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FYI

Media Beat: March 29, 2021

Media Beat: March 29, 2021

By David Farrell

Canadian political cartoonist joins Washington Post

Michael de Adder began his career working for several Halifax newspapers. Last week it was announced that he will be contributing political cartoons to the online and print editions of The Washington Post.


The time is right for Ottawa to fix Canada’s disgraceful telecom system

The Rogers-Shaw lobbyists are putting a full-court press on Ottawa to approve their merger, which isn’t set to close until next year.

They argue that only enterprises of the greatest size can finance the needed upgrading of the Canadian telecom system to fifth-generation networks (5G).

Yet somehow the Big 3 managed to reap a collective profit of $5.4 billion last year while comfortably financing their multiyear investment in 5G upgrading.

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And it’s just counterintuitive that a Rogers facing a huge capital outlay for 5G would load its balance sheet with more debt to buy Shaw. Unless, of course, 5G as a rationale for the merger is a canard. – David Olive, The Star

Who are the 10 biggest pandemic profiteers?

There are 43 newly minted billionaires since the beginning of the pandemic, when there were 614. A number of new billionaires joined the list after initial public offerings (IPOs) of stock in companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, and Snowflake.

The increase in the combined wealth of the 15 billionaires with the greatest growth in absolute wealth was $563 billion or 82 percent. The wealth growth of just these 15 represents over 40 percent of the wealth growth among all billionaires. Topping the list are Elon Musk ($137.5 billion richer, 559 percent), Jeff Bezos ($65 billion, 58 percent) and Mark Zuckerberg ($47 billion, 86 percent). – Chuck Collins, Inequality

US retail ad spend almost $2B in Jan./Feb.

According to MediaRadar’s latest analysis, the retail industry spent $1.8 billion on advertising during January and February 2021, a 24 percent decline from the same period last year.

Between 2017 and 2020, ad spend decreased an average of 34 percent each year, a post-holiday phenomenon that marketers have come to expect. MediaRadar forecasts Q1 2021 retail ad spend will reach $2.73 billion, which represents a 33 percent dip in ad spend between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. – Nina Aghadianian, The AList

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The ‘truthiness’ of words coined by celebrities

Famous folks can start all kinds of trends, from hairstyles to clothing to, yes, even words. We're still trying to make "fetch" happen, but here is a batch of celebrity-coined words such as “smize” that have actually caught on with the public. – Word Genius

Nearly 1B connected in China

China will have 983.7 million internet users this year, thanks to an unexpected 8.6% boost in 2020, the fastest expansion its online population has seen since 2012. We previously forecast that it would take several more years for China’s internet users to hit the magical 1-billion mark, but we now project this unprecedented milestone will come by the end of next year.

Growth will decelerate to 3.6% this year, but that will still be enough for 70.4% of the population to qualify as internet users, a threshold China has never reached before. For comparison, in India only 45.0% of the population will be online this year. In the most advanced countries, penetration is usually in the mid-80% range. China is getting close to that status. – Ethan Cramer-Flood, eMarketer

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Harry earns a paycheque

You may now address Prince Harry by a new title: chief impact officer.

That's the job the Duke of Sussex has taken at BetterUp, a San Francisco-based startup focused on coaching and mental health. – Steven Musil, CNET

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Tanya Tagaq
Katrin Naleid

Tanya Tagaq

Tv Film

Tanya Tagaq Plays a Pivotal Role in 'True Detective' Season Finale

The Inuk artist provides vocals for the HBO series' soundtrack, and her song "Submerged" scores a pivotal moment in the season finale, in which she appears as an actress.

The new season of True Detective wrapped up this weekend, and timed with the tense final episode, HBO also released the show's gripping soundtrack. Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq, one of the most celebrated contemporary musicians in Canada, contributed to seven songs on the soundtrack as well as making appearances in the show herself.

Subtitled Night Country, the fourth season of the HBO detective show takes place in the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska. It stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis as Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro, two police officers trying to figure out how the recent bizarre deaths of six scientists are linked to the murder of Iñupiaq activist Annie Kowtok. Through its mystery framing, the show explores themes like colonial violence, environmental destruction, and missing and murdered Indigenous women.

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