The Weekly Briefing

Nominations are open for the inaugural Broadcast Dialogue 2020 Canadian Radio Awards which we are affectionately dubbing “The Howards” after our publisher emeritus Howard Christensen.

Howard Christensen

When Howard, a radio news veteran, started Broadcast Dialogue in 1992, he saw the need – in a quickly evolving industry where talent, sales, and other staff made frequent moves – for a publication that would both inform and create a sense of community. Led by our publisher Shawn Smith, these awards honour that legacy, in what has been a particularly challenging year for radio.

The Howards aim to recognize the great radio borne of those challenges from community service initiatives to the feats of engineering that saw thousands of staff transition to work from home.

Starting today, entries are being accepted across 13 categories, until Nov. 29, with a jury of past and present industry professionals to make 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place determinations, and the winners to be announced online Monday, Dec. 14.

Broadcast Dialogue is grateful to the sponsors and supporters who have stepped up as foundational partners in this awards program. We encourage all Canadian radio stations, whether commercial, public, multicultural, campus or community, to enter. Link to the nomination form, entry guidelines, category descriptions, and rules and regulations, here.

REVOLVING DOOR:

Maya Johnson

Maya Johnson has been named the new anchor of CTV Montreal’s CTV News at 5 and CTV News at 11:30. Currently the station’s Québec City Bureau Chief and on maternity leave, she’ll remain there to cover the winter session of the National Assembly before taking up her new role in Montréal at the end of March. She takes over from longtime CTV Montreal anchor Paul Karwatsky, who left the station in September to focus on autism awareness. 

Morgan Campbell

Morgan Campbell is CTV Regina’s new CTV News at Noon and CTV News at Six weekday co-anchor, alongside Lee Jones and meteorologist Warren Dean. Campbell spent more than a decade as a reporter at CTV Yorkton and CTV Regina before stepping away for a few years to focus on her family. She returned to the station earlier this year as a reporter.

Bianca Millions

Bianca Millions has been released by CTV Edmonton after three years as a host and producer. Millions was previously with CTV Regina as a sports anchor and reporter.

Isabelle Raghem

Isabelle Raghem is leaving CityNews Vancouver to join CBC Vancouver as a reporter and weekend host/producer. Raghem has been a VJ with CityNews since 2018 and has held similar roles with CHEK News Victoria and CHCH Hamilton.

Vanessa Ong

Vanessa Ong has left the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group after more than 10 years as Executive Assistant to the President. She’s now the Events Manager for the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council.

David Pate

David Pate has retired after 31 years as a senior producer at CBC Nova Scotia. Pate most recently had been producing regional radio call-in show Maritime Noon. Longtime radio producer Diane Paquette succeeds him in the role.

Helen Asimakis

Helen Asimakis, CBC’s Senior Director, Drama, and Michelle Daly, Senior Director, Comedy, are no longer with the public broadcaster as it restructures its scripted content team. CBC says it will be creating four new positions designed to be more responsive to the independent production community. The roles of Senior Director of Comedy and Drama, respectively, will be replaced with a new leadership model that will include a Director of Development and a Director of Current Production for each scripted content area. 

Carol Fysh

Carol Fysh has retired from Today’s Shopping Choice (TSC), formerly known as The Shopping Channel. She’d been with TSC since 1999, most recently as host of ‘Intimately You.’ Fysh’s 30-year broadcasting career started at AM96 Cambridge, ON, with stops at CHAM-AM and CHCH-TV Hamilton. 

Asa Rehman

Asa Rehman is leaving Mediapro Canada’s OneSoccer where he’s been part of the SVOD channel’s founding on-air team for the last two years. Rehman was previously with Global News in both Toronto and Vancouver as a sports and news anchor. 

Tegwyn Hughes

Tegwyn Hughes is joining Narcity Canada as an Associate Copy Editor. Hughes, a 2020 Queen’s University graduate, is also part of the founding editorial team of student journalism site, The Pigeon

Peter Nowak

Peter Nowak has joined independent ISP TekSavvy Solutions as Vice-President of Insight & Engagement. Nowak is a writer and author, including previous stints as a tech reporter with CBC, the National Post, and the New Zealand Herald.

