Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: May 27, 2020

Torstar agrees to $52M sale to NordStar Capital

The transaction, which will see the media company taken private, was recommended by a special committee of Torstar's board of directors and has the support of the majority of its shareholders and its largest independent shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

NordStar is controlled by Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett and wholly owned by the Bitove and Rivett families. Rivett recently retired from his role as president of Fairfax Financial Holdings.

The Globe and Mail reports the company has $69-million in cash on its balance sheet – more than the $51-million acquisition price and Torstar flagship daily The Star reports on the sale here. – Main story: The Canadian Press

CBC launches This Is Not A Drake Podcast series

The five-part limited-run series starts June 3 and focusses on how hip-hop – and its journey to mainstream dominance – produced Drake in the first place.

“Drake is really the culmination of many moments, artists, songs – some heard and so many more unheard – who are all responsible for making hip-hop and Black music the dominant cultural force it is right now,” Ty Harper, host and co-producer, This Is Not A Drake Podcast, said in a pubcaster release Tuesday.

Don Shafer and Eric Rothschild want to celebrate radio’s centenary with your stories

“Eric Rothschild and I were talking last week about celebrating radios 100th by sharing some of the stories of radio and records in Canada,” the retired broadcast exec writes the column. “Wondering if you might have a few and if you can recommend anyone in particular that would be fun?”

To this end, the celebrated duo has organized a Zoom cast Sunday, June 7 at 3 pm ET.

By way of further explanation, Shafer writes:

“We envision a semi-structured hour which we'll organize, and our hope is that 5 to 10 storytellers will join us sharing some of those incredible moments that happened on and off the air. It doesn’t matter who tells the story, whose lens, or if it's from the private and public sectors, as long as its about radio. The challenge is where to start? By city, by station, by format, by department, or perhaps by topic such as radio & records? 

“For the initial zoom cast, we thought we would focus on music and radio as the songs that came out of that little box pulled so many of us into it. We also realize that music as well as news, drama, sports, talk,  and other things brought our radios to life and we don’t want to miss those stories either. So, who has one to share?

“To get started we need a handful of storytellers to share that special moment where radio and records came together, any station any city in Canada.  We’re thinking of stories that can be told in 5 minutes or less. We don’t even know if that’s possible but it’s a place to start from. This is a singular event at the moment however if it catches on and there is enough interest, we will schedule more events and make them thematic.  

“If you like the idea, let us know and please share this with your friends. 

“So, what’s your story? 

Send Eric (eric@rothschildco.com) and me (don@donshafer.com) a note if you have a story to share or if you plan to attend so we have enough bandwidth.”

WIPO offers new watermarked digital files service

In just a few clicks, WIPO PROOF helps safeguard digital files of any size, in any format, whether they are numeric, image, executable, text or audio-visual. A ‘how it works’ pictograph explains the process here. On the surface, this looks to be the bulletproof vest that media companies have needed to protect themselves from scraped aggregation providers. – World Intellectual Property Org

Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time

The action comes after years of criticism that social media companies have allowed the president to push misinformation unchecked. – Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post

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