Media Beat: July 26, 2021

Media Beat: July 26, 2021

By David Farrell

Corus adds podcasts to its radio content

Curiouscast, Corus Entertainment’s award-winning podcast network, is getting widespread recognition as the broadcast company has announced that its podcasts are coming to radio nationally in a new show.

Hosted by Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, The Curiouscast Podcast Hour is a weekly show featuring a different podcast episode every week. The show can be heard on 980 CKNW (Vancouver), 770 CHQR (Calgary), 630 CHED (Edmonton), 680 CJOB (Winnipeg), 900 CHML (Hamilton), 980 CFPL (London) and Global News Radio 640 Toronto.

“For years our news talk radio stations have been editing audio from radio shows to create daily podcasts, and now we’re taking original podcast content and showcasing it on radio,” said Larry Gifford, National Director of Talk Radio, Corus Entertainment. – Press release


Signal Hill offers new data on listener habits

Jeff Vidler has posted new Signal Hill data that mines research data about listener habits across AM, FM and free streaming services. For a full read link here, meantime a couple of informative graphs that broadcasters are going to be pondering over.

Gov’t inaction needs to change in legislating news media protections

With Covid, Canadians have relied on Canadian journalists as valuable, trusted sources of both information and insight. At the same time, the pandemic and its devastating impact on the economy has seen traditional advertisers reduce their spend or simply vanish.

We need the Australian model for the Canadian news publishing business, whose competitive viability is essential for a vibrant democracy and for communities from coast to coast to coast. Parliament was not able to come up with Australian-style legislation, a key recommendation from News Media Canada’s report Levelling the Digital Playing Field, before it rose for the summer recess.

With this continued uncertainty, it is no wonder some publishers made their own deals with Google and or Facebook, rather than waiting for government action — although more than 450 trusted titles across the country, most of them community newspapers, have no such arrangement. – Jamie Irving & Paul Deegan, News Media Canada


Canadian ad market bouncing back, data forecasts

The Canadian ad market is forecast to grow by 7.2% in 2021 (recovering from -9.6% in 2020) to reach C$12.3B. This will be driven by digital spend, which is expected to grow by 9.1% in 2021, and in particular growth in video and improved video placements in social media. Spend will be boosted by the return of high-profile sport, such as NHL and NBA. The additional uplift from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games is estimated at $570 million CAD. – News Media Canada

In praise of music radio

Slap me with a Walkman and call me a boomer, but I still listen to most of my music on the radio. Might be because I spend a lot of my time in the car, and when I’m driving, I’m switching radio stations more often than lanes.

The reason? Discovery. The linear format of radio and the way it pushes its editor’s music taste into my tinnitus-infested ears allows me to discover new music, transforming my car into an entertainment platform. Sure, most of the time it helps me build my blacklist (sorry, Reggaeton artists, but it all sounds the same to me), but I often whip out Shazam to identify an interesting track and then search for it when I return home. – Jure Rejec, Music Think Tank


Canada's vaccine passport won't come until December, at the earliest

A leaked presentation suggests the government is still developing a standardised, national record. – Politico

Will Doug Ford’s opposition to vaccine passports survive the fall?

Ontario’s science table says vaccine passports would help keep people safe. The premier is against the idea — but a new wave of infections could force his hand. – John Michael McGrath, TVO

Vaccination policies and employee rights

A mandatory vaccination policy is an intrusive measure; it requires employees to undergo a specific medical procedure which may produce adverse reactions in some employees or be contrary to an employee’s religious beliefs.


Employers who intend to require employees to disclose whether they have been vaccinated, or their reasons for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, should also consider the privacy implications, which vary between jurisdictions. 

Generally, employers should consider how a proposed mandatory vaccination policy balances the employee’s human rights and privacy interests against the legitimate safety risks posed by COVID-19.  In particular, given the invasive nature of vaccinations, any employer looking to uphold a mandatory vaccination policy would need to explain why alternative measures, such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, and physical-distancing, would be inadequate compared to employees receiving a vaccine.

Takeaways for Employers

An employer considering a mandatory vaccination policy should consider the full effects of the policy, especially with respect to any disciplinary measures for non-compliance.  For any mandatory vaccination policy, in either a unionized or non-unionized setting, an employer should consider how the policy satisfies the below criteria:

  1. The policy must not be inconsistent with the employment agreement or collective agreement

  2. The policy must not be unreasonable.

  3. The policy must be clear and unequivocal.

  4. The policy must be brought to the attention of the employees affected before the employer can act on it.

  5. The employees concerned must be notified that a breach of the policy could result in discipline if the policy is to be used as a foundation for discipline.

