The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Newcap Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares of NL Broadcasting Limited, which owns and operates CHNL-AM, CJKC-FM, and CKRV-FM in Kamloops, BC. The deal is subject to CRTC approval.

Revenue at Newcap was down for the first quarter ending Mar. 31, with the company citing revenue declines in the Alberta markets due to continued economic uncertainty in the region and declines in Ottawa due to downward pressure on advertising rates. Revenue of $35.7 million was $1.1 million or 3 per cent lower than last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $7 million was $1.1 million or 14 per cent lower than last year as a result of lower revenue. Profit for the period was $3 million, a decrease of $1.6 million or 35 per cent compared to last year, due to lower revenue and a higher provision for income taxes.

The CRTC has approved converting CHIN-1-FM 91.9 Toronto from a rebroadcaster of CHIN 1540 into its own ethnic station. Radio 1540 Limited, owned by Leonard and Theresa Lombardi, proposes to broadcast 126 hours of programming each week, 84 hours of which would be devoted to local programming. For the remaining 42 hours (i.e. between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. each day), the station would simulcast CHIN’s programming.

Brad Leask

Brad Leask, Network Imaging Producer, NOVA Entertainment, Melbourne, Australia, captured the title of World’s Best Imager on May 5, winning the 6th Annual Iron Imager competition at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood. Leask took on fellow Aussie and 2016 Iron Imager Champion Sideshow Mike Andersen, Triple M Imaging, Southern Cross Austereo of Sydney. The head-to-head live audio imaging competition is presented annually by Benztown, which took home the honor of Best Domestic VO/Imaging Production in Radio from the 2017 Worldwide Radio Summit Awards, also presented on Friday.

Fifth Harmony, Hedley, Iggy Azalea, and Ruth B

iHeartRadio Canada is heading west with the first ever iHeartRadio WestFest taking place Sat., July 8 at Shaw Millennium Park in Calgary. The festival is the first Canadian iHeartRadio event outside of Toronto. Fifth Harmony, Hedley, Iggy Azalea, Ruth B, Scott Helman and Virginia to Vegas are among those on the bill. Tickets went on sale May 9.

Jordi Morgan

Former News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax talk host Jordi Morgan launched a new podcast over the weekend called Fall Back Up. Since 2014, Morgan has been vice-president, Atlantic Canada, for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business following layoffs in the Rogers Media division that saw the demise of his highly-rated morning talk show. Morgan says the podcast will provide engaging and thoughtful insights into Atlantic Canada through conversations with business leaders, innovators and high performers. You can link to the podcast through Morgan’s blog.

The 12th Annual Kids Can’t Wait Radiothon, supported by Rogers Radio stations in Kitchener, raised $191,159 for the KidsAbility charity on May 5. Heard on 570 News (CKGL-AM), CHYM 96.7 (CHYM-FM), and Country 106.7 (CIKZ-FM), funds raised help the over 900 kids on the waiting list for KidsAbility services.

The 800 CHAB Family First Radiothon raised $159,393 for the Moose Jaw Health Foundation on May 4-5. The 36-hour fundraiser got a major boost with a $95,852 donation from the Curtis family. Over the last decade, the radiothon has raised more than $3.5 million.

 

SIGN-OFFS:

James Scott Curran

James Scott Curran, 65, May 7 in Oshawa, ON after a long battle with colorectal cancer. Curran spent the last 10 years as a marketing consultant and account executive with Durham Radio’s Oshawa-based stations KX96 (CJKX-FM), 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) and CKDO. Originally from Guelph, Scott started in radio sales/marketing in 1997 in Drumheller, AB with Q91 (CKDQ-AM). He also spent time at Corus Radio Cambridge, the Larche Communications stations in Waterloo, ON, and Blackburn Radio Wingham.

 

 

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Rogers TV is eliminating four jobs in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Gander, NL. Two of the positions are full-time, while two are part-time. The company says the changes will not affect programming.

The Apr. 30 debut of The Handmaid’s Tale was the most-watched series premiere in five years on Bravo and the second-most watched ever on the network according to Numeris data that shows at least 716,000 viewers tuned in. It’s the biggest debut of any scripted series on Canadian Entertainment Specialty this broadcast season. The one-hour drama has been renewed for a second season to premiere on Bravo in 2018. The entire first season launches on CraveTV following the season finale on Bravo.

