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July 23, 2014

Career Opportunities

Be sure to click on the CAREERS section (above) to see all of the various opportunities being offered in Canadian broadcasting. 
 
 
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July 23, 2014

Jeff Chalmers on boom 97.3 Toronto

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Long-time Toronto on-air presence Jeff Chalmers (Q107, 92.5 JACK-FM, Y108) has signed on with Newcap Radio’s boom 97.3 in Toronto as a summer freelancer. 

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July 23, 2014

CRTC challenges communications industry to address paper bill fees

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it will host a meeting with telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to discuss the practice of charging additional fees to customers who wish to receive paper bills. The CRTC also released the results of its fact-finding exercise on these practices.

Based on information obtained by the CRTC, there is a wide variation in how companies approach paper bill fees. As of November 2013, 36 companies indicated that they do not charge any fees. However, 27 companies acknowledged that their fees range from $0.99 to $5.95 per month for paper bills. Certain companies provide exemptions to these fees, such as for customers who do not have Internet access, but there is no consistent practice across the industry.

The CRTC is concerned that the approach taken by the industry in the transition from paper to electronic bills may not have taken into account the specific circumstances of some Canadians. The CRTC is inviting representatives from communications companies to a meeting that will be held on August 28, 2014, at its central office.

The meeting will be lead by the CRTC’s Vice-Chairs of Broadcasting and Telecommunications. Participants will be expected to come up with a clear and predictable approach to paper bill fees, if any, as well as exemptions for any such fees. This will ensure that Canadians are able to make informed decisions.

Quick Facts

The CRTC has challenged the communications industry to come up with a clear and predictable approach that addresses consumer issues related to paper bill fees.

The CRTC will be hosting a meeting with telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to facilitate discussion on the practices related to paper bill fees.

The CRTC has released the results of its fact-finding exercise on paper bill fees.

Quote:

“We are concerned that not all Canadians have a reasonable choice when it comes to paper bill fees for communications services. We are challenging telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to come up with a comprehensive approach that will enable Canadians to make informed decisions. We are prepared to explore regulatory options if the industry fails to find an appropriate approach.”

– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Associated Link

Results of the fact-finding exercise on fees for paper bills

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July 23, 2014

Mobile Ads Breach Historic Barrier

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Spending to Reach People on Their Devices This Year Will Eclipse Radio, Print.

Read the article HERE

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July 23, 2014

5 facts about the state of local (U.S.) TV newsrooms

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The market for local television stations was bullish in 2013, driven by the growing political ad revenue and fees paid to those outlets by cable, satellite and telecommunications companies for the right to carry their programming. In 2013, about 300 full-power local stations changed hands for a combined price tag of more than $8 billion, as major companies — from the Sinclair Broadcast Group to the Tribune Company — dramatically expanded their local TV portfolios.

Read the article HERE

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July 23, 2014

Bell acquires 2 customer service call centres in New Brunswick

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Moncton and Saint John centres part of Bell's strategy to improve customer service and invest in Canadian jobs

MONTRÉAL, July 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced the acquisition of 2 customer call centres in New Brunswick as part of its strategy to improve customer service and invest in jobs in Atlantic Canada and across the country.

"Delivering a better customer experience at every level is a core part of Bell's customer-focused investment strategy. These New Brunswick centres and other locations we've opened across Canada are essential to Bell's success in a competitive communications marketplace," said John Watson, Executive Vice President of Customer Operations for Bell. "We are pleased to welcome 700 more employees to the Bell team at these two New Brunswick locations, which join 5 other new Canadian call centres we've announced in the last 4 years."

Bell is acquiring call centres in Saint John and in Moncton and will dedicate both centres to serving its residential, wireless and small business customers. 

Since 2010, Bell has announced new call centres in Nanaimo, BC; Orillia, ON; and Laval, Rouyn-Noranda, and Saguenay in Québec.

The two sites will be operated by Bell's wholly owned subsidiary Nordia. For employment opportunities, please visitJobs@Bell or Nordia.ca

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July 23, 2014

BCE to privatize affiliate Bell Aliant

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This news release contains forward-looking statements. For a description of the related risk factors and assumptions please see the section entitled "Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements" later in this release.

MONTRÉAL and HALIFAX, July 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE) and Bell Aliant Inc. (TSX: BA) today announced that BCE will privatize Bell Aliant by acquiring the interest of its affiliate's public minority shareholders, while supporting Bell Aliant's ongoing growth and competitiveness with significant investments inAtlantic Canada infrastructure and employment.

"Bell Aliant is a core part of BCE's national communications operations alongside Bell Canada. Privatizing Bell Aliant enhances our broadband investment strategy and capital markets objectives while delivering great value to the public minority shareholders who have supported Bell Aliant's success," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. "In line with our investment-focused strategic imperatives, BCE looks forward to continuing network and service innovation to benefit consumers and business customers across Bell Aliant's territory."

"This transaction is a next logical step for Bell Aliant," said Edward Reevey, lead independent director of Bell Aliant. "A Special Committee of independent directors of Bell Aliant has conducted a thorough review of the offer and has unanimously concluded that the transaction provides attractive value to Bell Aliant's public minority shareholders, while also providing them with an opportunity to participate in the future growth of BCE. For these and other reasons, which will be more fully detailed in the directors' circular, the independent members of the Board of Directors unanimously resolved to recommend that shareholders accept the offer."

"I am proud of what the team at Bell Aliant has accomplished over the last several years," said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO of Bell Aliant. "Solid execution has positioned Bell Aliant to deliver even more value to our customers and shareholders through this transaction. As a result of the privatization, Bell Aliant will be able to combine its product and service strength, and cost management skills, with the world class communications networks and operations of Bell Canada, delivering even more value to our customers. Furthermore, Bell Aliant's heritage of delivering value to its customers through technological innovation and strong local presence will be further strengthened by the full backing of BCE. This support will ensure that Bell Aliant maintains its leadership position as the leading customer-focused communications service provider in the markets we serve."

