The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Mike Omelus

Mike Omelus has joined APTN as Executive Director of Content and Strategy. In the newly-created position, he’ll oversee the network programming, scheduling and content creation departments and lead global content and scheduling strategies for APTN’s four linear broadcast channels, as well as its lumi content streaming service. Omelus was most recently Vice-President of National News and Newsgathering at Global News, and also served on the senior leadership teams of Shaw Communications and Corus Entertainment. Prior to Global, he spent five years as executive producer at CTV’s Business News Network (now BNN Bloomberg), and held several key roles during a 21-year career at The Canadian Press, including general news director, senior parliamentary correspondent and Washington correspondent.

(l-r) Noémi Mercier, Lisa-Marie Blais, Michel Bherer, Meeker Guerrier

Noovo has announced the team who’ll helm the Bell Media French-language network’s news programming beginning in spring 2021. Noémi Mercier will present the national and Montréal news weekday evenings. Lisa-Marie Blais will anchor weekday evening and late-night reports for the Québec City, Mauricie, Estrie and Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean regions. Michel Bherer will present late-night news for Montréal, while Meeker Guerrier will host network weekend shows. Over the past few weeks, Noovo has also filled key production-related positions, including Emilie Beaulieu, former editor-in-chief at Radio-Canada, who will make decisions on daily news content; Dominik Paulin, former senior manager of production operations at Radio-Canada, will manage news department operations; Mick Côté, who was previously responsible for digital distribution strategy at URBANIA, is in charge of digital news strategy and developing multi-platform segments. Catherine Mauffette, former editor-in-chief at La Presse Canadienne, and former TVA and LCN news editor Ariane Lafrenière, will serve as content producers. 

Ayesha Husain

Telefilm has added four new positions, created as part of the agency’s Equity and Representation Action Plan. Ayesha Husain is the new Lead, Inclusion Initiatives and Content Analyst in English Market, Project Financing, based in Toronto. A former Telefilm employee, she continued her career at Corus Entertainment, the Directors Guild of Canada and TIFF; Hager Namly has been named Inclusion Initiatives Advisor and Content Analyst in French Market, Project Financing, based in Montreal. Hager has close to seven years of experience as a coordinator with Item 7 and as a sales consultant for TVA Films; Amadou Dia is Head of Project Management, Senior Management team, based in Montreal. He’s worked for Nortel Networks, OZ Communications, Nokia and Gurus Solutions, leading critical projects; while Fabrice Ravier Berthaud is now Inclusion Initiatives Advisor and Investment Analyst, Business Affairs. Based in Montreal, Berthaud started his career at Telefilm in 2011 as a Project Coordinator and was most recently a Development Analyst. 

Drex, aka Justin Wilcomes, is helming the new Jack 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver morning show. The former host of Corus late night network talk show, The Shift with Drex, brings with him former The Shift producer “No Fun Bobby” (Bob Addison), with the show also featuring Lena Schulman, most recently a morning show co-host and news anchor with Byrnes Communciations’ stations in Niagara Falls, as well as station digital content producer Ryan “Sully” Sullivan. Jeff Brown, Charis Hogg and Paul Brown, who had been teamed together on the JACK 96.9 morning show since Aug. 2018, were released as part of layoffs across Rogers Sports & Media last month. Read more here.

Nathalie Normandeau

Nathalie Normandeau, former Quebec deputy premier, is joining Cogeco’s 98.5 FM (CHMP-FM) Montreal. Starting Dec. 21, she’ll replace Bernard Drainville during the holiday break, and then in January join Luc Ferrandez every morning during “Puisqu’il faut se lever avec Paul Arcand.” Lise Ravary, who was previously paired with Ferrandez, will instead join Luc Lavoie on the Drainville afternoon show.  

Joanie Olson

Joanie Olson, a recent graduate of Western Academy Broadcasting College, has joined 900 CKBI Prince Albert, and its two sister stations, where she’s now the network morning news anchor & reporter. She’ll also be heard on the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group stations in North Battleford and Meadow Lake, SK.

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson is leaving Global Saskatoon to join Global Calgary as a digital journalist. Wilson had been with Global Saskatchewan for the last five and a half years as a morning anchor and reporter.

