Media Beat: March 23, 2020

By David Farrell

Telecom networks deal with 'unprecedented' pressure as Canadians work from home

Bell sees 60 percent jump in daytime home internet usage  – Thomas Daigle, CBC News

Canadian entrepreneurs anxiously await government funding to stymie job losses

Every minute businesses wait for promised money to flow from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) brings them closer to taking drastic action. (BDC provides financing for small and medium-sized businesses and EDC is Canada’s export credit agency).

Even as the agencies promise swift relief, many entrepreneurs are discussing their fears privately, with some airing their anxiety in public. – Josh O’Kane, Globe and Mail

Treasure Island Oldies goes daily

Treasure Island Oldies, the retro music Internet and podcast show created and hosted by former A&M Canada A&R exec Michael Godin is beefing up its delivery with the addition of one-hour dailies augmenting its four-hour weekend show delivery, effective this Wednesday, March 25, at 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern.


“With so many people having to remain at home (and so) many of whom may feel isolated, I want to do my part to help with a warm distraction from the ongoing newsfeeds, social media chatter and endless Netflix binge-watching. I’ll continue to play the music we all grew up with and still enjoy today,” Godin said in an email yesterday. Godin celebrates his 25th anniversary with the show this year. Contact:

Canadian athletes will not compete at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) say they won't send athletes to compete at the Tokyo Games — set to begin July 24 — if they proceed as scheduled. The move came hours after the IOC said it would take a month to consider postponing the 2020 Olympics following an emergency meeting earlier on Sunday. – Dave Heroux, CBC Sports

Canada’s EI claims skyrocket

The federal government has announced that it received 500,000 applications for employment insurance this week compared to 27,000 for the same week last year.


Among the major employers announcing cuts were Fiat Chrysler Automobiles laying off 8,900, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group laid off 4,679 after stopping all 44 shows in production, Air Canada cut 5,100 flight attendants, Air Transat 1,900, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. suspended operations and cut 1,373 of its 1,800 employees and hotels still open are reporting a 10 percent occupancy rate. – Beryl Wajsman, The Suburban

Alberta's top doctor an overnight sensation on social media, inspiring T-shirts

Two weeks after being propelled onto the provincial and national stages, Dr. Deena Hinshaw has already become something of an overnight celebrity and a dress she wore recently, featuring the periodic table of elements, had the phone ringing off the hook at Victoria, B.C., clothing maker Smoking Lily. – Valerie Fortney, Calgary Herald

A new breed of celebrity in the age of COVID-19: the chief medical officer

Day after day, premiers have announced new restrictions on Canadians' civil liberties that they say are critical to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

But it is the chief medical officers at their side who provide the science buttressing the calls for sacrifice. Some have become stars in their own right, displaying a kind of televisual bedside manner that combines a reassuring, fact-based approach with occasional levity.

Quebec's chief doctor, Horacio Arruda, recently shared his weekend self-isolation plan to bake Portuguese tarts, while Alberta's Deena Hinshaw recently wore a periodic-table-themed dress that lit up social media. – Giuseppe Valiante, CP


Dr. Emily Porter, explains the power of social distancing

Dr. Emily Porter, sister of California Congresswoman Katie Porter, recently released a video on YouTube that explained the importance of flattening the curve amid the coronavirus pandemic. – via Randy Lennox

Netflix launches $100m coronavirus relief fund for out-of-work creatives

In response to the many global productions forced to stop, the streaming giant will help support cast and crew without employment. – Benjamin Lee, The Guardian (UK)

Brands from Heinz to Netflix are donating to COVID-19 relief. How you can join them

A global pandemic isn’t exactly the best marketing opportunity for any brand. Kraft-Heinz, KFC, Under Armour, Netflix, Prada, and many more brands are stepping up their public giving in a time of crisis. – Jeff Beer, Fast Company


Free-to-air television advertising in the time of the coronavirus

Investment bank Credit Suisse is now forecasting an 11% fall in FTA ad revenue for the 12 months to June. Previously the investment bank was estimating a drop of 6%. Others had been expecting a drop of about 7%.

This new number implies a year-on-year fall of 25% in the June quarter, reflecting the restrictions put in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent impact on ad spend. – Chris Pash, Ad News AU

Howard Stern plans to begin broadcasting from home

"The Howard Stern Show," which is based out of New York, went off the air last week amid the fallout from the pandemic.

A noted germaphobe, 66-year-old Howard Stern has in the past described himself as being "super paranoid about diseases and germs."

Several TV shows and hosts have adapted to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommending Americans stay home and practice social distancing in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. – Judy Kurtz, The Hill

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation commences school broadcasts

In an agreement signed between the Corporation and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the school programs will run from Monday to Friday every week. The move is aimed at ensuring that over 10 million learners at home are not left idle as the number of institutions adopt e-learning to make for the time learners will be at home. – KBC Channel


Larry Ray Steinman, a founder of Canadian Telecommunications Network (CTN), Vice President of Canadian Satellite Communications (Cancom), and President of Business Television (BTV+), died March 20 from lymphoma at age 71 in Mississauga.

Billions returns May 3

The US Showtime hit TV show, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, launches its 5th season on the Bell network May 3 on Crave. The series is loosely based on the activities of Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his legal battles with hedge fund manager (Lewis) Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital.


Randy Rainbow takes on social distancing

The American satirist, singer and YouTube star has released his latest musical send-up of the Trump empire and its pandemic response and sung to From A Distance, a song written by American singer-songwriter Julie Gold and best known for the cover version performed by Bette Midler.

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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