The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Pooja Handa and Gurdeep Ahluwalia

Pooja Handa and Gurdeep Ahluwalia will take over the 98.1 CHFI morning show, starting Jan. 4. One of the worst kept secrets in the industry since their departure from CP24 over the summer, Handa and Ahluwalia step into the timeslot vacated in October by Maureen Holloway and Mike Cooper (who’d been filling in for the now retired Darren B. Lamb since early this year). News anchor Christine Cardoso will continue with the show, while programming veteran Blair Bartrem steps in to Executive Produce. Bartrem was most recently Regional Program Director for Bell Media’s Southwestern Ontario stations and prior to that, PD at 95.9 Virgin Radio (CJFM-FM) Montreal. He’s best known for his 12-year programming run at Toronto’s Q107 (CILQ-FM) and serving as PD and Operations Manager for Standard Radio’s Montreal stations, including CHOM 97.7, through much of the ’90s. Handa and Ahluwalia departed CP24 Breakfast within weeks of each other in late August. Read more here.

 

 

Amanda Cupido

Amanda Cupido is the new Director, Talk & Talent at Global News Radio AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) Toronto. She’ll oversee news and talk radio shows, including Toronto Today with Greg BradyThe Kelly Cutrara Show, The Alan Carter Radio Program, The Jeff McArthur Show, The John Oakley Show and On Point with Alex Pierson. Cupido started her career as a reporter and producer with Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto, going on to head communications for non-profit, World Vision. Since late 2020, she’s been helming her own podcast development company, Lead Podcasting.

Jay Michaels & Ryan Doyle

Ryan Doyle has parted ways with Bell Media as Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) rebrands The Rush with Ryan & Jay as The Rush with Jay Michaels. Doyle had been with Bell Media for 25 years, joining the company straight out of Humber College. The Rush with Ryan & Jay was awarded the Canadian Radio Award last month for Best On-Air Team (News/Talk/Sports) – Large Market.

Rob Vavrek

Rob Vavrek, Operations Manager for Bell Media Radio in Edmonton and Group Program Director for 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM), 104.9 Virgin Radio (CFMG-FM), and TSN 1260 (CFRN-AM), is no longer with the company. Vavrek had been with the station group for 29 years, starting out as Creative Services Director and Production Manager in 1992 under Standard Radio and then Astral.

Pamela Kirby

Pamela Kirby, swing announcer at 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM) Edmonton, has also parted ways with Bell Media. Kirby had been with the station since 2016. Prior to joining The Bear, she’d worked with Harvard Broadcasting’s Mix 103.7 (CFVR-FM) Fort McMurray where she held various roles, including hosting the station’s morning show.

Harry Corro

boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto welcomes Harry Corro to its on-air team, starting Dec. 6. Corro cut his teeth in radio in Manila and worked in Singapore as a host and radio production lecturer, before relocating to Canada at the start of the pandemic. For the last seven months, he’s been working swing at CHYM 96.7 Kitchener.

Natalie Panesar

Natalie Panesar has been appointed to the position of Director of Human Resources for Evanov Communications.  She joins Evanov with over 15 years of HR experience and will be based out of the Toronto office. She was most recently Director of Human Resources at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre.

Mairead Kelly

Mairead Kelly is moving into the position of Payroll Manager at Evanov Communications. Kelly first joined the company in 2018 as an HR/Payroll Assistant and in 2020 added the role of Executive Assistant to Gary Gamble, Director of Operations and Morning Show Host, Lite 88.5.

Howie Reimer

Howie Reimer, Program Director at Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops, is joining the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association or “Downtown Kamloops” as the organization’s Executive Director in the New Year. Reimer has been with Radio NL since 1993. Prior to that, he did a six-year stint with Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) Vancouver.

Colton Davies

Colton Davies has left Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops to take on a communications role with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Davies had been a reporter, anchor and assignment editor with the station since 2018.

Paul O’Neil

Paul O’Neil has parted ways with Harvard Media’s Play 107 (CKPW-FM) Edmonton just three months after signing on as music director and midday personality. O’Neil joined the station in late August. Prior to that, he served as Corus Entertainment’s Hub Music Director for the network’s Hot AC stations across the country.

