Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: November 01, 2017

Secret conversations: Audit uncovers who has access to Ottawa power elites

U.S. tech giants including Google, Amazon and Microsoft have held more than 100 separate meetings with influential members of Canada's Liberal government over the past 12 months, Radio-Canada reports.

Radio-Canada, the French-language arm of CBC, pored over the federal lobby registry and found Amazon had 99 registered communications with decision-makers, while Google had 37, including one with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his two closest collaborators: chief of staff Katie Telford and principal secretary Gerald Butts. Microsoft, Netflix and Facebook also had meetings with federal officials.

When it comes to Canadian media companies, Bell Canada had 69 registered communications over the last year; Shaw had 51 and Rogers had 38. Corus had 24 logged contacts and Québecor had seven – CBC News

Canadian mockumentary TV series tops Netflix ‘binge-watch’ list

Netflix has released the list of TV shows that Canadians binge-watch the most — and the most popular in a ranking of 20 is Trailer Park Boys, produced initially by Halifax-based Topsail Entertainment and directed by Mike Clattenburg. The wildly successful series tells of the misadventures of Julian (John Paul Tremblay), Ricky (Robb Wells) and Bubbles (Mike Smith), long-time pals and petty serial criminals who run scams from the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 

The series initially debuted on Showcase, and Netflix co-produced it beginning with season 8 in 2014. Season 12 is on the way.

The series has spun off three films, a video game and the principal actors have toured with Our Lady Peace, Guns N’ Roses. Cast members have appeared in music videos with the Tragically Hip, George Canyon, and had various famous artists perform on the show including Alex Lifeson, Sebastian Bach, and the late singer Denny Doherty.

All in, the franchise has generated tens of millions from syndication, films and merchandise sales.

In its global ranking, Trailer Park Boys ranks 7th on its list.

Coming second in Canada and first in the global ranking is the American comedy-drama TV series, Gilmore Girls.

The ‘binge’ list ranks viewers who watch an entire series in a 24-hour period. Canadians rank top of the list, while Americans came in second place.

According to Netflix metrics, five subscribers in the US have “raced through” all five seasons of House of Cards the day they were released – sources include CBC Radio

Hanover council bails out Bluewater Radio

Suffering financial difficulty and on the verge of closing, Hanover, ON council has decided to save Bluewater Radio (BWR) by purchasing the downtown building the station is housed in for $246,000.

 Council not only passed a by-law to purchase the building at the full appraised value but also passed a by-law to execute a lease agreement that will allow BWR to occupy the building rent-free until the end of 2019. Additionally, the town will honour an earlier agreement that provides BWR $20K in funding for 2018 and 2019. The second floor of the two-story building will be occupied as residential space by BWR CEO and station manager Andrew McBride.

In the report, Tocheri stated the BWR board approached council earlier this year and advised them of the non-profit community radio’s financial difficulty. The FM station recently raised over $500K for two community hospitals and a healthcare facility. The station also operates under the moniker CFBW 91.3 with daytime programming playing a mix of Rock, Pop, Oldie's, Country Folk, local and national news, weather, community events and unique features – The Post online

Fagstein’s Media News Digest

The latest edition online includes:

  • The CRTC is holding a hearing Jan. 11 at which it will consider measures related to two radio stations with severe compliance issues: CFOR-FM Maniwaki and CKFG-FM Toronto. Both are accused of failing to meet a series of licence conditions and regulatory requirements and could face sanctions as high as losing their licences.

  • The notice for the same hearing includes details on the Bell acquisition of four FM stations in Ontario from Larche Communications. The deal is worth $15.64 million.

  • Finally, three applications for new radio stations, all Christian music stations by different owners: Sydney, N.S., Regina, and Kelowna/Kamloops, B.C. Deadline for comments on all three of these is Nov. 24.

  • The coming review of mandatory distribution orders has all the applicants pushing for public support. AMI, APTN, Canal M, TV5 and the Weather Network have put up websites asking for people to write letters of support to the CRTC. (TWN even has a video to guide people through the process.)

  • The commission is giving Cogeco an extension until March 31 to implement changes to its customer service contract required by the new TV service provider code that went into effect on Sept. 1. Cogeco said an “internal structuring project” was delayed, which meant it couldn’t meet the deadline.

Bill Reiter celebrates 50 years hosting his ‘Groovin’ Blue’ radio show

The Quebecer moved as a child to East Vancouver and over the years has been a record store owner, a Rock 'n' Roll Deejay, a stage actor, a record producer and radio and television commercial writer and producer. Aside from being one of the CKLG Boss Jocks in the late '60's he produced and hosted the first all-genre Black Music radio show in Canada - "Groovin' Blue" - that continues to this day, albeit as an internet radio show today. Michael Easton celebrates the man and his career on the Puget Sound blog.

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