The Weekly Briefing

SIGN OFFS:

Rosalie Trombley, 82, on Nov. 23, of complications from Alzheimer’s. Originally hailing from Leamington, ON, Trombley was initially hired at Windsor-Detroit Top 40 powerhouse CKLW-AM “The Big 8“ as a switchboard operator and receptionist in 1963. She eventually accepted a position in the station’s music library and by 1968 had moved into the role of music director. Trombley quickly established herself as “the girl with the golden ear,” because of the influence her playlist additions had on a single’s success. Due to the station’s 50,000 watt reach, which saw CKLW attract an audience beyond Windsor-Detroit into southwestern Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana, her name became synonymous with hit radio with a 1973 Globe and Mail article dubbing her “Queen of the Top 40 Charts.” She is credited with helping break acts like Bob Seger, Kiss, Alice Cooper, The O’Jays, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament–Funkadelic, Queen, and Aerosmith into the Top 40 CHR charts. She also helped Canadian artists gain recognition in the U.S., including Gordon Lightfoot, The Guess Who, Paul Anka, Bachman Turner Overdrive, and Burton Cummings. One of the few women to hold a music director role at the time, Trombley’s run with CKLW extended from 1968 to 1984, through the station’s format transition away from Top 40. She went on to work with WLTI-FM Detroit and CKEY Toronto. In 2005, the Radio Trailblazers established the Rosalie Award, annually presented to a Canadian woman who has blazed new trails in radio. Trombley was its inaugural recipient. Among other accolades, she was inducted into Detroit’s Motor City Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame. She was honoured with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the JUNO Awards in 2016. Read more here.

Peter Aykroyd

Peter Aykroyd, 66, on Nov. 20. Alongside his older brother, Dan Aykroyd, Peter was part of the Second City comedy troupe in Toronto. After early acting appearances on SCTV, The New Avengers and Tom Schiller short, Java Junkie, Akyroyd went on to join the cast of Saturday Night Live in its fifth season in 1979-80. During his one-year stint with the show, he received an Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program Emmy nomination, along with several other writers. He continued to act throughout the 1980s and early ‘90s, embarking on several projects with his brother, including co-writing 1991 feature film, Nothing But Trouble. He went on to co-create PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, which had an 88-episode run. He also provided the voice of Elwood Blues for the 1997 The Blues Brothers: Animated Series adaptation, alongside Jim Belushi, in addition to small roles in Spies Like Us, Dragnet and Coneheads.

Sally Gardner, 75, on Nov. 20. A former CBC Vancouver script and continuity supervisor, Gardner served as script supervisor on 36 episodes of The Beachcombers. Among the other series she worked on was Vancouver-shot 1970s sitcom Leo and Me. Gardner was one of four people – along with director Don S. Williams and actor Michael J. Fox, in addition to a cameraman – who worked together between 1976 and 1980 and were all diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s. The cluster was the subject of CBC documentary “The Parkinson’s Enigma” in 2002. Gardner lived with the disease for 39 years. Her husband was retired CBC Vancouver technical director and producer Derek Gardner.

Bill Hughes

Bill Hughes, 96, on Nov. 15. Growing up in New Westminster, BC, Hughes dreamed of being on the radio. He managed to get hired by CJAT in Trail, BC at age 19, working in the record library and signing the station on in the morning, among other tasks, before returning to Metro Vancouver and CKWX. He joined CKNW a year later as a newsreader and host, and eventually took over the station’s “Roving Mike” segment which saw Hughes engage with strangers, many times aboard local transit or tour buses, six times a week from 8:45 – 9 a.m. By the time Hughes retired in 1994, he had produced more than 15,000 Roving Mike segments. About a decade into his career, in 1954, Hughes was named General Manager of CKNW, one of the youngest people in the country to hold a GM position, which he remained in for 14 years. In the late 1950s, he joined Frank Griffiths (who went on to found Western International Communications (WIC)) and lawyer Walter Owen, in the purchase of CKNW from original licensee Bill Rae. Hughes sold his six per cent interest in the station in 1970 for $4 million.