Ashley Pirhonen

Ashley Pirhonen (aka AJ) has joined Move 97.1 (CJMJ-FM) Penticton in afternoon drive. She was previously in mornings at 99.5 Moose FM (CFBG-FM) Muskoka where she landed in January, straight out of the BCIT Radio Arts & Entertainment program.

Brandon Cassidy

Brandon Cassidy has joined CFTK-TV Terrace as a news anchor and reporter. A 2020 Ryerson University Sport Media grad, Cassidy previously was part of the Ryerson Rams Live play-by-play broadcast team.

Zack Power

Zack Power has joined CFTK-TV Terrace as the station’s newest reporter. Hailing from Mount Pearl, NL, the recent Seneca College Journalism grad spent the past six months working as a producer with Eastlink Community TV.

JT Wasney

JT Wasney is joining CTV News Lethbridge. A 2020 SAIT Radio & Television Broadcast grad, Wasney has been working as a reporter with Castanet News in Kelowna, in addition to acting as a colour commentator for the Kelowna Chiefs of the Kootenay International Hockey League.

 

 

Cameron Bailey

Cameron Bailey has been promoted to CEO of TIFF. Bailey has been with the organization for 25 years, starting as a programmer with Perspective Canada, founding the Planet Africa section, working as TIFF’s Artistic Director, and most recently as Co-Head of the organization. TIFF has also appointed Jeffrey Remedios, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Canada, as the festival’s new Board Chair. Several new board members also join the organization, including filmmaker Danis Goulet, Wattpad CEO & co-founder Allen Lau and Elevation Pictures co-founder Laurie May.

RADIO & PODCAST:

radioCount, Canada’s new provider of radio audience measurement, has released their inaugural Fall 2021 radio survey results. In field during September and October, the Fall 2021 study covers 22 markets across Canada previously dropped by Numeris, including Charlottetown, PEI; Fredericton, NB; Saint John, NB; Sydney, NS; Belleville, ON; Chatham, ON; Cornwall, ON; Guelph, ON; North Bay, ON; Owen Sound, ON; Pembroke, ON; Peterborough, ON; Sarnia, ON; Thunder Bay, ON; Timmins, ON; Wingham, ON; Brandon, MB; Lethbridge, AB; Red Deer, AB; Chilliwack, BC; Kamloops, BC and Prince George, BC. David Bray of Bray & Partners Communications takes a look at the ratings for Saint John, Fredericton, Prince George, Lethbridge, North Bay, and Peterborough. Read more here.

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) celebrated wins in 29 categories at the CCMA Music Industry Gala Dinner & Awards, presented by Music Canada, Sunday night in London, ON. The 2021 awards were the first time the Canadian country music industry had gathered in-person in more than two years. CFCW Edmonton was named Radio Station of the Year (Large Market), with the honour for Medium or Small Market a tie between Cool 100. 1 (CHCQ-FM) Belleville, ON and Real Country 95.5 (CKGY-FM) Red Deer. Country 92.3 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa’s Amanda Kingsland was awarded Music Director of the Year (Large Market), while Paul Ferguson of CHCQ-FM Belleville won in the Medium/Small Market category. The late Jennifer Campbell of Country 106.7 (CIKZ-FM) Kitchener was named Country Personality of the Year. Country Music Program or Special of the Year was awarded to Brett Kissel: Live At The Drive-In (BAK 2 BAK Entertainment Inc, Backroad Productions). Find the full list of winners here.

Tyler Joe Miller

Tyler Joe Miller from Surrey, BC is the winner of the third annual SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association. Miller takes home the grand prize of $25,000 and an invitation to a SOCAN songwriting camp. Following performances by the three finalists, including Miller, Raquel Cole, and Kelly Prescott, audience votes and a judging panel of music industry professionals crowned Miller the winner live Nov. 26 at the Top of the Country Finale in London, ON, which served as the kickoff to Country Music Week 2021.

 

Orbyt Media has teamed up with Wisebuddah to launch a new station sound for Virgin Radio in Canada. At the heart of the imaging package is a new “unified sonic identity,” which will be the branding focal point for all 12 stations across the Virgin Radio network. The IDs are made up of six bespoke music themes with genres ranging from Pop to Hip Hop. UK-based Wisebuddah is a partner of Bell Media, Rogers Sports & Media, and Rawlco Radio in Canada. Internationally, they work with brands including BBC Radio 1 & 2, Sky Radio, and Bauer Media International, among others. 

