Terms of Reference – Canadian Football Podcast Network
The Canadian Football Podcast Network (the Network) is a collection of fan-based podcasts (the Members) that stretch across the Canadian Football League (CFL) and that strive to bring fans of the League original content that is different than mainstream media. Importantly, the creators, writers and producers of the individual podcasts that make up the network are fans themselves.
The purpose of the Network is to bring together the creators of fan-based podcasts in order to exchange information, develop contacts, and support and promote one another’s work in order to increase listenership among followers of the CFL.
By attracting new audiences, the Network plays an important role in helping to grow the fan-base for individual CFL teams and for the League itself. Consequently, the Network works with the League to ensure that the interests of its Members are well-represented in CFL outreach to other media.
Composition and Membership
As of June 17, 2019, the Network is composed of 15 podcasts (in alphabetical order) as follows:
- 2 and Out Podcast;
- Alouettes Flight Deck;
- Argos Fancast;
- BC Lions Den;
- Blue Bomber Talk;
- CFL Horsemen;
- Eskimo Empire Podcast;
- Mouchoir: A Redblacks Podcast;
- Piffles Podcast;
- Podskee Wee Wee;
- Rouge White and Blue;
- The Canadian Football Countdown;
- The New Rouge Radio;
- Tokyo’s Unofficial CFL Podcast; and
- Wood Cookie Sawcast.
Each podcast represented in the list above will select one person to be its representative in the Network. This person will be the contact person for all matters pertaining to the activities of the Network.
To be eligible for membership in the Network – either for a new podcast to join or for an existing podcast to remain – podcasts must meet the following requirements:
- They must be created, written, and produced by fans. Podcasts that are created, written or produced by mainstream media or by the League are not eligible for membership.
- They must produce content related to Canadian Football. This includes the Canadian Football League and USports Football. They can either produce a team-specific podcast, or a more general League-wide podcast.
- They must demonstrate commitment to writing and producing a fan-based podcast by operating for at least one year prior to being invited into the Network.
- They must actively promote and support other Members of the Network by:
- Sharing one another’s content, including links to shows, on social media;
- Inviting Members to appear on one another’s shows; and
- Highlighting Members on one another’s shows.
- They must produce a minimum of 20 shows per calendar year.
- They must maintain a high standard of quality. Elements used to judge quality include but are not limited to: audio quality; production quality; entertainment value; and professional conduct (see below).
- They must conduct themselves professionally when interacting with other Members of the Network, the League, individual teams, players, coaches, and other media. Professional conduct includes but is not limited to: ensuring constructive and respectful interactions when undertaking Network activities, on their podcasts, and when engaging on social media; and avoiding behaviour that would bring negative attention to the Network when undertaking Network activities, on their shows, and on social media.
Nominating New Members of the Network
Any Member can nominate a new podcast for eligibility in the Network. A podcast will be extended an invitation to join the Network if it receives 2/3rds majority vote (10 votes) from the Members.
In the case where a team-based podcast is nominated for entry into the Network but where there is already an existing Member who creates, writes, and produces a podcast about that team, that existing Member will have the right to veto the new podcast’s entry into the Network.
Members are encouraged to form relationships with individual CFL teams and members of the media in order to have access to players, coaches, and media pundits as guests on their podcasts. It is the individual decision of every team and media outlet to determine whether they wish to grant or deny such access, and whether or not they require Members of have appropriate media credentials.
In the case where a Member wishes to have locker room access, access to players at practice, or press box access, they must obtain credentials through the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC).
Revocation of membership
Members that fail to abide by the eligibility requirements outlined above will come under review and may have their membership to the Network revoked. In such a case, they will be provided with a written decision.
Board of Directors
Members of the Network will nominate a slate of 5 individuals to act as the Board of Directors (the Board). The slate that receives the 2/3rd (10 votes) majority of votes will form the Board. The Board will serve a two-year term.
Roles and Responsibilities
The role of the Board is to:
- Set the strategic direction of the Network.
- Establish, communicate, and enforce the rules by which Members must abide.
- Maintain a complete list of Network Members and contact information.
- Liaise formally with the CFL to, among other things:
- Arrange for media credentials during large events such as CFL Week and the Grey Cup Festival; and
- Arrange for booking high profile League Officials, such as the Commissioner, on individual shows.
- Plan formal activities of the Network, including participation in events such as CFL Week and the Grey Cup Festival.
- Once a podcast has been formally nominated for membership to the Network and has received the support of 2/3rds of the Members, formally invite that Podcast to join the Network, and ensure that it is aware of these Terms of Reference.
- Review membership of existing Members, based on eligibility criteria outlined above, on a regular basis.
- Determine when a podcast’s membership should be revoked and communicate the reasons in writing.
Composition of the Board
The Board will determine the roles and responsibilities of its five Members and designate specific tasks to each one as it sees fit.
The Board will communicate the individual roles of each representative the Network Members.
Frequency of Meetings
The Board will meet on a monthly basis. Ad hoc meetings can be arranged if necessary.
The Board will provide minutes of all of its meetings to all Members.
Adoption and Amendment of Terms of Reference
The Board is responsible for developing and amending these terms of reference. The Board will seek formal approval to adopt and/or amend these Terms of Reference from the Members of the Network. Approval of adoption and/or amendment requires approval of 2/3rds (10 votes) of the Members.
These Terms of Reference will be made publicly available on the Canadian Football Podcast Network website.