Shelby Blackley

Shelby Blackley has joined Indiegraf Media as an Audience Strategist. Blackley, who also works as a digital consultant, was previously with The Globe & Mail as a news and audience engagement editor.

Luke Carroll, producer of Netflix animated hit, The Willoughbys, is joining Relish Interactive in the newly-created role of SVP, Animation. Carroll will have a dual role and act as SVP, Development for the studio’s original content division, Wasabi Entertainment, which is currently developing a slate of originals with the first feature film, Shadowrail Circus, already in pre-production and slated for release in 2022. In addition to producing The Willoughbys, Netflix’s first original CG feature, Carroll produced Escape From Planet Earth for The Weinstein Company as well as Bron Animation’s first animated feature Henchmen. Prior to joining Bron as VP of Production & Development, Carroll produced numerous feature-length projects for Mattel Inc. 

Oscar Juste

Oscar Juste has been appointed Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Ross Video. In the newly-created role, he’ll provide leadership and strategic direction to the global sales function and help drive growth as Ross continues to expand into new international markets. Juste joined Ross in April 2016 as Director of Sales for EMEA and was promoted to VP of Sales for EMEA, Asia and LATAM in May 2019.

Advanced Systems Group (ASG) has announced two recent additions to its audio team. Jeff Briss joined the company last month as audio ambassador, while Collyer Spreen joined in October as the company’s new sales engineer. Briss is the co-founder of Cutting Edge Audio Group, a systems integrator with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Spreen is a former Cutting Edge consultant, who also spent more than seven years as a pro audio solutions specialist for Avid Technology. A Pro Tools expert, he continues to work as a freelance recording engineer through his company, Soundasleep Productions.

RADIO & PODCAST:

Numeris PPM ratings are out for Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The last book of 2020 reflects the 13-week listening period covering Aug. 31 to Nov. 29. CBC Radio One topped the ratings in Toronto A12+, with Q107 (CILQ-FM) notably grabbing an even bigger lead with women 18-34, posting a 19.7% share (up from 17.3%). CKNW grabs the #1 spot for A12+ in Vancouver with a 14.6% share of hours tuned (up from 13.5%). UP! 99.3 takes #1 with A12+ in Edmonton, posting an 8.1% share of hours tuned (flat with the last book). In Calgary, News Talk 770 leads the way with a 9.6% share (up from 8.3%). In Montreal, CHMP 98.5FM is #1 for A12+ (Franco) with a 20.4% share (down from 21.8%). For A12+ (Anglo), CJAD 800 is #1 with a 29.8% (up from 28.7%). Find David Bray’s full market breakdown, here.

Rogers Sports & Media made a series of changes to the Ottawa radio landscape last Thursday that included rebranding its Ottawa news/talk station 1310 News (CIWW-AM) as “CityNews” which will now be simulcast on the FM frequency formerly used by Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM). Accordingly, Country 92.3 has debuted on CJET-FM in place of the JACK FM brand. Charmaine Khan, Senior Manager of Communications, News & Entertainment, for Rogers Sports & Media, told Broadcast Dialogue that the move is an investment in the news format at a time when information is vital. As part of the changes, OttawaMatters.com has also changed its name to Ottawa.CityNews.ca. Read more here.

Vista Radio rebranded Moose FM (CJCD-FM) Yellowknife as 100.1 True North FM on Friday, in a move to better reflect both the community and the market’s unique geographical location. With the station celebrating its 40th anniversary last year, Scott Armstrong, Director of Operations, Alberta & NWT, said the company had a realization that CJCD-FM needed to be a truer voice for its listening area. Previously playing Variety Hits under the Moose FM brand, True North FM is now airing pure Classic Hits and as part of the rebrand, has added another news person and debuted “True North Tales” –  a series of human interest features, airing four to six times a day, that tell the stories and reflect the culture of the station’s audience. Its digital site has also seen an overhaul with MyTrueNorthNow.com featuring more local news and information. Read more here.

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has rebranded its Red Deer alt rock station 106.7 The Drive (CFDV-FM) as 106.7 Rewind Radio, playing the best of the ‘80s & ‘90s. Matt Geddes and Ryan Simmons remain in mornings, while Charlee Morgan will be the voice of middays. Program Director Peter Michaels hosts weekday afternoon drive, with Patrick Bateman heard evenings and Saturday afternoons. 

