Radio & Podcast News – Bell rebrands 25 stations under ‘BOUNCE Radio’ umbrella

Bell Media has undertaken a coast-to-coast reorganization of its radio properties bringing 25 stations under the BOUNCE Radio umbrella. The rebrand to the Adult Hits format, focused on hits from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, sees iHeartRadio Canada distance itself from several iconic brands including BOB FM, which originated in Winnipeg in 2002, as well as The Dock Classic Hits branding in several Ontario markets, and the EZ Rock Adult Contemporary format which was carried by 11 stations across the Okanagan and northern B.C. Bell Media says all BOUNCE Radio stations will continue to be anchored by homegrown morning shows. Read more here.

Stingray Radio launches its “Hot” Hot Adult Contemporary music brand in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland at 12 a.m. Friday morning. The format will appear in Sydney as Hot 101.9 (CHRK-FM, currently 101.9 The Giant), and St. John’s as Hot 99.1 (CKIX-FM, currently 99.1 Hits FM). Stingray says each station’s current on-air lineup will remain, with Mornings with Brad and Keliegh continuing in St. John’s, while the Morning Hot Tub with Mauler, Rush and Jenni continues in its second year in Sydney, with Rob McNamara and Tashia Lee rounding out that station’s local lineup. Stingray’s Hot brand has already had a decade-plus run in Ottawa, with four other Hot stations in Alberta, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.

Acadia Broadcasting has officially taken over operation of Hot Country 103.5 (CKHZ-FM) and Jewel 105 (CKHY-FM) Halifax, following CRTC approval of the stations’ sale by Evanov Communications. Acadia has accordingly issued a call for demos for its on-air talent bank, with President Chris Pearson indicating that the Halifax stations will have “a strong local focus on news” and a news team of five on site. “We will hire as many people as it takes to ensure we provide Halifax and the surrounding area with live and locally focused content,” Pearson told Broadcast Dialogue in an email. With the addition of CKHZ-FM and CKHY-FM, Acadia now owns and operates 17 stations across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario.

 

Edison Research and Triton Digital’s latest Infinite Dial Canada study suggests podcasts are finding new audiences as consumer media behaviour continues to be impacted by the pandemic. Familiarity with the term “podcasting” has grown from 74 to 78% in Canada over the last year. Those who said they have ever listened to a podcast went from 50 to 57%, while those who listen to podcasts monthly saw incremental growth, from 37 to 38%. The study found that the gender balance of those listening is now almost identical to the population makeup, 53% women vs. 47% men. Infinite Dial also found that radio tuning across broadcast and AM/FM streaming grew, with 70% of Canadians listening weekly, up from 69% in 2020. 

StatsRadio will be including web panel data in its audience measurement methodology within the next six months. Founded in 2016, the audience measurement startup currently uses a hybrid audience-research method that includes landline and mobile telephone surveys to determine proportions of over-the-air and online radio listeners. The resulting ratios, applied to streaming data, provide broadcasters and their stakeholders with cross-platform measurement. StatsRadio has engaged Canadian data science firm Statlog to estimate the confidence interval of the ratios used in its process and working together over six months, the two organizations identified one area ripe for improvement: inclusion of web panel research. Statlog’s audit revealed that when telephone surveys are combined with web panel survey results, they establish reliable, representative ratios between online and over the-air audiences. Statlog Senior Analyst Nicolas Corneau-Tremblay says given the increased adoption rate of streamed technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the decrease in survey respondents recruited through traditional means, they believe a mixed approach is more durable long term. 

JAR Audio, the Vancouver-based branded podcast producer, and Amsterdam’s Big Orange – The Audio Agency have entered into a global strategic partnership, combining JAR’s branded podcast services with Big Orange’s experiential audio storytelling. JAR Audio has worked with brands like Expedia, RBC, IDC, Lululemon, Cineplex, and Saje, while Big Orange bills itself as an avant-garde audio agency that develops “audio experiences” including immersive podcasts, creative audio tours, and original soundtracks for brands, agencies, and cultural organizations.  

The Ambies Awards for Excellence in Audio, the first awards from The Podcast Academy, have been announced. Wondery’s Dying For Sex claimed Podcast of the Year, while Crooked Media’s Wind of Change, which explores the theory that the C.I.A. may have actually penned the Scorpions’ 1990 power ballad, won three awards. The Podcast Academy Board of Governors bestowed the top accolade – the Governors Award – upon WTF with Marc Maron, which recognizes a podcast or individual for the compelling impact they’ve had on the industry. Find the full list of winners here.

Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe from CBC Music’s The Block will host the JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Music Canada, which will be live streamed June 4 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on cbcmusic.ca/junos, CBC Gem and CBC Music’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. 37 JUNO Awards will be presented along with this year’s special achievement awards. Pegi Cecconi will receive The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, while Gary Slaight will be awarded the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award Presented by Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. The evening will feature five performances, including Reggae Recording of the Year nominees, Ammoye, Kirk Diamond and TÖME, Oshawa rock duo Crown Lands (Breakthrough Group of the Year, Rock Album of the Year), and country music mavens Lindsay Ell and MacKenzie Porter (Country Album of the Year). The alt-rock group from the 2020/21 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class short list, MONOWHALES, will also hit the virtual stage.

LISTEN: Dean Blundell and Matt Cundill join Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about joining their respective independent creator communities to help first-time podcasters and former broadcasters like MuchMusic icon Erica Ehm and former Edmonton news anchor Carrie Doll, transition their talents into the digital media space and grow their audiences. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Matt’s guest is Skye Pillsbury, podcast host and writer for Hot Pod. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here: