(Updated below with news of the relaunch)
Six weeks after Corus Entertainment acquired Ottawa’s 106.9 The Bear from Bell as part of Bell’s Astral Media takeover, and a month after Mark Dickie, the former general manager at The Beat in Montreal was put in charge of it and Corus’s three other stations in Ottawa and Cornwall, The Bear is no more.
Visitors to the station’s website on Thursday were greeted with a message from Dickie explaining that “we have decided to take FM 106.9 in a new direction.” The full statement is below.
Corus told the Ottawa Citizen that the station will air just music and ads until the end of the month, when it launches the new format.
That new direction appears to be Fresh FM, a hot adult contemporary format that Corus is using in Edmonton, Winnipeg, London and Hamilton. Rumours about the format change surfaced in January when someone noticed that Corus had registered 1069freshfm.com as a domain name. (It currently doesn’t lead anywhere, but expect that to change soon.)
On March 31, at 11am, after annoying listeners with nature sounds for a while, the station relaunched as Jump! Ottawa, promising “non-stop hits”. Its first hour features songs by Katy Perry, Pink, Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake. Corus’s press release about it is here.
You can listen to the relaunch here. It goes on forever with the nature sounds. A mission-control-themed relaunch announcement starts at six minutes in.