The Weekly Briefing



980 CKNW Vancouver, 680 CJOB Winnipeg and 770 CHQR Calgary are now officially under the Global News Radio brand. They join Corus’ Ontario newstalk stations, which were rebranded earlier this month.

Bell Media radio stations are now tracking complete sound recording data, including ISRC (International Standard Recording Codes), automatically on new tracks from major record labels and independent label partners. The network says the new reporting system has resulted in cleaner data, benefiting those that rely on broadcast data to get royalties to rights holders. Developed by Bell Media, Music Canada and Re:Sound, the project has so far resulted in faster payouts and 28 per cent more revenue for major labels and members of CIMA (the Canadian Independent Music Association).

Radioplayer Canada, the radio streaming app featuring more than 500 Canadian radio stations, has announced the streaming service is now available with Amazon Echo, powered by Alexa. Amazon Echo users may now simply ask Alexa to play their favourite radio station on Radioplayer Canada, once the skill is enabled by the listener. The app is also integrated with Sonos, Google’s Chromecast, and Apple CarPlay.

Corus Winnipeg stations Power 97 (CJKR-FM), Global News Winnipeg, 680 CJOB and Peggy @ 99.1 (CJGV-FM) partnered with Freightliner Manitoba on Dec. 2 for the 2nd Annual Fill the Freightliner event. The 12-hour broadcast, anchored by Power 97 morning hosts Philly, Joe & Randy, saw hundreds of residents fill boxes and bags with winter outerwear, food and cash for Siloam Mission, raising over $25,000.

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group’s Winnipeg stations QX104 (CFQX-FM) and 94-3 The Drive (CHIQ-FM), joined Save On Foods for a 12-hour One BIG Day For Christmas broadcast on Dec. 9. Together, $10,000 in cash and nearly 9,000 pounds in non-perishable food items, toys and clothing were collected in support of Winnipeg Harvest.

VOCM St. John’s Open Line raised over $25,000 during the first-ever Autism Society Radiothon on Dec. 12, broadcast from the Avalon Mall. Volunteers from Newfoundland Power and the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland worked the phones as pledges came in from across the province.

Vista Radio’s 44 stations raised $1.4 million in food, cash and toys during its fourth annual Million Dollars Charity Drive. With fundraising efforts focused on the week ending Dec. 10, each Vista station selected its own local charity to support, from food banks to hospital foundations to soup kitchens.


Fil Fraser

Fil Fraser, 85, on Dec. 3. Fraser was one of Canada’s first black broadcasters, landing a job at the age of 19 at Foster Hewitt’s CKFH Toronto in 1951. After taking a turn doing play-by-play for the Barrie Flyers and working in the news departments at CKVL Verdun and CFCF Montreal, he went on to found the Regina Weekly Mirror, known for chronicling Tommy Douglas’ fight to institute medicare. In 1965, Fraser moved to Edmonton and became senior producer at MEETA (Metropolitan Edmonton Educational Television Association). He became known for his likeable interview style on his CJCA Talk Back show, later moving to ITV television with The Fil Fraser Show, as well as a stint as co-anchor for CBC Edmonton’s supper hour news. In the 1970s, he formed his own production company focused on western stories. Later accomplishments included founding the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association, leading the Alberta Human Rights Commision from 1989 to 1992, and helming Vision TV as its CEO. He was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991, among his many accolades.

Grant Munro

Grant Munro, 94, on Dec. 9. In Montreal. A filmmaking and animation pioneer, Munro attended several art schools in his hometown of Winnipeg, before earning a diploma at the Ontario College of Art where his teacher Franklin Carmichael, one of the Group of Seven painters, helped him get a job at the National Film Board (NFB). Munro was involved in the 1952 Oscar-award-winning anti-war film “Neighbours,” which used live-action shot in single frames. Munro left NFB in the late 1950s to pursue an animation career in England. He returned to the film board in 1961 after working with George Dunning, the future director of “Yellow Submarine.” Munro went on to work on two other Oscar-nominated films “My Financial Career,” a funny take on the Stephen Leacock short story, and “Christmas Cracker,” which he also starred in. Munro retired from the NFB in 1988 and was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.

