The Weekly Briefing


iHeartRadio Canada stations will debut an original song each week in conjunction with forthcoming Bell Media reality music series The Launch. Beginning this month, the 30 aspiring artists selected to participate in the six-part, hour long series will be introduced at The show recently wrapped production and will premiere on CTV in early 2018.

Bluewater Radio (CFBW-FM) Hanover, ON is getting a reprieve after Hanover Town Council voted to purchase the downtown building the community station occupies for $246,000 and lease it to the station rent free until the end of 2019. The non-profit, 250-watt station, established in 2001 with seed money from the town and Ontario Trillium Foundation, has been facing financial challenges and possible closure.

The CRTC has fined RNC Media’s Pop 100.9 (CHXX-FM) Donnaconna, Que. $920 for failing to meet its French-language music quota. The station will also be required to broadcast an announcement regarding its non-compliance three times a day, for five consecutive days. The commission has renewed CHXX-FM’s licence through Aug. 2024.

The CRTC has denied an application to amend the broadcasting licence for LG 104.3 (CHLG-FM) Vancouver. The Newcap subsidiary had requested removal of the condition of licence requiring it to devote at least 15 per cent of its musical selections to Special Interest Music. The station argued the requirement is alienating listeners and impacting CHLG-FM’s market share and revenue.

Bay of Islands Radio (CKVB-FM) Corner Brook, NL, which started as an internet radio station in 2009, will start broadcasting at 100.1 on the FM dial, starting Nov. 5. The non-profit, community station’s signal is expected to reach most of Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands, as far as Meadows Point to the north and Benoit’s Cove to the south.

The World Famous CFOX-FM Vancouver banned Seattle bands from its playlists on Oct. 29 and Nov. 2 in a show of support for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they face-off against the rival Seattle Sounders in the semi-final run up to the MLS Cup. It’s not clear if the gesture proved to be good luck for the team as the first leg of the playoff series ended in a scoreless draw.

SiriusXM Canada is launching eight commercial-free holiday music channels over November and December. This year’s lineup includes Holly (via satellite on channel 70) featuring contemporary holiday music from artists like Celine Dion and Meghan Trainor; Holiday Traditions (via satellite on channel 4) traditional holiday music from the ’40s through the ’60s; Holiday Pops (via satellite on channel 76) classical Christmas carols; Country Christmas (via satellite on channel 58); Navidad (via online on channel 785 featuring contemporary and traditional Latin holiday music; Holiday Soul (via satellite on channel 49); Radio Hanukkah (via XM satellite on channel 77, via online on channel 787); and New Year’s Nation (via satellite on channel 4). Find out more here.

Reid and Ben

98.9 The Drive (CKLC-FM) Kingston announcers Reid and Ben held their 5th Annual Halloween Blood DRIVE on Oct. 28, collecting a record 89 pints of blood in six hours. Held in the gymnasium of Bayridge Secondary School, the event also featured live music, crafts, games, free food and coffee.




Juliette Cavazzi

Juliette Cavazzi, 91, on Oct. 27. Born in Winnipeg, Cavazzi started her career in entertainment at the age of 13, performing as a singer with Dal Richards’ band at the Hotel Vancouver, after moving with her family to the West Coast. She started headlining popular CBC TV musical variety program “The Juliette Show” in 1956, which enjoyed a decade of success in its time slot after Hockey Night in Canada. Performing under only her first name, she was introduced at the top of each episode as “your pet, Juliette.” Following the cancellation of the The Juliette Show, Cavazzi hosted an afternoon talk show on CBC in the 1970s. She was named to both the Order of Canada and Canada’s Walk of Fame. Cavazzi eventually retired to Vancouver.

John Calver

John Calver, 72, on Oct. 30, of cancer. Calver, started his journalism career in the 1960s with CBC Radio in St. John’s, NL, moving on to newsrooms in Calgary and Saskatchewan. He returned to St. John’s as the national reporter for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1980s, covering stories that included the 1982 sinking of the Ocean Ranger drilling rig and the judicial inquiry that followed. He moved back to western Canada to be executive producer of CBC Saskatchewan and, after retiring, taught at the University of Regina’s school of journalism. He eventually returned to St. John’s, working as a tour guide with McCarthy’s Party and running his own media training and coaching business.