Jeff Hopper, morning co-host on Ottawa’s Pure Country 94 (CKKL-FM), returned home Friday afternoon after “fighting for his life” in hospital with COVID-19. Hopper praised Ottawa General Hospital staff in the COVID wing and thanked those who sent well wishes during his stay, saying in a video posted to Facebook that “my voice is a little messed up because my lungs still aren’t good…it’s going to be a bit of a recovery here…”

CJAD Montreal celebrated 75 years on Dec. 8. In December 1945, Joseph Arthur Dupont (a francophone whose initials inspired the station’s call letters), established CJAD 800 in studios on De la Montagne Street. CJAD 800 was one of the first English-language stations to appear in Quebec and over the years, its hosts have included names like George Balcan, Gord Sinclair, Ted Blackman and other Canadian broadcast industry legends. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the late Jack Finnigan was inducted as the eighth and newest member of the CJAD 800 Hall of Fame.

The CRTC has approved Akash Broadcasting’s acquisition of Edmonton ethnic radio station 101.7 World FM (CKER-FM) from Rogers for $6.7 million. Rogers’ only ethic radio station, which currently airs programming in 12 languages, the company acknowledged there were few synergies with its OMNI multi-ethnic TV service. Akash already operates CJCN-FM Surrey. The commission denied a request for an exemption to the payment of tangible benefits. 

StatsRadio has analyzed pandemic listening across its 62 client stations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, finding among other things, that morning show listening has been extended as audiences tune in against multiple time frames. StatsRadio found that pre-lockdown, morning listenership was well underway by 4 a.m. (88.71% of sample). That trend continued to increase for each month studied to finish at 98.39% in October. Morning audience decline continued until noon for 14.52% of the sample stations, increasing to 22.58% of the sample in October. While 61.29% of stations saw shifts in morning show primetime listening from February to April, just 35.48% saw that shift continue into fall. The majority saw an incremental shift between 15 to 30 minutes with 52% seeing an increase in morning show tuning from February until October. Read more here.

Radioplayer Canada has partnered with Google to launch one of the first apps developed for the new Android Automotive Operating System (OS) in the new Polestar 2 electric car. Radioplayer has been chosen as a launch app for the new electric car brand from Volvo and Geely Holding, which features the first embedded infotainment system powered by Android Automotive OS.

Howard Stern

Howard Stern will continue to produce and host The Howard Stern Show exclusively for SiriusXM for the next five years, with the Howard Stern archive of audio and video to continue to be licensed to SiriusXM for an additional seven years. “Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio. And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me,” said Stern, in a release.  “Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike. And despite the naysayers and the ridicule, we have persevered, and are thriving. I’ve been proven right about satellite radio over and over again. With this contract renewal, I can’t wait to see what else I’ll be right about…plus, now that I can work from home, I simply don’t have an excuse to quit.”

SiriusXM and Asian-focused music and media company, 88rising, have launched 88rising Radio on SiriusXM channel 305 and SiriusXM streaming, an all-Asian, multi-genre music channel. Founded by Sean Miyashiro, the Los Angeles-based artist collective and media platform, will develop and curate the 24/7 channel. It will broadcast an array of music, from the biggest pop songs topping the charts across Asia, to current emerging discoveries and feature artists from South Korea, China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. 

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) have pushed the JUNO Awards 50th anniversary celebration to May 2021. Originally scheduled for March, the broadcast is now set for Sunday, May 16 on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and globally on CBCMusic.ca/junos. CARAS has also unveiled three new JUNO Award statuettes with a 50th anniversary gold version to be awarded to JUNO Award winners, a silver version given to Special Award recipients and a gold and silver version presented to Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees. The origins of the JUNOs date back to 1970 when Walt Grealis and Stan Klees, publishers of the weekly trade publication, RPM, organized the Gold Leaf Awards, held at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto. A year later, the name of the award was changed to honour Pierre Juneau, the first head of the CRTC, responsible for the implementation of Canadian Content Regulations in 1971.

 

Hot Docs Podcast Festival is looking for submissions for its Opening Act program for the online edition of the festival, Jan. 27-29. Hot Docs is seeking two-minute excerpts from original Canadian podcasts to be featured before a selection of virtual events at the 2021 festival. Selected participants will have their shows played to a captive, global audience of podcast lovers and get exposure to attending audio executives and industry leaders. The deadline to apply is Dec. 21.