Phyllis Webb

Phyllis Webb, 94, on Nov. 11, on Salt Spring Island. Born in Victoria, BC, Webb studied English and Philosophy and was a published, contemporary feminist poet prior to joining the CBC in 1964. Alongside William A. Young, she co-created long-running CBC Radio One program, Ideas. She served as the program’s executive producer from 1967-69. She went on to create CBC Television program, Extension, a series about Canadian poetry. She continued to freelance for the public broadcaster throughout the 1970s, before moving on to teach creative writing at the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and the Banff Centre. Webb won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1982. In 1992, she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. 

REVOLVING DOOR:

Mora Austin

Mora Austin, GM, Radio & TV, Central and Northern Ontario was a casualty of the latest round of restructuring at Bell Media which predominantly hit Ontario radio. She was formerly Vice-President of Larche Communications from 2000-18 when it was sold to Bell Media and a Past President of the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB). In addition to previously-published departures, those no longer with the company include: Craig Pfeifer, Program Director at 97.7 HTZ FM (CHTZ-FM) and Newstalk 610 CKTB St. Catharines, and BNN Bloomberg 1150, (CKOC-AM) and Funny 820 (CHAM-AM) Hamilton; Steve Young, Director of News & Information Programming Bell Media London, who oversaw radio and television news at CTV London & 1290 CJBK; Nancy Hunt, Music Director and announcer at Move 100 (CJMJ-FM) Ottawa; and Tracy McBride, a General Sales Manager & Digital Sales Advisor, based in Pembroke.

Rick Campanelli & Sandra Crofford

Rick Campanelli has joined Evanov’s flagship station Z103.5 FM (CIDC-FM) Toronto, alongside Sandra Crofford, who formerly hosted the station’s midday show. Campanelli, 51, who rose to Canadian pop culture icon status as “Rick the Temp” during his decade-long run with MuchMusic, went on to report for ET Canada for 12 years. He previously had a brief run in radio as a morning show co-host on Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) in 2016, alongside Fred Kennedy and Melanie Mariani. Crofford also did a previous stint with 102.1 The Edge as a swing host in the mid-2000s. In addition to previously hosting middays and afternoons in two separate stints with Z103.5, she’s also been on-air at 104.5 CHUM FM, 99.9 Virgin Radio (CKFM-FM) and CHYM 96.7 as well as Evanov’s Hot 100.5 (CFJL-FM) Winnipeg. Read more here.

Stefanie Masotti

Stefanie Masotti is CTV News Windsor’s new weekday anchor for CTV News at Six and CTV News at 11. Masotti will assume the role Feb. 28, 2022. She began her career reporting for CTV Ottawa before returning home to join CTV Windsor as a reporter and later anchor of the weekend editions of CTV News at Six and CTV News at 11. 

Taylor Rattray

Taylor Rattray has left CTV News Regina. Rattray first joined the network as a reporter in 2015 at CTV Saskatoon. She’d been an anchor and video journalist with the Regina bureau since 2017. 

Tamara Slobogean

Tamara Slobogean is leaving CityNews Vancouver to join the Invasive Species Council of BC as Communications Manager. Slobogean has been in various roles at Rogers Vancouver for the past two decades, from morning show reporter at News 1130 (CKWX-AM) to Supervising Producer of Breakfast Television in Vancouver and Calgary. For the last year, she’s been Managing Editor – News & Integration for CityNews across radio and TV.

Hana Mae Nassar

Hana Mae Nassar has assumed Managing Editor duties for CityNews 660 (CFFR-AM) Calgary and its digital product. Nassar joined CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver in 2017 as a part-time reporter while pursuing Journalism at BCIT. She’ll continue to be based in Vancouver.

