Media Beat: November 23, 2020

You gotta laugh to keep from cryin'

Media Beat: November 23, 2020

By David Farrell

You gotta laugh to keep from cryin'

Marketers spend half a trillion dollars a year on advertising. You'd think they'd take the time to understand what the hell they're doing. There is incontrovertible evidence that they are alarmingly out of touch with the people they are trying to influence.

This week Ipsos Canada released a study on behalf of ThinkTV comparing the beliefs of 300 marketing "professionals"  to the self-reported activities of consumers. The results are striking, if not shocking. Using the data from the Ipsos study, I've made a little table.

They think they "understand the consumer." They don't understand shit.

While 58% of marketers and advertisers have "smart speakers" in their homes, 19% of real people do. While about 45% of adults in the US are over 50, in ad agencies about 6% of employees are. According to the coo of Ipsos, “Some of these differences really are quite gigantic.” – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian


Rogers’ cutbacks reflect today’s challenges

Rogers Sports & Media has made staff cuts at its radio and television properties, that include the cancellation of Breakfast Television in Calgary and Vancouver, as well as the JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver morning show, as reported by Broadcast Dialogue.

“We are modernizing our business to position us for growth as we face the continued effects of a seismic shift in the media industry from traditional to digital and the challenges of the global pandemic,” Andrea Goldstein, Senior Director of Communications, told Broadcast Dialogue in an email. “Today’s changes allow us to prioritize our focus in areas where we have the assets and capabilities to deliver best-in-class multiplatform experiences.”

Rogers mulls next steps as US8.4B Cogeco offer expires

Ultimately, family legacy proved more important for Cogeco, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler. “If your whole life is wrapped up into a company that you built over the years, and it’s providing more than suitable compensation, why sell?”


For industry watchers, it’s now a waiting game to see if Rogers sells all or part of its Cogeco investment. “We’ll see if we hear about any next steps by Rogers before or with its 4Q reporting in January,” National Bank of Canada analyst Adam Shine said in an email. – Ilya Banares, Bloomberg News

Telefilm funding process under fire

Established producers would much rather the public agency operate like a “cultural bank” for proven successes, with an annual withdrawal limit of $4 million per company. The Fast Track producers believe Telefilm’s role should be restricted to “the administration of funds” while they, not the bureaucrats, decide what gets made.

The problem, critics say, is that the industry’s leaders in Canada are mostly white men who history shows are not predisposed to telling stories that speak to Canada’s diverse audiences or work with BIPOC filmmakers. Hence, why Telefilm is shaking things up. – Radheyan Simonpillai, Now

Bell Media acquisitions 

Castlepoint Numa Inc. says it has sold its minority interest in Pinewood Toronto Studios to majority shareholder Bell Media. Castlepoint invested in Pinewood Toronto in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis.

Bell Media exercised its right to buy the shares through a right of first offer.


Separately, Bell Media and Grandé Studios have announced a new partnership, Bell Media has acquired a minority investment in the Montréal-based company, which provides production facilities, camera and lighting equipment rentals in Montréal and Toronto, and technical services to the local and international TV and film production industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Doug Putman: The Canadian who keeps buying bankrupt chains

The business world has its share of mavericks and contrarians. Then there is Doug Putman. People scoffed when the 36-year-old Hamilton-area entrepreneur bought bankrupt music retailers Sunrise Records, U.K.’s HMV and For Your Entertainment in the U.S., but he has turned them into profitable, growing chains. Now he’s acquired most of the outlets of insolvent DavidsTea and is reinventing them, turning them into … tea shops. Named T. Kettle, the first locations opened in early November. When he’s not busy turning around failing international chains, he works as president of his family’s business, Everest Toys.


You’ve opened a retail chain in the middle of a pandemic. What were you thinking?

I believe timing is everything. You get presented opportunities but nothing is ever perfect. If we weren’t in the situation we’re in, another retailer wouldn’t be pulling out of 150 stores. People say, “Oh, they couldn’t make it, but you can?” But just because one restaurant fails doesn’t mean you shouldn’t open a restaurant. The opportunity is there because someone has left the market and landlords and suppliers are eager to partner. – Joanna Pachner, The Star

What Trump faces on Jan. 20, 2021

As soon as he becomes a private citizen, Trump will be stripped of the legal armour that has protected him from pending cases both civil and criminal.

Here are some of the most perilous cases that await President Trump when he’s no longer president — and here’s how he could yet use the powers of the nation’s highest office to escape punishment… – Tom Winter, NBC News

Can Trump take on Fox News with a rival media outlet?

The easiest option for Mr Trump might be no Trump TV at all. Instead of starting his own venture, Mr Trump could instead host shows on Fox or other existing conservative media outlets. That could be lucrative for the former president and give him a large, influential platform. “He could easily make $40m a year,” said one former senior Fox executive. - Anna Nicolaou & James Fontanella-Khan in New York and Alex Barker in London, Financial Times

Cable News networks immune from FCC sanctions

Viewers asked the Federal Communications Commission to revoke licenses from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC — except the FCC doesn't issue licenses to networks. – WFFA TV


BuzzFeed to acquire HuffPost

BuzzFeed is buying HuffPost, the digital media company created by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and others in 2005.

Verizon Media, HuffPost’s current parent company, also announced an investment in BuzzFeed. It will have a minority stake in the company. – Sarah Guaglione, Media Post

Saudi Arabia reaps the wrong kind of PR as G20 host


William (Bill) John Morgan arrived from Australia and became a columnist and then editor of the Brandon Sun Newspaper. He moved on to join the CBC. From 1976 to 1980, he was TV Network Program Director, responsible for the pubcaster’s television network schedule, and ultimately for direct creative supervision of the "entertainment" side of CBC Television. In 1980, Bill was appointed Head of Television Current Affairs, where, as well as being the manager responsible for the successful development of The Journal, he was in overall charge of program series such as The 5th Estate, Marketplace, Man Alive, and Emmy and Academy award-winning documentaries like Fighting Back and Just Another Missing Kid. He was also a key planner for the network’s Newsworld (now CBC News Network).

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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