Media Beat: July 20, 2020

Yes Minister: Women's Rights

Starting off the week with a bit of levity, even as it be more true than we would wish it be.

Media Beat: July 20, 2020

By David Farrell

Yes Minister: Women's Rights

Starting off the week with a bit of levity, even as it be more true than we would wish it be.

Numeris rolls back the Fall Radio Diary

A great number of secondary markets nationwide this fall will be without Numeris sales and programming ratings data thanks to covid and listener disinterest in filling out manual and online diaries for the measurement firm.

Markets that will be measured using online diaries in the next ratings sweep include Victoria, Saskatoon, Regina, Kelowna, Winnipeg, Ottawa-Gatineau, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London St. Catharines-Niagara, Windsor, Barrie, Kingston, and Sudbury.

Markets such as Charlottetown, Cobourg, Cornwall, Kingston, North Bay, Oshawa-Whitby, and Lethbridge will not be surveyed.


Major markets where electronic (PPM) metres are installed – Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal – will continue to be reported on.

The Spring survey reports from manual diaries were abandoned as a result of covid restrictions in handling paper. It appears that the pandemic has sealed the fate of these measurement books which mined minimal information due to poor reporting by designated listeners.

From an internal Numeris document shared with subscribers: “In Fall 2016, Numeris launched an Online Radio Diary providing respondents with the option to complete either a paper or online diary. Increasingly, respondents are selecting to complete the diary online. Over the last few releases, markets with the highest populations (Top Markets) generated the greatest number of online diaries usually ranging from 40% to 50%.

“During this pandemic, we face the same risks as the TV Diary service with potential lockdowns and challenges associated with not being able to physically process paper diaries. However, unlike TV, we have the option for respondents to complete an online diary and produce a Fall Radio release. Considering our experience with online diaries, and after consulting with the Radio Executive Committee and with the Board’s approval, we are proceeding with an online only Fall Radio Diary service with a focus on Top Markets only.”


CanCon at 50: An American’s opinion

“… Part of Canadian radio’s value to Canadian music and artists is its ability to be a worldwide showcase. If every station is in a border market, every station now has the opportunity to be a border blaster—an 89X or CIDR (The River). At this moment, many Canadian station streams are geoblocked to the U.S. Beyond the CRTC’s on-air content regs, Canadian radio and music would benefit from any regulatory initiative that addresses royalty issues and makes international streaming more tenable. There is no reason that Canada’s world-class Alternative music and radio (as just one example) should not have the same worldwide mystique as Australia’s Triple-J.

“Canada’s major group broadcasters have separate label initiatives that support Canadian acts. My experience in America is that songs that begin with the patronage of one major broadcaster sometimes become siloed. With Canada’s broadcasters now huddling on their thoughts for the radio review, perhaps there is some sort of back-to-the-future value in reviving the Maple Leaf System of musical networking among broadcasters that preceded CanCon—not as a replacement, but an augmentation. The Radioplayer mantra of “compete on content, cooperate on technology” should perhaps extend to “cooperate on CanCon,” particularly now that radio is hardly the only gatekeeper.


“A few other thoughts starters on the regs. Category 3’s specialty genres might benefit far more from well-programmed, full-time stations in Radioplayer than from their current off-hours exposure on a handful of FM licenses. And whatever decision the CRTC might make about the remaining Hit/Non-Hit rules in Francophone markets, nearly 20 years of working with audience research shows me that the audience’s dividing line between a hit, and a song they may not even know,  whether old or new, is somewhere around a peak of No. 15 on the charts, not No. 40… “ – Sean Ross, Broadcast Dialogue


Toronto's G98.7-FM to be sold

Intercity Broadcasting Network, a Toronto-based company that operates Radio Station G98.7-FM which was placed in "investigative receivership” in June last year, has been ordered by an Ontario Court to be sold.

Delford Blythe, a minority shareholder of IBN and former CFRO, was quoted last year as saying that the station was owing “more than $200,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency; $183,000 to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the federal regulator; and additional sums of more than $165,000 to creditors who have received judgments against the station. – The Caribbean Camera

Podcaster seeks a bump

My name is Bryan Tobin. I am a 28-year-old Newfoundlander with a podcast called Tobin Tonight. I am emailing you in hopes of getting the podcast some exposure throughout Canada. The podcast consists of interviews with some of the biggest and up and coming names in Canadian Pop Culture. I interview musicians, anchors, athletes, comedians, actors and actresses. Guests have included: Tom Power, Alan Doyle, Rick Mercer, Jimmy and Heather Rankin, Peter Mansbridge, Lisa LaFlamme, James Duthie, Dean Brody, Sarah Nurse, Splash n’ Boots and Colin Mochrie.

