Rogers Sports & Media is shuttering its CityNews radio operations in Ottawa, citing low audiences, revenue declines and a restrictive regulatory environment for AM radio.
CityNews will go off the air on both the AM and FM band at 1 p.m. ET today with a Rogers Sports & Media spokesperson telling Broadcast Dialogue that resulting layoffs were in the single digits.
The company will return the licence for 1310 (CIWW-AM) to the CRTC, and restore its Country format station to 101.1 on the dial, following a series of December 2020 moves that saw Country 92.3 debut on CJET-FM in place of the JACK FM brand to make way to simulcast news/talk on FM. CJET-FM and CKBY-FM also swapped call letters at that time.
Rogers Sports & Media says while CityNews radio programming will no longer be produced or broadcast, the local digital news team will continue to provide local news, traffic and weather on Ottawa.CityNews.ca and its social platforms, while retaining two reporters on Parliament Hill as part of its Ottawa News Bureau. The company says it will still maintain a strong presence in the Capital Region with Rogers TV available in both English and French, in addition to CHEZ 106, KiSS 105.3 (CISS-FM), Country 101.1 and a new music-driven format set to launch on Country 92 Smiths Falls later this year.
“Today was an incredibly difficult day and we sincerely thank all the employees and contributors to 1310 AM for their commitment to delivering important journalism and talk programming in the nation’s capital to our listeners,” a spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue. “They have all made a positive contribution to the community and should be proud of their work.”
Rogers Sports & Media’s news/talk stations rebranded under the CityNews banner in the fall of 2021, including CityNews 680 (CFTR-AM) Toronto, CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) Vancouver, CityNews 660 (CFFR-AM) Calgary, CityNews 570 (CKGL-AM) Kitchener, and CityNews 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax.
CIWW-AM is Ottawa’s oldest radio station, launched by Dr. George Geldert in 1922, under the CKCO call sign. It was acquired by Rogers Radio in 1994 and was the fourth station in the network to adopt an all-news format in 2010.
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