The transaction enhances Bell Aliant's ability to invest and serve customers in the Atlantic marketplace from itsHalifax headquarters with further development in broadband Internet and TV services, new bundling opportunities, and next generation business services including data hosting and cloud computing.

BCE plans capital investment of $2.1 billion across Atlantic Canada over the next 5 years to enable the continued rollout of broadband wireline and wireless for consumers and business users. BCE will also continue to invest in world-leading broadband services for consumers and business customers in rural areas of Ontario and Québec currently managed by Bell Aliant. Bell Aliant's FibreOPTM broadband fibre-to-the-home network is expected to reach 1 million premises across the Bell Aliant territory by the end of the year, delivering lightning fast Internet, the best digital TV experience and a range of business services.

BCE also today announced that the next phase of its massive national buildout of mobile 4G LTE service will be inAtlantic Canada, with more than 100 additional small towns and rural locations across the region to benefit from enhanced mobile service by the end of 2015. Additionally, Bell announced the acquisition of 2 new call centres in New Brunswick to improve customer service and bring 700 more jobs into the Bell team.

Financial and operating benefits of the transaction
BCE already controls Bell Aliant and is acquiring the remaining approximately 127.5 million common shares that are owned by the public minority shareholders. Results for Bell Aliant are already consolidated within BCE's public financial and operational reporting alongside the results of Bell Canada. Bringing Bell Aliant wholly into BCE simplifies the company's structure, eliminating redundant public company costs and increasing overall operational efficiency.

"Privatizing Bell Aliant within BCE supports our dividend growth model and capital investment strategies, while maintaining a strong balance sheet and strong investment-grade credit ratings with significant financial flexibility," saidSiim Vanaselja, BCE's Chief Financial Officer. "As one of the best-run telco operators in North America, Bell Aliant enhances our EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) margin, EPS (earnings per share) and FCF (free cash flow), generating attractive synergies to support BCE's ongoing investment in communications growth services."

BCE expects annual run-rate FCF accretion after common dividends of approximately $200 million a year. With the elimination of Bell Aliant public company expenses and other duplicative costs, BCE expects to generate approximately $100 million in pre-tax annual synergies.

Details of the transaction
Unanimously recommended to public minority shareholders by all the independent directors of Bell Aliant, the transaction will be completed by way of a formal tender offer through which common shareholders can elect to receive either (a) $31 in cash, (b) 0.6371 of a BCE common share, or (c) $7.75 in cash and 0.4778 of a BCE common share. Public minority shareholders electing alternative (a) or (b) will be subject to pro-ration such that the aggregate consideration will be paid 25% in cash and 75% in BCE common shares. The share consideration is based on BCE's 10-day volume weighted average price of $48.66.

Creating both immediate and long-term value for Bell Aliant public minority shareholders, the transaction represents a valuation multiple of 8.3x LTM (last 12 months) EBITDA and an 11.6% premium to Bell Aliant's 20-day volume weighted average price of $27.78.

The regular quarterly dividend that would have been payable on Bell Aliant common shares on October 6, 2014 will not be declared by Bell Aliant.

Taxable Canadian shareholders who receive BCE shares as consideration under the offers will generally be entitled to a roll-over to defer Canadian taxation on capital gains.

BCE will fund the cash component of the transaction from available sources of liquidity and will issue approximately 61 million common shares for the equity portion of the transaction, which offers Bell Aliant public minority shareholders access to BCE's superior dividend growth potential. The BCE dividend has been increased 10 times, representing an aggregate increase of 69%, since Q4 2008 and currently delivers an approximate 5% yield. When the transaction is completed, Bell Aliant public minority shareholders will own approximately 7% of pro forma BCE common equity.

The Special Committee received opinions from its financial advisors Scotia Capital Inc. and Barclays Capital Canada Inc. that, subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications set out in such opinions, the consideration offered by BCE is fair from a financial point of view to Bell Aliant public minority shareholders. As independent valuator, Barclays has concluded that, subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications set out in its valuation, as ofJuly 22, 2014, the fair market value of the Bell Aliant common shares is in the range of $27.00 to $31.50 per common share. The Special Committee unanimously determined that the offer is fair to Bell Aliant public minority shareholders and, on the Special Committee's recommendation, the Board of Directors of Bell Aliant is recommending that public minority shareholders accept the offer and tender their common shares to the offer.

BCE expects the privatization transaction to be completed by November 30, 2014, subject to more than 50% of Bell Aliant common shares held by public minority shareholders being tendered to the offer, notification under the Competition Act, and other conditions set forth in the support agreement, a copy of which is available under Bell Aliant's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. CRTC and Industry Canada approvals are not required because there is no change in control of Bell Aliant, and no transfers of wireless spectrum licences.

BCE will also offer holders of preferred shares of Bell Aliant Preferred Equity Inc. (Prefco) the opportunity to exchange their Prefco preferred shares for BCE preferred shares with the same financial terms as the existing Prefco preferred shares, subject to terms and conditions of the offer. Completion of the Bell Aliant privatization is not conditional upon completion of the preferred share exchange.

The Special Committee of the independent directors of Prefco has unanimously determined that the preferred share offer is fair to preferred shareholders and, on the Special Committee's recommendation, the Board of Directors of Prefco is recommending that shareholders accept the offer and tender their preferred shares. The Special Committee has received an opinion from Scotia Capital that, subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications set out in such opinion, the consideration to be received pursuant to the BCE preferred shares offer is fair from a financial point of view to the preferred shareholders. Completion of the preferred share exchange offer is conditional upon completion of the common share offer, holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding preferred shares tendering their preferred shares to the offer, and the other conditions set forth in the support agreement.

