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Media Beat: July 20, 2018

By David Farrell

Rogers Media Gives CITI-FM host Dave Wheeler the pink slip

Following a suspension a day after his making infelicitous remarks on-air about transgender people during his Wheeler in the Morning weekday show, Rogers Media says it has fired 92.1 CITI FM Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler.

Rogers Media spokesperson Andrea Goldstein confirmed the firing in an emailed statement Wednesday morning.

"There have been multiple disciplinary incidents, and in spite of numerous conversations, he has continued to offend our audiences," Goldstein wrote.

"As a result, we have ended our relationship with him and he is no longer with the company, effective immediately."


The decision followed a backlash from a handful of businesses announcing they would be pulling their ads from 92.1 CITI FM in light of Wheeler's comments. —

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Sarah Petz, CBC News

Rogers expands CityNews footprint in three new regions

The hyper-local CityNews teams in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton are being augmented with new bureaus in Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal, effective Sept. 3. All told, the media company is adding 16 journalists to its seven-day CityNews at Sixat 6 pm and CityNews Tonight at 11 pm schedules.

Shaw adds affordable Freedom to mobile users

Shaw Communications’ Freedom mobile is offering one gigabyte of data and unlimited text for $25 a month and 250 megabytes of data, 100 minutes of talk and unlimited texts for $15 a month.

Separately, Shaw has launched a new high-speed, unlimited residential data plan called 300 Internet.

Internet 300 is available for an introductory offer as low as $55 per month for the first six months on a price-guaranteed 2-year plan. Shaw’s latest advanced WiFi modem is included.

John Donabie’s last waltz, with Toronto Mike

After 53 years on the air at an alphabet soup of radio stations, including Toronto brands CKFH, CFRB, CHUM-FM and Q107, CBC, and, most recently, hosting a show on CIUT 89.5 FM, John Donabie has taken retirement. Shy in person, fastidious in his professional life, with a big heart for roots music, he sat down with Toronto Mike recently for a free-wheeling chat about his life on the air, and some of many memorable interviews he has conducted. Options to listen to the podcast are here.

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Netflix lands SiriusXM comedy channel

Netflix will launch a comedy radio channel by Jan. with satellite radio provider SiriusXM next year, dubbed Netflix is a Joke Radio. The deal marks the streaming video company’s first foray into audio and the latest expansion of its comedy empire.

The deal would add to SiriusXM’s roster of comedy radio stations and give the satellite radio company access to Netflix’s growing library of comedy content, which includes Netflix-produced specials from such big names as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sarah Silverman. — MarketWatch

Comcast yields to Disney in Fox bidding war

Comcast Corp. dropped its bid for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets amid mounting odds, clearing the way for rival Walt Disney Co. to acquire key pieces of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire for US$71.3B.

However, Comcast said it was still pursuing European pay-television giant Sky PLC, which also has been the subject of a takeover battle between Comcast and Fox. — WSJ

Are morning news podcasts a new competitor?

NPR, New York Times and ABC think they’re an opportunity.

NPR’s 42 podcasts are now reaching 20.4 million unique listeners monthly, Nielsen Audio ratings for programs like “Morning Edition” are maintaining peak levels, just under 38 million listeners each week. — RadioWorld

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Slavery is alive and well and helping stock store shelves

There were 40.3 million people around the world living in slavery in 2016 — including 400,000 in the U.S., according to estimates in the 2018 Global Slavery Index that was presented at the United Nations by the Walk Free Foundation, a global organization combating modern slavery. — Stef W. Knight, Axios

RIP

Adrian Cronauer, a disc jockey, actor and Pentagon adviser whose story as a radio host during the Vietnam War inspired the 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam,” helping make its star Robin Williams a household name, died Wednesday in Troutville, Va. He was 79.

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Karan Aujla
Photography team: Ishmil Waterman, Lane Dorsey, Sasha Jairam/Billboard Canada. Styling by Veronika Lipatova, Nikita Jaisinghani, Aliecia Brisette. Makeup & Hair by Franceline Graham.

Karan Aujla


Chart Beat

Canadian-Punjabi Artists Ikky & Karan Aujla Make YouTube’s Top 10 Most-Watched Videos of 2023

The two artists, who were part of Billboard Canada's Punjabi Wave cover, sit amongst the top artists in the world on YouTube's list.

Ikky and Karan Aujla continue to take their place alongside the biggest artists in the world. After making the highest-charting Punjabi album debut in Canadian history this year, the two Punjabi-Canadian artists are now among Canada’s top most-watched music videos of 2023 on YouTube.

Two of Ikky and Aujla’s collaborations made the top 10 list, with “52 Bars” at No. 3 and “Take It Easy” at No. 8, both from their Four You EP.

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