The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Roz & Mocha

Rogers Sports & Media has extended the reach of the Roz & Mocha Show to more markets in the wake of last week’s cross-country layoffs. Originating from Toronto’s KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM), the show is now airing on KiSS 100.5 (CHUR-FM) North Bay, KiSS 99.3 (CKGB-FM) Timmins, and KiSS 100.5 (CHAS-FM) Sault Ste. Marie, bumping the local morning shows on those stations. In North Bay, staff cuts included afternoon drive host Cody Belanger as well as newsroom staffers Richard Coffin and Bob Coles. Former morning show host Kevin Oschefski moves to afternoons. In Timmins, 99.3 KiSS morning host Mark Kinsman and afternoon host Tyler Cropley were released, in addition to program director Amanda Dyer, who had been with the station since 2007, as well as news anchor/reporter Alain Quevillon. In Sault Ste. Marie, Zenga McCurdy is now helming middays across all three stations, while his former morning co-host Casey MacDonald moves to afternoon drive. Former Sudbury-based KiSS network midday host Turner Gentry has been released. Ottawa’s KISS 105.3 (CISS-FM) also underwent layoffs, including PD Anthony DeRossi.

Sideshow

Other station cuts in Ontario impacted K-ROCK (CIKR-FM) Kingston where personalities Sideshow and Eilish Sullivan were among the casualties. In London, commercial/imaging producer Andy Goddard was let go, in addition to creative writer Sarah Drapeau.

 

 

Charmaine de Silva

Rogers’ News 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver has announced several staff appointments following last week’s layoffs. Charmaine de Silva is upped to the senior leadership team, overseeing Vancouver local news, including CityNews, in addition to News 1130. Tamara Slobogean, former Supervising Producer of Breakfast Television in Vancouver and Calgary is now Managing Editor – News & Integration for News 1130 and CityNews. Terry Schintz, former news manager/anchor at CKNW Vancouver (who was restructured by Corus in August), is joining the station as Morning Anchor and Managing Editor. Peter Wagner is promoted to Managing Editor – News & Programming, from Managing Editor, Evenings & Weekends. Denise Wong, the station’s Managing Editor of Digital, will also now add CityNews to her responsibilities. 

Ian MacKinnon

Ian MacKinnon is the new afternoon drive host at Rogers’ 95.9 CHFM Calgary. MacKinnon joins the station from Rogers’ sister station KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) where he’d been since March 2019.  

Shane Hewitt

Shane Hewitt has been named as the new permanent host of Corus late night network talk show, The Shift. Hewitt succeeds Drex, aka Justin Wilcomes, who left Corus in August to pursue other opportunities. Based in Calgary, Hewitt has been a frequent guest host. He’s been with Corus since 2016, filling in on Calgary’s Q107 (CFGQ-FM), Country 105 (CKRY-FM), and 770 CHQR, as well as CISN Country 103.9 Edmonton, and Country 104 (CKDK-FM) London. Read more here.

Ange Stellisano

Ange Stellisano will be taking over afternoons on Classic Hits Coast 101.1 (CKSJ-FM) St. John’s, starting Nov. 30. Stellisano was previously with Stingray, and prior to the ownership change, Newcap, in St. John’s for nearly two decades, up until this past February.

Reshmi Nair

Reshmi Nair has joined CP24 as an anchor. Nair, who left CBC News Network after a decade this past March, had most recently been one of the anchors of Bell Media’s Quibi news segments, in addition to serving as CTV’s Internal Ombudsman since September. 

Salim Valji

Salim Valji is joining TSN as the network’s Calgary correspondent. Valji will deliver regular reports on the Calgary Flames and Stampeders, as well as breaking sports stories from Metro Calgary and Southern Alberta. He succeeds Jermain Franklin in the role, who moved to Toronto in August to become a SPORTSCENTRE host. Originally from Edmonton, Valji has previously worked with CTV Montreal, and been a contributor to CBC, the New York Times, and other publications.

Jennifer Basa

Jennifer Basa is joining CTV Atlantic in New Brunswick as a reporter. Basa has been a VJ with Global Kingston since May 2019.

