The Weekly Briefing


CJTK 106.5 FM station managers Brenda and Bill Ansley accept a gift of $5,000 for operating expenses from Sudbury’s All Nations Church, represented by its pastor Jeremy Mahood, Sept. 27, 2017.

CJTK 106.5 FM, Sault Ste. Marie’s first Christian radio station, hit the airwaves on Sept. 27. The station was officially launched at an interdenominational luncheon. For now, CJTK (Christ Jesus The King), will act as a repeater for the KFM Radio network, based in Sudbury. The station has no paid employees and will operate with the help of 30 volunteers. Bill and Brenda Ansley are the acting volunteer station managers.

Terry Jones

The Edmonton Broadcasters Club salutes Terry Jones on Oct. 11. In addition to being an Edmonton Sun sports columnist since 1982, Jones has been covering sports since 1967, including more Olympic games than any other Canadian journalist (16), well over 500 Stanley Cup playoff games, 37 Grey Cups, 20 Super Bowls and Briers, and every Canada Cup/World Cup hockey tournament dating back to ‘76. Over the years, Jones was also a contributor to CFCW-AM Edmonton and hosted Sportstalk on CFRN 1260, alongside Gord Whitehead, who will interview Jones at the Broadcasters lunch. Tickets are on sale at

Bill Evanov

Bill Evanov, president and CEO of Evanov Communications, was honoured this week with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Small Business Summit Awards Gala in Caledon, ON, marking 50 years in broadcasting. Evanov celebrated his 75th birthday last week.

Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Kelly Clarkson, Ria Mae, Virginia To Vegas, Jessie Reyez, and Noah Cyrus headline the 2nd annual iHeartRadio Canada Jingle Ball at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Dec. 9. Tickets go on sale Oct. 6.

The Slaight Family Foundation is gifting the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa $500,000 to support up-and-coming Canadian artists who will appear as part of contemporary music series NAC Presents. Among those who’ll appear during the 2017-18 season on Slaight Music Saturdays are Erin Costelo, Maude Audet, Her Harbour and Catherine Leduc. Since 2012, the Slaight family has donated $1 million to the NAC.

Momentum Media Networks has teamed with the UK’s Wireless Group Media (talkSPORT) to bring the English Premier League to Canada. A full slate of soccer matches for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons are now available to stations for play on-air and online. For a full schedule and affiliation details, contact Michael Olstrom at Momentum.

Marc Hervieux, Frédéric Trudel, Frédéric Cardin, and Marc-André Doran

Radio-Canada’s ICI Musique has launched MUSE, its new digital radio channel dedicated to classical music. Available via and through the mobile app, tenor and Radio-Classique host Marc Hervieux joins the channel this month, in addition to Frédéric Trudel, Frédéric Cardin, Marc-André Doran and Jacques Kuba Séguin.

Gord Stellick, Rob Simpson, Steve Kouleas, and Scott Laughlin

SiriusXM Canada’s NHL Network Radio (ch. 91) has started its coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season. Now in its 13th season, the channel welcomes back hosts Gord Stellick, Rob Simpson, Steve Kouleas, Scott Laughlin, Patrick O’Sullivan, Jim Boomer Gordon, Mick Kern and Nick Alberga. Analysts and insiders Mike Johnson, Jeff Marek, Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, Mike Rupp and Bill Watters will also make regular appearances.

Erin Trafford

Erin Trafford, former Global Halifax anchor and News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) talk show host, has a new podcast called In The Storyhouse. Co-hosted by Jennifer Flores from Rambling Renovators in Toronto, the podcast touches on influencer marketing, blogging and digital content creation. Trafford has helmed her blog DIY Passion since 2013 and is also a contributor to the Ehm & Co Facebook Live show.

Reach FM (CJGY-FM) Grande Prairie hosted another successful Radiothon for Rising Above on Sept. 27, raising $107,506 for counselling programs, employment initiatives and housing for those stuck in cycles of defeat. Over the last seven years, the GoldenWest station has raised more than $700,000 for the Rising Above organization.

Simi Sara

News Talk 980 (CKNW-AM) Vancouver host Simi Sara has earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Simon Fraser University, 28 years after she first enrolled at SFU. The former co-host of City Vancouver’s Breakfast Television abandoned her studies a year-and-a-half in after her mother passed away. Sara later transferred to Langara College where she pursued their two-year journalism program. Determined to finish her SFU degree, she enrolled in the SFU NOW (Nights or Weekends) program, while continuing to host The Simi Sara Show and raise two teenagers.

