Bell Media has made more layoffs in management just weeks after a sweeping executive shuffle at its head office. Among those caught up in this round of departures are Rob Farina, Head of Content, Strategy & iHeartRadio, who had been in the role since 2016; Tyson Parker, Director, Podcasting and Artist & Music Industry Relations; Lis Travers, General Manager of CTV News Channel, who had been with Bell for 17 years and was a former Executive Producer of Canada AM; Edwina Follows, General Manager of the six Discovery Networks in Canada (Discovery, Animal Planet, Velocity, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery and Discovery GO); Martin Spalding, Regional VP & GM, Local Radio and Television for Bell Media Quebec; and Grant Ellis, GM of BNN Bloomberg. On the West Coast, Les Staff, News Director for CTV News Vancouver, departs. He had been in the role since late 2012, first joining CTV Vancouver as an Executive Producer in 2007. Also in Vancouver, John Voiles is out after nearly eight years as VP, Bell Media Sales, Western Canada. Prior to joining Bell in 2013, Voiles was a VP and General Manager with Astral Radio in Vancouver. Stewart Meyers, Vice President and General Manager for Bell Media Alberta, is also no longer with the company. Read more here. – Connie Thiessen, Broadcast Dialogue
Google Looking for a Fight
In Australia, 95% of online searches are conducted through Google. This week, in a shit fight with government authorities, Google threatened to shut down its entire Aussie operation.
The parties are fighting over how and how much Google should pay news media for links and previews of stories that appear on Google.
Google says it helps news media by sending them readers, and that Google should retain the power to determine how much they chose to pay media. They also argue that unfettered linking is the backbone of the web and it shouldn’t be constrained by government meddling.
The government argues that the power of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants is way out of control and that they have built a good deal of their wealth on monopolistic practices and the work of news media who they exploit without fair compensation. They argue that Google doesn’t just provide links, they monetize these links by advertising in and around them and make money harvesting valuable data about the people who use them. They argue that the news media at the other end of the link should be stakeholders in how the spoils are divided.
The fight doesn’t seem to be about the principle of news media getting compensated, Google has already agreed to that in France. The fight is over control of who gets to decide how much to compensate the news media and under what terms.
The ferocity of the Google response indicates to me that they view this as the beginning of a fight that is likely to spread globally. This is not just about money. The ad tech industry has shown itself to be above government control in some areas. They are not likely to go quietly. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian
Apple is notoriously secretive about product launches, so we likely won’t know any exact details until the service actually goes live. However, according to the sources who spoke to The Information, the service will have exclusive content, be ad-free, and will charge users a monthly fee. This business model has been tried a few times with podcasts in the past, the biggest example being start-up Luminary. The service launched in 2019 with the goal of becoming the “Netflix of podcasts,” but only had an estimated 80,000 subscribers as of last May.
While ad-free podcast services have a weak track record, Apple has a few advantages that could finally make it work. First, it has tens of billions in cash on its balance sheet, so it will never have a problem paying creators, which is important to get the value proposition high enough so people actually want to subscribe. Second, its ad-supported Apple Podcasts service, which has hundreds of thousands of shows, has been the leader in podcast listenership for many years (although Spotify is quickly gaining ground). Apple could easily market a premium service to its existing users, whereas Luminary has had to rely on paid advertising.
Lastly, Apple will likely bundle this podcast service with Apple TV+, Apple Music, and some of its other subscriptions, making it cheaper for customers to sign up for the service if they are in the Apple ecosystem.
Should Spotify be worried?
Long story short, no. – Brett Shafer, The Motley Fool
Office Ladies is a podcast hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey which premiered on the Earwolf platform on October 2019. In each episode, Fischer and Kinsey, who co-starred on the American television sitcom The Office as Pam Beesly and Angela Martin, rewatch an episode of the show and offer behind-the-scenes commentary, insights and responses to fan questions. They are sometimes joined by guests that include former co-stars, producers and writers. The podcast aims to cover every episode of The Office‘s nine-season run. The managing producer is Codi Fischer (no relation to Jenna) and Sam Kieffer is the show’s audio engineer. Below is the Jan. 20 edition of the show.
Here’s Alan Cross’s affectionate recollection of one memorable Larry King radio show
Back when I was doing a lot of club work, I spent a lot of time listening to Larry King on the drive home when he was on the Mutual Broadcasting System. With last call at 1am, I’d get to hear the last 45 minutes or so of his show, which always ended up with Larry saying he was on his way to Duke Zeibert’s restaurant in DC for some matzoh ball soup.
