Media Beat: May 03, 2021

By David Farrell

Acadia Broadcasting acquires two Halifax FMs

The CRTC has approved a purchase agreement between Acadia Broadcasting Limited and Evanov Communications Inc. for two of Evanov’s Halifax based FM radio stations: CKHZ and CKHY. – 91.9 The Bend

Russian news service calls the kettle black

Critics of Canada’s Liberal government are accusing it of mounting an ‘assault’ on free speech after it proposed modifications to a broadcasting law that would enable it to regulate user-generated video content on social media.

At the heart of the controversy is ‘Bill C-10’, an amendment to the Canadian Broadcasting Act (1991) that purports to give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) oversight abilities over online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.


The move “doesn’t just infringe on free expression, it constitutes a full-blown assault upon it and, through it, the foundations of democracy,” according to former CRTC commissioner Peter Menzies.

“It’s difficult to contemplate the levels of moral hubris, incompetence or both that would lead people to believe such an infringement of rights is justifiable,” Menzies told the National Post newspaper. – Russian TV News

Greg Godovitz launches YouTube podcast with Eddie Kramer interview

From 2006-2008 Greg Godovitz presented a wide variety of rock stars, producers, authors, recording engineers and others on his Newstalk 1010 CFRB radio show.

Now he’s back with the Rock Talk YouTube webcast. Written, produced and hosted by Godovitz with technical production by former Westbury National Show Systems Audio Video specialist Reese Brunelle, the show will air every Saturday night at 6 pm EST on Greg’s YouTube Channel starting Saturday May 1.

Legendary record Producer/Engineer Eddie Kramer (Hendrix/Led Zeppelin/Kiss/Peter Frampton) kicks things off with a two-part interview.

Also scheduled for May are Lawrence Gowan and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather.

Godovitz is a 57-year veteran of the Canadian music business with the recording acts Fludd and Goddo. He is also the author of the best-selling memoirs Travels with My Amp and Up Close and Uncomfortable. He is currently working on his next book The Idiot’s Trilogy…Part 4.


If you are interested in an appearance on Rock Talk, contact Godovitz at

Florida passes bill prohibiting social media companies from banning politicians

Fines for social media companies that try to ban politicians from their platforms could add up to $250,000 a day for statewide politicians and $25,000 a day for other elected officials, the Sun-Sentinel reported. – Lexi Lonas, The Hill

Spotify expands podcast reach via Facebook link

Spotify is extending its global reach in podcast distribution in a collaboration with Facebook, which serves 1.8-billion daily users. In this link-up, Spotify listeners can share a podcast episode on their Facebook news feed. Facebook does not have a native audio player, so listening to a Spotify podcast episode shared on Facebook takes the listener into Spotify. – Brad Hill, RAIN News

How product placements may soon be added to classic films

Product placement in films is almost as old as the movie industry itself. The first reported instance is said to have been in a 1919 Buster Keaton film. Today, the global product placement industry is pegged north of US$20.6B.

Items can be digitally added to almost any movie or TV show. For example, advertisers could put new labels on the champagne bottles in Rick's Cafe in Casablanca, add different background neon advertising signs to Ocean's 11, or get Charlie Chaplin to promote a fizzy drink.


And then a few weeks, months or years later the added products can be easily switched to different brands. – BBC News

This A.I. startup is saving Walmart and other big companies millions by automating negotiations

Pactum is designed to take on contract negotiations with the “long tail” of suppliers and vendors that most large corporations have. These are contracts that are not high-value enough to warrant much, if any, attention from a big company’s negotiation teams but which collectively add up to significant money. “The average Fortune 500 company has $240 million locked in inefficient deals in that long tail that people can’t renegotiate,” Martin Rand tells Fortune.


He says that by using the company’s software, a large customer like Walmart has been able to gain 2.8% to 6.8% in profitability from each supplier deal Pactum negotiates, with one company seeing additional $1.5 million come in monthly on these contracts. – Jeremy Khan, Fortune

Consumers don't really care

Despite all the marketing hyperventilating over "brand purpose" a study released last week reported that about 70% of consumers said brand activism has no influence on their buying decisions. Of course, consumers never really understand what motivates them and always overestimate their altruism and nobility. Consequently, I'd guess the real number is closer to 90%.

Nonetheless, in this study about twice as many consumers say that what influences them most is product quality, not brand activism. Any marketer who didn't already know this needs to find a new profession. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

NFTs are a pyramid scheme

“Buy, sell, and discover rare digital items,” reads the strapline on If you’re wondering how a digital item can be rare, you’re asking the right question. Last century, philosopher Walter Benjamin explored how the authenticity of art was tied to its uniqueness and that photography — along with mechanical reproduction — brought instability. I’m not sure what Benjamin would have made of NFTs, but this disconnect between our love of authenticity and the virtual world’s inability to provide an alternative isn’t resolved by owning tokens that barely even exist. Digital rarity is a pretense. – Andy Day, Fstoppers

A sobering warning from former con artist Frank Abagnale

Could Abagnale be lying about his story? A new book suggests he is

Frank W. Abagnale Jr. may have pulled off one of the greatest hoaxes on earth.

