The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Audience Insights Inc. has released initial findings from its Canadian Podcast Listener study, which talked to more than 4,000 Canadians in partnership with Ulster Media, and with support from the Globe and Mail. Among the main findings: nearly 10 million Canadian adults have listened to a podcast in the last year with that number growing – 41 per cent of respondents had listened to their first podcast in the past year. The study also found there’s an appetite for Canadian content with 47 per cent wanting to know more about what Canadian podcasts are available. Four of the top 10 podcasts respondents had listened to in the last month were Canadian. You can download the Summary Report here.

David Ridgen

CBC’s hit original serialized crime podcast Someone Knows Something: Dee & Moore,  returns with Season 3 on Nov. 7 at cbc.ca/sks. This season, host and investigator David Ridgen revisits his ground-breaking documentary Mississippi Cold Case, a civil rights era case, which follows white supremacists, domestic terrorism and failure in the American justice system.

The CRTC has given notice it will hear radio applications on Jan. 11, 2018, including Bell Media’s proposal to acquire CICZ-FM Midland, CICX-FM Orillia, CJOS-FM Owen Sound and CICS-FM Sudbury from Larche Communications Inc. for $17,033,409, plus a tangible benefits package of $1,022,005, equal to six per cent of the value of the transaction.

Golden West Broadcasting is also seeking to acquire CJGY-FM Grande Prairie and its rebroadcasting transmitters CJGY-FM-1 Fort St. John and CJGY-FM-2 Dawson Creek from subsidiary Grande Prairie Radio Ltd., as part of a corporate reorganization. The CRTC will also hear applications to operate Christian specialty music stations in Kelowna, Sydney, NS, and  Regina. The deadline for interventions or comments is Nov. 24.

103.1 Beach Radio (CKQQ-FM) Kelowna is officially on the air. Playing the greatest hits of the 80s and 90s, the station rebrands from Q103.1, following what the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group says was extensive market research.

Corus Entertainment and the Calgary Stampeders are continuing their partnership which will see News Talk 770 (CHQR-AM) broadcast games through to 2022.  Global Calgary will continue to be the official community television partner of the Stampeders football club. Canadian Football Hall of Fame broadcaster Mark Stephen will provide play-by-play, accompanied by colour commentator Greg Peterson.

The 16th Annual CKNX Health Care Heroes Radiothon raised $321,427 on Oct. 21. Over eight hours, pledges were taken to raise money for eight foundations and their respective equipment goals for regional hospitals around mid-western Ontario. The radiothon was broadcast on CKNX AM920, 101.7 The One (CKNX-FM) Wingham and Classic Rock 94.5 (CIBU-FM) Wingham.

Drumheller’s Rotary Radio Auction raised over $31,000 on Oct. 11-12. Everything from Calgary Flames-donated jerseys to haircuts and oil changes were auctioned off on 910 CFCW.

Over $75,000 was raised on Oct. 20 at the North Central Health Foundation Radiothon. Raising money for a digital x-ray machine, the radiothon was heard live on 105 CJVR-FM and CK750 (CKJH-AM) Melfort, SK.

Gilles Parent has been taken off-air at FM93 (CJMF-FM) Quebec City until further notice after Le Journal de Québec published allegations of sexual misconduct. In a statement, Cogeco Media said it was “very serious about the allegations” and that after an internal investigation Parent had acknowledged his wrongdoing. Parent joins media personality Eric Salvail and Just For Laughs boss Gilbert Rozon as the latest Quebecor to be outed for sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

The 11th Annual Radiotelethon for the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital raised $506,504 for new MRI and CT scan equipment on Oct. 15. The nine-hour event was broadcast by YourTV Hawkesbury and the Jewel 107.7 (CKHK-FM) Ottawa, as well as online.

SOCAN has partnered with Pioneer DJ Corporation of Japan to become the first music rights organization in North America to use direct metadata extraction technology, KUVO, to identify electronic dance music performances automatically in nightclubs and other electronic music venues. The Pioneer-KUVO device is being provided voluntarily to nightclubs, beginning with the Toronto area, as an additional aspect of their SOCAN music license agreement. Once installed, the  device easily plugs into a DJ’s mixing board, capturing metadata from the music, which is then collected and relayed to SOCAN to tabulate and distribute royalties more accurately to copyright holders. CODA nightclub in downtown Toronto is the first to adopt the technology.

