The Weekly Briefing


VMS Media Group Ltd. has had its appeal of the CRTC decision to issue broadcast licences to First Peoples Radio Inc. and Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta denied. VMS applied to have the decision set aside after being left empty-handed in the commission’s Indigenous radio station proceedings.

The CRTC has denied an application from the CBC to use its Toronto CBC Radio Two transmitter for a Tamil-language subchannel. With ethnic station CJRK-FM still in its first broadcast year and establishing itself, the commission determined approval wouldn’t be in the best interest of the market.

Canada’s Momentum Media Networks launches TM EVO the customizable, interactive jingle service from TM Studios. The next evolution of jingles, TM EVO offers three tiers of service, from fully-produced, 17-cut packages to complete branding concierge services. Canadian stations can create and preview their own jingles online right now.

Jennifer McGuire

CBC News editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire has announced a new streamlined approach to the public broadcaster’s top-hour radio newscasts that will see a shorter 4.5-minute cast called The World This Hour replace the current Hourly News. McGuire’s memo says the casts will be “more dynamic and responsive to the day’s news,” airing across Radio One, Radio 2, Satellite Radio, Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices and Google Home. Host Tom Harrington will spearhead development with the new hourly newscast set to launch Nov. 6.

Sonic 102.9 (CHDI-FM) Edmonton evening host Lauren Hunter made headlines after generating significant social media buzz with her unique painting of Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid, dressed in a 19th-century military uniform. Dubbed “Connor McPortrait,” McDavid took notice, liked the post on Instagram, and has since signed the portrait. The station will be selling prints with the proceeds going to YESS, an organization that provides shelter, guidance and hope to at-risk youth in Edmonton.

John Ruskin aka Nardwuar the Human Serviette

CiTR 101.9 FM Vancouver is marking Nardwuar’s 30th anniversary on the University of British Columbia campus station by hosting a 20-hour interview marathon from 9 p.m. PT on Sept. 21 until 5 p.m. PT on Sept. 22. John Ruskin, aka Nardwuar the Human Serviette, began his show in Oct. 1987. He drew a national fan base when his interviews started airing on MuchMusic’s Going Coastal.

The Mens Room, Seattle’s #1 afternoon drive radio show originating on classic rock KISW-FM, is now available in Canada from Momentum Media Networks. With an unbelievable winning streak of 51 straight #1 PPM books in a row, The Mens Room is available live Mon.-Fri. 2 – 6 p.m. PT or content-only for any timeslot. Listen here.

According to Nielsen Audio US, Classic Rock saw the biggest growth in audience share over the summer months for the second straight year. The format’s audience was up eight per cent between June and August, ahead of Classic Hits (+5.7%), Country (+4.1%) and Urban (+3.2%).

Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie and Gord Dougan hit the air waves during the Radiothon

The annual Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation Radiothon had its best year yet, raising over $62,000 for the hospital foundation on Sept. 15. Broadcast on myFM (CIYN-FM) Kincardine, ON, funds raised will go towards new diagnostic imaging equipment.


Bob Wallace

Bob Wallace, 53, Sept. 17 at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. Wallace studied broadcasting at Centennial College and had begun working at CHAY-FM Barrie in 2000 as an afternoon announcer when he was introduced to his partner in life and on-air, Diana Meder. The duo went on to host in Belleville, ON before arriving at Mix 106 (CIXK-FM) Owen Sound in 2006. For the past seven years, up until Sept. 11, the pair were co-hosting mornings at 92.3 Dock Radio (CJOS-FM) Owen Sound, when Wallace was unexpectedly taken to hospital and diagnosed with leukemia. He passed away of a sudden heart attack, just as he was about to start treatments. Wallace received numerous awards over the years for community involvement and championing many causes, including an Owen Sound Police Service Chief’s Commendation, and a ‘Stand Up For Kids Award’ from the Children’s Aid Society.

