Radio & Podcast News – Glacier Media acquires Castanet and Kelowna’s SOFT 103.9


Glacier Media Inc. has announced the sale of its interest in investment data and analytics firm Fundata Canada for $55 million, and its subsequent acquisition of Castanet Media, which operates SOFT 103.9 (CKOO-FM) Kelowna and several digital news sites in B.C.’s Okanagan. Vancouver-based Glacier will pay $22 million for Castanet’s assets and $2 million for its Avenue Radio shares, subject to CRTC approval. Avenue Radio was formed in 2017 when Castanet founder Nick Frost acquired CJUI-FM from Vista Radio in late 2017. He subsequently received call sign change approval to CKOO-FM. Initially launched as Okanagan Oldies, the station flipped to Soft AC this past January, rebranding as Soft 103.9.

The CRTC has issued a call for comments on market capacity and the appropriateness of issuing a call for radio applications to serve Vancouver. Rogers has applied for a licence to operate a new commercial station at 104.9 MHz FM (channel 285C) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 16,100 watts (maximum ERP of 31,000 watts). The proposed frequency is currently licensed to Rogers for its rebroadcasting transmitter for CKKS-FM Chilliwack. The deadline for the receipt of interventions is June 3.

The CRTC has denied an application by Four Senses Entertainment, which operates 101.5 Whistler FM (CKEE-FM), to establish a transmitter in Squamish. The licensee stated that the addition of a transmitter would address a technical deficiency in CKEE-FM’s coverage area, given that by omitting terrestrial coverage for the community of Squamish in its original licensing application, coverage is half of what it should have been. It also stated its current authorized contours have limited its ability to garner local advertising revenues. In denying the application, the commission concluded approval would serve to introduce a new radio service in Squamish without undergoing the standard call for applications process.

Trevor Doyle

Trevor Doyle, the longtime morning show host at Capital 106.9 FM (CIBX-FM) Fredericton, has been arrested by the FBI in Puerto Rico on child sex charges. Doyle, who has been with the Bell Media-owned station for 17 years, was one of two men taken into custody Mar. 29 in San Juan after separate operations by the FBI’s child exploitation human trafficking task force. Doyle has been charged with attempting to sexually entice a minor and is being held in custody. Trent McGrath, Bell Media Radio Atlantic vice-president and general manager, told Global News that Doyle has been suspended from his duties at the radio station.

Canadian Music Week (CMW) has released the agenda for this year’s Radio Interactive International Radio Summit May 9-10. Radio futurologist James Cridland will deliver Thursday’s opening keynote, with Edison Research’s Tom Webster also premiering the results of the 2nd annual Infinite Dial Canada research project. Friday’s agenda is highlighted by a tribute to artist Robbie Robertson, who’ll be in conversation with Denise Donlon. Other panels will explore Elevating Young and Diverse Voices, Broadcasting in the Age of Podcasting, and imaging in an ever-changing audio landscape, among other topics.

iHeartRadio Canada has unveiled electronic music producer and DJ, Marshmello, as its headliner for iHeartRadio FanFest, on Wednesday, May 8 at REBEL Nightclub in Toronto. One of the highlights of Canadian Music Week, the third installment of iHeartRadio FanFest also features Famba, Lu Kala, Neon Dreams, and The Launch’s Cassiøpeia and Olivia Lunny. More artists will be announced in the weeks to come.

SiriusXM Canada and Netflix have announced the launch of Netflix Is A Joke Radio, a full-time comedy channel to air exclusively on SiriusXM ch. 93. The partnership marks the first time the streaming company has worked with another major subscription media company to create a new outlet for their content. The channel, which will feature highlights from top Netflix talent including Adam Sandler, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, among others, is set to launch Apr. 15.  Segments from future stand-up specials will also debut on the channel. There are plans for a daily talk show as well to be broadcast from SiriusXM’s new Los Angeles studios. Read more here.

SiriusXM Canada’s 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage is underway with playoff action available on the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (ch. 91). This year’s rotation of guests and insiders during the playoffs includes Gord Stellick, Rob Simpson, Steve Kouleas, Mike Johnson, Scott Laughlin, Matthew Barnaby, Boomer Gordon, Bob McKenzie, Elliotte Friedman, Jeff Marek, Pierre McGuire, Mike Rupp, and Bill Watters, among others.

A new Futuri-Nielsen study concludes that there is a “profound appetite” for time-shifted content among radio listeners, particularly among younger audiences, yet those opportunities remain largely untapped. The study, conducted this past January, looked at perceptions and attitudes of a variety of audiences to time-shifted audio. The email survey involved 602 radio listeners, A18+, who listened for at least one hour in the past week. Nielsen also compared minute-by-minute PPM data against server logs from Futuri’s podcasting, on-demand, and digital audio management system POST. Among the study’s key takeaways is that just like time-shifting revolutionized TV, it is revolutionizing audio with the same shifts being observed that happened around video consumption in the early days of DVRs. It found more than half of radio listeners 18+ would listen to short audio clips on social media. Among that group, nearly eight in 10 would listen to time-shifted clips of radio station content. Younger audiences and heavy radio users, leaning male, are the sweet spot for time-shifted radio content. Radio has yet to actualize its potential in the time-shifted space, according to Futuri-Nielsen’s findings. Awareness of time-shifted radio content remains low with only three-in-10 radio listeners aware of its availability. Download the full study here.

Futuri Media and the University of Florida presented a study at the NAB Show that asserts that YouTube is the number one destination for podcast listening. The study, which included a national survey and in-depth interviews, was conducted in February with 2,000 regular podcast users who listened to podcasts in the past six months. It found that nearly three-quarters of users have been listening to podcasts for less than three years and, on average, listen to 4 podcasts per week for either 30 or 60 minutes. Users listen to podcasts on multiple platforms, but YouTube is far and away the dominant platform (70%), followed by Spotify (34%), iTunes/Apple Podcasts app (33%), Pandora (30%), and Google Play music app (23%). Not surprisingly, nearly 80% of survey respondents listen to podcasts on their mobile devices. What is somewhat surprising is that the users listen to podcast most frequently at home (3.9 on a 5-point frequency scale), followed by in vehicles (2.8/5). Read more here.

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