Shalinda Kirby

Shalinda Kirby has moved on from the Power 97 (CJKR-FM) Winnipeg morning show, which she co-hosted alongside Phil Aubrey and Joe Aiello who remain in the timeslot. Kirby, who’d been with Corus Winnipeg since 2018, is joining 92 CITI FM in afternoon drive as of Nov. 29, posting that she’ll eventually be part of a revamped morning show.

Gregger

Gregger has left the morning show at 98 Cool FM (CJMK-FM) Saskatoon to join Global Saskatoon as a tech producer for the morning show. He’s been paired with various co-hosts on the show since 2016. Sarah Wallace remains on the morning show, alongside Saskatoon Media Group Program Director and longtime station personality Steve Chisholm.

Melanie Adams

Melanie Adams, who has been co-hosting the Rebel 101.7 (CIDG-FM) Ottawa morning show for the last three years, has left the station to take on a new role with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. Prior to joining Rebel in 2018, Adams was a co-host and news anchor with Bell Media in Ottawa for a decade. 

Art Aronson

Art Aronson, who has helmed news at 100.3 The Q! (CKKQ-FM) Victoria for the last four years, has left broadcasting to take on a new job in communications for the provincial government. The 2011 BCIT Radio & TV grad completed his Master’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies at Royal Roads University earlier this year. Prior to joining The Q in 2017, Aronson was an anchor and reporter with CFAX 1070.

Ari Rabinovitch

Ari Rabinovitch has left his traffic reporting gig with the Canadian Traffic Network (CTN). Rabinovitch has supplied airborne traffic reports on stations, including Global News Toronto and Corus Radio stations Q107 (CILQ-FM) and AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) for the past decade.

MC Mario Tremblay

MC Mario Tremblay has ended a 30-year run on Montreal airwaves as the host of the MC Mario House Party, which aired Saturday nights on 95.9 Virgin Radio (CJFM-FM). Tremblay had been a staple on the station since 1991 following a brief stint with Energie 94.3 (CKMF-FM).

Dj Darko

DJ Darko (aka Stephen Munga) is the new host of campus and community station weekly Top 20 countdown, !earshot 20. Munga is also the host of Chill Rose Radio, which airs on 101.7 CIVL-FM Abbotsford and is also available as a podcast.

Sheila Ritson-Bennett

Sheila Ritson-Bennett is Corus Entertainment’s first Head of Environment and Sustainability. In the newly-created role, Ritson-Bennett will work with leaders across the company to shape Corus’ broader environment, social and governance (ESG) strategy while providing legal and industry counsel on related social and policy matters. Ritson-Bennett most recently held sustainability and risk management roles with BMO Financial Group and TD. She also has extensive experience within the Ontario government, as legal counsel at the Ministries of Natural Resources, Forestry and Energy with expertise in regulatory, environmental, trade and aboriginal law. 

Mehernaz Lentin

Mehernaz Lentin is Telefilm’s new National Director, Feature Film – English Market for a five-year term, starting Dec. 6. Lentin was previously Senior Director of CBC Films, responsible for overseeing the funding and pre-licensing of Canadian features for broadcast on CBC and  CBC Gem. Prior to joining CBC in 2017, Lentin was an independent producer. Telefilm’s Regional Feature Film Executives will report directly to her.  

Kelly Wilhelm

Kelly Wilhelm, Canada Media Fund’s Chief Strategy Officer, has left the organization to take a federal Chief of Staff role with the Minister of Sport and Minister of Economic Development for Quebec, Pascale St-Onge. A 20-year arts & culture strategist, Wilhelm took on the newly-created role at CMF in 2019, tasked with helping set the future trajectory of the organization. She’s previously worked as a senior policy advisor for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Curtis White

Curtis White is joining Network Entertainment as a Business Development Executive for Network NFT Studios and an Executive Producer for emerging content initiatives. White was part of the founding group of Vancouver’s Thunderbird Entertainment and spent more than a decade there in a number of positions on both the corporate and creative side. His past roles include Business Development, Investor Relations, and most recently Head of Digital for the Thunderbird Group of Companies.