Allie Miller

Allie Miller has joined CTV Vancouver as a reporter. Miller was most recently with CityNews Calgary. She did a previous reporting stint with CTV Lethbridge in 2017.

Media Central Corporation, which owns NOW Magazine and The Georgia Straight, among other publications, has announced the resignation of its CEO/director Brian Kalish, Chief Financial Officer Igor Kostioutchenko, and directors Scott Wilson, Gil Steinfeld and Larry Latowsky. Rodney Davis is now Chief Financial Officer and David Daniels, Emmanuel (Manos) Pavlakis, and Jay Vieira have been appointed to the board. Kalish had previously dismissed the group of what he called “dissident shareholders” following their concerns about alleged underperformance.

Tristin Hopper

Tristin Hopper has parted ways with The Capital, the online Victoria startup specializing in regional long form journalism. Hopper, the publication’s founding editor and a former National Post scribe, had been with the startup since June 2019. In the meantime, Jimmy Thomson has been named Managing Editor, while former Vancouver Magazine and Western Living publisher Tom Gierasimczuk has joined the venture as VP, Partnerships & Monetization. The capital behind The Capital is Victoria area tech entrepreneur Andrew Wilkinson, who is also the money behind the Tiny Foundation, which announced a $1M investment in Canadaland this past June.

Faith Fundal

Faith Fundal is the new afternoon host of CBC Manitoba’s afternoon radio program, Up To Speed. Fundal has been with CBC British Columbia since 2008, primarily working on CBC Daybreak North. Fundal also hosts gender identity podcast, They & Us. 

Mike Finnerty has announced he’s leaving CBC Montreal morning show, Daybreak, with Friday, Nov. 27 to be his last show. Finnerty, 55, previously stepped away for a nine-month sabbatical in March 2019. He’s hosted the show, on and off, since 2006.

Eric Veillette

Eric Veillette has joined Radio-Canada as culture reporter for Matin Toronto, covering all things culture for the francophone community. Veillette has previously covered arts & culture for France 24 and the Toronto Star. 

Zouheir Mansourati

Zouheir Mansourati has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications. Mansourati has nearly three decades of experience in telecommunications, including 13 years at TELUS where he held several executive roles including VP of National Broadband Network Implementation. Most recently, Mansourati was Chief Customer Officer at Vitruvi, working with their telecommunications network clients.

Olivia Nuamah

Olivia Nuamah has been appointed ACTRA National Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. In the newly-created position, she’ll support ACTRA objectives to improve the working lives of Canadian performers and oversee strategies to ensure more diverse on-screen representation. Nuamah began her career as an artist before becoming a community activist and advocate. As Executive Director of the Atkinson Foundation, she oversaw policy initiatives, including Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and The Black Experience Project study. She’s also served as ED of Pride Toronto. She’ll report to Marie Kelly, National Executive Director.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Bell Media has flipped more of its stations to its Pure Country brand, including Windsor/Detroit’s 89X (CIMX-FM), where it’s also moved to bring 93.9 The River (CIDR-FM) under the Virgin Radio umbrella. 89X had been playing modern rock since 1991 as grunge ascended, while its sister station CIDR-FM moved to an Adult Alternative Album format in 2006. Entercom simultaneously moved to fill the alternative hole in the Windsor/Detroit market by flipping its Soft AC 98.7 The Breeze (WDZH-FM) to ALT 98.7 “Detroit’s New Alternative.” Bell also rebranded small market stations 105.7 SUN FM (CICF-FM) Vernon, BC and CJ104 (CJCJ-FM) Woodstock, NB as Pure Country stations. While CJ104 morning personality Ed Shaw had been released, Bell says featured programming will include at least one local Woodstock personality, John Knox. At SUN FM, the station’s move away from a CHR format, sees morning show hosts Betty Selin and Jehrett Schafer, as well as afternoon host April Kimble let go. Read more here.

