Media Beat: January 17, 2022

Media Beat: January 17, 2022

By David Farrell

Colette Watson named new president of Rogers Sports and Media

She will officially replace Jordan Banks in the role on Monday.

Banks is leaving Rogers after more than two years as president.

The Canadian Press confirmed the decision by acquiring an internal memo from Rogers chief executive officer Tony Staffieri.

Watson has held several senior roles across several Rogers divisions over 30 years, most recently leading its TV and Broadcast operations. – The Canadian Press

The plot thickens in Rogers’ cable-cutting horror story

…Rogers and other Canadian telcos don’t just follow the boardroom drama with “Succession”; they also share the show’s simmering attention to how new technology has upended the familiar contours of the TV business.


Consider: a recent forecast from eMarketer suggested that less than half of all Canadian households will subscribe to paid TV services this year. That is a stunning turnaround. In 2015, three quarters of Canadians subscribed to pay-TV … – Navneet Alang, Toronto Star

Is Audio OOH the next media channel to watch?

Stingray is so confident in audio out-of-home's future that it is aggressively positioning itself at the forefront of the business. It recently partnered with Hivestack and Dollarama as a client, and just last week, the company purchased Princeton, New Jersey-based InStore Audio Network, the largest in-store audio advertising network in the U.S., for CDN$59 million.

With a weekly reach of 100 million shoppers through 16,000 grocery retailers and pharmacies in the U.S. and Canada – including prominent south-of-the-border retailers such as CVS, Rite Aid, Albertsons, Safeway, Southeastern Grocers – Audio Network generated approximately CDN$18.5 million in revenues in 2020. – Nick Krewen, Media In Canada (subscription needed)

15 movement victories in 2021 you may not have heard about

Cops out of schools, Indigenous land defended, and new tenants’ rights—last year may have sucked, but social movements in Canada still won important gains – Scott Neigh, The Breach

Destiny Media Q1 earnings report

Vancouver-based Destiny Media Technologies Inc. on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $166,000.

On a per-share basis, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said it had net income of 2 cents.


The distributor of secured pre-release music and video posted revenue of $1.1 million in the period, an almost 2% increase over the same-quarter of 2020.

Other highlights include a 65% increase in revenue from U.S. majors in the quarter; the signing of an exclusive two-year agreement with Warner Records in South Africa; continued expansion in the US, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Belize, and Chile; and confirmation of renewal discussions with Universal Music.

Canada’s media has found a new explanation for its covid crisis

As is the case in most places, the majority of Canadians being hospitalized by covid-19 are unvaccinated. It’s a relatively small population, but if the amount of rage directed toward them seems disproportionate, it’s only because their impact has been, with the overflowing hospital situation in Canada’s progressive provinces now resembling the reddest states in the United States, where the percentage of unvaccinated is around twice as large. Yet, as many are starting to observe, the shockingly meager capacities of Canadian hospitals resembled, say, covid-era Alabama even before the pandemic. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada has only 12.9 intensive care beds per 100,000 people — exactly half that of the United States. – J.J. McCullough, The Washington Post


Corus backs episodic series about black history in Canada

The four-part legacy doc starts in Nova Scotia in the 1700s, carries through the war of 1812 and the first black settlement in British Columbia, and the history behind black porters who serviced the needs and wishes of passengers riding the rails overnight on Pullman rail cars. BLK: An Origin Story is a joint venture between Corus Ent.’s History channel and Hungry Eyes Media Group, starting on Global, Saturday, Feb. 26 at 9 pm ET/PT.

"Black people are entitled to know how they have taken up space in Canada, going back to the beginning of how the country's identity has been shaped. The historic learnings that we share in this documentary series are vitally important for our communities since we cannot move forward without acknowledging our tremendous contributions to Canada's past," said Sudz Sutherland, co-executive producer of the four, hour-long series. "In shedding these lights, the series contributes to the larger societal conversation toward dismantling systemic racism." 


Rick Mercer reflects on his career, comedy’s place in politics

YouTube dominates the podcast market as Apple’s share slides

More than one in four monthly podcast listeners (27%) name YouTube as the platform they use most often. That’s up 4 points over last year even as Joe Rogan left YouTube for his $100 million exclusivity deal with Spotify. And we’re not just talking Canada. YouTube has also established itself as one of the Big 3 podcast platforms among weekly podcast listeners in the US, based on the Fall 2021 Podcast Download Study we just worked on with Cumulus Media.  – Jeff Vidler, Signal Hill Insights

The New York Times is on the hunt for its next media columnist

Ben Smith’s abrupt exit has sparked a newsroom guessing game for his successor—Katie Rosman? Wesley Lowery? —though, as one insider put it, the Times, which is already replenishing its media desk, has an opportunity “for rethinking the focus” of its signature column. – Charlotte Klein, Vanity Fair

China before the Games begin

3 weeks are left for Beijing Winter Olympics, but the images from China don't inspire confidence. Infected Chinese are being locked in metal boxes, dragged from their homes & packed into buses to quarantine camps. Palki Sharma gets you 3 videos that tell the story.

Fighting covid: They didn’t look to the United States. They asked Cuba

Racing to prevent the collapse of their healthcare systems overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, vulnerable Caribbean nations last month turned to a neighbouring country in a desperate plea for help.

Over eight days the Caribbean island, which has remodeled medical cooperation into its most profitable source of revenue, sent at least 473 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to eight Caribbean nations in what appears to be one of the island’s largest and fastest deployments to the region in the history of its “solidarity” medical missions.


The largest groups of Cuban medical workers were sent to Jamaica (140), St. Lucia (113), and Barbados (101).

Smaller groups travelled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (16), Antigua and Barbuda (29), Dominica (35), St. Kitts and Nevis (34) and Grenada (5). The health workers sent to Barbados and Grenada, mostly women, are nurses. Still, other countries received a combination of physicians, nurses, and technicians who are members of a Cuban “international brigade” that specializes in disaster situations and epidemics.

They are among more than 1,000 healthcare workers that Cuba has sent to 18 countries on three continents since the start of the deadly pandemic... – Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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