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Media Beat: March 11, 2021

A song for the times

Media Beat: March 11, 2021

By David Farrell

A song for the times

From Allan Sherman who gave us Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, a song by American comedy writer, TV producer, actor and song parodist that was included in the 1969 musical, The Fig Leaves Are Falling.


Acknowledgement and thanks to David Bluestein for bringing this deliciously rhyming irreverence to my attention.

Latest PPMs

David Bray, founder of communications firm David Bray & Partners, provides an analysis of the latest Numeris survey data in the top 5 markets, as follows:

Covid has substantially impacted radio revenues across Canada and continues to do so. Let’s see if we can find some good news in the latest PPM radio ratings released Wednesday 3/10. The new PPM release from Numeris completes the thirteen-week period covering Nov. 30, 2020 to February 28, 2021. Once again, all listening for this period occurred during the pandemic, sometimes yielding unusual results.

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Let’s look at the five PPM markets.

Toronto: Bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CBC Radio One delivering a 16.0 % share for A12+ (down from 16.9 %). Taking the #1 spot with females 25-54 is CHFI-FM, delivering a 14.5 % share (up from 10.2%).  Q107 is back on top for males 25-54, posting a 12.0% share, followed by BOOM-FM with 11.1%. Q107 also leads the way for M18-34 with an 20.0% share.  Despite some unusual results in recent books, F18-34 now shows CHFI-FM to be back in front with 24.6%. BUT…coming in a strong second with young women is Q107 with 14.3%.

Vancouver: CKNW grabs the #1 spot for A12+ with a 13.9% share of hours tuned (down from 14.6%).  Jumping up to take the top spot for F25-54 was 94.5 Virgin, posting a 12.4% share (up from 8.6%), followed by ROCK 101 at 11.4%. FOX holds the lead for M25-54 listeners, delivering a 11.2 % share (down from 13.4 %).  The FOX is also well out in front for M18-34 with a 25.8 % share of hrs. tuned (up from 21.1 %). When it comes to Females 18-34, ROCK 101 is #1 with a 16.3% share.

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 Edmonton:  The Breeze sweeps in to take #1 with A12+, posting an 9.0% share of hours tuned (up from 7.9% in the last book). NOW! Radio holds top spot for F25-54, delivering a 13.9% share (down from 17.2 %). Sonic tops the list for M25-54 with an 11.7 % share (down from 13.5%). For M18-34, Sonic leads the way posting a 21.5%. NOW led with F18-34 delivering a 22.8%.

Calgary: New Talk 770 leads the way for A12+ with a 10.2% share (up from 9.6%) 101.5 Today Radio is popular with females, taking #1 spot for F25-54 and delivering an 11.8% share (down from 15.9 %).  For M25-54, X92.9 rules with a 9.9% (up from 9.4%). XL 103 takes top spot for M18-34, delivering a 14.3%. Country steps out front for F18-34 posting an 11.6% share followed by Wild 95.3 at 11.1%.

Montreal:  CHMP 98.5 FM is #1 for A12+ (Franco) with a 20.8% share (up from 20.4%).  For A12+ (Anglo) CJAD 800 is #1 with a 29.8% (flat with the last book). 105.7 Rythme is tops with females, taking #1 spot for F25-54 (Franco)and delivering a 17.2% share (down from 17.4%). For F25-54 (Anglo), The Beat 92.5 is again waaay out in front at #1 with a 32.3 % share (up from 30.8). For M25-54 (Franco), NRJ 94.3 is on top at a 17.4% share (down from 17.6%).  For M25-54 (Anglo), CHOM is #1 at 23.1% (down from 25.1%).

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Lauren Hunter, Allan Waters Broadcaster of the Year

Canadian Music Week has announced the 2021 winner of the Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award is Lauren Hunter who can be heard hosting the Lauren Hunter Show weekdays 3-7 pm on Edmonton’s SONiC 102.9 (Rogers Sports & Media up. 

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This year’s runners up are CHUM-FM/Virgin Radio Toronto’s Shannon Burns (Bell), and Toronto 680 NEWS’ Mitch Burke (Rogers Sports & Media).

Hunter will be recognized during the 2021 virtual Canadian Music Week May 18-21.  Notable convention headliners this year include Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, Hipgnosis Songs' Merck Mercuriadis, and artist/producer/beatmaker Timbaland.

Chris Blackwell | LIVE from the NYPL, 2014

HuffPost closes down Canadian operations

BuzzFeed has closed HuffPost Canada’s operations as part of a company-wide restructuring effort aimed at stemming financial losses.

On Tuesday, the digital media company announced it was laying off 47 workers in the U.S. and shuttering HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Quebec, marking a dramatic downsizing of operations following BuzzFeed’s purchase of HuffPost in November.

