Media Beat: April 21, 2022

By David Farrell

How did news media Canada get Bill C-18? The lobbying record tells the story

Bill C-18, the Online News Act, represents a massive win for News Media Canada, the lobbying arm for news organizations such as Postmedia and Torstar. After obtaining hundreds of millions in taxpayer support with programs such as the Local Journalism Initiative (made permanent in Budget 2022), the Journalism Labour Tax Credit, and the Digital Subscription Tax Credit, the organization set its sights on the Internet platforms. In fact, not content with obtaining payments for the reproduction of news content, it lobbied for a far broader approach that even includes payment for links or merely “facilitating access” to news content. The bill has already led to spiked op-eds critical of the government in the papers represented by News Media Canada, with critical commentary an outlier.


So what convinced the government to introduce a bill that adopts such an extreme approach? A look at the registered lobbyist meetings just since the election last September provides a hint. – Michael Geist

Canada introduces bill requiring online giants to share revenues with publishers

“The news sector in Canada is in crisis,” Pablo Rodriguez, the minister of Canadian heritage, said at a news conference. “This contributes to the heightened public mistrust and the rise of harmful disinformation in our society.”

Mr. Rodriguez said that 450 media outlets in Canada closed between 2008 and last year.

Mr. Rodriguez said the proposed law was broadly similar to Australia’s measures, but would include public reporting requirements … – Ian Austen& Vjosa Isai, The New York Times

Karen Steele named 2022 recipient of the Rosalie Award

Canadian Music Week and Radio Trailblazers have announced Virgin Radio Toronto PD Karen Steele as the recipient of the 2022 Rosalie Award which recognizes Canadian women who have blazed new trails in radio.  The presentation is to be made on Tuesday, June 7 in the Ballroom at Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel as part of the Radio Active 2022 – The Future of Audio conference.
She has programmed three Toronto radio stations over the past 15 years including; MIX 99.9, KiSS 92.5, and 99.9 Virgin Radio and started her Toronto career at MIX 99.9 where she became the FM’s first female PD, in 2005. 

In 2009, she “jumped at the opportunity” to work at the newly relaunched CHR – KiSS 92.5 and 98.1 CHFI as Promotions Director. In less than a year, Steele became PD of KiSS, working with The Roz & Mocha Show and spearheading live events; WHAM BAM, The Haus Party, headlined by Bruno Mars in his first Canadian appearance, and the National Grammy’s team for radio.


She also helped develop the Gen Now program with Seneca College providing college students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience on-air at KiSS. Under her leadership, the Toronto FM won CHR station of the year in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

In 2004, Blair Bartrem walked into her life at MIX 99.9. Literally, he walked into her office as the new PD of the MIX. In 2007 they married and have been co-creators in their personal and professional lives (when not competing) ever since.

Courtesy Photo
Chart Beat

Drake Diss Track 'Family Matters' Debuts at No.6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100

The Canadian megastar holds two spots in the top 15, while Kendrick Lamar — Drake's opponent in the chart-dominating rap feud — grabs the No. 2 spot with 'Not Like Us.'

The rap battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar dominates the charts this week, with the Toronto superstar debuting the seven minute missive “Family Matters” at No. 6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.

Lamar's final word, "Not Like Us," is proving even more popular, topping the U.S. Hot 100 and coming in at No. 2 in Canada.

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