The Weekly Briefing

Rosannagh Maclennan carries the flag of Canada during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Two thirds of all Canadians watched CBC’s opening weekend coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Games attracted 23.8 million viewers across all platforms beginning with Friday’s Opening Ceremony and continuing through the weekend.

TSN’s coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will include over 400 hours of programming over the 16 days of the games. Sportscentre hosts Laura Diakun, Nabil Karim, and Cory Woron anchor the network’s daily Olympic broadcast coverage from the TSN Studio. TSN Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead and reporter Mark Masters are on-site in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to contribute daily news updates for Sportcentre.

benCTV’s replacement for Canada AM has unveiled its inaugural week lineup. Your Morning debuts August 22 with hosts Ben Mulroney and Anne-Marie Mediwake. Guests that week will include sportscaster Brian Williams, singer Serena Ryder, journalist Evan Solomon, actress Emma Thompson and a concert by Florida Georgia Line.

CraveTV has renewed LETTERKENNY, its first original series, for a third season with production due to begin in 2017. The Sudbury-shot comedy is produced by New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media. Production has just wrapped on season two which will air on CraveTV later this year.

Vancouver has become an even hotter spot to shoot TV pilots according to a new report from FilmL.A. The city ranks third in pilot production, with 25 shot in Vancouver in the 2015-2016 period, putting it behind Los Angeles with 82 pilots and New York with 28 pilots. The report cites the low loonie, Vancouver’s proximity to L.A. and its reputation as a film city for the increase in production.

Canada’s Gusto TV has been nominated for Channel of the Year at the upcoming 2016 Content Innovation Awards. A joint project of Digital TV Europe (DTVE) and Television Business International (TBI), the award recognizes the international channel that demonstrated the most outstanding creativity and originality over the last year. The winners will be announced in October during the MIPCOM television conference and market in Cannes, France.

Bell Media has applied for revocation of three specialty Category B services: MuchLoud, MuchVibe and Juicebox. The applications have received approval from the CRTC. Each of the three programming undertakings have fewer than 200,000 subscribers. As reported in June, Stingray Digital Group in Montreal will acquire four Bell Media music video channels: MuchLoud, MuchRetro, MuchVibe and Juicebox. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Once that’s done, the channels will be rebranded. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Star Media Group has announced more layoffs at the Toronto Star, with 22 regular employees leaving immediately, mostly from the newsroom, with a further 26 temporary staff to depart over the next few months, mostly from the Star’s tablet division. The company positions the moves as necessary in its evolution into a multi-platform and digitally focused organization.

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters has created a new award to recognize station promotions. They’ll be judged on originality, station benefit, goals achieved and impact in the community. Campaigns will need to have online components, be multi-faceted and run during the 2015/2016 broadcast year. There will be winners in both large and small markets to be announced during the OAB annual conference on November 10 in Toronto.


krockNewcap Radio is launching a regional night show. Adam Marriott will host Rock of the Atlantic, Monday-Friday, 7p-midnight, live via VPN from eastern flagship Q104 (CFRQ-FM) Halifax to stations across the Maritimes, including C103 (CJMO-FM) Moncton, Rock 88.9 (CHNI-FM ) Saint John, and 89.3 K-Rock (CIJK-FM) in Kentville. The program will feature music and live content with an east coast bent.

Bell Media Radio’s Funny 1410 (CKSL-AM) London will sign off at midnight August 14. Sister news/talker 1290 CJBK (CJBK-AM) is airing tributes from legendary CKSL personalities, including Peter Garland, Rich Greven, Elaine Sawyer, Derek Botten, “Ambassador of Funny” Mike Nabuurs and others to mark the occasion.

97.9 Rock (CKYX-FM) Fort McMurray is the ninth Rogers station to have been rebranded since June. The music stays the same, but the logo, website and apps have been refreshed. The other rebranded Rogers Rock stations are in Winnipeg, Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Ottawa.

CBC is moving forward with a plan to help preserve aboriginal languages by adding specific shows to its on-demand service so they can be used for educational purposes and potentially reach a larger audience. The host of CBC North’s only Gwich’in language radio show, Nantaii, says it’s a struggle to keep the languages alive. Nantaii airs weekday afternoons with news, interviews and public announcements but Karen Mitchell says only a handful of fluent speakers call in on a regular basis and interviews are often conducted in English.

The Canadian Christian Radio Association has been formed to create a collective voice for Christian radio owners and operators across the country. Heads of radio broadcast ministries, owners and managers at Christian radio (one per station) are encouraged to apply here.

