The Weekly Briefing


The CRTC has approved SiriusXM Canada’s go-private transaction, valued at $479 million. In doing so, the commission is directing SiriusXM Canada to allocate nearly $29 million over the next seven years to funds that promote Canadian musical talent, such as FACTOR and Musicaction. The CRTC says it considers the transaction to be in the public interest of Canadians, as it will continue to ensure the sustainability of the satellite radio service, while supporting the Canadian broadcasting system investments through tangible benefits.The CBC, currently one of three major Canadian shareholders, will divest its financial stake as a result of the transaction.

Rogers Media is acquiring CISL-AM Vancouver from Newcap Inc. and will launch new, all-sports radio station Sportsnet 650, subject to CRTC approval. Sportsnet 650 would air Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Blue Jays games, plus the MLB post-season. The station is Rogers third Sportsnet-branded radio station joining Sportsnet 590 The FAN in Toronto and Sportsnet 960 The FAN in Calgary. AM 650 will continue to broadcast in its current format until Sportsnet 650 radio launches in the fall.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is evenly divided on whether or not TV spots for CHUM-FM, broadcast in September 2016 on CTV Toronto and CP24, breached the code relating to exploitation, degradation and sex-role stereotyping. The promos featured a muscular, white male actor who is directed by a female voice off-screen to remove his shirt and pants, so he is holding only a card with the radio station logo covering his crotch. The CBSC received numerous complaints from viewers who felt the promos objectified the man. Half of the CBSC’s English-Language Panel found no breach because the spots were intended to be humorous and reversed historical stereotypes. The adjudicators who did conclude there were code breaches stated that there was clearly a gender power imbalance in that a female was directing a male to remove his clothing for no other reason than her own desire, and he seemed obliged to obey. A split decision means there is technically no breach of any code.

The CRTC has approved Newcap’s application to amend the broadcasting licence for CHLG-FM Vancouver in order to direct a total of $185,000 in Canadian Content Development (CCD) contributions to two concert events featuring Aboriginal music. The request was based on the fact the broadcasting licences of Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., the original recipient of the CCD funds, have been revoked.

Murray McLauchlan

Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto celebrates its 40th birthday next month. The station officially signed on May 22, 1977, with its first song Hard Rock Town by Murray McLauchlan. The station is running promos and contests qualifying listeners for a chance to win tickets to Q107’s 40th Birthday Bash featuring Dwayne Gretzky at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on June 2.

CHVN-FM Winnipeg took to the airwaves Apr. 11-13 for the 2017 Youth For Christ Make Hope Happen Radiothon. The event raised a total of $81,175.00.

The Eagle 100.9 (CKUV-FM) Okotoks teamed up with the Sheep River Health Trust for the 4th annual Together We Can Make a Difference Radiothon. The 13-hour broadcast raised $57,275.

CBC is set to open its London, ON station June 12 inside the central branch of the London Public Library. The public broadcaster says the station will take a digital-first approach with a strong online presence in addition to being home to CBC London’s new morning show, which will broadcast from 6 to 8:30 a.m., and the afternoon radio show which is currently based in Windsor. Afternoon drive will remain a two-hour regional program focused on southwestern Ontario.

Canada is now the sixth largest recorded music market on the planet, according to the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Global Music Report 2017. Highlights of Canada’s 2016 numbers include an increase in overall recorded music revenue of 12.8 per cent, totalling CAD $489.4 million; total streaming revenues, including subscription and ad-supported streaming, more than doubled, rising to USD $127.8 million; digital revenues grew to USD $233 million in 2016, up from USD $170 million in 2015; revenues from physical sales continue to decline, falling to USD $99 million in 2016. The report states though music consumption around the world continues to rise to never-before-seen levels, the “value gap” remains a significant problem, as the revenue returned to music creators has not kept pace with music consumption.

Q Country 91.5 FM (CKLQ-FM) Brandon, MB officially launches at 4:15 pm today (Apr. 27). Westman Communications Group received CRTC approval in January to make the move to FM, while continuing the AM band as a repeater. CKLQ is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.