The Wake Up with Brad and Alysha, which originates at Stingray’s K96.3 (CKKO-FM) “Kelowna’s Classic Rock,” is now also being heard on K97.5 (CKRV-FM) Kamloops as the station rebrands to Classic Rock from the Classic Hits format it had carried since 2018. K97.5 has also adopted the slogan “Kamloops’ Classic Rock.” 

The CRTC has approved an extension to December 2022 for International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association to commence operation of Christian music radio station CFIH-FM Kelowna and its rebroadcasting transmitter CKXB-FM Kamloops. Harvesters cites the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited ability to travel over the last 21 months as well as equipment shortages for the delay. Over the summer, Harvesters’ President Dr. Jeff Lutes, who made the original application, also passed away leaving the charity’s board of directors to manage day-to-day operations. 

Ocean 100 (CHTN-FM) Charlottetown played Stompin’ Tom Connors’ “Bud The Spud” 72 times, starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25 in a “pledge of support” for a P.E.I. Potato Board petition calling for reversal of a trade order that’s suspended P.E.I. potato exports to the U.S. The station vowed to play “Bud The Spud” over and over until 10,000 signatures had been collected which was accomplished by 12:10 p.m. 

Pat Holiday has shared a video paying tribute to legendary CKLW Windsor-Detroit music director Rosalie Trombley, who passed away last week at age 82. Holiday, who worked alongside Trombley as CKLW’s afternoon drive announcer in the 1970s, is continuing to advocate for Trombley to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

LISTEN: Radio futurologist, writer, consultant and speaker James Cridland is on the latest episode of the Sound Off Podcast. Last time Matt Cundill talked to Cridland in 2018, there were just a half million podcasts in the audio universe…now there are 2.5 million. They discuss Apple v. Spotify, what indie podcasters are still missing out on, and how North America radio is faring overall. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

SIGN OFFS:

Robin Piercey

Robin Piercey, 84, on Nov. 18. Growing up in St. John’s, NL, Piercey started writing a local sports column for the Evening Telegram while still in his teens. He started his broadcast career with CBC Radio in St. John’s, moving from there to open the radio news bureau in Ottawa. Eight years later, he made the move to Vancouver to manage the newsroom there, before returning to Toronto to serve as Deputy News Editor, National News. Piercey returned to the West Coast as Manager of the Western Provinces in 1986. After a 31-year career with the public broadcaster, in 1990 he joined the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) as the interim Associate Dean of Broadcast Communication and stayed for the next 11 years teaching in the Broadcast Journalism program.

TV & FILM:

Larco Investments, the owner of Bridge Studios, is buying a 17-acre property from the City of Burnaby for $136 million that will see 16 sound stages built totalling over 300,000 sq. ft. of studio space. To be located at 3990 Marine Way, the 6.92-hectare (17.1 acre) property will also include several mill shops, three storeys of office space, and encompass landscape improvements to the riparian areas near Kaymar Creek and Glenlyon Creek. Larco currently has other studio sites in Burnaby under development at Lake City Way and Griffiths Drive. With the addition of the Marine Way development, Larco says it will become the largest studio operator in B.C. with 55 sound stages and associated studio facilities. 

Off the Fence (OTF) is cementing its Canadian presence, announcing deals with Markham Street Films and Shark Teeth Films, following the opening of its first Canadian office in Toronto in August. Off the Fence is working with Markham Street Films to raise financing and distribute their development slate, including Luck Decoded, a series looking at the true nature of luck and the different ways humans try to make sense of the world, in addition to titles like My Beautiful Body, The Real Cost of Delivery, Snack Attack and The Secret History of the Internet. OTF Studios is also executive producing, co-financing and distributing The Secrets of Big Data, alongside Super Channel from Toronto-based prodco Shark Teeth Films. The Secrets of Big Data is a series about the dangers and benefits of artificial intelligence and big data. 