The offers are expected to be commenced in mid-August and to expire in the second half of September. Tender offer circulars containing the full details of the common share offer and the preferred share offer (together with directors' circulars for each offer) and other related documents setting forth full details of the terms and conditions of the offers will be mailed to shareholders.

US holders of securities of Bell Aliant and Prefco should see the information under "Notice to US Securityholders" below.

Call with financial analysts
A conference call for financial analysts will be held today at 8:00 am ET. To participate, please dial (416) 340-2218 or toll-free 1-866-223-7781 shortly before the start of the call. A replay will be available for one week by dialing (905) 694-9451 or toll-free 1-800-408-3053 and entering passcode 2896556.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available on BCE's and Bell Aliant's websites. The mp3 file will be available for download on this page later in the day.
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July 22, 2014

LIONSGATE AND COMCAST PARTNER TO CREATE IMMERSIVE MULTI-PLATFORM MOVIE EXPERIENCES

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and PHILADELPHIA, July 22, 2014 /CNW/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced the expansion of their partnership to create uniquely immersive multi-platform experiences for digital consumers, beginning with the launch of an app for the motion picture Divergent.

With more than four hours of state-of-the-art bonus features and interactive content, the Lionsgate-designed iOS app, which is free to every Divergent fan via the iTunes App Store, includes an authenticated premium experience available to Xfinity customers with the purchase of the film through the Xfinity On Demand digital store.

Xfinity customers will be the first to enjoy Divergent movie scenes from multiple angles, walk the  red carpet from the comfort of their living rooms with 360-degree camera views that make them feel as if they are at the premiere, embark on a virtual reality audio experience during a Dauntless initiation and explore the film's fashion through interactive flipbooks. Divergent is available in the Xfinity On Demand digital store, which has consistently been one of the top digital retailers in the U.S., and via digital retailers nationwide two weeks ahead of the blockbuster's August 5 DVD and Blu-ray debut.

The announcement continues the successful partnership formed last year when Lionsgate became one of the first studios to provide digital content for purchase on Xfinity.  As part of this ongoing collaboration, Lionsgate will roll out additional title-specific apps built around upcoming releases featuring premium digital content available to Xfinity customers.

"We have been working with Lionsgate and all of our studio partners to launch a product that allows producers, directors, writers, designers and engineers to explore and create next generation digital experiences that expand and extend the life of digital franchises across platforms for Xfinity customers," said Matt Strauss, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Video Services, Comcast Cable. "We are providing studios with a platform to enhance the digital ownership experience by continually adding new content and experiences for customers that will immerse them in the worlds of these films like never before, first on their favorite mobile devices, and soon on the TV via X1."

"We're constantly exploring ways to use new content-gathering technologies to extend our franchises for digital platforms," said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. "Franchises likeDivergent create visually rich landscapes lending themselves to a whole new way of storytelling.  The development of the Divergent app and its premium content specifically for mobile devices is just one of the ways we're monetizing our brands and driving demand for EST."

"The app does a wonderful job of expanding the world of Divergent and creating a rich and immersive experience for our fans," said Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick of Red Wagon Entertainment, who are producing the Divergent series. "We're particularly excited that this is a life cycle app that will follow the trajectory of the entire Divergent franchise, and it showcases Lionsgate and Comcast at their innovative and visionary best."

Xfinity customers who purchase Divergent from the Xfinity On Demand digital store and download the free iOS app can sign-in to the app using their Xfinity credentials to unlock over 250 minutes of premium online content including behind the scenes footage and exclusive red carpet content captured at Divergent's Los Angeles premiere with 360-degree cameras.  Enhanced content for Xfinity customers, combined with the app's generally available content, create more than 6 1/2 hours of interactive value-added material for Divergent fans. Next year, Xfinity subscribers with X1 will be able to access the Divergent app, and subsequent apps, as an Internet app on the TV through their X1 set-top box.

The app also features state-of-the-art DTS Headphone: X technology, enabling fans to share a surround sound experience using any brand of headphones, marking one of the first times this ground-breaking technology has been included in the special features of a home entertainment release.

The Divergent app is a "life cycle" app that follows the movie not only from theatrical through home entertainment release and beyond but is designed to meet the demands of fans throughout the entire trajectory of the franchise. The next film in the Divergent series, Insurgent, will be released worldwide on March 20, 2015.

Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Ashley Judd in a thrilling action adventure set in a dangerous future world divided into factions where Tris, who is Divergent and will never fit into any one group, and Four, an instructor for the militant Dauntless faction, uncover a mind-bending conspiracy that will put their courage to the ultimate test and forever link their destinies.  The first Divergent film has already grossed nearly $300 million at the global box office, and the Divergent series of books has sold more than 25 million copies.
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July 22, 2014

Life Shared Online: Bell Media Re-launches Lifestyle and Entertainment Hub The Loop with Sleek New Look and Feel

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TORONTO (July 22, 2014) – Canada’s digital lifestyle destination The Loop has re-branded with a sleek new look, supported by a month-long, promotional marketing campaign across all Bell Media digital and on-air assets. The Loop’s re-launch shifts its focus to content that is completely strategized, developed, and executed in-house by Bell Media’s Specialty Digital Content team. The new online hub features social lifestyle and entertainment content from a uniquely Canadian perspective, engaging visitors with content that connects them to each other. The Loop is designed to encourage users to share – a laugh, a piece of advice, a trending story – through its mix of original and licensed video, interactive maps and quizzes, engaging galleries, and informative articles. Built in the tradition of sites like BuzzFeed, The Loop covers an always rotating, fresh array of topics, including celebrity, style, health, fitness, humour, everyday how-tos, and life hacks.

