic Canada, Alberta, Toronto and Vancouver, among others. Since its launch, HireBIPOC says the site has seen exponential growth in a matter of weeks, with over 3,500 members now registered, making it one of the largest rosters of its kind. 

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced that the 2021 edition of Prime Time, its annual flagship conference, will be held virtually. Renamed Prime Time Online, the event will launch on Jan. 28 and run over the following two weeks. It will include panels and keynotes, buyer briefings and one-on-one pitching sessions, as well as networking opportunities for industry leaders.

The Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Trade Commissioners Service are currently accepting applications from Canadian television and/or web series producers with two to five years of experience who would like to take part in new initiative RDVCANADA | Meet the Series 2020-2021. It will enable 10 participants to benefit from personalized guidance (networking, meetings, B2B, consultant etc.) for six months covering four events (Content London, Series Market – Berlin, Séries Mania and MIPTV) by two external experts from the audiovisual industry, Tania de Montaigne and Frédéric Pittoors d’Haveskercke. The deadline for applications is Nov. 9.

Telefilm is accepting submissions for its market showcase Not Short on Talent presented at the online Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market 2021. The initiative is designed to increase the visibility of new Canadian short films at international markets. For Clermont-Ferrand, a 90-minute curated program will screen online from February to December 2021 to Clermont-Ferrand Access Pro delegates at the Short Film Market, which runs parallel to the International Short Film Festival at Clermont-Ferrand, Jan. 31 to Feb. 8, 2021. The deadline to apply is Nov. 13. 

Trickster is the latest CBC series to be picked by The CW network in the U.S. The Indigenous sci-fi series will have its American premiere Jan. 12. The CW has also picked up additional seasons of CBC dramas Coroner and Burden of Truth.

David Suzuki

David Suzuki launches the 60th season of CBC’s The Nature of Things on Friday, Nov. 6, going to the front lines of the climate rebellion with new doc Rebellion, from producers/directors Mark and Caitlin Starowicz. Premiering on CBC and CBC Gem, Suzuki profiles activists from Greta Thunberg to Gail Bradbrook of the Extinction Rebellion movement, along with Sir David Attenborough and actress Jane Fonda, among others.

Global has announced new November premiere dates joining its Fall 2020 primetime lineup. Legal drama Bull returns Monday, Nov. 16, while Dick Wolf franchise hits FBI and FBI: Most Wanted premiere Tuesday, Nov. 17. Global also welcomes back The Blacklist with the Season 8 premiere on Friday, Nov. 13. Sitcom The Unicorn also returns for a second season Thursday, Nov. 12.

Jon Dore

Just For Laughs says production has wrapped on Humour Resources (6X30), a new comedy series starring Canadian comedian Jon Dore (Inside Amy Schumer, The Stand Up Show with Jon Dore). Produced remotely from August to October, the series features Dore as a human resources manager providing virtual coaching to some of the world’s top comics like Sarah Silverman, Tom Green, Eric Andre, and Scott Thompson. Co-created by Dore, Adam Brodie and Dave Derewlany, the show is slated to premiere on CBC and CBC Gem in winter 2021.

Ken Shaw

CTV News has launched Coping Through Covid, a new interview series dedicated to the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the mental health of Canadians. Hosted by former CTV Toronto anchor Ken Shaw, the segments are airing weekdays at 6 p.m. ET on CTV Toronto’s CTV News at Six and other select CTV stations. Produced in consultation with Bell Let’s Talk, Shaw sits down with medical professionals and experts to discuss a wide range of topics, including how to identify early signs of depression and coping with isolation and anxiety. The segments will be available on CTVNewsToronto.ca following each broadcast.

Jonathan and Drew Scott

HGTV Canada’s Celebrity IOU returns Dec. 14, spotlighting more Hollywood A-lister renovations as Drew and Jonathan Scott help stars with surprise home overhauls. Featured celebrities include Zooey Deschanel, Justin Hartley, Allison Janney, and Rainn Wilson. 

 

Love Nature’s new wildlife and nature series, Stormborn, travels north across remote and rugged landscapes to film a compelling cast of animal characters over the course of a dramatic breeding season. Ewan McGregor lends his voice to the three-part series as cameras follow Arctic foxes, otters and reindeer across McGregor’s homeland of Scotland, as well as Iceland and Norway. The world broadcast premiere of Stormborn airs Sunday, Nov. 15 on Love Nature during the channel’s nationwide free preview event through Jan. 3. Love Nature is also available on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV, with new episodes of Stormborn rolling out weekly.

CHEK-TV will carry its usual Remembrance Day broadcast live from the Victoria Cenotaph at the BC Legislature on Nov. 11.This year, because of COVID, the Victoria branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is encouraging people to show their respects by staying home and watching  the ceremony on television. CHEK’s coverage will start at 10:30 a.m. PT and will be broadened with live cameras at cenotaphs in Esquimalt, home to the CFB Esquimalt Navy Base, and Nanaimo, hosted by CHEK News anchor Joe Perkins.

