The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Newcap Inc., has received approval from the CRTC to sell CISL-AM Vancouver to Rogers without consultation. The transaction, previously announced Apr. 25, is expected to close within 90 days. Rogers is set to rebrand the station as Sportsnet 650 this fall, which will carry Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts.

The CRTC has issued a call for renewal applications for radio licences that will expire on Aug. 31, 2018. Licensees must submit their renewal applications by no later than Aug. 31.

SiriusXM Canada has announced completion of its recapitalization go-private transaction. All of the shares of the company were acquired by 2517835 Ontario Inc., owned by Slaight Communications Inc., Obelysk Media Inc. and Sirius XM Radio Inc. The company also announced it will be redeeming $200 million in outstanding 5.625% senior unsecured notes due April 23, 2021.

Gail (Hervieux) Moore

CJTT-FM New Liskeard, ON, formerly 1230 AM, is celebrating 50 years of broadcasting in the South Temiskaming in Northeastern Ontario. Station manager Gail (Hervieux) Moore is on the hunt for former employees to invite to a CJTT Alumni Dinner and Party this August. To register or for more details, you can contact her at gail.moore@cjttfm.com

Doug Lennox

Now You Know Canada, a special short form radio series culled from the program produced and hosted by the late Doug Lennox, is being offered to Canadian radio to celebrate Canada’s 150th. Twenty one-minute episodes will be offered free to stations, starting June 5, featuring a mix of Canadian trivia from history and whimsy to biography and geography. In cooperation with Orbyt Media, the episodes will be made available for download at ftp.ctv.ca.

SIGN-OFFS:

Trevor Kidd

Trevor Kidd, 76, on May 20 in Vancouver. Kidd was well-known on the Ottawa airwaves in the 1970s and 80s at 580 CFRA-AM and CFMO-FM, where he was a popular morning man. An easily-recognizable voice in the market, Kidd was known for his quick wit and humour during his 37-year career in broadcasting.

Alonzo “Lonnie” Townsend

Alonzo “Lonnie” Townsend, 74, on May 22. Townsend started his media career as a photographer with the Coast Guard newspaper in Shelburne, NS and moved up to editor before making the leap to radio in the late 1970s, joining the CKBW Bridgewater news department, primarily as Shelburne bureau chief, for 20 years. His love of news and politics led him to represent Lockeport as a town councillor for over 15 years and he was deputy mayor until his death. A graduate of the Zion Bible Institute in Rhode Island, Townsend was also a Pentecostal Pastor for many years.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Jean Pierre Blais

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais has written an open letter, posted on the commission’s website, after criticism over changes to original French-language content requirements for large French-language TV groups. Blais specifically addresses media scrutiny around Corus-owned Séries+, which reportedly shelved several original productions following the ruling. Blais says new conditions will require the channel to dedicate potentially more than $7.8 million per year to acquire or produce French-language Canadian content.

Lionsgate has released its full year fiscal 2017 results, reporting revenue of $3.2 billion, net income attributable to Lionsgate shareholders of $15 million or basic EPS of $0.09 on 165.0 million weighted average common shares outstanding, operating loss of $16 million and adjusted OIBDA of $235 million for the year ended Mar. 31. The results included $89 million in restructuring and other costs primarily associated with Lionsgate’s December acquisition and subsequent integration of Starz.

Alessia Cara and Joe Jonas

Alessia Cara and Joe Jonas are set to host The 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards. Jonas is also set to perform with his multi-platinum selling band DNCE. Airing live in 4K on Sunday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET, the MMVAs will be simulcast on Much, CTV, and VRAK. ETALK reporter Liz Trinnear and Much and E! Host Tyrone Edwards return to co-host. ETALK reporter and E! host Chloe Wilde and MMVAs red carpet newcomer, iHeartRadio’s Patrick Langlois will host The iHeartRadio MMVA Red Carpet at 8 p.m. ET on Much, MTV, E!, and Much.com.

Shonda Rhimes

CTV has announced it’s landed 13 new series from this year’s Los Angeles screenings. Among the four new comedies and nine new dramas are The Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon; two new dramas from Shonda Rhimes with legal thriller For The People and a still untitled Grey’s Anatomy spinoff following a group of firefighters; mystery-thriller Ten Days In The Valley from Canadian Film Centre alumnus Tassie Cameron, starring Kyra Sedgwick; two new Marvel universe dramas, including Marvel’s Inhumans and mutant thriller The Gifted; and the revival of the 1988-97 sitcom Roseanne, with the original cast. CTV ended the 2016/17 season as Canada’s most-watched television network among total viewers and A25-54 for the 16th year in a row.

Cardinal starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse

Production is underway on the second cycle of Cardinal, starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. Six, hour-long episodes are being shot in North Bay, Ont. and Toronto before premiering as part of CTV and Super Écran’s 2017/18 season. Cycle 1 of Cardinal was the most-watched new Canadian series in the 2016/17 season, averaging 1.1 million viewers weekly. eOne has successfully licensed Cardinal internationally with the first season airing on CANAL+ in France, Calle 13 in Spain, and C More in Scandinavia, where it became the network’s biggest foreign drama series. It will premiere June 3 on BBC and June 16 on Hulu in the U.S.

