In radio headlines, Pattison poised to acquire Fabmar

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) is poised to acquire Fabmar Communications and its four radio station licences in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Subject to CRTC approval, Pattison would assume ownership and operation of 89.5 The Drive (CHWK-FM) Chilliwack, XM 105 FM (CIXM-FM) Whitecourt, and 105 CJVR-FM and CK750 (CKJH-AM) Melfort. A press release says the current local management teams will continue to lead the stations, with all of the existing team members to be offered positions within the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. As part of the terms of sale, Pattison has also agreed to purchase FabVision, an outdoor signage business in Saskatchewan and online news portals MyChilliwackNews.com, MyTownToday.ca and YourTownNews.ca, serving Chilliwack, Whitecourt and Melfort respectively. Read the full story here.

Evanov Radio’s Live 105 (CKHY-FM) Halifax has been rebranded to Rock 105.1. Program director J.D. Desrosiers tells Broadcast Dialogue, the station is still Active Rock, but will shift away from playing current, alternative and push its playlist toward more Gold selections. “We’re making ourselves more competitive in a very competitive market, targeting our main competition (Newcap-owned Q104), rather than carving out a niche which is what the station was doing in its previous incarnation,” says Desrosiers. “We thought a clean slate and a new look was in order.” The on-air lineup remains status quo, although with host Lindsay Cochrane moving on, the station is on the hunt for a new afternoon drive personality and will be adding some part-time staff.

The CRTC has approved transmitter relocation and a power boost for the yet to launch Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. ethnic station at 600 AM in Vancouver. Sher-E Punjab requested the change as the land identified for the original transmission site has been sold and the new owner is not interested in leasing to the applicant. With the new site 24 kilometres east of the original location, the CRTC has agreed to increase daytime transmitter power from 10,000 to 50,000 watts and nighttime transmitter power from 10,000 to 20,000 watts. Sher-E Punjab is up against an operation deadline of Nov. 28, 2018.

Vista Radio has surrendered its licence for Valley Country 1340 (CIVH-AM) Vanderhoof, BC, after its transmission tower was damaged by snow removal contractors and collapsed in March. It was deemed too expensive to repair. Vista has committed to increasing the level of local programming on CIRX-FM Vanderhoof from 3.5 to 126 hours per week.

The CRTC has approved an application by United Christian Broadcasters Media Canada (UCB) to acquire Christian music station Kaos 91.1 (CKOS-FM) Fort McMurray from King’s Kids Promotions Outreach Ministries Inc. in exchange for assuming debt of $108,962. The commission is also waiving the requirement to pay tangible benefits, noting that CKOS-FM has suffered significant financial losses over an extended period of time. “Considering the fact that the Fort McMurray market has yet to recover from the 2016 wildfire and the limited commercial potential of CKOS-FM as a specialty (Christian music) FM radio station, imposing tangible benefits could have an adverse effect on UCB’s efforts to stabilize the station’s financial situation and increase the level of local and Canadian programming,” states the decision.

Bell Media’s iHeartRadio Canada Podcast Network has expanded its reach, announcing its podcasts are now available to listeners on Spotify. Right now, the Top 10 Bell Media-produced podcasts from TSN and Much are streaming on the platform, including The Jay and and Dan Podcast, TSN Overdrive and Mike on Much, with additional content to be added in the coming months.