Thursday marked the 24th day since Premier Jason Kenney took direct questions from the media, a period of time during which Alberta’s COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have skyrocketed.
Thursday marked the 24th day since Premier Jason Kenney took direct questions from the media, a period of time during which Alberta’s COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have skyrocketed.
On Wednesday night, the Premier appeared publicly for the first time since Aug. 9 to answer self-selected questions from Albertans on Facebook Live, saying his government is concerned about the surge in cases and suggesting his officials would hold a news conference this week.
“We have always looked at restrictions as a last and limited resort,” said Kenney. “If indeed we do see this wave jeopardizing the health-care system, we may have to take some very targeted actions.”
The Premier’s comments fed speculation that the UCP would announce renewed public health measures as early as Thursday, but following caucus and cabinet meetings the sole government announcement was that 70 per cent of eligible Albertans had received both doses of vaccine — a 0.1 per cent increase from Wednesday’s update.
The health-care system is already facing renewed pressure due to higher COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations. Surgeries have been delayed, patients have been transferred and some emergency room beds have been temporarily closed.
On Aug. 9, the day Kenney last held a news conference, the province reported 244 new cases of COVID-19 and 3,380 active cases. There were 129 Albertans in hospital, 26 of whom were in intensive care units.
On Thursday, Alberta reported 1,339 new cases of COVID-19 — the highest daily case count since mid-May and the second consecutive day new cases surpassed 1,300. There are currently 12,868 active cases in the province and 487 people in hospital, of which 114 are in intensive care.
The Opposition NDP and Alberta doctors have been critical of Kenney’s absence, and during Wednesday’s Facebook Live one person accused him of hiding by not holding a news conference, which Kenney rejected.
“I’m hiding in plain view,” he said, adding that he has been working out of his office at the McDougall Centre in Calgary this week after taking “a couple weeks of holiday.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, hasn’t held a news conference since Aug. 13, when she announced a delay in plans to end routine COVID-19 testing and mandatory isolation. Those measures are set to end Sept. 27.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro last gave a media briefing July 28.
The government has defended the leaders’ absences by pointing to daily updates posted on Twitter by Hinshaw and her team.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley called for the government to introduce vaccine passports for Albertans to enter non-essential businesses and attend mass gatherings, saying the move will curb transmission and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed.
Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Quebec are phasing in or already have requirements for people to show a vaccine card, online image or smartphone verification for activities deemed non-essential such as visiting bars, restaurants, casinos and sports events.
“If we don’t act now, I fear we will reach a place where Albertans will be scrambling to catch up with the rest of the world, and our health care and economy will be needlessly injured in the process,” said Notley.
“No one wants to go back to restrictions. That’s why we’re proposing a better way.”
Kenney has repeatedly said the province will not mandate proof of immunization to access non-essential businesses and public spaces, arguing the measure would go against privacy laws.
Notley said she wants to see the government offer Albertans a scannable digital QR code by the end of September that would encourage vaccinations and lower the risk of public COVID-19 transmission.
Albertans can access their proof of vaccination records online. The government has also announced Albertans will soon be able to get a smaller paper proof-of-vaccination card.
During the Facebook Live, Kenney reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated and said the government is considering a “new and different” incentive to encourage people get people immunized.
Alberta lifted almost all health restrictions July 1, with officials saying it was time to stop treating COVID-19 as a crisis and instead manage it long term, which would free up health workers and resources for other health issues.
The province now leads Canada in per capita cases.
— With files from The Canadian Press and Anna Junker
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Wonder Media Network Chief Executive Jenny Kaplan is figuring out how to turn her passion for podcasts into a business that can remain viable over the long run.
The New York-based company, which Kaplan co-founded in 2018, aims to appeal to audiences either overlooked or ignored by the mainstream media.
“We really wanted to start an organization that was a media company that was based in politics, business and culture, where women were perhaps our first core audience but where we had this big mission of amplifying underrepresented voices,” Kaplan said in an interview.
Wonder Media Network makes money selling advertising and sponsorships on its line-up of 26 original shows, including Encyclopedia Wommanica, The Brown Girls Guide to Politics, and Majority 54. It also produces podcasts for corporate clients such as Microsoft
, and Spotify for a fee.
Wonder Media Network is facing the same competitive pressures for advertisers and listeners that lead to the sales in recent months of Bill Simmons’ Ringer Podcast network, Wondery and Stitcher. The industry consolidation shows no signs of slowing
“As more and more people produce podcasts, discoverability gets harder,” Kaplan said in an interview. “So we have been approached (about a sale) and are open to conversations. Our goal from the beginning has been to create a company that can be successful on its own and produces the kinds of shows that we want.”
Kaplan declined to be more specific about a potential Wonder Media Network sale.
Unlike other podcasters, Wonder Media Network typically doesn’t sell ads using pricing based on CPMs, or cost per thousand (listeners), preferring monthly or seasonal deals.
According to Kaplan, the company’s approach to advertising enables it create better-produced ads that fit seamlessly with the content Wonder Media Network is creating.
“They sound better and feel better to the listeners, the hosts and the sponsors,” she said.
Kaplan funded Wonder Media Network launch along with Chief Marketing Officer Shira Atkins, who also co-founded the company. New Media Ventures, a venture fund and a network of investors that backs progressive-minded companies, has also invested in Wonder Media. According to Kaplan, Wonder Media Network was cash-flow positive and profitable in less than a year and continues to make money.
Like other podcast producers, Wonder Media Network is willing to tackle complicated stories at a time when online publishers are pressuring writers to produce sensationalist clickbait content like listicles that they hope will drive traffic to their sites.
“Podcasts are getting longer and more intricate,” Kaplan said. “People want to examine perspectives and different opinions in podcasting in a much longer form.”
Wonder Media Network’s first show was Women Belong In The House, which chronicled her mother Kathy Manning’s campaign for the U.S. Congress in North Carolina and the challenges facing other female candidates seeking elected office.
Manning lost her first election in 2018 but succeeded two years later after a court-ordered redistricting made the district friendlier for Democrats. Before her victory, the seat had been in Republican hands since 1985.
“I had always been obsessed with politics and storytelling, which is why I got to journalism, to begin with, at least the storytelling side of things,” Kaplan said. “And so I had this front-row seat to look at what it’s like to run for office. I was obsessed with trying to figure out and diving into why there are so few women in office.”
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.
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.
…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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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)
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)
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
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
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
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
Mail-in delays and recounts: Canada’s election tallying drags on.
Politics Podcast: FiveThirtyEight Goes To Canada And Germany – FiveThirtyEight
B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, 1 death in Island Health – CHEK
iPhone 13 benchmarks — Apple just blew away Android phones – Tom's Guide
U.S. social audio app Clubhouse launches ‘wave’ feature for private chats
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday – CBC.ca
China asks local governments to prep for Evergrande downfall: Report – CNBC Television
CANADA STOCKS – TSX rises 0.3% to 20,461.93