Media Beat: March 04, 2021

Media Beat: March 04, 2021

By David Farrell

Randy Lennox has an Oscar credit

The former Bell Media topper has teamed up with Canadian filmmaker Barry Avrich and Barry Selby who are set to produce a feature doc about Oscar Peterson, with Jeffrey Latimer and Lennox executive producing. – Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

More signals of a Roaring '20s rebound for Canadian economy when pandemic ends

The impact of the pandemic put Canada's economy into a tailspin, making 2020 the worst year on record, with gross domestic product declining by 5.4 per cent.

But other data out this week, including some buried amidst those latest bleak GDP numbers, tells a different story. It shows that high levels of savings and government income support have bolstered the economic well-being of households — notably among the youngest groups and those with lower incomes. – Don Pittis, CBC News


Work from home comes with a price

Spotify,, Inc. and Slack Technologies, Inc. have all announced that their employees can choose to work from anywhere — permanently.

Does this mean jobs currently at Spotify’s 179 John St. location in Toronto can now effortlessly be outsourced to other countries? After all, if Canadian employees can perform their work from Miami, why can’t Miami employees be hired to perform the same job. Except that it will not be Miami employees being recruited for the average job, but citizens of countries with lower pay and weak currencies taking jobs previously performed by Canadians. – Howard Levitt, Financial Post

Real estate lawyers may have helped high rollers buy Vancouver homes like casino chips

B.C. casino investigators probed real estate lawyers whom they had connected to private mortgages, organized crime and an alleged transnational money-laundering scheme, the province’s inquiry has heard.

In testimony Tuesday at the Cullen Commission, Brad Rudnicki, a BC Lottery Corporation anti-money laundering intelligence specialist, said his investigations suggested foreign high rollers could have been buying Metro Vancouver homes through loan sharks in the same way they were buying casino chips. – Sam Cooper, Global News

Toronto Star owner Torstar to launch online casino in 2021

The corporation announced Monday it intends to launch an online casino betting brand in 2021 pending approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.


“As an Ontario-based media business and trusted brand for more than 128 years, we believe Torstar will provide a unique and responsible gaming brand that creates new jobs, offers growth for the Ontario economy, and generates new tax revenue to help support important programs in our province,” said Corey Goodman, Chief Corporate Development Officer at Torstar, in a statement. – Jacob Lorinc, The Star

Canada's top newspaper group gambles on casino app to help fund journalism

The foray into gambling has caught many in the industry by surprise, prompting both jokes and criticism, but Torstar has a history of using highly profitable industries to fund its journalism. For decades, Torstar owned Harlequin, the romance novel publishers, which it sold in 2014 for $455m.

The launch of Torstar’s gambling app is contingent on approval of the province’s local and gaming commission. – Leyland Cecco, The Guardian

TheScore Announces Proceeds of $186.3M from Public Offering

TheScore expects the net proceeds of the offering will be put to funding working capital and other general corporate purposes, such as the continued growth and expansion of theScore Bet’s operations in the U.S. and Canada by supporting user acquisition and retention where theScore currently is or will be operating in the future. – Bryce Derouin, Gambling,com


Changes to Canada’s gambling  regs could end drift to US sites

In a landmark announcement, the federal government has signalled the birth of a modern sports betting industry in Canada. New legislation has the potential to unlock the billions in gaming revenue currently being generated in the “grey market”.

What you need to know

  • After a decade of calls for gaming law reform, the federal government has proposed to decriminalize single event sport betting which, if passed, would permit provinces and territories to regulate and license single event sport betting in Canada.

  • The Ontario Government has announced plans to launch a regulated online gaming/gambling marketplace. Under these plans, a newly formed subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario would be granted authority to manage and regulate online gaming sites operated by private third parties.


