Around The Dial: Broadcast News Today

A collection of news and bytes about the goings on in radio and TV in Canada and abroad...

RIP: Stanley Burke, former anchor of CBC’s The National  News from 1966 to 1969, died at 93 in Kingston on Saturday. -- Toronto Star, CBC

-- Canada should ease the regulatory burden on traditional broadcasters to create a level playing field with less encumbered digital streaming rivals, two policy think tanks said in separate reports this week.

“While traditional broadcasters have Canadian content quotas and funding taxes imposed on them, online broadcasters enjoy a much more flexible regulatory environment,” said Steven Globerman, a Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of a report released Wednesday called “Technological Change and its Implications for Regulating Canada Television Broadcasting Sector.”

The solution is not for the federal broadcast watchdog to impose new regulations on online TV and movie content, the report says, but rather to further deregulate Canada’s traditional broadcasting industry. -- Toronto Star

-- Tensions between CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais and Ontario commissioner Raj Shoan have now boiled over into a third court case in just over a year. In the latest case, a request for judicial review filed with the Federal Court of Appeal on May 4, Shoan objected to the chairman’s decision to name a panel of commissioners to preside over a public hearing that was only announced last week.  Shoan filed his court application along with an affidavit setting out his concerns that Mr. Blais does not have the authority to appoint panels and that all commissioners must be given the opportunity to vote on telecommunications matters. -- Globe & Mail

-- CHCH is losing a news anchor and assignment editor to television stations up the highway.  Nick Dixon, who has been at the station for more than 11 years, is heading to CP24 for an anchor and reporter position, and Carly Conway is leaving for CTV Toronto. -- Hamilton Spectator

-- When it comes to converting ratings into revenue, AC radio ranked as radio’s top-billing format last year, capturing $1.69 billion in over-the-air revenue, according to new US-based BIA/Kelsey data provided to Inside Radio. AC beat country, radio’s most listened-to format, which ranked second in revenue with $1.43 billion. CHR placed third on the 2015 revenue tally with $1.30 billion, followed by news (No. 4, $1.24 billion) and Spanish formats (No. 5, $896.9 million). Sports was the No. 11 format based on total audience in 2015, according to Nielsen. But on BIA’s revenue ranker, it came in at No. 9 with $624 million in over-the-air billings.

-- According to Nielsen’s new Generational Snapshot study, US Millennials (ages 18-34) and Generation X listeners (35-49) are partial to pop contemporary hits, with weekly total audiences of 27.5 million for Millennials and 19.3 million listeners for Gen Xers. The format is so popular that both groups tune in for more than three hours and 15 minutes each week. Baby Boomers (ages 50-67), however, prefer adult contemporary/soft adult contemporary and spend more than four hours each week tuning into those formats. Boomers are also partial to news and talk stations, with listeners averaging six hours and 45 minutes weekly. That’s nearly double the average three hours, 45 minutes that Millennials spend with news/talk stations and also more than the average five weekly hours Gen Xers spend with news/talk (although those averages are certainly notable for younger demos).

-- Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) a net income of $200,653 on revenues of $6,091,874 for the 3 months ended March 31.

-- Noted Manitoba radio host and broadcast executive Eric Friesen will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws at Brandon U's Spring Convocation this afternoon (May 27).  -- Brandon U press release

-- Ron Funnell has been named General Manager / General Sales Manager of The Grand 101, a community station in Centre Wellington, ON.

-- Long time Vancouver broadcasters Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford have teamed up again for the LadyPants production of Marijuana Minute. The duo has co-hosted a number of TV productions in the past.  Forbes is the Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer/Producer at LadyPants Productions while Eckford was a morning radio host up until last year. 

-- Pioneer Vancouver broadcaster Wilf Ray, whose career spanned 64 years from 1944 to 2008, is featured in an article in the Abbotsford News. The 89 year-old now runs real estate business The Ray Team with daughters Robin and Leann, who also did time on air in the Vancouver radio market. Ray's final gospel radio show aired on AM 600 CKBD until 2008, with rebroadcasts still running online at his website.





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