Media Beat: March 30, 2023

Media Beat: March 30, 2023

By David Farrell

Top Rogers executives to receive $17M in bonuses tied to Shaw deal — including $8M for CEO Tony Staffieri

A new filing disclosed that Rogers’ five top-paid executives will receive stock options worth $17 million if the company’s takeover of Shaw closes and they hit performance targets one and two years later. – Christine Dobby, Toronto Star

Media consumption in Canada: Are Canadians in the know?

Following the news is an activity that more than half of Canadians do daily, according to new data from Statistics Canada. There are different ways to follow news and current affairs. Using data from the 2020 General Social Survey on Social Identity, this infographic explores five different news sources: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and the Internet.

The most common method for following news and current affairs was the Internet, followed by television.


  • Internet: 80%

  • Television: 67%

  • Radio: 40%

  • Newspapers: 36%

  • Magazines: 11%

Those with a university degree were more likely than those with no university degree to report using the Internet, newspapers, and magazines to follow news and current affairs.

  • Internet: 90%

  • Newspapers: 46%

  • Magazines: 17%

Postmedia shoots more hostages to keep debt payments flowing to New Jersey hedge fund

More bad news could be coming soon if Ottawa doesn’t keep the bailout money coming to stop the newspaper chain from sinking. – Marc Edge, Canadian Dimension

The deepfake revolution may bring a media revival

The “legacy media” we work for have lost their role as information gatekeepers as technology erased entry barriers. Now, the verified and proven ability to get real information and strict rules against faking it are suddenly relevant again.– Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg


Toronto MP Han Dong threatens legal action against Global News after Chinese influence allegations: Dong said in a written statement on Monday that he plans to take unspecified legal action to defend himself against allegations he claims are false. – Alex Ballingall, Toronto Star

Ottawa’s dithering on Rogers-Shaw is deleting a win for cellphone customers: In the absence of action from Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, who has the final say on telecom deals, the cellphone sector is increasingly being dominated by just three players, Rogers, Telus Corp. and Bell parent BCE Inc. The longer Ottawa dithers on a deal first announced almost two years ago, the more market share the incumbents gobble up. – Andrew Willis, The Globe and Mail


Canada’s exploding eCommerce business: In 2022, there were over 27 million eCommerce users in Canada, accounting for 75% of the Canadian population. According to Statistics Canada, eCommerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to an all-time high of $5.349 billion in December 2020, surpassing the boost recorded in May 2020 ($4.5 billion) due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown measures. In March 2022, e-commerce sales amounted to approximately $3.3 billion. It is estimated that retail eCommerce sales will total $55.4 billion by 2025. – Int. Trade Admin

Millennials dominate insolvencies as credit card, student loan, and CERB tax debts add up: The 2022 Joe Debtor study found that on a per-population basis, millennials were 1.4 times more likely to file for insolvency than people in generation X aged 42 to 56, and 1.7 times more likely than baby boomers aged 57 to 76. – Darryl Greer, The Canadian Press

Rogers Sports & Media beta testing new ‘RadioGPT’ AI voice tech: Rogers Sports & Media is beta testing new AI voice tech from broadcast solutions provider, Futuri, capable of training artificial intelligence to power a station’s on-air programming in its entirety. – Connie Thiessen, Broadcast Dialogue


Student project creates an accessible database of Canada's first newspapers: There are 30 copies of various newspapers in the database, the majority being full-runs published in 1752 – the year that the Halifax Gazette, Canada’s first newspaper, was printed in Nova Scotia. Another find was 18th-century subscribers lists to the Québec Gazette. –U of T

300 million jobs could be affected by the latest wave of AI, says Goldman Sachs: … White-collar workers are seen to be more at risk than manual labourers. Administrative workers and lawyers are expected to be most affected…compared to the "little effect" seen on physically demanding or outdoor occupations, such as construction and repair work. – Michael Toh


Publishers prepare for a showdown with Microsoft, and Google over AI tools: Media executives want compensation for use of their content in ChatGPT, Bing and Bard. –Keach Hagey, The Wall Street Journal

Generative AI’s next frontier is video: New York-based Runway announced the availability of its Gen 2 system, which generates short snippets of video from a few words of user prompts. Users can type in a description of what they want to see, for example: “a cat walking in the rain,” and it will generate a roughly 3-second video clip showing just that or something close. Alternately, users can upload an image as a reference point for the system as well as a prompt. – Rightstech Project

All leaders urge labs to halt training models more powerful than ChatGPT-4: Artificial intelligence experts and industry leaders, including Elon Musk, University of California Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, are calling on developers to hit the pause button on training powerful AI models.

More than 1,100 people in the industry signed a petition calling for a six-month break from training AI systems more powerful than the latest iteration behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT… – Jake Rudnitsky & Mark Bergen, Bloomberg

Public radio can help solve the local news crisis — if it will expand staff and coverage: Trust in public broadcasting ranks above that of other major U.S. news outlets. Moreover, public radio production costs are relatively low — not as low as that of a digital startup, but far less than that of a newspaper or television station. And local public radio stations operate in every state and reach 98% of American homes, including those in news deserts — places that today no longer have a daily paper. – Thomas E. Patterson, Nieman Lab


Big Tech's big downgrade: Tech companies have chased short-term fads in a desperate attempt to win the favour of Wall Street investors — and it's making the online experience worse. –Ed Zitron, Insider

Amazon will discontinue newspaper and magazine subscriptions in September: Amazon has announced they are abandoning the Kindle for Periodicals or the Kindle Newsstand, which will completely shutter on September 2023. Digital editions for magazines and newspapers are going to be shuttered. Amazon is trying to convince publishers to submit their newspapers and magazines to Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited, but it remains to be seen if this will happen. – Michael Kozlowski, Good E Reader

Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at George W. Bush says his only regret is he "only had two shoes"CBS News

I Am: Celine Dion
Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios © Amazon Content Services LLC

I Am: Celine Dion

Tv Film

‘I Am: Celine Dion’ Documentary Release Date Revealed: Here’s When It’s Coming

The global icon's new documentary is coming to Prime Video. Get all the details.

Forget “The Power of Love,” the world is going to get an up-close behind-the-scenes look at the power of Céline Dion in her new documentary, which finally received an official release date.

On Tuesday (April 16), via a joint Instagram post on the official pages for Dion and Prime Movies, Amazon MGM Studios announced that I Am: Céline Dion will begin streaming globally on Prime Video on June 25.

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