Carolyn Newman & Virginia Rankin

Carolyn Newman has been appointed EVP, Global Scripted, and Virginia Rankin in-house Executive Producer, at Canadian-headquartered Blink Studios. Based in Los Angeles and reporting to CEO John Morayniss, Newman will focus on the development of scripted content for the newly-launched indie studio. Based in Toronto, Rankin will work closely with Newman to discover new and diverse voices in Canada and internationally. Newman joins Blink from Will Packer Media, where she served as Head of Scripted Television and Production. She was previously Director of Original Series for Netflix and prior to that SVP of Scripted Programming at Entertainment One. Rankin is an independent producer working across scripted development and production. She served as Executive Producer of Sphere Media medical drama Transplant, and prior to that was Executive Producer of four seasons of police drama 19-2 (CTV).

RADIO & PODCAST:

Music Canada is hailing a major audio streaming milestone achieved last week. Canadians listened to more than 2 billion audio streams in a single week, according to global music industry analytics provider MRC Data. “A little over two years ago Canada reached 1.5 billion weekly audio streams, and we are pleased to share that the country has quickly achieved another major milestone with 2 billion weekly audio streams,” said Rob Jonas, CEO P-MRC Data, in a release. “With the Canadian audio streaming market currently up over 12 percent year over year from 2020, we certainly expect to see more record weeks in the future.” MRC Data’s includes music audio streams from licensed on-demand services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and TIDAL, excluding podcast episodes. It says Pop, Rock, Rap, Country, and Alternative Rock are the genres with the highest streaming volume increases over the past few years. Read more here.

Radio Connects, the advocacy association that promotes radio to agencies and advertisers, isn’t happy that the next phase of the City of Toronto’s ShowLoveTO campaign doesn’t include any radio spots. Unveiled last week with a kick off event in the Distillery District, the ShowLoveTO campaign encourages Torontonians to shop local this holiday season, with a focus on small businesses and restaurants. A supporting ad campaign running through December includes 280 TV spots; YouTube ads; social media advertising; Spotify ads; more than 100 transit shelter ads; digital display and online videos in multiple languages. Radio Connects President Caroline Gianias says the city’s move to exclude radio from its media buy is “a slap in the face,” considering many stations stepped up to support small business and promote the shop local message during the pandemic. Read more here.

Global News’ podcast What Happened To? returns to the Curiouscast Podcast Network for a second season on Nov. 25 with 20 brand new episodes that will be released bi-weekly. Hosted by Global News reporter Erica Vella, What Happened To? digs into stories that grabbed the world’s attention and then disappeared when the mics turned off. Season 2 will debut with a look at Murder Hornets.

Vanessa Murphy
Vanessa Murphy

Vanessa Murphy, morning show host at Bounce 91.9 (CKLY-FM), Lindsay, ON (and the Canadian Radio Awards winner for Best Solo Host (Music) – Small Market), was named the runner-up in the 2021 Radio Star competition, hosted by Nails Mahoney and Tracey Lee of OnAirCoach. The global competition, which began in March and was judged by radio presenters from around the world, saw Rosa Serret – a student at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, UK – crowned the winner.

SiriusXM has announced a free preview period from Nov. 23 to Dec. 6, available to anyone with an inactive satellite radio in their vehicle, as well as online and on mobile devices via the SXM App. Find the free listening channel lineup, here.

 

 

LISTEN: Q101 (CKMQ-FM) Merritt is a small Pattison Media-owned station in B.C.’s Nicola Valley. With a staff of just three, the radio station is the only broadcast media outlet located in the community that was evacuated Nov. 15 after torrential rain that triggered flooding and mudslides in the region. Q101 is continuing to carry on operations from sister station B100 (CKBZ-FM) in Kamloops. Station Program Director Roger White took time to speak to Broadcast Dialogue earlier this week about weathering a year of wildfires and water, on top of the challenges of the pandemic. Also check out The CJN Daily’s interview with CIVL-FM Abbotsford’s Aaron Levy on the University of Fraser Valley campus station’s efforts to keep its listeners informed.