Check out the brand-new Loop on air promo here.

“As the Canadian destination for the lifestyle and entertainment content that everyone is talking about, The Loop has greatly improved the experience and share-ability for our thousands and thousands of daily users,” said Justin Stockman, Vice-President Specialty Channels, Bell Media. “With exclusive, seamlessly integrated opportunities for clients, The Loop is a premium destination for both users and advertisers alike.”

The re-designed site was built using a modern responsive layout and content management system. The result is a user-friendly site with increased accessibility on all devices – desktop, mobile, and tablet.

Since its soft re-launch last month, The Loop has already seen impressive results, including a 27% increase in social shares as well as a 30% increase in video engagement compared to pre-launch.

The re-launch of The Loop provides new opportunities for clients wanting to reach their desired female-skewing audiences, including innovative, high-impact ad executions, takeovers, enhanced video offerings, and customized Brand Partnership activations. The Loop offers native-advertising opportunities through sponsored posts on the site, providing a unique collaborative environment between The Loop and its partners. The new site seamlessly integrates client brand messaging organically into the site through content produced by The Loop’s editorial team in its distinctive tone and voice and targeted specifically to the site’s users. The site will work with content-discovery platform Outbrain to attract new Canadian audiences.

Source: Gigya and Brightcove
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July 22, 2014

Casting Details Announced as Production Begins on New Space Original Drama Series KILLJOYS

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TORONTO (July 22, 2014) – Space, Syfy, and Temple Street Productions announced today that British actor, Hannah John-Kamen, known for her starring role in West End musical Viva Forever, Canadian genre-favourite Aaron Ashmore (SMALLVILLE); and London, Ontario’s own Luke Macfarlane, best known for his role as Scotty Wandell on BROTHERS & SISTERS, have been cast as the leads in the upcoming original adventure drama series KILLJOYS. Commissioned by Space and produced by Temple Street Productions for Space and Syfy, the 10-episode, one-hour series begins production in Toronto on August 5.  Created and written by showrunner Michelle Lovretta (LOST GIRL), and directed by genre guru Chris Grismer (VAMPIRE DIARIES, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS), KILLJOYS follows a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters (John-Kamen, Ashmore, and Macfarlane) - or “Killjoys” - as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant planetary system on the brink of a bloody, class war. With additional casting still to be announced, KILLJOYS is set to premiere in 2015 on Space.

“Hannah, Aaron, and Luke are the perfect combination to lead this exciting new drama series” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “With only two weeks remaining until the start of production, we look forward to seeing the universe this trio will bring to life with our stellar partners, Temple Street Productions and Syfy.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Hannah, Aaron and Luke sign on to play our stalwart team of bounty hunters,” commented Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, Executive Producers and Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions. “We're looking forward to getting production underway with this killer ensemble and our partners Space and Syfy.”

In KILLJOYS, Hannah John-Kamen stars as the gorgeous, complicated, and deadly Dutch. A top-level Killjoy, she’s a much loved and charming presence in her community, with a unique gift for earning people’s trust and respect regardless of their class. Under her banter and protective flirtations, there is pain, maturity, and a deep solemnity resulting from a dark secret past.

Aaron Ashmore takes on the role of John Jaqobis, a Level 3 Killjoy who, despite his profession, is a peacemaker who hates conflict. Cheerful and kind-hearted, John prefers not to fight, but his sarcastic wit has put him into the fray enough over the years to teach him how to do it well, and dirty. Give this man any machine or situation, and he can fix it, build it, and fly it.

Luke Macfarlane stars as D’avin, a handsome, rugged, sarcastic, and incredibly loyal former soldier. He dreamed of enlisting in the military since boyhood, and his hard-won expertise in tactics, manoeuvres, and hand-to-hand combat make him an instant asset to the Killjoy team.

KILLJOYS was created by Michelle Lovretta who also serves as executive producer and showrunner. Executive producers are David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg of Temple Street Productions. Director and Consulting Producer is Chris Grismer. Producer is Karen Troubetzkoy. Writer and Consulting Producer is Jeremy Boxen. Writers are Emily Andras, Adam Barken, and Aaron Martin. Universal Cable Productions distributes the series worldwide.

KILLJOYS is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with Bell Media and Syfy. Production Executives for Bell Media are Trish Williams and Rebecca DiPasquale. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Catherine MacLeod is Senior Vice-President, Specialty Channels and Bell Media Production. Phil King is President, CTV, Sports, and Entertainment Programming.
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July 22, 2014

Shaw Supports Emerging Canadian Golf Talent as they Prepare for the 2014 RBC Canadian Open

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CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 22, 2014) - Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B)(NYSE:SJR) today announced it has partnered with rising professional golfers Michael Gligic and Beon Yeong Lee as they compete at this year's RBC Canadian Open.

"Supporting Michael and Beon represents Shaw's desire to help give rising Canadian golf talent the opportunity to grow and develop their game even further," says Brad Shaw, CEO, Shaw Communications Inc. "We are proud to support them as they pursue their goals and hope to help inspire thousands of kids dreaming of following in their footsteps."

Sporting the Shaw logo during the week of the RBC Canadian Open, Gligic and Lee represent some of the up and coming Canadian golfers at this year's national championship taking place July 21-27, 2014 at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Ile-Bizard, Quebec. The two golfers are the latest additions to Shaw's roster of professional golf partnerships that feature PGA TOUR star Graham DeLaet and rising Web.com Tour pro Adam Hadwin.

From Burlington, Ontario, Gligic captured his first PGA TOUR Canada win at the ATB Financial Classic in Edmonton in 2012, and placed second on the PGA TOUR Canada's 2012 Order of Merit. Gligic secured his spot at the RBC Canadian Open by winning a regional qualifying event at his home course of Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario.