StatsRadio continues to measure cross-platform audiences across 62 regional and community radio stations and has some insights as Canada moves from the first to the second wave of the pandemic. Data collected from February to mid-November, shows that although 65.6% of stations experienced gains in listenership during the start of the pandemic, 77% experienced a typical summer decrease in audience size. 66% have since returned to audience sizes similar to those experienced in April. Audiences for 62.30% of stations measured are also listening longer, with tuning up by almost a million hours between July and this month. StatsRadio says those 62 radio stations have reached 1.9 million individual listeners, who combined, tune over 11.3 million hours of radio weekly.

SiriusXM has launched its anticipated podcast offering, following the satellite radio provider’s acquisition of the Stitcher and Simplecast platforms. The company’s initial slate includes a series of new original podcasts from Marvel Entertainment, as well as SiriusXM hosts, and a “curated” selection of shows from Stitcher, FOX News, NBC News, CNN, NPR, ViacomCBS, The Wall Street Journal, HBO, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Joel Osteen Ministries, Wondery, Barstool, Westwood One, Crooked Media, TNT, WNYC Studios, Slate, PodcastOne, TED, Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios, PRX, and Pushkin Industries. Kevin Hart‘s Laugh out Loud Radio will also roll out a series of new radio shows and podcasts next year. Read more here.

Alan Cross’ Ongoing History of New Music has reached the 900th episode milestone, since debuting in 1993 on Toronto’s 102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM). In the meantime, the podcast version of the show has now been downloaded 10 million times. Believed to be the longest-running alt-rock music documentary, the show ran for nearly a decade, solely on CFNY, before it was picked up by CFOX Vancouver in the late ‘90s. Now syndicated across the country, Craig Venn was the original technical producer working with reel-to-reel tape. Rob Johnston took over at episode 110 and has continued producing ever since. Read more show stats here.

Erica Ehm has launched new podcast, Reinvention of the VJ, which has thus far seen the MuchMusic icon interview counterparts Steve Anthony, Rick Campanelli, Jeanne Beker, and George Stroumboulopoulos. Ehm, who also runs mommy blog ymc, says the podcast is a passion project in which she talks about the role these personalities played in the Canadian pop culture landscape of the ‘80s and ‘90s, their perspective on that experience now, and other personal and behind-the-scenes stories.

Radioplayer is launching in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, bringing the total number of Radioplayer countries to 14. France is an important automotive market, accounting for 14% of all European car sales, and more than a quarter of European car production from Renault and PSA (Peugeot/Citroen). Radioplayer says the France collaboration, set to launch in the New Year as a consortium of six groups (public service broadcaster Radio France, plus Les Indés Radios, M6/RTL, Lagardère, NRJ, and NextRadioTV), will ensure the international radio sector can speak to all car manufacturers with one voice, to keep radio strong in dashboards of the future. Radioplayer Netherlands, which launched this week, will operate as a partnership between public service broadcaster NPO and Dutch commercial broadcasters, representing more than 80% of radio listening in the country. Radioplayer Sweden, also launching in the New Year, is backed by a consortium made up of the three major broadcast groups – Sveriges Radio (public service broadcaster), Bauer, and Nent – together accounting for at least 90% of listening in Sweden.

LISTEN: UK broadcast veteran and consultant Francis Currie is on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, talking about why radio needs to pay more attention to the 15-24 demo and get serious about competing on content, as well as his new “Smashprep service for on-air performers.

LISTEN: Jeremy White, swing host at The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM) Montreal, is Matt Cundill’s guest on the Sound Off Podcast. White talks about his start in community radio at K103 Kahnawake, his online presence, and his interviews with prominent music stars like John Oates, David Guetta, and Rob Halford

NOMINATIONS close this Sunday, Nov. 29 at 11:59 PT for the inaugural Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters, “The Howards” are FREE TO ENTER. Check out the 13 categories and find the submission form here. Help us celebrate the great radio, promotions, and feats of engineering from your station that’s come out of a challenging year. Winners will be announced Monday, Dec. 14.