 

 

 

Dale Hancocks

Sabah Mirza will succeed Dale Hancocks as Corus Entertainment’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, effective Nov. 23. Mirza, who will also assume the role of Corporate Secretary to the Corus Board of Directors, was most recently Executive Vice President, Business Affairs at the Sunwing Travel Group. Hancocks began his career at Corus in 1996 as Legal Counsel to Nelvana, before going into private practice and then returning in 1999 to become Managing Director for Nelvana’s international content distribution business. He’s held his current role since 2005. He and Mirza will work together through Dec. 11 to ensure a smooth transition. 

David Goldstein

David Goldstein, who has been the COO at Gusto Worldwide Media for the last year, has been appointed Travel Alberta’s new CEO, effective Nov. 16. Prior to working with Gusto, Goldstein was President and CEO of federal marketing org, Destination Canada. He’s also held the role of SVP, Regulatory Affairs with Bell Media and VP, Government & Regulatory Affairs with CHUM.

 

 

Robert Bennett

Robert Bennett has been appointed SOCAN’s new Chief Financial Officer. Bennett most recently served as Lead Financial Officer, Capital Markets, Technology and Operations, BMO Financial Group. He’s also held positions with Edward Jones Canada and RBC.

Warren P. Sonoda has been acclaimed as DGC (Directors Guild of Canada) National President alongside the guild’s new 1st Vice-President, Tracey Deer. Sonoda and Deer will be joined by returning National Executive Board members Wanda Chaffey (2nd Vice President), Grace Gilroy (Secretary-Treasurer), Warren Carr (Production Department Rep) and Paul Day (Editing Department Rep), each of whom was also acclaimed.

Warren P. Sonoda & Tracey Deer

RADIO & PODCAST:

The National Campus & Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC) has handed out its annual Community Radio Awards in Broadcast and Online. Among the winner’s are Max Collins, CITR-FM, who took the Best In Podcasting category for Dragged Out, an exploration of Vancouver’s drag scene in the wake of numerous venue closures. Dragged Out also won the ‘OUT LOUD’  Best in LGBT+ Programming award as well as the Documentary category. University of Calgary campus station, CJSW-FM, claimed the honors for Best Classical Music Show (Wednesday Night Classical), Best Country or Folk Music Show (Tombstone After Dark), and Best World Beat Show (Level the Vibes), as well as Best Current Affairs program for Jeremy Klaszus’ Sprawlcast. For more winners, watch the awards livestream here.

iHeartRadio Canada has launched new weekly podcast series, Hot Talk: A Climate Change Podcast. Hosted by Elliott Cappell, the 10-episode series looks at truths and mistruths about climate change in Canada through one-on-one interviews, roundtable discussions, and short stories. Initial guests include President and Co-founder of the Niskanen Centre, Jerry Taylor, a former climate change skeptic, as well as Christiana Figueres, the architect of the Paris Agreement, who reflects on her work with nearly every country in the world on climate change. 

Mary Mammoliti

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has added Kitchen Confession to its original podcast lineup, hosted by celebrity culinary expert Mary Mammoliti. Debuting Nov. 18, Kitchen Confession dives into the minds and kitchens of chefs, authors, lifestyle experts, foodie friends, bakers and brewers who share their untold kitchen confessions along with insider tips and tricks. Mammoliti, who is partially sighted, has been a regular AMI contributor since 2017, first on Live from Studio 5 and currently on Kelly and Company. She also hosts Now We’re Cooking segments on AMI This Week.

Hot Docs is inviting emerging audio storytellers to apply for its career development program open to new Canadian podcasters, aged 18-34. 70 selected participants will receive a complimentary pass to the virtual edition of the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, Jan. 27-29, where they’ll have the chance to participate in industry panels, workshops and networking events, in addition to a private pre-festival career accelerator session featuring notable audio professionals. Apply by Dec. 4. More info here.

The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Radiothon, Nov. 4-5, raised $641,157 in support of the hospital’s Pediatric Hemodialysis Unit and Children’s Kidney Health program. This year’s Radiothon was broadcast live on 23 radio stations across the province. The event has raised more than $13.94 million for Saskatchewan kids and moms in hospital since the very first Radiothon 19 years ago.

