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Media Beat, March 14, 2022

By David Farrell

Ukrainian woman plays piano in the square for refugees at Lviv train station

The authenticity of this March 5 performance appears to be real and as some viewers have noted, it is not uncommon for instruments to be available for performers and passing pedestrians to play.


Rogers arranges $19B financing to fund Shaw takeover

Rogers Communications Inc. is tapping credit markets for $19-billion, locking in financing for its planned takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. ahead of an expected rise in interest rates.

Rogers launched a marketing campaign that expected to sell US$7.05-billion of bonds to U.S. investors and an additional $4.25-billion in Canadian dollar-denominated bonds. The offerings are expected to be priced as early as Monday evening. – Andrew Willis, The Globe and Mail

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Bell Media laid off CTV Vancouver anchors and radio hosts

Bell Media is once again gutting newsrooms with another round of layoffs, this time targetting Vancouver.

As reported by Daily Hive, several high-profile staffers at CTV Vancouver and Bell-owned radio stations were laid off. Moreover, Daily Hive shared tweets confirming the cuts from several of those who were laid off. – Jonathan Lamont, MobileSyrup

Montreal man to Pay $25M in damages to Bell, Rogers, Videotron for TV piracy

As part of a consent judgment, TVAddons’ founder and Montreal resident, Adam Lackman, has admitted liability and agreed to pay $25M in damages to a collation of telecom giants, which includes Bell Canada, TVA, Videotron, and Rogers.

Back in 2017, the operator of TVAddons, the largest Kodi add-ons repository, was sued by Bell Canada, Bell ExpressVu, Bell Media, Videotron, Groupe TVA, Rogers Communications, and Rogers Media over copyright infringement in Canada’s Federal Court.

In a letter dated February 18, 2022, the media companies and Lackman agreed to a consent judgment and explained the agreement to Federal Court. – Usman Qureshi, iPhone in Canada

Steve Jordan leaves his CBC post

The founder and ED of Polaris Music Prize took over as Sr. Director of CBC Music in March of 2020. This weekend he announced his departure. What follows is his post.

Ottawa sending mixed messages about wireless competition as it mulls Rogers-Shaw deal

The federal government needs to get its story straight about the state of wireless competition.

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Its market assessments of late seem to depend on which way the wind is blowing in Ottawa. And, let’s face it, there’s plenty of hot air gusting through the corridors of power in our capital on any given day.

At the start of this year, for instance, the Trudeau government boasted that wireless prices were falling because it had the gumption to put the Big Three carriers in their place.

Go ahead and snort. It will make you feel better. Because a nanosecond later, Ottawa was telling us too many Canadians are, in fact, still overpaying for wireless services.

Confused? You’re not alone. – Rita Trichur, The Globe and Mail

Bell Media confirms plans to redevelop 299 Queen St. building, and move studios ‘temporarily’

Bell Media tells the Star “the time is right” to explore development for the iconic heritage building and that it plans to move its studios from 299 Queen Street West during the construction period.  – Ivy Mak, Toronto Star

Australian media thrives after forcing Big Tech to pay for content

Google and Facebook paid Australian media companies around A$200 million in the past year because of new regulation that has helped the local industry, according to a new report. – Financial Times

An anthem for Ukraine

The call is going out to Radio to unite for Ukraine. “Tears For Ukraine” is an anthem to bring the world together to keep the focus on Ukraine until the situation is resolved fully.

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B. Eric Rhoads, CEO, Streamline Publishing joined with artists Billy Craig and Matt Jacobs to co-write “Tears For Ukraine”. He is asking stations to download and add the song into rotation. – Radio Ink

Why Putin didn’t invade Ukraine during Trump’s presidency

When Republican politicians say that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine under Trump, they are probably right. But for the wrong reasons. – MSNBC

Russia’s oligarchs and the limits of their loyalty to Putin’s war

What is the relationship between Russia's oligarchs and Putin's government? How has this relationship evolved since Putin rose to power? And what is the limit of their loyalty? Bill Browder, along with others, explain how Russia's oligarchs work and the end game of sanctions against them. – Steve Paikin, The Agenda

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Are bans against Russian arts targeting the right people?

Despite the threat of repression, the resistance of Russian artists in their own country is growing stronger, including by a group of children's book authors who urge Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

… Senior culture workers have resigned, including the curator and artists for the Russian pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale. The artists have stopped working on the pavilion. "There is no place for art when civilians die under rocket fire, when citizens of Ukraine hide in shelters, when Russian protesters are silenced," Kirill Savchenkov, one of the artists, said in an Instagram post.

Meanwhile, the Biennale organizers have officially banned Russian delegations from participating. – Deutsche Welle

War in Ukraine: how far will Putin go?

Leaked Kremlin war memo instructs Russian state media to feature Fox News host Tucker Carlson 'as much as possible'

The Kremlin instructed Russian state media to feature Fox News host Tucker Carlson "as much as possible," according to Mother Jones.

A leaked 12-page war memo, titled "For Media and Commentators," told Russian media that it is "essential" to use more Carlson segments in their coverage because of his positions on the war in Ukraine, Mother Jones reported.

Carlson "sharply criticizes" the actions of the United States and NATO and their "negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine," the memo said, per the media outlet. – Joshua Zitser, Business Insider India

He is also critical of the "defiantly provocative behaviour from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally," the memo continued.

How about this genius?

There has been a lot of idiocy written about the horrifying events in Ukraine. But this guy -- professional god-botherer, Pat Robertson -- gets my vote for Imbecile of the Year. According to published reports, this bozo said, "Putin is being 'compelled by god' to fulfill a biblical prophecy."

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God posted a response on his website: "Do you people actually listen to this asshole?"  – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

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The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024

Awards

The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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