The Weekly Briefing

RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Bell Media simply could not justify the more than $3 Million in needed technical and structural transmission site upgrades just to keep London’s CKSL-AM on-the-air and in compliance with regulations. Bell has respectfully asked the CRTC to revoke the license, which it has, but the sign-off date is not known. Known as Funny 1410, CKSL has been on the air for 60 years. Over the decades, it has been a Top 40 station, news talk, soft adult contemporary, oldies and was Canada’s first radio station devoted to comedy radio.

CRTC has turned down Durham Radio’s application to improve coverage of KX96 in western Toronto. CJKX-FM Ajax applied to expand its service into the west side of Toronto and east side of Mississauga, but the Commission ruled the primary markets Durham is licensed to serve are Ajax and Oshawa.

The CBC has been given CRTC approval for a new transmitter in St. John’s in order to rebroadcast programming from Radio One. The CBC has indicated the new transmitter would improve the quality of its Radio One signal in St. John’s and surrounding areas.

Durham Radio, the new owner of Vista Radio’s CKJN-FM Haldimand County (Caledonia), has applied for a Canadian content reduction from 40% to 30%. Durham won CRTC approval July 8 for the station’s purchase. It also wants to move to Classic Hits from Country. Interventions/comments must be submitted by Aug. 29.

The CRTC has renewed the broadcast licenses for CIMM-FM 99.5 Ucluelet and CHMZ-FM 90.1 Tofino, but for a shorter time than normal, to August 31, 2019. Both stations, owned by Matthew McBride, have been found in non-compliance with various regulatory requirements.

TSN Radio 1150 (CKOC-AM) Hamilton is the new home of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Bell Media’s multi-year deal brings every Hamilton Bulldogs regular season and playoff game, pre- and post-game shows and two all new weekly Bulldogs/OHL-themed programs, to TSN Radio 1150. The Bulldogs moved from AM 900 CHML-AM and also parted ways with play-by-play broadcaster Matt Holmes.

Ottawa’s KISS 105.3 (CISS-FM) helped provide Christmas in July for a local home daycare owner whose toys were pilfered from her yard after a fake Kijiji ad offered up her “free toys” while she was away. The station held a toy drive that produced a van load of donated toys.

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

TVA Group Inc. announced a second quarter loss of $5.7 million ($0.13 per share) up from $2.6 million ($0.06 per share) in the same quarter of 2015. TVA Sports channel’s advertising sales suffered because the Montreal Canadiens did not make the playoffs. The magazines acquired from Transcontinental drove revenue for that division upward. However, revenues for the company’s Film Production & Audiovisual Services suffered due to lower than expected major Hollywood production volume.

marblemedia has teamed up again with TVO, City Saskatchewan, Knowledge Network and The Jim Henson Company on a live action preschool comedy, Opie’s Home. It is a spin-off of Hi Opie and features signature Henson-style puppetry. The Hamilton-based production, which stars Oscar-nominated Canadian actor Graham Greene, will premiere in 2017.

CBC TV is committed to airing the latest Stratford Festival HD productions. The next will be Hamlet on Aug. 28 and The Adventures of Pericles on Sept. 4. Starting next year, the productions will be available for download through iTunes and Google Play in Canada. The commercial free broadcasts are part of a plan to document all Shakespeare’s plays over the course of a decade.

CBC’s coverage of the Rio Olympics will be missing veteran sportscaster Steve Armitage. He was scheduled to provide commentary for swimming and diving for what would have been his 16th Games as a broadcaster, but he has stepped away as a precautionary measure after being recently diagnosed with chronic heart failure.

Five Canadian filmmakers will present their first feature films at the Venice International Film Festival, which will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10 in Italy. Karl Lemieux, Vincent Biron, Patrick Boivin and brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez with all have their feature films screened.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is looking for applications for the 2016 edition of the Telefilm Canada Marketing Mentorship Program. The 20-week mentorship is aimed at new and mid-level marketing professionals to give them exposure to the screen-based entertainment sector and corporate promotion. Selected CMPA members will receive $6,500 towards the trainee’s salary. Apply here before the Aug. 29 deadline.

TSN will be the exclusive broadcaster for the World Junior Summer Showcase featuring live coverage of all Team Canada games. The tournament includes the world’s elite U-20 hockey players facing off in a series of matchups. Calling the games are host Gord Miller and TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button.

HBO has renewed Real Time With Bill Maher through 2018, with season 15 scheduled for 2017 and season 16 scheduled for 2018.

ONLINE CHANNELS:

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) is out with some sports stats with the Summer Olympic Games set to begin in Rio this week. The Sports Enthusiasts Report indicates more than half of all English Canadians consume sports content at least once a week, but French Canadians are heavier users of sports content. The study also found TV remains the primary source for sports content with sports enthusiasts being more likely to subscribe to a TV service – but mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular for checking sports on the go.

