Media Beat: July 30, 2018

Jazz.FM workers say the CEO harassed them. Now, they’re accused of plotting a coup

In March a group of employees calling themselves the Collective — a mix of 13 past and present on-air and behind-the-scenes employees — signed an explosive letter they gave to the station’s board of directors, accusing then-president and CEO Ross Porter of “sexual harassment” and “inappropriate workplace conduct of a sexual nature.”

The Star conducted wide ranging interviews with staff, former employees, Ross Porter and members of a collective that have publicly aired their grievances. The truth of the matter is not evident as different camps have vastly different opinions about what may or may not have taken place at the station. The result of the allegations has been damaging both for morale at the FM, and financially. (DF: I add that in my dealings with Ross Porter over the years, I have always found him utterly professional and courteous). – Donovan Vincent, The Star

Larche Digital expands with Tyger Shark acquisition

Paul Larche sold his 4 radio stations in Ontario to Bell in 2017 and launched Larche Digital with his daughter Jessie. The company has now acquired Tyger Shark digital agency of Barrie with a workforce of 40 people. Larche's digital division has built a reputation in Simcoe County, working with clients such as Napoleon, Chickapea Pasta, Georgian BMW, and Simcoe Block, Hospice. – Barrie Advance

Faisal Hussain: What the mainstream media won’t tell you

A cold-hearted thug walked through a Toronto neighbourhood and opened fire at innocent civilians enjoying a warm summer evening. He murdered a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old young woman. He deserves our scorn, not our sympathy.

Canadian media outlets are going out of their way to paint Faisal Hussain as a victim. This is an insult to all Canadians, especially the victims. – True North

Philip K. Dick story adapted for VR by Secret Location

Toronto- and Los Angeles-based virtual reality (VR) studio Secret Location has adapted a Philip K. Dick short story for VR and is set to debut the resulting experience at the Venice Film Festival next month. It’s the first-ever adaptation of one of the author’s works for VR. – Variety

UK democracy ‘facing a crisis’ from US social media giants

The U.K.’s political system cannot cope with the threats from fake news, according to a panel of British lawmakers investigating the impact of social media on recent elections.

U.K. authorities have been looking for signs of Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit referendum after reports that Kremlin-backed groups used social media to influence elections and sow discord in the U.S. and other countries. – Giles Turner, Bloomberg

CBC’s full-court automation play

The pubcaster has been broadening its reach through new formats, including Apple TV apps and podcasts. It’ll be rolling out more connected device apps in the coming months. – Media In Canada

Cord-cutting keeps churning

This year, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. — consumers who have ever cancelled traditional pay-TV service and do not resubscribe — will climb 32.8%, to 33.0 million adults, according to new estimates from research firm eMarketer. That’s compared with a total of 24.9 million cord-cutters as of the end of 2017, which was up 43.6% year over year (and an upward revision from eMarketer’s previous 22 million estimate). – Variety

Facebook takes historic plunge as scandals take their toll

Facebook Inc. plunged as much as 20 percent Thursday after months of scandal and criticism finally hit the company where it hurts: growth. – eMarketer

The social-media goliath’s financial performance had previously seemed immune to fierce critiques of its content policies, its failure to safeguard private data, and its changing rules for advertisers. But on Wednesday Facebook reported sales and user growth numbers for the second quarter that fell short of analysts’ projections, leaving investors reeling. – Sarah Frier, Bloomberg

Twitter numbers plunge

Twitter Inc. shares plunged the most in four years after the social media company said monthly users dropped by 1 million in the second quarter from the first and predicted further declines as it continues to fight against spam, fake accounts and malicious rhetoric. – Selina Wang, Bloomberg

A retro keyboard for the writers in us all

Typewriters are pretty much dead, except to two categories of people: Russian spies, who want to ensure that their kompromat reports don’t fall into the wrong hands, and hipsters, who ,I think we can all agree, are morally equivalent.

Pandering to the latter audience is the KnewKey Rymek. This mechanical keyboard looks just like a typewriter of yesteryear but can connect to your laptop via USB, or to your phone over its built-in Bluetooth radio. – Matthew Hughes, The Next Web

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