Vista Radio was recognized with a 2016 Community Partnership Award from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Prince George. Vista has donated more than $750,000 over the past decade and is credited with helping the agency double the number of kids it serves since 2013.


Bell has announced two new products that will launch this month: the first fully wireless Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Home Hub 3000 modem with three times the Wi-Fi power than their current offerings. The revelation was made during a recent BCE Inc. earnings call.

BCE Inc. is buying the rest of data-center operator Q9 Networks for about $675M, including debt. That increases the telecom giants stake from 35.4 to 100 per cent of the Toronto-based networking firm. The deal is expected to close by year-end.


Corus Entertainment has appointed Athena Georgaklis to the Head of Development for Nelvana. She’ll be working with the studio’s producers, creators and talent around the world to create original content. Most recently, Georgaklis oversaw all original productions for Corus Entertainment’s TELETOON network. She starts the position immediately.

Nathalie Normandeau, the former deputy premier of Quebec now facing several corruption-related criminal charges, is coming back to radio in the fall. BLVD 102.1 (CFEL-FM) in Quebec City, owned by Leclerc Communication, confirms Normandeau will take up hosting duties beginning September 6. Normandeau was co-hosting a program on FM 93 (CJMF-FM) — owned by the rival Cogeco Media — when she was arrested in March. She is suing Cogeco for $772,500, claiming wrongful dismissal.

Audie Lynds has hung up the headphones after 40 years in morning radio. Newcap announced seven job cuts in Edmonton and Lynds was one of them. Lynds started in 1981 at 630 CHED, then Power 92 (CKNG-FM), which became JOE-FM. Finally, in 2005 he re-teamed with Rob Christie at Newcap’s Capital FM (CKRA-FM) where they hosted the morning show until August 3. Christie will continue to host the morning show solo.

Lee Haberkorn will take on mornings at rebranded Virgin 105.3 (CFCA-FM) Kitchener, arriving from weekend mornings at Montreal’s Virgin Radio FM 96 (CJFM-FM ). In June 2014, Haberkorn won a contest to be a Virgin Radio announcer for the summer and became full-time last January. He’s set to begin the new gig at month’s end.

Lena Sho joins Greig Achtemichuk for Cool Brekkie with Gregger and Lena on 98 COOL (CJMK-FM) Saskatoon. Sho arrives from crosstown C95 (CFMC-FM). PD Steve Chisholm will host the midday show and MD Matt Bradley will slide from middays into afternoon drive. DJ Tanner is leaving the station to pursue an opportunity with Cineplex. Changes are effective August 29.

Trevor Stoyko is now afternoon drive host at 100.7 CRUZ FM (CKRI-FM) Red Deer. Most recently he was morning host/MD at Big West Country 92.9 FM (CIBW-FM) in Drayton Valley. Stoyko’s other career stops include Winnipeg and Kingston.

KiSS 104.9 (CKKS-FM) in Vancouver is returning to a live evening show. DJ Trouble is hosting, leaving Ara to handle the afternoon show solo.

Changes at News1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver. Former News Talk 650 (CKOM-AM) Saskatoon anchor/reporter Kurtis Doering has joined the station as a reporter. He had been with NewsTalk 650 since 2013. Other recent changes at News1130 include the departure of traffic desker Miranda Guzzo, replaced by sports blogger Carol Schram and the return of Ian Hardacre to traffic reporting.

Adam Bergeron is joining the sales team at Corus Kingston as a Senior Account Manager for television (CKWS-DT) and radio stations Fresh 104.3 (CKWS-FM) and BIG FM 96.3 (CFMK-FM). Formerly with Bell Media in Kingston, Bergeron starts August 15.

John Daly is retiring from his position as Global BC news reporter on August 31. With the station since 1980, Daly started when it was known as BCTV, featuring in-depth news on crime, courts and corruption. Born in New York City, he relocated to Vancouver in the 1970s. Daly won the very first Jack Webster Award in 1987, for the best reporting of the year, in any medium.

Veteran broadcast journalist Frank Stanford has retired after 35 years at CFAX Victoria. Stanford’s career spanned more than 40 years with stops at CHQB-AM Powell River, CKRD-FM Red Deer, CFSL Weyburn and CJOR Vancouver before settling at CFAX in 1980. Earlier this year he received a lifetime achievement award from the RTNDA.


Doug Freeman, 84, on August 2 in New Glasgow, NS. Freeman’s career in radio and television spanned 69 years and at the age of 19 he was the youngest program director in Canada at CKTO-FM radio in Truro. In 1964 he purchased Hector Broadcasting, becoming owner of CKEC-FM Radio in New Glasgow and making public service a key priority for the company over the years.

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