Bell Media says Space GO and Bravo GO will now offer expanded programming to subscribers of participating distribution partners, including Bell, Bell Aliant, Rogers and Telus, and soon Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct. Available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Space.ca and Bravo.ca, the Space GO and Bravo GO apps allows subscribers access to full-season or multiple-stacked episodes, in addition to live streaming. Non-subscribers continue to have sampling access to a selection of Space and Bravo programming.

Animal Planet’s new 12-part original Canadian series Wild Bear Rescue follows life at a unique B.C. wildlife shelter, where 40 black bear cub orphans are preparing for re-release into the wild. Airing Fridays at 10 p.m. ET, starting June 23, the series is produced by Omnifilm Entertainment.

DHX Media Ltd. has signed an agreement to acquire the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group Inc., which includes an 80 per cent controlling interest in Peanuts and 100 per cent of Strawberry Shortcake. The remaining 20 per cent interest in Peanuts will continue to be held by members of the family of Charles M. Schulz. The total purchase price is US$345 million. The transaction is expected to close on or around June 30.

DHX Media posted declines in Q3 2017, with revenues of $78.35 million, down 7 per cent from $84.1 million for Q3 2016, but slightly ahead of expectations. In absolute dollars, the decrease in Q3 2017 was due largely to expected declines in DHX Television, consumer products-represented revenues, consumer-products owned, proprietary production and producer and service fees, offset by increases in distribution. DHX Television revenues were down 13 per cent to $13.64 million, as promotion and advertising revenues were off to a slower start than anticipated. That’s expected to reverse in Q4 2017 and Fiscal 2018 as the company has received approval from the CRTC to allow broadcast advertising on the Family Channel.

Nelvana has sealed a range of new partnerships. New VOD partners include Amazon in the U.K. for Backyardigans, Young, Little Bear, and Life with Boys; Pure Flix in the U.S. for Babar, Pippi Longstocking and Rescue Heroes; Cinedigm in the U.S. and Canada for The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, George and Martha, Rescue Heroes, Pippi Longstocking, Braceface, Wayside, and Elliot Moose. New linear broadcast deals include Accessible Media in Canada for Babar; SRC Canada for Ranger Rob; Television Entertainment in Latin America for Backyardigans Extension. In addition, Nelvana has finalized an in-flight entertainment partnership with Spafax Inflight Entertainment and Air Canada.

Shonda Rhimes

CTV has announced its 2017 Summer Schedule which includes special Canada In A Day, premiering June 25, created entirely from videos made by Canadians over the course of 24 hours on Sept. 10, 2016. Also on the schedule are Shonda Rhimes take on Romeo and Juliet, Still Star-Crossed and Jennifer Lopez-produced competition show World of Dance.

Jennifer Finnigan

Global’s summer line-up includes Toronto-shot, suspense drama Salvation, starring Jennifer Finnigan; Canadian-produced thriller-drama Somewhere Between about a San Francisco news producer and her fiercely-loving mom; and the return of Private Eyes for a second season, bringing back stars Jason Priestley and Cindy Sampson.

Space original series Orphan Black makes its return for its final season on Saturday, June 10. Produced by Temple Street, Season 5 brings Sarah Manning and her sisters to their darkest days, in an effort to win their freedom. Space viewers can catch-up on Season 5 on Space.ca, Space GO, and via On Demand partners. Seasons 1- 4 are available now on CraveTV.

Alanis Obomsawin

Documentarian Alanis Obomsawin is among 17 Montréal personalities who will receive the Ordre de Montréal medal on May 17. Obomsawin will receive the title of commandeure, the highest distinction. The title of chevalier-chevalière will be given to Québécois filmmaker, director, writer Manon Barbeau, who is also co-founder of Wapikoni Mobile, an organization that helps First Nations youth learn the art of filmmaking.

The CRTC has approved an application by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Incorporated (APTN Inc.) to amend its broadcasting licence to allow it to make available for distribution a high definition (HD) version of its service, together with the standard definition (SD) regional feeds, provided that at least 95 per cent of the programs on the HD feed are also broadcast on an SD regional feed.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Facebook beat estimates for Q1 reporting $8.03 billion in revenue. The social network reached 1.94 billion users, up from 1.86 billion last quarter, growing at a rate of 4.3 per cent, compared to 3.91 per cent last quarter. Facebook is on track to hit two billion total users in Q2.

Facebook has debuted a Twitter-like Latest Conversations feature that shows public posts about buzzing topics, exposing users to sentiments outside their social circles. Latest Conversations appears as its own section within search results and includes live-updating showing how many people are talking about the topic.

