The one-year-old Virgin

Today was the first anniversary of Virgin Radio 96, a rebranding of CJFM 95.9 from “Mix 96” to one created by the British and licensed by Astral Media.

The move was criticized, not so much because of the brand change (the previous brand was as generic as you can get), but because of staff changes that came with it, particularly the dismissal of Murray Sherriffs (who has since found a job at competitor CFQR). Bringing in Ryan Seacrest as the evening host didn’t help matters much either.

A year later, Virgin Radio 96 hasn’t been a disaster, but hasn’t been a success either. The ratings were stable, and the station is still #1 among anglo music stations with a 16% market share among anglophones (PDF), the same as it was a year ago.

And so while the station and its perky on-air personalities are very excited about the anniversary, as you can see in the above video (they were also apparently handing out cupcakes downtown today), the city responded to the anniversary much the same way they did the rebranding itself – with a collective “meh.”

5 thoughts on “The one-year-old Virgin

  1. Alastair Yates

    Interesting to note that while CHOM, CJFM, and CFQR have a higher share among anglophone listeners, they have more average daily listeners who are francophone. Also interesting is that CBC-Radio 2 is less listened to by anglophones than CJPX, a francophone station with a similar music repertoire.

    Any word on how CINW 940’s ratings changed since they switched from news/talk format to oldies?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      According to BBM, CINW’s market share plummeted from 3.5-4% to 1.5% after the format change, and from an audience of 66,000 to 33,000.

      The method for measuring audience has since changed because of the introduction of the Portable People Meter, but the market share is the same – 1.5% of the anglo market.

  2. Michael J.

    I hope this means they’ll stop referring to it as “new” every time they mention the name of the station.

  3. Fassero

    Well, it’s probably not a great idea to be dropping party balloons and handing out cakes the same day your listener base is officially going to be told by their cities to bend over for the property taxmen.


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