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Media Beat: September 26, 2018

By David Farrell

Mind the gaps: Quantifying the decline of news coverage in Canada

Our empirical research has found that the number of newspaper articles appearing in a sample of communities in all five regions of Canada fell by almost half over the last decade. Coverage of democratic institutions and civic affairs declined by more than a third. This drop coincides with the downsizing, mergers and closures of print news outlets. We saw a similar pattern across all 20 communities studied: small and medium-sized; anglophone and francophone; and, significantly, those with and without newspaper closures (although naturally more pronounced in the latter). There were fewer articles per year in every community examined. – Public Policy Forum Report


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Let me explain the news about me, Q107, and 102.1 the Edge.

My role with Q has begun as the imaging voice. For people not in the business, the imaging person is the one you hear between the records saying the call letters and detailing things like concerts, contests and other things happening on the station. As these gigs go, the sweetest one in all of Canada is Q107. Very few people have had this chance to be the voice of Q. One of the last guys to have the gig is the now the official announcer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO.

What about The Edge? Pretty much everything stays the same. – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things!

The new media barons

The sale of Time magazine to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, is only the latest example of prominent figures in the technology industry using their fortunes to buy legacy media companies. There was Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes’ 2012 purchase (and 2016 sale) of the New Republic, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ 2013 purchase of the Washington Post, Laurene Powell Jobs’ 2017 purchase of a majority stake in the Atlantic, and biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s 2018 purchase of the Los Angeles Times. They surely won’t be the last: The news business isn’t getting less tumultuous—nor any less essential to a functioning democracy.

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What should we make of these tech titans turned media patrons, and should we worry about their intentions? – April Glaser & Will Oremus, Slate

SiriusXM to acquire Pandora

The transaction would combine SiriusXM’s 36 million subscribers in North America with Pandora’s more than 70 million monthly active users. The two companies are expected to have combined revenue of about $7 billion this year. – Hamza Shaban, The Washington Post

Vox Media, a fellow victim of stunted digital ad revenue

Digital publisher Vox Media is expected to miss its revenue goal for this year by more than 15%, according to people familiar with the matter, adding to the list of new-media companies struggling to live up to lofty growth expectations. – Benjamin Mullin & Amol Sharma, The Washington Post

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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