Media Beat, July 27, 2023

Media Beat, July 27, 2023

By David Farrell

Rogers' Q2 profit plunged 73%

Rogers Communications reported Q2 profit fell 73% to $109 million due to its acquisition of rival telecommunications firm Shaw Communications. $409M in net income was reported in the same period of 2022.

For the quarter ended June 30 of this year, Rogers Communications reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.20, which was down from $0.76 a year earlier.

Despite the profit plunge, Rogers did announce Q2 revenue of $5B, which was up 28% from $3.9B a year ago. – Baystreet

Rogers cutting costs, eliminating duplication amid integration of Shaw

Rogers Communications Inc. says it found $48 million in cost savings in its most recent quarter after closing its deal to buy


Shaw Communications Inc., representing nearly 25 percent of the $200 million in costs it plans to cut this year as it works to eliminate duplication. – Sammy Hudes, The Canadian Press

The CBC’s commercial operations are undermining the news industry

CBC is not operating – and hasn’t been for years – within its legislated role as Canada’s national radio and television broadcaster. It has expanded into serving as an online newspaper publisher, generating at least $80-million in digital revenue – about 20 percent of its overall advertising income – in direct competition with Canada’s news publishers. And it’s receiving $1.2-billion in annual federal subsidy to do so. – Peter Menzies, The Globe and Mail

Netflix still the top draw in eyeballs race

Netflix is the only brand that claims at least an hour of time per day from its active users, but its time spent will decline by 1 minute this year. – Insider Intelligence

105 calls for service, 26 arrests recorded at Country Thunder 2023

It was a busy weekend for RCMP at this year’s Craven SK’s Country Thunder musical festival but not as busy as years prior, according to police.

From July 12 to July 17 – RCMP officers in the Craven area responded to 105 calls for service which led to 26 people being taken into custody.

This is lower than in 2022 when RCMP responded to 126 calls for service and arrested 32 people over the course of the five-day festival.


At the top of the list were 27 calls for disturbing the peace or causing a disturbance, 24 liquor act offences and 14 roadside suspensions for alcohol impairment. – David Prisciak, CTV News

Why are we so addicted to the dark side of humanity?

A YouGov poll last year concluded that half of Americans enjoy true-crime content, and one in three consume it at least once a week. Why this fascination with the dark side of humanity?

My belief is that we project ourselves or our loved ones into the scenarios in which crime, particularly violent crime, happens because it usually occurs in circumstances broadly familiar to us. – Martin Brunt, The Guardian UK

OpenAI will give local news millions to experiment with AI

It used to be Facebook and Google doling out funds to local news publishers in an attempt to win them over (and, perhaps, quell said publishers’ dissent over how the platforms were using their content).

Now, OpenAI — the Microsoft-backed company behind AI chatbot ChatGPT — is the latest tech giant trying to woo publishers. In an announcement on Tuesday, OpenAI said it will give $5 million to venture philanthropy firm American Journalism Project to figure out how artificial intelligence can best be used to support local news. – Hanaa’ Tameez, NiemanLab


You’re going to see more AI-written articles whether you like it or not

In early July, managers at G/O media, the digital publisher that owns sites like Gizmodo, the Onion, and Jezebel, published four stories that had been almost entirely generated by AI engines. The stories — which included multiple errors and which ran without input from G/O’s editors or writers — infuriated G/O staff and generated scorn in media circles. They should get used to it.– Peter Kafka, Vox

Country music’s culture wars and the remaking of Nashville

Tennessee’s government has turned hard red, but a new set of outlaw songwriters is challenging Music City’s conservative ways—and ruling bro-country sound. – Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker


Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Music News

Allison Russell Named Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Nashville-based musician from Montreal has been having a huge year, including her first Grammy and her first Hot 100 appearance. Accepting the award on June 19 at the iHeartRadio Canada studio, she talked about her LGBTQ+ advocacy work and the importance of playing with underrepresented musicians.

It was a special Juneteenth for Allison Russell.

Not only did she serve as the special Toronto opener for Sarah McLachlan on the Canadian icon’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th anniversary tour, but she earned another big honour: Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

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