Update 3/24: CKZZ has announced it will rebrand on Monday, March 31 and not to the “Hot 95.3” moniker it teased. The station will return to the “Z95.3” (pronounced Zed 95.3) moniker it used from 1991 to 2007. The station dropped the Z name as part of a format change to Rhythmic AC “95 Crave” followed by its return to CHR as part of Astral’s network of Virgin Radio branded across Canada. Bell Media will retain the rights to the Virgin Radio brand in Vancouver and intends to relaunch it on another station at a later date. “We’d like to thank listeners and advertisers for their loyalty to Virgin Radio, and appreciate their patience until Virgin Radio returns bigger and better than ever before,” said James Stuart, Regional Vice-President, Radio a...[Read More]
Newfoundland Capital Corporation has agreed to acquire the five Toronto and Vancouver stations required to be spun-off as part of the Bell/Astral merger for $112 Million Canadian. The stations involved are Urban “Flow 93.5” CFXJ and Classic Hits “Boom 97.3” CHBM Toronto and Standards “AM 650” CISL, Hot AC “95.3 Virgin Radio” CKZZ, and AAA “Shore 104.3” CHHR Vancouver. The press release regarding the sale follows: Newfoundland Capital Corporation (“NCC” or the “Company”) (TSX: NCC.A, NCC.B) and Bell Media (TSX, NYSE: BCE), are pleased to announce that NCC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Newcap Inc. (“Newcap”), has entered into an agreement to acquire from Bell Media Inc. the radio broadcasting l...[Read More]
The CRTC has approved the second attempt by Bell Canada to acquire Astral Media. “Astral’s application put forward a different approach and responded to many of our concerns” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “Yet there remained a significant risk that BCE could exert its market power to limit choice and competition. To ensure the public interest is served, we are requiring BCE to invest in new Canadian programming and sell more than a dozen services, and we are putting in place a number of competitive safeguards. This will maintain a healthy and competitive broadcasting system that offers more programming choices to Canadian consumers and citizens and more opportunities for Canadian creators.” BCE must spend $71.5 million on initiatives related to the radio sector, which is eq...[Read More]
After rejecting the planned merger of Bell Media and Astral in October, the two companies plans have have been approved by the Competition Bureau. In order to do so, a few swaps will be made with Corus Entertainment and Shaw Media mainly involving ownership stakes in cable television networks but one that has ramifications on the radio industry as Corus will acquire two radio stations in Ottawa: Classic Hits “Boom 99.7” CJOT and Rock “106.9 The Bear” CKQB. Additionally Bell/Astral have agreed to auction off eight additional radio stations. Those stations are Rhythmic AC “Kool 101.5” CKCE Calgary, Urban “Flow 93.5” CFXJ and Classic Hits “Boom 97.3” CHBM Toronto, Oldies “AM 650” CISL, CHR “Virgin Radio 95.3” ...[Read More]
As hearings are underway at the CRTC over whether to approve Bell Media’s planned acquisition of Astral, Bell has revealed which radio stations it will sell off to stay under ownership limits in each market. The ten stations going on the market are as follows: Calgary: Hot AC “Kool 101.5” CKCE Ottawa: Classic Hits “Boom 99.7” CJOT and Rock “106.9 The Bear” CKQB Toronto: Urban “Flow 93.5” CFXJ and Classic Hits “Boom 97.3” CHBM Vancouver: Standards “AM 650” CISL, Hot AC “95.3 Virgin Radio” CKZZ, and AAA “Shore 104.3” CHHR Winnipeg: Classic Hits “Fab 94.3” CHIQ and Country “QX 104” CFQX Bell is also attempting to have Sports “TSN 690” CKGM Montreal relicens...[Read More]
This morning at midnight PDT, Standard Radio CKZZ “Z 95.3” dropped its longtime CHR format and began stunting in preparation of its new format launch tomorrow at 7:00am. Of course every Net Gnome wants to know what the future holds for the former Zed. Standard Radio last week registered two domains which both could tie into the new format: 95crave.com jazzinvancouver.com Both domains bring up an error page right now on the icebergmedia.com server, which is a top Canadian webcaster owned by Standard. We don’t know what exactly Vancouver is craving exactly, but it looks like there might be a jazz connection.