Abagnale’s famous tale of forging checks and assuming different professional identities has captured national audiences through pop-culture adaptations, most famously the 2002 Steven Spielberg film, “Catch Me if You Can,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. It was developed from Abagnale’s memoir of the same name.


But though the movie claims to be based on a true story, creating the myth of Frank W. Abagnale Jr. might be the best con that Abagnale actually pulled. A new book contends that the story of the charming teen running from the FBI and pulling off all those impersonations without getting caught is mostly made up. – Xavier Lopez, WHYY PBS

Mike Rapino cuts another hot deal

After paying US$11M for a beachside “crash pad” in Malibu owned by realtor Kurt Rappaport in 2018, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and his wife, “Star Trek: Enterprise” actress Jolene Blalock, have flipped that house in an off-market deal — it sold last week for $12.9M to landscaping heiress Michelle Sperber — and have bought a more impressive property on the very same street. Records reveal they picked up the latest acquisition for $13.8M, a discount off the original list of nearly $15M. – Wendy Bowman, Dirt

Larry Ellison bought a Florida mansion for $80M – but he’s tearing it down

Oracle founder Larry Ellison on Monday pushed back on the notion that he could be moving to Florida after buying a mansion there — reaffirming his commitment to the Hawaiian island he owns.

Ellison, one of the wealthiest people in the world, told Oracle employees in an email viewed by Recode that he was tearing down an $80 million, 15,000-square-foot home that he recently purchased in Palm Beach. Ellison said the report that he had bought the luxurious home was “true” but that he was “tearing the house down and not moving to Florida.”


“Last year I moved from California to the island of Lana’i and became a resident of the State of Hawaii. I love it here and have no plans to move back to Florida, Texas, back to California ... or anywhere else.” – Theodore Schleifer, Recode


Pioneer Canadian broadcaster Jack Francis Ruttle died April 29 at Toronto Western Hospital as the result of a blood clot at age 84. His broadcasting career spanned almost 50 years, starting in 1956 as a staff announcer at CKBB Radio in Barrie, ON, moving up to program manager and also on-air work at CKBB company station CKVR-TV. An opportunity to join CFTO-TV three months before it went on air took him to the promotion department of the Toronto station in 1960. He became promotion manager and then program manager before CFTO-TV owner Baton Broadcasting in1970 appointed Jack vice-president, programming for Baton and the CBC's CKLW-TV in Windsor, ON. He moved to Ottawa in 1973 as president of Baton's CFGO-Radio. In 1975, he was approached by Standard Broadcasting to become vice-president and general manager of CJOH-TV, Ottawa. In 1977, he joined Maclean Hunter as vice-president of Calgary television station CFCN-TV. Then in 1979, CTV appointed Jack executive vice-president of the TV network. His final broadcast move came in 1987 when Power Corporation of Canada asked him to become president of Power's Kawartha Broadcasting CFMP-FM, CHEX-AM radio and CHEX-TV in Peterborough, ON. A year later, he was named vice-chairman of Power Broadcasting. In 1993, He moved back to Toronto to establish a consulting business with two colleagues and in 2000 he took on a four-year assignment to teach Management in the Media to students at Ryerson University, his old alma mater.  – Globe and Mail obituary

– Ottawa radio legend Gord Atkinson has passed away at the age of 94. He began his career at Decca Records in the 1940s as the Canadian publicist. After beginning his radio career in Toronto in 1948 where he did stints with CHUM and CFRB, he was hired in 1954 to serve as Entertainment Editor with CFRA where he hosted two highly successful programs – Gord Atkinson’s Showbill and Campus Corner. In 1967, he was appointed Station Manager of CFMO and continued to host Showbill, a weekly entertainment program featuring his interviews with the stars of movies, television, and popular music in the day. – CTV News & Stittsville Central

AP Dhillon and Stormzy

AP Dhillon and Stormzy

Rb Hip Hop

AP Dhillon Drops New Stormzy Collab 'Problems Over Peace' Ahead of Coachella Debut

The Punjabi-Canadian artist has released a confident new track with U.K. grime star Stormzy.

Punjabi-Canadian star AP Dhillon has dropped a new collaboration with UK grime star Stormzy. The suave single arrives ahead of Dhillon's debut Coachella performance on Sunday, April 14.

"This what happens when you mix Punjab Royalty with South London's finest," Stormzy announces in the intro to "Problems Over Peace." Dhillon enters with a cool vocal: "We live by our instincts and not by the book," Dhillon sings in Punjabi.

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