Radio & Podcast News – Ford reverses course on AM radio

Ford Motor Company has reversed course on its plan to remove AM radio from all new vehicles, starting in 2024. In a post to Twitter, CEO Jim Farley said the automaker would continue “to innovate to deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future.” Ford’s announcement comes following the introduction of the AM for Every Vehicle Act last week which proposes mandating AM radio in new vehicles and undertaking a study to determine whether AM’s reach and effectiveness could be replicated for alerting the public to emergencies. With U.S. lawmakers now set to consider the future of AM, tech leaders, including Rich Stern, CEO of global audio streamer TuneIn, are pushing back against the AM radio lobby. Stern said Ford’s decision is an affirmation of radio and the important role it plays in listeners’ lives, but the issue is a “wake up call” for the industry. Yann Legarson, CEO of Radioplayer Worldwide, is advocating for the adoption of hybrid radio tech in vehicles going forward. Read more here.

Corus Entertainment has formally applied to amend the licence of CFGQ-FM Calgary to add an AM rebroadcasting transmitter for the station, while revoking the licence for its current Calgary AM, 770 CHQR. The move comes more than five months after Corus Radio moved to flip its Classic Rocker Q107, which was formerly broadcast on CFGQ-FM, to simulcast CHQR’s news/talk programming on FM. That prompted the CRTC to question whether Corus was in compliance. Corus says it intends to deliver CHQR’s current news/talk programming line-up – deemed a “specialty” format by broadcasting regulations on an FM station – in addition to requesting an added condition of licence for CFGQ-FM ensuring that more than 50% of all programming broadcast each week consists of material from Category 1 – Spoken Word. The application questions the viability of AM going forward, citing, in addition to CHQR-AM’s unique reception challenges, RF noise floor from electrical devices like flat screen televisions, power lines and phone chargers, in addition to electric vehicle interference. Read more here.  

CRTCThe CRTC has approved an application by Edmonton’s Kenner Media to acquire the assets of English-language commercial radio station Mix 107.9 (CKFT-FM) Fort Saskatchewan, AB from Golden West Broadcasting. Owned by Craig Fee, Kenner Media plans to continue operation of the station under the same terms and conditions as those in effect under the current licence. Kenner Media will acquire CKFT-FM for $664,800 as well as fortsaskonline for $135,200.

The CRTC has approved an application by Pattison Media to acquire from Westman Radio Ltd. the assets of the English-language commercial radio stations 94.7 STAR FM (CKLF-FM), Q Country (CKLQ-FM) and its transmitter CKLQ Brandon, MB. Pattison Media plans to continue operating the stations under the same licence conditions. Pattison Media proposed a transaction value of $5,549,079, which includes the purchase price, working capital transferred at closing, and the total value of leases payable over five years. 

Pattison Media has flipped 93.3 The Rock (CJHD-FM) North Battleford, SK to Beach Radio 93.3. CJHD-FM is the third Pattison station in Saskatchewan to adopt the Hits of the ‘80s and ‘90s format, joining Prince Albert and Melfort. With the rebrand, Nic Fransoo moves from sister station Q98 (CFCQ-FM) into the morning time slot on Beach Radio, while Brad Best moves into mornings on Q98.

Evanov Communications’ morning show on Hot Country 93.9 (CFWC-FM) Brantford, ON – Hot Country Mornings with Tracy Lynn – has added two more Ontario stations, Hot Country 107.7 (CKHK-FM) Hawkesbury and Hot Country 92.5 (CHRC-FM) Clarence/Rockland. Hot Country Mornings with Tracy Lynn can now be heard from 6 – 10 a.m. weekdays across all three Evanov Hot Country stations, with each station contributing its own local newscasts, surveillance, and breaking news. 

630 CHED Edmonton and the Edmonton Elks have announced a new broadcast agreement. Fans can listen on-air or online for full game day coverage featuring veteran play-by-play announcer Morley Scott and analyst Dave Campbell. Back for their 13th year in the broadcast booth, the duo will be joined by Brenden Escott, who will host a 90-minute pre-and post-game show, along with in-game analyst Blake Dermott and sideline reporter Dave Boles. The Green and Gold’s regular season kicks off at home on Sunday, June 11 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Bob Marjanovich & Giulio Caravatta

The BC Lions have signed a new two-year partnership with Corus Entertainment to keep the club’s radio broadcasts on AM730 (CKGO-AM) Vancouver and across the Lions Audio Network, including CFAX 1070 Victoria, AM 1150 (CKFR-AM) Kelowna and Radio NL (CHNL-AM)  Bob “The Moj” Marjanovich and Giulio Caravatta are back for all regular season and playoff contests. As part of the partnership, the weekly BC Lions On Tap, presented by Coors Light, will air at 8 p.m. every Tuesday, starting June 6. The Moj is joined by BC Lions’ personalities Matt Baker and Nik Kowalski at a rotating location of team-preferred pubs. Along with teeing up that week’s game, the trio will promote the club’s 2023 events, both on game day and throughout the week. The partnership also includes one-hour pre-and 30-minute post-game shows on AM730 for all 18 regular season games, plus playoffs, and a weekly Monday appearance by head coach Rick Campbell on Mornings With Simi on 980 CKNW.

Ace Burpee

David (Ace) Burpee is among the latest Order of Manitoba recipients. From Cooks Creek, MB, Burpee is the host of The Ace Burpee Show, which airs weekday mornings on 103.1 Virgin Radio (CKMM-FM) Winnipeg. In addition to advocating for mental health and other causes, Burpee is being recognized for using his platform to continuously raise awareness, support and funds for worthy causes.

Bayshore Broadcasting’s 560 CFOS held a 12-hour Radiothon on May 12 that raised $60,000 for Camp Presqu’ile. In partnership with the Owen Sound Rotary Club and the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce, the summer camp has provided a summer experience for 300 youth, aged 6-16, for the past 90+ years. Funds raised will go towards a kitchen upgrade and expansion at Camp Presqu’ile. 

Everything Podcasts, the Vancouver-based branded podcast studio, has been named Best Podcast Agency of the Year at the Quill Podcast Awards. The Everything Podcasts-produced Ideas of Order podcast for California Closets, hosted by Jeremiah Brent, won Most Creative Branded Podcast, while Beyond KPMG was named Best B2B Branded Podcast. Find the full list of winners here.

LISTEN: With Radiodays set to make its North American debut June 8-9, during Canadian Music Week in Toronto, we welcome General Manager and CEO Peter Niegel, and Head of Programming, Nik Goodman, to the podcast. Peter and Nik join us to talk about bringing the spirit of Radiodays to this side of the pond, all the buzz from Radiodays Europe in Prague, and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: Chris Myers, who recently parted ways with Harvard Media’s stations in Edmonton and Red Deer, joins Matt Cundill on the latest Sound Off Podcast. With a programming background that includes time with Rawlco Radio in Saskatoon, Bell Media in Edmonton, and Focus Entertainment, the first owners of Vancouver’s The Beat 94.5 (CFBT-FM), Myers recently took to Twitter to solicit audio from anyone willing to send it to him for free feedback. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

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