Jim Pattison Broadcast Group to acquire Fabmar Communications

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) is poised to acquire Fabmar Communications and its four radio station licences in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Subject to CRTC approval, Pattison would assume ownership and operation of 89.5 The Drive (CHWK-FM) Chilliwack, XM 105 FM (CIXM-FM) Whitecourt, and 105 CJVR-FM and CK750 (CKJH-AM) Melfort.

A press release says the current local management teams will continue to lead the stations, with all of the existing team members to be offered positions within the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.

In announcing the transaction, Fabmar secretary-treasurer Adrian Fabro, said the family has enjoyed its time in the Canadian broadcast industry and is confident Pattison can provide future opportunities for growth and success for its radio stations.

“When it comes to providing locally relevant, community driven information and service to our listeners, Fabmar and the Pattison Group share many of the same philosophies, commitments and high broadcast standards,” Fabro stated in a press release.

The Alberta-based Fabro family became involved in broadcasting when their financial holding company, Fabmar Investments Ltd., acquired control of Radio CJVR Ltd. in 1991, the licensee of CJVR-AM Melfort. They went on to invest heavily in equipment, managerial training and applications for new licences to grow the business.

Rod Schween, JPBG president, said the acquisition is part of the company’s strategic growth plan. “We’re very excited to have this opportunity to grow in markets that complement our other Western Canadian radio and television stations…Our history has been built on acquisitions and new licences, as we are great believers in the future of radio,” asserted Schween.

As part of the terms of sale, Pattison has also agreed to purchase FabVision, an outdoor signage business in Saskatchewan and online news portals MyChilliwackNews.com, MyTownToday.ca and YourTownNews.ca, serving Chilliwack, Whitecourt and Melfort respectively.

The move would grow Pattison’s radio footprint to 44 FM and three AM radio stations in Western Canada, along with 16 online news portals, three conventional television stations and one outdoor video signage division.

The proposed sale follows the 2015 Pattison acquisitions of CIKT-FM Grande Prairie from Bear Creek Broadcasting, and stations in Edmonton, Prince Albert, North Battleford and Meadow Lake, SK from Rawlco Radio.

With its head office in Kamloops, B.C., JPBG is the country’s largest private, western-based broadcast group. The company is a division of the Jim Pattison Group, which has grown to become the second largest privately-held company in Canada.