SIGN OFFS:

David Hemblen

David Hemblen, 79, on Nov. 16. Born in England, Hemblen grew up in Toronto and was recruited for a season at the Royal Alexandra Theatre while still in university. He went on to work in film and television as both an actor and voiceover artist, including roles in Atom Egoyan films Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Where the Truth Lies, and Family Viewing, for which he received a Genie Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. Recurring TV roles included “George”
on La Femme Nikita, “Lewis Hewitt” on A Nero Wolfe Mystery and “Jonathan Doors” on Earth: Final Conflict. He also voiced
the character of Magneto in the X-Men animated series and the vaultkeeper in Tales from the Cryptkeeper, among other characters for television, film, and games.  

Tony Luciani

Tony Luciani, 90, on Nov. 7. Luciani had a long career in radio throughout Southern Ontario, starting at CKTB St. Catharines before moving to CHML Hamilton in 1949. Luciani worked in the music library, eventually becoming the station’s Chief Librarian, succeeding Ed Preston. Luciani was one of the few library staff trusted to select music for the station’s relatively new FM station CKDS. After getting caught up in staff cuts in the late 1980s, he moved to the Kitchener-Waterloo area, working at the Waterloo community radio station where he hosted a weekly big band show, as well as CKKW. 

TV & FILM:

The Independent Filmmakers Committee of the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), led by Clement Virgo, has published a “Directors Manifesto” calling for an overhaul of Telefilm funding models. Submitted as part of the federal agency’s “Pan-Canadian Consultation” on the Success Index, Talent to Watch and Development programs, the manifesto urges an end to automatic funding tracks. DGC President Warren P. Sonoda says the current system’s mathematical formula doesn’t account for the creative elements at the centre of a project. The manifesto focuses on three key recommendations, including that Telefilm stop using the Success Index as a tool for project selection in favour of a rotational, inclusive and representational jury or similar mechanism to evaluate the creative elements of each project; make inclusion for all historically underrepresented groups a public priority, starting with specific targets for gender, race and region among the board and senior staff and in the project selection process; and nurture talent and the global reach of Canadian voices by shifting from a model that views production companies as agency “clients” to a collaborative model that helps filmmakers build their careers and gain “breakout” recognition domestically and abroad.

Cineplex and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group have announced a multi-year agreement for theatrical exclusivity windows in the Canadian market that reflects changing consumer behaviour and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to agreements Universal has established with other major exhibitors, it guarantees at least three full weekends (17 days) of theatrical exclusivity for all Universal Pictures and Focus Features theatrical releases, at which point the studio will have the option to make its titles available across premium video on demand (PVOD) platforms, including the Cineplex Store. The deal strays from Cineplex’s notoriously strict  90-day theatrical exclusivity window. Under its terms, any title that has a North American opening weekend box office of $50 million or more, including franchise titles, will play exclusively in theatres for at least five full weekends (31 days) before the title can be made available on PVOD. The full terms of the deal are confidential.

UBCP/ACTRA handed out its 9th annual awards in a streamed event for the first time on Nov. 21. Handing out six performance and two lifetime achievement awards, Carmen Moore won Best Performance Female for Rustic Oracle, while John Cassini won Best Male Performance for Anthony Shim’s Daughter. Actress/producer Catherine Lough Haggquist was presented with the Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award, while actor Alvin Sanders (aka Riverdale’s Pop Tate) was recognized with the John Juliani Award Of Excellence. Find the complete list of winners, here

Brightlight Pictures is developing a new comedy series called Fort Puleyne, in association with Pier 21 Films, writer Evany Rosen (New Eden) and Bell Media. Written and created by Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley, B Positive) and Humphrey Ker (Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet), Fort Puleyne follows a young officer at a backwater garrison as he leads a misfit British militia during the War of 1812. 

CTV Toronto and CP24 shine a spotlight on local businesses across the GTA in new sponsored content series THINGS TO KNOW T.O., which airs Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. ET on CP24, at 9 a.m. ET on CTV2 Toronto, and 10 a.m. ET on CTV in Toronto. Produced in association with Bell Media Sales, the series is hosted by CTV Toronto’s Lyndsay Morrison. The 30-minute talk series profiles companies across the health, wellness, home improvement, culinary, special events, real estate, law, insurance, and local services sectors. 

