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CRTC renews CBC licensing for another five years, tweaks its mandate



OTTAWA — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Wednesday that it is renewing CBC’s licensing, with tweaks to its mandate that will make it spend money on programming produced by people with disabilities, Indigenous and racialized people and the LGBTQ community.

It’s also clarifying that it “expects the CBC to maintain local, regional and national news broadcasts in a crisis or emergency on all of its audiovisual and audio services.”

That’s in response to the broadcaster’s decision to replace local supper-hour and late newscasts across the country with its national programming in the early days of the pandemic.

CBC said at the time that it was dealing with staffing issues as some workers were off sick with COVID-19 and others were in isolation. The CRTC noted in its decision that the pandemic has increased demand for news, and “Canadians expect the CBC to disseminate and make available information in the event of an emergency.”

The CRTC is dropping the requirement for CBC to maintain minimum thresholds of local programming in urban markets where Canadians have multiple options, but it’s maintaining those thresholds in rural parts of the country.

The CBC asked to reduce the number of hours of local TV programming it needs to air per week in its English markets across the board, and to make that up in digital content.

The CRTC noted that actual hours of local programming on English TV stations dropped between 2014 and 2020, although they still meet the minimum requirements.

It said there is a higher risk that less local news would be broadcast in non-metropolitan markets if those requirements are dropped, naming “difficult access to high-speed internet” and “the lack of news bureaus in non-metropolitan areas” as reasons.

The commission says there has been a great deal of change in the media landscape since 2013, the last time the licence was renewed, and it’s making changes to the CBC mandate to align with that.

It’s setting out new rules to ensure the difference between news and information programming and “branded content” or advertising is clearly distinguished.

CBC will need to submit new reports to the CRTC on a range of topics including workforce diversity, privacy issues and perception and consultation.

The CRTC decision also noted the CBC’s digital streaming services for audio and video didn’t exist, or didn’t exist in their current form, when the last licensing agreement was made.

“As part of its proposal, the CBC requested that it be able to count hours of content exhibited on some of its (digital media broadcasting undertakings) toward meeting its overall content exhibition requirements,” the decision said.

However, the commission is instead including that digital content in the broadcaster’s spending requirements on Canadian programming, giving the CBC the flexibility to count the cost of online content toward those quotas.

CBC and Radio-Canada’s president and CEO said the broadcaster welcomes the CRTC announcement.

“We’re pleased that the CRTC has, for the first time ever, recognized the significant contribution of our digital streaming services … to the Canadian content ecosystem,” Catherine Tait said in a statement on Wednesday.

The main outcomes covered by the mandate include programming for Indigenous Peoples and diverse Canadians; creating and supporting access to Canadian content; ensuring access to local, regional and national news and information; accessibility of content; and accountability and transparency to the public.

Licences for radio, TV and multiplatform content in both English and French are valid until August 2027.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2022.


Sarah Ritchie, The Canadian Press


Parenting tips on using social media – Global News



Global News Morning Toronto

Most parents would say unequivocally that they’d like to reduce their child’s screen time, but not all time spent tapping away on a tablet is created equal. For more information on how you can make sure your kids are getting something out of their screen time and responsibly navigating the internet, Amber Mac joins Mike Arsenault.

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Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes meet media ahead of NHL Draft – CTV News Montreal



Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes and special advisor to hockey operations Vincent Lecavalier are speaking to media Monday afternoon ahead of Thursday’s draft — the first time the Habs will pick first since 1980.  

The big question on everyone’s mind: who will join Guy Lafleur, Rejean Houle, Garry Monahan, Michel Plasse and Doug Wickenheiser as a first overall pick of the Montreal Canadiens?

The near-consensus number-one pick in 2022 is Burlington, Ontario-native Shane Wright, a 6’1″, 200-pound, right-handed centreman who spend his playing days in the OHL for the Kingston Frontenacs. He’s 18.

