Bell Media rolls out national Pure Country rebrand

Bell Media has rolled out a rebrand of 13 of its iHeartRadio Canada stations.

It’s billing “Pure Country” as the first-ever national country music radio brand encompassing stations from Northern B.C. to Nova Scotia. Those stations include:

  • Ottawa’s Pure Country 94 (CKKL-FM)
  • Fredericton’s Pure Country 103.5 (CKHJ-FM)
  • Nova Scotia’s Pure Country 99.5 Truro (CKTY-FM)
  • London’s Pure Country 93 (CJBX-FM)
  • Central Ontario’s Pure Country 106 (Orillia, Barrie, Midland) (CICX-FM)
  • Pembroke’s Pure Country 96.7 (CHVR-FM)
  • Peterborough’s Pure Country 105 (CKQM-FM)
  • Sudbury’s Pure Country 91.7 (CICS-FM)
  • Dawson Creek’s Pure Country 890 (CJDC-FM)
  • B.C. North’s Pure Country (Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat) (CJFW-FM)
  • Brandon’s Pure Country 101 (CKXA-FM)
  • Regina’s Pure Country 92.7 (CHBD-FM)
  • Kingston’s Pure Country 99 (CKLC-FM)

Twelve of the 13 stations were already country format with the exception of Pure Country 99 Kingston, which was formerly modern rock station 98.9 The Drive. The subject of much speculation, The Drive had been running without announcers since January when most of its staff were laid off or moved over to sister station 98.3 Fly FM (CFLY-FM).

The Pure Country stations will be anchored by local morning and drive home shows, but will feature syndicated midday, evening and weekend programming.

Shannon Ella will host middays across the station network. Ella was previously on-air with Today’s Country BX93 London and KHJ Fredericton. 

Syndicated Nashville-based offering The Bobby Bones Daily Show will air evenings, with Bones’ Country Top 30 Countdown also airing on weekends.

Sophie Moroz and Jeff Hopper

Sophie Moroz and Jeff Hopper, co-hosts of The Morning Pickup on the Pure Country Ottawa station, will host the IHeartRadio Pure Country Countdown, airing Saturday and Sundays. The show will count down the 20 biggest songs of the week, in addition to brand new music; throwback segment “Pure Country Yearbook”; and a “Feature Artist of the Week.”

A Bell Media spokesperson said there are no staff reductions as a result of the rebrand, with midday on-air announcers at affected stations to be reassigned. Pure Country Kingston’s new on-air lineup, which will start Monday, June 24, will feature Gord St. Denis and Chelsea Lacroix (previously both on-air at Corus Ottawa) on mornings; Trinette Atkinson (who also serves as music director and is former PD at Larche Communications’ Sudbury stations) on afternoons; and program director Brittany Thompson, who is also a weekend personality at CFLY-FM, on evenings.

“We are thrilled to bring this new brand to iHeartRadio Canada, right in the midst of the rapidly growing popularity of country music in Canada,” said Nikki Moffat, President, Radio and Local TV, and SVP Finance, in a release. “Across Canada, listeners can hear all their favourite country songs complemented with exclusive content, including one-on-one candid interviews with country megastars.”

“With Pure Country, our country stations can benefit from the scale of a national brand while maintaining a local focus,” said Rob Farina, Head of Radio Content, Strategy, and iHeartRadio. “We look forward to bringing Pure Country energy to local communities across Canada.”

iHeartRadio is launching Pure Country with a network-wide $25,000 Pure Country Cash Code contest.


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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessenhttps://broadcastdialogue.com
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email - corrections@broadcastdialogue.com

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