Around The Dial: Broadcast News Today

A column about Canadian broadcasting, media and the regulatory environment.

RIP: Thomas “Jeff” Cogswell, a Maritime broadcaster who worked in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, died July 7 in Kentville NS. As well as his on air career, he did the announcing at many major sporting events in Halifax including the Mens Briar championship, the World Junior Hockey championship as well as boxing and wrestling and martial arts. He was 43.

RIP: Herbert John Fowell, better known as Bert Gordon, a former BC broadcaster who, according to Vancouver Broadcasters website, worked at CFOX in the early 1980s, and shifts at CFMI, CKNW and finally at CFST Winnipeg. According to a Facebook post by pal Dave Chesney, the 70 year-old died peacefully yesterday morning. Details about the man to be published in the Brandon Sun and the Winnipeg Free Press.

-- Corus Entertainment Inc reported a lower-than-expected Q3 adjusted profit as expenses jumped about 72% after it bought assets from sister company Shaw Communications Inc in a $2.65b deal that closed on April 1.  However, revenue jumped 77.6% in the quarter ended May 31. The company’s revenue rose to $360.8m, up 78% from $203.1 million — helped by advertising, subscription fees and merchandising. Costs and expenses jumped to $230.6m. Company financials for Q3 here.

-- Don’t count on Facebook for audience growth. 139 out of the 300 biggest publishers on Facebook have seen their traffic decline year over year, including Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and Elite Daily, SimilarWeb reports. For example, Buzzfeed’s Q1 Facebook referral traffic fell 11.5% from 227.6m in 2015 to 201.3m in Q1 2016. Huffington Post’s Facebook referral traffic plunged 44% to 84.9 million in Q1, New York Times was down 10% to 68.5m, and Mashable fell 17% to 51.8m. SimilarWeb points out that the decline in traffic came before Facebook announced changes to its algorithm that will reduce the amount of publisher content in users’ news feeds, suggesting worse is to come. – MediaPost

-- Call it the thin edge of the web. YouTube has now eclipsed radio as a medium for music discovery among the general population in the US, according to Music Biz report. When asked how they typically discover new music, 34% of all respondents cited YouTube, while only 32% cited AM/FM radio. The same study rings a five-alarm warning broadcasters: While broadcast radio still accounts for the highest listening share among the general population at 35%, 15-to-19 year olds reported that they spend only 12% of their time with the format despite a weekly reach of 65% (on par with the overall average of 78%). This indicates that even though millennials are being exposed to radio, they are not engaging with it, and on-demand streaming is making up the difference. – Radio Ink

-- Talk about community engagement, CKUA in partnership with TD Bank is offering live broadcast remotes from the Calgary Blues, Canmore Folk, Edmonton Folk, Bear Creek Music, and Edmonton Blues festivals. Details on the CKUA radio network website.  

-- Allison Brock does Stampede in style with a special broadcast of Wide Cut Country live at Heritage Posters and Music in Calgary this Saturday, July 16 from 10am to noon.

 -- Canadian listeners are continuing to shift to streaming, with total music consumption up 7.4% on year in the first half of 2016. Nielsen’s mid-year report for Canada found that total on-demand streams from audio and video platforms reached 18.6b songs. – RAIN News

Fred Jacobs canvasses a cluster of broadcast managers and executives about what the Podcast Movement convention was like from their viewpoint. The takeaways include “excitement” and “storytelling” and “compelling audio content”. If only some of those takeaways could be heard on the radio.

-- Within two decades, more than 40 per cent of the Canadian labour force is highly likely to be affected by automation, according to a report released by the Brookfield Institute. However, while many jobs may feel the impact, most jobs cannot be automated in their entirety. Maclean’s looks at the various Canadian jobs covered in the report and assesses the risk, and to what degree.

-- YouTube is reported to have signed a deal with a number of major broadcasters, including ESPN, ABC, and CBS, which will provide their TV services online, without any cable subscription.

-- iHeartMedia’s 24/7 News Network has announced that it will provide its radio stations and affiliates with access to NBC News broadcast coverage, along with an hourly newscast provided to its network. iHeartRadio will also feature a NBC News Radio station online and on its app.

-- Anyone tracking any major trends around the Internet is certainly aware of the big numbers that keep coming out. As a mid-year review, The Internet of Things offers recap of the numbers from the first six months of this year, with the source of each at the end. Here’s a taste test:

  • 14 million – Smartwatches to be sold this year (Consumer Technology Association)

  • 17 million – Fitness trackers to be sold this year (Consumer Technology Association)

  • 20 million – Shipments of wearable devices in the first quarter of this year (IDC)

  • 22 million – Smartwatches sold last year (CCS Insight)

  • 30 million – Smartwatches to be sold this year (CCS Insight)

  • 38 million – Wearables to be sold this year (Consumer Technology Association)

  • 102 million – Internet-connected wearable devices that will ship worldwide this year (IDC)

-- And apropos of nothing other than providing readers with some eye candy, in a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno got to race alongside Ben Collins, the former Top Gear Stig, in brand new Aston Martin DB11s.


Headlines worth noting

Municipal councilors sue rural Manitoba radio station: Defamation alleged for ‘malice’: The lawsuit filed in a Winnipeg court says the actions of Swan River’s CJSB 104.5 FM and its general manager go beyond political commentary and have specifically targeted individual council members and municipal employeesWinnipeg Free Press

How The Washington Post grew digital subscriptions 145 percent, but traffic doesn’t automatically mean a healthy financial foundation for publishers. That’s why the Post is focused on getting people to open their wallets and subscribe once they start becoming regular readers – DigiDay

How to convince 35 brand managers to focus on customers, not brands: Today most customers still use email or contact centers to get customer service, but that’s quickly changing to Twitter and Facebook, and now starting to migrate to messaging apps like What’s App and SnapChat. You have to be able to serve your customers wherever and whenever they need you. – Frank Reactions

As online video surges, publishers turn to automation: In pursuit of more lucrative video advertising and success on dominant social platforms, a growing number of publishers have turned to technology that promises to streamline video production, sometimes to the point of near-automation -- NYT





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