SB Nation Eye on the Prize (EOTP) draft rankings have the following players in the next three spots:

  • Logan Cooley, centre (5’10”, 174 pounds)
  • Juraj Slafkovsky, left wing (6’4″, 225 pounds)
  • David Jiricek, right defence (6’3″, 190 pounds)

Hughes and his team have kept their cards very close to their chest regarding who they will pick at number one, let alone at number 26 or the two second-round picks, and three in the third round.

Ottawa Sun reporter Bruce Garrioch tweeted that Habs management have called every team with a top-10 pick and may want a second young talent.

“They want to make a splash with a second pick in that area,” said Garrioch.

Since 2001, the Habs have picked in the top 10 spots.

Mike Domisarek (7, 2001), Carey Price (5, 2005), Alex Galchenyuk (3, 2012), Mikhail Sergachev (9, 2016), and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (3, 2018).

Habs fans may have just experienced a slight pain in the heart region after reading those last two names.

Coming off a last-place, forget-as-soon-as-possible season of misery, it is safe to say the Habs could use help in just about every position, and two young stars would give fans something to salivate (obsess) over.

Draft aside, the ongoing “will he ever play again” saga surrounding star goalie Carey Price continues, and it would come as little surprise if the Habs moved a veteran or two like Jeff Petry or Christian Dvorak (maybe Josh Anderson?).

The draft starts Thursday in Montreal. 

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Media Moguls Return to Sun Valley Under Darkening Financial Skies – Vanity Fair



As fleece-clad billionaires—and newcomers like Bari Weiss—flock to Idaho this week, Sun Valley fixtures are buzzing about Netflix’s future, an Elon-led Twitter, and Disney’s power structure. But will plunging stocks and a cooling M&A market drive down the dealmaking? “There’s a cloud hanging over,” says Ken Auletta.

July 4, 2022

Image may contain Elon Musk Human Person Clothing Apparel Pants and Wood

Elon Musk speaks to the media as he arrives for the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.  By David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

This time last year, as the illustrious guests of Allen & Company’s annual mogul bonanza were pulling up to the entrance of the storied Sun Valley Resort in the mountains of central Idaho, David Zaslav stepped out of his chauffeured SUV and gave an interview about big-media’s robust appetite for M&A. Zaslav had just pulled off a deal for the history books: the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery, of which he is now CEO. “There was a line wherever he was,” Oprah Winfrey told me at the time, relaying a scene report from Gayle King.

As this year’s so-called summer camp for billionaires kicks off Tuesday, Zaslav will hardly want for company while sipping cocktails in the Duchin Lounge. But other attendant honchos will surely elicit a greater deal of scrutiny and interest. For starters, there’s Elon Musk, who is expected to attend for the first time in several years, as his rollercoaster Twitter takeover inches toward some sort of spectacular conclusion. The Tesla boss isn’t just one of the most talked about and controversial people in the business world—he’s become one of the most talked about and controversial figures in the entire world, and his likely ownership of Twitter is seen as having major implications for free speech and democracy and the ability of platforms to rein in disinformation in a highly polarized society. “I definitely think Elon will grab a lot of attention,” one Sun Valley fixture told me. “No question.”

Someone else who has attended the conference over the years alternatively posited, “Everybody will be watching for the body language between Chapek and Iger, the Game of Thrones dynamic between the current emperor and the past emperor, and how that will shake out.” This source was referring, obviously, to the two Bobs—Bob Iger, the legendary former CEO of Disney, and Bob Chapek, the embattled current Disney boss—whose well-documented falling-out has been grist for the Hollywood gossip mill. Chapek, of course, will arrive in Idaho with a new three-year contract, putting to bed speculation that, following a series of highly publicized stumbles, his Disney stewardship may not be long for this world. (As another conference-goer joked, “When everyone ran out of stuff to talk about in the media business, they started gossiping about Chapek.”)

