Media Beat: June 29, 2018

Corus investors need to be better entertained

Media Beat: June 29, 2018

By David Farrell

Corus investors need to be better entertained

Two years ago, analysts were enthusing about Corus Entertainment’s stock potential when the company leveraged $2.6 billion debt to sort of separate itself from Shaw Communications.

Sort of because Shaw still owns a good chunk of the stock, and because Shaw still has pretty much a firm grip on the Corus board.

The company continues to spin off plenty of cash but servicing debt sucks up a lot of its quarterly juice, and the asset values of its TV and radio properties have nosedived as a result of declining ad revenues.

There’s lots of speculation as to what Corus shareholders will tell the board to do, including selling off assets whole or piecemeal. Then again, a depressed stock value offers Shaw an opportunity to buy back more stock and play an end-game we can’t yet see.


The Canadian Press offers insight into Corus’s financial strategy, CBC News focuses on Shaw’s Q3 and Stockhouse provides an entertaining overview of what investors think should happen.

Rogers launches podcast network with flagship brand, The Big Story

Rogers Radio has launched the Frequency Podcast Network and new original podcast series, The Big Storya daily 15-minute segment that deals with a story deemed ‘critical’ in the spheres of politics entertainment, sports, technology and human interest. 

“From one curious person to another, The Big Story is for the people who ask big questions. It’s not a news segment, it’s about digging further into what’s impacting Canadians,” said Jordan Heath-Rawlings, host and Director, Digital Radio & Audio, Rogers Media.

Joining Heath-Rawlings daily is a rotating roster of journalists from Rogers’ media brands including Maclean’s, MoneySense, Today’s Parent, Chatelaine, CityNews, and reporters on the ground at affiliated stations across the country.

Building on the success of Sportsnet’s new podcasts, A Swing and a Beltwith Dan Shulman and 31 Thoughts: The Podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, Frequency Podcast Network will be a hub for all Rogers Media podcasting content, including The Roz and Mocha Show.


“More than ever before, Canadians are listening to digital audio whether they’re at home or on-the-go commuting to work,” said Julie Adam, Senior VP, Rogers Radio. “Frequency Podcast Network provides our listeners with a home-base for the highest quality audio content and allows our sales partners an opportunity to align their brands.”

The Big Story is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  –– Media release

Postmedia cutting print editions, buyouts offered to editorial staff

Continuing to cut overhead resulting from print advertising declines, an internal memo Tuesday states the newspaper company plans to close unprofitable titles and reduce salary expenses by 10 percent by Aug. 31. In October 2016, it announced plans to reduce its salary expenses by 20 percent. By the end of that fiscal year, it had 3,315 employees, down by 918 from 4,233 as of Aug. 31, 2016. – Emily Jackson, Financial Post

Mike Richards no chum of CHUM

Bell Media has launched a new logo and slogan (“Make Toronto Pop”) and dropped the “FM” part of CHUM 104.5—because there’s no longer an AM brand to distinguish it from. But the CHUM call letters are still technically attached to TSN Radio 1050, and Mike Richards, the original morning host, is anything but pleased about it and has taken to YouTube to deliver his scathing indictment of the new ownership. – Sourced from Marc Weisblott’s noonday newsletter, Twelve Thirty Six


JJ salutes Lee Sterry

Lee is a man with golden pipes. Great voice, talented broadcaster, good guy and pal. We met him and wife Linda through good friends Leslie Nelson and Jeff Vidler. Also, Randy Redden and his wife. Randy managed the Peterborough group and was putting The Wolf together at the time. Eventually, the Vidler’s, Johnston’s, Redden’s and Sterry’s were having monthly dinners at rotating houses and long-time bonds were formed. – Jim JJ Johnston, LinkedIn


Fagstein’s latest Media News Digest

News about news:  Rogers and Village Media have teamed up for another local news website, Like and, the site will be fed by a Rogers-owned all-news radio station and Rogers TV community TV channel on a Village Media platform. The Globe and Mail has a new feature online that adds helpful process info – Steve Faguy, Fagstein blog

Judith Kerr and the life lessons that illustrate the magic of radio

My favourite podcast of the moment has a terrible title. It insults the listener by suggesting we might be titillated by adolescent grammar and a swear word. Stranger still, it insults the intelligence of the show itself. I assumed, when I first saw How Not to F--- Up Your Kids Too Bad on Audible’s list of new releases, that it must be another one of those giggly podcasts in which a gang of self-declared slummy mummies sits around commiserating over how boring motherhood is and the awful things it has done to their undercarriages. –– Jemima Lewis, The Telegraph subscription

The best mentors ask these 8 questions

One of the most important characteristics the good ones have in common is their ability to ask insightful questions, says Lisa Z. Fain, CEO of The Center for Mentoring Excellence, a mentoring consultancy and coaching organization – Gwen Moran, Fast Company

Shari Redstone’s path to power

How the heiress pushed past closed doors, boardroom snickers and a falling out with her father to become the most significant female media owner in America – Keach Hagey, The Wall Street Journal

New role for broadcast network news

Appearing as the keynote interview of the Promax/BDA Station Summit in Las Vegas, David Muir of ABC’s World News Tonight and 20/20; Jeff Glor of the CBS Evening News; and Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, agreed that original content is key to the success of the network newscasts,


Buoying all three anchors is the fact that network newscasts draw a combined audience of 24 million per day, compared with a combined 4 million for the cable news networks. – Kathy Haley, TVNewsCheck

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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