LISTEN: Matty Staudt, the former VP of Podcast Programming for iHeartRadio, returns to the Sound Off Podcast to talk about his new role as Chief Development Officer at New York-headquartered branded podcast company, Amaze Media Labs, which has expanded into Talent, Experiential and Media Buying. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

TV & FILM:

The City of Toronto projects a record production volume for 2022 amid new studio builds, including a $250 million state-of-the-art media hub. Hackman Capital Partners, and its affiliate the MBS Group, has been named the successful proponent of the Basin Media Hub Request for Proposals (RFP) to build and operate a film studio complex on 8.9 acres in Toronto’s Port Lands. The hub will provide up to 500,000 square feet of studio space and production offices. The city credits global demand for Toronto studio space with several announcements this year, including a move by Netflix to open a Canadian headquarters in Toronto. It says production volume is on track to hit a record-high in 2022, after hitting a $2.2 billion record in 2019. By 2025, through expansions and new builds, studio space in the Toronto region will increase by 63%, to a projected 5.3 million square feet.

Netlifx is acquiring Scanline VFX, which has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Munich, Stuttgart, and Seoul. Founded in 1989, Scanline is now led by Stephan Trojansky, a trailblazing VFX Supervisor whose proprietary fluid rendering system Flowline won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2008. Scanline is known for its complex, photorealistic effects and expertise in virtual production on series and feature films like Stranger Things, Cowboy Bebop, Game of Thrones, Godzilla vs Kong and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Going forward, the company will continue to operate as a standalone business.

Corus Entertainment has teamed up with OYA Emerging Filmmakers to launch the Corus Unscripted Internship Program, a newly-created training, networking and mentorship opportunity for Black emerging filmmakers who have completed post-secondary education and are interested in pursuing a television career in the lifestyle and factual genres. As a complement to the OYA Emerging Filmmakers program, which supports recently-graduated Black youth focused on developing their careers in film, television and digital media, the Corus Unscripted Internship Program will also provide two participants with an eight-week paid internship placement on a Corus-supported unscripted production in 2022. 

The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) and OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) have teamed up to deliver a new accelerator to increase the capacity of Black content creators and/or producers working in the immersive media space. Scale Up Immersive is a three-month immersive accelerator lab that will provide 10 founders of Black-owned content creation companies per year – for a total of 30 founders over three years – with industry consultation, intensive workshops and case studies, hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as a rapid prototyping component that includes access to state-of-the-art immersive media production facilities and technologies. The first cohort launches Feb. 2, 2022 and runs until the end of April. Participants will leave the program with a working prototype in virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed/extended reality (VR/AR/XR). Applications for the program close Dec. 23. 

CBC documentary Anne Murray: Full Circle, produced by Network Entertainment, in association with Universal Music Canada, will premiere as a special one-night cinema event at 50 select Cineplex theatres across the country on Dec. 2, followed by its exclusive broadcast and streaming launch on CBC TV and CBC Gem on Dec. 17. Anne Murray: Full Circle includes never-before-seen footage from Anne Murray’s personal archives, along with interviews with artists, collaborators, and colleagues, including Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Jann Arden, Kenny Loggins, and Gordon Lightfoot

​​CBC has announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its winter 2022 slate of programming, including over 20 new and returning original series. The new winter primetime schedule launches Sunday, Jan. 2 on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Among the new programming is CBC Kids’ series UKULELE U, hosted by musician Melanie Doane and premiering Saturday, Jan. 8. The original series encourages young viewers at home to learn along with a cast of kids known as the Uke Troupe.

