Media Beat, Feb. 17, 2022
By David Farrell
Internet experts have cast doubt on whether the body the federal government wants to regulate streaming services and video-sharing platforms such as YouTube and Netflix has the expertise to do so.
They have also questioned whether the CRTC should be given new regulatory powers, or even if it fully understands how the internet now operates. – Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press
“Fake news.” “Go home.” “You’re the virus.” These are just a few of the insults that protesters have hurled at Evan Solomon, a reporter at national Canadian broadcaster CTV, and his colleagues as they have covered demonstrations against Covid-19 restrictions in Ottawa.
But as reporters seek to cover these developments, they are being threatened in the streets and online. The incidents mirror the experiences of journalists in the United States and Europe, who have been shouted at and even assaulted while reporting on anti-vaccine protests. – Rebecca Redelmeier, CPJ
A damning report by human rights group Amnesty International finding that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians should be a wake up call for Canada to revaluate its relationship with that country, according to advocates.
Aaron Lakoff, a spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices Canada, told The Maple his organization welcomed the report.
“I think it represents a real tide changer,” said Lakoff. “The only thing that’s surprising about it is that it's taken this long for organizations like Amnesty to come out with those kinds of conclusions, when Palestinians have been saying it for decades.” – The Maple
What if I told you that the anti-vaccination trucker protests in Canada weren’t principally about vaccines or truckers (or even Canada)? The Atlantic’s David Frum joins to set us straight about what’s going on in Ottawa and the memeification of protest politics.
… Why, I wonder, should government be subsidizing the CBC to produce what is already available on commercial radio? Like Britain’s BBC, after which it was largely modelled, it originally had higher goals. Isn’t it time for proper government funding to save the CBC from playing the numbers game, and isn’t it time for proper leadership within the CBC to aim for higher cultural standards? – Toronto Star
In a rare double-rebrand, the team behind G98.7 has taken over the long-running hip-hop station. Here's what that means. – Richard Trapunski, Now
The Slaight family has done it again
The Slaight Family Foundation, one of Toronto’s most wide-reaching family foundations, has announced its latest charitable give of $15 million to 12 organizations across Canada, focused on improving the lives of women and girls, with a focus on Indigenous, Black, racialized, refugee and immigrant communities.
A little under a year ago, they divided up $30 million to 19 Canadian organizations offering mental health services.
Slaight Communications sold Radio and became one of The Wealthiest former owners in Canada. We don't know what has since happened to The Money everyone else got, but we certainly know that The Slaight Family, led by The Late Allan Slaight, began spending a lot of their money to improve Others’ Lives from donating to Hospitals to The Arts and more.
I never worked for The Slaights. I worked, mostly, for CHUM. But there was no question, as PD of CHUM in the ‘50s/’60s, Allan Slaight made The Top 40 Format succeed in Toronto. Then he left to help with pioneering Pirate Radio in England. Unfortunately, owner Allan Waters created a committee to replace him. Big Mistake. CKFH was breathing down CHUM's neck. Fortunately, for many of us, Waters hired J. Robert Wood. JRW saved 1050 CHUM....but that's Another Story.
Following Pirate Radio in England, Al Slaight bought an AM Country Station just outside Toronto. Was he patiently waiting for The CRTC to authorize a new Toronto FM Frequency? He was. They did. Slaight won.
Q-107 was born.
Long story short, I became Program Director of CHUM-FM. Slaight brought out The Big Guns. U.S. Hot Shot Lee Abrams was The Consultant. His FM Superstars Format was destroying Progressive Rock FMs throughout America. Would CHUM-FM be next? Then Slaight hired a total of 6 former CHUMers including PD Dave Charles.
FM Radio listenership in Toronto immediately grew dramatically.
But thanks in no small part to Q-107, CHUM-FM became the #1 FM in Canada. The two of us, plus newly Formatted CFNY Brampton, brought a lot of Toronto listeners to FM. Besides, CHUM-FM was Coca-Cola. Q was Pepsi. Pepsi doesn't beat Coke unless Coke screws up.
Meanwhile, Al Slaight had been seeing to it that son Gary was 'warming up' nearby. It was Gary's turn at Q.