Who else? There’ll surely be eyes on Sheryl Sandberg, who recently resigned from Meta/Facebook after 14 years with the company. Or Brian Roberts and Shari Redstone, both seen as needing to enlarge their respective corporate fiefdoms, Comcast and ViacomCBS. Conspicuously absent from this year’s guest list is Jeff Bezos, who usually doesn’t miss the thing. It could be that he’s trying to create a bit of breathing room for Amazon’s new CEO, Andrew Jassy. Or as a couple of my sources suggested, he might just be galavanting around Europe on his mega-yacht. (Wouldn’t you be?) As for the Murdochs, I was able to confirm that James, Lachlan, and Rupert will all be in attendance. And among the requisite celebrity-type journalists prowling the resort, keep an eye out for Substack star Bari Weiss. “I’m going! And I’m excited!” she texted me on Friday. “But I do not have the requisite vest. Nellie and I”—as in Nellie Bowles, her wife—“are researching high-end athleisure at this very moment.”

Then there’s the Netflix of it all. For a long time, the O.G. streaming service was king of the jungle, the pinnacle to which all others aspired as they began to recalibrate their businesses for the unbundled, multiplatform future. Now, those others are catching up, which means Netflix bosses Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos find themselves fighting to hold on to the throne. One of the biggest stories in media this past spring was the company’s stunning subscriber loss, its first in 10 years, with further bleeding projected in the second quarter. That story will be hanging in the air as attendees amble along the resort grounds in their signature fleece vests. “To see how Reed and Ted engage with people will be interesting for sure,” one source said. “It’s a big sea change for them in their business. How are they thinking about it?” Another wondered whether Netflix might begin to look like an acquisition candidate, noting the steep plunge in the company’s market capitalization and value: “They still have something most people don’t have, which is 220 million subscribers and a great technology platform.”

There were a few other themes that came across in conversations with various big shots I spoke with. One was the potential for further M&A. Merger fervor has cooled since the gold rush of the prior few years, and the biggest players have shored up their power. But further consolidation is surely in store. Also, one source noted there’s a “recognition” that the biggest media companies in the world—Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery—don’t have controlling shareholders who own the lion’s share of outstanding stock. Will they be able to stay that way, or is it only a matter of time? Someone else suggested a sudden popularity for companies with big balance sheets. Roberts, for instance, never attracted a lot of attention, but maybe now, with Comcast’s nearly $9 billion in cash on hand, he just might.

My conversations also veered toward the larger picture, the backdrop to all the freewheeling panel discussions and furtive confabs. Last year’s festivities came with a certain buoyant optimism. Business leaders were emerging from the monotony of remote work and Zoom meetings, ready to let loose and breathe the same indoor air, the ink on their vaccine cards still fresh, the world getting back to normal. One year later, the world is positively on fire. Aside from the never-ending COVID spiral, the sociopolitical convulsions, and the unsettling global turmoil, fortunes have reversed; the stock market’s down, inflation’s up, and recession fears loom large. As one of my sources mused, “Everybody was walking around there the last few years with their chests strutted out. Now everybody’s stock has declined and the actual models are being questioned. You could ask the question, Will humility have set in to the environs of a place heretofore attended by nothing short of unbridled self-confidence? What will be the level of reflection in the private conversations and side lunches and all that?”

For some additional perspective, I called Ken Auletta, who’s been to Sun Valley a number of times since the mid-’90s, including in 1999, when he became the first—and as far as he knows still only—reporter to be granted full on-the-record access to the über-exclusive and highly secretive affair. (He has otherwise attended as a guest alongside fellow star-studded journalists—the Gayle Kings and Andrew Ross Sorkins and Anderson Coopers of the world.) “There are all these questions,” Auletta told me, “where you see Democrats and Republicans in greater agreement on reining in big companies. You’ve got questions about privacy. About Apple, and whether its insistence that [publishers] pay them 30% to be on their platform is a fair amount of money, or blackmail. Questions about whether you break up parts of Alphabet, meaning Google, or parts of Meta, meaning Facebook. Then you’ve got questions about free speech, where you’ve got conservatives, sometimes joined by liberals, arguing that Facebook and Twitter have killed freedom of speech, and then on the other hand, those on the left claiming that allowing people with false information to get on Twitter and Facebook is basically warping democracy. So if you think about the power of some of these issues out there, that would be something I think would resonate with the people who go to Sun Valley.” The upshot? “I think there’s a cloud hanging over the heads of all the people attending.”

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