  • The combined effect of decriminalization and online regulation provides an unprecedented opportunity for gaming industry stakeholders to potentially unlock the billions in “grey market” gaming revenue currently being generated through facilitating a legal and regulated online gaming marketplace for all types of single event sports betting in Ontario. – BLG, Canada’s Law Firm

Media converging with gambling industry for growth

Casino gambling, internet gambling, sports betting and daily fantasy sports are no longer separate silos with unique audiences: Gambling companies are increasingly combining them and partnering with media companies to expand the reach of gambling.

This expansion is leading Wall Street analysts to predict fast-growing revenue in the U.S. over the next five to 10 years. Morgan Stanley sees a $15 billion sports betting and internet gambling market by 2025, and Macquarie Research says that same market could be $30 billion by 2030. – Wayne Parry, The Associated Press

There is nothing in Dr. Seuss that a leftist can't love but the woke hate him anyway

All the Whos down in Whoville liked Seuss books a lot,

But the woke, who lived just north of nowhere, did not.

So they called him a racist, and then threw his verse,

Down the memory hole, his fate sealed by this curse.


He’s a racist? The author who gave us the Sneetches?

With its take-down of bigoted stars-only beaches?

And this guy, you should know, also railed against war,

In his battle of butter, and yes folks there’s more.

John Robson, National Post

Zoom sales surge with the lockdown

The San Jose, California-based company expects sales of as much as $3.78 billion in fiscal 2022, with profit, excluding some items, potentially reaching $3.65 per share. Revenue more than tripled to $882.5 million in the fourth quarter and earnings excluding some items climbed to $1.22 cents a share, beating the average analyst projection. – Yoojung Lee, Bloomberg


Radio by the FCC numbers

Every two years, the Federal Communications Commission is required to publish a Communications Marketplace Report that assesses the state of competition across the broader communications marketplace in the United States. The FCC recently released the second such report.

The FCC observed that radio ad revenue had been virtually flat between 2010 and 2019 but that 2020 was expected to see a drop of around 15% due to the pandemic. “While these numbers are preliminary, the predicted decline in advertising revenue is substantial.” – Paul McLane, RadioWorld

Your next job interview may be with a robot—whether you realize it or not

The use of artificial intelligence has become increasingly widespread in recruitment over the last few years. Candidates are often asked to complete video interviews or online tests without any awareness that an algorithm will be the first assessor of their application. Major companies such as Hilton and Unilever have used AI interview software, and an estimated 83 percent of US companies use some form of AI in their HR processes. – Katie Bishop, Observer

Disney plans to shorten theatrical window for movies

Disney’s CEO put another nail in the coffin of the traditional theater business. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley conference on Monday, Bob Chapek said that once the pandemic ends (and theater-going returns to near normal levels) he doesn’t expect to uphold the previous tradition of waiting more than two or three months after a movie was released in theaters before making it available to rent. While he’s dedicated to some kind of exclusive run in theaters for Disney’s biggest movies, the length of time between big screens and streaming will be far shorter. – Tom Dotan, The Information


Walmart just took a step closer to being bankers' biggest nightmare

By luring a pair of senior bankers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to run its fledgling financial technology startup, the world’s largest retailer is gaining even more heft as it seeks to become a one-stop shop for consumers’ financial needs. The move struck fear on Wall Street, which has been begging regulators to halt recent efforts by retailers and startups to begin offering core banking products to millions of consumers. – Jenny Surane, Sridhar Natarajan & Matthew Doyle, Bloomberg News

LU KALA at a Billboard Canada Women in Music session with iHeartRadio Canada on July 4, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

LU KALA at a Billboard Canada Women in Music session with iHeartRadio Canada on July 4, 2024.


LU KALA Wins Billboard Canada Women In Music Rising Star Award

The Canadian pop singer performed stripped-back versions of empowering pop hits including chart hits 'Hotter Now' and 'Pretty Girl Era' for a session that will be released later this summer in collaboration with iHeartRadio Canada.

LU KALA has won the Billboard Canada Women In Music Rising Star Award.

The Canadian pop artist has been all over the charts this year in both the U.S. and Canada for empowering hits like "Hotter Now," "Pretty Girl Era," the ballad "Nothing But Love" and her guest turn on Latto's "Lottery."

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