Ronald M. Ryan

Ron M. Ryan, 59, suddenly on Sept. 15 in Colorado. Ryan began his foray into broadcasting in 1999 as vice-president of sales for Newcap Newfoundland. He went on to become general manager of Newcap Radio Halifax and VP of Operations for Atlantic Canada from 2008 to 2013. Ryan later took up a director’s position with Brunswick News, based out of Saint John, NB. Known for living life to the fullest, the Newfoundland native suffered a heart attack Sept. 15, while hiking with his daughter in Colorado.

Twyla Roscovich

Twyla Roscovich, 38, Sept. 15 in Campbell River, BC. A BC-based, socially-conscious, independent documentary filmmaker and underwater cinematographer, Roscovich lived and worked on a 52-ft. expedition sailboat, making marine ecology films on the Pacific Northwest. After working as a director and cinematographer for the BBC Natural History Unit, A&E and Discovery Channel, she moved into writing, shooting, editing and narrating her own productions, including 2013 feature-length doc Salmon Confidential and, an educational online video series on issues affecting the BC coast.

David Skinner

David Skinner, 64, Sept. 13, after living with cancer for 24 years. Born in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Skinner grew up in North Sydney and attended Sheridan College in Oakville, ON where he received a diploma in Media Arts. He became a cameraman for CBC PEI and remained with the public broadcaster for over 35 years, much of that time spent working on The National and with CBC New Brunswick.


CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel) is celebrating 25 years this month. Formed after the CBC announced it could no longer bear the cost of operating the English and French parliamentary channels, a consortium of 25 cable companies took over the role, receiving a licence from the CRTC in 1993. The Canadian Parliamentary Channel’s name was eventually changed to Cable Public Affairs Channel. The original ownership structure continues today with its shareholders Rogers Communications (41.4%), Shaw (25.05%), Videotron (21.71%), Cogeco (6.7%), Eastlink (3.76%) and several other cable companies (including Access Communications and Omineca Cablevision) owning combined equity of 1.37%.

Unifor members at Global TV stations in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, the Maritimes and Ottawa have ratified a new contract with Corus Entertainment, averting the threat of a strike. Back in July, both parties reached a standoff in negotiations and entered a “cooling off” period, before resuming talks with the help of a federal mediator in mid-August.

The CRTC has denied an application by Canal Évasion inc. to decrease its Canadian programming expenditure requirement for Évasion from 46 to 32 per cent of its gross revenue. The commission has decided it would be more appropriate to assess the CPE requirements for Évasion at its licence renewal, when it also examines the licence renewal applications for related service Zeste and other independent discretionary services.

James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, and Pierre LeBrun

TSN is offering an expanded slate of 191 regular season regional games for the 2017-18 NHL season. The network’s regional hockey lineup features the newly-acquired Montreal Canadiens with a package of 50 games on TSN2, 26 Toronto Maple Leafs games on TSN4, 55 Ottawa Senators games on TSN5, and 60 Winnipeg Jets games on TSN3, with TSN Radio stations also providing listeners with pre-, post-, and live game coverage. Led by TSN Hockey host James DuthieBob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun will contribute to each team’s regional broadcast coverage and provide analysis and discussion across TSN Digital and Radio properties.

Matt Devlin, Jack “The Coach” Armstrong, Rod Black, and Leo Rautins

The Toronto Raptors return to TSN for the 2017-18 season with a package of 41 regular season games, starting with the season opener at home against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 19. BMO Raptors Basketball On TSN will be led by play-by-play commentator Matt Devlin, alongside game analyst Jack “The Coach” Armstrong. Rod Black hosts pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage, alongside analyst Leo Rautins. The TSN Radio 1050 (CHUM-AM) broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Paul Jones, with Armstrong and Sherman Hamilton delivering analysis.

