Media Beat: July 27, 2020

By David Farrell

Global layoffs underline pivot in news delivery

Declines in ad revenue and the shifting trend to OTT by audiences has triggered the Corus Entertainment-owned Global Television Network to lay off 70 journalists and pivot away from non-news and no longer support lifestyle, entertainment and social media teams.

Corus executive vice-president of broadcast networks Troy Reeb says the company has tried to delay layoffs and programming cuts for as long as possible, but in its most recent quarter advertising revenues declined and the company's news and radio businesses are 100 percent dependent on such income sources.”

He is also quoted as saying that “with digital platforms, our audience no longer is tied to just the locations where we have TV and radio licences, so we will be adding journalists to cover local news in markets where we see opportunity created by the recent closure or consolidation of local newspapers.”


Employees who lost their jobs and qualify will be given the opportunity to apply for the new positions, the company said.

The company also plans to expand its international content and launch a podcast production team. – Canadian Assoc. of Journalists

Netflix puts out a call for Canadian content pitches

The entertainment streamer is accepting proposals from July 16 to August 5 from Canadian creators ahead of a series of September virtual pitch sessions.

The call for pitches is directed at English-speaking content, with plans for French-language series in the “near future.”

Netflix is taking submissions for independent films, original series, non-fiction series and animated content. – Tyler Orton, BIV

Destiny Media posts Q3 profit

Vancouver-based Destiny Media Technologies Inc. (DSNY) reports fiscal third-quarter profit of $55,000. The distributor of secured pre-release music and video (through Play MPE) posted revenue of $939,900 in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $940,000. – Press release

Ross On Radio delves into Dave Marsden’s Internet radio show

In September, Marsden’s current project, will celebrate its sixth anniversary. NYTheSpirit is a subscription-only internet radio stream. Marsden hosts Saturday and Sunday nights. Other jocks, including CFNY veterans Ivar Hamilton and the just-announced Live Earl Jive, make “pop-up” appearances throughout the week.


Much of the music on NYTheSpirit hearkens back to ‘80s era CFNY, but AOR’s progressive era is the driving spiritual presence, especially in the assembly of the station. The library is 25,000 songs. Nothing repeats in a 48-hour period. And the segue matters a lot.

Natasha and 'Freeway' Frank finally talk about being fired by Virgin Radio

Almost a year after being fired as morning hosts, Natasha Gargiulo and Frank Depalo are still upset they couldn't say goodbye to listeners. –  Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

Halifax radio stations to be sold

Acadia Broadcast and HFX Broadcasting have signed a letter of intent for the sale of HFX Broadcasting’s two stations in Halifax, CKHZ, Hot Country and CKHY, Live 105.

Paul Evanov, president of HFX Broadcasting parent Evanov Communications, said in a release the two companies have been in discussions for some time. – Journal Pioneer

Why Hollywood is slowly killing its biggest moneymaker–cable TV

The decline of cable isn’t a new story, but what has started to take hold is a change in narrative inside the industry. Rather than try to prop up what they all know to be a decaying linear business, cable executives are instead focusing on their still-healthy intellectual properties and the brands behind them.


Some of those cable brands are even aiming to carve out a space in the streaming world … – Michael Schneider & Kate Aurthur, Variety

What could happen if Donald Trump rejects the electoral vote?

Lawrence Douglas, a legal scholar and a professor at Amherst College, gave himself the task of methodically thinking through the unthinkable. The result is a slim book, “Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020.” Douglas begins by taking the President at his word. “While his defeat is far from certain,” he writes, “what is not uncertain is how Donald Trump would react to electoral defeat, especially a narrow one. He will reject the result.” – Masha Gessen, The New Yorker


TikTok is launching a $200M fund to pay US creators for their videos

Creators who want to apply for funding must be 18 or older, consistently post original videos, and create content that is consistent with TikTok’s community guidelines. A baseline follower count is also required, but TikTok did not state how many are needed. Creators in the United States can apply for funding in August. The company is looking to expand the fund globally, but no word on when that will happen. – Julia Alexander, The Verge


– Volvo’s Polestar 2 electric cars are to be equipped with Radioplayer via a new partnership with Google. The EV will feature the Android Automotive operating system, which Radioplayer has been one of the first organisations to develop an app for.

– For the first time since Edison Research’s Share of Ear study began tracking the growth of audio consumption in 2014, the total daily share of time spent listening on digital devices by those age 13+ in the U.S. has surpassed the share of time spent listening on traditional, more linear devices.

Newly released documents from long-secret Kennedy assassination files raise startling questions about what top agency officials knew and when they knew it.

London Is still paying rent to the Queen on a property leased in 1211. In a small annual ceremony, the city hands over an axe, a knife, 6 horseshoes, and 61 nails.

Could Trump win the war on Huawei—and is TikTok next?  In a plot twist, the administration’s assault on the Chinese telecom giant is gaining traction. At heart, the US has an interest in its own electronic surveillance capabilities.

If the ‘cancel culture’ debate proved anything, it’s that the time has come to cancel TwitterIn Twitterworld, people are good or bad and every faceless humanoid must be branded as such by Opinion Arbiters. It's not how real life works.


An open letter on free expression draws a counterblastA few days after more than 150 cultural luminaries warned of a growing “intolerant climate,” another group responded with a pointed letter of its own.

50 years ago, Casey Kasem began counting down the hits on American Top 40


Canada's first Black national news anchor, George Elroy Boyd, has died at age 68 at a hospice in Montreal. Born in Halifax, Boyd was one of the original anchors on CBC Newsworld, a 24-hour news channel that launched in 1989. CBC News

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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