On Tuesday morning, Cogeco announced that CJTS-FM 104.5, the station in Sherbrooke it was forced to sell as part of its acquisition of Corus Quebec assets, has been shut down because it hasn’t found a buyer. The station, along with two in Quebec City that have found buyers, were under the management of a trustee.
The closing leaves 12 people out of work, and Cogeco is not offering them jobs elsewhere.
CJTS-FM used to be CKOY-FM, and a sister station of Montreal’s CKOI. When the Cogeco deal closed on Feb. 1, it moved the CKOI format and branding to CHLT-FM 107.7. That station is now CKOY-FM. CJTS picked up the Souvenirs Garantis format, which it held until noon on Tuesday when it shut down.
Cogeco’s original plan for the station, which they hoped would satisfy CRTC commissioners, was to turn it into a retransmitter of CKAC Sports. That would have made things interesting when CKAC was turned into an all-Montreal-traffic station.
Cogeco also announced on Tuesday that it purchased Métromédia CMR Plus Inc., a company that does advertising for public transit systems, including Montreal. (It’s not to be confused with Métromédia CMR Montréal Inc. or Métromédia CMR Broadcasting Inc., which were holding companies for Corus Quebec radio stations including CFQR, CKOI and CHMP, and have since been amalgamated as Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions Inc. Both Métromédias were started in the early 90s by Pierre Beland and Pierre Arcand.)
UPDATE (Dec. 15): Quebecor’s Pierre Karl Péladeau confirms (after Agence QMI somehow managed to “learn” about it) that Groupe TVA submitted a bid to buy the station. Normally the CRTC doesn’t allow the same company to own a major newspaper, a TV station and a radio station in the same market. Quebecor does own a weekly, the Journal de Sherbrooke, but no daily paper there, which I suppose Quebecor would use to argue it should be allowed to own it. Still, it would have been the media giant’s first radio station.
Cogeco wouldn’t confirm it, because such bids are confidential, but it says no bids met the criteria set by the liquidator. It would be interesting to see which one it didn’t meet.