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FYI

Media Beat, Sept. 23, 2021

Media Beat, Sept. 23, 2021

By David Farrell

Who's David Cheriton?: Meet the Canadian billionaire who made an early bet on Google and calls himself 'cheap'

…After the US$220-million Cisco deal, “a bunch of people at Stanford thought I must know something about startups and business,” he told the Financial Post.


That included two Stanford PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who approached Cheriton with what they believed was great internet search technology. They wanted to license the technology, and despite Cheriton’s caution (“It’s just really hard to turn your baby over to somebody else to raise it,” he told them) he connected the pair with an intellectual property lawyer, to help search for a licensing partner. Along the way, Yahoo! turned down an offer to buy the Google technology for — brace yourself — $2 million. “Everybody makes mistakes,” Cheriton said. “Not many people make that big of a mistake.” – Quentin Casey, Financial Post

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Corus says Rogers-Shaw deal would cause funding hit to local news stations

Corus Entertainment Inc. says the proposed acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers Communications Inc. would have a “detrimental impact” on local news production, as annual payments from Shaw to Corus’s Global News television network would stop. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

Federal court agrees to hear TekSavvy’s appeal of CRTC wholesale rates ruling

In court documents, the independent telecom argues that the regulator erred by reverting to the 2016 rates instead of again going through the process of calculating the cost of providing service. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

Liberal, Tory, same old story? Voting records say yes

The two parties voted together more than 600 times in Parliament since 2004, blocking dozens of progressive bills, data shows. – Martin Lukacs & Ben Cuthbert, The Breach

Michael Geist’s Law Bytes podcast

It is election day in Canada following a late summer campaign in which the focus was largely anything but digital issues: Covid, climate change, Afghanistan, and affordability all dominated the daily talking points. The digital policy issues that grabbed attention throughout the spring – Bill C-10, online harms, wireless pricing – were largely absent from the discussion and in some cases even from party platforms. Laura Tribe, the executive director of OpenMedia, joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss digital policies and the 2021 election campaign. Our conversation walks through a wide range of issues, including the surprising omission of wireless pricing from the Liberal platform, the future of Bill C-10, and the failure of privacy reform to garner much political traction.

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The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

Bell Media specialty channels see record growth

With the 2020/21 broadcast year now at a close, final data from Numeris confirms that Bell Media’s entertainment specialty channels continue to achieve record growth and rankings, claiming the top three spots for entertainment specialty channel among Adults 18-49 and a total of five in the Top 10 among Adults 25-54. – Press release

Which Media benefitted from the Trudeau government’s Covid-19 funds?

Publications such as Maclean’s, The Logic, select Postmedia and Black Press papers, Daily Hive, and The Epoch Times benefited from emergency funding the Trudeau government has provided during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the news outlets that received the latest round of tens of millions of dollars in 2021 emergency funding have not been disclosed to the public. The funding initiatives add to other government funding pools some of the recipients were already benefiting from. – Jonathan Bradley, Canadaland

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New report highlights how Gen Z is driving music streaming growth – but don’t count out traditional radio, either

A new report detailing US Media Consumption looked at several factors that have changed American adult behaviour since the pandemic. It reveals that for the first time, more Americans are streaming video content than watching live TV. But it also contains some important insights into how 18–24-year-olds interact with audio content.

Notably, 63% of Gen Z respondents said they listen to streamed music daily. 56% of that same category (18-24) said they have never listened to an audiobook. And 44% say they have never listened to a single podcast. Around 22% of Gen Z respondents said they listen to radio daily. – Digital Music News

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Piers Morgan’s next big star has Rupert Murdoch’s backing

Piers Morgan has issued a breaking news alert about his own career, following the announcement that he is rejoining Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp after almost three decades.

The ex-Good Morning Britain presenter has signed a global deal that includes two weekly columns for the New York Post and The Sun, along with helping to launch a new channel, named talkTV.

The station will offer a mix of “hourly news bulletins, sports and entertainment shows as well as current affairs, debate, opinion and documentaries”, the group said in a statement.

