Castanet Media, which operates Kelowna news website castanet.net, has struck a deal with Vista Radio to buy Juice FM 103.9 (CJUI-FM) Kelowna. Pending CRTC approval, Castanet FM will start broadcasting from the company’s Lawrence Avenue studios in late fall. Castanet says it plans to share and combine content across its online and broadcast platforms. Castanet president Nick Frost is no stranger to broadcasting. He established Silk FM (CILK-FM) Kelowna in 1986, which was subsequently purchased by Standard Radio in 2007 for $9.25M and is now owned by Bell Media.
Bell Media Radio launched the first HD radio signals broadcast from the CN Tower on June 30, providing all four of its Toronto radio stations in digital audio alongside their regular analog broadcasts. The new digital HD signal of 99.9 Virgin Radio (CKFM-FM) carries Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) on its second HD channel, while 104.5 CHUM FM carries TSN 1050 (CHUM-AM) on its secondary HD channel. The Toronto stations join Bell Media stations Rouge FM (CITE-FM), TSN Radio 690 (CKGM-AM), CJAD 800 Montreal; Majic 100 (CJMJ-FM), 580 CFRA and TSN Radio 1200 (CFGO-AM) Ottawa; and 103.5 QMFM (CHQM-FM) and TSN Radio 1040/1410 (CKST-AM/CFTE-AM) Vancouver, which are already broadcasting in HD.
Stingray Digital Group Inc. has applied to the CRTC for new broadcasting licences to operate discretionary services devoted to music video and related programming focusing on pre-teens (Stingray Juicebox), rock and related genres (Stingray Loud), the 1980s to the early 2000s (Stingray Retro), and urban music (Stingray Vibe).
CFQR 600 AM Montreal, the new TTP Media-owned English-language station, made it to air last Friday evening, just ahead of a CRTC deadline. The 10,000 watt station is still in testing phase and is broadcasting an automated music playlist with recorded messages voiced by former 940 News (CINW-AM) host Jim Connell. Connell was part of TTP’s original license application in 2011.
The CRTC has found that Ottawa-Gatineau cannot support another commercial radio station. Antoine Karam had applied for a license to operate a commercial ethnic AM station to serve the market. The commission concluded that despite positive economic factors and a growing ethnic community, radio revenues continue to decrease with many stations operating at a loss in recent years.
The CRTC has denied an application to operate a new English-language commercial FM Christian music station in Saint John, NB. The station would have been the third Christian music entry into the small market.
The CRTC has renewed the broadcasting licences for a number of Bell Media Radio stations through 2024. They include Windsor stations CKWW-AM, CKLW-AM, CIDR-FM; CKST-AM Vancouver; CKCR-FM Revelstoke, BC; CHTK-FM Prince Rupert; CKQM-FM Peterborough; CKLY-FM Lindsay, ON; CFCA-FM Kitchener.