Kathy Conway

Kathy Conway, 67, on Dec. 1 as the result of a fall in her home. Conway worked at Unitel Communications, Cantel, Rogers, Bell Mobility, PwC and McCarthy Tetrault over the years. Active with Canadian Women in Communications and the organization’s career advancement programs, she created and launched the CWC Mentorship program. She was also involved in the development of the Career Clinic workbook and national workshops that helped women across the country find the right roles and advance.

Kenny Harris

Kenny Harris, 90, on Dec. 10 in Brandon, Suffolk. Known as “Mr. Brushes” for his jazz drumming style, the Royal Air Force veteran played with groups including the British Jazz Trio and the Ralph Sharon Sextet, in addition to working as a session player for RCA, Capital and Atlantic Records. Also a recording engineer and producer, he ran the Kneptune record label and publishing company. He started getting involved in radio production in the early 1960s, working with ZBM Bermuda, and in radio in Calgary, before becoming production director at CKNW Vancouver from 1977 through the early 1980s. Harris went on to write a biography of American jazz drummer Don Lamond and in 1998 penned Geraldo’s Navy, an account of playing on the Cunard and Canadian Pacific shipping lines under the direction of Gerald “Geraldo” Bright. His life was the subject of a Bermuda Government Treasures television program in 2009.


The CRTC has granted Bloomberg TV Canada’s request to revoke its license. The channel launched in 2015 as a partnership between Channel Zero Inc. and Bloomberg Inc.  Bloomberg TV will continue to air in the U.S., without Canadian content.

Radio-Canada has announced various initiatives to support the development and international reach of French-language Canadian productions. With its distribution team, Radio-Canada has entered into strategic alliances with Cineflix Rights, Keshet International, Nordic World and France Télévisions Distribution, to create a network of distributors that will enable producers and the public broadcaster to expand current distribution capacity. CBC/Radio-Canada will also invest $2.5 million over the next five years to support development of promising international projects. The new measures are in addition to the upcoming launch of, a platform that will allow industry buyers to purchase multi-platform broadcast or operating rights online.

Terry Milewski

CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin says while the interview might have been better structured, there was no violation of policy during reporter Terry Milewski’s questions to newly-elected NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. The complainant considered it racist to ask Singh about the 1985 Air India bombing and issues relating to the Sikh community. Enkin’s review says Singh has associated with those issues over the years and as a public leader is accountable for his views.

Jay Switzer

Jay Switzer has been inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. Currently co-founder and chairman of Hollywood Suite Inc., Switzer is a veteran of the Canadian arts and media industry, serving as president and CEO of CHUM Limited from 2002 to 2007, and was instrumental in the development and launch of its specialty channels dating back to MuchMusic. A press release from Gov. General Julie Payette reads “he has been dedicated to the advancement of the quality and viability of our country’s media, and has been a champion of independent Canadian feature film and television productions. Passionate about nurturing emerging talent, he is a beloved mentor within the industry.”

Bell Media and Walt Disney Studios Canada have struck a media collaboration for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A multi-faceted campaign that continues through to the film’s worldwide theatrical release on Dec. 15, includes a pop-up exhibit at 277 Queen St. W. in Toronto where fans can pose with Kylo Ren’s lightsaber hilt and other movie paraphernalia. Promotion across Bell Media television and radio properties will also see coverage on ETalk, The Social, SC with Jay and Dan, Innerspace, and Daily Planet.

Christopher Plummer, Eric McCormack, Jean-Marc Vallee, Margaret Atwood

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations include veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer for his role in All the Money in the World; Eric McCormack for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Will and Grace; animated film The Breadwinner, a Canadian co-production; HBO series Big Littles Lies, directed by Montreal’s Jean-Marc Vallee; Toronto-shot The Shape of Water; and Alberta-filmed Fargo, which is nominated for Best Limited Series or Motion Picture. The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, was nominated for Best Television Drama, among other awards. Hosted by late night talk show host Seth Meyers, the Golden Globes will air live on Sunday, Jan. 7 on CTV and CTV GO.

