Changing Landscape to Create Future Added Value, Present Uncertainties.

Author:Bennie, Isme
Position::Canadian Media

A recent announcement by the Canadian government will affect everyone mentioned in this article and it is expected that it will have a ripple effect beyond Canada itself.

In order to modernize the legislative framework that governs Canada's broadcast and telecommunications sector, the government has initiated a review of the country's Broadcasting Act, its Telecommunications Act, and its Radiocommunication Act, so that Canada can supposedly advance and thrive in the digital age.

The review will fall under the purview of recently-announced Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, whose ministry is responsible for broadcasting. It will include telecommunications, content creation in both French and English, net neutrality, and cultural diversity.

The final report with its recommendations is expected by January 31, 2020.

Former Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, who initially launched the review, has taken on new ministerial responsibilities, but just before leaving her post, she unveiled a strategic plan to help the country's content exporters stand out in the global market with a range of government initiatives, including a new funding program of C$125 million over five years.

Earlier in the year she announced the appointment of Canadian television and film executive Catherine Tait as the first female president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, the nation's national broadcaster. In introducing Tait, Joly said, "she is a champion for Canadian content who has successfully navigated the sea of change from traditional media and communications through to today's digital world."

Tait's impressive resume includes a stint as manager of Policy and Planning at Telefilm Canada and, from 1989 to 1991, a job as Canada's cultural attache to France.

Tait leaves behind her board position at Hollywood Suite, a bouquet of movie channels founded by the late Jay Switzer.

Continuing on the broadcast front, with broadcast revenues declining, the Shaw family is looking to sell its 38 percent stake in its radio and TV broadcaster Corus Entertainment in order to focus on expanding its wireless subsidiary Freedom Mobile.

Toronto-based Corus includes 44 specialty channels (such as The Food Network and HGTV TV), 15 TV stations (including Global TV), and 39 radio stations. A sale of all or some to the big Canadian incumbents such as Rogers Media or Bell Media is unlikely because of the competition issue. No suitor has appeared at the time of this writing (early August).


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