Global Edmonton and Global News Radio 880 (CHQT-AM) have launched their annual Give Me Shelter campaign in support of local women’s shelters. Now in its 17th year, the annual drive calls on viewers and listeners to donate unwrapped gifts, including new clothing, toiletries, gift cards and toys in support of women and children fleeing domestic violence during the holiday season. This year, in light of the pandemic and challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions, Global News is asking audiences to donate gift cards and/or submit cash donations online in support of five local women’s shelters: WINGS, WIN House, La Salle, A Safe Place and Lurana Shelter. On Dec. 8, Global News will host an All Day Donation Drive on all platforms – TV, radio, online and social media – as a mid-campaign push to collect as many gift cards and online donations as possible between 5 a.m. and midnight. The campaign continues through Friday, Dec. 18.

Nick+ is now available to customers in Canada via Apple TV, the Apple TV app on mobile and smart TVs, as well as PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Subscribers can watch online or enjoy offline downloads of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. series. Corus Entertainment is running a Black Friday special through Nov. 30 offering the channel, as well as its STACKTV multi-channel streaming package, at a reduced price for the next three months.

Stingray Group has announced it’s launched its premium SVOD channels – Stingray Classica, Stingray Karaoke, and Qello Concerts by Stingray – with seven additional partners. They include OneHub TV (UK) and existing partners Optimum and Suddenlink by Altice (US), Amazon Prime Video Channels (Italy and Spain), Player + (Poland), Rogers Communications (Canada), Swisscom blue TV (Switzerland) and Totalplay (Mexico). 

MILESTONE: Gerry Persoon, is celebrating 45 years of engineering at Global BC. Persoon, who hails from South Burnaby, joined then-BCTV in Nov. 1975 with his earliest memories of the station as a young viewer. Over his time with the station he’s served as Engineering and News Technology Supervisor, carrying responsibility for maintaining the virtual sets, digital and analog transmitters on Mount Seymour, tower cams and digital microwave and satellite uplink trucks, among other equipment. Among his career highlights are working behind-the-scenes to bring coverage to air of Expo ‘86, the 1987 Grey Cup Parade in Vancouver, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and the launch of all-news channel BC1.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has launched the 2020 Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey, Canada’s first representative survey of diversity in media. It comes following three years of consultation and aims to tell a story, using hard data, about who works in Canadian media. The survey is being sent to the editor-in-chief, or equivalent, at radio, television, digital, and print outlets across the country. The CAJ will maintain a running list of the newsrooms that have been sent the survey and provide regular updates on which newsrooms have responded. The results will be made publicly available following the Apr. 2 response deadline. If you’re a newsroom leader who did not receive a survey, contact survey@caj.ca

Brent Jolly

Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) President Brent Jolly has penned an op ed for the Toronto Star on the ongoing challenges Canadian journalists face in the course of attempting to do their jobs as Canada and Botswana co-chaired the second Global Conference for Media Freedom last week. Jolly’s comments come as a damning report from Canada’s information commissioner highlights the RCMP’s deficiencies in responding to access to information requests.

Cogeco Connexion, Maskicom and Videotron say regulatory easements announced by Bell in late October to resolve issues around access to its telephone poles, has only allowed 13% of projects currently awaiting permissions to go ahead. The Quebec internet service providers are demanding an end to what they call “anti-competitive and unfair practices” that they say are limiting the ability of ISPs to deliver high-speed internet expansion projects to rural communities in Québec.

Rogers Communications has turned on its 5G network in Winnipeg and Brandon. Customers in those locations on Rogers Infinite and Rogers for Business Shared Unlimited Data plans, with compatible 5G devices, will now have access to the wireless technology. Including those communities, Rogers 5G network powered by Ericsson, now reaches a total of 134 cities and towns across the country. 

IVC Telecom has announced the launch of its unlimited internet service in Northern Ontario, in areas like Thunder Bay, Saulte Ste Marie, Dryden and Kenora. In addition to its internet service, Quebec-based IVC says it will also soon be introducing residential telephone service.