From Montreal, Lee earned his place at the 2014 RBC Canadian Open by winning the regional qualifying tournament at Elm Ridge Country Club in ile Bizard, and most recently finished eighth at The Players Cup at Pine Ridge Golf Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The 2014 RBC Canadian Open will mark Lee's second trip to the tournament, having qualified in 2010.

Complete coverage of the RBC Canadian Open can be seen on Global TV. As the home for golf in Canada, Global TV will be broadcasting all-access coverage of the 2014 RBC Canadian Open on Saturday, July 26 at 3pm ET/12pm PT, with final round coverage airing at 3pm ET/12pm PT on Sunday, July 27. Both broadcasts begin with pre-game coverage starting an hour before the round commences.
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July 22, 2014

PATTISON Outdoor Enables Canada-Wide Rollout of Its smartAD® Digital Advertising Engine

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 22, 2014) - PATTISON Outdoor Advertising, Canada's leader in the Out-of-Home advertising industry and the only company to offer a multi-platform inventory of digital products, today announced it has completed the rollout of its smartAD(R) advertising engine to its exterior products, enhancing what has already been available for its interior digital networks. Advertisers on PATTISON's exterior digital platform will have the ability to quickly and efficiently update advertising campaigns across the country's largest and only multi-platform digital inventory.

Already available on nearly 2,500 interior screens across Canada, PATTISON Outdoor has completed the rollout of its smartAD(R) platform to all of its 207 exterior digital posters and spectaculars coast to coast. PATTISON's smartAD(R) engine enables advertisers to easily and quickly update their advertising messages on our industry-leading platform of digital products.

"PATTISON is committed to providing advertisers the innovative tools necessary to better communicate with consumers, and smartAD(R) is our proprietary technology that will enhance our Digital Out-of-Home portfolio of products," said Joe Donaldson, Vice President, Marketing of PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. "Our smartAD(R)-powered engine will enable national brands and retailers of all sizes to create targeted, dynamic advertising messages that can be customized by the advertisers themselves. Creative can flow out to our interior and exterior digital products, including digital exterior products like Horizontal Posters and Superboards, and interior products like the transit, office and residential networks, and any of our other digital properties. With just one click, advertisers can instantly update their messages, creating a compelling value proposition to our clients and a clear advantage against competitors."

The smartAD(R) engine delivers value across the digital advertising ecosystem, enabling advertisers to easily create dynamic messages along a shopper's path to purchase. Advertisers using smartAD(R) are able to:

--  Create relevant and dynamic advertisement based on external data sources
    like weather, date or time;
--  Instantly update artwork, based on product supply and demand;
--  Include directions and maps that guide the user to the closest location
    with the product available;
--  Create a sense of urgency for events and/or time-sensitive promotions; and
--  Easily integrate social media feed from sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Many national and local businesses are already using smartAD(R) as part of their campaigns, and adding exterior products to the mix will enhance their ability to successfully communicate with consumers and expand their brand's voice.
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July 21, 2014

GLOBAL TO AIR COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE RBC CANADIAN OPEN

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TORONTO, July 21, 2014 – With the RBC Canadian Open ready to tee off, Global Television is ensuring viewers don’t miss a swing. Coupled with extensive week-long coverage and unrivaled pre-game shows, Global Television will air the full PGA TOUR golf tournament Saturday, July 26 from 3pm-6pm ET and Sunday, July 27 beginning at 3pm ET.

“In addition to live coverage of the Canadian Open itself, Global will take viewers beyond the course to show Canadians the people and amazing behind-the-scenes stories that make this event so special,” says Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President, News & Station Operations, Global News. “With our sports anchors bringing their unique perspectives and expertise to the green, viewers across the country will stay up-to-date and informed on each day’s events on Global News on-air and online.”

Special Global Sports pre-game shows will be hosted by anchors Kevin Smith and Rob Leth, who will be joined by golf commentator and PGA TOUR winner Ian Leggatt. Broadcast on Global Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 at 2pm ET, the team will provide behind-the-scenes content, expert interviews with pro golfers including Shaw Ambassador and PGA TOUR star, Graham DeLaet and Canadian golf icon and the 2003 Masters Tournament champion, Mike Weir, up-to-date leaderboards, and in-depth analysis of tournament leaders. In addition to playing a role in the Global Sports pre-game shows, Global Sports Anchor Derek Meyers will provide comprehensive coverage all week long across Global’s newscasts coast to coast beginning Wednesday, July 23.

With the RBC Canadian Open being hosted in Montreal, Global Montreal will be giving its viewers unprecedented access to the tournament. Highlights include an on-site broadcast of the Morning News, Wednesday, July 23 from 6-9 am ET with Richard Dagenais and Jessica Laventure as well as a special broadcast of the Evening News with Jamie Orchard on Friday, July 25 at 6pm ET. Exclusive interviews and additional RBC Canadian Open related stories and content will also be seen on local Global newscasts in all communities throughout the week.

Globalnews.ca will also be live streaming Global’s pre-game shows along with providing additional special online content including interviews and up-to date scores and standings throughout the tournament.
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July 21, 2014

Rexall Selects Allstream for Comprehensive Telecommunications Solution

TORONTO, July 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Allstream (TO: MBT), Canada's all-business communications provider, today announced that Rexall has chosen Allstream to design and deliver a comprehensive telecommunications solution for its 448 stores across Canada. Allstream, the single most relevant competitor in Canada to Bell and TELUS for business customers, will provide Rexall with a next generation integrated data and voice network that will provide fast, reliable and flexible service.

Rexall worked with Allstream to create a new technology plan that will help guide the modernization of the communications infrastructure of their stores.  Using leading edge technologies such as SIP, Rexall will centralize its voice infrastructure, move their data to a dedicated and secure network, and leverage the benefits of Allstream's expertise to deliver new features while significantly reducing costs.

