It’s official. Despite an after-the-fact plea from Astral to overturn CRTC approval and block the purchase, Corus Quebec’s radio stations officially became part of the Cogeco family on Feb. 1.
The new owners wasted no time imposing the new order, escorting previous bosses out the door (assuming they didn’t quit) and appointing a new executive team.
As part of the agreement with the CRTC, Cogeco can continue to own three francophone FM stations in Montreal (98.5FM, Rythme FM 105.7 and CKOI 96.9), but has to sell some stations in other regions:
- CKOY-FM 104.5 (since renamed CJTS-FM) in Sherbrooke, which operated under the CKOI brand
- CFEL-FM 102.1 in Quebec City, also a CKOI-branded station
- CJEC-FM 91.9 in Quebec City, under the Rythme FM brand
If you’re interested, feel free to bid. It’s unclear what will happen after the sales are complete (will they be able to keep the same brand? Will they want to?), but for now it’s business as usual.
Another station that was part of the Corus network, CKRS in Saguenay, was sold separately to local investors.
On the anglo side, the only affected station is CFQR 92.5 “the Q”, which switches from Corus to Cogeco. Astral Media owns the other stations, CHOM, CJFM “Virgin Radio” and CJAD. There’s no word on any changes to management or programming or anything else at that station so far.
This whole deal needs to be reviewed by the Federal government much in the same way the current UBB decision by the CRTC is going to be reviewed. People interested in having things like this reviewed by the government need to contact their MP’s, plus the Prime Ministers office. At the very least, get a petition going like the anti-UBB crowd has done. Concentration of media is not good for the population. We need competition to keep things in check.
I totally agree with you. They didn’t want Astral to keep CKAC back in 2005 even though it was its sole French station on the AM dial for Montreal. So I don’t see why Cogeco should be allowed to keep three French stations on the FM dial.
and yet all the radio stations (english ones especially) pretty much suck. who’s up for ‘sweet child o’ mine’ on chom again, or ‘tik tok’ on mix 96?
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