UPDATE (Jan. 12): Read the latest about the switch here.
Astral Media announced on Friday that Mix 96, the anglo FM station that tries so desperately to please everyone it ends up pleasing no one, will be rebranded as a Virgin Radio station, so it can start “challenging the norms of conventional stations and shaking up the radio landscape with a fresh sound and unique new programming formats; delivering a new voice with first class entertainment value to each market.”
In other words, The Mix sucks, and they’re hoping Virginization will help that. (Their ratings have remained relatively stable over the past few years: Third in the Montreal anglo market behind CJAD and Q92, reaching about 18% of the market, or 200,000 listeners).
Stations in Vancouver (95 The Crave) and Ottawa (106.9 The Bear) will also be rebranded.
The Mix’s format will still be “adult contemporary” music (and The Bear will keep its rock format (though it will be “re-energized”, whatever that means). I’m at a loss, in fact, to point out a single major programming difference that will result from this change.
Still, the rebranding alone (and the perceived de-localization of radio control) is enough to get a Facebook petition up already.