Gavin Matts

SiriusXM Canada has crowned Gavin Matts of New Westminster the winner of the eighth annual SiriusXM Top Comic competition. Matts took home the grand prize of $25,000 and guaranteed spots at three of Canada’s biggest comedy festivals in 2018 – JFL42 in Toronto, JFL NorthWest in Vancouver and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, which includes a spot in televised special JFL: All Access on The Comedy Network. Runners-up, Sterling Scott of Edmonton and Graham Chittenden of Brantford will receive TV spots at the 2018 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, as well as a co-headlining show at JFL42 2018.

The CRTC has renewed the broadcasting licence for English-language Christian music radio station CJLU-FM Halifax and its transmitter CJLU-FM-1 Wolfville until 2024. The commission also renewed specialty Christian music radio station CHVI-FM Campbell River.

News Talk Radio CJAD 800, CTV Montreal and the Montreal Gazette are teaming up to host a cross-platform mayoral debate on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. ET. Taking place before a live audience at Concordia University’s Oscar Peterson Hall, the debate airs in real time on CJAD 800 and, and via livestream on and CJAD 800 host Leslie Roberts moderates.

Jeff Woods has added his first American affiliate for his Records and Rockstars-branded three-hour weekly program and daily 60-second features. Homeslice Media’s Classic Rock 100.3 the Fox (KFXS-FM) Rapid City, SD starts airing Woods immediately via Momentum Media Networks.


Monty Hall

Monty Hall, 96, on Sept. 30. Born Monte Halparin in north end Winnipeg, Hall started his career at CKRC-AM Winnipeg, while he was still a student. He moved to Toronto in 1946 and started working with CHUM, where station management shortened his name. For the next decade, he hosted and produced a number of programs for stations around Toronto, including Who Am I? On CFRB, which was syndicated to stations across the country. He also had several short-lived programs on CBC Television. Hall moved to New York City in 1955, hosting and guest-hosting game shows like Bingo at Home on WABD-TV, Strike it Rich on CBS and Twenty-One on NBC. From 1956 to 1960, Hall co-hosted the Saturday night segment of the NBC Radio Network weekend program Monitor. He was also a radio analyst for the New York Rangers during the 1959-60 NHL season. After moving to California, Hall became host of Let’s Make a Deal after developing and producing the show with partner Stefan Hatos. The show aired from 1963-76, and then in syndication off and on until 1991. Hatos and Hall also produced Split Second, Chain Letter, Masquerade Party, Three for the Money, It’s Anybody’s Guess, and the Canadian-based The Joke’s on Us. Hall was named to both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.

Raymond Lebrun

Raymond Lebrun, 85, on Sept. 30. One of the most recognized voices associated with Radio-Canada sports, Lebrun was a veteran of NFL and Montreal Expos broadcasts on CBC Television, in addition to providing Olympic coverage for four decades. Over the years, he also served as the sports columnist for the CBF-Bonjour show in the 1980s, alongside Joel Le Bigot, Roger Laroche and Francine Grimaldi, among others.

Jan V. Matejcek

Jan Vladimir Matejcek, 90, on Sept. 23. Matejcek became the first CEO of SOCAN after leading the merger of the two former Canadian performing rights organizations PROCAN and CAPAC (the Canadian Authors’ and Publishers’ Association of Canada) in 1990. He was recognized following his retirement in 1992, with the creation of the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award, presented annually at the SOCAN Awards. In addition to his work in the area of copyright, Matejcek spent time with the Canadian Music Centre, Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras and helped establish The Association of Symphony Orchestras and Ontario Choral Federation.


DHX Media, the Halifax-based kids content producer which just last year bought a controlling stake in the Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake brands for $345 million, is up for sale. After disappointing financial results, the company says it has launched a committee to evaluate “strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value,” which could include the sale of part or all of the company, a sale of some of its assets, or a possible merger. The company says its board has not set a timetable for the process.

Unifor, the union representing employees at OMNI TV, has filed a complaint alleging that Rogers has already violated its four-month-old broadcasting licence by subcontracting its Chinese news broadcasts to competitor Fairchild TV. The union says the move violates Rogers’ repeated promise in its application of “in-house” production of news shows. Unifor is calling on the CRTC to call an immediate public hearing into the issue.

Star Trek: Discovery is now the most-watched series ever on Canadian specialty TV. So far, more than 1.17 million viewers have tuned into the premiere episode on Space. Episode 2, which immediately followed the premiere, saw audience growth of five per cent with more than 1.2 million viewers to date. Its debut on CraveTV also ranks as the biggest ever for the streaming service. Including the simulcast on CTV, nearly 2.2 million viewers have watched the premiere episode, making it the third most-watched series debut on Canadian television this season.

