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Media Beat: March 26, 2018

By David Farrell

Attraction Media selling off 15-station Quebec radio chain

The acquirer is the current Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Sylvain Chamberland. The latter, a media veteran in Quebec, had just been recruited in 2011 by the founder of Attraction Richard Speer to set up the radio division of the company through various acquisitions. – La Presse


Do Canada's musicians and songwriters still need Canadian content rules to survive?

The regulations are all about radio play, but how many people listen to their music on the radio now? In a world where the music has moved to digital downloads, streaming music services — YouTube, Vimeo, Vine — it's now out of reach of the only place where Canadian music is being counted — on radio.  Do you care where your music comes from, or is it like food...better to buy local?

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Some music critics complain that the CanCon rules only give already-established artists more airplay, and that the Junos showcase and reward those artists unfairly propped up by CanCon rules. 

CBC’s Cross Country Checkup posed the question: Do Canada's musicians and songwriters still need Canadian content rules to survive?You can listen to the podcast responses here.

Vancouver's newest radio station pumps up the volume

Roundhouse Radio aims to make Vancouver a better community. After shaking off some early setbacks, can the city’s latest station spin that social mission into listeners and advertisers? – BC Business

Gerry Forbes: Looking back at life on the air

"To quote a great radio pro and longtime friend, Scruff Connors, 'That’s it, that’s all! Thanks for the use of the hall.'

"This is my last week on the radio at CJAY92, wrapping up Thursday morning as I take a step in a different direction and hang up the proverbial headphones.

"My interest in radio began way back when in the days of turntables and cassette machines at age 12.

"My father was a broadcaster and one of the best at radio station 630 CHED in Edmonton.

"I was fortunate enough to get to work with him when I was a punk kid and loved everything I saw at the radio station. It was in my blood since birth..." – Continue reading Gerry’s farewell comments in the Calgary Sun

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Quebec court orders Radio-Canada reporter to reveal her sources

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a Quebec Superior Court ruling that ordered a journalist to reveal her sources. The court ruled that Marie-Maude Denis, an investigative journalist for the French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada, must divulge her sources in an ongoing court case in which two politicians from the ruling Liberal Party are charged with corruption – CPJ

Said the Whale Launch Podcast with Members of Arkells, Mother Mother, Tokyo Police Club

The concept of the podcast is a little bit like Hrishikesh Hirway's show Song Exploder, as it features the members of Said the Whale breaking down their songs piece-by-piece and talking with their guests about songwriting. While the first episode is guest-free, future shows will feature Max Kerman (Arkells), Graham Wright (Tokyo Police Club) and Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother). – Exclaim!

Pandora acquiring AdsWizz For $145M

Pandora isn’t gobbling up the company’s technology for its own use. Advertisers will eventually be able to access AdsWizz’s marketplace through Pandora — as well as other “leading audio publishers” — meaning that Pandora is keeping AdsWizz alive for potential rivals to use. The company will “make it easier for publishers to monetize their inventory and for advertisers to buy and measure their campaigns,” according to a statement. – Venture Beat

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Poll: Less than half of Americans trust Facebook to obey U.S. privacy laws

Forty-one percent of Americans polled said they had trust in Facebook to abide by privacy laws, which apply to their personal information, while 51 percent of those surveyed expressed levels of mistrust in the platform. 

Americans appeared to express more confidence in other tech companies regarding the handling of personal information online.

The poll found that 66 percent trusted Amazon to follow privacy information, while 62 percent said they trusted Google. – Julia Manchester, The Hill

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Facebook logged phone call and SMS metadata

The social media platform, responding to reports in some technology industry media that it has been logging users’ call and text history without their permission, said in a statement on Sunday that the function “has always been opt-in only.” – Reuters

The FCC should use blockchain to manage wireless spectrum

Instead of having a centralized database to support shared access in specific spectrum bands, innovators should explore the use of blockchain as a lower-cost alternative. If the effort succeeds, the benefits could be considerable: The system could reduce the administrative expense of allocating spectrum and increase efficiency by enabling demand-matching spectrum sharing and by lowering transaction costs. Even better, the public quality of the information on the blockchain could expose patterns in use and inspire new technical innovation in the process. Plus, new models for short-term leasing of our airwaves could emerge and expand the range of wireless applications. – Jessica Rosenworcel, Wired

It’s now possible to eavesdrop on a conversation…using a bag of potato chips!

If you’ve managed to get over your own NSA-induced, Snowdenian fear of typing, here’s another essential privacy question: Do you trust that bag of potato chips you’re holding? The word out of MIT is that you probably shouldn’t. Nearby potted plants should also be treated with suspicion. What makes these everyday items a threat to your (conversational) personal data? It’s just that MIT announced on Monday that its researchers, along with Microsoft and Adobe, have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct sound by merely analyzing video of the vibrations of objects around you – Scott Hannon, Slate

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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