Ben Mulroney and Liz Trinnear

CTV music reality competition series The Launch will make its world premiere Jan. 10 on CTV, CTV GO, CTV Two, Much, and in French on VRAK. CTV will air preview ETALK Presents: The Launch, Jan. 1. Hosted by Ben Mulroney and Liz Trinnear, it will take viewers behind-the-scenes of the production, taped in Toronto this past fall.

TSN says Saturday’s MLS CUP capped off an overall average audience increase this season of +25 per cent compared to 2016. The MLS CUP was watched by an average audience of 1.3 million Canadians, according to overnight data from Numeris. A total of 11 million Canadians saw some part of the MLS season this year.

Miguel Rivas and Emma Hunter

CTV will air an hour-long New Year’s Eve special The Beaverton’s Year In Review 2017, The Year That Sadly Was. Co-hosts Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas skewer 2017 with correspondents Aisha Alfa, Dave Barclay, Laura Cilevitz, Donavon Stinson, and Marilla Wex, delivering a satirical audit of the year’s news.

CBC Sports and Rugby Canada have struck a multi-year partnership agreement that will see CBC deliver multi-platform annual coverage of the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018. The coverage will include live-streaming at and via the CBC Sports app, as well as broadcast coverage on CBC.


CBC/Radio-Canada has doubled its digital reach two and a half years ahead of schedule. The latest data from comScore shows that 18 million Canadians visited CBC digital sites on average, each month, between April and Oct. 2017. That’s almost half of all Canadians, and double what it was when the mothercorp launched its digital transformation Strategy 2020: A space for us all in 2014.

Hannah Alper

Hannah Alper, 14, is the youngest person and only Canadian on Bloomberg’s Ones To Watch in 2018 list. The environmental activist and blogger was nominated by Canadian YouTube sensation Lilly Singh, who is also a partner in her work. Alper, an aspiring TV journalist, is the daughter of music blogger and SiriusXM host Eric Alper, who now runs music PR firm That Eric Alper.


Maureen Googoo, Joyce Hunter, Ossie Michelin, and Angela Sterritt

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) has released a Style Guide for Reporting on Indigenous People. Developed to address gaps in how Canadian media describe and reference Indigenous people, the guide includes descriptions on why Indigenous is preferred over Aboriginal, proper descriptions of Métis and Inuit, and a section on Two Spirit people. Contributors include Maureen Googoo, founder/editor of; Weenusk First Nation journalist Joyce Hunter; Ossie Michelin, a freelance Inuk journalist; and Angela Sterritt, an award-winning Gitxsan journalist who has reported for CBC since 2003. Find the style guide here.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has released the 2017 Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services in Canada and Select Foreign Jurisdictions. The study found among the trends emerging in Canada’s telecom sector, that prices for low- and mid-use wireless plans are declining, while high-end mobile phone plan prices remained the same or increased between 2016 and 2017. The study also found in regions with strong competition, wireless prices are as much as 31 per cent lower than the national average.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is accepting entries for the 2017 CAJ Awards until Jan. 15. This year’s program features two new awards, the JHR/CAJ Emerging Indigenous Journalist Award and the APTN/CAJ Reconciliation Award. The entry fee for CAJ members applying as individuals into the community media and community broadcast categories has also been eliminated. CAJ Awards finalists will be announced in March, with the winners announced at the 2018 CAJ conference, scheduled for May 4-5 in Toronto.


Bell Media’s out-of-home advertising division, Astral, has launched a new programmatic solution for large format digital inventory. Using a self-serve platform powered by Hivestack and fueled with real-time mobile location data, clients can use audience targeting, monitor budget allocation across the network and update creative assets at their discretion.

 An Interview With Blogger And Journalist Steve Faguy

On this week’s Broadcast Dialogue Podcast – An interview with Montreal-based media blogger and journalist Steve Faguy joined Broadcast Dialogue writer and editor Connie Thiessen to talk about the year in review.

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