Rex Loring

Rex Loring, 91, Apr. 21. Loring arrived in Canada in 1947 after serving as a glider pilot for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He worked in private radio from 1949 to 1955 before becoming a fixture on CBC Television, working on shows including Mr. Fix-It, Close-up, Graphic and Tabloid. He went on to become the founding host of CBC Radio’s World Report and remained with the show for two decades, retiring in 1990. Both of Loring’s daughters pursued careers in broadcasting, Elaine in news at CFTR-AM and CFRB-AM before moving to Global TV, while Carrie Loring was the co-host of long-running children’s program The Polka Dot Door.


NLogic, the Toronto-based provider of software, data and consumer insight to the broadcast and advertising industry in Canada, has signed Rogers Media, GroupM, Wasserman + Partners, Larche Communications, ZoomerMedia, Indie88 and RNC Media as the first subscribers to its new product, Lens for radio.  The application allows clients to transact and negotiate radio buys within a single platform, saving buyers and sellers significant time.

PATTISON Onestop has announced a partnership with Global News as the official provider of local, national and international news content for Onestop’s office and residential networks. Global News content and weather updates went live in major markets last month, including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax and Winnipeg.

Dejero has forged a partnership with ExpertFile, a global search engine and content platform for experts. Through the new partnership, ExpertFile’s directory of expert contacts covering over 25,000 topics is now accessible inside Dejero’s LIVE+ Control management system from a web browser within the newsroom or in the field. Experts who already use Dejero equipment or software can be connected directly to the news organization, bringing reporter and expert together wherever they are in the world.


Pierre Nantel

CBC has been called on by the House of Commons Heritage Committee to explain controversial history series The Story of Us. The 10-episode docu-drama, which began airing in March, was intended to recount Canadian history ahead of Canada 150 celebrations, but has faced criticism from francophones, the indigenous community and the premier of Nova Scotia for how regions and groups have been represented or gone unacknowledged. New Democrat MP Pierre Nantel’s broadly-worded motion asks CBC “to discuss the efforts of the corporation, by virtue of its mandate, to ensure the representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and of francophones, and concerning the corporation’s activities in the context of the 150th anniversary of Canada.”

Scott Borchetta

CTV has announced the first TV project culminating from a previously announced partnership between Bell Media and record executive Scott Borchetta (American Idol) of the Big Machine Label Group. Reinventing the music competition genre, six-part music series The Launch is set to premiere in 2018, delivering a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a series of hit songs. Casting for the series is now open, with production set to begin in Toronto this summer.

HISTORY has announced the start of production on new Canadian original docu-series, Bud Dynasty. Filming got underway at Vancouver’s 4/20 event last week. The series follows cannabis culture entrepreneurs as they navigate Canada’s marijuana industry as it moves from the shadows of prohibition into the grow lights of legalization. Broadcast details are TBA.

The national public voting phase of the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc. (CCSA)  Tuned-In Canada Awards is open until May 4. Categories include Best Community Building Story, Best Community Channel Programming, Best On-Camera Community Channel Personality and Best Customer Service Story. Winners will be announced May 12.

Five of the Top 10 most-watched NHL broadcasts of all-time on Sportsnet were recorded in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Sunday night’s Washington @ Toronto decisive Game 6 coming in at #1 with a reach of 8.4 million Canadians and an average audience of 3.47 million viewers. The five series featuring Canadian teams averaged 1.8 million viewers per game, while the overall average audience for all of Round 1 was 1.3 million viewers. Fans were also tuning to Sportsnet digital platforms with daily visitors to up 36 per cent over last year, video views were up 45 per cent.

The CRTC has directed Rogers to let Telus broadcast Sportsnet in 4K to its subscribers in a dispute that centered around whether 4K qualifies as a new programming service. The “no head start rule” stipulates that new services be made available to all licensed broadcast distributors even if no commercial agreement is in place. Telus had asked the CRTC to intervene ahead of the Blue Jays’ first home game of the season.