SIGN-OFFS:

Cathy Elliott

Cathy Elliott, 60, on Oct. 15. Elliott, a member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia, performed from coast to coast for 35 years, much of her work highlighting the experiences and culture of First Nations communities. The playwright, actor and composer held roles and worked on productions across the country, including The Talking Stick, an all-Indigenous musical commissioned by the Charlottetown Festival that Elliott wrote and directed. Its finale was performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to PEI in 2011, and a concert version performed at the 2011 Halifax Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Gathering. Elliott’s screenplay for the DAREarts documentary Fill My Hollow Bones was narrated by Graham Green. Elliott appeared on the NAC Indigenous Theatre stage last season in Children of God, a musical about the children of an Oji-Cree family taken to a Northern Ontario residential school. The National Arts Centre in Ottawa flew its flags at half-staff for three days to honour Elliott.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Young Sheldon (CTV) and The Good Doctor (CTV) have emerged as the fall’s top new series across all demos. According to Numeris, Young Sheldon delivered 3.6 million average viewers for its series debut, while The Good Doctor is averaging 2.6 million viewers. In the key A25-45 demo, the revival of Will & Grace (Global) is in third place, while Seal Team ranks third with total viewers.

Jagmeet Singh and Doug Ford

Jagmeet Singh and Doug Ford are among the political rivals brought together by TVO’s new series, Political Blind Date. The TVO Original, produced in association with Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, brings politicians with different points-of-view together on a “date” to explore important issues through in-depth conversations. The six-part weekly series premieres Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. ET and tvo.org.

levelFILM has signed an exclusive output deal with Comedy Dynamics, the largest independent comedy production and distribution company in North America. The Toronto-based independent film distributor will distribute much of Comedy Dynamics’ current and future slate in Canada, including Bob Saget’s upcoming stand-up special Zero to Sixty, which will premiere on Canadian VOD and Digital platforms Nov. 14. The partnership will see levelFILM release three to five titles per month, and in addition to stand-up specials, will include independent film and television acquisitions.

CraveTV and New Metric Media, the producers of Letterkenny, have announced a multi-year partnership focused on marketing the comedy as a worldwide entertainment brand. The initiative includes commitment to produce 40 new episodes, investment in the support of brand extensions like Letterkenny merchandise and Puppers Premium Lager (in partnership with Stack Brewery in Sudbury), and international sales and distribution of the series, alongside DHX Media. The partnership also includes cross-promotional support for a 26-city Letterkenny Live! Tour. The series and format was officially rolled out to International buyers at MIPCOM in Cannes.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

CTV has partnered with the Country Music Association to broadcast The 51st Annual CMA Awards, airing Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Two. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return as hosts for the 10th year in a row. In conjunction with the acquisition of the show, Much launches a new one-hour country music block on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET, beginning Nov. 5, featuring artists like Dallas Smith, Florida Georgia Line, Jess Moskaluke and Sam Hunt.

CBS All Access has announced second season renewal of Star Trek: Discovery. Launch of the series broke a new record for subscriber sign-ups in a single, day, week and month for the digital subscription VOD and live streaming service. Airing on Space in Canada, over five episodes the series is averaging over 1.2 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched series in Canadian specialty television history to date, according to Numeris.

Steve Vogelsang

Steve Vogelsang, former CTV Winnipeg news director and sports personality, is accused of robbing two separate banks in Alberta. Vogelsang, 53, was arrested last Saturday at a Medicine Hat hotel after police say a man walked into the Royal Bank Oct. 19 and the Bank of Montreal the next day, demanding money. CBC reports that Vogelsang had fallen on hard times financially after he and his wife divorced.

QYOU Media has announced the upcoming launch of Heads Up Daily (HUD), a new daily show of curated esports content. The first licensing partner for the series is Super Channel’s GINX Esports TV Canada. HUD will be produced in partnership with ECG Productions in Markham, ON with plans to customize and localize the programming globally through broadcast and mobile distribution partnerships.

John Goldwyn

Lionsgate is partnering with television and film producer John Goldwyn on a first-look deal to develop and produce scripted programming for television and streaming platforms through his John Goldwyn Productions banner. Lionsgate will have exclusive first look rights to all new television projects developed and produced by Goldwyn.

The latest report from Media Technology Monitor (MTM), a project of CBC/Radio-Canada, looks at the adoption of OTT in the Anglophone market. According to the report 57 per cent of Canadian anglophones subscribe to over-the-top streaming services. The report looked at CraveTV, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Sportsnet Now, finding 71 per cent of OTT subscribers are using online streaming in addition to traditional TV service.

ONLINE/DIGITAL:

Bell Media Studios, in partnership with DAIS, has launched social media-first series SIDES*. Each episode streams live on Twitter @Sides on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, featuring a rotating panel of six teen hosts exploring and debating topics from political upheaval and leading news stories, to entertainment scandals and life advice. SIDES* reached more than 45,000 viewers during its first-ever live stream on Oct. 11. Following the live broadcast, a one-hour episode of the show joins Much’s lineup Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET.

Stingray Digital Group has announced that that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted its request to initiate inter parties review (IPR) proceedings against Music Choice. The Pennsylvania-based multi-platform video and music network launched suit against Montreal-based Stingray earlier this year alleging infringement on patents its holds.