The Paws for Pledges Radiothon on Friday, Nov. 6 saw Country 100 (CILG-FM) Moose Jaw raise over $76,000 over the duration of the 12-hour broadcast for the Moose Jaw Humane Society. This was the eighth annual Paws for Pledges Radiothon, which has raised a total of half a million dollars. 

 

Starboard Communications, the longtime owners and operators of 95.5 Hits-FM (CJOJ-FM), Cool 100.1 FM (CHCQ-FM), and INQUINTE.CA in Belleville, ON, have announced the return of their all-Christmas online radio station, Christmas in Quinte. The station will launch at 9 a.m. ET Nov. 12 and can be streamed at christmasinquinte.ca or via the ChristmasinQuinte.ca app.

LISTEN: Kevin Frankish joins Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about what he’s been up to since his departure from Breakfast Television Toronto and his new podcast project, The Happy Molecule. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt Cundill’s guest is Bryan Barletta, author of the podcasting ad tech newsletter Sounds Profitable, who takes Matt through an ad tech crash course covering digital/podcast attribution, podcast monetization and data infrastructure. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek, 80, on Nov. 8, of pancreatic cancer. Trebek’s broadcasting career started at the CBC where he worked nights while pursuing a philosophy degree from the University of Ottawa. He made the jump from radio and TV news to hosting in 1963 with Music Hop, followed by hosting turns on high school quiz show, Reach For The Top, and Canadian game show, Strategy. Moving stateside in 1973, he established himself as a game show host on programs including NBC’s The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, CBS show Double Dare, and syndicated series The $128,000 Question. He began hosting Jeopardy! in 1984 and more than 8,000 episodes later holds the Guinness World Record for “the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program).” He won his sixth and seventh Daytime Emmy Awards for Jeopardy! in 2019 and 2020, respectively, in addition to a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Emmy. Also an inductee of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and the Library of American Broadcasting, Trebek was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. Read more here.

Howie Meeker

Howie Meeker, 97, on Nov. 8. Meeker’s NHL career saw him play eight seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1946-55) and win four Stanley Cups, followed by a short coaching stint from 1956-57. The right winger concurrently spent one term as a Progressive Conservative MP, representing Waterloo South, ultimately deciding not to seek a second term in 1953. Meeker’s foray into broadcasting started in the 1970s as an analyst and colour commentator on Hockey Night in Canada, also serving as the colour analyst for the 1972 Team Canada-Soviet series. “Howie Meeker’s Hockey School”, a weekly instructional series, also ran on CBC-TV from 1973-77, based on Meeker’s summer hockey camps. Meeker later served as a Vancouver Canucks play-by-play announcer on BCTV (now Global BC) alongside Bernie Pascal from 1977-85, and Jim Robson for the 1985-86 season. Meeker joined TSN in 1987 when they acquired the broadcast rights, staying with the network until his retirement in 1998. That year Meeker was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, and honoured with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for Excellence in Hockey Broadcasting. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010.

Len Lauk

Len Lauk, 87, on Oct. 30. Lauk started his broadcasting career with CBC-TV (CBUT) Vancouver in 1955 as a script assistant and worked his way up to producer of the evening news. He was also part of early efforts to keep production of scripted drama on the west coast. Among the dramas Lauk produced and directed for CBUT drama anthology “Studio Pacific” was 1967’s “Moose Fever” which marked an 18-year-old Margot Kidder’s first major role. Kidder also acted in Lauk’s production “The Club Man.” He also produced several episodes of “Cariboo Country”, the first film drama series produced by CBC and shot on location where the stories were set. Lauk eventually made a move to CBC Halifax as Director of Television and Radio, followed by a promotion to Director of English Language Radio and Television in Toronto. In 1976, he returned to Vancouver to take up the position of Director for the Pacific Region.