LISTEN: On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we welcome Orlena Cain, longtime morning show co-host at Mix 97 (CIGL-FM) Belleville, ON, to talk about her success in the audiobook narration business, escaping your creative comfort zone, and taking time to slow down. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: 30-year radio veteran Sue Tyler is on the Sound Off Podcast. The afternoon host on Power 104 (CKLZ-FM) Kelowna is now streaming on Twitch. Matt Cundill talks with Tyler about that, the secret to good call-in, and her start in Ottawa, among other subjects. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

The 43rd annual CKNW Vancouver Kids’ Fund Pledge Day raised over $1.3 million dollars on Dec. 1. Formerly known as the “CKNW Orphans’ Fund,” the annual event supports B.C. kids with special needs.

The 81st Annual CFOS-Sun Times Christmas Fund Broadcast, a collaboration of Bayshore Broadcasting in Owen Sound, the Sun Times and the Royal Bank, has raised $40,000 so far, aiding 22 local charities in a year where the need is greater than usual. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event went virtual this year with local performers submitting recordings of their music, while the station read pledges. Donations will be accepted until the end of January at all RBC branches in Grey-Bruce.

The 26th Annual Q104 Toy Drive, Dec. 3-4, raised over $28,000, including $5,000 in matching funds from The Halifax Professional Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 268. Station distribution partner, Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank, will ensure every kid gets a toy under the tree this Christmas, with roughly $10,00 spent at local small businesses thanks to continued support from Moxies Grill & Bar. New this year, Q104 partnered with Global News as its official TV partner, which helped boost coverage of the Toy Drive.

The 3rd annual Miracle on 3rd was held Dec. 3. Supported by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group’s stations in Prince George, the event is usually held as a drive thru/drop off with its radio and TV stations broadcasting live from the station parking lot on 3rd Avenue. This year, COVID-19 restrictions required the fundraiser to go fully online in support of the Community Counselling Centre of Prince George, which helps masters level students earn experience in mental health counselling. This year’s event saw $13,517 raised. With a move to online sessions only, the centre will use the funds to purchase new laptops.

989 XFM (CJFX-FM) Antigonish, NS hosted its 27th St. Martha’s Hospital Foundation Hospital Help Day Radiothon, raising $91,332. The event has now helped raise a total of over $1.4 million. 

 

SIGN OFFS:

Jack Kellum

Jack Kellum, 77, on Dec. 4. Kellum developed as a singer-songwriter early and after playing the Northern Ontario and Toronto bar circuit and graduating from the Ryerson University Radio and Television Arts program in 1966, he landed a contract job scoring music for CBC-TV show “This Land.” In 1973, he left Toronto to take a job at CBC in St John’s, NL where he founded musical variety show “Ryan’s Fancy” which would go on to air nationally. “The Wonderful Grand Band” regional comedy and music show followed, and then national comedy series CODCO, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. During his time in Halifax, Kellum also developed the Halifax Comedy Festival and the East Coast Music Awards as national programs. Kellum retired from the CBC in 2003, but continued as executive producer of This Hour Has 22 Minutes for Alliance Atlantis until 2011. In recent years, he’d been retired to Fergus, ON.

Paul Von Richter

Paul Richard Von Richter, 80, on Nov. 17, after a long illness. Known as “Von R” to colleagues, Von Richter was a longtime TV producer, cameraman and tape editor with CHSJ-TV Saint John, MITV/Global, and Rogers. Von Richter is remembered for his dedication to community involvement with both the Lions Club and as a cameraman on the long-running Saint John “Empty Stocking Fund” broadcast. He retired after 45 years in television. 

TV & FILM:

NHK WORLD-JAPAN, Japan’s international 24-hour English-language television channel, is now part of TELUS’ channel lineup, making it the first operator in Canada to add the Japanese public broadcaster. TELUS plans to provide the NHK WORLD-JAPAN channel in HD for free to its viewers in Western Canada for three months, which will be included in the News International package on Optik TV. NHK WORLD-JAPAN features original programming from NHK, including hourly live international news from Tokyo and overseas, along with programs on current affairs, lifestyle, culture, food, travel, sports, technology, science, and history, with a Japanese and Asian perspective.