Peter Mansbridge, Jay Switzer, and Karyn Pugliese

Peter Mansbridge and former CHUM president Jay Switzer will be among the special award honourees at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. The retired CBC anchor will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Switzer and author Margaret Atwood will be honoured with the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute. Late screenwriter Denis McGrath will receive the Margaret Collier Award “for his exceptional body of written work”; performer and director Clark Johnson the Earle Grey Award “for his exceptional impact on the strength of the industry at home and around the world”; retired TVO children’s programming head Pat Ellingson the Outstanding Media Innovation Award, while Karyn Pugliese, APTN’s executive director of news and current affairs, will be honoured with the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. CBC’s Rick Mercer Report will be presented the Academy Icon Award, while Bell Media’s annual Bell Let’s Talk initiative will receive the Humanitarian Award. CBC will broadcast the CSA gala live from Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on March 11.

OMNI Regional has greenlit new seasons of original series Blood & Water, Mangoes, and Second Jen. Currently in various stages of development, the series are slated to air in 2018, with additional broadcast details to come.

Dave Hodge

The Reporters has been cancelled, just one month after its September relaunch to a half-hour radio and TV format. A press release says host Dave Hodge and TSN have decided to conclude the series after 15 years. Launched in 2002, the live roundtable sports show, which debated topics from the sports world from a Canadian perspective, featured Steve Simmons and Bruce Arthur as its remaining panelists. Hodge remains under contract with TSN.

The Disappearance, CTV’s original six-part mystery series, is averaging 883,000 viewers per episode, ranking it the most-watched new Canadian series among total viewers and across key demos for the 2017/18 TV season. Bell Media says the series is also trending as the most-watched Canadian drama on its CraveTV streaming service.

Barbara Hager and Lisa Jackson

The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) will present the world premiere of the docu-drama series 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus, starting Nov. 8. The series is also slated to air on ZDFE in Germany and SBS Australia. The eight-hour miniseries, produced by Animiki See Digital Production of Winnipeg and Aarrow Productions of Victoria, takes its audience on a journey dating as far back as 20,000 years ago, focusing on the origins and history of ancient civilizations. Award-winning filmmakers Barbara Hager (Cree/Métis) and Lisa Jackson (Anishinaabe) directed the series.

imagineNATIVE has announced the launch of the imagineNATIVE Institute, a new year-round professional development hub offering support and opportunities for Indigenous content creators. Among its initiatives is an imagineNATIVE/Harold Greenberg Fund Indigenous Story Editing Mentorship, a nine-month program pairing an Indigenous recipient living in Canada with script reader mentor. The Institute will also focus on growing mentorship programs for emerging filmmakers across Canada.

The CRTC has granted Cogeco an extension until Mar. 31 to change its customer service agreement for TV services. Cogeco Connexion cited delays in the implementation of its internal structuring project and “unexpected problems” for not being able to meet the Sept. 1 deadline when the Television Service Provider Code took effect.

Megan Wennberg, Stephanie Clattenburg, Deanne Foley, and Martine Blue

Hopeless Romantic has started filming in Halifax. Margaret Atwood is serving as creative consultant on the anthology romantic comedy, which is helmed by six female directors including Megan Wennberg, Stephanie Clattenburg, Deanne Foley, Ruth Lawrence, Martine Blue, Latonia Hartery. Jay Dahl and Bill Niven of Northeast Films are producing.

Netflix has released the list of TV shows that Canadians binge-watch the most with Trailer Park Boys topping the list. The streaming service says Canada clocks in with the highest percentage of “Binge Racers” defined as members who completed a season of a TV show within 24 hours of its release on Netflix. Worldwide Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life is the most binge-watched series.

Creative Artists Agency has launched Vancouver-based startup studio Creative Labs which will focus on developing new businesses with and for CAA clients. CAA has partnered with a group of Canadian investors including eOne and Boat Rocker Ventures, raising $12.5 million. Previous CAA business development ventures have included the incubation and launch of Funny or Die with Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions.

Helen Shaver

The 2017 DGC Awards were presented in Toronto on Oct. 28. CTV original series Cardinal and History channel series Vikings took home multiple honours, including Outstanding Directorial Achievement for Drama Series for Vikings director Helen Shaver. View the full list of winners here.

Super Channel is debuting original series Acceptable Risk, a six-part conspiracy thriller, on Nov. 9. Each episode of the Canada/Ireland co-production will be available on Super Channel On Demand the day after its initial television broadcast. Shot in Dublin and Montreal, Acceptable Risk is written by Emmy Award-winner Ron Hutchinson (Traffic; The Ten Commandments, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story) and directed by Kenny Glenaan (Charlie, Paranoid, Noah’s Ark, Wired).

