Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: September 05, 2018

CRTC renews all mandatory TV subscription orders

If the CRTC is trying to wean the broadcasting system off of free money, it hasn’t been showing it in the past couple of weeks as it has renewed mandatory distribution orders for most services that have that special status requiring all cable, satellite and IPTV subscribers to subscribe to those services.

Every service whose status was up for renewal on Aug. 31 was renewed, with three getting an increase in their per-subscriber fee and one getting a decrease. – Fagstein

Ottawa’s Jump! 106.9 replaces morning show hosts with canned US program

Morning radio show hosts Jesse Reynolds and Jenna were let go from Jump 106.9, with the Corus Entertainment station replacing the duo with a U.S.-based network program, Brooke & Jubal in the Morning, beginning Tuesday.

“This move will help maximize how we deliver content to listeners and further position radio brands for the future,” Corus Entertainment spokesperson Rishma Govani told the Ottawa Citizen in an email. “These decisions are never easy and we sincerely thank the hosts for their hard work and dedicated service.” – Aadan Helmer, Ottawa Citizen

KWT Global acquires Holmes PR

KWT Global of New York has acquired Toronto-based Holmes PR. According to the company, the deal will allow KWT to expand its operations in Canada. Agency founder Katherine Holmes and nine staff members join KWT immediately. KWT Global, formerly known as Kwittken, is a subsidiary of MDC Partners.

"KWT has been looking for the right partner to expand our Canadian offering, and we have found it with Holmes PR," said Betsy Cooper, managing director of KWT Global. "They have built an excellent reputation in the arts, culture and entertainment industries, with strong Canadian brands, and we believe this is a great complement to our current experience."

Holmes PR's clients include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Aga Khan Museum, AMC Network, Canada's Walk of Fame, the Canadian National Exhibition, Cirque du Soleil, Harbourfront Centre, IHeartRadio, MMVAs, O'Cannabiz and Grow Up Cannabis Conferences, Scouts Canada, Shaftsbury Films, Sirius XM and the Toronto International Boat Show. – KWT Global

Donors blast Board at Jazz.FM AGM

It wasn’t all bad news at the Aug. 31 AGM, however; after the tumultuous, packed meeting, interim CEO Charles Cutts told the Star that three large, for-profit corporations have recently approached and expressed an interest in some sort of business relationship with the station. – Donovan Vincent, The Star

OAB names this year’s Lifetime Achievers

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters has named Ross Kentner and Barbara Williams as this year’s recipients of the Hall of Fame Award for lifetime achievement. The presentations will be made at a Nov. 8 convention set in Toronto.

Kentner recently retired after 56 years with Bayshore Broadcasting and is a past chair of the OAB.

Williams is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Corus Entertainment Inc. and has held senior posts with Shaw Media, Canwest Broadcasting, and Alliance Atlantis. – OAB

Fagstein’s latest Media News Digest

Governments around the world, including Canada, are calling for journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo to be released.

The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale started a bit of a firestorm after he published an account of an off-the-record conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Bloomberg News journalists about NAFTA.

Trump got mad (then pretended he wasn't mad) and everyone just assumed the Bloomberg journalists fed Dale the quote, forcing him to clarify that the info didn't come from the journalists. NBC News is defending its decision not to publish Ronan Farrow's reporting into Harvey Weinstein, which prompted the journalist to go to the New Yorker instead.

NBC points out that Farrow did not have any on-the-record sources who would be willing to go on camera, making it difficult to broadcast such a story, and that much of the on-the-record accounts that solidified the reporting came after he had left NBC. The Associated Press had to retract a news alert that film director Costa Gavras had died – Steve Faguy

NAFTA and copyright: What happens next?

In the digital trade chapter, the US Trade Representative summary states that the US and Mexico agreed to:

Limit the civil liability of Internet platforms for third-party content that such platforms host or process, outside of the realm intellectual property enforcement, thereby enhancing the economic viability of these engines of growth that depend on user interaction and user content.

This is problematic, as Barry Sookman has argued in Inside Policy, because this provision could be used to grant internet platforms extensive, overly-broad immunity from liability for content carried or published on their platforms along the lines provided by Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA). This piece of legislation has been abused in the US and was recently amended through enactment of SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act) as the safe harbour provisions were being exploited by porn websites such as Backpage to promote activities related to online sex trafficking. – Hugh Stephens Blog

Trump threatens NBC’s licenses

President Donald Trump has slammed NBC News for its handling of Ronan Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein story and suggests that it could be grounds for taking a look at the company’s broadcast licenses.

Trump joined the chorus of critics of NBC News over its handling of Farrow’s investigative report into sexual assault allegations against now-disgraced film mogul Weinstein.

NBC News on Sunday released a lengthy memo and internal report documenting Farrow’s reporting at various stages at NBC, until Farrow in August 2017 took the story to the New Yorker. – Cynthia Littleton, Variety

Amazon sets its sights on $88B online ad market

Amazon, which has already reshaped and dominated the online retail landscape, is quickly gathering momentum in a new, highly profitable arena: online advertising, where it is rapidly emerging as a major competitor to Google and Facebook.

The push by the giant online retailer means consumers — even Prime customers, who pay $119 a year for access to free shipping as well as streaming music, video and discounts — are likely to be confronted by ads in places where they didn’t exist before. – Julie Creswell, NYT

Yahoo and AOL plan to monetize your emails

According to the Wall Street Journal, Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that owns both email providers, “has been pitching a service to advertisers that analyzes more than 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes and the rich user data they contain.” This data is then used to figure out what products and services to target its users with. The pitch also broadens out to bring AOL users’ emails into the fold.

Google now tracking Mastercard swipe data

For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for.

The alliance with Mastercard gives Google an unprecedented asset for measuring retail spending, part of the search giant's strategy to fortify its primary business against onslaughts from Amazon.com Inc. and others. – Ad Age

Silicon Valley’ engineers checking big tech’s amoral drift

You don’t need to be a billionaire with a 10,000-foot view, like Elon Musk, to worry about how quickly technology has spread across the globe—or how easily it can be wielded for mischief.

Take a look at the complete lack of foresight regarding developments in artificial intelligence. Or how a gang of twentysomething founders was able to create a mass-surveillance society because it was easier to get better ads by tracking people down to their emotional DNA. Then there is the lack of humility regarding driverless cars that will one day save lives, but can also be turned into weapons in the meantime; or the ways in which mass automation will soon put millions out of work and create a permanent underclass; or how the same mass-media platforms that we all use to share photos of our pets and cappuccinos were manipulated by foreign powers and domestic doofuses to give us Donald Trump and Alex Jones. It’s no wonder engineers don’t want to be a part of it all. – Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair

Can a smart speaker replace a kitchen radio?

There’s no doubt that smart speakers are being used more than ever to listen to the radio, and that’s good news for the industry. I’ve certainly discovered that it is a very viable replacement for a kitchen radio. But it’s been interesting how it’s changed my radio habits, too — rediscovering a radio station on an inconvenient waveband, and hearing a bit more on-demand content, too. – James Cridland, Medium

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