Media Beat: May 10, 2017

Superstars of Journalism coming to Toronto?

They are among the world’s most unrelenting truth seekers. In their first live joint appearance, these renowned, award-winning journalists and authors will discuss the pressing need to apply constant, critical pressure on an American president who threatens the very fabric of democracy, journalism, civil society and the truth.

In this two-part Toronto event, our first discussion features Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now!; Naomi Klein, journalist and syndicated columnist; Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer-prize winner and co-founder of The Intercept; and Jeremy Scahill, war correspondent and co-founder of The Intercept. Their conversation will be moderated by Hannah Sung, video and podcast producer for The Globe and Mail.

The second discussion features Matt Taibbi, author of the recently published Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus and contributing editor to Rolling Stone, in conversation with David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, on journalism’s response to this ongoing circus and the chaotic presidency.

Taibbi's book, along with the latest books from our other speakers, will be available for purchase at the event.

On the other hand, perhaps it won't be happening.  Check out Desmond Cole's interview with Naomi Klein.  

Naomi Klein dropped out of a Trump talk because of its lack of colour. As the promotion for the event led to criticism of the panel's diversity, Klein pulled out, and she claims the American participants also considered doing so. They'll appear with a replacement panelist, instead. (Klein's drop-out announcement referenced Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto Star, which he discussed with Klein on Newstalk 1010—while Christie Blatchford offered a different opinion.) — Warren's Network

CKUA has a new CEO

Marc Carnes has been selected as Chief Executive Officer of CKUA effective May 15.

In a release, the Board describe Marc has an active leader and fundraiser in the arts scene for many years with a strong reputation and network in the not-for-profit Edmonton community, and in particular in music and the arts sector.

Board Chair, Cindy Andrew, stated, "I want to thank Katrina Ingram for assuming the role of Interim CEO for the last few months after our long-serving CEO; Ken Regan retired in February this year. Katrina will be leaving CKUA at the end of July, after a fulsome transition with our new CEO."

“After a decade at CKUA, the time has come to move on to new adventures”, Ingram stated. “This decision did not come lightly, and I’ve truly enjoyed my time here. I’ve had the chance to work with amazing people, to take on a wide range of opportunities and challenges, and to see the organisation grow in new directions. I’m thrilled to welcome Marc Carnes as CEO of CKUA! I look forward to assisting him with a smooth transition.

Are Snapchat's users getting more valuable?

One reason those close to Snap aren’t concerned about its user slowdown is that the company thinks it can keep growing its revenue significantly even if it doesn’t add more users. That’s because Snap believes it can sustain business growth by simply making more money off the users it already has. Snap made $2.15 per user in North America in Q4, for example; Facebook made $19.81 per user in the same geographic area — Recode

In passing

— A telco with a heart: Videotron is offering to suspend charges for subscribers affected by flooding.

— Flooding in the Ottawa/Gatineau region has led the CRTC to offer time off for employees to take action on the home front, according to a report in subscription newsletter CARRT yesterday. The regulator's offices are high and dry.

— There's a Q107 reunion party set for May 18 at the Manulife Centre in Toronto. Should be a blast!

— Stingray Digital Group has acquired Israel-based Yokee Music Ltd., including its three popular social music apps: Yokee, Yokee Guitar, and Yokee Piano. Yokee by Famous Blue Media is an app that lets you sing, record and share your version of your favourite songs and in four years has become the most successful global karaoke mobile app in the AppStore/Google Play.

— An Austrian court has ruled that Facebook must delete offensive postings globally.

Torrent Freak reports the fact that a US court has ordered registries to take control of 'pirate' domains.

The preliminary injunction was issued following an application by TV outfit ABS-CBN against platforms it accuses of copyright and trademark infringement. Domain privacy services were also ordered to unmask the operators of the sites.

Recent changes made to the commercial radio tariff

 The rates apply to a commercial radio station’s gross income. SOCAN and Re:Sound rates remain the same. The rates for CSI, Connect/SOPROQ and Artisti have been lowered. Here's the amount to be paid by type of station. The complete PDF fact sheet can be viewed here.

Pandora releases Q1 earnings

In one of the most eventful days in company history, Pandora released its Q1 earnings, disclosed the first subscription numbers for Pandora Premium, announced a new $150M investment, altered its board rules making it easier to change directors, and accepted the resignation of its board Chairman and another board member.

S-Town podcast hits 40M global downloads

The seven-episode series debuted in its entirety one month ago, and the download milestone makes the show the biggest rollout for a podcast to date.

