Media Beat: August 02, 2018
Toronto Sun accused of extremist views
Lately, Toronto Sun columnists sound more like contributors to Ezra Levant’s far-right Rebel Media website – no surprise a number of their columnists recently made special guest appearances on Rebel Media and even headlined Rebel Media’s live events too.
Also worrying is a leaked document ahead of Ontario’s 2018 election that revealed the Toronto Sun is actively working to manufacture a right-wing culture war by selectively pushing hot-button social and cultural issues. – Press Progress
Changes at The Edge
102.1 Edge Mornings' team of Melani (Mariani) and Adam( Ricard) are history as of Thursday, and at the time of writing, no replacements have been named. One SOWNY.net contributor teased that former Edge morning jock Dean Blundell is looking to land an on-air gig. The news of their departure was given a dignified end with a post on the FM's Facebook page that stirred a lively debate that touched on the morning show churn, a good few mourning the duo's departure and various comments for and against Blundell. Seventee hours after the post, the Facebook announcement had generated 272 comments.
Also gone from the Toronto FM is Wade McNeil who was on evenings/swing. Recently installed PD Tammy Cole is apparently re-focusing the station’s direction, but on what path remains unclear at this time. The firings are likely tied to the Corus Entertainment trauma in having to write down a $1B in assets value in June that has been followed by a series of internal corporate changes designed to bump up sales and manage costs.
Torstar sees progress in digital transformation plan
In an earnings call Wednesday, Torstar CEO John Boynton said the company is using its data initiatives to “find better ways to surprise and delight our customers and help our advertisers meet their needs. Our greater data capabilities will enable us to best ensure the relevancy of advertising to customers.” – David Olive, The Star
OAB Connections summit set
The Ontario Association of Broadcasters annual fall conference and awards will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel. Details on guest speakers and panel topics have yet to be announced.
Notes from Podcast Movement 2018
Matt Cundill’s SoundOff Media Co. has collated various views and comments about the annual that can be found here and has also provided access to more in an open Google doc that offers useful tips from session notes at the event.
How podcasting passes the tipping point
Podcasting has been on the radars of people in the audio business and media savvy consumers for more than a decade, yet some still question whether it is a real business and whether it will achieve widespread consumer adoption. The size of Podcast Movement and the highly visible presence of radio-centric companies like iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Hubbard and Beasley at the conference, however, suggests that such questions are becoming the exception rather than the norm.
What will it take for podcasting to pass the tipping point we anticipate? We believe it boils down to three key points: – Continue reading on the Coleman Insights website
Stingray acquires Novramedia
Stingray’s commercial services division, Stingray Business, plans to expand its footprint in Canada with the acquisition of Toronto-based digital signage company Novramedia. The company serves clients in the finance, retail, hospitality, and healthcare sectors.
In the past year, Montreal-based Stingray has announced a number new partnerships for its video and karaoke channels, and in June the company acquired Newfoundland Capital Corp’s fleet of 72 radio stations nationally that had operated under the Newcap umbrella.
CRTC opens a call for applications in Quebec City
For at least the third time, the CRTC is about to make a call on whether Quebec City should be allowed to have an English-language commercial radio station.
An application by Evanov Radio subsidiary Dufferin Communications, which also owns stations running the Jewel format (including 106.7 in Hudson), plus CFMB 1280 and CHRF 980 in Montreal, prompted a request for comment by the commission in 2016 about whether a general call for applications should be issued. So far two applications (the other one for a French station) have been filed for the use of 105.7 MHz, considered one of the last available usable frequencies in the city.
On Wednesday, the CRTC issued another notice of consultation, effectively reopening the file. It never decided in the case, ironically because of a lack of francophone commissioners. With recent appointments, that problem has been solved. – Continue reading on Fagstein’s’s blog
BCE Q2 results
BCE operating revenue was up 1.7% in Q2 to $5,786-million, reflecting a 1.0% increase in service revenue to $5,129M and 7.7% higher product revenue of $657M. This was driven by increases at both Bell Wireless and Bell Wireline, partly offset by a modest year-over-year revenue decline at Bell Media.
Net earnings decreased 7.2% to $755M while net earnings attributable to common shareholders totalled $704M, or $0.79 per share, down 8.0% and 7.1% respectively. Despite higher adjusted EBITDA, net earnings declined due mainly to higher other expense and increased depreciation and amortization. – Media release
CMF invests $6.3M in Canadian digital media projects
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced an investment of more than $6.1M in prototyping and marketing support to 31 “innovative, Canadian digital media projects” as part of the first round of funding in the Experimental Stream’s 2018-2019 Innovation Program.
The CMF has contributed more than $89.9M in prototyping and marketing support to 412 interactive digital media projects since the Experimental Stream was created in 2010.
Spotify launches Archie motion comic series
Spotify has launched a new six-part motion comic series with Archie Comics called Spotlight Archie – The New Riverdale. – TechRadar
The New York Times beefs up its tech-focused op-eds
Perhaps because tech touches every aspect of life and culture now, The New York Times continues to beef up its tech-focused op-eds section, adding Sarah Jeong, a senior writer at The Verge, to its editorial board. Other notable additions to the section include Recode's Kara Swisher and Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler Rigetti — HuffPost editor in chief Lydia Polgreen calls it “a murderer’s row of talent.” – Recode Daily
PBS stands out in Hollywood scrum
The Television Critics Association press tour is much like one of its omnipresent candy buffets: seemingly endless, and packed with so many different treats that just looking at it inspires a sugar rush/crash. As networks try to stand out and make their upcoming schedule seem the most attractive (especially in the ever-swollen age of Peak TV), they pull out all the stops and stars to make sure that the journalists in attendance will remember them come premiere time.
One network, however, makes itself stand out in all the best ways by doing exactly none of that.
Sure, PBS offers fewer flashy stars and urgent breaking news. But every panel it presented over two days at this year’s summer tour was on brand, informative, and incisive. – Caroline Framke, Variety
Disrupting death: Technologists explore ways to digitize life
Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond are attempting to disrupt what has long been seen as one of the only inevitabilities of life: death.
Computer scientists and artificial intelligence specialists are developing programs that allow people to theoretically avoid death, opening the door to near-everlasting life as well as a myriad of ethical and philosophical questions. – Mach
iHeart Chapter 11 moving along just fine
iHeart's reported revenue in Q2 was $853.3M, down 3.5% compared to Q2 2017. The six-month revenue was $1.597B, down 2.7% percent from a year ago. The company posted $228.4M in operating income for the quarter, down 13% from Q2 2017. For the first six months, operating income was down 14% to $352.3M. – Earnings call transcript
Deezer raises $185M in new funding round
Paris-headquartered music streaming service Deezer has raised another €160 million (around US$185 million) in funding, the company announced Thursday morning. This new round of funding values the company at $1.16B.– Variety
UK print advertising posts a gain
National newspapers in the UK are experiencing the best start to a year in almost a decade, thanks to a combination of factors including an advertiser backlash against Facebook and Google. – The Guardian
The way you swipe your phone could be used to track you
While data breaches and scandals like the Facebook Cambridge Analytica privacy debacle are making us more aware of our privacy settings, the researchers warn that privacy settings may not be enough, as plenty of apps need to collect information about gesture input that "enhance the quality of experience" on the app. – CNET
Does your vacation rental have hidden cameras? Here's how to find out
If you are particularly worried about hidden cameras in your rental and are willing to spend upwards of $80 for peace of mind, get a radio frequency (RF) detector. – CNET