English-language regional telecasts of weekday Montreal Canadiens games are moving back to TSN next season, according to a report by the Montreal Gazette. While Rogers Sportsnet hasn’t confirmed the deal, the Gazette report says Sportsnet’s efforts to retain the rights were thwarted by Bell’s ownership stake in the Canadiens, which included the right to match any offer for the TV rights.

Matthew Scianitti and Farhan Lalji

CFL ON TSN kicks off the new season June 8 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visiting defending Grey Cup champions Ottawa Redblacks. Sportscentre previews the 2017 CFL season with TSN’s Matthew Scianitti and Farhan Lalji providing features on each team as they prepare for the regular season. Pre-season coverage will also appear on TSN.ca and the TSN GO app. Live radio coverage of the pre-season includes both games featuring the Redblacks on TSN 1200 (CFGO-AM) Ottawa, the Lions game on TSN 1040 (CKST-AM) Vancouver, the Ti-Cats game on TSN 1150 (CKOC-AM) Hamilton, and the Alouettes game on TSN 690 (CKGM-AM) Montreal.

Asian Television Network International Limited has acquired the Canadian Broadcast rights for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, happening in England and Wales June 1-18. The cricket series will air live on ATN pay per view on various cable & satellite platforms across Canada.

Canada Soccer, TSN and RDS have announced renewal of their broadcast partnership that will see the two networks continue to broadcast National Team matches across their television and digital platforms. The live coverage kicks off with a trio of international matches featuring the Women’s National Team in Winnipeg (June 8) and Toronto (June 11), followed by the Men’s National Team in Montréal (June 13).

The European Council continues to try to keep pace with the digital shift, agreeing there should be a minimum 30 per cent quota on European works in the catalogue of video-on-demand service providers operating in EU member states, including Netflix and Amazon. TV broadcasting and on-demand services will now have to apply the same rules. Furthermore, the scope of the directive has been extended to include video-sharing platforms and social media services that provide a significant amount of audiovisual content. 

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Videotron has filed a review application with the CRTC following an April 20 ruling ordering it to stop offering its customers its Unlimited Music service by July 19. Videotron says it wants to minimize the impact on customers already using the two-year-old service, which allows subscribers to stream music without impacting their data plans.

TSN and the Canadian Football League (CFL) have partnered to launch TSN CFL Fantasy at CFLFantasy.TSN.ca, where fans can build their own roster of six active offensive players as well as select a defence from one of the CFL’s nine teams, all while staying under a salary cap. TSN CFL Fantasy managers compete for weekly prizes throughout the 20-week season as well as the grand prize, a trip for two to Ottawa for the 105th Grey CupTSN will air a 30-minute CFL Fantasy Special on June 20, before the CFL regular season kick-off June 22 with the Montreal Alouettes hosting the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

GENERAL:

A poll conducted by Ipsos, on behalf of RTDNA Canada, found that despite the proliferation of social media, fake news, and alternative facts, seven in 10 (69 per cent) of Canadians continue to trust traditional news media – unchanged since 2008. The poll also found that traditional news sources are trusted more often than online or social media sources, led by broadcast TV news and print newspapers. Despite the closure of many local news sources and existing local news platforms using more national/international content for their stories, Canadians polled said nearly half (45 per cent) of all their news is consumed from local sources.

Lisa LaFlamme

RTDNA Canada handed out its National and Network awards May 27 in Toronto. CTV News Toronto: CTV News at Six won the national award for Best TV Newscast (Large Market) while 660 NEWS (CFFR-AM) Calgary won the award for Best Radio Newscast. Best News Information Program went to Global Regina: Focus Saskatchewan. In the Network category, CBC News Manitoba was honoured with the Data Storytelling Award; CBC News swept the Radio awards with NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto winning a lone award for Best News Information Program; CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme took home the network award for Best Television Newscast, while CTV’s W5 was honoured with three awards in the Television category. Global National also secured two nods for Fort McMurray wildfire coverage.

Calgary-based VOIS telecom is facing repercussions from the CRTC after failing to rejoin the Commission for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The CRTC fined VOIS $15,000 in April after it was expelled from the CCTS last August for failing to address six different customer complaints. The CRTC also ordered VOIS to rejoin the CCTS, mandatory for all telecoms, within 30 days and announced a public proceeding to consider additional penalties against its director Harpreet Randhawa.

The CRTC has launched a series of animated web videos to educate Canadians about phone, TV and internet issues called Meet the Martels, featuring a Canadian family who love their tech. Part of the CRTC’s digital first approach to communicating with Canadians, the commission says the campaign is also intended to position it as a trusted source for information.

Bell Canada is working to establish the Bell MTS brand following its acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) in March. MTS Centre, home ice to the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, has been redubbed Bell MTS Place, while the hockey training facility was renamed Bell MTS Iceplex. Bell Media is also a major media partner with True North Sports + Entertainment, owning the regional Jets broadcast rights on TSN in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario.

SUPPLY LINES:

GDS Communications, the Surrey, BC-based television and film post-production sales consulting firm, has been appointed the Canadian reseller for Konvision Broadcast Monitors.

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