Media Beat: September 27, 2019

Media Beat: September 27, 2019

By David Farrell

CHOM set to celebrate 50 years

CHOM 97.7 Montreal is marking its 50th anniversary with a concert Oct. 28 featuring the Tea Party, Sam Roberts Band, Michel Pagliaro and The Damn Truth at MTelus. The iHeartRadio FM launched on Oct. 28, 1969, when DJ Doug Pringle spun The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun. Ducats go on sale today.

CKGM-FM, as the station was originally known, was founded by Geoff Stirling as a sister station of CKGM AM, and opened on July 16, 1963. After a few weeks as a simulcast of CKGM, CKGM-FM launched a beautiful music format on September 1, 1963.

On October 28, 1969, CKGM-FM changed its format to album-oriented rock. On-air advertising was kept at a minimum. The first song played by Doug Pringle after the format switch was Richard Strauss' Thus sprach Zarathustra, followed by The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun. The station would change its call sign to CHOM-FM almost two years later.


In 1985, CHUM Ltd. was approved by the CRTC to acquire the AM and FM licenses. In 2002, Standard Radio Inc. took ownership of the FM and, in 2007, Astral Radio Media received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard. The purchase included CHOM-FM, CJAD-FM and CJFM-FM. 

In 2013, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including CHOM-FM.

The Anglo rock beacon has been home to an impressive line-up of broadcasters over the years. Among them: John Mackey, Lee Hambleton, Rob Braide, André Rheaume, Bob Beauchamp, Bobby Boulanger, Steve Kowch, Steve Anthony, Andrew Carter, Terri DiMonte, Kathy Coulombe, Robert “Tootall” Wagenaar, Terri Michael, and Leslie Sole.

Doug Pringle affectionately recounts the early years in an FYI feature written by Martin Melhuish that is available here, and below an on-air clip of Doug at CHOM...all those years ago. – Sources: Bell Media, History of Canadian Broadcasting, Wikipedia, FYI.


CBS launches branded Stages Canada studio in Toronto

CBS Television Studios on Thursday unveiled CBS Stages Canada as the first Hollywood studio-branded facility in Canada, with six soundstages over 260,000 square feet of space. The multi-use production studio, which includes production offices and support facilities, currently hosts shoots for Star Trek: Discovery and In the Dark. CBS estimates the Canadian facility will generate around $200 million in annual production expenditures and 300 jobs on an average day when all six soundstages are filled. – Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter

Majority of Canadians want government to regulate social media, poll says

Only 36 percent were supportive of breaking up Big Tech, but 70+ percent of respondents supported moves such as requiring platforms to delete illegal content such as hate speech in a timely manner or posts that intentionally spread misinformation. The Ryerson Leadership Lab respondents also supported requiring platforms to develop third-party fact-checking verification of news posts, and increasing digital and media literacy education. – The Star

Netflix says it has exceeded promise on CanCon spending in first two years

A $500M+ CanCon spend over five years, announced by (then Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly) in 2017, has already been met, according to a news report in the Globe and Mail. Reporter Susan Krashinksky Robertson writes that Netflix has a stake in revealing the progress of its investment: the government has been reviewing its cultural policy, and considering whether streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and soon-to-arrive services from Apple and Disney should be regulated like broadcasters. She adds: “Whoever wins the next federal election will inherit this policy question: How should Canadian culture be funded, and should streaming services be required to pay into the system?” – Source: The Globe and Mail


CCMA Awards prove a hit for Global

The recently aligned partnership between the Canadian Country Music Association and Global TV has come up roses for the first live broadcast of the org’s annual awards show Sept. 8 from Calgary’s Saddledome, co-hosted by Dallas Smith and Billy Ray Cyrus. Year over year audience growth confirmed audience increase of 19% for Ind. 2+, 15% for adults 25-54, and a 53% increase amongst females 25-54. The show was also simulcast live on three Corus-owned FMs — Corus’ Country 105 (Calgary), CISN Country 103.9 (Edmonton), and Country 104 (London/Woodstock). Calgary’s Country 105 claimed top spot with its broadcast of the CCMA Awards, ranking #1 with adults 18+ and 25-54. All data credited to Numeris. Performers on the show included Dean Brody, Tebey, James Barker Band, Meghan Patrick, Hunter Brothers, Jess Moskaluke with Aaron Pritchett, and Paul Brandt. The 90-minute show can be streamed from Global’s website here.