TV & FILM:

WIFT Toronto has named its 2020 Crystal Awards honourees. They include Beth Janson, CEO at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, who receives the award for Outstanding Achievement in Business; Marsha Greene, Showrunner, Television Writer, Executive Producer (Creative Excellence Award); Jennifer Kawaja, Producer and Co-President of Sienna Films (Mentorship Award); Sue Haas, VP of Digital Media at Blue Ant Media (Digital Trailblazer Award); and Marci Ien, former co-host of CTV’s The Social and Liberal MP-elect for Toronto Centre, who claims the Special Jury Award of Distinction. The 2020 Crystal Award honourees were nominated by WIFT Toronto members and selected by a jury of past winners.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced it’s doubling funding to the COVID Emergency Relief Funds to Black and People of Colour to $8M from the previously announced $4M. Click here to access the criteria and here to apply before Dec. 17. It’s also announcing Black People and People of Colour Sector Development Support for industry initiatives ineligible for funding from other CMF Programs. Click here to access guidelines and here to apply before Nov. 27. Through the CMF’s consultation with racialized stakeholders this past summer, the CMF identified several organizations dedicated to supporting BPOC-led companies and creators working in Canada’s screen-based industries. The CMF’s investment will support these organizations’ as they continue to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Supported in this initial round are the Black Screen Office, BIPOC TV & FILM, Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC), and Reelworld Screen Institute.

 

 

Global Original drama Nurses has been picked up by NBC for a Dec. 7 primetime launch in the U.S. Produced by ICF Films and eOne in association with Corus Entertainment, the show features a Canadian cast that includes Tiera Skovbye (Riverdale), Natasha Calis (The Possession), Jordan Johnson-Hinds (Blindspot), and Sandy Sidhu (Home Before Dark). The Nurses pick-up follows U.S. network deals for CBC’s Coroner and Trickster, as well as CTV’s Transplant, as programmers look for content to fill gaps left by COVID-19’s impact on production schedules.

Global Original drama Departure, starring Christopher Plummer and Archie Panjabi, has debuted as the #1 new series (2+) this fall, according to Numeris data supplied by the network. Produced by Shaftesbury and Greenpoint Productions, in association with Corus Entertainment, the series premiered in October tracking a 2+ AMA of 1.2 million viewers and ranking as a Top 5 series overall. Departure concludes its first season Nov. 12. Season 2, produced by Shaftesbury and Deadpan Pictures, just wrapped production in Toronto and focuses on the crash of a high-speed automated train – the Apollo – travelling from Toronto to Chicago. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

Saved by the Bell, a reboot of the late 1980s NBC sitcom, is premiering on W Network on Nov. 26 with back-to-back episodes at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., coupled with a special presentation of the inaugural episode on Global at 8 p.m. ET/PT. All 10 episodes will also drop on STACKTV at 8 p.m. ET via Amazon Prime Video. Part of Corus Entertainment’s agreement with NBCUniversal to air marquee Peacock Original programming in Canada, the new series sees Mark-Paul Gosselaar reprise his role as Zack Morris, who is now California governor. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez also star, reprising their roles as Jessie Spano and A.C. Slater. 

TVO has announced the world broadcast premiere of TVO Original Running Wild: The Cats of Cornwall. Written and directed by Aaron Hancox and produced by Markham Street Films, the documentary will air Nov. 24 and be available for 24/7 streaming on tvo.org. The 70-minute feature explores Cornwall, Ontario’s feral cat crisis which reached a peak in 2017 when 764 stray cats were taken in by the local OSPCA, nearly 30% of the total for the entire province. 

Stingray has reached a long-term agreement with TELUS that will see Optik TV subscribers gain access to the new TV app Qello Concerts by Stingray, featuring full length concerts and music documentaries. Qello Concerts by Stingray will be available for a monthly subscription fee of $8, while Optik TV subscribers will continue to have free access to Stingray audio channels through the Stingray Music TV app. The TV apps – Stingray Music Videos & Stingray Karaoke, plus the TV channels Stingray Loud, Stingray Vibe, Stingray Retro, Stingray Country, Stingray Hits!, Stingray Now 4K, Stingray Naturescape 4K, Stingray Festival 4K and PalmarèsAdisq par Stingray – will also continue to be available to most subscribers, free of charge. 

