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CFL Personalities to 'Talk' Football on Halifax-Made Social Media Platform – Huddle – Huddle Today



HALIFAX – A new Halifax-made social media platform just got a huge boost in name recognition, which will likely drive up subscribers. ililli (pronounced I-Lilly), a platform where users upload audio files and can talk to their audience, now have prominent football media personalities talking about the CFL on the site.

The list is a who’s-who of CFL analysts across the country, including such names as Dave Naylor, Jeff Hamilton, Rod Pedersen, Darrin Baumig, Farhan Lilji, Danny Austin, Marshall Ferguson, Dave Campbell, Aaron Korolnek, Mike Mitchell, and Matthew Scianetti.

The conversations about CFL football on ililli this season will be a part of the platforms #TalkMore events.

“Every part of the country is covered, and the country as a whole is covered,” says ililli founder Charles Benaiah. “I think we have a great group that covers (the CFL) from a lot of different angles.”

Out of the media personalities, it was TSN’s Dave Naylor who pushed for the group to hop onto the ililli platform. Benaiah reached out to Naylor in the early days of the platform and encouraged him to get involved.

“Dave Naylor was one of the first people jump on ililli,” says Benaiah. He’s probably been out most vocal advocate.”

“He and I started talking about once or twice a week.”

Naylor and Benaiah were actually high school friends more than 30 years ago. In 1985, the two tried to create a curling video game on Benaiah’s Atari 800 computer.

“This is an accurate description, and a perfect metaphor – we never got out of the hack (a foothold in curling),” said Naylor in an interview with Huddle.

“You could pick up the stone and toss it, and the rock kind of disappeared and went into the abyss.”

The two hadn’t spoken since their high school days, until this past spring when Benaiah told Naylor about ililli. After using the platform himself, Naylor reached out to his football colleagues to get them onboard as well.

One thing Naylor enjoys about ililli is how it allows the user to take advantage of tone and emphasis when making a post. This is something that often gets lost in short posts on Twitter. He believes ililli is a great place to talk about sports opinions because of such advantages.

“On twitter you can misinterpreted because there’s no way to express tone. If you’re trying to be funny, or trying to be sarcastic, a lot of times that stuff gets lost,” says Naylor.

For Benaiah, it’s important to get good sports talkers onto his platform. Afterall, there are few things more entertaining than listening to someone passionate about sport giving their opinions verbally.

“When you think about ‘talk radio,’ it’s almost impossible to use that phrase without saying ‘sports talk radio,’” says Benaiah.

“Almost everyone is a fan of a team, or a player, or sport, and almost everyone has an opinion all the time. So, you want to either to hear people’s opinion or have an outlet for those opinions.”

“From that perspective, ililli is a gamechanger-no pun intended.”

ililli was launched in June and was created by Benaiah’s company Watzan, which provides content curation for people in the pharmaceutical and medical industry.

Given its foundation, it’s no surprise many users on ililli are doctors or involved in the medical industry. It’s a great resource for people to hear experts converse about medical issues.

But Benaiah knows that a diversity of topics, and views, are important for any social media platforms. So, he is happy to see sports and other areas of interest are taking off on ililli.

In June the platform had just 150 users – it’s now 10-times that number nearly three months later.

“We’re pretty excited about the diversity of content that’s there,” says Benaiah. “It’s our job to identity areas that can create rapid growth, and we definitely think sports is one of them.”

ililli has also been growing its revenue sources through ads and, as a result, the workforce for the platform has tripled since June.

Now, Benaiah is trying to convince people in the foodie world to hop onto the talk platform. Every day, countless photos of delicious food is posted to social media. Now, can you imagine how delicious a receipt would sound while being read aloud?

“Talking about food makes a lot of sense,” says Benaiah. “People will take a picture of their food and put it on Pintrest, and it’ll be really great to be able to talk about that.”

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Media mogul Allan Slaight dies at age 90 –



Media mogul and philanthropist Allan Slaight, the former CEO of Standard Broadcasting and a past president of Global Television and Slaight Communications, has died. He passed away peacefully at his Toronto home Sunday. He was 90.

Born in Galt, Ont., Slaight was the son of a newspaperman who moved the family to Moose Jaw, Sask., when he bought the Moose Jaw Times-Herald in 1945 and then local radio station, CHAB-AM.

Slaight started his career at CHAB-AM in 1948 at age 17 as a reporter, going on to host late-night jazz program, Spins and Needles. Stops at CFRN, CJCA and CHED Edmonton followed before he headed east to Toronto in 1958 to join CHUM as program and promotions manager, guiding the station through its format transition to rock ‘n’ roll and unseating rival station, CKEY.

He went on to serve as program director and by 1965 was appointed Vice-President of Radio CHUM-1050 Ltd.

Pirate Radio

The following year, Slaight stepped away from conventional broadcasting and uprooted to England to establish a sales agency for pirate radio station Radio Caroline, which broadcast 12 miles off the English coast in international waters in protest of the BBC’s broadcasting monopoly. 

He returned to Toronto in 1967, launching advertising and communications firm Allan Slaight Ltd., which partnered with Stephens & Towndrow to service radio and TV advertising, and where Slaight was appointed president and managing director.

