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CBC News announces new team to host The National

From a media release:

CBC News today announced new hosting details for flagship news program The National. Starting this fall, the new National will be hosted by a team of four award-winning journalists on a nightly basis: senior correspondent Adrienne Arsenault, based in Toronto; political reporter and host Rosemary Barton, based in Ottawa; CBC Vancouver host Andrew Chang, based in Vancouver; and veteran host and reporter Ian Hanomansing; who will be based in Toronto. Offering Canadians a new kind of evening news, the four working journalists will host as an integrated team and also report their own stories to offer more in-depth original journalism and live coverage from more locations across Canada. The new National will launch Monday, November 6 at 9 p.m. ET on CBC NEWS NETWORK and 10 p.m. (10:30 NT) in all time zones on CBC.

Hosted by the collaborative team based in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto, the new National will offer a unique proposition for audiences live across all six time zones, with the ability to update throughout the evening until 2 a.m. ET and originate from anywhere in the country depending on the news of the day. The new format will be an inter-platform offering, spanning robust digital content for multiple platforms throughout the day culminating in the evening program.

Born and raised in Toronto, Emmy Award-winning journalist Adrienne Arsenault is a senior correspondent who is deployed to the biggest breaking news stories and investigative stories in Canada and around the world. Over the years and across the continents, Arsenault’s assignments have included disasters, conflicts, politics, sports and human dramas. She has covered the Olympics in Sydney, Salt Lake, Beijing, Sochi, and Rio as well as the World Cup in South Africa, and was awarded a 2015 International Emmy for her work covering the Ebola crisis. Her investigative work on security has seen her cross Canada and pursue terror stories across the globe including the Paris and Brussels attacks. Arsenault began her career at CBC in 1991 as an editorial assistant for The National. Over the years since, her postings have included Vancouver, Washington, Jerusalem and London.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, award-winning political journalist Rosemary Barton is the host of CBC News Network’s daily political show, Power & Politics. She has interviewed many high-profile politicians including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; former Prime Minister Stephen Harper; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry; International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde; and General John Kelly, former Homeland Security Secretary, now Chief of Staff to U.S. President Donald Trump. She also secured an exclusive broadcast interview with Omar Khadr. Barton joined CBC as Quebec’s legislative reporter at the National Assembly in 2004 before joining CBC’s Parliamentary Bureau, covering federal elections as well as a number of federal leadership campaigns. During the 2015 Canadian federal election campaign, Barton guided viewers through 11 weeks of election issues, interviewing all main party leaders through the course of the campaign and broadcasting six days a week. Her incisive and engaging interviewing style was recognized with a Canadian Screen Award for best news host in 2016. Barton started her journalism career in her hometown of Winnipeg as a researcher for CBC’s French news network, RDI. She has a degree in French literature from College Universitaire de Saint-Boniface and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Carleton University.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Andrew Chang is the Canadian Screen Award-winning host of CBC Vancouver News at 6. He joined CBC News Vancouver as host in the summer of 2014, and has also spent time in the host chair for CBC Radio One’s The Current, The National and CBC News Now and was a member of CBC’s Olympic broadcast team in 2014 and 2016. Prior to his move to Vancouver, Chang spent a successful decade with CBC Montreal, most recently as co-host of CBC Montreal’s supper newscast. He covered a number of memorable moments in Montreal’s history such as Montreal’s 2011 federal election night special, which saw the unprecedented rise of the NDP in the province, and the resulting collapse of the Bloc Québécois and the 2012 election-night assassination attempt of Pauline Marois. He worked previously as one of CBC’s chief staff reporters, covering breaking news at both the local and network level: from the Dawson College shootings, to the collapse of the de la Concorde overpass in Laval, to a month-long stint on the Parti Québécois campaign bus during the 2008 provincial election. During this time, Andrew also worked as a video journalist.

Born in Trinidad and raised in Sackville, New Brunswick, veteran host and reporter Ian Hanomansing began his broadcasting career at CKDH Radio in Amherst, Nova Scotia, working at radio stations in Moncton and Halifax before joining CBC in Halifax in 1986. Since then he has had a wide variety of assignments as a reporter, anchor and interviewer. Major stories he’s covered include the Exxon Valdez oil spill and San Francisco earthquake (both in 1989), the Los Angeles riot (1992), Vancouver’s two Stanley Cup riots (1994 and 2011), the Hong Kong handover (1997), the Slave Lake (2011) and Fort McMurray wildfires (2016) and seven Olympic Games, the most recent in Sochi in 2014. The host of CBC News Now weeknights on CBC News Network, Hanomansing has hosted many CBC programs including: Pacific Rim Report (1995-1999), which focused on Canada’s connection to Asia; Times 7 (2005), a joint venture between CBC News and the New York Times; Canada Now (2000-2007), a national supper-hour newscast; Still Talking Hockey (2004), a sports-themed late night program on CBC British Columbia; and Feeling the Heat (2007), a summer series about the environment on CBC Radio One. Hanomansing was awarded the 2016 Canadian Screen Award for Best National News Anchor for CBC News Network with Ian Hanomansing. He holds an honours B.A. in political science and sociology from Mount Allison University in Sackville, and also has a law degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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Canadian creators and advertisers, Unifor, the National Football League and Bell renew their appeal to the CRTC to rescind its Super Bowl simsub ban

From a media release:

The National Football League (NFL), national union Unifor, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists(ACTRA), the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Canadian Media Directors’ Council (CMDC) today reaffirmed their support of Bell’s call for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to suspend its simultaneous substitution ban for Super Bowl LII in 2018 and permanently rescind the ban going forward.

“There are no benefits to Canadians when our broadcast regulator favours US advertising, but there have been significant negative economic and cultural impacts in our country resulting directly from the CRTC’s decision,” said Mirko Bibic, Bell’s Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer and Executive VP, Corporate Development. “The damage is being felt across the Canadian creative, cultural and broadcasting communities, including drastic reductions in Super Bowl audiences and revenues at CTV. The reality of the impact is reflected in calls from a wide spectrum of Canadian organizations and the NFL itself to lift the simsub ban.”

For decades, multiple Canadian broadcasters have supported cultural development, domestic economic growth, and employment through simultaneous substitution, or simsub, which offers Canadian rather than American advertising in US television network programming viewed by Canadians, like the Super Bowl. While the Super Bowl’s US commercials are readily available to Canadians online in advance of the game, simsub enables them to see television advertising from Canadian companies about products and services they can actually buy here, and the advertising revenue helps fuel domestic creative production and talent development.

In 2015, however, the CRTC abruptly banned simsub only for the Super Bowl, the single biggest broadcast event of the year, effective with Super Bowl LI in 2017. As a result, Bell Media networks lost 40% of their Super Bowl audience while advertising revenues dropped $11 million. The harm created by the simsub ban is further amplified at a time when creators and broadcasters are struggling to adjust their business models to ensure a viable Canadian broadcasting system in the face of rapid competitive and technological change.

Now, new independent research confirms the broader impact on creators, broadcasters and Canadian businesses after just a single year of the CRTC’s Super Bowl simsub ban. Conducted by Communic@tions Management Inc., the research reveals the ban has cost the overall Canadian economy approximately $158 million. It found that Canadian businesses have been driven to spend their advertising dollars with US border television stations in an attempt to reach Canadian viewers, transferring that revenue from Canada to the US economy while at the same time undermining longstanding government tax policy. Based on revenue impacts, the Canadian creative community has been deprived of $3.3 million in direct funding and $4 million in promotional time for homegrown content.

“The NFL values the long-standing relationship that we have with our fans in Canada, and we are proud that the Super Bowl is the most watched television program each year. The CRTC’s decision to single out the Super Bowl for disparate treatment is arbitrary and should be reversed. Not only does it undermine the value of our programming, it also undermines Canadian content creators, and, ultimately, the Canadian economy. We’re pleased to join with our partners at Bell Media as well as with others in the business, labor, cultural and creative communities to ask the CRTC to restore rules of the road that promote fairness and growth in Canada,” said David Thomson, NFL Canada Managing Director.

“The original CRTC decision was a foolish one,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, speaking for 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers. “Thirty cents of every advertising dollar earned by CTV on the Super Bowl goes directly into making new Canadian TV content, including local news. Allowing American border stations to grab those ad dollars after CTV has paid top dollar for the game’s Canadian distribution rights is beyond belief.”

“Simultaneous substitution has been a cornerstone policy supporting Canada’s film and television sector for many decades. The CRTC’s decision to exempt the Super Bowl broadcast undermined that foundation and put thousands of Canadian performers, and the stories they tell, at risk. Now that some of our worst fears about the impact have been confirmed we hope the Commission will revisit this damaging decision,” said Stephen Waddell, National Executive Director, ACTRA.

“Simultaneous substitution not only protects the program rights negotiated and acquired by Canadian broadcasters, it also gives our advertiser member companies across the country the opportunity to reach Canadian consumers with advertising that is relevant to them,” said Ron Lund, President and CEO, ACA. “Such marketing opportunities are essential for many businesses to grow their sales and build their companies, in turn creating jobs and providing fuel to grow a robust and productive economy.”

“What is the fuss over one program out of 52 weeks of television?” says Janet Callaghan, President of the Canadian Media Directors’ Council. “It is because Super Bowl delivers a huge audience which is irreplaceable. Super Bowl is a live program event with a high entertainment factor, engaging families and friends to view together. This audience can be monetized because the almost 8 million 2017 viewers are 100% Canadian despite the origin of the program, which begs the question as to why the CRTC made a ruling which does not appear to be evidence based on stable consumer data and which returns no financial benefit to the Canadian economy.”

A poll by Nanos Research also reveals that for Canadians who watch the Super Bowl, the actual game and halftime show are significantly more important than the commercial breaks. Nearly 60% of viewers were uncertain whether products being advertised, such as US-only pharmaceuticals and financial services, were available in Canada. Of those interested in watching the US Super Bowl advertising, over 40% did not know the commercials were readily accessible on the Internet in advance of the game. Once they learned this, 60% of those who indicated strong interest in the US ads said that watching them during the game was no longer as important.

Bell Media recognizes there is interest in the US Super Bowl advertisements. If the simsub ban is lifted, Bell Media would produce a special broadcast of US Super Bowl commercials airing on game day and make it available free of charge to all Canadian broadcast distributors to offer as a video-on-demand service, supported by a promotional campaign to ensure more Canadians know they can access the US commercials in advance of the game.

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CBC and Sundance TV greenlight miniseries Unspeakable

From a media release:

CBC and SundanceTV have greenlit a new eight-part drama miniseries UNSPEAKABLE focused on the tainted blood scandal in Canada in the early 1980s. Created by Robert C. Cooper (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis), who will also serve as showrunner and executive producer, the project is produced by Cooper’s Mezo Entertainment and will be filmed in Canada in early 2018 for broadcast on CBC in Canada and SundanceTV in the U.S., with AMC Studios managing worldwide distribution outside of Canada.

Based on first-person experience and two non-fiction books, Bad Blood by Vic Parsons and The Gift of Death by Andre Picard, UNSPEAKABLE chronicles the emergence of HIV and Hepatitis C in Canada in the early 1980s and the tragedy that resulted after thousands of people were unnecessarily infected by tainted blood. One of the largest medical disasters in Canadian history, the blood scandal triggered a federal inquiry and precedent-setting lawsuit resulting in billions of dollars of compensation to victims. The series is a passion project for Cooper, who himself was a victim, having contracted Hepatitis C from tainted blood.

A CBC and SundanceTV original series, UNSPEAKABLE is produced by Mezo Entertainment, with Cooper and Meridian Artists’ Glenn Cockburn serving as executive producers. Cooper is currently showrunning season two of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” for BBC America, Netflix and AMC Studios.

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Discovery announces 2017/18 original programming slate; Canadian hits headline network’s 2017 fall lineup

From a media release:

Discovery, primetime’s most-watched entertainment specialty network in Canada among total viewers and key adult demos, announced its 2017 fall lineup today, headlined by an unrivaled 2017/18 original Canadian programming slate. Discovery’s primetime schedule continues to be underpinned by an unprecedented array of wildly popular homegrown programs for fall and winter, produced both in-house and in partnership with some of the country’s most successful independent production companies. In all, Discovery features six brand new programs joining 13 returning original series to headline its schedule for the 2017/18 broadcast year.

New to Discovery’s production slate are character-driven series LAST STOP GARAGE, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23; ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Winter 2018); and HELLFIRE HEROES (Spring 2018). These series are complemented by one-of-a-kind original specials, including the Exploration Production Inc. (EPI)-produced SATURN: INSIDE THE RINGS (Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT), featuring DAILY PLANET’s Dan Riskin, as well as the cutting-edge mystery solver from Discovery’s popular “DRAIN” series, DRAIN ALCATRAZ, coming this November.

Following the network’s first foray into original scripted drama last fall, Discovery features the exclusive and thrilling world debut of FRONTIER’s second season, airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 18. Featuring international film star and Canadian Screen Award nominee Jason Momoa (Justice League), the new season sees new alliances threatening to topple the established power dynamic, as loyalties shift and old wounds fester.

But first, the Fall 2017 schedule kicks off with Season 23 of Discovery’s flagship series DAILY PLANET currently enjoying its most-watched year in series history continuing to go where no one else dares. Kicking off a new season with “Boldly Go Week”, airing Monday, Aug. 28 through Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, the original series currently reaches more than 1.4 million viewers each week, and continues to win its 7 p.m. ET timeslot versus other Canadian entertainment specialty channels among key adult demos.

The 2017 fall season follows a highly successful broadcast year for Discovery’s original Canadian programs, which featured the debut of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 in January as the #1 original Canadian series launch of the season on entertainment specialty television, followed by last fall’s world debut of the network’s new scripted series FRONTIER. In 2016/17, Discovery was also home to the most-watched unscripted specialty series in Canada among A18-34 and A18-49, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER.

Winning three of seven nights per week in primetime among A25-54 viewers – more than any other entertainment specialty network – Discovery also claims four of the Top 10 series on entertainment specialty television in the current broadcast year withCANADA’S WORST DRIVER, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, GOLD RUSH, and HIGHWAY THRU HELL.

Looking forward to Discovery’s 2017/18 original programming slate, below are key programming highlights in chronological order:

Fall 2017 Original Programming Highlights

  • Internationally recognized winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best News or Information Series, DAILY PLANET returns for its 23rd season – Monday-Friday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Aug. 28.
  • Top 10 Entertainment Specialty program HIGHWAY THRU HELL returns for Season 6 – Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 5.
  • Investigating the stories and science behind major aviation crashes, Season 17 of MAYDAYFridays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 8.
  • Exploring the genius of flight technology with the aid of high-end CGI is Season 4 of MIGHTY PLANES Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 10.
  • Long-time international favourite, HOW IT’S MADE returns for Season 30 –Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 11.
  • Traveling the world to explore how everyday objects can be deconstructed and reimagined in incredible ways, MADE BY DESTRUCTION returns for Season 2 – Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 11.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** As its final act, Cassini – the largest interplanetary spacecraft NASA has ever built – will dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, collecting unprecedented science to end its 13-year mission orbiting the ringed jewel of the solar system. The one-hour special SATURN: INSIDE THE RINGS(Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) unveils the engineering of the mammoth spacecraft, while shining a light on the team that responsible for a range of incredible discoveries.
  • As new alliances threaten to topple the established power dynamic, loyalities shift and old wounds fester in the thrilling second season of FRONTIER (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 18), headlining Discovery’s fall schedule with a six-episode broadcast event.
  • **NEW SERIES** LAST STOP GARAGE (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) follows the often hilarious antics of CRB Automotive, the sole auto repair shop at the end of the only road left before hitting the most remote North American wilderness.
  • Discovery’s most-watched original series among key adult demos, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) enters its 13th season.
  • Season 2 of TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS (Mondays at 11 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) stars CANADA’S WORST DRIVER’s Andrew Younghusband in search of wildly different experiences in each episode.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** The world’s most infamous prison was also its most inescapable. But why? Many have tried to solve this mystery, but none have searched beneath the waves…until now. DRAIN ALCATRAZ (November 2017) uses cutting-edge CGI and sophisticated technology to “drain” the seas and scrub the sediments, revealing once and for all why Alcatraz was so difficult to escape.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** Inspired by the best-selling book from author and DAILY PLANET co-host Dan Riskin, MOTHER NATURE IS TRYING TO KILL YOU (Fall 2017) takes viewers on a lively romp through the underbelly of the natural world. With a unique combination of animation and live action footage, Mother Nature has never looked so twisted. The one-hour special brings to life the sordid tales of insects, animals, and creatures behaving in such shocking fashion that viewers will surely never think of nature in the same beautiful, pleasant way again.
  • Long-running international hit MIGHTY SHIPS (December 2017) sets sail on a new high-stakes voyage for Season 10, taking viewers on the journey and below the surface to explore places and technologies that are usually off-limits to land lovers.

