Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: October 20, 2017

Rogers Communications turns in rosy Q3 earnings report

The Toronto-based cable and wireless company said its revenue grew by 3 percent to $3.58B in Q3, mainly on the strength of its mobile division. But that was shy of analyst estimates of $3.62B, and Rogers shares were down 1.2 percent, closing at $66.05 on Thursday.

Profit more than doubled to $467M, but the surge was partly a result of a favourable comparison to the same time last year when the company said it would record a $140-million write-down as it shut down its online-streaming service Shomi, a joint venture with Shaw Communications Inc.

On an adjusted basis, net income was up 22 percent to $523M as Rogers posted adjusted operating profit growth of 6 percent largely on the strength of its wireless business. It reported adjusted earnings of $1.02 a share, up from 83 cents this time last year.

Rogers says it now expects adjusted operating profit growth of between 5 and 6 percent for 2017 – The Globe & Mail

Rogers Communications' (RCI) CEO Joe Natale on Q3 2017 results - Earnings call transcript

Once again this quarter we delivered in all of our key wireless financial and subscriber metrics. We reported growth in cable revenue and adjusted operating profit, thanks to the strength of our internet products. We expanded our margins in both wireless and cable giving much better operating leverage and cost efficiencies. As previously stated, we intend to improve margins in 2018 from 2016 by 100 to 200 basis points in each of wireless and cable. I'm pleased to report that we're on track to achieve this. We also substantially reduced our debt leverage ratio from 3.0 to 2.8 year-over-year – embedded link in headline unfurls the full transcript

Freedom mobile launches game-changer data plans

The plans include 10 GB of data for $50 — and in a first for Canada, there are no overage fees. The cost is less than half the price of what that amount of data would run you at the big telcos, Bell, Rogers and Telus, or at their flanker brands, Fido, Koodo and Virgin. The catch is the Shaw-owned mobile band has a lot of catching up to do with its competitors in offering reliable coverage across many of the nation’s biggest cities.

Bell Media claims 7 of the top 10 new programs this fall

Bell Media is home to seven of the Top 10 new series with total viewers and all key demos in the 2017/18 TV season thus far. Among the breakout hits, CTV's Young Sheldon and The Good Doctor debut as the Top 2 series with total viewers and all key demos.   

The data is attributed to Numeris and BBM Nielsen Media Research.

Young Sheldon delivered 3.6 million average viewers for its series debut, while The Good Doctor is currently averaging 2.6 million viewers on CTV.

The top two are bookended by Marvel Comics' X-Men family adventure series The Gifted (#4) and innovative single-camera comedy Me, Myself and I (#5).

Rounding out Bell Media's run of Fall TV's Top 10 new programs in the key A25-54 demo is Space's Star Trek: Discovery – the #1 series on record for Canadian specialty television, which made its exclusive Canadian broadcast premiere on CTV in a special, one-night super-simulcast. Also, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (#8), and Marvel’s Inhumans (#9) each continue to win their timeslots among key demos – Source: Bell Media

Google is trying to reinvent the city, starting with Toronto

Tuesday afternoon, public officials gathered in Toronto to announce that Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary under the Alphabet umbrella that also houses Google, will pilot the redevelopment of 12 acres of southeastern waterfront in an area that today hosts a few industrial buildings and some parking lots. In just a few years, it will be a techified community going by the name of Quayside. Sidewalk Labs has already devoted $50 million to the project. Once the company has proven out its concept, it plans to expand its fantastical redevelopment to the entire 800-acre lakefront district – Wired

Farmer says podcasting now his main income

Rob and Emily Sharkey, of east of Bradford IL, have been serial entrepreneurs on the farm, of necessity. They nearly went broke in hogs’ years ago, clawed their way back, paid off all their debts and are now riding a wave of success with, of all things, weekly podcasts to many thousands of farmers across North America. As word spread about the popularity of the podcasts, Big Agra firms, interested in reaching a targeted audience, came to them. BASF even put Rob on a 13-state marketing tour this summer, a camera crew along, to talk farming with farmers who are into social media like podcasts. A similar excursion is anticipated in Canada this winter.

A recipe to revive a dead format: AM radio

Richard Wagoner thinks he has the answer for what ails the waveband’s poor cousin. “

“Industry observers and insiders don’t like to admit this since the sorry state of radio in general and AM radio, in particular, is their fault, but many of the stations that lack ratings once did. At least they did when they played music, such as 570, 690, 930, 1110, 1150, 1190 and 1580. All had good, or at least acceptable ratings, until they lost focus and either programmed canned junk or dropped music altogether. Even KFI, the second-highest-rated AM station in town, had similar and often higher ratings as a Top-40 station than it does now.”

His solution ironically is to get back to playing music, and he offers a mitt full of niched formats that might win the day. A few of them are already playing softball in the Canadian marketplace – Read on in the Los Angeles Daily News

Howard Stern, Wednesday on Jimmy Kimmel Live, takes on Weiner and Weinstein

Stern tied Weinstein to Bill O'Reilly and Anthony Weiner as well, joking that all three were obsessed with revealing themselves to their victims. "The one thing women don't want to see is a guy's penis," Stern said. "They wanna see you got a job; they wanna see you treat them nice."

-- Editor's note: Stern, as a terrestrial radio shock-jock at WXRK NYC, made a rep for himself objectifying women but he has clearly mellowed with time since taking his show to Sirius XM Radio. The 63-year-old reportedly earns an annual salary of US$90M and has a net worth pegged at between $600-$900M.


Joseph “Joe” Carbury (né Carrabre), who called the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede for about 45 years, died Tuesday at the Colonel Belcher Hospital after suffering a stroke two week ago. He was 91.

He’s best known for his announcement at the start of each race: “There’s the horn … and they’rrrre off!”

Born in Winnipeg in 1926, he began with radio sports announcing in 1948. After announcing for curling games, the junior hockey team Medicine Hat Tigers, the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, and for boxing matches, he became most famous through the Calgary Stampede.

Over his career, he announced over 1,000 hockey games and over 25,000 horse races.

He was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 – Various sources including Wikipedia

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