A column about Canadian broadcasting, media and the regulatory environment.
RIP: J. Jacques Samson, a former Le Soleil National Assembly journalist who since 2004 wrote for the Journal de Québec, died suddenly on Wednesday. He was 66.
-- The CRTC is facing accusations of “underlying racism and bigotry at the highest levels” in the latest legal action against the regulator by one of its former officials.
Court documents filed last week by Raj Shoan, fired last month as Ontario commissioner for the Commission, allege that Linda Vennard, commissioner for Alberta and the Northwest Territories, made racist comments and harassed her assistant. The filings also accuse Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais of a “campaign of misinformation” against Shoan and suggest Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, whose department oversees the CRTC, disregarded these concerns. This is a developing story that promises to test the mettle of the recently installed Trudeau government. With the CBC management practices apparently tarnished by the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, we now have another crown corporation that allegedly turned a blind eye to what some might term infelicitous outburts by at least one senior staff member, if the charges be true and proven. Gregg O'Brien in CARTT has the scoop (subscription).
-- Native Communications (NCI) has flipped Winnipeg’s Rhythm 104.7 (CIUR-FM) to Now Country. Kimberley Dawn will launch the station’s new morning show on Monday, July 25, airing weekdays from 6-10 a.m. Popular NCI-FM personality Brian Cook, from NOW’s sister station, will host the afternoon show from 1-6 p.m. The flip took place at midnight on July 9. NCI-FM broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on more than 50 FM radio transmitters located throughout Manitoba, reaching over 70 communities.
-- Gretchen Carlson has posted the full text of her sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News channel supremo Roger Ailes on her website. Neither Fox News Channel nor its parent company, 21st Century Fox, were named in the suit.
-- Worldwide revenue from mobile video will reach $25b by 2021, according to research from Strategy Analytics.
-- Stingray Digital Group continues its expansion in the Asia-Pacific market. The B2B music platform has announced opening a regional headquarters in Singapore. This launch follows the recent acquisitions of iConcerts, a television channel that reaches more than 250m households, and Digital Music Distribution PTY in Australia. Stingray’s Singapore office will be headed by Mathieu Sibille who, in addition to his current position as CEO of iConcerts, will also act as MD for Asia-Pacific.
-- CBS Radio has filed an initial public offering as the first step in spinning off the radio division from CBS Corp. The S-1 filing with the SEC notes "a nominal funding of $100 million" in shares, which Bloomberg describes as "a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that will probably change." No symbol or exchange has been named for the new CBS Radio. 2015 radio revenues are reported at $1.23b, down 5.5% from 2014 and a loss from continuing operations of $136.5m. In Q1 2016, CBS Radio earned $264.1m in revenue and net income from continuing operations of $33.4m.
-- Cowen Group’s May survey found that terrestrial radio is the top music listening platform. Some 74% of respondents listen to terrestrial radio, followed by YouTube (59%), Pandora ad-supported music (37%), Sirius XM satellite radio (22%) and Spotify ad-supported music (19%).
Headlines worth noting
The Voltair Controversy – Kurt Hanson, Rain News
Podcast Movement: Convention base for strategic announcements – RAIN News
Dallas shootings live streamed on social media – Media Post
Postmedia on life support – The Tyee
6 Pivotal Moments in the Internet Radio Era -- Matthew Lasar, Jacobs Media