Corus Entertainment isn’t renewing its licensing deal to operate BBC Canada, which will cease broadcasting Jan. 1. According to CRTC data, the channel had approximately 2.4 million subscribers, and had been experiencing declines in viewership.

Rezolution Pictures has wrapped post-production on the first season of APTN original series GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land, a 13-part half-hour documentary series about the Mi’gmaq fishers of Listuguj, Que., who make their living harvesting salmon, crab, lobster and shrimp. While the series takes a lighthearted approach to life in Listuguj, it also provides a First Nations perspective on how a commercial fishing industry – one that was born out of violence and defiance – grew to be a key economic and cultural support for the community. Shooting began in fall 2018, but the subject has become topical as the conflict between Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous commercial fishers continues in southwest Nova Scotia. The series will premiere in Mi’kmaq on Feb. 11, with the English premiere set for Feb. 13. APTN has confirmed its support for development of a second season of the series.

Yanique Brandford

CTV will air the Global Citizen Prize on Dec. 19, which will see the international advocacy organization recognize Ryerson University student Yanique Brandford as the winner of its Canada Hero Award. Branford is founder of Help A Girl Out, a Toronto-based non-profit that seeks to end period poverty, free of shame and stigma. CTV Your Morning’s Anne-Marie Mediwake will introduce Brandford during the broadcast, which will be hosted by John Legend and feature performances by Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, JoJo, and others. Following its airing on CTV, Global Citizen Prize will be available on CTV.ca, the CTV app, and also on Crave beginning Sunday, Dec. 20.

Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund has announced that Montréal-based director Aisling Chin-Yee (The Rest of Us, No Ordinary Man) and Saskatoon-based producer Anand Ramayya (Brotherhood, Shadow of Dumont, Wapos Bay) are joining the fund’s selection committee as industry jurors. The fund also announced its support for 28 new Canadian feature film projects in its first quarter through the Script Development program.

Kevin McMahon

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and TVO are presenting the world premiere of Kevin McMahon’s Borealis—an immersive journey into the heart of Canada’s iconic boreal forest, which will be broadcast on TVO on Dec. 15 and stream free on NFB.ca and TVO.org. Borealis was filmed in Ontario on the Fort Albany and Weenusk First Nations, and in Algonquin, Quetico, Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks, as well as Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta and Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The project is a co-production of Primitive Entertainment and the NFB in partnership with TVO, and in association with ZDF/ARTE, NHK and Knowledge Network.

Jeff Douglas

Reel East Coast (REC) is returning for a sixth season, starting Jan. 10 on CBC-TV in Atlantic Canada and CBC Gem. A collaboration between FIN Atlantic International Film Festival and CBC, the series showcases short films from across Atlantic Canada, curated by the FIN programming team. This season is hosted by Jeff Douglas, actor and host of CBC Halifax afternoon radio program, Mainstreet.

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF), in partnership with Netflix, the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), has issued a call for applications for the fourth edition of the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, as it welcome Canada’s new Black Screen Office as a program partner. Now entering its fourth year, the initiative was designed to offer a professional springboard for francophone, Indigenous, and women creators and producers from across Canada. Having already served 300 participants over the course of the program, the mandate to support these communities will continue, but with an intersectional focus. As such, the 2021 edition of the program will especially, but not exclusively, seek applications from francophone candidates of colour, Indigenous candidates, and women candidates of colour, as well as candidates of colour of all genders.

Global News had added four new regional news streams to the Global TV app, including unique streams for the Okanagan, Lethbridge, Peterborough and Kingston. Those cities join the existing B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and National streams, expanding Global News’ roster to 12 free streams within the app. Each one delivers live breaking news, live simulcasts of each region’s respective television newscast, and a continually updated array of reporting highlighting the biggest news stories. The app is now available on iOS, Android, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV and at watch.globaltv.com. Global News programming is also available via STACKTV on Amazon Prime Video.