The Tragically Hip

Much is launching ICONS, a new weekly anthology series of artist-focused documentaries and performance specials. ICONS will headline Friday nights in the 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT time slot beginning Nov. 17, with the broadcast of Tragically Hip doc Long Time Running. Bell Media says since the launch of the fall schedule in September, Much’s full-day audience has grown by 18 per cent among Adults 18-49, while primetime has grown by 50 per cent with total viewers.


CBC Sports and Curling Canada have reached an agreement that will see more coverage of five National Championship events made available through CBC Sports digital platforms in each of the next five seasons, beginning this winter. Live-streaming coverage of each event will be made available at and via the CBC Sports app, with select coverage broadcast on CBC. The five events include the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship; Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship; Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship; Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships; U Sports/Curling Canada University Curling Championships and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association/Curling Canada Championships.

Rob Goldman

Facebook will use Canada as ground zero for its new advertising transparency policies. Starting this month, Canadian Facebook users will be able to see more information about ads a Facebook Page is running across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, by clicking “View Ads.” VP of Ads Rob Goldman says in a blog post that Canada is a natural choice for the effort because it aligns with the company’s election integrity work already underway here. Facebook plans to roll out the features to the U.S. by this summer, ahead of their November midterm elections, as well as other countries around the same time.

Playster, the Montreal-based all-in-one multimedia streaming service, has expanded its content partnership with BBC Worldwide North America. The collaboration adds over 130 hours of content, including series Bleak House, Cranford and Jane Eyre, and documentaries Lennon Naked and Play It Loud: The Story of the Marshall Amp.


Freedom Mobile, the wireless network acquired by Shaw Communications last year, will soon work with all iPhones and other LTE devices. The Calgary-based company has announced its struck a deal with Apple Inc. that will allow it to sell the iPhone directly to customers and will also “re-frame” its network to make older devices compatible by reallocating some of its older 3G bands to carry LTE traffic. The company says the changes will happen by December in Alberta and BC, and early next year in Ontario.

Telus outsourcing and call centre arm Telus International will acquire a 65 per cent stake in IT consulting firm Xavient Information Systems for an estimated $250M USD. California-based Xavient has about 1,800 employees and operations throughout the U.S. and India. The purchase is expected to close before the end of the year. Telus will then have the option to acquire the remaining stake in the company by Dec. 31, 2020.

The CRTC says Bell Canada is to provide the city of Hamilton with vertical coordinates of its underground facilities on request for pre-design purposes, but only when its deemed “reasonably necessary.” The decision puts to rest a five-year dispute between the two parties over a clause in the municipal access agreement. The CRTC decision also stipulates that both sides are to pay 50 per cent of the costs associated with any field investigations.

Ajit Pai

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted 3-2 to abolish the main studio rule, established in 1939. The rule required radio and TV broadcasters to maintain studios within 25 miles of the communities they were licensed to serve. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argued the rule is irrelevant in the digital age and that the cost of maintaining a physical studio could be redirected towards local programming. The FCC will vote next month on rolling back the rules blocking ownership of radio/TV stations and newspapers serving the same market.

The Atlantic Journalism Awards will open for entries on Dec. 1 and close Jan. 31, 2018.  There are 28 individual categories for newspaper, radio, television, magazines and online.  Details can be found at This year’s gala dinner and awards celebration will be held on Apr. 28 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft held more than 100 separate meetings with members of the Liberal government over the past year, according to an investigation by Radio-Canada. Its review of the federal lobby registry found Amazon had 99 registered communications, Google lobbyists had 37 meetings including one with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and six with her chief of staff Leslie Church, who used to work for the search engine. Microsoft, Netflix and Facebook also had meetings with federal officials. Bell Canada had 69 registered communications over the last year; Shaw had 51 and Rogers had 38. Corus met with officials 24 times, while Québecor had seven meetings.

Solutions Research has published its landmark Newcomers to Canada study looking at the wireless, home internet, and media habits of new Canadian immigrants. Interviews conducted with nearly 1,200 newcomers in June, found smartphones are universal among newcomers with Rogers’ Fido banner taking the top spot with a 21 per cent share, another 16 per cent have a wireless phone from Rogers. Three-in-four (76 per cent) have a conventional cable or an IPTV or satellite TV subscription from Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus or smaller providers. Over half (57 per cent) of newcomers reported using Netflix in the past month. YouTube use is also nearly universal with 93 per cent of newcomers saying they used YouTube in the last week. Fifty-one per cent said they had used a music streaming service like Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music or Soundcloud in the past month. CTV and CBC were the most watched TV channels, followed by Global.

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