As a fan of all things broadcast, I studied Larry’s interviewing technique and how he worked the phones on the call-in portion of his program. This led to me one of his autobiographies which included one particular story that rings true with every single guy who has worked as a late-night/all-night DJ.
Elon Musk became the world’s richest person this month by upending the global auto industry and disrupting aerospace heavyweights with reusable rockets. Now he’s setting his sights on another business dominated by entrenched incumbents: telecommunications.
Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched more than 1,000 satellites for its Starlink internet service and is signing up early customers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. SpaceX has told investors that Starlink is angling for a piece of a $1 trillion market made up of in-flight internet, maritime services, demand in China and India — and rural customers such as Brian Rendel. – Dana Hull, Bloomberg
Cloud computing seems basic today, but it was a revolutionary concept, serving as the backbone for pretty much the entire modern digital startup ecosystem—eliminating the costly and time-consuming process of spinning up your own servers got rid of an immense hurtle for fledgling companies, making them better able to compete with—and in some cases topple—existing hegemons. But that convenience came at a cost: modern Internet services are increasingly built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its rivals, like Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. That has given those firms tremendous sway over what conduct is and is not acceptable on the Internet—in terms of free speech, they have become even more powerful than, say, Apple. It’s one thing to stop offering an app, it’s another to destabilize or block another company’s entire online operation.
Whether AWS and rival services should wield such power is the central debate in Parler’s subsequent lawsuit against Amazon, which underscores just how reliant Parler was upon AWS.
While many media companies feature clearly signposted branded content on their websites, it is less common for a major journalism brand to offer third parties, including PR professionals, the chance to pay to write pieces for publication.
A spokesperson for Penske Media Corporation, which owns the magazine, said that Rolling Stone does not allow paid content to run as editorial in any context, and that all such content was clearly labelled.
Pieces already published as part of the scheme include a set of positive predictions for the future of the cannabis industry by a PR executive who represents a cannabis producer, and a piece praising the social nature of sports betting by the founder of an online sports betting community. – Archie Bland, The Guardian
Washington lobbyists with close ties to outgoing President Donald Trump were paid lucrative sums by clients angling for last-minute pardons from the president.
Matthew Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a close Trump ally, brought in the largest haul. According to a lobbying filing released Thursday night, Schlapp was paid a whopping $750,000 since mid-December to lobby Trump to pardon Parker Petit, a top Republican donor who served as Georgia finance chairman for Trump’s 2016 campaign. Petit was convicted of securities fraud in November and faced up to 20 years in federal prison. – Karl Evers–Hillstrom, OpenSecrets.org
CPAC Stage Compared To Nazi Symbol On Social Media – Forbes
Comparisons of law makers to fascists and Nazis isn’t uncommon these days, but on Saturday the hashtag #Nazi was trending alongside mentions of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where former President Trump is set to speak on Sunday. This time it wasn’t Republican lawmakers who were compared to Nazis however, but rather the similarity of the stage to an ancient Norse symbol used by Nazis was noted by thousands of users on Twitter.
By Saturday afternoon there had been nearly 100,000 tweets that compared the CPAC stage to the ODAL Rune, which was used by a unit of the insidious Waffen SS, the initially named the SS-Volunteer Division Prinz Eugen (SS-Freiwilligen-Division “Prinz Eugen”) – later the 7th Volunteer Mountain Division. That unit was formed in 1941 and took part exclusively in action against the communist-led Yugoslavian partisans during the Second World War.
Many on Twitter shared images of the symbol along with photos of the CPAC stage:
However, it is important to note that the Odal rune, also known as the Othala rune, predates the Nazi movement and the Third Reich by centuries and it first appeared between the 3rd and 8th centuries. While it was adopted by Nazi Germany, and has been used by various neo-Nazi groups, it seems dubious to think that the design was intention.
As of Saturday afternoon the fact check website Snopes.com could only suggest it was “unproven” that the stage at CPAC 2021 was intentionally designed to look like an early European rune.
One user, Jack Andrew Giddes (@JackGiddes), even took the time to share a photo of his kitchen floor, adding, ” Here is part of my kitchen floor during the day, lit by natural light (L). If you stand in one spot with the ceiling lights on you get this (R), but I stress it’s undetectable unless you’re in a specific spot. My kitchen floor is a coincidence. CPAC’s stage? I have my doubts.”
However, many users responded to the claims on social media that too much was being read into the apparent symbolism.
