Tommy Schnurmacher announces retirement
Tommy Schnurmacher announces retirement

Media Beat: November 27, 2017

CRTC ED Chris Seidl to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Nov. 23

...Because the CRTC designated broadband Internet service as a basic telecommunications service, we are able to establish a fund to help bridge the gap. The fund will provide $750 million over five years to support projects that will improve Internet services in areas that do not meet the universal service objective. The fund will support both fixed and mobile projects that upgrade existing infrastructure or build new infrastructure.

The CRTC’s ultimate objective is to ensure that the services available in rural areas are comparable to those available in urban centres and that connectivity infrastructure supports the evolving needs of Canadians. Our goal is to support projects that maximize impacts and minimize contributions from the fund.

Applicants will have to secure a minimum level of financial support from some level of government – federal, provincial, regional, municipal or Indigenous – or community groups and non-profit organizations. Applicants will also need to invest in proposed projects and demonstrate how projects will achieve the targets for speeds, capacity and quality of service.

Much like other programs, the fund will rely on a competitive-bidding process and objective criteria. A third-party administrator at arm’s length from the CRTC will manage the fund in a transparent, fair and efficient manner. The CRTC will oversee the fund and approve projects.

The new CRTC broadband-funding regime will be designed to complement – and not replace – existing and future investments from the public and private sectors. This includes the Government of Canada’s Connect to Innovate program – to read the report in full click on the headline

Shania Leads ‘The Launch’ On Jan. 10

CTV’s all-new original music series and international TV format The Launch has its debut on Jan. 10 with follow-up episodes airing Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, and the premiere episode simulcasting on CTV Two and Much and in French on the VRAK channel.

Shania Twain and award-winning producer/songwriter busbee – the songwriter behind the #1 hit single “Try” from P!nk’s Grammy-winning album The Truth about Love – headline the series’ inaugural episode as celebrity mentors.

They join Scott Borchetta in providing invaluable industry guidance and mentorship to five previously announced aspiring artists as they audition for the opportunity to perform and record a new original song. The artists featured in Episode 1 include (in alphabetical order):

Havelin – the Edmonton-born artist who channels his inner folk-based narrative to tell rich, meaningful stories with his music.
Julia Tomlinson – the Indie-Pop artist from King City, ON., has spent countless hours in studio sessions and has captivated audiences showcasing her skills at venues such as Toronto’s Mod Club and The Opera House.
Logan Staats – the Folk/Blues/Soul artist from Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River reserve in Ontario whose haunting and distinct voice provided him opportunities to share the stage with acts such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Keith Secola, and Mumford and Sons.
The Revel Boys – a five-member pop music act that began as a collective of friends making beats and YouTube cover videos, who have collaborated with artists including Jocelyn Alice, Kojak, and Walk Off the Earth.
Vivian Hicks – the quintuple-threat singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and model who has made a name for herself on social media with more than 1M followers on, garnering re-posts from the likes of Fifth Harmony, Bruno Mars, and Meghan Trainor.

Grimsby/Beamsville and Georgina markets hearings begin today

With a population of 39,000, three applicants are juggling for position for the licence in the former, and three are vying for the same in the Georgina market with a population of 45,500. Dufferin Communications, Durham Radio and Byrnes Communications have staked out Grimbsy/Beamsville; My Broadcasting Corp., Frank Torres, and Radio Markham Inc. are lined up behind the Georgina licence.

CRTC broadcasting decisions expected this week

An application by Ethnic Channels Group Limited to add INSIGHT UHD to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution.

An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to change the authorized contours of CBQL-FM Savant Lake, a rebroadcasting transmitter of CBQT-FM Thunder Bay

Application by Rogers Media Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the national, multilingual multi-ethnic discretionary service OMNI Regional

Decisions related to the forms listed below, considered by the Commission at the 15 June 2017 public hearing:

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy:

Renaming of Spike TV as Paramount Network on the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution

Corus creating multi-market content for talk radio

Fagstein’s Media News Digest reports that Alex Pierson has a new show that will air weeknights on stations in Toronto, London and Hamilton. Toronto’s AM640 and Hamilton’s AM 980 will also add Charles Adler’s show, which already airs on other Corus talk stations in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Both Adler and Pierson were previously hosts on Sun News Network.

Tommy Schnurmacher announces retirement

After 40 years in radio, including more than 20 years at CJAD 800, the popular Montreal radio host is calling it a career.

Schnurmacher announced Friday (24) that he will host the last edition of his weekday’s 12-1 pm Gang of Four show on CJAD on Dec. 13. His career highlights include covering John and Yoko’s world famous “bed-in”, winning a Gold Ribbon Award from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and interviewing politicians and celebrities including Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, Clint Eastwood and Ariana Huffington.

Ottawa broadcasters Ernie Calcutt and Jeff Avery inducted into FRC Hall of Fame

The long-time radio broadcasters were inducted into the Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame on the morning before the 105th Grey Cup game in Ottawa – Ottawa Sun

U of W radio station suspends program over anti-Semitic content

CKUW 95.9 FM Winnipeg removed Where Angels Fear to Tread from its scheduled programming after B’nai Brith Canada highlighted the content of its Nov. 11 broadcast. The decision was made after a guest made outrageous statements claiming various Zionist conspiracies – Winnipeg Free Press

Is it time radio turned off TuneIn?

James Cridland uncovers a messy bit of litigation reported on by MBI that involves Sony and Warners taking TuneIn to court in the UK over an alleged breach of copyright. The free digital radio service which offers its listeners music, sport, news, podcast and audiobook content, boasts more than 60M monthly active listeners worldwide. A legal document seen by one MBI source suggests that the majors have submitted evidence which they claim shows a sample of 800 unlicensed TuneIn music streams in the UK.

At the heart of the issue is money. Record companies earn money from broadcasters for playing their recordings in geo-defined markets, in this case the UK. Those radio stations accessible to UK listeners from outside the market are taking a share of listening away from licensed radio stations, and potentially diluting the labels’ incomes.

Cridland points to a set of issues that potentially place the TuneIn service on delicate ground. Among these the fact that some of the stations included may not be licensed to play music, some may not even be licensed as broadcasters, and, finally, he argues, many radio directories pay themselves by placing advertising in front of the streams and thereby profiting from them.

“Perhaps this apparent legal threat is a wakeup call that we in the radio industry need,” Cridland writes. He is a big proponent of the Radioplayer app but also acknowledges iHeartRadio–both of which are licensed in their respective markets, and both of whom geo-block.

If the litigation is successful, it will be a big blow to niche radio stations, and impede free access to a range of music that many listeners around the world currently enjoy. Blocking access to foreign radio stations playing local music isn’t going to sit well with the general public, but the days of free on the Internet seem to be slowly drawing to a close.

What the repeal of net neutrality will mean for Hollywood

The repeal proposal also would eliminate the FCC’s role as a “referee on the field” as internet services evolve. The FCC has had in place a “general conduct” rule that would allow it to step in if ISPs develop services that are deemed to be anticompetitive.

This has been an issue as ISPs like Verizon and AT&T offered consumers the ability to view some video on its wireless plans without it counting against their data caps, while other types of content still do. For example, AT&T wireless subscribers can stream DirecTV content for free — and it is no surprise, as AT&T owns DirecTV.

The Obama-era FCC scrutinized these practices and generally frowned on them, on the grounds that in the long term, the playing field would no longer be level.

But the Trump-era FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, doesn’t see a problem with such offerings; they view it as a benefit to consumers who will be able to access free data plans – Variety

Why abandoning net neutrality in the US matters in Canada


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