Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: October 11, 2017

Netflix responds to Canadian ‘conspiracy theories’

Netflix’s agreement to invest at least $500 million in content produced in Canada has led to speculation that the streamer unfairly got special treatment from the Canadian government — and that Netflix should be subject to tax regulations and forced to produce a certain amount of French-language content.

In a blog post-Tuesday, Corie Wright, Netflix’s director of global public policy, sought to dispel what she characterized as misconceptions and a few “conspiracy theories” about the agreement.

Among her points: Netflix didn’t reach any tax deals with the government as part of the investment, which was approved under the Investment Canada Act. Some critics had speculated that Netflix’s production-spending commitment in Canada was meant to circumvent tax rules or forestall the possibility that it would be subject to taxes in the future.

“Netflix follows tax laws everywhere we operate,” Wright wrote. “Under Canadian law, foreign online services like Netflix aren’t required to collect and remit sales tax.”

Radios helping Puerto Ricans

Ten thousand battery-operated radios will be headed to Puerto Rico to help residents coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The National Association of Broadcasters, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations and “multiple” U.S. broadcasters are funding this effort.

Forbes’ list of the world’s top paid radio hosts

Talk isn't cheap. Just ask the world's highest-paid radio stars.

The controversial Howard Stern leads the pack once again with a $90 million haul, earned between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017, before taxes and management fees. Stern, who is one of America's wealthiest celebrities with a net worth of $450 million, renegotiated his eight-figure contract with SiriusXM in December 2015. The deal includes digital distribution channels like apps and video streaming, which could pad Stern's paycheck in the future.

Runner-up Rush Limbaugh, who pocketed $84 million, enjoyed a 21% increase in listeners to his eponymous show thanks to a "Trump bump." The most-listened-to talk show host in America, with 14 million listeners by Talkers Magazine's estimate, he was far from the only one to get this rating boost. Overall industry over-the-air advertising revenue did not improve last year, hovering at $14.1 billion, according to BIA Kelsey, but the news-talk category saw an uptick, which the advisory firm attributed to the presidential election.

NPR takes on News/Talk in top US markets

While NPR continues to dominate and increase its podcasting business, it doesn’t look as though it is giving up its terrestrial station base.  Last week Jarl Mohn, President, and CEO of NPR laid out a declaration that should alarm many of America’s commercial news/talk stations in PPM markets.

Mohn's goal is to have NPR’s News/Talk stations outperform commercial News/Talkers in all 50 PPM markets.  NPR stations are well on their way as the leading radio news source in 20 of the 50 or so Nielsen PPM markets according to NPR.

CRTC broadcasting decisions expected this week

An application by Avenue Radio Ltd. for authority to acquire the assets of the English-language commercial radio station CJUI-FM Kelowna from Vista Radio Ltd.

An application by Cochrane Christian Radio to renew the broadcasting licence for the English-language low‑power commercial specialty (Christian music) radio station CFCJ‑FM Cochrane, MB.


Kenneth Rafe Mair, a Vancouver-born lawyer, political commentator, radio personality and politician in British Columbia died October 9 at the age of 85.

The former lawyer made his mark on the political scene when he was elected as the Social Credit member of the legislature for Kamloops in 1975. He served as a cabinet minister under then-Socred premier Bill Bennett, but surprised colleagues when he resigned from cabinet in 1981 to join Vancouver station CJOR.

In 1984, Mair joined popular Vancouver radio station CKNW, where he would rule the airwaves for the next 19 years.

In semi-retirement at the age of 78, Mair and documentary filmmaker Damien Gillis co-founded an environmental website in 2010 called The Common Sense Canadian where he tackled topics from politics to environmental issues.

Max Haines, an NS-born syndicated Crime Flashback columnist with the Toronto Sun, died from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) on September 30 at his home in Etobicoke, ON. He was 86.

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