The CRTC is looking for the public’s input as it launches a review of its wireless code of conduct. Created in 2013, the code is designed to ensure cellphone service providers use easy-to-understand language in customer contracts and by making attempts to limit bill shock. Comments can be made on the CRTC’s website until Sept. 26.

Astral Out-of-Home (AOOH), will now be the programming provider at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Starting August 29 the Bell owned company will screen the in-terminal programming and advertising. Bell Media content from CTV, CTV News, and TSN will be presented at YYZ to an estimated 41 million passengers annually.

Rogers continues the rollout of its Ignite Gigabit Internet service to residential and small business customers across neighbourhoods in Barrie, Keswick, Alliston, Bolton, Orangeville, and Woodbridge, Ontario. Ignite promises file transfer speeds that will allow download of an HD movie in 30 seconds. The company plans to reach 4 million Canadian customers by the end of 2016, with rollouts in New Brunswick and Newfoundland still to come this year.

GENERAL:

Jerry Howarth is celebrating 35 years in the radio booth calling over 7,000 games for the Toronto Blue Jays. Sportsnet is inviting fans to send in their best impersonations, get a personalized message from Howarth, and leave social media greetings to the broadcaster. Howarth was recognized in 2012 with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Jack Graney Award. He started his play-by-play career with the Tacoma Twins AAA baseball team and the University of Puget Sound’s football and basketball teams. He spent time in Salt Lake City as a baseball radio play-by-play announcer, assistant general manager for the Utah Pros, and group sales director for the Utah Jazz. Howarth moved to Toronto in 1981 where he has taken an active role in the community, coaching high school basketball and fundraising for the Special Olympics and other charities, as well as raising his two (now grown) sons with his wife Mary.

CWA Canada has published a set standards for the fair treatment of media industry interns that will ensure student interns get valuable work experience through structured training programs and get paid a guaranteed minimum honorarium. CWA Canada’s National Representative Council unanimously adopted the guidelines at the union’s annual meeting with the expectation they’ll be embraced across the industry. Read the guidelines here.

REVOLVING DOOR:

Bell Media has realigned leadership of the company’s content, distribution, and English-language programming teams. Randy Lennox becomes President, Broadcasting and Content; Tracey Pearce becomes President, Distribution and Pay; and Mike Cosentino becomes Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty. Former President, Content Sales, Marketing, and Digital Products, Domenic Vivolo, departs the company. Vivolo was instrumental in the repositioning and rebranding of several networks within Astral, which he joined in 2000, before joining Bell. The changes are effective Aug. 8.

Two more Bell Media Virgins to report on. KOOL-FM (CFCA-FM) in Kitchener relaunched as 105-3 Virgin Radio last Friday, after stunting with Christmas-in-July music. The rebranding took the former KOOL-FM from Hot AC to CHR. First song played was This Is What You Came For by Calvin Harris, featuring Rihanna. New radio talent there has yet to be confirmed. Former KOOL-FM morning show host Angie Hill moved to mornings at sister station KFUN 99.5 FM (CKKW-FM). Current KFUN (CKKW-FM) morning host “Sarge” is moving to evenings and weekends. Andrew Gerrior was laid off from the station, but Bell Media said net headcount remained the same. More staff hires are expected in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Bell Media’s 101.3 The Bounce (CJCH-FM) Halifax became 101.3 Virgin Radio. The first song played was also This Is What You Came For. The CHR format and the air staff remain in place.

Bell Media’s Virgin Radio brand is now in place at its stations countrywide. The format began in Canada in August of 2008 when Astral Media’s CKFM Toronto became Virgin 999, keeping its AC format. Five months later, in January of 2009, three more Astral stations flipped to the Virgin brand; 95 Crave Vancouver; The Bear (CKQB-FM) Ottawa; and Mix 96 Montreal. In June, 2010, VIBE 98-5 (CIBK-FM ) Calgary became 98-5 Virgin Radio. In February of 2011, Virgin Radio Ottawa reverted to The Bear while EZ Rock Edmonton transitioned to 104-9 Virgin Radio. The sixth Virgin station was in London when 97.5 EZ Rock was transitioned. HOT 103 (CKMM-FM) Winnipeg became Virgin Radio in September, 2012. In March of 2014, Virgin Radio (CKZZ-FM) Vancouver transitioned back to its Z95.3 name following the CRTC requirement that Bell Media sell the station. Bell Media retained Canadian rights to Virgin Radio branding. Newcap became the new owner. One year later, in March, 2015, The Beat (CFBT-FM) Vancouver became 94.5 Virgin Radio.

