Media Beat: October 13, 2022

Media Beat: October 13, 2022

By David Farrell

The Georgia Straight, acquired by Overstory Media Group in move to reinstate focus on local arts and culture

The move returns the 55-year-old Vancouver-based news, lifestyle, and entertainment outlet to West Coast ownership after its 2020 acquisition by Toronto-based Media Central Corporation Inc. That transaction resulted in the merging of The Straight's editorial department with marketing and sales, and the elimination of a long-standing focus on local arts and culture coverage.

Overstory's first action will be to reinstate The Straight's arts and culture focus and enhance its exceptional coverage of local events, entertainment, music, food, and news. Overstory Media Group

Bell Media takes another hit with Patricia Jaggernauth’s Human Rights filing

Patricia Jaggernauth, a Toronto television personality and weather specialist, filed a human rights complaint case against Bell Media, alleging racial discrimination and sexism during her 11-year career at CP24.


According to her social media, Jaggernauth identifies as part Guyanese and part Jamaican.

She said she was "treated as a token and a commodity." – Christine Jean–Baptiste, Yahoo News

Elmnt’s twin stations in Ottawa and Toronto without on-air staff

Insufficient audience numbers and spiking interest rates have caused First Peoples Radio to slash overheads at the twin stations that were awarded licenses in June 2018 with a condition that at least 30 percent of the music played by the FMs would be Indigenous Canadian music. President/CEO Jean LaRose says he is optimistic that the audience numbers will continue to grow, and that sufficient new advertising can right the situation. “We had to make hard choices to remain on-air while operating with the financial resources we have. This wasn’t an easy decision but it was the only way to ensure we could remain part of the broadcast industry in Ottawa and Toronto,” he said yesterday in a written communique.

Quebec businessman and philanthropist André Chagnon, founder of Vidéotron, dead at 94

The Montreal-born Chagnon, an electrician by trade, was the founder of Vidéotron in 1964, the Quebec cable television company that would become one of the largest telecommunications companies in Canada.

Vidéotron was later acquired by Quebecor Media Inc. in 2000, with Chagnon and his widow, Lucie, in turn setting up the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation with a goal of preventing poverty. – The Canadian Press


Comparing YTD video versus audio streams reveals surprises

Witt Lowry’s self-released Into Your Arms f/Ava Max, Duncan Laurence’s Arcade (Capitol) and Måneskin’s Beggin’ (Arista) are in the YTD video Top 10. The three tracks are ranked between #180-200 in audio streams. – Hits Daily Double with Top 25 chart

Looking at Harry Styles’ As It Was (Columbia) in reverse, the song has collected half a billion audio streams since its release, a stark contrast to the video’s #22 ranking.

BMI is changing to a for-profit business model

After reported record-setting revenue and royalty distributions of US$1.471B for its fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022, the PRO is shifting to a for-profit business model and plans to “structure, fund and operate new strategic opportunities, adopt new technologies and enhance and expand our services and products in a way that under our old model would have come at the expense of distributions.” – Jem Aswad. Variety & corporate press release

What's on your network? These are the devices most at risk of getting hacked

Connected devices are becoming more common at home and in the workplace - but if they're not secured properly, that could leave you vulnerable. – Danny Palmer, ZDNet

British bookstore owners praise Russell Crowe for his act of kindness in giving money and media attention to the imperilled business

Alerted on social media of a crowdfunding appeal by the struggling owners of British children’s bookshop, Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Norwich, a donation suddenly appeared in the name of Russell Ira Crowe.


Hours after the launch, as dozens of £5 ($8.80) and £10 ($17.60) donations appeared, a pledge of £5000 ($8818) from the star and producer of the 2010 blockbuster Robin Hood appeared.

The overwhelmed and grateful owner Leanne Fridd told the BBC: “One of our daughters had to go to work early the next day, and she woke up to us chanting ‘Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe’.

“It’s bonkers. It’s going to have a huge impact. – Louise Talbot, The New Daily


Rod McKuen was the bestselling poet in American history. What happened?

On April 29, 1969, Carnegie Hall was sold out. The artist who filled the fabled performance hall wasn’t a symphony orchestra, a Broadway belter, or a jazz star. It wasn’t a rock band or a folk singer or any hero of the counterculture taking the stage just a few months before Woodstock. On that night, more than 3,000 fans filled the Main Hall on 57th Street to see a placid blond man wearing a sweatshirt and sneakers. He stood before a microphone on his 36th birthday and performed a poem about a lost cat named Sloopy.

His name was Rod McKuen. He was the most popular poet in American publishing history

Rod McKuen sold millions of poetry books in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a regular on late-night TV. He released dozens of albums, wrote songs for Sinatra, and was nominated for two Oscars. He was a flashpoint in the battle between highbrow and lowbrow, with devotees revering his plain-spoken honesty and Dick Cavett mockingly calling him “the most understood poet in America.” Every year on his birthday, he sold out Carnegie Hall.

But by the time I was a teenager, he had completely vanished from the cultural landscape. I only know of him because I spent the entire 1990s in thrift stores and used bookshops, and everywhere I went, I saw Rod McKuen’s name. His chiseled face stared out at me from abandoned hardcovers, torn paperbacks, and dusty record albums, all adorned with the most ’70s fonts you ever saw. He wore a turtleneck and luxurious blond hair on the cover of Come to Me in Silence. He reclined on a sandy beach on the front of Seasons in the Sun. On one paperback he stared out to sea and the title of the book told me just how he felt: Alone.


I wanted to know who this incredibly famous poet was, and who his fans were, and how he was forgotten. I I went searching for Rod McKuen, and I found a young man so hungry for fame that he wrote his own fan letters, a singer of novelty tunes whose early hit got plagiarized into a punk anthem, a gay celebrity who winked about his sexuality but had to lie about the man he loved. I learned that it takes a lot of dedication and hard work and luck to attain fame, but it takes something more than that to retain it. And along the way I met a man who, like me, was bewildered by this forgotten star—until he became an accidental fan, and then even more accidentally became the only person keeping Rod McKuen’s flame alive.

‘Oldies but Goodies’: Longtime radio DJ Art Laboe dies at 97

Laboe is credited with helping end segregation in Southern California by organizing live DJ shows at drive-in eateries that attracted white, Black and Latino listeners who danced to rock ‘n’ roll — and shocked an older generation still listening to Frank Sinatra and Big Band music.


The DJ is also credited with popularizing the phrase “oldies, but goodies.” In 1957, he started Original Sound Record, Inc. and in 1958, released the compilation album “Oldies But Goodies: Vol. 1,” which stayed on the Billboard’s Top 100 chart for 183 weeks. – Christopher Weber, AP

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.
Nykieria Chaney/Getty Images for ABA

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.

Music News

Billie Eilish Dances and Sings Along to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Not Like Us’ Drake Diss

K. Dot's track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May.

Billie Eilish was spotted vibing to Kendrick Lamar‘s “Not Like Us.”

In a video that began circulating on social media Saturday (May 18), the 22-year-old pop star is seen dancing and singing along to K. Dot’s infectious Drake diss, which recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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