WildBrain Q1 2021 results report revenue of $95.5 million, compared with $112.3 million in the prior year quarter. The decrease was primarily driven by WildBrain Spark and pressure on global advertising due to COVID-19 as well as policy changes on YouTube for “Made for Kids” content. Content Production and Distribution revenue increased to $36.3 million in Q1 2021 vs. $35.1 million in Q1 2020, due to higher production revenue, driven by premium proprietary projects including new Peanuts originals such as The Snoopy Show, a second season of Snoopy in Space, and new seasons of Johnny Test, Fireman Sam, Polly Pocket and Chip & Potato. COVID-19 and YouTube advertising policies continued to negatively impact ad sales at WildBrain Spark, with revenue declining 60% to $8.9 million in Q1 2021 vs Q1 2020. It says viewership remained strong at 10.7 billion views in Q1.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) latest report, Social Media During Covid-19, finds that use of TikTok tripled among online Canadians, 18+, during the pandemic. Just three per cent of online Canadians said they used the app in Fall 2019, compared to nine per cent in Spring 2020. The video sharing platform is most popular among young people with 40% of those aged 18-24 and 36% of all online Canadian teens having used the app in the past month. Teen girls are more than 50% more likely to be using the app as teenage boys. Overall, nearly half of Anglophone social networkers aged 18+ felt that their use of social networks increased compared to the pre-lockdown period. The biggest increase came among online Anglophones aged 65+. While social networkers are more likely to read online news content than those not on social media, MTM found they are still more likely to get news from TV or broadcaster websites.

Media Central Corporation, the parent company of NOW Magazine and The Georgia Straight, has set Dec. 30 as the date for a Special Meeting of Shareholders. The meeting was requested by what a press release refers to as a group of “dissident shareholders”  who “continue to create an unnecessary distraction from managing the day-to-day business of MediaCentral, especially during a pandemic, which began affecting MediaCentral within mere months of its launch.” “During our 2020 AGM, we saw over 57% of the issued and outstanding shares of MediaCentral vote their shares and the majority expressed their confidence in the Company by duly re-electing the Board of Directors,” stated Brian Kalish, President and CEO, in the release. “While this is an unfortunate disruption especially in these times, we remain committed to ensuring that every shareholder of MediaCentral has the ability to have their voice heard.”

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an additional $750 million, on top of the $1 million announced in Budget 2019, to help connect Canadians to high-speed internet. The Liberals say the additional funding for the Universal Broadband Fund will help advance projects like the Canada Infrastructure Bank to connect those in underserved communities, including a $150 million Rapid Response Stream with an accelerated application process. Trudeau also announced a $600 million agreement with Telesat to improve connectivity and expand high-speed internet coverage in the far north, as well as rural and remote regions, through low-earth-orbit satellite capacity.

StingrayStingray revenues in the second quarter decreased $12.3 million or 16.0% to $64.3 million, from $76.6 million a year ago. The decrease was primarily due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Radio revenues (down $12.7 million or 33.6% to $25.1 million from $37.8 million a year ago) and, to a lesser extent, on Broadcast and Commercial Music revenues, partially offset by the acquisition of MSM and Chatter Research Inc. For the quarter, revenues in Canada decreased $13.0 million or 24.7% to $39.7 million, from $52.7 million a year ago, primarily due to COVID-19’s impact on Radio, Broadcast and Commercial Music revenues. Revenues in the U.S. increased $1.1 million or 11.7% to $10.1 million, from $9.0 million a year ago, primarily due to organic growth in streaming subscriptions and in advertising revenues in the Broadcast and Commercial Music segment. Revenues in Other countries decreased $0.3 million or 2.2% to $14.5 million, from $14.8 million a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter increased $3.5 million or 12.6% to $31.2 million from $27.7 million a year earlier.

Quebecor’s consolidated third quarter 2020 highlights include revenues of $1.11 billion in the third quarter, up $38.3 million (3.6%) from the same period of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $513.4 million, up $4.1 million (0.8%). The Telecommunications segment grew its revenues by $61.2 million (7.0%) and its adjusted EBITDA by $15.9 million (3.4%) in the quarter, while Videotron significantly increased its revenues from customer equipment sales ($60.9 million or 87.5%), mobile telephony ($12.7 million or 8.2%) and Internet access ($6.2 million or 2.2%). Videotron’s total average billing per unit was $49.96 in the third quarter, compared with $50.49 in the same period of 2019, a $0.53 (‑1.0%) decrease. Mobile ABPU was $50.98, compared with $53.28 in the same period of 2019, a $2.30 (‑4.3%) due in part to a decrease in overage and roaming revenues due to COVID‑19 and the popularity of bring your own device (BYOD) plans. There was a net increase of 4,700 revenue‑generating units (0.1%) in the third quarter, including 47,700 connections (3.4%) to the mobile telephony service and 20,500 subscriptions (1.2%) to cable Internet.