The cuts to its Canadian branch will affect 23 staff and four managers, and content will no longer be posted to HuffPost’s Canadian websites. – Jacob Lorinc, The Star

Bill C-10: Minister Guilbeault faces the committee; Canadian broadcasters can’t be sold to foreigners

Two top bureaucrats retiring at Canadian Heritage By Denis Carmel NO, BILL C-10 WON’T lead to the sale of Canadian broadcasters to foreign interests, Department of Canadian Heritage officials told the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage Monday morning. The bill, as proposed, contemplates the removal of the portion of the Broadcasting Act which says companies in the system must be majority Canadian-owned and controlled, which had raised opposition in some quarters. – CARTT

Canada’s Copyright Term Extension consultation: Why all the tinkering around the edges?

Heritage Committee unequivocally endorsed an extended term, recommending simply “That the Government of Canada pursue its commitment to implement the extension of copyright from 50 to 70 years after the author’s death.” The INDU Committee ((Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology)) was more lukewarm in its recommendation, endorsing term extension “only if CUSMA is ratified”, and adding another qualification promoted by groups opposed to extending the term of protection. – Hugh Stephens Blog

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Grey power 'Granfluencers' flex their social media muscles

Baby Boomers control 70% of all disposable income. Many use social media, and Covid restrictions have made sure they all know how to shop online now.  Most are weary of seeing themselves only in ads for hearing aids and adult diapers. – Liz Braun, Toronto Sun

User-generated content not a target of Broadcast Act changes

The minister responsible for making changes to Canada's broadcasting laws says legislation he introduced recently does not target user-generated online content.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault told a House of Commons committee Monday the aim of Bill C-10 is to regulate online video and music streaming services in much the same way as conventional broadcasters. – Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

Ambiguity for French language content in proposed broadcast regs

While ADISQ describes this law as a “giant leap,” opposition parties see several “loopholes” in it, particularly to ensure adequate funding for French-language productions by global giants such as Netflix and Spotify.

“There must be signs. This is clear in our eyes. It is not true that the government is unable to set quotas.” “We want the culture of Quebec to be taken into account and protected in the new legislation,” said Bloc member Martin Champox. The National Party also criticized the bill.

With the Trudeau government in the minority in the House of Commons, it will have to count on the support of some opposition parties to pass its bill in the coming months.

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The bill does not specify the level of funding required of Internet broadcasters. It would be up to the CRTC, the independent regulator already in charge of radio, television and telecommunications, to make that decision. – Tony Vaughn, Vaughan Today

Forty years of failure to curb media monopolies

A 1981 commission set out a plan to protect the public interest. It was ignored, and the Postmedia-Torstar machinations show we’re paying a high price. – Taylor C. Noakes, The Tyee

SiriusXM Canada picks TPX as exclusive sales agent for Peter Mansbridge podcast

SiriusXM Canada has announced an exclusive sales partnership with The Podcast Exchange (TPX) to represent Canadian newscaster Peter Mansbridge’s podcast ‘The Bridge’. The satellite broadcaster launched a collection of popular US and Canadian podcast content in Nov. 2020. The Bridge is a daily show that explores various trends in politics and journalism.  Born as a nightly podcast during the 2019 Canadian general election, Mansbridge’s voice was extended daily in Feb 2021.

“We are delighted to be in partnership with SiriusXM and to represent Peter Mansbridge’s The Bridge”, said Jean-Marie Heimrath, President and CEO of TPX, and added, “to be associated with one of Canada’s most trusted voices is an honour”.

The world’s most innovative companies

Business as usual is over. Companies around the globe, in every industry, have spent the past 12 months confronting challenges both practical and existential. Some have failed. Many have simply survived. A select few have flourished, remaking their businesses and illuminating the way forward for others. These are the businesses we’re celebrating on our annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. – Fast Company

Amazon opens first UK checkout-free grocery store in London

Amazon already operates 26 cashier-free convenience stores in the U.S. under the Amazon Go brand and two larger supermarkets called Amazon Go Grocery. As part of its U.K. launch, Amazon also unveiled its new private label food brand, by Amazon. – The Canadian Press

Oprah's Royal special draws 17.1M US viewers

CBS reported Monday that 17.1 million Americans tuned in Sunday to watch Oprah Winfrey's two-hour interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan making it the most-watched non Super Bowl event on a Sunday in prime time in over a year. – Eleanor Semeraro, NextTV

Freedom of speech in America today

Woodward Radio Group host Len Nelson has been fired from his job as morning co-host at WAPL after he posted on Facebook that Rush Limbaugh’s show was “steeped in bigotry, misogyny, hypocrisy, lies and malice. He wrote “conservatives have become less informed, less tethered to factual evidence and less tolerant. And, he ended with the “the world is a better place without Rush Limbaugh.” – Radio Ink

Nearly every big US news site saw its traffic decline in February 

“Publishers’ traffic was down across the board, and many major sites saw traffic dip more than 20%, according to data from traffic analytics company SimilarWeb. Politics consumption dropped most dramatically, tumbling 28%.” This is compared to a tumultuous (to say the least!) January that included the Capitol riot and President Biden’s inauguration. – Sarah Fischer & Neal Rothschild, Axios

Tencent’s investments got $120B boost from 2020 rally

It’s the kind of track record that would make any Sand Hill Road venture capitalist jealous.

