Bell/Astral deal remains about the same in Edmonton
By Marty Forbes Monday March 19th, 2012
“The more things change the more they stay the same.”
After Friday’s blockbuster announcement about Bell buying Astral Media my email; facebook; twitter and even my phone lit up with ‘questions’ about the 3.8 ‘billion’ dollar deal.
Bell Media, owners of Edmonton’s CTV television station have actually ‘reacquired’ what they owned in the former CFRN Television building more than 20 years ago. That’s right – CFRN AM and then CJKE FM were actually owned and operated by Electrohome (who purchased it from Sunwapta) at the time so this is good news for those staffers at (now) The Bear, Virgin Radio, and Team 1260 locally because they don’t have to change their parking spots.
Across the country the same benefit doesn’t exist.
Under current CRTC rules you are only allowed to own 4 radio stations in a market – 2 AM and 2 FM – and fewer in smaller markets so in markets like Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa the fun will begin as BELL will be forced to sell off the ‘overage’ to other operators.
In the industry this is called consolidation and it has been going on for several years. It’s the reason you’ve seen the many format flips and many of your favorite personalities either moved across the street or out of the business altogether.
The CRTC will have the final say but this is a deal much bigger than even the CRTC itself.
There hasn’t been a major review of the Rules of Operation for Canadian radio for over a decade. Internet radio is here; satellite radio is here; wifi is now mobile so that automobiles now have access to thousands and thousands of broadcast signals from around the world in your car so the magnitude of Friday’s announcement will ripple across the country very quickly.
As well it is quite conceivable this evolution will force the CRTC to review or even ‘adapt’ new rules to accommodate this new reality.
Finally, now the ‘other radio operators’ are going to have to bulk up to deal with this monster so it is quite likely that there will be massive changes to most radio markets across Canada as these operators will have to assess their particular scenarios – and relatively quickly- because the backroom deals will be buzzing.
Soon – we’ll be down to ‘3 owners’ of all media in Canada.
So one guy will now do the jobs previously held by three. Maybe save some salary in the short term but you know what they say when the boss is away watch productivity go down the toilet and staff running amok to their own agendas. You can't beat a strong and respected leader with an absentee or part time local manager. Garry didn't last long at the Black Tower. Who'll run that ship now? Maybe double duty someone like Plasteras as GM/PD? Fewer companies, fewer jobs, what is the future?
3/19/2012 Corus Entertainment Appoints Garry McKenzie as Regional General Manager, Corus Radio Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg
(Toronto, Canada) Corus Entertainment is pleased to announce the appointment of Garry McKenzie, Regional General Manager for Corus Radio Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, effective April 2, 2012.
In his new role, Garry will provide leadership, strategic direction and vision to Corus Radio's three markets, bringing over 20 years of solid operating experience, a strong sales and marketing background and results-driven success to 10 radio stations.
Most recently, Garry was General Manager, Corus Radio Vancouver, and prior to that, General Manager, Corus Radio Calgary. Before joining Corus, Garry was Vice President, Marketing and Sales for the Calgary Flames and has also held various marketing and sales management positions with Unilever Canada and General Foods.
“Garry's history managing top-market stations, delivering strong results and successfully growing revenue will be of tremendous value to our Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg broadcast operations,” said Chris Pandoff, Executive Vice President and President, Corus Radio. “Radio stations that were under Garry's leadership consistently experienced continued growth from both an audience and client perspective.”
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The Company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at http://www.corusent.com.