Global News is celebrating 10 years as the exclusive media partner of the No Stone Left Alone Foundation, marking a decade of annual commemoration ceremonies. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Global News will air National Remembrance Day news special, Canada Remembers, hosted by Global National weekend anchor Robin Gill at 7:30 a.m. PT/8:30 a.m. MT/10:30 a.m. MT and ET/11:30 a.m. AT. The 30-minute presentation will include stories woven together from No Stone Left Alone events across Canada, and feature students sharing their reflections of fallen soldiers’ stories. The special will also air across the Global News Radio network on 980 CKNW Vancouver, 770 CHQR Calgary, 630 CHED Edmonton, 680 CJOB Winnipeg, AM 640 Toronto, 980 CFPL London and 900 CHML Hamilton.

Global News says its Decision BC provincial election coverage across TV, radio, online, social and the Global TV App “outstripped the competition” by a huge margin on election night. According to Numeris data provided by the network, from the time the polls closed to the final election call, Global beat CTV by 620% and CBC by 350% (based on A25-54 Rating %). Peak viewing was from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. block, when Global averaged a 3.9 rating, CTV 0.5 and CBC at 1.0 against A25-54. In terms of online engagement, Global’s election-related page views totalled 1,185,016, while on YouTube, the stream saw 114,625 total views over the course of the evening with a peak of 85,307 concurrent viewers.

Corus Studios has announced the sale of over 300 hours of new and returning series, including deals in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Israel, and Poland. Off the heels of the studio selling over 85 hours of home and food content to HGTV and Food Network in the U.S., Island of Bryan (Renovation Island) Season 1 and 2 have been sold to Poland’s Canal + Polska and Scott’s Vacation House Rules (Vacation House Rules) (13×60) travels to Australia’s Nine Network. The Big Bake (18×60) has also arrived in the UK on ITVBe, among other deals.

Incendo has announced it’s begun principal photography on Cupids on Beacon Street, which is being shot on location in Montreal, starring Canadian actress Britt Irvin (Time For You To Come Home for Christmas; Cheasapeake Shores; Undercover Angel). The movie also co-stars Canadian actors Jeremy Guilbaut (The Last Bridesmaid; Destination Wedding) and Tamara Almeida (Entertaining Christmas; Ghostwriter). The film is being produced in association with Citytv to air as part of the network’s Fall in Love Fridays lineup. Kaleigh Kavanagh produces, while the Executive Producers are Jean Bureau and Ian Whitehead.

BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media has received additional funding through the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) to support women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic. With the additional funds, BANFF Spark will provide the 100 participants currently taking part in the program with training and resources to address immediate and long-term strategies for tackling business challenges associated with the pandemic. 

Women in Animation’s (WIA) Vancouver chapter has selected the six finalists for its Animation Career EXCELerator Program (A.C.E.). The announcement was made live at the WIA Vancouver and SPARK Animation Diversity & Inclusion Summit grand finale Oct. 30. The six finalists that will be working together to write, develop and produce an animated short film are: Writer – Robyn Campbell; Producer – Tini Wider; Director – Ana Gusson; Art Director – Cindey Chiang; Animation Director – Erica Miles; and Composer – Eva Pekarova. A.C.E. is an expanded and updated version of the organization’s Five in Focus program. The six women selected represent key creative positions in animation in which women have been traditionally underrepresented. 

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) presents the 11th annual Média-Jeunes Conference Nov. 18-20 online, in French. This year’s conference offers six content blocks over three days with each presentation followed with a brief question period (via Zoom chat). The conference will also offer online speed-dating meetings between broadcasters, producers and creators. Find the full conference program, here.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Canadian Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault has tabled Bill C-10, the Broadcast Modernization Act, that among other measures, creates a new category of broadcast undertaking – the “online undertaking” – and gives the CRTC new powers that would tap streaming companies for as much as $830M annually in Canadian content contributions by 2023. In a departure from the recommendations of the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review (BTLR), the Bill does not apply to online news media or text-based sites. It also excludes user-generated social media content, but would apply to YouTube Music or instances where parent company Google is commissioning or curating content, as well as Facebook Watch. Additionally, the bill stops short of applying a corporate tax on streaming companies or having them collect or remit GST. Speaking to reporters in a media availability following first reading of the Bill, Guilbeault said additional legislation around both taxation and further regulation is in the pipeline. Read more here.