How Crazy did it get? Gary Slaight once went on the air to angrily call me down. He thought Q had a 'Presents' with Southside Johnny. What he didn't know was that I invited CHUM-owned City-TV to Simulcast the show.
Most importantly, what Q and CFNY also did was help give all of us the inspiration to take Album Rock Radio to a whole new level. That many were ex-CHUMers had more than a little to do with our success.
Then I quit Radio. I was 35. Was it The Mid-Life Crisis? Sort of but not really. It was Daddio's Garden, A Horse and A Girl in Banff, Shane in Jackson Hole, and friends in LA and New York.
But those are Other Stories.
Two years later I came back to Radio. First, it was CHUM, then WDRE New York, CJBK/BX-93 London and, finally, back to CHUM again. This time in Windsor/Detroit Canada's most competitive market.
Even though each movie was successful, all of them fired me. Those are certainly other Stories.
Oddly enough, each time I was fired, Gary Slaight was the first to call to hire Mme. Even when I gave up on radio and became a long-haul trucker, Gary would call.
By then, I figured he only wanted to hire me so he could fire me.
Nevertheless, I've always respected The Slaight Family. As we are witnessing today, too many of Canada's poor do not have enough with little hope for the future. That isn't how democracies succeed.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the kleptocracies/autocracies in the world that Donald Trump and the wingnuts in the U.S and Canada want us to join, have more than they need but will never have enough. To them...Greed is Good.
Thanks, Slaights, you’ve set an example of how Free World Democracies should conduct themselves. – Warren Cosford, Warren’s Network
Less than a year after Vinyl Tap was cancelled by CBC Radio, the 78-year-old Winnipeg musician tells The Canadian Press he will relaunch the series March 6 on commercial radio airwaves.
A new syndicated version has been picked up by Corus Entertainment to broadcast on nearly a dozen of its rock stations across the country. Episodes will air Sundays in most markets, which include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton and others. – David Friend, The Canadian Press
…Perhaps the changes coming to the BBC will shake us out of our policy inertia. The way to revitalize the CBC is not to spray more and more public funding at it, even as its audience grows smaller and smaller. Rather, the CBC needs to move to a subscription model: first to wean it off of advertising, but in time to replace much of its public subsidy as well.
The CBC already derives a quarter of its revenues from subscription fees on various of its ancillary services. Putting the main network on pay as well would complete the transition. – Andrew Coyne, The Globe and Mail
Irwin said she and her family while out tobogganing over the weekend at the popular park, decided to share their little friend with the community. She said her goal was to put a smile on people’s faces after what has been a difficult January for many. – Stephanie Chaves, Sarnia NewsToday. Pic by Melanie Irwin, Blackburn Media
Two top European officials have shrugged off Meta's warning that it could shut its services in Europe if data regulations there continue preventing the tech giant from sending user data back to the US.
"After being hacked, I've lived without Facebook and Twitter for four years, and life has been fantastic," German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said at a press conference in Paris.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who spoke alongside Habeck, said: "I can confirm that life is very good without Facebook and that we would live very well without Facebook." – Matthew Loh, Insider
United Robots has provided some 100 news sites with over 4 million automated articles since it launched in 2015. Texts are generated from structured data sets, and topics include all team sports, real estate (houses bought/sold), business registrations/bankruptcies, traffic and weather. – Press-Gazette
The exclusive licensing deal—and the ad dollars and profits it generates—puts Spotify squarely in the crosshairs of the controversy around Rogan’s content. The story is playing itself out in the public arena where it’s caught the attention of listeners, Spotify subscribers, investors, and consumers of brands promoted by advertisers. And so it is that the court of public opinion is where this debate will likely be settled.
That’s why we felt a brief survey asking the public how they were feeling about the controversy would shed some light on implications for JRE, Spotify and podcasting at large.
We conducted a nationally representative online survey of Canadian adults and, for comparative purposes, an abbreviated survey among American adults. Two things to bear in mind: 1) these opinions are only for the JRE podcast and shouldn’t be interpreted as any kind of blanket comment regarding editorial control over podcasts in general; and 2) the surveys took place from February 2 to 4, prior to additional accusations of racial slurs on episodes of JRE from several years ago.
Here are the results. – Jeff Vidler, Signal Hill
What to watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Apple TV+, and Disney Plus. – Laura Babiak, Observer