Vintage TV Canada has announced plans to invest in more country music programming on the heels of CMT (Country Music Television) Canada’s move away from music videos. Launched last October, Vintage TV Canada already airs dedicated playlist shows featuring music videos from country legends like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Shania Twain. Details of additional programming are forthcoming.

Jean-Marc Vallée

Jean-Marc Vallée has won his first Emmy Award for directing HBO miniseries Big Little Lies. The show was nominated for 16 Emmys, including nods to Quebec cinematographer Yves Bélanger and sound mixers Gavin Fernandes and Louis Gignac. The Toronto-shot Handmaid’s Tale earned best drama, best drama writing and directing awards, in addition to Elisabeth Moss taking home best actress. Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who penned the 1985 dystopian novel the show is based on, was among those onstage.

eMarketer says American consumers are cancelling traditional pay-TV service at a much faster rate than predicted. By the end of 2017, it’s projected 22.2 million people will have cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service. That’s up 33 per cent from 16.7 million last year. Additionally, the number of cord-nevers, younger audiences who have never subscribed to pay television, is expected to rise 5.8 per cent to 34.4 million. The research firm also predicts average TV viewing in the U.S. will drop below four hours per day for the first time. Television’s share of total U.S. media ad spending is on course to drop to 34.9 per cent and projected to fall below 30 per cent by 2021.

Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier

CTV has announced documentary Long Time Running, chronicling The Tragically Hip’s final tour, will make its television broadcast premiere on Nov. 12. The commercial-free, theatrical version of the doc begins streaming on CraveTV the next day. Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier and commissioned by Bell Media, the film was produced by Banger Films in association with Shed Creative.

Jessica McGovern

Gusto has unveiled its fall lineup, with new original baking series Flour Power debuting Sept. 22. From Gusto Worldwide Media, Montreal baking school owner Jessica McGovern shares three recipes from her retro-inspired kitchen in each 30-minute episode, airing Friday nights. View Gusto’s complete September lineup here.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams makes its Canadian broadcast premiere Nov. 12 on Space. The 10-episode, anthology series brings to life the short stories of award-winning sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick with each episode boasting an entirely different cast of critically acclaimed actors including Steve Buscemi, Greg Kinnear, Anna Paquin, Terrence Howard, Maura Tierney, Richard Madden, Vera Farmiga, Janelle Monáe and Bryan Cranston, among others. Every episode is available to Space subscribers on the newly launched Space GO app, in addition to being available on, immediately following its broadcast premiere.

Dave Brown

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has added a new one-hour live program to its fall schedule focused on issues concerning the disability community. Premiering Oct. 2, The Pulse will air daily on AMI-audio from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET, hosted by Dave Brown. Returning are popular morning show, Live from Studio 5, Kelly and Company, The Walrus with Lloyd Robertson, The Guardian This Week and The National Post Show. The full AMI-audio schedule is available online.

Vice News Tonight will anchor Much’s new fall schedule, beginning Oct. 16. The news program, which currently airs on HBO in the U.S., will also air on HBO Canada Mon. – Thurs. Complete newscasts are set to stream on, with stories also available on Much-branded social media channels.

W5 returns for a 52nd season on Sept. 23 on CTV. Airing just ahead of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Opening Ceremony, the one-hour Unconquered follows Canadian veterans of the Afghanistan conflict, living with disabilities resulting from combat injuries, as they prepare to compete in the Invictus Games.

Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas

Comedy’s fall lineup sees the return of its original, weekly satirical series, The Beaverton on Nov. 1, with hosts Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas. Also debuting this fall is Season 5 of original stand-up series JFL: All Access on Sept. 30. New to the network is The Opposition with Jordan Klepper. Klepper made a name for himself as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trever Noah.

Shania Twain

CTV has announced Shania Twain as the latest mentor to join the inaugural season of its new original music series The Launch. Twain joins record exec Scott Borchetta, who is also producing the series for Bell Media, in addition to Black Eyed Peas’ frontwoman Fergie and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder. The series is currently in production in Toronto.