The CRTC is inviting Canadians living in the North to provide feedback on telecommunications services, particularly those offered by Northwestel – the incumbent carrier in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and northern B.C. and Alberta. The commission says it’s seeking to better understand the state of telephone, wireless and internet services in the areas served by Northwestel to help determine whether more needs to be done to ensure Canadians living there have access to high-quality services at reasonable rates. Initial comments are due by Jan. 20, 2021.

Shaw Communications’ financial and operating results for the quarter ended Aug. 31 show consolidated revenue was comparable year-over-year at $1.35 billion and adjusted EBITDA increased 11.2% year-over-year to $594 million. Fiscal 2020 consolidated revenue increased by 1.3% to $5.41 billion and adjusted EBITDA increased 11.0% year-over-year to $2.39 billion. Fourth quarter Wireless subscriber net additions of approximately 60,000 reflected increased retail traffic compared to the third quarter and strong demand for Shaw Mobile, partially hampered by intensifying competitive activity and a less active back-to-school season. Fourth quarter postpaid churn was 1.57%, a 10-basis point increase over the prior year due primarily to targeted competitive win-back offers in the market. In the Wireline segment, subscriber activity was soft due to both COVID-19 as well as reduced promotional investment. Consumer RGUs declined 79,500 in the quarter, including Internet net losses of 14,500, partially offset with Business RGU additions of approximately 8,300. 

TVA Group Inc. recorded operating revenues in the amount of $119.5 million for the third quarter of 2020, a year-over-year decrease of $6.1 million. Net income attributable to shareholders was $8.4 million for earnings per share of $0.19, compared with net income of $13.4 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2019. The Broadcasting segment reported $16,938,000 in adjusted EBITDA, a $4,959,000 unfavourable variance due primarily to a 71.1% decrease in adjusted EBITDA of its specialty channels, including TVA Sports which recorded a significant increase in costs for the quarter as a result of the postponement of the NHL playoffs, partially offset by a significant increase in adjusted EBITDA generated by TVA Network and commercial production services. The Film Production & Audiovisual Services segment (MELS) reported $2,947,000 in adjusted EBITDA, a $3,535,000 unfavourable variance, primarily due to COVID-19-related production stoppages.

CBC says it got it wrong on a June episode of Recap in its CBC Kids News section that looked at controversial statements made by J.K. Rowling about gender identity. Responding to several complainants who thought the segment was biased and unfair to the Harry Potter author, senior producer Lisa Fender acknowledged the segment did not show a range of perspective or meet CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices. In his review of the issue, CBC Ombudsman Jack Nagler agreed the Recap episode violated policy and outlined behind-the-scenes changes at Kids News that have taken place since the incident, including more formal vetting of on-air presenters.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) next J-Talks Live event on Nov. 19 will explore the psychological toll of reporting on COVID-19. The free virtual event, Risk and Injury: Journalists, Mental Health and COVID-19, responds to the early results of a recent study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford suggesting 70% of journalists have suffered some level of psychological distress due to the many challenges covering the pandemic. The event will feature the study’s authors: Dr. Anthony Feinstein, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and a global authority on how journalists are impacted by traumatic events they report on, and Meera Selva, director of the journalist fellowship program at the Reuters Institute. 

Eric Blais

FEATURE: Eric Blais’ latest Rethinking Media column applies design thinking to misinformation and asks how, in a world where shock and opinion drive audiences, media professionals can become aware of mis- and disinformation on our platforms and measure its impact on the bottom line. Read more here.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Liquid Media Group has partnered with Eventival to offer a direct-to-consumer solution to help filmmakers monetize their work after a festival run and over the long term through single ticket and subscription sales. Eventival has, over the past decade, supported more than 1,000 festival events and over half-a-million users through its film festival software solutions. Film festivals worldwide can now create a branded channel on Liquid’s Reelhouse service to sell festival tickets, live-premiere films and stream globally. Once the credits roll at a festival, Eventival users have access to a suite of distribution, live-premiere and monetization tools to share their films with a worldwide audience.

TVU Networks, the cloud and IP-based live video solutions provider, and FedNet, a multi-media news organization covering the U.S. Congress, have launched a broadcast and web-ready content service to assist broadcasters with locating and clipping real-time video sources from Capitol Hill. TVU is also providing use of its TVU Search feature, which will allow producers to find and clip video content from FedNet’s video feeds and other news source providers in real time. FedNet’s live streams will be available to TVU Grid subscribers and news organizations interested in obtaining FedNet content.

ACCESS Europe GmbH has announced an enhancement to its NetFront Browser BML (Broadcast Markup Language) Edition for cars that extends support from embedded operating systems such as Linux and QNX to Android. Aimed at the Japanese market, TV services for automotive in Japan are provided by terrestrial or antenna TV-based ISDB-T (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting). The standard, which requires a BML browser for display, is also present in a number of South American countries and the Philippines, facilitating the delivery of services that provide news, sports, weather forecasts or emergency warnings.