DNCE, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons, Jazz Cartier, Julia Michaels, and Lorde are the first performers announced for the 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards. The MMVAs air live Sunday, June 18 in simulcast on Much, CTV, and VRAK. The awards are also set to livestream on the iHeartRadio app as well as nine Virgin Radio stations, including Virgin Radio Toronto, Kitchener, London, Halifax, Montréal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Russell Peters

Russell Peters’ first scripted TV series The Indian Detective has wrapped production in Toronto after shooting in South Africa and India earlier this year. The four-part, one-hour, comedic drama, is set to premiere as part of CTV’s 2017/18 schedule. The co-production between Big Light Productions, Blue Ice Pictures, Wonder Films and Bell Media stars Peters as a Toronto cop embroiled in a murder case while visiting his father, Stanley (Anupam Kher) in Mumbai.


In response to Videotron’s Unlimited Music Service, which allows subscribers to stream music without impacting their data plans, the CRTC has declared that Internet service providers should treat all data traffic equally. The CRTC has published a a new framework on differential pricing practices, saying it’s of the view the practice generally gives an unfair advantage or disadvantage to certain content providers and consumers. Videotron must ensure its Unlimited Music Service comes into compliance within 90 days.

Playster, the Montreal-based all-in-one entertainment streaming service, has struck a new deal with DHX Media that adds over 165 episodes of TV content for kids to Playster’s multimedia catalog. Newly-added titles include Franny’s Feet, Bo On the GO! and Animal Mechanicals.

Google Play Music will become the preferred music player on Samsung mobile devices, starting with the Galaxy S8. Google is enhancing the app for Samsung customers allowing S8 owners to upload up to 100,000 tracks to the service’s cloud locker, available to stream from anywhere. For other Play Music listeners, that limit is 50,000.


BCE Inc. is blaming losses in the first quarter of 2017 on CRTC rulings banning simultaneous substitution of SuperBowl ads and another that cut rates large Internet providers can charge smaller competitors for network access. Consolidated revenue in the first quarter increased 2.2 per cent to $5.38-billion. Profit was down 4.4 per cent to $725-million due to costs associated with the acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. Net earnings increased 2.4 per cent to 87 cents per share. BCE added 36,000 new contract wireless customers in the first three months of the year, 22,000 FibeTV and 15,000 internet customers, down year-over-year amidst heavy competition from Rogers and Videotron. The company estimates the SuperBowl decision accounted for $11-million in losses for the Bell Media division. BCE also noted it’s planning to introduce a new “over-the-top” or OTT content product in the next six weeks to meet consumer demand.

Shaw TV stations in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton will close on Aug. 15 after Corus Entertainment Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. announced that approximately $10 million annually will be redirected from local Shaw TV operations toward Global News coverage in those markets. The changes affect approximately 70 positions. Corus says the move will reduce duplication and allow Global to establish city hall bureaus; expand online platform Global News Live to provide more grassroots digital content; cover more university and community sports in Western Canada; and move newscasts out of the studio and into the community to better showcase stories from local neighbourhoods and suburban communities.

Jean Pelletier

Jean Pelletier, senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada, will be honoured with The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual CJF Awards on June 8 in Toronto. Pelletier began his journalism career at Le Devoir, then moved to La Presse in 1976 where he served as Parliament Hill correspondent. A year later, he was named the paper’s first permanent Washington, D.C. correspondent. Transitioning from reporting, he became editor-in-chief of Radio-Canada’s TV public affairs program Le Point and then flagship news show Téléjournal before becoming head of news at Radio-Canada (television). Pelletier took on his current role in 2012.

Terry Milewski and Charles Adler

The inaugural recipients of the RTDNA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Network Programming are CBC News veteran Terry Milewski and Corus Radio talk host Charles Adler. They’ll be presented with their awards during the Awards Gala Dinner on May 27 at the close of the 2017 National Conference & Awards Gala.

