Media Beat, Nov. 09, 2023

Media Beat, Nov. 09, 2023

By David Farrell

CBC president defends broadcaster's Israel-Hamas coverage in a testy meeting with MPs

She defended the newsroom's longstanding practice of not referring to attacks or their perpetrators as "terrorism" or "terrorists," saying CBC journalists do not want to be seen taking sides in the conflict.

"The word is extremely politically charged, and if journalists use the word, they enter into a debate that is not our business. Our business is to remain independent and fact-based," Tait said.

She said reporters are allowed to use those terms if they're properly attributed to someone else. – John Paul Tasker, CBC News

Bell Canada cuts capex to punish regulator

Bell Canada is cutting its planned fibre spend over the next couple of years by C$1 billion in protest over a regulatory decision on wholesale network access.


The telco spat the dummy after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) moved to open up fibre networks run by large operators in the major cities of Ontario and Quebec, and set the prices those big players can charge for access, in a bid to boost competition. – Mary Lennighan,

Telus profit sinks 75% despite revenue, wireless gains as competition intensifies

Vancouver-based Telus reported $137-million of profit for the three months ended Sept. 30, down 75 percent from a year ago. Its revenue for the quarter came to $5-billion, up 7.2 percent from the same period last year when it had $4.67-billion in revenue.

The telecom attributed the lower profit to increased depreciation and amortization relating to its accelerated network buildout and recent acquisitions. In addition, it blamed higher interest rates and restructuring costs relating to its continuing cost-efficiency program and its recent workforce reduction. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

TVA Group announces major changes to secure its future

In a company statement, owner Quebecor states the reorganization plan is necessary because of the challenging financial, economic and competitive environment affecting TVA Group and the entire industry. In the third-quarter financial results released today, TVA Group reported a year-to-date loss of nearly $13 million for its Broadcasting segment, compared with $1.6 million for the same period last year.


The reorganization plan includes:

1.    Cessation of in-house production of entertainment content
2.    Restructuring of the news division
3.    Optimization of real estate assets

CRTC CEO Vicky Eatrides excerpted speech at the Nov. 6 Canadian Telecom Summit

“… Our goal is to help connect all Canadians. But as we know, one of the barriers to connectivity is the high cost of building out networks.

“We have heard from telecommunications companies that just maintaining current networks can cost a company tens of millions of dollars or more every year. We have also heard from companies that it can take decades to earn returns on their investments and that it can cost $25,000 to connect a single home in some rural areas.

“To support the building out of networks, the CRTC helps fund projects in rural, remote and Indigenous communities through its Broadband Fund.

“In our most recent call out, we received over 100 applications seeking roughly $1.9 billion in funding. We are moving quickly to make decisions on these projects while at the same time making our application process faster and easier. We are also looking at creating a new funding stream for Indigenous communities.

Gannett’s Taylor Swift reporter Bryan West, the first full-time Swiftie journalist

Gannett, the biggest newspaper chain in the U.S., no longer has a blank space under the title of “Taylor Swift reporter.” The company has written in the name of Bryan West, a 35-year-old journalist from Arizona who has just moved to Nashville to fill the newly added, headline-making position. Starting today, West will be working out of the Tennessean’s newsroom for USA Today and the chain’s more than 200 local dailies, reporting on all things Swift… and only on all things Swift. – Chris Willman, Variety


Broadcast, audio companies will be eligible for Pulitzer Prizes, for work on digital sites

The Pulitzer Prizes, considered the premier award for print journalists, are opening eligibility to broadcast and audio companies offering digital news sites.


But the work these companies can submit for prize consideration must primarily be written journalism, the Columbia University-based Pulitzer Prize Board said on Monday.

Broadcast news outlets were historically prohibited from entering work in the Pulitzer competition because they produced little text-based journalism. Other competitions, like the Emmys and the duPont-Columbia Awards, honour broadcast journalism. – David Bauder, AP

Report claims AM radio will cost EV makers $3.8B by 2030

… The study describes the existing solutions for cancelling electromagnetic interference, which all cars have required since the advent of AM in autos, like shielding cables, adding interference filters, active noise cancellation, and careful component placement. According to one manufacturer's assessment, cost estimates for shielding range between $35 to $50 per vehicle, while filtering could add $15 to $20 per vehicle.

The report calls for the omission of analog AM radio in favour of digital AM and FM, streaming, and satellite, which would hold more financial benefits for automakers – and not just due to EMI mitigation. – Radio Ink

Techsurvey 2024

We’re reaching out to let you know we’re preparing for Jacobs Media’s 20th annual Techsurvey, which is set to field early next year. This study is the radio broadcasting industry’s largest survey, with participation from more than 430 radio stations and over 30,000 core radio listenerssurveyed last year. The survey is open to commercial radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and examines the online habits of radio audiences.
Past surveys have enabled Jacobs Media to identify key digital trends, including smart speakers and the rise of voice technologies, on-demand audio and video entertainment options like podcasts and Netflix, and the surge in social media usage. In Techsurvey 2024, we will continue trending on gadgets and media use… – Jacobs Media

Fox anchor Bret Baier wants $32M for his Washington, DC estate

Now that Bret Baier has upgraded into a new $37 million mansion in the Sunshine State’s affluent Palm Beach community, the chief political anchor of Fox News Channel and anchor and executive producer of the network’s Special Report program has decided to put his residence the upper northwest section of Washington, D.C., back on the market, as was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.


The asking price is a speck under $32 million—or $32.5 million more than the Baier and his longtime wife Amy forked over for the 1.5-acre property a little more than five years ago, back in September 2018, before they spent a reported three years and $25 million to completely rebuild every inch of the existing premises in collaboration with developer Michael Banks and architect David Jones. – Wendy Bowman, Robb Report

Norman Wong



Happy Anniversary, Archie: Alvvays' Debut Record Gets a 10th Birthday Re-Issue

The Canadian jangle pop group's first album will be available on a new cerulean blue vinyl with an unearthed bonus track, as well as the ten original songs — including breakout single 'Archie, Marry Me' — that launched their career in 2014.

A major Canadian indie rock album turns 10 today (July 22), and the band is celebrating with a special re-issue.

Alvvays' self-titled debut helped the group break through on an international scale, propelled by jangly guitars, aloof vocals and an expertly catchy single. "Archie, Marry Me," with its soaring chorus and pleading lyrics, became a wedding song for a generation of ambivalent millennials, earnest and sardonic at the same time.

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