"We were very impressed with Allstream's agility, flexibility and customer-centric approach," said Ahmed Shariff, Sr. Director, I.T. Operations and JDE Financial Systems, Rexall. "Allstream understood that with the right technology we can improve our customers' experience in each of our stores.  Allstream studied our business, learned our needs and delivered a plan for a scalable end-to-end telecommunications solution that will allow us to unlock hidden value in our technology infrastructure.  This will also allow us to acquire and implement new technologies faster than ever before, especially as we grow."

"Allstream is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with Rexall, an innovative pharmacy leader," said Allstream Vice President National Sales, Edith Cloutier. "In such a competitive retail environment, companies like Rexall look to Allstream for innovative solutions that will differentiate them in the marketplace.  Our solution will free them up to focus even more on being a customer-focused and award-winning retailer."

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July 21, 2014

Be Careful What You Fish For! SHARK WEEK Takes Another Bite Out of Summer, August 10-16 on Discovery

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TORONTO (July 21, 2014) – Snuffy the Seal is back.  And so is SHARKNADO.  Summer’s most-anticipated annual TV event “Shark Week 2014” returns to Discovery Canada for seven teeth-gnashing nights, beginning Sunday, August 10, through Saturday, August 16, taking its biggest bite out of the season yet! This summer, “Shark Week 2014” builds upon last year’s 11 shark-filled programs, offering 12 new “Shark Week” specials (airing day-and-date with Discovery U.S.); the return of last year’s hit late-night LIVE SHARK AFTER DARK talk show; a Saturday night movie double-bill; and – for the first time ever! – the iconic theme week also feature original Canadian content!  Returning early from summer hiatus, DAILY PLANET wades into shark-infested waters to deliver five nights of the most incredible and bizarre shark science from around the world. All told, Canadians can look forward to an unprecedented 42 hours of teeth and fins during “Shark Week 2014,” and more premiere hours than ever before in the 19-year history of the blockbuster summer event. The experience continues online where viewers can dive deeper into “Shark Week 2014” at Discovery.ca with loads of exclusive content.

Like last year’s MEGALODON, “Shark Week” continues to evolve, fascinate, and surprise viewers year after year, taking on mythical proportions. “Shark Week 2013” stands as Discovery Canada’s highest-rated seven-day period ever (Sunday, August 4 to Saturday, August 10, 2013), as the summer event lured in more than 8.3 million Canadians.  In August, Discovery will once again meet this voracious viewer appetite with its biggest, boldest, and best line-up yet.

The nightly can’t-miss “Shark Week 2014” schedule for Discovery’s new specials and Saturday’s movie double-bill is as follows (Note: all programming subject to change):

Nightly, 6-11 p.m. ET / 3-8 p.m. PT
6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT – “Best of” SHARK WEEK Special 1 (Encore; Sat. *New*)
7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT – DAILY PLANET SHARK WEEK Special (*New*; Mon.-Fri.)
8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT – “Best of” SHARK WEEK Special 2 (Encore)
9 p.m. ET/6 and 9 p.m. PT – SHARK WEEK 2014 Special 1 (*New*)
10 p.m. ET/7 and 10 p.m. PT – SHARK WEEK 2014 Special 2 (*New*)
11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT – SHARK AFTER DARK 2014 (*New*; LIVE, Mon.-Fri.)

Discovery’s new “Shark Week 2014” highlights include:
AIR JAWS: FIN OF FURY (TBC)
Sunday, August 10 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Producer Jeff Kurr and the team from AIR JAWS returns in this new one-hour special, using incredible new cameras and high-tech underwater gadgetry to track down the missing “mega-shark” Colossus.

SHARK OF DARKNESS: WRATH OF SUBMARINE
Sunday, August 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This two-hour special explores the legend of “Submarine,” an enormous great white shark off the coast of South Africa. This nine-meter shark is said to be the largest great white shark of all time. Locals believe that this shark is responsible for countless fatal attacks, but its existence has never been proven.

SHARK AFTER DARK 2014
Sunday, August 10 to Thursday, August 14 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT – LIVE! (rpt at 11 p.m. PT)
Back for a second run with host Josh Wolf, the LIVE “Shark Week 2014” after-show leads viewers through an hour-long celebration of all things shark-related, including celebrity guests, shark experts, and shark attack survivors, among others. The talk show gives viewers the first opportunity to interact live on-air every night with tweets, questions to the shark experts, and more.

SHARK WEEK ON DAILY PLANET
Monday, August 11 to Friday, August 14 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
It’s a week so epic, DAILY PLANET couldn’t resist getting in on the action – with a Canadian science twist! DAILY PLANET returns early from hiatus for five special “Shark Week 2014” episodes – featuring dozens of original shark science stories and content from nearly every continent on Earth, presented as only DAILY PLANET can! Anchored by jaw-some co-hosts Ziya Tong and Dr. Dan Riskin – each episode spotlights the world’s biggest, most enigmatic species of sharks – including the basking shark, cow shark, great hammerhead shark, great white shark, blue shark, bull shark, blacktip shark, and even an extinct shark – the helicoprion! Highlights from the week’s best stories include: a trip from Florida to the Bahamas with trauma surgeon Dr. Robert Borrego in his attempts to uncover a potent shark antibiotic; a profile on a former shark hunter who’s become the most unique shark conservationist in the world – now dedicated to bringing great whites to scientists; and an epic journey with videographer and explorer Joe Romeiro to film what he describes as “the unicorn for underwater cameramen” – the great hammerhead shark. (Note: a detailed announcement with DAILY PLANET’s best day-by-day highlights will be issued separately.)