Jason DaSilva

Jason DaSilva is the inaugural recipient of the CBC-ReelAbilities Screenwriter FundDaSilva has been making short films and documentaries since 1998, including 2013 feature When I Walk telling the story of his own experiences with MS, which won an Emmy.




Elaine Macdonald-Meisner and the late Ben Meisner

250News, Northern BC’s first independent, online news site will shut down Sept. 30. Founded 12 years ago in Prince George by veteran journalists Elaine Macdonald-Meisner and the late Ben Meisner, Macdonald-Meisner has been running the business solo since her husband’s untimely passing in 2015 and has decided to move on. Despite early skepticism in the region when the site first launched in 2005, it was still going strong, earning 14.4 million page views in the first eight months of this year.

Facebook has announced a major investment with CIFAR (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research). The $2.625 million USD investment over five years continues Facebook’s support of CIFAR’s Learning in Machines & Brains program and will also fund a Facebook-CIFAR Chair in Artificial Intelligence at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA). Facebook is also funding a Canadian Facebook AI Research (FAIR) Lab.

Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has displaced Justin Bieber as the most dangerous Canadian celebrity to search online. According to McAfee’s research, there’s a more than 14 per cent chance searching for either will land you on a malicious website. Avril Lavigne was number three, while Celine Dion, Carly Rae Jepsen, Drake and Alessia Cara round out the list.


Canadian Business has released its annual list of the fastest growing media companies. Victoria-based sports video and ad distribution platform SendtoNews takes top spot (and fifth place overall on the Profit 500). Toronto’s Sinking Ship Entertainment, My Broadcasting Corp., and Stingray also make the list.

Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly will deliver a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on Sept. 28, outlining “a vision for Canada’s cultural and creative industries in a digital world.” People from across the country will have the opportunity to follow and contribute to the event through a Facebook Live event, which will start at noon ET.

Esther Enkin

CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin has defended meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe against a complaint from a climate change denier over linking the possible influence of climate change on hurricane Harvey. Enkin says Wagstaffe was giving documented scientific information and did not overstate the connection. Enkin writes “Virtually every scientific agency and governments from the municipal to the federal level accept that climate change is a reality. You are free to reject the evidence. CBC is not obliged to alter its reporting or to provide alternate views.”

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and CIVIX are launching NewsWise, a news literacy program made possible with $500,000 in funding from Google Canada. With the aim of tackling the issue of fake news, the CJF and CIVIX will work together to provide over 1.5 million school-aged Canadians (ages 9-19) with a deeper understanding of the role journalism plays in democracy. The program will be a part of Student Vote activities, rolling out to coincide with the Ontario provincial election in 2018, and other upcoming local and provincial elections, culminating nationally with the 2019 federal election.

SAIT’s School of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is holding a Fab Five Reunion on Oct. 4, celebrating 50 years. Program graduates, instructors and former instructors from Television, Stage and Radio, Journalism Arts, Library Information Technology, Print Management Technology and Computer Technology are invited. More info here.

The Central Canada Broadcast Engineers (CCBE) Conference is set for Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 at the Kingbridge Conference Centre in King City, ON. Michael McEwen, director general of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), will deliver the keynote address. You can find the conference agenda here.


Canada’s Momentum Media Networks launches TM EVO the customizable, interactive jingle service from TM Studios. The next evolution of jingles, TM EVO offers three tiers of service, from fully-produced, 17-cut packages to complete branding concierge services. Canadian stations can create and preview their own jingles online right now.
The Mens Room, Seattle’s #1 afternoon drive radio show originating on classic rock KISW-FM, is now available in Canada from Momentum Media Networks. With an unbelievable winning streak of 51 straight #1 PPM books in a row, The Mens Room is available live Mon.-Fri. 2 – 6 p.m. PT or content-only for any timeslot. Listen here.

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