Total viewership numbers have not been released by Global or the CCMA.

Rogers hiring 350 people … for Kelowna call centre

The 32,000-square-foot facility is expected to employ 350 people initially; however, the telecom company said it expects the number of employees to eventually increase to 500.

The call centre is expected to answer a million calls from Rogers and Fido wireless customers each year.

B.C.’s premier, the province’s jobs minister and Kelowna’s mayor were quoted in the company’s announcement praising the new call centre as a positive indicator of province’s economy. – Global News

SiriusXM launches new streaming subscription offer for post-secondary students

The satellite radio provider wants a bigger slice of the subscription-based music streaming and commercial radio audiences and is offering a tantalizing incentive for a demo cluster that advertisers buzz over.

SiriusXM Canada has launched a subscription package built for post-secondary students. The Student Premier offers a 69-percent discount to undergraduates for the streaming package for $4 per month, as compared to the regular price of Premier Streaming of $12.99 per month*. This package gives subscribers access to content outside on multiple platforms. To subscribe visit


Thunderbird Entertainment appoints new chair as Ivan Fecan returns to producing content

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has appointed merchant banker and company shareholder Brian Paes-Braga as its new chair as Ivan Fecan moves from the executive seat to focus on producing content for the Canadian media production company that distributes and produces movies, commercial videos, and television program contents, as well as offers rights management services on a global scale. Fecan’s resume includes titles as VP Creative Affairs at NBC, Head of English TV at CBC, and CEO and President of CTVglobemedia. He built CTV into a multibillion-dollar conglomerate with Canada’s top-rated broadcast and cable networks, and the number one programs in news, sports and entertainment.

Untethered from the boardroom, he remains as an executive producer on the company’s hit sitcom series, Kim’s Convenience that launched on CBC Television in Oct. 2016. Last year the series became available to audiences outside of Canada when it debuted internationally on Netflix. – Source: Various

Google takes hard-line, refuses to pay French news sites despite new law

Google believes that France's new copyright law allows Google to include an article's headline in a search result, but not the "snippet" that often appears below the headline. So, to comply with the new French law, Google will remove the snippet below links to French news sites, as well as thumbnail images that sometimes appear next to news results. – Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica


Vox acquires New York magazine

The US digital media company, with over 300 sites and 400+ paid writers, has acquired the 51-year-old print magazine and its parent company New York Media in an all-stock transaction. The Wall Street Journal pegs the acquisition’s value at about US$105M, CNBC speculates more media acquisitions are on the horizon, and AdWeek hints the deal could see New York Media’s paywall expand to Vox Media properties. – Tony Wong, Toronto Star

Bad news makes Netflix a ‘buy’, analyst says

Stifel analyst Scott Devitt is optimistic because of the size of the company’s content library. He noted how Netflix is expected to offer nearly 1,000 original TV series by year-end. He also predicts that the company will be able to raise its prices over the long term. – Tae Kim, Barron’s

No right to be forgotten? How to remove your footprints from the Internet

Keeping your digital information in check is not just about information that you put online. Monitoring the passive data collection conducted by companies from you is important, too.

Abuse, stalking, and bullying may also factor as reasons to erase our digital footprints and seize control of our devices. If you suspect your mobile device has been compromised by spyware or stalkerware, you can check out our guide here.

If you want to take control of your privacy and online data, here are some tips to get you started. – Charlie Osborne, ZDNet

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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