Ian Robinson joined mornings at Hot Country 103.5 (CKHZ-FM ) Halifax on Aug 3. The voice of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads vacates a swing position at Q104 Halifax where he had been for a decade. Ian joins Dana Thompson who has been hosting solo since former Hot morning host Chris Lawrence left the position in June to concentrate on his acting career.

Grant Barber has retired from Corus Kingston after 33 years. He sold advertising for television station CKWS-TV and radio stations Fresh 104.3 and Big 96.3, as Senior Account Executive.

A new morning show at 95.7 CRUZ fm (CKEA-FM) Edmonton. Lochlin Cross, Grant Johnson and James White host mornings with their ‘Locker Room.’ Former morning co-host Nicola Crosbie is no longer with the station. Johnson previously partnered with Ryder in mornings at sister station Hot 107 (CJNW-FM ), and White’s previous gig was with 100.3 FM The Bear (CFBR-FM) Edmonton.

Rita Cugini, the CRTC’s seven-year Ontario Regional Commissioner from 2005-2012, joined Media RESULTS as a senior partner and VP of Regulatory for Radio and TV. She has been active as a regulatory consultant since her CRTC term expired. Media RESULTS also appointed Gary Muth as VP, New Music and Entertainment. Lee Cornell now heads up Digital Content development Internationally and is based in San Diego.

David Humen, GSM at Harvard Broadcasting Edmonton, has resigned his post for personal reasons. His last day is Aug. 31 or until a successor has been found to ensure a smooth transition. Is this job for you?

News1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver afternoon news anchor Tanya Fletcher delivered her final newscast on the station July 29. She is expected to land at a new location imminently.

Monday was move-in day for a raft of new on-air personalities at Evanov’s Energy 106 (CHWE-FM) Winnipeg. Jeff Holland and Sarah Nick take over mornings. Holland is in from 106.1 The Goat in Lloydminster AB while Nick comes from 93.1 the One Leduc AB. Matt Barron arrives in afternoons from Mix 103.7 (CFVR-FM) Fort McMurray. Stacey Lazor debuts in evenings/weekends and Promotions Assistant, and was most recently with 93.1 Country (CHPO-FM) in Portage La Prairie. Steve Adams remains in middays and served as the welcome committee for the newcomers.

Joël Lamoureux, former PD/Morning host at Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) in Ottawa, joins Golden West Radio in Airdrie, AB as Program Director/Morning Host for AIR 106.1 (CFIT-FM). Tracy Lamoureux, has resigned as Senior Sales Executive at the Rogers Radio Group in Ottawa after over nine years and joins the Golden West Radio and Discover Airdrie, the community portal also operated by Golden West. Exiting AIR 106.1, PD Kevin Wallace moves south to High River AB to assume programming duties for Golden West’s AM1140 (CHRB-AM), Sun Country 99.7 (CFXO-FM) and Eagle 100.9 (CKUV-FM).

The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM) in Montreal is playing musical chairs with the lineup, moving Cat Spencer from mornings to host of the afternoon show The Beat 5@7. Cousin Vinny will co-host the morning show with Nikki Balch who returns to Montreal after a stint in Vancouver at Z 95.3 (CKZZ-FM) as Music Director and Midday Host. The new show hit the air Aug.2.

Jenny Goodman joins Western Media Group as Account Director, Dynamic Outdoor on Aug 15. She has extensive media experience in radio, place-based media, and directory advertising. Jenny replaces Robyn Christison who is moving to London, England.

Nathan Carr and Jentry VanBaal host ‘Mornings with Nate & Jentry at Corus Entertainment’s Fresh Radio (CFLG-FM ) Cornwall. VanBaal has been with the station for two years, in the newsroom and with the community cruiser. Jimmy Kalaitzis moves from mornings to replace Carr in afternoons. Johnny Novak is also making a move to middays from weekends. Mr. D continues to hold down evenings at Fresh.

Last Friday at Noon, Corus station B101 (CIQB-FM) Barrie became 101.1 Big FM. The first song played was Big Time by Peter Gabriel. The new format is 60% classic hits and 40% classic rock from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and aimed at 25-54s. Susan Meredith, the former morning show host at Rock 95 (CFJB-FM) Barrie, and Kris Bawden, ex of K-Rock (CIKR-FM) Kingston, host the BIG Breakfast with Kris and Sue. PD Deb James does afternoon drive and MD Chris Liedke does evenings.

Brent Preston’s tour of duty as station manager for Acadia Broadcasting’s Magic 99.9 (CJUK-FM) and Country 105 (CKTG-FM) Thunder Bay is winding down. He’ll relocate with the company back to Saint John once his replacement is found and onboarded. Is this job for you?

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Broadcast Dialogue is Canada’s broadcast industry publication of record. The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is distributed by controlled circulation every Thursday. Broadcast Dialogue content may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher.