Media Beat: April 15, 2020

By David Farrell

Bruce Allen’ Reality Check: One person to blame for the American crisis

Parliament passes $73B wage subsidy bill for rehires

The bill at the heart of Saturday's debate will put in place the multi-billion-dollar Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) that is intended to encourage companies to rehire workers by offering a 75 percent wage subsidy over the next three months to businesses that have lost 30 percent of their revenue due to the crisis. Companies will need to reapply for the program each month. – CBC News

Ipsos poll: 3 in 10 Canadians couldn’t pay bills if they lost a job due to coronavirus

If nearly 40 percent of Canadians under the age of 55 lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, they would have one week or less of savings to cover costs like food and rent.


That’s according to an Ipsos poll, commissioned by Global News, which shows that while the average person has nearly three months worth of savings, “a significant proportion of Canadians have almost no capacity to pay for their bills without an income.” – Jane Gerster, Global News

Global News launches Sunday night coronavirus news show

With a shifting timeline for a return to social normalcy, Global News is launching a Sunday 7 pm EST show titled ‘Coronavirus: The New Reality.’ The 60-minute addition “will delve into exclusive polling on the pressures that the coronavirus crisis is putting on the finances of Canadians, give advice on how to prepare children for what is to come and provide spot-news interviews with emergency room doctors, epidemiologists and other medics on the frontlines.

CBC launches $2M fund to support Canadian creators during coronavirus

Eligible projects include scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, children’s programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries. – The Canadian Press

Shaw temporarily lays off 10 percent of its workforce

Most of those laid off work in retail and sales roles across the cable and affiliated Freedom mobile stores, the company said in an emailed release. The company said it currently has about 10,000 employees and fewer than 1,000 were laid off. -- CBC News

Canada’s sports-radio jocks divine creativity during the troubles

Working remotely with a patchwork of bundled tech and no new games to cover, familiar voices over the air are rising to the challenge with homespun broadcasts, as The Globe and Mail’s Simon Houpt discovers.


From behind the scenes to the forefront: Canada’s public health officers

Daily briefings by public health officers across the country have turned them into celebrities and prompted songs, T-shirts, street art and fan clubs. – Catherine Porter, The New York Times

Canada’s telco’s showing a generosity of spirit to all of us homebound

Phone, internet and television companies are making it easier for customers by providing free TV channels and waiving fees for a limited time during the pandemic. – Carli Berry, Penticton News

What will Canada’s economy look like in 3 months?

HuffPost business editor Daniel Tencer offers “the bad, the good and the ugly” on what may be ahead. Cut out the sugar and message is another 60 days of business closures threatens to create an insolvency crisis that could trigger a financial pandemic.

ELMT-FM T.O. -drive host Julian Taylor teases his next album

The former Staggered Crossing frontman with a 10 album catalogue has been hosting weekday afternoon drive since the fall of 2018 at Toronto’s Indigenous  ELMNT FM and this past Friday, the tireless singer-songwriter and musician did a NAC Facebook live-stream performance that he used to tease the release of his June 19 album release. Both the single and album are entitled The Ridge that in part offers a reflection of his younger self spending summers in Maple Ridge, BC with his grandparents on a farm surrounded by the Rockies, and the Fraser and Alouette rivers.  


Fox News faces lawsuit for calling Covid-19 a ‘hoax’

In a lawsuit filed by the non-profit group, Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE), Fox News has been accused of violating Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act by falsely stating in February and March broadcasts that the novel coronavirus was a hoax, downplaying the crisis in a way that potentially undermined efforts to slow the spread of the disease. – Bryan Sullivan, Forbes

Covid-19’s early impact on the usage of streaming services

The Myers Report asked 1,500 US consumers on March 25 and 26 a series of questions about the impact that Covid-19 has made on their video viewing habits. Fewer than half of the respondents said viewership of streaming services had gone up, 34% reported they're watching between one to nine incremental hours per week of streaming services; however, only parts of the country were under lock-down at the time the study was conducted. You can dig into the stats here.