The RTDNA Central Region award winners have been announced with 1310 News (CIWW-AM) Ottawa taking home the Byron MacGregor Award for Best Radio Newscast (Large Market). The Bert Cannings Award for Best Television Newcast (Large Market) went to CTV News Toronto: CTV News at Six. You can view the complete list of winners here.

This year’s RTDNA BC Region awards have been handed out. CBC Vancouver won for Best Radio Newscast (Large Market) for its coverage of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion. Best TV Newcast (Large Market) went to Global BC, while News won the Digital Media Award (Large Market). You can view the complete list of winners here.

Mélanie Joly

The Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) has written a letter to Governor General David Johnston, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly expressing concerns about racism at the CRTC. The letter asks that the CRTC implement anti-racism education and training among its staff and appointees and calls for the appointment of an Indigenous or racialized person to the commission. You can read the full letter here.

Bell says its LTE wireless network is now the first in North America capable of delivering Quad Band LTE Advanced (LTE-A) service. With the addition of 256 QAM technology, Bell says it can deliver broadband speed of up to 750 Megabits per second. Also known as 4-carrier aggregation, Quad Band technology leverages multiple bands of wireless spectrum to boost top Tri Band LTE-A mobile data speeds from 335 Megabits per second (expected average download speeds of 12 to 100 Mbps) to 550 Mbps (expected average 18 to 150 Mbps). Bell says its new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones will be the first devices able to take advantage of the new network capability and will automatically upgrade to operate on Bell Quad Band 256 QAM LTE.

Ben Makuch

Press freedom is on the decline in Canada according to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders. Canada falls to #22 from #18 last year. The report cites police surveillance of several members of the press in Quebec in an attempt to uncover internal leaks; the case of VICE News reporter Ben Makuch who is currently fighting a court order compelling him to hand over communications with his source to the RCMP; and online journalist for The Independent, Justin Brake, who is facing up to 10 years in prison for his coverage of protests against a hydroelectric project in Labrador.

Sylvain Bourassa

Sylvain Bourassa, news director at TVA News in Trois-Rivières, was arrested last week, accused of luring minors over the internet. Bourassa, 46, was immediately suspended without pay. He was previously press secretary to Liberal Cabinet Minister Laurent Lessard and a former assistant to Quebec Tourism Minister Julie Boulet.

Kevin O’Leary has dropped out of the federal Conservative leadership race and is endorsing MP Maxime Bernier. The businessman and reality TV star (Shark Tank, Dragons’ Den) was considered a front-runner in the race and withdrew just hours before Wednesday night’s final debate.

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee

The 2017 Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards were handed out Apr. 20 at the 35th Annual Canadian Music Week. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush were on hand to receive the 2017 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award in recognition of the band’s contribution to worthy causes. Jann Arden, 54•40 and Arthur Fogel were also in attendance as 2017 inductees to the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame; and Marilyn Denis received the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year’s Broadcast Industry winners were:

LynchX929 – Calgary and Wayne WebsterBoom 97.3 – Toronto

Barry Stewart Live 105/Hot Country 103.5 – Halifax

Scott McGregor98.1 The Bridge – Lethbridge

Garner AndrewsSonic 102.9 – Edmonton

Biggs & BarrHTZ-FM – St. Catharines

Christian Hall X929 – Calgary

Sarah CummingsK-Lite/105.7 EZ Rock – Hamilton/St. Catharines

Jenn DalenReal Country 95.5 – Red Deer

May The Best Friends WinIndie 88 – Toronto

99.9 Sun FM – Kelowna

BX93 – London

99.9 Virgin Radio – Toronto

98.1 CHFI – Toronto

INDIE 88 – Toronto

Boom 97.3 – Toronto

CHIN – Toronto

680 NEWS – Toronto

104.9 The Wolf – Regina

You can view the complete list of winners, including Music Industry winners here.

Broadcast Dialogue

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