TELUS has released its unaudited results for the third quarter of 2020, reporting consolidated operating revenue of $4.0 billion, an increase of 7.7% over the same period a year ago. EBITDA decreased by 3.1 per cent to $1.4 billion reflecting multiple impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, declines in wireline legacy voice and legacy data services and higher employee benefits and other costs, including support for business acquisitions. That was partly offset by growth in wireline data service margins resulting from business acquisitions; expanded services and subscriber base growth; increased organic and inorganic EBITDA contribution from TELUS International (TI) business growth; and enhanced cost efficiency. Customer growth in the quarter included 111,000 mobile phone net additions and 79,000 wireline customer additions, driven by 50,000 internet, 19,000 TV and 18,000 security net additions.

CRTCThe CRTC has discovered a $525,355.35 payment shortfall dating back to 2009 when Corus acquired specialty channels Sex TV (now The Cooking Channel) and Drive-In Classics (renamed the Sundance Channel) from CTV. Representing roughly 13% of the $4 million tangible benefits package, originally committed to research and development under the banner of the “Communitech Rights Project,” the funds will now be directed to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) as the Rights Project is no longer active.

The CRTC’s virtual hearing on the renewal of CBC’s radio and TV licences will begin on Jan. 11. In the meantime, the commission has gone back to the public broadcaster to request more information on diversity and inclusion numbers reflected in the production teams of its in-house audio-visual programming for both on-air and key leadership positions. The request coincided with the release of a new blog post from CBC News editor-in-chief Brodie Fenlon outlining action taken so far to deliver on CBC’s pledge to improve diversity and inclusivity. 

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) says it plans to send letters to both federal cabinet and shadow ministers requesting meetings to re-emphasize the importance of maintaining Canada’s access to information system. Citing a recent report in the Winnipeg Free Press, CAJ says less than half of federal access to information offices are currently operating at full capacity because many departments have de-prioritized the processing of requests, which have not been treated as “a critical service”, resulting in serious backlogs and no clear guidelines on when they might be answered. The CAJ says the pandemic is not an excuse for the government to ignore access to information legislation. “In fact, with other accountability systems operating below par, and decisions of the utmost importance to our health, our rights and our economy being taken regularly, government transparency is now more important than ever,” the association stated in a release. 

Joy Malbon & Paul Hunter

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) J-Talks Live event Thursday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ET will explore the results of the recent U.S. election, the media’s coverage and how the outcome will impact Canada’s relationship with the U.S. Joy Malbon, Washington bureau chief for CTV National News, and Paul Hunter, CBC News’ Washington correspondent, will also discuss the challenges faced in reporting through a pandemic and growing political polarization. Learn more about the free, virtual event, here.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Starline Group Inc. has announced its acquisition of United Star Suites (USS) to meet increasing trailer and truck rental demand from the film and television industries as more studio space opens in the Greater Toronto Area. Starline says the acquisition of USS enables it to meet the industry’s expanding needs as it grows its current base in Ontario and Manitoba, “while looking at further expansion opportunities in new geographies and verticals across Canada.” Scott Turner will continue on as Starline President with USS co-founders Tony Bifano becoming Head of Operations and Al Paldino, Head of Sales. Starline has also welcomed Celina Capital as its new equity partner.

 

 

ARHT Media Inc., a Toronto-based developer of low latency hologram and digital content, has won the Best Use of Tech: Telepresence honour at the 2020 Digie Awards, as part of Realcomm 2020. Realcomm noted the innovative use of ARHT’s HoloPresence technology to virtually bring in speakers amid the pandemic. Andrew Dorcas, SVP, Global Sales, accepted the award via ARHT’s new HoloPod display.