Spotify has introduced QR-like codes for easy music sharing with nearby users. A Spotify Code, can now be found under individual songs, playlists, and albums. A click of the camera icon next to the app’s search bar brings up the scanning option.

Snap Inc. is launching a new free, self-serve ad manager next month for buying video Snap Ads, aimed at smaller businesses. A new Snapchat Mobile Dashboard will allow campaigns to be tracked from your phone, while a Business Manager site will configure the roles and permissions of team members. Until now, Snap Ads could only be purchased through Snap’s sales team or third-party ad tools.

PressReader is partnering with Bell Mobility to offer mobile access to its catalogue of local, national and international publications. Bell Mobility customers can now add PressReader access to their monthly account for $10. PressReader has partnerships with publishers including the National Post, Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Le Devoir, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Forbes, Hockey News, and Elle and is the singular rights holders to distribute news content from mainland China.

Stingray Digital Group Inc. has acquired Israel-based Yokee Music Ltd. and its popular social music apps Yokee, Yokee Guitar, and Yokee Piano. Together, the apps have reached over 80 million downloads in four years and gained four million monthly users. While financial details weren’t disclosed, Israeli media reports suggest the value of the acquisition was $30-40 million.

The Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs), produced by Masthead magazine, has issued a call for entries with the deadline July 14. Entering its 9th year. The COPAs have introduced new awards for investigative story, photojournalism, sports article, lifestyle article and company profile. All entries must have been produced between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. The awards will be handed out Nov. 13 in Toronto.

GENERAL:

TVA Group Inc. recorded a net loss attributable to shareholders in the amount of $8 million or a loss of $0.19 per share in the first quarter of 2017, compared with a net loss of $7.4 million or $0.17 per share in the same quarter of 2016. Adjusted operating income in the Broadcasting & Production segment was $657,000, a favourable variance of $4,541,000 due to a 32.8 per cent reduction in the adjusted operating loss of TVA Sports, a 41.4 per cent increase in the adjusted operating income of other specialty services, and a 29.6 per cent increase in the adjusted operating income of TVA Network. Ad revenue was up for the second consecutive quarter, with year-over-year increases of 15.9 per cent at TVA Sports, 8.3 per cent at the other specialty services, and 3.3 per cent at TVA Network. The Montreal Canadiens and four other Canadian teams making the NHL playoffs was a positive for TVA Sports which holds exclusive French‑language broadcast rights.

Philippe Grenier (left)

The 2016 Atlantic Journalism Awards were handed out Saturday night in St. John’s. VOCM-AM St. John’s took home gold awards for Best Radio Newscast, Best Information News Radio Program for the VOCM Morning Show and the award for Breaking News: Radio. CBC New Brunswick won Best Television News Broadcast for New Brunswick at 6:00. The Radio-Canada Acadie team was the night’s big winner with awards for Best Multimedia Feature and Sports Reporting, while Philippe Grenier claimed gold for Best Feature: Television and Best Video Journalist. Nicolas Steinbach of Radio-Canada Acadie also won for Enterprise Reporting: Television. You can view the full list of winners here.

The theme of the 2017 RTDNA Canada National Conference is Connecting With Audiences in the Age of Mistrust. Happening May 26-27 in Toronto, highlights of this year’s event include a keynote luncheon featuring Evan Solomon of CTV’s Question Period in conversation with This Hour Has 22 Minutes anchor/roving reporter Mark Critch about the role satire has in covering politics. Find a complete list of conference sessions and speakers here.

KJ Apa, Lauren Cohan, Lilly Singh, and Nikki Bella

The Arkells, Niall Horan and Post Malone are among the next group of talent confirmed to take the stage at The 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards. Much also announced KJ Apa, Lauren Cohan, Lilly Singh, and Nikki Bella as the first round of presenters. The MMVAs air live June 18 at 9 p.m. ET in simulcast on Much, CTV, and VRAK. The show also livestreams on the iHeartRadio app, and on nine Virgin Radio stations: Toronto, Kitchener, London, Halifax, Montréal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

SUPPLY LINES:

DJB Software of Winnipeg has won the coveted Best of Show award at NAB 2017 from NewBay Media and Radio World magazine for their iBroadcaster for iTunes® PRO software. The automation software works for any format of radio, transmitted or streamed, and allows the broadcaster to utilize music and audio from their iTunes library for playback on-air. This is the third time DJB Radio has won a Best of Show and/or the Cool Stuff award in five years.

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