CBC Vancouver’s annual Open House and Food Bank Day on Dec. 4 raised $2,334,485 for local food banks in B.C., breaking previous donations records and more than doubling the previous donation record of $1,126,000. To adhere to physical distancing protocols, this year’s event encouraged British Columbians to log in for digital meet and greets with their favourite CBC personalities, in addition to a full day of special programming on CBC Radio One. Over the event’s 34 years, more than $12 million has been raised for food banks in B.C. since its inception in 1986. The public can continue to donate to their local food bank at cbc.ca/foodbankday until the end of the month.

Dropout Entertainment is on the hunt for the best Canadian, independent music videos produced in 2020. This is the third year Dropout is holding the Canadian Independent Music Video Awards, a month-long digital contest open to all music videos released by independent Canadian artists that sees Canadians vote for their favorite music video online. The winners will be announced at a live (or live-streamed) event in February. Nominations are now open until Dec. 15 at independentmusicvideoawards.com.

Centennial College grad and Scarborough native Eric Bauza is the new voice of Bugs Bunny, the seventh person to voice the Looney Tunes icon. Bauza, who got his start in animation as a character designer before moving into voice acting, has also worked on Ren & Stimpty: Adult Party Cartoon and G.I. Joe: Resolute, among other series. In addition to Bugs Bunny, he voices Daffy Duck, Tweety, Marvin the Martian, and Woody Woodpecker.

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released its findings on YouTube consumption, focusing on Canadians aged 2+. The report found that 82% of online Canadians, aged 2-17, have used YouTube in the past month along with 77% of online Canadians aged 18+. While usage peaks among online Canadians aged 12-35 (89%), 62% of online Canadians aged 65+ also accessed YouTube in the past month. Online Canadians, aged 2-17, are more likely to have watched YouTube than linear TV via a TV set or streaming video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix or Disney+ in the past month. 97% of kids, aged 2 to 6 that watch YouTube in a typical week, do so with a parent or guardian. Co-viewing with parents is also high among 7-11 year olds (90%) and teens (79%). When it comes to kid viewing, preferred content varies by age and gender with kids aged 2-6 more likely to watch videos about cartoons/animation and games/toys, while teen boys prefer videos about gaming, pranks or challenges, and girls watching content about YouTube stars/celebrities and beauty/fashion.

Amazon Prime Video customers in Canada can now enjoy Prime Video Watch Party, a native social viewing experience on desktop, available at no additional cost. Prime Video Watch Party will allow up to 100 participants (with a Prime membership) to join a watch party for their favourite series or film, accompanied by an interactive chat feature. The experience also features synchronized playback which the host controls.

CBC Gem is now streaming the CBC Docs collection of short documentary films, Alone Together: Personal Stories From The Pandemic. Featuring original productions by Canadian filmmakers selected and funded by the CBC Creative Relief Fund, the films offer a unique look back at 2020. Twelve documentaries are currently featured, with three additional titles launching before the end of the year. 

 

 

 

 

Arc Publishing, The Washington Post-built digital platform and suite of publishing tools, has announced the integration of The Globe and Mail’s proprietary automation and analytics solution, Sophi.io. The integrations will be available to the more than 1,400 websites using the Arc Publishing platform. The Sophi Analytics native Arc integration will bring web analytics data into the Arc workflow, helping publishers understand the value of their content as they work.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

CBC/Radio-Canada has announced a “major transformation” of Radio Canada International (RCI) that includes expanding into Punjabi and Tagalog-language content, producing a new weekly podcast in each of the seven RCI languages, and increasing the service’s visibility. Starting in April, it will also see the RCI team restructured from 20 to nine people, including the loss of 16 positions in Montreal and the creation of five new jobs. CBC says the changes will not only boost RCI’s audience and relevance, but also help the service better engage with newcomers to Canada. RCI will also make all of the new content freely available to other ethnic community media. Read more here.