Isabel Kanaan

Longhope Media and OMNI Television have begun production on new satirical sketch comedy series ABROAD, in English and Tagalog. Co-created by and starring Filipina comedian Isabel Kanaan (Second Jen, Air Farce NYE, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), the 12-part, half hour episode series is based on Kanaan’s experiences as an immigrant with her comedic perspective. Slated to air in Spring 2022 on OMNI, ABROAD challenges misconception about immigrants from all walks of life. Starring alongside her are Aldrin Bundoc, Joy Castro, Nicco Garcia, Justin Santiago, Carolyn Fe, Jon Blair, Natalie Metcalfe, Sharjil Rasool, Nile Seguin, Christian Smith, and Jillian Welsh.

Love Nature is premiering six new docuseries and specials during its nationwide free preview, running until Jan. 2. The programming line-up includes Shadowlands, a three-part series taking place in the remote southern latitudes of the planet where marine life require resilience to survive; Animals and Love, a show exploring how animals meet, mate and in some cases form lifelong relationships; and four one-hour specials from the Natural World collection, each one following a wide range of animals, from owls and pangolins to otters and leopards. Find the full programming lineup here.

Rick Mercer

CBC has announced over 200 hours of holiday programming set to air during the 2021 holiday season, including Canada’s New Year’s Eve with Rick Mercer. In addition to classics like Home Alone, Frosty the Snowman and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the public broadcaster will premiere 24 new holiday titles on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Feature film Knives Out will also see its Canadian broadcast premiere on Boxing Day, while CBC Radio One and CBC Music offer holiday music all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Sportsnet and YouTube Canada have teamed up to bring “Watch a Game with Steve Dangle” back throughout the 2021-22 NHL season. Leafs fans can watch Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada matchups on the Sportsnet YouTube channel with each livestream hosted by Sportsnet analyst and YouTube creator Steve Dangle, along with featured guests and hockey enthusiasts. The debut of “Watch a Game with Steve Dangle” during the 2021 NHL Playoffs generated nearly 5 million views on YouTube. Viewers can enjoy several only-on-YouTube features as part of the livestream, including the live chat feature and in-game polls. Fans who missed the livesteam will also be able to watch it back, any time. Watch a Leafs Game with Steve Dangle will air 23 times throughout the regular season, during every Saturday night Leafs game, starting at 7 p.m. ET.

U Sports says its digital partnership with CBC Sports has resulted in record online viewership. It says digital coverage over 37 games has increased by more than 643% compared to the same period in 2019-20, with 97% of those audiences coming from CBC Sports digital platforms. Highlights of the 71 English and French broadcasts to date include total views exceeding digital viewership for the entire 2019-20 season (150 broadcasts) by 8%. MacEwan University’s historic win in women’s soccer was the most-watched English language championship, while Montréal’s men’s soccer championship was the most-watched French broadcast. Queen’s women’s rugby title on home turf saw a 300% increase in views compared to 2019, with views of the Toronto-Victoria women’s field hockey championships series up by 4000%.

Media Central Corporation, the parent company of NOW Magazine and the Georgia Straight, is touting a seven figure improvement in operating losses in its financial reporting for the three and nine months ending Nov. 30. The company also announced it has retained Toronto-based Foundation Markets to restructure its debt and raise new investment capital to support its 2022 growth plan. NOW Magazine and the Georgia Straight delivered significant third quarter 2021 improvements compared to Q3 2020 in two key operating performance measures. For the three months ending Sept. 30, operating losses decreased from $1,291,000 in Q3 2020 to $312,000 in Q3 3021. For the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2021 operating losses YTD improved from $3,807,000 in 2020 to $1,221,000 in 2021. For the three months ended Sept. 30, advertising revenues of $613,000 were up 52% over the same quarter in 2020.

QYOU Media, the digital content producer and distributor operating in India and the U.S. and headquartered in Toronto and L.A., is reporting a 1109% year-over-year revenue increase in its latest quarterly report. Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 was in the range of previously announced guidance at $4,725,463, up from $390,950 over the same period in Q1 2020 representing a year-over-year increase of 1109% and an increase of 81% over the preceding quarter. The revenue growth was primarily driven by increased ad sales in India on the flagship channel, The Q, along with strong performance by the QYOU USA and Chtrbox Influencer Marketing business units.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) inaugural Canadian Newsroom Diversity Survey, finds Canadian media is still overwhelmingly white, particularly at the management level. The most comprehensive survey of its kind ever undertaken, the CAJ collected data on 3,873 journalists from 209 Canadian newsrooms across radio, television, digital and print media. Approximately 90% of outlets that participated have no Latin, Middle Eastern or Mixed Race journalists on staff, and about 80% have no Black or Indigenous journalists. The survey found that white journalists tend to hold more senior and stable jobs, while Black and Middle Eastern journalists are twice as likely to work in part-time roles. Other findings from the survey include that women now outnumber men in the industry, accounting for 52.7% of all newsroom staff, compared to 46.7% who identify as men and 0.7% that identify as non-binary. Read more here.