JAWS STRIKES BACK (TBC)
Monday, August 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Marine biologist, Greg Skomal and the sharkcam team travel to the remote Pacific island of Guadalupe – home to some of the largest great white sharks on Earth – to film an epic clash of the titans. This one-hour special delves into their mission: to film “jaws” hunt two-ton “mega seals,” and never before seen mating rituals of the great white.

MONSTER HAMMERHEAD
Monday, August 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Rumoured to be up to 7.5 meters long, a legendary hammerhead shark has been patrolling
Florida’s shores for the past 60 years. In this one-hour special, a team of scientists and anglers look to explore the mystery and find out if the legend could be real.

ALIEN SHARK: RETURN TO THE ABYSS
Tuesday, August 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This one-hour special joins shark researcher Paul Clerkin as he heads to the
Indian Ocean to document the last-known group of bioluminescent sharks in the world.

LAIR OF THE MEGA SHARK
Tuesday, August 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
This one-hour special follows famed shark experts Jeff Kurr and Andy Casagrande as they head to New Zealand on a life-or-death mission to investigate the sightings of a six-meter Great White that resembles the legend of a giant great white shark Maoris call the “lord of the sharks.” Kurr and Casagrande will risk everything to track down this mega shark believed to be lurking in the shadows of the
New Zealand coast line.

ZOMBIE SHARKS (TBC)
Wednesday, August 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
ZOMBIE SHARKS explores tonic immobility, a catatonic zombie-like state that can be achieved in sharks. This shark phenomenon has been studied by scientists for years, but a recent spike in orca whale attacks on great white sharks suggests that orcas have now learned how to immobilize and prey on great whites. In this one-hour special, professional diver Eli Martinez looks to prove this theory by being the first person to induce underwater tonic immobility in a massive great white shark.

SPAWN OF JAWS 2: THE BIRTH
Wednesday, August 13 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Dr. Michael Domeier has spent years scouring the
Pacific Ocean hoping to solve one of the greatest mysteries of shark science: the location of great white pupping grounds. In 2013, he set the process in motion by successfully tagging a pregnant female shark that he called Gil Rakers. Now, in this one-hour special, he’s returning to the sea in to follow her journey and be the first to capture the birth of a baby great white shark.

I ESCAPED JAWS 2
Thursday, August 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This one-hour follow-up special to 2013's I ESCAPED JAWS features footage of terrifying shark attacks and first-hand accounts from the survivors.

SHARKAGEDDON (TBC)
Thursday, August 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Hawaii is thought of as an idyllic vacation destination, but recent spikes in shark attacks are turning these shores into a shark hot spot. In this new one-hour special, Hawaiian native and surf legend Kala Alexander knows these waters better than anyone, and he hopes to uncover the reason behind this sudden shark invasion in SHARKAGEDDON.

MEGALODON: THE NEW EVIDENCE
Friday, August 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Last summer’s MEGALODON special hypothesized a shocking scenario:  the fatal and brutal attack of a fishing vessel off the coast of
South Africa, killing all on board. A TV crew documented marine biologist Collin Drake as he worked to determine the predator responsible. Now, this one-hour special updates the 2013 program with incredible new evidence.

SHARKNADO and SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE
Saturday, August 16 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET/5 and 7 p.m. PT
Discovery celebrates the end of an epic “Shark Week” with the ultimate movie double bill – 2013’s pop culture phenomenon, SHARKNADO, followed by this summer’s sequel, SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE. Starring Tara Reid (American Pie) and Ian Ziering (
BEVERLY HILLS 90210),  the original SHARKNADO finds thousands of sharks terrorizing a waterlogged Los Angeles following a freak hurricane. The panic continues when high-speed winds form tornadoes in the desert, nature’s deadliest killer rules the water, land, and air. The story resumes in SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE, as a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished iconic sites – and only Fin (Ziering) and April (Reid) can save the Big Apple.

“Shark Week 2014” marks the start of newly redesigned Discovery.ca coming in August, where users can explore an exclusive preview of the new site beginning July 28. The full “Shark Week” experience extends at Discovery.ca/sharkweek, with full episodes (available the morning after broadcast) online and on the Discovery Canada App, plus a library of the best shark specials from years’ past; cool infographics, including shark attack “hot spots” and “sharks in plight” map; Shark-o-Pedia and trivia; a shark anatomy diagram and photos; shark facts, news, and shark-themed Daily Discoveries. And – back by popular demand! – users can get into the spirit of “Shark Week” with downloadable DIY party accessories, including a Shark Fin Hat so viewers can “get their fins on,” and much more! Viewers can join the “Shark Week” conversation on twitter.com/DiscoveryCanada, with the hashtag #SharkWeek.
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July 21, 2014

COGECO Inc. and Cogeco Cable Inc. Announce Departure of Pierre Gagne, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - July 21, 2014) - COGECO Inc. (TSX:CGO) and Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX:CCA) announce the departure of Pierre Gagne who was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, for personal reasons. His departure is effective today.

"On behalf of the Board and our employees, I wish to thank Pierre for his contribution to the company, stated Louis Audet, President and Chief Executive Officer, COGECO Inc. and Cogeco Cable Inc. I want to take this opportunity to wish him the very best in the next phase of his professional career", concluded Mr. Audet.
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July 21, 2014

TSN Radio 1200 in Ottawa and 94.5 Unique FM Announce French-Language Broadcast Partnership for the Ottawa Senators

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OTTAWA (July 21, 2014) – Bell Media’s TSN Radio 1200 in Ottawa – the official voice of the Ottawa Senators –today announced a three-year agreement with 94.5 Unique FM that allows the francophone community radio station to continue delivering French-language coverage of the Ottawa Senators.

As part of the multi-year arrangement, Unique FM will broadcast live coverage of all Ottawa Senators games as well as pre- and post-game shows.

