Media Beat: July 31, 2019

Media Beat: July 31, 2019

By David Farrell

Rogers appoints Jordan Banks to President of Rogers Media

Rogers Communications has announced the appointment of Jordan Banks as President of Rogers Media, effective September 9. Rick Brace, who has served as President of Rogers Media since 2015, will retire from the company at the end of the year.

Banks has more than 20 years of experience in the media, sports, and technology sectors.  A visionary, digital leader, he brings deep global content experience and a proven track record of driving growth. He joins us from Facebook and Instagram Canada, where he was Managing Director for seven years. At Facebook, he also served as Global Head of Vertical Strategy, helping the company grow its business in multiple countries.  Banks also led eBay Canada, was the CEO of a leading global sports IPTV company, and worked at the NHL Players’ Association in international business and licensing. 


Rogers Media assets include 56 radio stations, 29 local TV stations, 23 conventional and specialty television stations including Sportsnet along with 100% ownership of the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre. Additional brands include Citytv, OMNI Television, FX, TSC, KiSS, Breakfast Television, Cityline, CityNews, Sportsnet and the Blue Jays. 

“I am thrilled to join such an iconic Canadian company with its incredible breadth and depth of sports and media assets,” said Banks. “I am honoured and excited to build on Rick’s legacy and look forward to working with the team to drive the next wave of growth across our sports and media businesses.”

Banks will succeed Brace, who skillfully repositioned the company’s media assets to drive future growth. His accomplishments include growing Sportsnet to the #1 sports media brand in Canada; launching North America’s first mainstream sports OTT service; creating new revenue streams with Rogers data services; and refocusing the company’s suite of media assets. – Globe News Wire

Is the government doubling the size of the media bailout?

A panel of journalism experts convened by the federal government had delivered a set of recommendations that included a massive funding increase to the coming newspaper bailout — and the government, Schwartz suggested, was poised to go along with their proposals.


The largest piece of the bailout is a labour tax credit that will subsidize one quarter of the salaries of eligible newsroom employees, to a maximum of $13,750 per person. – Jonathan Goldsbie, CanadaLand

Sirius XM Q2 results: Record-high revenue for satellite radio, dip in MAU for Pandora

Revenue for the satellite radio company totaled almost US$1.98B, compared with $1.43B in the year-ago period. Net income reached $263M, or 6 cents per share, down from $293 million, or 6 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2018.

Cardi B to appear in Bernie Sanders campaign video

According to CNN, Cardi and the Democratic candidate will use the video to engage young voters ahead of the 2020 election.

“We [are] working on a way to involve more young people in the political process,” Sanders told CNN about the video. “The future of America depends on young people. They are voting in large numbers, but not large enough numbers.” – David Renshaw, The Fader

Record labels have a new target: streamers and gamers

On a quiet street in Vancouver, , independent EDM record label Monstercat is carving out a solution to a problem that has plagued gamers and content creators for more than a decade: can streaming culture and the music industry coexist in a world where algorithms are used to track down unlicensed tunes, strip audio from videos, and dole out bans to streamers? Gavin Johnson, head of gaming at Monstercat, believes there can be a middle ground.


Where traditional music labels rely on copyright law to keep licensed tunes out of content creator videos and streams, Monstercat has built a small EDM empire explicitly for them. – Emily Gera, The Verge

Analyst: Cord-cutting has gotten 'freakin' ugly,' ad growth also suffering

US Cable operators’ Q2 results show that the rate of cord-cutting has gotten “freakin’ ugly,” in the words of Michael Nathanson, of the MoffettNathanson analyst firm.


The three big media companies reported a combined loss of more than 1.2 million traditional video subscribers, he noted.

Cancellations of traditional video service subscriptions and declines in viewership are also depressing advertising growth, says Nathanson, who projects flat advertising spend for the quarter. – Karlene Lukovitz, Media Post

Facebook is funding brain experiments to create a device that reads your mind

While a brain reader could be a convenient way to control devices, it would also mean Facebook would be hearing brain signals that could, in theory, give it much more information, like how people are reacting to posts and updates.

“Brain data is information-rich and privacy sensitive, it’s a reasonable concern,” says Marcello Ienca, a brain-interface researcher at ETH in Zurich. “Privacy policies implemented at Facebook are clearly insufficient.” – Antonio Regalado, Technology Review

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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