The channel will launch in early 2022, with Piers Morgan’s new weeknight show being its main draw. – Roisin O’Connor, Independent (UK)

The sly old fox Rupert Murdoch is trumpeting his next big news channel

He may be 90, god bless him, but Rupert Murdoch can still smell blood in the water. GB News, it is fair to say, is a bit of a wounded beast in the shark-infested waters of the British media, not waving to its few remaining viewers, but drowning. Having previously swam away from the territory, Murdoch now spies an opportunity.

He’s watched GB News make its mistakes, waited until its only serious asset, Andrew Neil, left and now he’s circling and is going to launch his own channel, talkTV, next Spring. He’s going to put it out on every available medium, including Freeview and the web, he’s going to back it with the full resources and advertising heft of his media empire, and he’s signed up Piers Morgan, the big fish that got away from GB News. Nigel Farage will be left croaking on his precarious raft, like one of the migrant dinghies in the English Channel he so loves to hate.

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But the thing about talkTV is that it might actually work. – Sean O’Grady, Independent (UK)

Media associations urge value for journalism in digital ecosystem

Seventeen media associations in the Americas and other regions today called, through a public statement, for a “fair and reasonable” remuneration for the publication of journalistic content on digital platforms.

The institutions comprise more than 40,000 media from Canada, United States, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

In addition to payment for content and advertising concentration, the associations pay special attention to algorithms, saying that their opacity discretionally affect the production and distribution of content. – Jamaican Observer

The Right Is waging its culture war by turning Its base Into bounty-hunters

When Texas recently passed SB 8, it not only turned Roe v. Wade on its head, leaving millions of women more vulnerable, it unveiled the latest and trickiest weapon in the conservative culture wars.

SB 8 outsources enforcement to private citizens, allowing any person to sue abortion providers or people who “aid or abet” them. In the wake of the law taking effect, many commentators (darkly or excitedly) imagined how else this could be used: Could, say, New York confer standing on its citizens to sue gun shops?

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This weapon is already being deployed throughout the country. In Tennessee, students and teachers can now sue schools if they “encounter a member of the opposite (biological) sex in a multi-occupancy restroom.” In Florida, any student who claims to have been “deprived of an athletic opportunity” because a transgender athlete took their place is now bestowed with a private cause of action against the school. Missouri recently passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which not only serves as an assault on the supremacy clause, but grants $50,000 in damages to any party whose right to bear arms is deprived. And Kentucky citizens can now file a complaint with the attorney general if a teacher within their school district teaches critical race theory resulting in withdrawn funding from the school. – Scott Pilutik, Slate

Why your podcasts and newsletters need to be shorter

From studying usage data to conducting their proprietary quantitative and qualitative interviewing, they've got a bead on digital media trends and how their audience consumes content.

For both broadcasters and podcasters, monitoring the WashingtonPost's activities is just plain smart.  Same with the New York Times.  They're conducting and commissioning more research than most radio operations and podcast networks.

So, four main takeaways here, for commercial, public, and Christian radio, all of which can reap important lessons: – Jacobs Media

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired

For some of the jobs available, people don’t have the right skills, or at least the skills employers say they’re looking for. Other jobs are undesirable — they offer bad pay or an unpredictable schedule, or just don’t feel worth it to unemployed workers, many of whom are rethinking their priorities. In some cases, there are a host of perfectly acceptable candidates and jobs out there, but for a multitude of reasons, they’re just not being matched.

There are also workers who are hesitant to go back — they’re nervous about Covid-19 or they have care responsibilities or something else is holding them back.

The result is a disconnected environment that doesn’t add up, though it feels like it should. – Rani Molla & Emily Stewart, recode

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Legal News

The Guess Who's Burton Cummings Will Give Up His Royalties to Stop Alleged 'Cover Band'

The Canadian musician has cancelled performing license agreements for all of his songs, which will prevent the act currently performing under The Guess Who name from playing hits like "American Woman" and "These Eyes."

Canadian musician Burton Cummings is giving up his royalties to protect his legacy.

The "American Woman" singer and co-founder of classic Winnipeg band The Guess Who has cancelled his performance license agreements, Rolling Stone reports, in an effort to prevent the current iteration of The Guess Who from performing.

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