Radio & Podcast News – Bell flips more stations to Pure Country, Virgin brands

Bell Media has flipped more of its stations to its Pure Country brand, including Windsor/Detroit’s 89X (CIMX-FM), where it’s also moved to bring 93.9 The River (CIDR-FM) under the Virgin Radio umbrella. 89X had been playing modern rock since 1991 as grunge ascended, while its sister station CIDR-FM moved to an Adult Alternative Album format in 2006. Entercom simultaneously moved to fill the alternative hole in the Windsor/Detroit market by flipping its Soft AC 98.7 The Breeze (WDZH-FM) to ALT 98.7 “Detroit’s New Alternative.” Bell also rebranded small market stations 105.7 SUN FM (CICF-FM) Vernon, BC and CJ104 (CJCJ-FM) Woodstock, NB as Pure Country stations. While CJ104 morning personality Ed Shaw had been released, Bell says featured programming will include at least one local Woodstock personality, John Knox. At SUN FM, the station’s move away from a CHR format, sees morning show hosts Betty Selin and Jehrett Schafer, as well as afternoon host April Kimble let go. Read more here.

StatsRadio continues to measure cross-platform audiences across 62 regional and community radio stations and has some insights as Canada moves from the first to the second wave of the pandemic. Data collected from February to mid-November, shows that although 65.6% of stations experienced gains in listenership during the start of the pandemic, 77% experienced a typical summer decrease in audience size. 66% have since returned to audience sizes similar to those experienced in April. Audiences for 62.30% of stations measured are also listening longer, with tuning up by almost a million hours between July and this month. StatsRadio says those 62 radio stations have reached 1.9 million individual listeners, who combined, tune over 11.3 million hours of radio weekly.

 

SiriusXM has launched its anticipated podcast offering, following the satellite radio provider’s acquisition of the Stitcher and Simplecast platforms. The company’s initial slate includes a series of new original podcasts from Marvel Entertainment, as well as SiriusXM hosts, and a “curated” selection of shows from Stitcher, FOX News, NBC News, CNN, NPR, ViacomCBS, The Wall Street Journal, HBO, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Joel Osteen Ministries, Wondery, Barstool, Westwood One, Crooked Media, TNT, WNYC Studios, Slate, PodcastOne, TED, Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios, PRX, and Pushkin Industries. Kevin Hart‘s Laugh out Loud Radio will also roll out a series of new radio shows and podcasts next year. Read more here.

Alan Cross’ Ongoing History of New Music has reached the 900th episode milestone, since debuting in 1993 on Toronto’s 102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM). In the meantime, the podcast version of the show has now been downloaded 10 million times. Believed to be the longest-running alt-rock music documentary, the show ran for nearly a decade, solely on CFNY, before it was picked up by CFOX Vancouver in the late ‘90s. Now syndicated across the country, Craig Venn was the original technical producer working with reel-to-reel tape. Rob Johnston took over at episode 110 and has continued producing ever since. Read more show stats here.

Erica Ehm has launched new podcast, Reinvention of the VJ, which has thus far seen the MuchMusic icon interview counterparts Steve Anthony, Rick Campanelli, Jeanne Beker, and George Stroumboulopoulos. Ehm, who also runs mommy blog ymc, says the podcast is a passion project in which she talks about the role these personalities played in the Canadian pop culture landscape of the ‘80s and ‘90s, their perspective on that experience now, and other personal and behind-the-scenes stories.

Radioplayer is launching in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, bringing the total number of Radioplayer countries to 14. France is an important automotive market, accounting for 14% of all European car sales, and more than a quarter of European car production from Renault and PSA (Peugeot/Citroen). Radioplayer says the France collaboration, set to launch in the New Year as a consortium of six groups (public service broadcaster Radio France, plus Les Indés Radios, M6/RTL, Lagardère, NRJ, and NextRadioTV), will ensure the international radio sector can speak to all car manufacturers with one voice, to keep radio strong in dashboards of the future. Radioplayer Netherlands, which launched this week, will operate as a partnership between public service broadcaster NPO and Dutch commercial broadcasters, representing more than 80% of radio listening in the country. Radioplayer Sweden, also launching in the New Year, is backed by a consortium made up of the three major broadcast groups – Sveriges Radio (public service broadcaster), Bauer, and Nent – together accounting for at least 90% of listening in Sweden.

 

LISTEN: UK broadcast veteran and consultant Francis Currie is on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, talking about why radio needs to pay more attention to the 15-24 demo and get serious about competing on content, as well as his new “Smashprep” service for on-air performers.

LISTEN: Jeremy White, swing host at The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM) Montreal, is Matt Cundill’s guest on the Sound Off Podcast. White talks about his start in community radio at K103 Kahnawake, his online presence, and his interviews with prominent music stars like John Oates, David Guetta, and Rob Halford

NOMINATIONS close this Sunday, Nov. 29 at 11:59 PT for the inaugural Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters, “The Howards” are FREE TO ENTER. Check out the 13 categories and find the submission form here. Help us celebrate the great radio, promotions, and feats of engineering from your station that’s come out of a challenging year. Winners will be announced Monday, Dec. 14.