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.
Coverage at the Journal de Sherbrooke, La Tribune and Cogeco Nouvelles.
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.
The other two stations Cogeco was forced to sell, CJEC-FM (Rythme FM 91.9) and CFEL-FM (CKOI 102.1) in Quebec City, were sold to businessman Jacques Leclerc.
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.
More and more, media concentration is turning things to shit. Cogeco seems absolutely lost, with too many properties and no real unified plan – other than to get millions from the Quebec government.
It’s sad to watch it happen.
I wonder though: Would that open up 104.5 for a station somewhat closer to Montreal, say in Granby or something that could cover the Montreal market?
Anyone can apply for 104.5 in that region now. But coverage in Montreal would be limited by the CBC transmitter in NDG at 104.7.
I can understand how this is bad for the employees of this station. But, it’s rather good for the industry and for the Sherbrooke market. This opens up a frequency for others to apply for. And perhaps somebody else with some understanding of that market to better serve it.
If no one was willing to buy the station, what makes you think someone will apply for a new one?
Why do you expect somebody to over pay for a station, and also be stuck with the stations license conditions and it’s debt obligations? Not to mention any employee union conditions. Wouldn’t you prefer to start with a clean slate with a brand new station. You can always buy the previous stations equipment at a discounted price.
When money is involved. Money logic can make you look at the world in ways you wouldn’t expect yourself to ever consider.
I am no PR pro but Cogeco should think before throwing many people out of work and then completing a 50 million dollar plus acquisition on the same day
I hope one day Mr. Brian Myles who is a respected gentleman will step up to Cogeco and make them fulfill their promises of performance with Cogeco Nouvelles, its sad to see Cogeco nouvelles running stories right from AP and CP
and Mr. Fagstein, let me inform you of something, Metromedia CMR PLUS, Mount Royal Broadcasting and Belcand Inc were created by Pierre Beland, Pierre Arcand and Mr. Fernand Belisle, without Belisle, Mr. Arcand Mr. Beland would still be Assistant Managers at Telemedia
Also its crazy that Metromedia CMR Plus gets Quebec Government contracts to promote the Plan Nord, The Environment campaigns while under ownership of the Minister