French regulator says Google must pay to link to news sites

Despite the EU's new copyright directive, Google has so far refused to pay fees in order to send site traffic. – Timothy B. Lee, Wired

France’s ruling could force Google to pay news media in Canada

Canada’s competition bureau is reviewing the nuances of the European ruling and has stated it is particularly interested in legislative efforts pertaining to the digital economy. –Financial Post

The show must go on for local sportscasters

Local sports radio stations across the US are feeling the impact of the pandemic as advertisers pause or cancel their planned buys. While some are adjusting their budget for the year, others are being forced to cut local programming and many are finding new creativity in retaining and even adding local businesses as advertisers. – Kristi Dosh, Forbes

Advertising budgets could take a $3B hit over coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic could slash as much as $3B from advertising and marketing budgets in 2020, according to a new Myers report. Myers was predicting $227B would be spent on advertising and marketing in the US this year— a 6.2 percent increase from 2019. ­– Keith J. Kelly, New York Post

iHeart expects to save US$250M in 2020

The savings, expense reductions, salary cuts and furloughs are all a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to an SEC filing from Tuesday. – Radio Ink

Local TV’s practical and positive responses to Coronavirus

I follow more than 500 TV stations’ Facebook pages and what I see every day are countless examples of news coverage about the coronavirus. All necessary, all important. But what I want to share are examples of the more practical posts on how to cope with the disruptions, and the measures some are taking to help each other. – Paul Greeley, TVNewsCheck


News media ravaged by the pandemic

Roughly 28,000 workers at news companies in the U.S. have been laid off, been furloughed or had their pay reduced. Some publications that rely on ads have shut down. – Marc Tracy, The New York Times

Bob Iger thought he was leaving on top. Now, he’s fighting for Disney’s life

Mr. Iger is now intensely focused on remaking a company that will emerge, he believes, deeply changed by the crisis. The sketch he has drawn for associates offers a glimpse at the post-pandemic future: It’s a Disney with fewer employees, leading the new and uncertain business of how to gather people safely for entertainment. – Ben Smith, The New York Times

This is sort of the perfect storm for traditional media, analyst says

This is sort of the perfect storm for traditional media, says analyst Rich Greenfield. Basically, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong all at once. And the after-effects in terms of a weakened economy could take years to turn around. There’s no getting around it at all. I think anything in the traditional media universe is tough to own right now. Barron’s Jack Hough spoke with him recently about theme parks, movies, television and streaming. ­–

Why the Covid-19 mortgage crisis may be worse than the last one

With companies like Equinox, Staples, and Cheesecake Factory, along with millions of tenants, not paying their rent, the ripples are already being felt on Wall Street. And the storm may be immense. – William D. Cohan, Vanity Fair


Guide to Instagram and Facebook live streams and virtual concerts

With everyone staying home to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic and all live music cancelled for the foreseeable future, many artists have been turning to social media to stay connected to their fans. Here are just some of the artists who have been regularly posting content and entertaining us while in isolation. –  Megan Forsyth and Arusa Qureshi, The List

And the CBC is constantly updating its own list of Maple music live streams

CBC Music is keeping an eye out for Canadian musicians' live streams and efforts to keep creating while most people are self-isolating. You may need to refresh the web page to find the latest updates.

Drake’s gilded pile reportedly cost him $100M

HighSnobiety has collected a handful of Instagram pics of Drizzy’s Post Road rap palace that exhibits vulgarity in the extreme. Readers have spoken with their own assessments fed by Twitter; my favourite is posted by Alyssa Vingan Klein who posits: “Drake’s home has all the charm of one of those luxury malls you have to walk through to get between hotels/casinos in Vegas.”

For a further walkthrough, Architectural Digest offers better pics and more details, even as it reads like an advertorial.

I’ve finally found the perfect EV — and it was made in 1953

All other EVs should step aside, because Lunaz is making the perfect electric vehicle, and it’s based on a 1953 Jaguar XK120.

Lunaz says its motors are good for a power output of up to 700NM of torque (516lb ft) from idle and 375 bhp (380 ps) peak power. In other words, it’ll be far faster than anyone realistically needs it to be. Sure, a Tesla can do zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, but why would you worry about speed when you’ll look so damn good driving this thing?

The Lunaz’s bespoke EV conversions like the XK120 start at US$416K. – Matthew Beedham, TNW

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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