Crave, in association with New Metric Media, WildBrain, and Play Fun Games, has started production in Sudbury on all-new original series, Shoresy. The first official spin-off of LETTERKENNY, the six-episode, half-hour hockey comedy sees fan favourite character, Shoresy, join a senior AAA hockey team in Sudbury on a quest to never lose again. The puck drops on Season 1 of the series in Spring 2022, streaming exclusively on Crave. With Jared Keeso in the titular role, the cast also features Tasya Teles (The 100), Harlan Blayne (Tribal), Blair Lamora (Paranormal Nightshift), and Keilani Rose (Flimsy)

Clement Virgo

Clement Virgo (The Book of Negroes, Billions, The Get Down) will direct Black Cyclone, a new feature drama about the life and career of bicycle racer “Major” Taylor. Inspired by the book “The World’s Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero” by The Washington Post investigative reporter Michael Kranish, Black Cyclone is produced by Minds Eye Entertainment’s Kevin Dewalt. Chris Kirkman, Rashid Bahati, Eric Mika, and Natasha Semone Vassell will serve as executive producers, with Rahsaan Bahati, a 10-time U.S. Pro Champion Cyclist, joining as a consultant for the project. John Howard, a three-time Olympic cyclist, will also act as a consultant and executive producer on the film. Production is set to begin in 2022. 

NFB is bringing together acclaimed filmmakers to create short cinematic tributes to Canadian performing arts legends for a 12th year, as the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards gets set to honour laureates with two televised specials, one on CBC and one on Radio-Canada on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. (EST). The short films will be available immediately afterward on NFB.ca. Titles include: Zab Maboungou by Carmine Pierre-Dufour; Florent Vollant: I Dream in Innu by Nicolas Renaud; Starlight & Other Sounds: The Music of Alexina Louie by Josephine Anderson; Catherine O’Hara: All of Us Shine by Hart Snider; Tantoo Cardinal by Darlene Naponse; Lynda Hamilton: The Art of Listening by Claude Guilmain; and Ryan Reynolds: I’m a Laureate? by Christopher Auchter.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has launched applications for the CMPA Indiescreen Awards, recognizing producers whose vision and entrepreneurship demonstrate a commitment and passion for producing Canadian feature films. Two awards will be presented: The Established Producer Award ($10,000), recognizing a producer’s filmmaking accomplishments over the course of their career to date; and The Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award ($5,000), celebrating an up-and-coming “one-to-watch” in feature film production. Applicants must have acted as lead producer on a Canadian feature film that has or will premiere in the 2021 calendar year. The deadline to apply is Dec. 9. Due to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19, the Indiescreen Awards will again be part of the CMPA’s annual Prime Time conference, taking place virtually in early February.

Maia Jae Bastidas

The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has announced the winner of the 6th YMA Andra Sheffer Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding student who intends to pursue a career in the field of youth content for the screen. This year’s winner is Maia Jae Bastidas, a recent Media Production graduate at Ryerson University. Bastidas is a Toronto-born Ecuadorian/French-Canadian actress whose screen credits include CBS’s Ransom, CW’s In the Dark, and Paramount’s Mayor of Kingstown. She’ll receive accreditation to attend the Kidscreen Summit in Miami, and the Banff World Media Festival in 2022, plus a $4,000 travel grant, in addition to personalized mentoring.

The Vancouver International Black Film Festival, created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation and co-presented by Canada Media Fund and Global BC, has unveiled its inaugural programming lineup, running entirely online, Dec. 9-12. VIBFF will feature 38 films from seven countries, opening with Erika Cohn’s Belly Of The Beast and closing with Ignacio Márquez’s feature film The Special. Highlights of the festival’s programming include: an All-Canadian Short Film selection; the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s award-winning Being Black in Canada series; and the VIBFF Black Market, where Film & TV industry professionals will share their thoughts and experience on critical filmmaking issues. 