Author Jim C. Hines (@jimchines) was among those who suggested that the choice of stage design likely didn’t mean to copy the infamous symbol, “Out of curiosity, has there been any pattern of Democrats ‘accidentally’ using Nazi symbolism and iconography? If that sort of thing is an innocent and unavoidable mistake, you’d expect it to happen regardless of political party, right?”
Another user, @Rasta1619, also questioned how commonly known this symbol actually is in the mainstream.
The Odal rune is now in the spotlight, just weeks after other eagle eyed users on Twitter noted that during President Joe Biden’s inauguration the “Betsy Ross” flag was seen. Former Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was among those who took notice of the flag. He addressed the issue directly from his Twitter account:
It was also a dozen years ago, in August 6, 2008 that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh compared the new healthcare logo used by the Obama administration to that of the Nazi eagle. While that could be seen as a stretch, any visitor to Washington, D.C. is likely going to see a number of fascist symbols – and not those carried by protestors – but rather on the buildings.
At the Lincoln Memorial there are literally fasces, the bundle of rods bound by a leather thong. As The Washington Post previously reported, the very same symbol can also be seen in federal buildings throughout the nation’s capitol including the Justice Department. That particular symbol dates back even further than the Odal rune, and was used during the Roman Republic as a symbol of power and authority.
The idea is that a single stick may be weak, but bound together in unity there is strength. It is also is meant to evoke power, strength, authority and justice. The symbol was used throughout Washington, D.C. and a pair literally flanks the speaker’s podium in the House of Representatives. They are thus present during a presidential state of the union as well – but never is that symbol called out.
Likewise, the most infamous of Nazi icons, the swastika, was once a symbol of good luck and can be seen on countless buildings. Over the years some buildings have been also been called out for inadvertently resembling a swastika or other Nazi-esque symbol from above. In most cases it was a coincidence, and in the case of CPAC it should likely be chalked up to another unfortunate coincidence.
Hashtags #BidenBombs And #BidenRemorse Trending On Social Media – Forbes
President Joe Biden has come under fire this week, not just from Republican lawmakers and conservative critics, but from many progressives following his orders to bomb Syria. On Friday, the President and White House Press Secretary Jen Pasaki were called out for past comments each had posted to social media criticizing former President Donald Trump for similar actions in the Middle East.
By Saturday morning several hashtags and memes related to the bombings on Syria had been trending across social media according to website Trendsmap.com. The hashtags #BidenBombs was among the top global trends yet it wasn’t just tagged to the missile attack on Syria.
#BidenBombs appeared alongside a number of other hashtags including #BidenRemorse, #MinimumWage and #StudentDebt.
The wave of anti-Biden hashtags could suggest that the so-called “honeymoon” period is already over, especially as the harshest critics and loudest voices seemingly came from Biden supporters.
@MartinWilliams95 was among many who quoted Biden for calling former President Trump:
Another user, @Willie_jackson_ , also suggested there is strong disappointment in the new president’s actions, “I voted for @JoeBiden to not see this. #BidenBombs #Syria without any congressional approval. that might be right action to take, but the change we were looking for comes here. Don’t be a new Trump
Making It Visual
A number of memes trended on late Friday and Saturday that called out President Biden’s actions – some humorous and some far more blunt.
Several groups including Arabs For Bernie (@ArabsForBernie) were quite direct following Thursday’s attacks, “STOP BOMBING THE MIDDLE EAST. THANK YOU. #BidenBombs”
Comedian Preet Singh (@comedypreet) was among a few who attempted to find humor in the situation while he mocked the administration’s actions with a short video that was also posted to social media, “This is how I imagine Biden’s Democrats think Syria has reacted to his bombs”
The issue wasn’t limited to the United States either. Irish Republican Socialist Senator Paul Gavan (@pau_gavan) was among those on the international stage to call out President Biden, “Yesterday Joe Biden bombed Syria and dropped the proposal for a $15 minimum wage from his Covid relief package. Business as usual then. #Biden #BidenBombs #AmericaIsBack”
The Pundits Join The Fray
Some political commentators also called out the president, and surprisingly it wasn’t just those on the right this week. Progressive commentator Krystal Ball (@krystalball), tweeted, “So when they said $2k checks immediately, what they actually meant was $1400 checks, whenever we get to it, after bombing Syria and abandoning the minimum wage hike. Good luck in the midterms!”
Alt Right activist Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) shared reported photos from the aftermath of the Thursday’s attack. “New photos reportedly show aftermath of Biden’s Syria strike. 22 Syrians killed.”
Journalist Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) called out now only President Biden, but many of his progressive supporters, “Hey @AOC does Biden bombing Syria also count as violence? You and your colleagues seem awfully quiet today.”