A sweep of a number of popular online apps used in Canadian classrooms by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has found that while many service providers are considering the needs of younger users when it comes to privacy, others are falling short. The OPC took part in the fifth annual Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep, working alongside the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office. More than two dozen educational apps targeted at children and youth were reviewed. As a result, the OPC has released a report outlining key takeaways for online educational services, as well as users. Among the report’s findings are that more than a third of the services didn’t seek consent from students or parents and many failed to make it easy – or even possible – to delete personal information no longer needed.

Facebook Canada has announced a new Canadian Election Integrity Initiative in the lead-up to the 2019 election. The initiative, designed specifically for Canada, responds to the Communications Security Establishment’s (CSE) recent cyber-threat assessment report. The first phase of the initiative will focus on a two-year digital news literacy partnership with MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy; the release of Facebook’s new Cyber Hygiene Guide and training program for federal political parties and politicians; and a new cyber threats crisis email line for politicians and political parties, in the event that their accounts are compromised.

GENERAL:

Ted Rogers, David Suzuki, Anna Paquin, and Stompin’ Tom Connors

Ted Rogers, the late founder and CEO of Rogers Communications; broadcaster and activist David Suzuki; actress Anna Paquin and entertainer Stompin’ Tom Connors are among the 2017 inductees of Canada’s Walk of Fame. The six inductees, along with Allan Slaight Honour Recipient Shawn Hook, will be honoured at the Beyond Famous Gala on Nov. 15 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. Global will broadcast Canada’s Walk of Fame documentary Beyond Famous on Dec. 3 at 8 pm. ET/PT, hosted by Emmy-winning actor Eric McCormack.

Ian Scott

CRTC Chair Ian Scott has responded to his mandate letter from Canadian Heritage Min. Mélanie Joly, and ISED Min. Navdeep Bains. Scott writes “I look forward to fostering an open and transparent relationship with both of you…I appreciate the recognition within your letter of the nature of the CRTC as an arm’s length institution, and I am comforted that you will respect our role as an administrative tribunal. We will continue to find ways in which we can work together in order to realize the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation for the benefit of all Canadians, while maintaining this distinction.” You can read Scott’s full response here.

Allan Hawco and Mélanie Joly

Allan Hawco stepped into the role of interviewer as Heritage Min. Mélanie Joly continued her Creative Canada public relations tour with a stop in Halifax on Oct. 19. Speaking as part of the 2017 Creative City Summit, Joly promised more details in the coming weeks of how Heritage plans to modernize the Broadcasting, Copyright and Telecommunications Acts. In response to an audience question about additional support for the Canadian music sector, Joly alluded to “talks” with online music streaming giant Spotify, but said “we’re not there yet in terms of investment.”

Rogers Q3 2017 results show revenue and adjusted operating profit growth of four and six per cent, respectively. Rogers reported continued strong financial and subscriber performance in Wireless with postpaid net additions of 129,000, up 15,000. The company also reported its lowest subscriber turnover rate in eight years with postpaid churn of 1.16 per cent. Internet revenue grew six per cent with net additions of 27,000.

theScore Q4 2017 and year-end results show the company posting quarterly revenue of $4.8 million compared to $5.0 million in the same period the previous year. The year-over-year decrease was primarily due to the absence of major sporting events that took place in Q4 2016, including the Rio Olympics. Revenue for the 12 months ended Aug. 31, 2017 was $26.3 million compared to $23.9 million for the same period the previous year.

During the three months ended Aug. 31, theScore’s mobile apps had 3.7 million average monthly active users, compared to 4 million year-over-year. As above, the year-over-year decrease in audience and engagement was primarily a result of the significantly quieter sports season, compared with the same period in 2016.

Praveen Gupta and Jay Thouvenell

The 67th edition of the Western Association of Broadcast Engineers convention happens Nov. 5-7 at the Delta Hotels Edmonton South Conference Centre. This year’s speakers include Praveen Gupta from Dejero and Jay Thouvenell from WideOrbit. Find more info here.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation and the Facebook Journalism Project have announced the new CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award. Carrying a $10,000 prize, the award will celebrate journalistic efforts that encourage Canadians to understand and assess the quality of news in their communities. The award will open in Jan. 2018 and be presented at the annual CJF Awards in June.

Rogers is now offering LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service in many Manitoba communities including Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage La Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Gimli, Morden, Winkler, Churchill,Thompson and Flin Flon. LTE-A combines two or more bands of spectrum to create a larger pipe or superhighway for data to travel on. Rogers says it’s also turned on additional spectrum in Manitoba and increased LTE coverage.

Charlie Clark

Xplornet Communications Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the internet access business of NetSet Communications, based in Brandon, MB. Accelerating the Woodstock, NB company’s continued expansion across Western Canada, Xplornet will maintain the NetSet Communications tradename and retain most of its employees and business operations in both Brandon and Winnipeg. NetSet’s founder and former CEO Charlie Clark will serve in an advisory role supporting Xplornet’s business operations in the province.

 

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