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The CRTC hearing on the proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications by Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) got underway Monday with Edward Rogers and Brad Shaw pledging to honour the legacy of their visionary fathers. Edward Rogers said Canada is no longer an island and while Bell and Telus are the company’s primary competitors in cable, increasingly its competitors are global platforms and brands. RCI is pitching the deal as a way to overcome the challenges of the digital age by enhancing competition in the Prairie provinces and B.C., through a $2.5 billion 5G network investment in the west and investing in IPTV platforms to strengthen the company’s ability to provide an alternative to the global media giants “threatening the business models and sustainability of Canada’s broadcasters and distributors.” RCI says it plans to invest in Canadian programming, including maintaining support for children’s programming by continuing to fund the Shaw Rocket Fund, and growing the CityNews audience in Western markets like Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, where it’s lagged in popularity behind other local news outlets. The hearing has, however, also raised questions about the merger’s potential funding impact on Global News

OpenMedia has initiated a petition following Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne indicating that the Liberal government plans to reintroduce Bill C-10, the revisions to the Broadcasting Act that died on the order paper when the federal election was called. OpenMedia, a not-for-profit with a mission to keep the internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free, says it rejects the idea of “forcing the Internet into Canada’s Broadcasting Act — and giving government bureaucrats the power to decide what appears on our social media feeds.” As written, Bill C-10 was expected to die in the Senate where former journalists like Pamela Wallin and Paula Simons were among those questioning the government’s ability to regulate digital media.

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) is presenting its 43rd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence webcast Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. ET. In addition to mounting this year’s awards, CEMA is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by bestowing a special honour on former Parkdale MP and Ontario MPP Yuri Shymko with the Serghei Khmara ZiTniak Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards will also be available to stream at a later date on TLN Media Group, OMNI Television, Ethnic Channels Group and ATN-Asian Television Network. 

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

IBC2021 (International Broadcasting Convention), which was due to take place Dec. 3-6 at The Rai in Amsterdam, has announced it’s cancelling its in-person event. IBC said the move follows growing concerns about the COVID-19 situation in The Netherlands, which has deteriorated over the past week, and feedback from the IBC exhibitor and visitor community. IBC2021 will now focus on bringing the content and technology community together via IBC Digital. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, several companies including Broadpeak and EditShare, had announced they had made the decision to withdraw in-person participation following the Dutch government’s move to impose a partial lockdown.

Broadcast Dialogue - NAB ShowNAB Show has announced a new showcase that will explore the transformative impact of data, artificial intelligence and automation on the media and entertainment industry at the 2022 convention, April 23-27. The “Intelligent Content” showcase will direct attendees through data utilization in the content lifecycle, providing opportunities for inspiration, innovation and implementation. AWS, MediaKind and Microsoft will anchor the showcase, located in the new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. It will highlight new engagement opportunities presented by always-on platforms and emerging networks, and the role data will play as the industry opens new monetization models. Intelligent Content is the fourth content pillar created for NAB Show, joining the previously-announced “Create,” “Connect” and “Capitalize.” 

​​SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) will honour industry luminaries and leaders at the virtual SMPTE Awards Gala, taking place across two ceremonies on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Among those being recognized are Girish Balakrishnan, Director, Virtual Production, Netflix, who will be awarded the Progress Medal in recognition of his long-term commitment and unwavering pursuit of the democratization of virtual production methodologies. Christopher J. Cookson, Retired, Warner Bros., will have Honorary Membership conferred upon him in recognition of his pioneering efforts to advance technology in the production and distribution of television and motion pictures, including HD and ultra high-definition video and the standardization of digital video discs (DVDs), digital cinema, and digital mezzanine files. Wendy Aylsworth, CEO, Walden Pond, will be awarded the Progress Medal in recognition of her long career, during which she helped shape how media content is distributed to homes and movie theatres. Filmmaker Peter Jackson will be awarded Honorary Membership in recognition of technical contributions to the advancement of engineering in motion pictures and the allied arts and sciences. Jackson led his technology company, WETA Digital, in the development of groundbreaking digital effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, including a software system to generate intelligent crowds for battle scenes and advanced motion-capture techniques. Read more here.