CBC/Radio-Canada has announced it’s moving forward with its Tandem branded content and podcast initiative above the concerns of more than 500 current and former CBC journalists, and the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), among others. In response to those concerns, the public broadcaster has issued a statement clarifying its position and issuing a series of guidelines aimed at eliminating audience confusion between journalism and commercial advertising on CBC/Radio-Canada platforms. Among them is that no CBC/Radio-Canada journalists or hosts will be involved in the creation or presentation of branded content, encompassing audio, video and alpha-numeric formats. Public broadcaster watchdog FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting, meanwhile, is continuing a petition drive calling for the cancellation of Tandem, which so far has drawn over 11,000 signatures. Read more here

CBC/Radio-Canada has published another effort to debunk a Postmedia article, carried by Sun newspapers across the country, that claimed “CBC’s television ad sales have taken a freefall collapse.” Reports that TV ad revenues fell 19% for the six months ended Sept. 30 were attributed to Blacklock’s Reporter. In a statement posted to its corporate website, CBC said the report is amplifying inaccurate criticism of the public broadcaster and it was not contacted for comment. The broadcaster says second quarter revenue decreased by 8.9% as a result of both a decline in TV advertising due to COVID-19 and declining subscriber revenue. It says expenses also decreased by 10.1% over the same period.

 

 

The Webster Awards, recognizing excellence in B.C. journalism, were presented Tuesday evening during an online broadcast. CTV Vancouver came away with three awards, including Best Breaking News – TV for “State of Emergency – The Pandemic Arrives in B.C.” CBC British Columbia also came away with three awards, including Excellence in Digital Journalism for its provincial COVID-19 tracker. Andrew Nikiforuk of The Tyee was awarded the City Mike Award for Commentator of the Year. Find the full list of winners, here.

Jill Krop, who left Global BC earlier this year, has been named the BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Broadcaster of the Year for 2020. Krop had been BC Regional Director of Global News for the last five years and with BCTV/Global BC since 1997 before stepping down at the end of September. 

SaskTel has announced the launch of its Rural Fibre Initiative, a multi-phase project that will see the Crown corporation invest over $50 million to bring SaskTel infiNET service to approximately 30,000 households and businesses in more than 20 rural Saskatchewan communities over the next four years. Powered by SaskTel’s fibre-optics network, infiNET service delivers speeds reaching up to 300 Megabits per second (Mbps). The first phase of the Rural Fibre Initiative will be focused in the communities of Balgonie, Biggar, Langham, and Pilot Butte. SaskTel anticipates infiNET service will be available to the majority of residents and businesses in those communities by March 2022. 

TELUS has launched Mobility for Good for Seniors, which provides Canadian seniors receiving the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) access to a free smartphone and subsidized mobility rate plan. Available now, Mobility for Good for Seniors includes a free refurbished smartphone, unlimited nationwide talk and text, and 3GB of data at a cost of $25 per month. Across Canada, 2.2 million seniors receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement. 

la Maison Rogers, Rogers’ Montreal-based Quebec headquarters, has been awarded a 2020 REmmy Award following extensive renovations. Presented annually by CoreNet, a global organization of corporate real estate professionals, the REmmy’s award recognizes excellence in leadership, innovation, sustainable design and social responsibility in the field of corporate real estate and workplace management. Designed in collaboration with a committee of Rogers’ Montreal-based employees, the 225,000 square feet of office space, includes on-site amenities like a gym, sports classes, a coffee shop and cafeteria, relaxation rooms and game rooms. Most of the company’s 3,000 employees in Quebec are currently working from home.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

Nextologies, a custom end-to-end video broadcast solutions provider, and mobile broadcasting company PSSI Global Services were joint recipients of the International Association of Broadcast and Media (IABM) BaM Award® for best collaboration in a media project in 2020. In May, Nextologies and PSSI collaborated on the first SpaceX live launch show, Space Launch Live. PSSI provided satellite, fiber and IP services for remote production, ingesting over 30 discrete feeds and delivering the live show to a global audience. The “secret sauce” was Nextologies’ proprietary software, gear and web portals, which enabled the show producers to communicate remotely with the hosts and talent, allowing them to direct the show, and even control cameras, from several remote locations. The production was so successful it resulted in the duo’s callback for the additional SpaceX missions in August and November of 2020. 

Matrix Solutions has announced that industry forecaster Jack Myers, Founder and Chairman of MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org, will join its Media Ad Sales Summit Candid Conversation “WTF Just Happened (And What’s Ahead)” on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. ET. Moderated by Matrix CRO Brenda Hetrick, Myers will share his informed viewpoint of what the media industry can expect as we move into 2021 after an unprecedented year with roadblocks and challenges that nobody could have predicted. The free to join, 40-minute event is the fourth in the Media Ad Sales Summit series. Learn more or access on-demand Candid Conversations, here.