Media Beat: April 17, 2020

RTDNA announces regional winners online

Media Beat: April 17, 2020

By David Farrell

RTDNA announces regional winners online

The four regional 2020 Radio, Television & Digital News Association (RTDNA) winners were announced online Wednesday the 15th in place of regional galas and the annual conference which were cancelled.

National, Network and Lifetime Achievement award winners will be announced in the coming days.

The full complement of winners can be found by following the embedded links: Western, Prairies, Central and Eastern regions.

Destiny Media financials and hirings

Q2 revenue from Destiny Media-owned Play MPE, the Vancouver cloud-based digital media distro, fell by approximately US$57K, while total expenditures for the quarter and year to date increased approximately 23% due to restructuring, marketing costs, share buy-backs, and new hires (as explained in an April 16 earnings call). Expansion in Canada, Latino radio in the US, and product delivery translations into Spanish, German, Japanese and French are viewed as enhancements to the overall product line and one-time costs represented in the quarter that ended Feb. 29.


Other news from the Vancouver-based firm is the hiring of Glenn Mattern in the newly created position of Director of Business Development.

Winnipeg Jets to re-broadcast most iconic games of 2.0 era

The Jets announced a schedule of seven games from their last nine seasons as part of “Jets Rewind” that will be streamed on NHL Live in Canada. – Russ Hobson, Global News

Broadcast college donates 10 hot meals daily, challenges others to do the same

Staff at the Western Academy Broadcasting College are giving back to the community with hot meals for a local shelter. Don Scott, educational director at the college came up with the idea to donate 10 meals a day to Saskatoon’s Lighthouse. – Chad Leroux, CTV News

Cape Breton brothers lift spirits with YouTube basement broadcasts

Cape Breton brothers Liam (11) and (9-year-old) Lucas Sakalauskas have broadcast East Coast Kids from their basement since school was suspended. The new broadcast team is a hit with viewers because of their on-air chemistry, which comes naturally for the two brothers. – Ryan MacDonald, CTV News

StokeFM raises over $10,000 to keep broadcasting

The station says the money will be used to pay their rent and staff. “Radio ain’t cheap, and times are strange.”


StokeFM is Revelstoke’s only community, not-for-profit radio station. – Liam Harp, Revelstoke Review

Telecom sector in better shape than most, but still at risk

Independent telecom consultant Mark Goldberg says people "are consuming a lot of internet and TV" while working and studying from home.

But despite the high performance and value of those services, Goldberg says "a big question mark for everybody is this risk on bad debt." – Dave Paddon, The Canadian Press

How radio and TV hosts are keeping their shows on air from home

Distractions and dodgy wi-fi aside, there were undoubtedly benefits to broadcasting from home, The World At One host Sarah Montague says.

"Not having to commute was a dream, although straight afterwards I got off air and then everybody expected me to make them lunch! They wouldn't normally expect that they'd have to get it themselves. That was the downside," she says.

"But the upside was that within minutes after coming off-air we were all sitting round the table eating, and the dog jumped up on my lap."

There was one other major perk to working from home, Montague points out. "There's much better coffee here than at the BBC." – Steven McIntosh, BBC News

EU broadcasting body calls for internet regulation amid crisis

An assembly of EU TV broadcasters is asking member countries to help their own national broadcasters withstand a major drop in revenue.  Such measures should include tax credits for advertising investments, a direct stimulus to the entire economy via the promotion of products and services during the recovery. – Alana Foster, IB 365


Survey: TV news viewership is up during the troubles

Not a surprise in a stay-at-home population, but according to a new Horowitz Research study, almost two thirds (63%) of respondents said they are watching more news during the pandemic and broadcast news is cited by more people as one of the most trustworthy sources. – John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable


Microsoft pacts with NBA for game broadcasts

Those who have the NBA League Pass subscription service will be able to view this new broadcasting system. The new platform will begin with the 2020-21 NBA season, launching with new gaming elements and rewards with fans earning loyalty points simply for watching on the platform, which could potentially be used for discounts on merchandise, tickets, or exclusive content according to Variety. – Olivia Harris, GameSpot

Broadcasters get behind all-digital AM option

HD Radio developer Xperi is offering AM stations a license to use all-digital technology in perpetuity without any initial or ongoing licensing fees. – RadioWorld

Consumers think brands need to continue advertising during the troubles

A March 2020 survey by GlobalWebIndex asked internet users in 13 markets whether brands should continue advertising as normal. Nearly four in 10 US respondents ages 16 to 64 agreed, and a similar share (35%) were neutral, compared with 28% who disagreed. (The global results were on par with those in the US, at 37%, 36% and 27%, respectively.) – Jasmine Enberg, eMarketer

Scottish sports broadcaster's viral commentary of his dogs goes viral

Andrew Cotter, who works primarily for the BBC covering mainly golf and rugby, has taken to providing hilarious commentary on Twitter @MrAndrewCotter on the interactions of his labradors Olive and Mabel. However, he posted his latest viral video — Game of Bones — to YouTube, which you can see here.

Who’s Zooming you?

CNET reports on a new vulnerability that allowed someone to search for stored Zoom videos using share links that contain part of a URL, such as a company or organization name. The videos could then be downloaded and viewed. Then there’s a tool, called Zoombo, that exploits a limitation of Zoom's privacy protection, cracking passwords on videos that savvy users had manually protected. He discovered videos that were deleted remained available for several hours before disappearing. Separately, the video below offers tips on how to protect yourself from spying eyes when using the platform.



Marke Raines, a journalist who had ground-breaking careers in radio and television in British Columbia before successfully running for Parliament in the 1970s, has died, according to his family. He was 93. – Sean Boynton, Global News

Veteran Saint John broadcast journalist Graham Brown died on April 1 following a long illness. The 71-year-old worked for Acadia Broadcasting, Maritime Broadcasting and former Rogers station News 88.9, among others. – Tamara Steele, Country 94.1

Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion


Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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