Media Beat: July 30, 2020

By David Farrell

Ontario court approves NordStar takeover of Toronto Star publisher

The $60-million bid, submitted through Bitove and Rivett’s company NordStar Capital, got the thumbs-up from Superior Court Justice Cory Gilmore following a brief “fairness hearing” last Thursday.

“I find that the arrangement is fair and reasonable and should be approved by this court,” said Gilmore in her decision released via email late Monday night.

Gilmore rejected arguments from competing bidder Canadian Modern Media Holdings that Torstar’s board had stopped negotiating with CMMH after receiving its first bid, which was subsequently topped by NordStar’s final offer of 74 cents per share. – Josh Rubin, The Star

The Torstar sale will have a lasting impact on Canada

Two groups have been battling over the future of Torstar Corp., the owner of the Toronto Star. One seems to have reigned supreme in the courts after Ontario’s Superior Court Justice Cory Gilmore ruled in support of a bid by private equity firm NordStar Capital, which is favoured by those in control of the paper. But, as Yogi Berra noted, it’s not over until it’s over, given that the other bidder, Canadian Modern Media Holdings, is going to appeal the decision. So, what’s the big deal? What’s at stake? – Charles Pascal, The Globe and Mail


Monica Song replaces Peter Grant as broadcast arbitrator

Dentons communications law and regulatory partner Monica Song has succeeded Peter Grant, following the latter’s retirement in April.

The chair of Dentons Canada’s communications law practice and head of its federal regulatory group in Ottawa, Monica Song, has been elected as the new broadcasting arbitrator following a unanimous vote by the registered political parties in the House of Commons of Canada.

The broadcasting arbitrator oversees the allocation of free and paid-for broadcasting time to registered political parties, as well as formulating and disseminating guidance and hearing disputes.

Song succeeds Peter Grant, past chair of Toronto-headquartered McCarthy Tétrault’s technology, communications and intellectual property (IP) practice, who served in the role from 1993 until his retirement in April. – Media release


Ontario Newspaper Award winners

Each year since 1953, the ONA honours the best journalism produced by reporters, photographers, videographers, graphic artists and editors at three dozen newspapers. The awards, originally planned for the spring but delayed due to the pandemic, were unveiled virtually on Friday.

Entertainment stock growth during lockdown

The period between 4/1 and 6/30 is Q2 on the calendar, but it represents three months of business not as usual.  Entertainment companies are announcing their results this week and next for the period greatly affected by COVID-19-related lockdowns.  While we wait to see how companies fared, here’s a look at how stock prices have—perhaps surprisingly—risen during the period… – Hits Daily Double



An open letter to the ad community from Nielsen’s Brad Kelly

…Shifting from exclusively utilizing social media to a radio/TV mix, has noteworthy implications: The reach footprint of the campaign almost doubles.  Gross impressions nearly triple and CPMs are cut by 60%.  All with the same $1M ad budget. – Radio Ink

WE's history with Beijing, from endorsements in People's Daily to appearances at Chinese embassy

WE flatly denies having become cozy with Beijing authorities, or that China’s abysmal human-rights record calls into question its involvement in the country. – Tom Blackwell, Postmedia

Hockey’s back, and here’s how you can expect broadcasts to change

When the puck drops Tuesday for exhibition games and on Saturday for the official start of play, it’ll usher in this strange new era of bubble hockey that’s about to become our new normal – for now, anyway. – Emily Sadler, Sportsnet


Olympics use Nazi propaganda video in promotional tweet

In a controversial move intended to promote the postponed Olympic Games, originally planned to take place in Tokyo this summer, the athletic organization tweeted a promotional video that included footage from Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda movie Olympia documenting the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The video also included film of other past Olympics, including the 1920 Antwerpen, the 1928 Amsterdam and the 1932 Los Angeles games. Following internet outrage, the tweet was deleted. – Daniel Nisinman, The Jerusalem Post


eMarketer: Global Ad spend

Note: Includes digital (desktop/laptop, mobile and other internet-connected devices), directories, magazines, newspapers, out-of-home, radio and TV. Excludes Hong Kong. Source: eMarketer, June 2020

Why is modern music so awful? A scientific assessment

We need to brace for a 2020 without movie theatres

At the beginning of March, there were 50 titles from major Hollywood studios that were dated for release in 2020. As of Friday morning, it was down to 19. We can only expect that number to shrink as studios take a hard look at the reality on the ground and decide on the few strategies available to them. – Barry Hertz, The Globe & Mail (subscription)

Edward Snowden: The age of mass surveillance will not last forever

”… No technology, and no individual, will ever be enough on their own to curtail for long the abuses of our weary giants, with their politics of exclusion and protocols of violence. This is the part of the story that matters: that what begins with the individual persists in the communal.” – Edward Snowden, Wired


50-percent of new CBC hires for executive and senior management positions will be Indigenous people, visible minorities or people with disabilities

Why Facebook helps authoritarians steal elections and sow hatred

How podcasting became a multi-billion dollar industry

– Spotify podcast consumption doubles as overall listening recovers

Myles Smith attends the Sony Music's The BRIT Awards 2024 After Party at the Nobu Hotel on March 02, 2024 in London, England.
Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images

Myles Smith attends the Sony Music's The BRIT Awards 2024 After Party at the Nobu Hotel on March 02, 2024 in London, England.

Chart Beat

Hot 100 First-Timers: Myles Smith Shines With Breakthrough Single ‘Stargazing’

The song debuts at No. 77.

English singer-songwriter Myles Smith lands his first career entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated May 25), as his breakout single “Stargazing” debuts at No. 77.

Released May 10 on It’s Okay To Feel/RCA Records, the track arrives on the chart with 6.7 million official U.S. streams, 34,000 in radio airplay audience and 6,000 downloads sold in its opening week (through May 16), according to Luminate. It also starts at No. 10 on Digital Song Sales.

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