Additional NEW Original Series Coming in 2017/18

  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Winter 2018) takes viewers on an action-packed journey to discover an extraordinary Canadian way of life, meeting everyone from off-gridders whose sole source of resupply is the rail to the hardy crews who do whatever it takes to keep these extreme railroads running.
  • Character-driven docuseries HELLFIRE HEROES (Spring 2018) gets up-close-and-personal with firefighters who’ll do just about anything to keep their community safe in the bullseye of the forest fire danger zone, Alberta’s remote Slave Lake.

Additional Returning Original Canadian Series Coming in 2017/18

  • Last season’s most-watched Canadian program debut, HEAVY RESCUE: 401(Winter 2018) returns for a second season to follow Heavy Rescue operators as they keep some of North America’s busiest highways moving.
  • Following the adventures of the jade-mining Bunce Family in northern B.C. is Season 4 of JADE FEVER (Winter 2018).
  • Season 31 of HOW IT’S MADE (Winter 2018) returns for a second helping this broadcast year, continuing to look behind the scenes at how everyday things are manufactured during Season 31.
  • Returning to investigate more major aviation disasters is Season 18 of MAYDAY (Winter 2018).
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CBC News announces new Sunday morning talk show starring Wendy Mesley

From a media release:

CBC News today announced a new Sunday morning talk show to be hosted by award-winning journalist Wendy Mesley. Launching in early 2018, the interactive program will focus on the intersection of media, technology and politics and be broadcast live on CBC and CBC News Network every Sunday morning, with further details to be confirmed at a later date.

In the new program, Mesley will put players from both media and politics in the spotlight as she pushes for answers and transparency, and provides critical analysis on how the newsmakers of the week are delivering their messages. The show will broadcast live from CBC in Toronto and feature a wide range of Canadian and global contributors and guests.

Mesley began her broadcast journalism career in 1979, first with CTV’s CFCF in Montreal before moving to CBC as a legislative reporter for local news and The National, based in Quebec City. During this six-year period, she covered the first referendum on sovereignty and some of the most fascinating politicians of our times, including René Lévesque and Pierre Trudeau. In 1985, Mesley moved to Ottawa as CBC’s first female correspondent to cover the prime minister from the parliamentary press gallery for The National. During this intensely political time, Mesley reported on such stories as the battles over free trade, the GST and the constitution, and soon after became the anchor of The National on Sundays. In 1994, Mesley helped create and hosted CBC’s award-winning news program Undercurrents, which examined the media and marketing world. Mesley currently hosts The National on Friday and Sunday evenings, and is also the host of CBC’s acclaimed documentary program The Passionate Eye. Mesley has won multiple Gemini Awards and this year won Best News Host or Interviewer at the Canadian Screen Awards. In 2006, Mesley was honoured with the John Drainie Award for her contribution to Canadian broadcasting.

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