RIP: Basic Black's Arthur Black
RIP: Basic Black's Arthur Black

Media Beat: February 22, 2018

Bell Media music show The Launch lands global distribution deal with SPT

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has secured international distribution rights to the Bell Media, Big Machine Label Group-produced music TV show The Launch.

SPT will distribute The Launch format worldwide, excluding Canada, and has its production company, Electric Ray, on board to produce the format in the U.K. In a news release today, Bell Media stated that “the historic deal represents the first time a Bell Media original television format for CTV has been sold for international distribution.”

Bell, Rogers, Quebecor advance in piracy lawsuit against the operator of a Montreal website

Canadian cable and media giants won a small victory in their larger war against pirated content this week when a panel of federal judges backed their appeal in a legal battle against the Montreal-based operator of a website that makes it easier to stream video online – Emily Jackson, Financial Post

Quebecor going to court to fight financial assistance for competitor

The media conglomerate has filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court to have the provincial government decree that gives $10 million in repayable financial assistance to Groupe Capitales Medias declared null and void – CP Invesigates: How to tackle the "Netflix issue"

The Canadian TV industry faces a growing crisis. Financial contributions from the broadcast distributors to support the production of Canadian stories are on the decline. This is combined with the fact that online TV providers, namely Netflix, aren’t required to pay into the Canadian system like their Canadian competitors – Perry Hoffman (subscription)

CRTC approves sale of 92.3 The Dock

The CRTC has approved an application by Bell Media Inc. to purchase four radio stations, including CJOS-FM Owen Sound, known as 92.3 The Dock, from Larche Communications.

It was announced in August that Bell Media had reached an agreement to acquire the stations, which along with the Owen Sound station, also include 104.1 The Dock in Midland, KICX Country 91.7 in Sudbury and KICX Country 106 in Orillia. The stations would be added to Bell Media's existing 105 iHeartRadio Canada stations. According to the broadcasting decision, the deal is worth just over $17M, which includes a purchase price of $15,640,000 and assumed leases of $1,393,409 – Owen Sound Sun-Times

Pandora jumps 9 percent after reporting a large rise in subscription revenue

The company reported a 63 percent bump in subscription revenue, an important metric for the music streaming company, bringing the yearly total to $97.7 million. Pandora also tallied 5.48 million subscribers, a 25 percent increase from the previous year – CNBC

Snapchat is enlisting more publishers to make video shows

Snapchat plans to double the amount of Snapchat video shows it releases this year to roughly 80 shows, including what could be its first serialized, scripted shows. In doing so, the company has also widened its sources for shows to include digital and legacy publishers, in addition to existing TV network partners – Digiday

The format with one current

The CHR Miracle of the late ‘00s/early ‘10s proved that adults were sincere in wanting to hear new music, if only they could find the new music they liked. It also shattered the assumption that music would be somehow esoteric. It might be Adele. It might also be Pitbull or “Party Rock Anthem” for a minute. Now adults are again looking for new music they might like; the difference is that in the intervening decade, it’s become easier for anybody to find music for themselves – Shaun Ross, Radio Insight


Arthur Black, the Canadian radio personality best known as the longtime host, from 1983 to 2002, of Basic Black on CBC Radio One which had a weekly audience of more than 600K listeners, died of pancreatic cancer on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday at age 74.

Apart from his broadcasting career, he also wrote 19 books and for 40 years wrote a weekly humour column which began in 1976 in a local Thunder Bay newspaper called Lakehead Living and at its peak was syndicated to more than 50 newspapers in Canada and internationally.

Black is the author of 19 books and a three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour as well as winning a National Magazine Award for Humour, and an ACTRA Award for Best Opinion/Commentary.

He announced in January that he had been diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer and promised his fans he would “chronicle the journey right here for as long as my fingers type.”

In his first blog post, he wrote: “Hardly seems fair that PanCan bellies up to the bar next to me, spoiling for a brawl … but it’s not news that life — and death — aren’t fair. If they were I’d be signed up for the Old Timers’ Decathlon and Trump would be waving his diagnosis around yelling PANCREATIC CANCER??? FAKE NEWS!!!

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