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) has announced the winners of its 43rd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence. This year’s winners include Steve Hon Man So, Producer, Fairchild Television, for Three Kinds of Trust in the Television category; Marcelo Donato, Host/Producer of Perspectango, CHIN Radio, Ottawa, in the Radio category; and Ryan Funk, Communications and Marketing Specialist, U. Multicultural Inc., for We Stand Together, in the Podcasting category. The CEMA Awards will be broadcast on OMNI 2, OMNI BC, and OMNI ALBERTA on Friday, Dec. 3 and repeat on Sunday, Dec. 12.

CBC/Radio-Canada has released its Q2 financial highlights, noting a 70.7% revenue increase in the quarter, mainly driven by growth in advertising revenue as a result of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. TV advertising continues to recover, while the public broadcaster also benefited from higher digital advertising and subscription revenue from its digital platforms as the market continues to shift away from television. Expenses increased by 34.1% as this quarter’s results included the rights and costs to broadcast Tokyo 2020. Ongoing expenses were also comparatively higher over last year as they were not impacted by the delays or cancellations of programming due to COVID-19 in the prior year. A busy news quarter, marked by the federal election and special sporting events, also increased expenses. Government funding recognized in the quarter decreased by 1.9%, consistent with anticipated needs for operating funding. 

TELUS has released its 2021 Reconciliation and Indigenous Connectivity Report, becoming the first tech company in Canada to develop and launch a public Indigenous reconciliation action plan. In 2021, TELUS connected 48 Indigenous lands to its broadband networks and 382 to 5G. TELUS says its Indigenous reconciliation strategy was developed through two rounds of engagement over 18 sessions with Indigenous leaders, Elders, subject matter experts, and Indigenous team members. The company said in a release it’s “committed to having this manner of engagement as a cornerstone of TELUS’ actions moving forward.”

Samsung Electronics has announced its establishing a new regional office in Regina to support its growing relationship with SaskTel. Based in downtown Regina, the regional office will support the deployment of 5G network capabilities in the province. In March, it was announced that Samsung would supply all hardware, software, and associated expertise to deploy SaskTel’s 5G solutions. SaskTel plans to begin deploying its 5G network on a limited basis by the end of 2021, with wider deployment planned for 2022 in Regina and Saskatoon.

Fido is marking its 25th anniversary with new campaign, “At Your Side.” The Montreal-born Rogers flanker brand is also partnering with CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions as part of its regional brand campaign to launch a new branded content web series on ICI Tou.tv. Created for the broadcaster’s Quebec audience, the final episode will air live during the ByeBye, the iconic New Year’s Eve sketch comedy special aired every year on Radio-Canada.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Hivestack, the independent, programmatic digital out of home (DOOH) ad tech company, has launched a dynamic digital audio out of home (AOOH) partnership with Stingray. The integration of Stingray’s proprietary streaming media player into Hivestack’s suite of supply side technology, including the Ad Server and Supply-side Platform (SSP) will allow for AOOH inventory to be available programmatically for the first time in Canada. Audio out of home is now supported by verified audience measurement through the Canadian Out-of-Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB). Stingray will produce and dynamically insert retail-based digital audio ads across their streaming music network, leveraging the Hivestack Ad Server and COMMB audio-specific measurement. The partnership will also provide Stingray with the opportunity to monetize digital audio inventory through the Hivestack supply side platform (SSP).

Broadcast Dialogue - NAB ShowThe National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has opened the nomination period for the 2022 NAB Technology Awards. The four award categories highlight significant achievement in broadcast engineering, digital leadership and technology innovation, presented at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27 in Las Vegas. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 11. Technical paper and panel proposals are also now being accepted for the Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology (BEIT) track of the NAB Show Conference until Jan. 14.