  6. The policy should be consistently enforced by the employer from the time it is introduced.

Employers should be aware of potential liability arising from an employee having an adverse reaction to the vaccine, as well as the potential for human rights claims by employees who may allege discrimination if accommodation options are not considered.  Accordingly, employers should develop a strategy to accommodate individuals who have a valid reason not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


Employers should also consider whether a voluntary vaccination program, or incentives to receive the vaccine, would be sufficient in lieu of a mandated vaccination program.

Finally, while an employer can look to previous arbitration decisions on flu shot policies for assistance, each workplace is unique, and as such, it is important to consult with counsel to determine how such guidance would apply to your specific workplace. – Excerpted from McMillan LLP website publication: Mandatory Vaccination Policies for Employees: Enforceable or a Shot in the Dark?

Microsoft predicts over 40% of people may quit their jobs this year

Spicy annual labor statistics are here to once again validate your aggrievement with your current employer while also reminding you that things aren't going to change for the better anytime soon. That's the beauty of the 2021 Work Trend Index, which outlines all the usual items you'd expect when hearing from workers in an honest capacity. Additionally, it throws in a few pandemic-themed bones to give 2021's results a slightly different flavor from labor studies of years prior.

Here are the Work Trend Index's seven major findings:

  1. Flexible, remote, and hybrid work arrangements aren't going anywhere post-pandemic.

  2. Leaders are out of touch with their underlings and need a reality check.


  3. High productivity is an illusion and the workforce behind it is very tired.

  4. Gen Z is being neglected and needs a helping hand.Networks are shrinking as a result of the pandemic cutting people off from each other.

  5. Authenticity is valuable.Talent can be found everywhere thanks to remote work.

Robot rock: can big tech pick pop’s next megastar?

Faced with so much new music, major labels are using algorithms to hunt down tomorrow’s hits. Is this great news for rising stars – or the recipe for a bland new future? – Alex Rayner, The Guardian

How TikTok’s algorithm figures you out

A Wall Street Journal investigation found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what you want: the amount of time you linger over a piece of content. Every second you hesitate or rewatch, the app is tracking you.

What TikTok’s annual report says about the state of the music industry

Based on TikTok’s first “Year on TikTok” report, it seems as if the app’s goal is to seamlessly blend the popularity of music with the videos created on its platform. The information is clearly a way to grab the attention of label heads and any aspiring artist looking to make it big, but the breakdown is also revealing in what it suggests about TikTok’s mission.

There were 176 songs that were featured in 1 billion unique video views on the app in 2020 alone. It’s a staggering figure, but it also brings up a chicken-or-egg situation: Did artists like Drake, Megan Thee Stallion, and Billie Eilish accrue the most video views because their music was the most popular? Or were they made more popular because of the app? The answer is likely a bit of both. – Will Schube, The Ringer

The Pegasus Project’s totalitarian reach

Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International had access to a leak of more than 50,000 records of phone numbers that NSO clients selected for surveillance. According to an analysis of these records by Forbidden Stories and its partners, the phones of at least 180 journalists were selected in 20 countries by at least 10 NSO clients. These government clients range from autocratic (Bahrain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia) to democratic (India and Mexico) and span the entire world, from Hungary and Azerbaijan in Europe to Togo and Rwanda in Africa. As the Pegasus Project will show, many of them have not been afraid to select journalists, human rights defenders, political opponents, business people and even heads of state as targets of this invasive technology. – Phineas Rueckert, Forbidden Stories

Watch this Russian hacker break into a computer in minutes

Burton Cummings

Burton Cummings

Legal News

The Guess Who's Burton Cummings Will Give Up His Royalties to Stop Alleged 'Cover Band'

The Canadian musician has cancelled performing license agreements for all of his songs, which will prevent the act currently performing under The Guess Who name from playing hits like "American Woman" and "These Eyes."

Canadian musician Burton Cummings is giving up his royalties to protect his legacy.

The "American Woman" singer and co-founder of classic Winnipeg band The Guess Who has cancelled his performance license agreements, Rolling Stone reports, in an effort to prevent the current iteration of The Guess Who from performing.

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