By 1970, he had formed Slaight Broadcasting, raising $2.5 million to buy CFGM 1310 AM in Richmond Hill, ON. He went on to acquire a stake in CFOX Montreal, going on to merge the stations with IWC Communications, which saw Slaight acquire cable systems in Mississauga, Barrie, and Orillia as well-as CHOK Sarnia. 

Later that year, he’d also acquire the debt-ridden Global Television Network, which was losing an estimated $1.5M a month. 

In 1976, Slaight applied for an FM licence for a sister station to Toronto’s CFGM-AM with Q107 going to air on June 1, 1977, earning him status as the godfather of rock radio in Toronto.
From there, acquisitions like outdoor advertising business Urban Outdoors followed, and a 49% stake in Standard Broadcasting. 

After a court battle, he would go on to buy 84.8 per cent of Standard’s shares for an estimated $110 million. The deal required Slaight to sell Q107 and CFGM, but brought CFRB, CKFM, CJAD-AM, CJFM-FM, Capital Radio in London, CJOH-TV, and CKTB and CJQR St. Catharines under his domain. 

He continued to grow the company, branching out in the late 1980s into production and program syndication with the launch of Sound Source Networks, Standard Broadcasting’s syndication division.

In 2007, he authorized the sale of Standard Radio to Astral Media in a $1.08 billion deal. After 52 years in broadcasting and creating the largest privately held and solely owned media company in the country, Slaight stepped down as president and CEO of Standard Broadcasting, assuming the position of executive chairman of the board of directors of Slaight Communications. 

At the time of his retirement, revenues exceeded $500 million, employing 1,500 full-time and 6,000 part-time employees.


In addition to broadcasting, Slaight was responsible for bringing the Toronto Raptors’ NBA franchise to Canada, holding a 39.5-per-cent share, alongside John Bitove Jr., and at one point owning 79 per cent of the team.

Over the years, the Slaight Family Foundation has also donated millions to causes from founding the Allan Slaight Radio Institute at Ryerson University to furthering music, arts, and cancer research.

Among the many accolades Slaight received over the years was induction into the Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1997. He received an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 2000 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001. In 2005, he received the the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. 

He was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame last December.

Article reprinted, courtesy Broadcast Dialogue.

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Media Beat, Sept. 23, 2021 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



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

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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 Washington Post’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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Discovery Blasts Polish Watchdog as US Media Row Drags On – BNN



(Bloomberg) — Discovery Inc. lashed out at Poland’s media regulator, saying its campaign to limit the company’s local operations jeopardized the rule of law and media freedom.

The comment is a response to the country’s watchdog, known as KRRiT, which said it may ask the U.S. broadcaster to adjust the ownership structure of its Polish business so that it complies with local law. 

KRRiT’s surprise announcement came alongside its last-minute decision on Wednesday to renew the permit of Discovery’s Polish news channel TVN24 to broadcast under Polish regulations. The move ended a process that started more than a year ago and came just days before the license was due to expire on Sept. 26. 

“The decision clearly shows there was no justification for delaying it for 19 months,” Discovery and its Polish unit TVN SA said in a joint statement on Thursday. The KRRiT’s accompanying decision “forces Discovery to curtail its Polish operations, being a direct threat to the rule of law and media freedom and a cause for concern among foreign investors in Poland.”

How exactly the watchdog plans to proceed remains unclear. KRRiT didn’t have an immediate response to additional questions from Bloomberg.

Polish regulations ban companies from countries that aren’t European Union members or aren’t closely associated with the bloc from owning majority stakes in Polish broadcasters. The U.S. is not part of that group. Discovery has for years complied with the law by running TVN through a Dutch-registered company, which some members of the Polish media watchdog say is against local law.

Concerns Mount

The European Commission will monitor the developments “very closely” to see how the regulator’s decision is applied in practice, its spokesperson said at a daily briefing on Thursday.

“We expect member states to ensure that the policies and legislation don’t have any negative impact on their commitment to ensure free and diverse media ecosystem,” the spokesman said. “Let me recall the Commission has repeatedly voiced its concern with regards to media freedom and pluralism in Poland.”

KRRiT’s new plan comes after the country’s ruling party approved a bill in the lower house of the parliament that would force U.S.-based Discovery to sell its controling stake in the Polish broadcaster, prompting a strong reaction from the EU and White House officials. The bill was rejected by the Senate, and President Andrzej Duda has suggested he may veto it.

The regulator’s proposal is an attempt to bypass that legislative process and the president’s potential veto, Discovery and TVN said in the statement.

TVN is also concerned it may have trouble with renewing the broadcasting license of its free-to-air movie and entertainment channel TVN7, Katarzyna Issat, head of the group’s corporate communications, said in an emailed response to Bloomberg News questions. The license expires in February.

Poland’s nationalist leaders lost their biggest international ally in Donald Trump and have since been at odds with U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration over their approach to LGBTQ rights, the restitution of property left by Holocaust victims and media freedoms.

TVN24 is the country’s biggest news channel, and its award-winning investigative reports have unveiled corruption at various levels of government.

(Adds comments from the European Commission, TVN from seventh paragraph.)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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