New Discovery series Last Stop Garage, debuts Oct. 23, the latest from the producers of the channel’s most-watched series Canada’s Worst Driver. The half-hour show follows a rag-tag team of “MacGyver”-like mechanics from Labrador. Tougher Than It Looks? also returns to the channel for another season. Discovery will run a five-week free preview Oct. 12 – Nov. 9 on most Canadian cable providers.

Groupe Média TFO has launched Minivers, the first interactive children’s production powered by its Virtual Universe Laboratory (LUV). Aimed at children, ages 2-6, the 40, seven-minute episodes are available to Franco-Canadians on the TFO channel and online through, IDÉLLO and the Mini ABC YouTube channel.

Premiere Week began Sept. 25 with Young Sheldon debuting on CTV as the most-watched new series, drawing 3.6 million viewers. The Big Bang Theory spinoff saw the biggest debut for a new comedy in 10 years, drawing an average 1.5 million A25-54 viewers. The season premiere of The Big Bang Theory led the night with 3.8 million viewers.

Zone·tv is partnering with TheWrap to deliver original programming, including Studio Wrap and Emmy Quickies. TheWrap, a digital news organization covering the business of entertainment and media, will extend its brand onto the zone·tv Dynamic Channels platform, available on TELUS and Bell in Canada.

Jorge Contreras

Telelatino Network has announced several events and special programming for October in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month in Canada, including half-hour special Cronicas, a TLN Studios Original special, hosted and produced by Montreal based TLN/Univision journalist Jorge Contreras. View the calendar here.

Lionsgate and leisure park operator Parques Reunidos have announced a Lionsgate-branded indoor entertainment centre, set to open in New York City’s Times Square in 2019. Lionsgate Entertainment City will feature attractions built around Lionsgate film and television properties including Mad Men, The Hunger Games and the most recent installment of the John Wick franchise. Lionsgate’s location-based entertainment business now encompasses planned attractions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A digital portrait of Quebec households, conducted by the Centre francophone de recherche en informatisation des organisations (CEFRIO), finds more than half of those connected to the internet are now subscribed to a paid online viewing service, a 13 per cent increase from 2016. The most popular platforms are Netflix (33 per cent), Club Illico (19 per cent) and Extra (four per cent). The vast majority still subscribe to a television service (84 per cent), whether cable, fibre or satellite. The CEFRIO results are based on a phone survey of 1003 adults in March of this year.

Luc Lavoie

TVA has suspended commentator Luc Lavoie after complaints and a threatened boycott of sister company Videotron, following a comment about “hunting separatists” during a segment on squirrel hunting petitions tabled in the National Assembly. TVA and Videotron are owned by Quebecor, whose president is former Parti Quebecois leader Pierre Karl Peladeau. The network says Lavoie will remain off the air until an investigation is concluded.

CBC/Radio-Canada has announced its hosts for English-Language coverage of Pyeongchang 2018, Feb. 9-25. Scott Russell will mark his 14th turn doing Olympic Games coverage. Also returning is Andi Petrillo, while Olympic Games silver medallist Alexandre Despatie joins the English-language broadcast team for the first time. Former Olympians Craig McMorris and Kelly VanderBeek will helm the overnight broadcasts. The Olympic Winter Games will take place in Korean Standard Time, 14 hours ahead of EST. As a result, Olympic Games Primetime will feature live sports coverage as the day begins in Pyeongchang.


George Stroumboulopoulos

Audible Inc., a subsidiary of, has launched, a dedicated service for Canadians offering more than 300,000 audiobooks, original programs, lectures, comedy and at launch, over 100 new titles from Canadian authors in English and French, as well as other long- and short-form content curated by and for Canadians. The subscription-based service’s landing page includes an endorsement from George Stroumboulopoulos.

The Rebel has unveiled a slate of new programming. It includes Rebel Buzz, hosted by former Breitbart reporter Kristin Tate; Pure Hollywood and Rebel Reel Reviews hosted by Christian film actor Ben Davies; The Rebel Roundup with David Menzies; and Muslim Sense with Raheel Raza. Off the Cuff with John Cardillo focuses on the Blue Lives Matter beat. Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson hosts The Tommy Robinson Show.  

Nielsen Music Canada Q3 data shows weekly on-demand audio streaming surpassed the 800 million mark for the first time during the week ending Sept. 14. On-demand audio streams total 27.6 billion so far this year, a nearly 80 per cent increase year-over-year, offset by a 17 per cent decrease in album sales and 19 per cent decrease in digital track sales. While Ed Sheeran’s Divide leads album activity, the biggest song is Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Despacito, which has boosted streaming of the Latin genre, experiencing a 171 per cent increase over 2016.