Play-by-play voice Nicolas St-Pierre and analyst Alain Sanscartier will continue to provide French-language commentary for the station’s live Sens coverage. 

“We are thrilled to be entering into this exclusive agreement with Unique FM,” said Richard Gray, Regional Vice-President/General Manager, Radio/TV, Northern and Eastern Ontario/Maritimes, Bell Media. “Unique FM has done an outstanding job with Ottawa Senators radio broadcasts over the past two seasons, developing an extremely deep connection with the francophone community of Ottawa and Gatineau along the way.”

“It’s a great day for francophone fans of the Ottawa Senators,” said Véronique Soucy, General Manager, Unique FM. “Our listeners are extremely passionate about their home team and we’re grateful to Bell Media and TSN 1200 for enabling us to continue our partnership with the hockey club.”

TSN 1200 acquired English and French-language radio broadcast rights for the Ottawa Senators as part of Bell Media’s comprehensive 12-year partnership with the team, which was announced earlier this year.

Live radio coverage begins with the Sens’ first pre-season game of the 2014-15 NHL season on Monday, Sept. 22. The team’s first regular season game is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 9.

Live game coverage of the Ottawa Senators joins TSN 1200’s packed schedule of live broadcast coverage, which includes all games plus pre- and post-game shows for the Ottawa Redblacks, Ottawa Fury FC and Ottawa 67’s, THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, Sunday afternoon NFL action, the Barclays Premier League, exclusive rights to the GREY CUP and IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP, and more.
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July 21, 2014

Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund Supports Script Development for 22 Film Projects

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TORONTO (July 21, 2014) – Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund announced today its support for 22 film projects through its Script Development Program. The slate includes new and already-announced projects in all phases of script development, from story optioning and first and second drafts, to polish and packaging, and final-drafts.

Included among the projects are a treatment by Michael Dowse (FUBAR, Goon), the story optioning of Joseph Boyden’s Scotiabank Giller Prize winning novel Through Black Spruce, the second draft of a feature-film adaptation of Miriam Toews’ Governor General’s Award-winning novel A Complicated Kindness, and first features by celebrated Globe and Mail columnist Johanna Schneller and acclaimed television writer Matt Watts (MICHAEL: TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS).

“We’re proud to get behind this incredibly talented group of Canadian writers working on these exciting and important films,” said John Galway, President, English-Language Program, The Harold Greenberg Fund. “Between the adaptations of acclaimed novels and wholly new concepts by unique new and established voices, we are thrilled with the calibre of Canadian writing talent working today.”

Supported projects:

Story Optioning:

The Purchase
Northwood Media Inc. & 3 Legged Dog Films
Author: Linda Spalding

Screenwriter: Ed Gass-Donnelly

Heidegger Stairwell
Motel Pictures Inc. & January Films

Author: Kayt Burgess
Screenwriter: Scott Smith

Through Black Spruce
Buffalo Gal Development Inc. & Kistikan Pictures

Author: Joseph Boyden
Screenwriter: Barbara Samuels

What You Need
Picture Plant Limited
Author: Eliza Clarke
Screenwriters: Sherry White and William MacGillivray

Four One Nine
Sarrazin Productions Inc.
Author: Will
Ferguson
Screenwriter: Suzette Couture

Who Killed Ty Conn
Ilana C Frank Films Inc.
Author:
Linden MacIntyre & Theresa Burke

First to Second Draft:

Indian Horse
Screen Siren Pictures Ltd.
Screenwriter: Dennis Foon

A Complicated Kindness
Sienna Films Inc. & Einstein Bros Inc.
Screenwriters: Miriam Toews and Erik Rutherford

A Hell of a Harvest
Scythia Films Inc.
Screenwriter: Simon Ennis

Polish and Packaging:

The Waiting Room
Timelapse Pictures & Gearshift Films
Screenwriter/Director: Igor Drlaca

Way of the Sword
Standing 8 Productions Inc. & Rob Heydon Productions Inc.
Screenwriters: Bretten Hannam and Chaz Thorne
Director: Chaz Thorne

Sailor Girl
Markham Street Productions Inc.
Screenwriters: Johanna Schneller and Anita Doron
Director: Anita Doron

Southpaw
Mutual St. Productions &
Starling Road Productions
Screenwriters: John Reardon and Jesse Moss
Director: Charles Officer

Red Snow
True West Films
Screenwriter/Director: Marie Clements

Second to Final Draft:

Out Late
Palomar (3090-5178 Quebec Inc.)
Screenwriters: Thomas Michael and Paolo Mancini

Riddled
Sienna Films Inc.
Screenwriter: Adriana Maggs

Ghost Train
H is4 Productions Inc.
Screenwriter: Stefan Scaini

Mr. Epiphany
New Real Films
Screenwriter: Matt Watts

Wrecking Ball
Mad Samurai Productions Inc.
Screenwriter: Daniel DiMarco

Stupid White Guy
Rob Heydon Holdings Inc.
Screenwriter: Alex Epstein

Shadowman
Middle Child Films Inc.
Screenwriter: Howard Wiseman

Treatment to First Draft:

Untitled Michael Dowse Project
Cardinal Film Inc. 
Screenwriter: Michael Dowse
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July 20, 2014

The Debate on Drones: Navigation for Journalists

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Journalism needs to get “a seat at the table so that free press rights and free speech rights are part of the conversation” in evolving drone legislation, Matthew Waite, founder of the Drone Journalism Lab, recently told the World Editors Forum. Read the article

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July 18, 2014

Hacking Journalism at the MIT Media Lab

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Field notes from the Hacking Journalism hackathon hosted by the MIT Media Lab, a weekend full of innovative ideas around the future of journalism. Click http://www.theguardian.com/info/developer-blog/2014/jul/18/hacking-journalism-at-the-mit-media-lab
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