Tencent leads financing round for Smule mobile music company

Mobile music company Smule has received a $54M investment led by Chinese conglomerate Tencent. The round will support the app’s expansion into Asia. It will also put the company on track for an initial public offering. Smule is now valued at $604M according to an unnamed source.

Amazon launches Echo Show, adds video & calls it “ambient computing”

Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa operating system, the leading voice assistance platform, introduced a new product on Tuesday. Echo Show joins the original Echo smart speaker, Echo Dot miniature device, and Echo Look style assistant. Amazon says it’s about “ambient computing.”

Warner streaming revenue continues to boost quarterly results

Warner Music Group posted its Q2 financial results. Quarterly revenue for the major label totalled $825M, up 11% from $745M in the year-ago period. Digital revenue rose 21.9% to secure a 53.2% share of Warner’s total quarterly revenue with $400M.

Kobalt raises $75M for royalty collections platform

The rights management company has raised $75M in a Series D funding round. The Hearst Entertainment media conglomerate led the financing, and existing Kobalt backers Balderton Capital and MSD Capital also participated.

Warner inks YouTube deal despite “difficult circumstances”

Warner Music Group has signed a global licensing deal with YouTube, but the major label still reportedly expressed reservations about working with the video platform. CEO Steve Cooper has reportedly shared an internal memo with WMG that said the YouTube deal was signed “under very difficult circumstances.”


Worth Noting

So how in the world do you break into a career in podcasting, anyway?

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 119, published May 9 — Nicholas Quah, Nieman Lab

What an Idaho TV station has learned from flying a drone

Our latest drone shoot received over 200,000 views between Facebook and YouTube — Jennifer Nelson, RJI

Five mobile journalism basics to remember

Let's go back to basics with a few mobile journalism tips to make your life easier, regardless of the equipment you’re using. The inspiration here is the number of outlets that are having reporters shoot video on phones and the resulting number of videos that are painful to watch — Judd Slivka, RJI

Why the New York Times is diving headfirst into international editions

The Times is "laser-focused" on converting casual international readers to paying subscribers, in keeping with its strategy of doubling digital revenue by 2020. Close to 40 million international readers now come to The New York Times every month across the company's platforms — Benjamin Mullin, Poynter

Patch offers an affordable interface for small town news outlets

Patch used to be a cautionary tale of the perils of solving the thorny problem of doing local news in digital media.

But AOL’s onetime struggling experiment in hyperlocal news has returned to its feet after the portal sold it in 2014. Now profitable, it wants to help other local news outlets fight for survival — Lucia Moses, Digiday

Radio — the worst job of the year?

Why is being a broadcaster such a low rated position?   According to the study, broadcasters earn the lowest marks on work environment, stress, and projected growth.  Looking at these bottom-ranked positions makes a statement about careers in both commercial and public radio, and that demanded a little investigative reporting of my own — Fred Jacobs, Jacobs Media

8 boss DJs from the '60s. Did you listen to any of them?

In today's world, with streaming services and digital music, an ocean of music is at your fingertips. Everyone is a DJ. Half a century ago, the transistor radio was a teenager's lifeline to pop music. Disc jockeys were the tastemakers, the gatekeepers of cool, rock & roll stars in their own right. Every major city had its star DJ, and record spinners in Cleveland, Philly, L.A. and beyond become idols — MeTV

Hate the Pepsi ad, but love the Heineken one? You've been duped

This ad doesn’t exist to solve the world’s problems, but to make you buy a product by causing you to associate whatever warm fuzzies it elicits in you with its particular brand of carbonated yeast water. Have you learned nothing from Mad Men? That this ad was deemed “good” by most people just means it does a better job than other ads of hiding that fact — Jamie Peck, The Guardian

And a few bizarre ones from the past you may have missed

How Hunter S. Thompson gave birth to gonzo journalism

In 1970, Hunter S. Thompson went to the Kentucky Derby, and he changed sports journalism and broadcasting forever.” Or so claims historian Douglas Brinkley, the oft-imitated but never replicated writer’s literary executor, in the short Gonzo @ the Derby.

Directed by Michael G. Ratner and first commissioned by ESPN’s 30 for 30, the thirteen-minute documentary tells the story of how, having made his name with a book on the Hell’s Angels, the 33-year-old, Louisville-born Thompson took a gig with the rebellious and short-lived Scanlan’s Monthly to go back to his hometown and report on its famous horse race — and how he almost inadvertently defined a whole new kind of journalism as a result — Open Culture


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