Sheldon Mack

Sheldon Mack, the son of former CTV Vancouver Island anchor and news director Hudson Mack, was among the hundreds injured in Sunday night’s mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Sheldon, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, was shot twice and underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured colon and broken forearm. Hudson Mack expressed his thanks on Facebook to those who dragged his son to safety and helped get him into an ambulance.

Melanie Joly

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Netflix have announced an agreement that will see the company create its first permanent, multi-purpose film and TV production company outside the U.S. and invest a minimum of $500M in original productions in Canada over the next five years. Announced in conjunction with the Creative Canada policy, Melanie Joly also announced that the federal contribution to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) will increase, starting in 2018, to make up for declining private-sector cable and satellite subscription contributions; and $125M over five years to support a new Creative Export Strategy. The CBC’s mandate, Canada’s Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act and Copyright Act will all be reviewed, while modernization of the Canada Music Fund and Canada Book Fund is promised. A new partnership between Facebook and Ryerson University was also unveiled, creating the first Canadian digital news incubator. The Coalition for Culture and Media, which counts ACTRA and the CMPA among its nearly 40 members, issued a statement critical of the policy directive, while the CBC, Canadian Media Guild, Writers Guild of Canada and Directors Guild of Canada gave Joly’s proposals the thumbs up.

In response to the federal government deal with Netflix, members of the Quebec legislature voted unanimously for a motion to “ensure the Quebec sales tax (TVQ) is imposed on all foreign companies that offer products and services online, notably in the cultural sector, as soon as possible.” Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao supported the motion, but said the province won’t take steps before seeing details of the agreement.

Hubert Lacroix

Ground has been broken at the site of the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montréal. Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix were among those on hand at the Oct. 1. ceremony. Expected to be finished by Jan. 2020, the new LEED Silver certified building will feature a four-storey atrium and rooftop patio, to be built at the corner of René-Lévesque Boulevard and Papineau Avenue, previously a parking lot for the existing building.

Beau (Wolfgang Fritzshe), Mandy Shew, Faouzia, and the late Kenny Shields

The Broadcasters Association of Manitoba has announced its Fall 2017 Award Winners. Inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame was Beau (Wolfgang Fritzshe), who has spent the last 28 years at Q-94 (CHIQ-FM) and 99.9 BOB FM (CFWM-FM) Winnipeg; Mandy Shew, midday host at 103.1 Virgin Radio (CKMM-FM) Winnipeg, took home the Broadcaster of Tomorrow Award; Rogers’ KiSS 102.3 (CKY-FM) won the Community Service Award for its annual Father Daughter Ball fundraiser; while 92.1 CITI FM won the Promotions Award for the Toys for Boys contest. The inaugural Music Rising Star Award was shared by country duo Petric and 16-year-old pop vocalist Faouzia. The late Kenny Shields of Streetheart was posthumously inducted into BAM’s Music Hall of Fame.

Carlos Pacheco, Laura Clunie, Natalie Osborne, and Jacqueline Vong

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) will host the seventh edition of the Children, Youth & Media (CYM) Conference Nov. 15-17 in Toronto. On the theme of Survival of the Fittest, CYM 2017 will feature Carlos Pacheco, VP of audience development at Boat Rocker; Laura Clunie, VP of entertainment at Spin Master; Natalie Osborne, chief strategy officer at 9 Story Media Group; Jacqueline Vong, licensing director at Fun to Play Toys; Shaftesbury CEO Christina Jennings; Grainne McGuinness, creative director at Paper Owl Films; Chantal Lafleur, president of Productions Avenida; Marie McCann, senior director at CBC Kids, and panels from Relish Interactive and the YouTube team. More details available here.

Bell MTS has quietly raised rates on its services, roughly six months after Bell’s $3.9B takeover of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS). Home phone charges are up $1.95/month, TV up $2.95 and internet service up $3.95. Calling features, TV packages, fibre-optic and other services also went up in price. Wireless rates are unchanged, with the company committing to leaving those unchanged for 12 months, as terms of its takeover in mid-March.

Rogers has expanded wireless service and made network improvements at Main and Broadway in Downtown Winnipeg. It’s also constructing a new cellular tower in the residential community of Sage Creek. To meet rising demand for wireless voice and data service in Manitoba, Rogers placed several new wireless sites in Winnipeg earlier this year, including Riverview, Ridgewood, Inkster Industrial Park, McPhillips Ave, and Unicity, as well as Brandon North Hill.


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