The episodes usually run for 20-30 minutes and can be found on Spotify, Apple, Google, YouTube and We just have a down to earth, easy-going chat with the guest about their career and other topics I’m curious about related to the act.

I would love the chance to share my story and get the podcast exposure. I am a person with a disability who suffered a stroke/seizure at 14. I have always wanted to find a job in the media/entertainment business since watching SNL and Conan O’Brien. It’s still a dream of mine. I graduated with a Communications Degree, A sports Journalism Diploma and a Radio Broadcast Diploma. I have interned with CBC, CTV, and Ottawa Sun but could never find my calling or landing spot. I believe this is what I’m meant to do and I just need help letting the rest of Canada know my story and what I’m capable of.



Gen Z: The culture of content consumption

The primary motivations for consuming cultural content are entertainment and information. This is true for both Gen Z and Millennials. The ranking of these motivations, however, is telling. Gen Z tends to place a higher value on entertainment. They consume cultural content for fun or to relieve boredom.

As such, they are particularly interested in topics like internet culture/memes, humour, and gaming. The informational cultural content Gen Z consumes is often produced in an entertaining way. The tone and presentation are what draw them in and keep them engaged.

Millennials, on the other hand, place knowledge above entertainment when they seek out cultural content—they are looking to be informed and inspired. The topics they are interested in tend to be more practical, such as food, technology and health.

It is notable that both generations are highly engaged with music content. It is a universal passion point that can fulfill both recreational and intellectual needs. – Vice Media


Pledge to honour Atkinson Principles secures NordStar Capital’s Torstar bid

Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett are the anointed preferred bidders for Torstar, the newspaper’s publisher.

Barring an unforeseen twist, the company will be theirs, thanks to lock-in provisions in their latest 74-cent-a-share bid, submitted last Saturday through NordStar Capital, that prevents rival bids from being considered by the two main shareholders.

But questions are now arising about a second proposal to buy Torstar that became public late last week, from surprise bidder Canadian Modern Media Holdings… – Josh Rubin, The Star

Under hedge fund set to own McClatchy, Canadian newspapers endured big cuts

Since Chatham Asset Management took over Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, 1,600 employees have been laid off and more than 30 papers shut down.

In the last two fiscal years that ended in August, Postmedia booked losses totaling about $40 million in Canadian dollars. In the same period, it spent nearly $127 million on debt payments. During that time, it invested relatively little, about $5.4 million, to try to improve the business. – Edmund Lee, The New York Times

Live Nation, iHeartRadio, SIRIUSXM, Ticketmaster, and Pandora are now all under the control of one man

The Justice Department has approved billionaire John Malone’s takeover of iHeartMedia. He now controls the music industry from the root to the fruit. 

The Justice Department has green-lit a proposal by Liberty Media to increase its holdings in iHeartMedia. iHeartMedia is the owner of the nation’s largest collection of broadcast radio stations. This deal would expand a stranglehold on the radio market by a company that already owns and operates Sirius XM and Pandora. Liberty Media has controlling stakes in concert behemoths Live Nation and Ticketmaster. The decision has granted owner John Malone and Liberty Media a virtual 360-degree domination of the music industry via radio, streaming, concerts, festivals, and ticketing. – David Icke Turner, testset

Twitch is bringing radio to your face

Twitch, home to popular esports streamers, is partnering with parent Entercom for interactive livestreams of sports radio stations in major cities in the U.S.

The partnership, first reported by Variety, will see popular sports stations in Boston, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit livestreamed through dedicated branded channels on the Twitch platform. VP David Rosenbloom said the partnership would introduce traditional sports broadcasting to “a new generation of sports fans”.

Twitch isn’t just a hub for esports streamers anymore, and Twitch has begun expanding its content offerings on the platform to include other entertainment as well. Jane Weedon, Director of New Verticals at Twitch, said in a statement that Twitch has in recent years seen a growing community of sports fans on the platform. – Catie Keck, Gizmodo UK

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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