Corus Posts $86.8 Million Loss, Now Counts on Female Audiences for Growth

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by David Friend, The Canadian Press   April 9 2015

TORONTO – Corus Entertainment is making women a priority at its radio stations in a reshaped strategy it hopes will boost listener numbers.

The Toronto-based company is putting more emphasis on its recently launched adult contemporary brand called Fresh FM, which borrows from the same female-centric business model that gave new life to its specialty channels years ago.

“We are confident that, by expanding the hot adult contemporary format, we can build a highly successful women-targeted radio network,” president and CEO Doug Murphy told analysts on a conference call Thursday.

Another Fresh FM station will launch “in the coming months,” Murphy said, playing mainstream pop hits from singers like Bruno Mars, Pink and Rihanna.

Corus is trying to weather unenthusiastic spending by advertisers that has deeply cut into financial results.

On Thursday, the company reported it suffered an $86.8-million net loss in its second quarter, mostly due to a total of $130 million in writedowns on the value of goodwill — an asset related to past acquisitions — and its radio licences.

But restrained spending also hurt the overall results as companies remain cautious about their ad budgets.

“At this moment, what we can say with complete certainty is there’s a lot of uncertainty out there,” Murphy said.

“Business is coming in late. It comes like in big chunks but it’s not pacing in the way we would like to see, so we’re taking a cautious stance.”

Corus (TSX:CJR.B) has one of Canada’s largest collections of specialty television channels like YTV and HBO Canada, and a lineup of radio stations across much of the country.

The company said it won’t meet one of the targets provided to investors in November, when it expected advertising demand would improve.

Overall revenue in the quarter ended Feb. 28 was about the same as a year ago, at $191.5 million, with its television operations propping up weakness in radio revenues, which fell seven per cent to $36.3 million.

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http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/business_news/national_business/article_53d6807e-ac33-554b-a21e-992b777058de.html?mode=jqm

4 COMMENTS

  1. LOL, Corus, so now in order to try to get growth you will basically alienate 1/2 your demographic (males) in order for you to spoon feed radio pablum to women. YEAH LIKE THAT IS GOING TO WORK, NOT!

    Hey idiots up in your Corus, Ivory Towers, how about to try to create radio that creates a desire for both sexes to want to listen.

    Idiots with stupid, paper diplomas hanging on their walls in dollar store picture frames are running the Corus ship to the ground.

    Corus , killing its radio network with one often cheap a**ed and idiotic move at a time.

    Tragic!

  2. Agreed Les!

    My favorite part of this article is the fact that it repeatedly refers to “Fresh FM.” Great job, Corus, in getting the word out about your “re-brand”.

    I’m hoping the station flip being referred to in the article is C-FOX in Vancouver. It seems they’ve pretty much thrown in the towel anyway. What nonsense.

    And if the company’s goal is to attract more women, maybe make it so your employees don’t have to answer to a man, who answers to a man, who answers to a man, who answers to a man, most of whom, I believe are divorced and are trying to tell me (a woman) what women want.

    The MAJORITY of females in managerial roles at Corus are in powerless positions. ie; Traffic, Promotions, Accounting and in the end, they answer to a man. The company’s hiring consultant? A MAN. The problems are obvious and glaring to anyone except the over paid, over tanned, suits and consultants who are dragging the company down. (Proof is in the financial postings)

    Don’t get me wrong, I know there are SOME women in high ranking roles at Corus, but I get the feeling they’ve all been sent to The Women’s network where they can sync up their periods.

    Hopefully investors can take comfort in this gem of a quote to soften the blow of posting such disastrous losses.

    “At this moment, what we can say with complete certainty is there’s a lot of uncertainty out there,”

  3. Init,

    Why would CFOX flip they’re the #2 station in Vancouver, tied with Rock 101. My guess is Q107 Calgary or Edge in Toronto

  4. Good point, Les, especially since women are not likely to listen to Corus radio stations, especially ones when TV anchors are invited to play silly contests featuring: “Would you date, fuck or dump” a certain woman !

    How are shows like that of interest to ‘women’ !

    I find it appauling that CFOX built its “number 2” rated audience on mysogenistic type jokes and things that come at the expense of others.

    My biggest concern about so-called “female programming” is the switch to gossip style journalism, featuring the stars of Hollywood, what clothes Kim Kardashian wore today, etc.

    Perhaps Corus has already been beaten to the punch in this regard. In Kelowna, they will apparently do anything to kiss the ass of the female demographic.

    On EZ Rock, every evening, you can hear the dulcid tones of John Tesh, giving advice to women on everything from dating to dieting to venerial disease.

    That’s six long hours of day of female programming.

    Imagine if you heard that crap, 24/7 ! LOL

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