Jay Switzer 1956 – 2018

Jay Switzer knew where to get the best onion rings in Canada. He was convinced that they were at the A&W in Canmore, Alta., a few kilometers from one of his favourite destinations, The Banff Springs Hotel. Every June, for years, Switzer would rent a van and drive a few fortunate colleagues from the Calgary airport to the… Read on

Jay Switzer invested with the Order of Canada

One of the true nice guys in television has just received the nation’s top civilian honours: the Order of Canada. Jay Switzer, co-founder and Executive Chair, Hollywood Suite, and former President and CEO of CHUM Limited, received the distinction from the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, in a private ceremony Monday in Toronto. Switzer built… Read on

Get in the Spirit with this weekend’s best awards show

Every year, there’s one award show that cuts through all the usual boring back-slapping and industry naval-gazing and actually provides viewers with real laughs and entertainment. This weekend, it’s back. No, not The Oscars, please–we’re talking the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Sure, it’s got the most awkward title but the Spirit Awards always has the… Read on

Year of the flood nearly capsizes MIPCOM 2015

CANNES, France–This was the MIPCOM that never was. On Saturday–two days before I arrived in Cannes–terrible storms whipped this Mediterranean seaport, dumping 120 days worth of rain in two hours. Delegates who arrived early, some to attend children’s TV marketplace MIP Junior, were caught in dangerous floodwaters. Some waded out of restaurants in water past their… Read on

Hollywood Suite: decades in the making

Are you a child of the ’70s? Are the ’80s still your sweet spot? Have the first place Blue Jays got you in a ’90s frame of mind? If so, Hollywood Suite has some channels for you. The folks behind the Canadian all movie service held their 5th annual TIFF breakfast Friday in Toronto at the… Read on

Feeling Independent? Hollywood Suite has Saturday’s 30th Spirit Awards

Prediction: the Oscar ratings will be down this year. Based on what? I was asked to blather about the 87th annual awards show on a couple of radio shows this week. Both times the hosts and I got sidetracked and ran out of time before getting to the Oscars. That never happens. Much as I liked “Birdman,”… Read on

Toronto Film Critics can’t get over Boyhood

Have you signed up for Hollywood Suite yet? You get several movie channels with hundreds of titles hand-picked by picky industry experts, all in Hi-Def and uncut. Plus the service is all-Canadian and cheaper than Netflix! Which is my way of saying thanks to Hollywood Suite boss David Kines for inviting me for the second year in… Read on

Sochi-Vancouver ratings Apples to oranges

I wrote a piece for The Canadian Press Tuesday that takes a look at CBC’s Sochi Olympic ratings compared to four years ago at the Vancouver Games. You can read that story here.That it is an Apples to oranges comparison is underlined by a fact pointed out to me today by my buddy David Kines… Read on