The sentiment was shared by political pundit Matt Couch (@RaealMattCouch), “So now the Biden Administration is trying to start issues with the Saudis on top of Syria in a span of 24 hours…. Amazing work Dems…”
However, as Vox reported via its official Twitter account (@voxdotcom) some progressive lawmakers have been vocal about the attacks.
No Easy Decision
However, President Biden’s actions in launching the attack at Iranian-back militants in Syria was likely not a decision that he made on the whim.
“I’m not sure he had much choice,” explained technology industry analyst Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group.
“That was the joint chief’s recommendation, and U.S. soldiers had been attacked with one injured,” added Enderle. “It was a test of his resolve, and had he not defended his troops, he’d have been crucified, and rightly so.”
What is notable is how quickly critics can become so vocal thanks to the power of social media. And these recent tweets and reactions across social media are a reminder that the nation isn’t just divided, it could be seriously fractured, and the hopes for healing could be soon dashed.
Myanmar police launch most extensive crackdown; one woman dead, media say – CBC.ca
Police in Myanmar launched their most sweeping crackdown in three weeks of protests against military rule on Saturday in towns and cities across the country, with media reports of a woman shot dead and dozens of people detained.
The violence came after Myanmar’s U.N. envoy urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to stop the Feb. 1 coup.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.
Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi’s whereabouts. The independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.
The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.
Police were out in force in cities and towns from early on Saturday in their most determined bid to stamp out the protests.
In the main city of Yangon, police took up positions at usual protest sites and detained people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several journalists were detained.
One woman believed dead
Confrontations developed as more people came out to demonstrate despite the police operation.
Three domestic media outlets said a woman was shot and killed in the central town of Monwya. The circumstances of the shooting were not clear and police were not immediately available for comment.
Earlier, a protester in the town said police had fired water cannon as they surrounded a crowd.
“They used water cannon against peaceful protesters — they shouldn’t treat people like that,” Aye Aye Tint told Reuters.
A big crowd of protesters later surged through town streets chanting defiance, an activist video feed showed. One protester told Reuters the crowd was demanding the release of people detained by the security forces.
Junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities were using minimal force. Nevertheless, at least three protesters had died over the days of turmoil up to Saturday. The army says a policeman was killed in earlier violence.
In Yangon, crowds came out to chant and sing, then scattered into side streets and slipped into buildings as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and shooting guns into the air, witnesses said.
Some protesters threw up barricades across streets. Crowds eventually thinned but police in Yangon were still chasing groups and firing into the air in the late afternoon, witnesses said. Numerous people were seen detained and some beaten through the day.
Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and other towns from north to south, witnesses and media said. Among those detained in Mandalay was Win Mya Mya, one of two Muslim members of parliament for the NLD, media said.
‘Our cause will prevail’
At the UN General Assembly, Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said he was speaking on behalf of Suu Kyi’s government and appealed for “any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people.”
“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup … and to restore the democracy,” he said.
WATCH | Widespread strikes in Myanmar in protest of military coup:
Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced, “Our cause will prevail.”
Reuters was not immediately able to contact the army for comment.
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed as he watched the ambassador’s “act of courage.”
“It’s time for the world to answer that courageous call with action,” Andrews said on Twitter.
I was overwhelmed today as I watched Myanmar’s UN ambassador’s remarkable act of courage at the UN. Despite enormous pressure to do otherwise, he spoke up for the people of Myanmar and against an illegal coup. It’s time for the world to answer that courageous call with action. <a href=”https://t.co/y6UrUECfSh”>pic.twitter.com/y6UrUECfSh</a>
Democratic leader moved to undisclosed location
China’s envoy did not criticize the coup and said the situation was an internal Myanmar affair, adding that China supported a diplomatic effort by southeast Asian countries to find a solution.
In more bad news for the generals who have traditionally shrugged off diplomatic pressure, Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said it was cutting its presence in Myanmar over concern about rights violations and violence.
“Woodside supports the people of Myanmar,” the company said.
Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.
A lawyer for her, Khin Maung Zaw, told Reuters he had also heard that she had been moved from her home in the capital, Naypyitaw, but could not confirm it. Authorities did not respond to a request for comment.
The lawyer said he had been given no access to Suu Kyi ahead of her next hearing on Monday and he was concerned about her access to justice and legal counsel.
The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 – Cochrane Today
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Al Gore’s Investment Firm Bought Alibaba and Airbnb Stock. Here’s What It Sold. – Barron's
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