Media Beat: August 03, 2023

Media Beat: August 03, 2023

By David Farrell

All news in Canada will be removed from Facebook, Instagram within weeks: Meta

“In order to provide clarity to the millions of Canadians and businesses who use our platforms, we are announcing today that we have begun the process of ending news availability permanently in Canada,” said Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta Canada. Curran previously served as a policy adviser for former prime minister Stephen Harper. – Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

Thomson Reuters reports higher Q2 revenue as it pushes forward generative AI tools

The second quarter was busy for Thomson Reuters as it pushed forward its adoption of generative artificial intelligence tools, striking a partnership with Microsoft Corp. and acquiring Casetext, a legal startup that built an AI-powered assistant for legal professionals, for US$650-million. Thomson Reuters also sold part of its stake in the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and returned about US$2-billion in proceeds to shareholders. – James Bradshaw, The Globe and Mail


From alt rocker to CanCon regulator: Pascale St-Onge steps up

Pascale St-Onge has lived several lives. A decade ago, the Liberal MP and now former sports minister, dyed her hair black and became a self-taught bass player for Mad June, an all-lesbian alternative rock band from Montreal described as a mix between Imagine Dragons, The Ramones and Arcade Fire. She also acted as the band’s manager.

She went on to serve as president of Quebec’s largest union for the media and cultural sectors, pushing Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to halt the media industry’s rapid decline and deliver what would eventually become the contentious Online News Act, formerly known as C-18. – Catherine Lévesque, National Post

Canada’s new culture minister will have to tackle tech bullies and copyright reform

… The new Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, vows to hang tough on negotiations with the Big Tech bullies. Thankfully, she’s a former union president (of Quebec’s Fédération nationale des communications et de la culture, the province’s largest media union), so that promise may be more than mere political puffery. At any rate, Rodriguez has been allowed to pass a hot potato to a colleague – and perhaps that is his reward. – Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail


Lionsgate closes deal to acquire eOne from Hasbro for $500M

Hasbro put Entertainment One's TV and film units up for sale in November. – Variety

The AI rules that US policymakers are considering, explained

The White House announced a suite of artificial intelligence policies in May. More recently, they brokered a number of voluntary safety commitments from leading AI companies in July. That included commitments to both internal and third-party testing of AI products to ensure they’re secure against cyberattacks and guard against misuse by bad actors. – Dylan Matthews, Vox

Customers want instant gratification. U.S. workers say it's pushing them to the brink

Overworked and underpaid employees is an enduring complaint across industries -- from delivery drivers to Starbucks baristas and airline pilots -- where surges in consumer demand have collided with persistent labor shortages. Workers are pushing back against forced overtime, punishing schedules or company reliance on lower-paid, part-time or contract forces.

At issue for Hollywood screenwriters and actors staging their first simultaneous strikes in 40 years is the way streaming has upended entertainment economics, slashing pay and forcing showrunners to produce content faster with smaller teams. – Alexandra Olson, The Associated Press

Vice Media closes $350 million sale to Investors Fortress, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital

Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May after months of struggling to pay its bills. It’s a fire sale for the company, which in 2017 had boasted a valuation of $5.7 billion. – Todd Spangler, Variety


Courtesy Photo


Chart Beat

Eminem's 'Houdini' Scores a No. 1 Debut on the Canadian Hot 100

The lead single from his upcoming 12th record, The Death of Slim Shady, has given Eminem his highest spot on the chart in six years.

Look who's back: Eminem has grabbed the top spot on this week's Billboard Canadian Hot 100 with "Houdini," the lead single from his upcoming 12th LP.

The Steve Miller Band-sampling track is Eminem's highest placement on the chart since 2018's "Killshot," which held the No. 1 spot for two weeks, and is his sixth No. 1 in Canada. "Houdini" is also at No. 1 on both the Billboard Global 200 and Global Exc. U.S. charts.

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