Media Beat: November 20, 2019

Media Beat: November 20, 2019

By David Farrell

Toronto Star shutting down StarMetro newspapers

The Toronto Star is shutting down its StarMetro commuter newspapers across Canada, cutting 73 jobs.

The final editions in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax will be published Dec. 20, a spokesperson for Torstar Corp., the parent company of both newspaper brands, told CBC News in an email. 

"Commuter readers are using their smartphones, laptops and tablets to access their news," Bob Hepburn said in an email.

An internal email sent to staff by Torstar president and CEO John Boynton stated print advertising had "decreased significantly in recent months to levels below those required to make them commercially viable." — Anjuli Patil, CBC News


Don Cherry launches Tuesday podcast series

In his first "Grapevine" podcast, released Tuesday, Cherry says he wasn't willing to accept Sportsnet's conditions to have him return following his "Coach's Corner" segment on "Hockey Night in Canada" on Nov. 9.

"What happened was evidently I said something. Everybody knows what I said," Cherry said. "I offered to explain. Not an apology, but I was going to smooth it over. They made conditions that made it impossible" — The Canadian Press

Guild urges Quebec to include CP in aid for media

The struggling Quebec newspaper industry, highlighted when Groupe Capitales Médias (GCM) applied for bankruptcy protection in August, needs what The Canadian Press has to offer. Too bad the Quebec government, which announced a tax credit program for original local journalism shortly after the GCM summer bombshell dropped, doesn’t realize it.

The program excludes CP under the pretext it does not publish its journalism directly; the oversight stands to hurt the valuable reporting that the news service provides to Quebec clients. — cw eh! Canada

Federal Court issues first ever order to block piracy website

A federal court is ordering Canada's internet service providers to block websites for a company selling pirated television online, deeming that such a move wouldn't infringe on freedom of expression or net neutrality.

The decision, issued Friday, affects Gold TV, an IPTV service that offers thousands of traditional TV channels for a nominal fee, streaming over internet networks. It's the first time a nationwide blocking order has been made in Canada, setting a precedent that critics say could have broader consequences. — David Friend, The Canadian Press


Google maintains wide lead in US search revenue 

Google’s position as the search advertising leader in the US is on solid footing, according to our latest US digital ad spending estimates. This year, Google will net more than 73% of US search ad spending, down less than 1 percentage point since 2018. — Nicole Perrin, eMarketer

Local business gets zero results from email marketing

The average local business receives virtually no website visits from email, according to Google Analytics for Local Businesses Study

Zero visits are also being attributed to paid or display sessions.

Organic search pulls the most monthly sessions in the U.S. (226), Canada (321) and the UK (295), although total traffic for the channel fell between 2017 and 2018.  — Ray Schultz, MediaPost

Even nobodies have fans now

In an age defined by political dysfunction, the appeal of any sort of democratically secured victory — however small, however pathetic — isn’t hard to understand. Now that the fandom template has been cemented, it has begun to attach to more obscure or arcane media enterprises: indie-pop artists like Charli XCX, faceless meme-makers and even podcasts. The profit model of the podcast world is arranged, perhaps serendipitously, to capitalize on this type of fan relationship. — Jamie Lauren Keiles, NY Times Magazine


Satellite stock Intelsat drops 40% after FCC 5G decision

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday said it would hold an auction by the end of next year for critical spectrum for 5G, known as the C-band. The airwaves are currently licensed to satellite communications companies who had hoped they could re-sell the rights on their own. Shares of Intelsat, one of the current holders, plummeted 40% after the FCC announcement. — Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Data Sheet


Market experts weigh in on the next wave of media mergers & acquisitions

Outside of Roku and Apple TV housing streaming apps for several services, the competitors are not concerned with making it easy for consumers to access a wealth of content. The sheer volume of options may be the primary barrier of adoption for some. — Brandon Katz, Observer

OECD: Taxes on ‘Digital Companies’ are coming

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development hopes to have new rules for "the taxation of digital companies" in place by January, Angel Gurría, secretary-general of the OECD, said Monday at the Fortune Global Forum in Paris.

Though big tech wasn't specifically mentioned, the message was clear: Silicon Valley companies are likely to owe more taxes in Europe and elsewhere. — John Weiczner, Fortune

Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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