Tencent, best known for its WeChat messaging app, is one of the world’s biggest and savviest tech investors, holding stakes in a range of companies including Snap and Meituan. Previously unreported internal data reviewed by The Information shows the Chinese internet giant’s unrealized gains last year from its minority stakes in about 100 publicly listed companies amounted to $120 billion, roughly six times its estimated profit for 2020 By Wayne Ma & Juro Osawa, The Information

You can buy the first-ever tweet. The current bid: US$2.5M

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is selling the first-ever published tweet as an NFT, a kind of digital collector’s item.

Dorsey shared a tweet on Friday with a link to a digital platform called “Valuables,” that allows for the buying and selling of tweets autographed by their creators.

The tweet up for bid is Dorsey’s first tweet from 2006, which says “just setting up my twttr” – CNN

CNN and New York Times team up for multipart Rupert Murdoch series

The unnamed series is the first to come from a team-up between the two competing news organizations that have frequently locked horns. – Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair

Amazon Echo and Google Home could monitor your heartbeat without even touching you

Scientists have developed a new smart speaker system that could turn the Amazon Echo and Google Home into contactless heartbeat monitors.

The AI-powered system sends inaudible sounds from the speakers towards a person sitting nearby.

When they bounce back, algorithms analyze the sound waves to determine the heart rate. – Thomas Macaulay, TNW

Baseball on the radio, 100 years later

This season, for the first time since the Toronto Blue Jays played their inaugural games in 1977, there will not be a dedicated radio broadcast of their games. Instead of a radio team broadcasting the game, the audio from television broadcasts will be simulcast to radio listeners. Rogers, the Canadian telecom giant that owns both the Blue Jays and the networks they are broadcast on, has made assurances that this is merely a safety measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is unclear what the plans are for the future of the Blue Jays on the radio. Longtime broadcaster Mike Wilner was laid off this winter, and there has been no replacement announced; even apart from the loss of a Jays radio broadcast, the AM sports radio landscape in Canada has taken significant blows recently, with Bell Media, another telecom giant, unceremoniously taking a number of local stations off the air last month. Should this season prove to Rogers that having a dedicated radio broadcast is an expense not worth carrying into the future, Blue Jays baseball on the radio could prove to be another one of the casualties of the pandemic.

It’s been almost a century since the first major league baseball game was broadcast over the radio: an early-August game between the Pirates and the Phillies in 1921. Despite resistance from both traditional print media and team ownership, the popularity of such broadcasts took off, sparking a conflict that would fundamentally change the revenue structure of major league baseball. – RJ McDaniel, Fan Graphs

The ABC’s of NFTs

NFTs are suddenly headline news! Artists and musicians are using NFTs as a new way to release their products into the marketplace. NPR reports that the artist Grimes recently sold several NFTs for over $5 million and an NFT video clip of LeBron James making a historic dunk for the LA Lakers earned more than $200,000. Rolling Stone reports that the rock band Kings of Leon is releasing its new album in the form of an NFT. At the auction house Christie’s, bids on an NFT by the artist Beeple are already reaching into the millions. It appears that what started as an online hobby among a certain group of tech and finance geeks is now being catapulted into the mainstream.

The best way to try to understand an NFT is to break it down to its essentials. – Wallace Collins, Hypebot

Follow these useful tricks for a perfect podcast quality

For starters, you need to invest in high-quality podcasting equipment. At a very basic level, you will need a good microphone that can isolate sound and carry your voice to your viewers without any distortion. You will also likely need a camera, for many podcasts nowadays are both video and audio, rather than audio-only as they used to be at one time. The equipment that you use will have a great bearing on the popularity and success of your podcast, so it is our opinion that you need to give serious thought and consideration to your equipment so that you can ensure you only deal with the highest quality. If you cannot afford high-quality equipment, then shop second-hand and at sales. – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe

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André 3000 Says OutKast Partner Big Boi Had the Best Reaction to Bars-Free Flute Album ‘New Blue Sun’
Music News

André 3000 Says OutKast Partner Big Boi Had the Best Reaction to Bars-Free Flute Album ‘New Blue Sun’

Three Stacks also revealed how Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean reacted to his instrumental odyssey.

André 3000 knew he was taking a big swing when he released his rap-free, flute-forward album New Blue Sun earlier this year. So naturally he wanted to get some feedback from his longtime former partner in rhyme in OutKast, Big Boi.

In a new cover story for High Snobiety, Three Stacks reveals that he played “some” of the instrumental jazz album for Big, whose reaction was just about perfect. “He was smiling… He was like, ‘Man…,'” André said of Big Boi’s response to the album with mouthful song titles such as the opening track, “I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make A ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time.”

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