So what does the news of AM650 being sold to Rogers mean?

April 25th we learned that Rogers was purchasing AM650 from Newcap, a move that was expected when Bell (TSN Radio) lost the Vancouver Canucks broadcasting rights. As it stands right now its business as usual at 650 until the transaction closes, which is expected to complete over the summer, we have TSN Radio 1040 and TSN Radio 1410. Once Sportsnet 650 launches in the late summer or fall, we will see some big changes in the Vancouver sports radio landscape. I don’t think Bell will hold on to the 2 sports stations and I will assume we will see 1410 flip, or be sold or go dark. If it flips, would Bell go talk, to compete against 980? Or go music, maybe taking the CISL audience? Or could Bell sell the station? I am not sure who they would sell it to, seems like very few people are in the market for an AM station nowadays unless they are looking to put news, talk or sports there. I highly doubt Bell will let the station go dark either.

Basically what my prediction is Bell will flip the station to a talk station, and yes I know it was a talk station previously, but I think that since CKNW has lost a lot of listeners, even though some have come back, I expect Bell could program 1410 better now. Focus on local news as well as sports updates mixed into local talk. Regardless of what they do, they won’t keep 1410 as sports. There will not be a market for 3 sports stations. 1410 has some programming that is popular such as Jim Rome and Dan Patrick. I personally think we will see 1040 pick up Rome and Patrick, meaning there will be jobs lost at 1040. As much as I hate the idea of people losing jobs we can probably see a shift in morning and afternoon show and possibly an elimination of middays. Midday shows could be Jim Rome and Dan Patrick. Morning show may still feature one of either Bro Jake or Dave Pratt, and afternoons could be one host less. I believe Blake Price would be moved to mornings to co-host with whoever is left.

Rogers when they take over 650 and launch sports will probably relocate a couple of current Sportsnet TV hosts to host a show. We may see Scott Rintoul show up on 650 as he was let go from 1040 back in January. I expect a fairly strong lineup on Sportsnet radio as they will have the Canucks radio rights and the Blue Jays starting next season. One thing I have noticed as a sports fan Rogers has brought in lots of people to work the hockey broadcasts. Lots of names that will be able to provide a lot of insight on the radio side, similar to TSN radio does now. If they can program the station as well as they have been programming the TV side of things I think Sportsnet radio will be a ratings winner (in terms of a sports station).

Interesting times coming up in Vancouver.

Also I think these changes will set off a chain reaction of events in Vancouver radio. Meaning possible changes at 104.3 after CISL is sold, plus the changes at 1410, if 1410 turns talk and competes and even beats CKNW it would cause changes to happen there.

Good on Rogers for making changes happen, even it may result in a few job losses, I still think there will be lots of new jobs as well

Published on April 25, 2017 at 10:00 pm by Brian Cook


April 25, 2017 - 11:48 pm


Interesting predictions, Brian! Although I somewhat disagree on 1410 going all-talk. Going that route will cost a whole heck of a lot more than what Bell is paying to run that frequency now. However, I could invision Bell picking up some of the pay programming we now here on CISL (shows such as Boomer Life, the Best of food and Wine, Driving with Zach Spencer and Radio Real Estate). Taking it one step further, I could see the Zoomer Radio (AM 740 Toronto) concept working in the Vancouver market – a mix of adult music, news, and talk shows. But again, I have no idea of the profitability of this format. LG 104-3 is not going to skew any older, unless they decide to pick up Red Robinson’s excellent Red Rock Diner as a once-per-week trip down memory lane.

April 26, 2017 - 7:16 am


If Steve Darling doesn’t get himself elected, wouldn’t surprise me if Rogers tries to lure him to their new Sportsnet 650.

April 26, 2017 - 9:03 am


It would be nice to have a center right talk radio station to compete with the two left and center left talk stations. But with the ever increasing emergence of digital radio, 1410 should look at a music format to capture the growing Urban music. I believe there is a market for it on the coast.

April 26, 2017 - 9:10 am


Sportsnet 650 is moving into the Rogers building, any chance they will fill Jack FM to Sportsnet?
CISL stays as is til the end of summer, and well.. who knows.. . I wonder what will happen to those working at CISL?
Interesting times… and more interesting will be the outcome and who gets hired etc..
1040 is finally in for some serious competition.. about time!

April 26, 2017 - 11:55 am

Les H.

GAWD I hope 1410 goes to a proper news/talk radio…. CKNW 980 for me on most days now by 11:00am or so is MUST TURN TO ANOTHER STATION RADIO! Why? Because by 11:00am or so THEY JUST START REPEATING THE SAME PRODUCED $HIT THAT JON WAS ON ALL ABOUT DURING HIS SHOW! Which BTW his show will begin to repeat stuff more or less after his first 2 or so hours!

The talk format today and as noted for the Vancouver, lower mainland market, on CKNW is just pablumesque crap. They will can for on air playback too much preproduced crap and open this can up over and over all freaking day long and on each show starting with “Peace & Love” McComb, to “SJW/Here me roar” (cough cough whimper Simi) to Socialist/Feminist Steele and Millennial, virtue signalling liberal Drex, to now even a centre-left leaning Adler now after he is drinking Vancouver’s virtue signaling, leftist water and not the Winnipeg water he use to drink.

They will go silly in programming by having a serious talk issue, it could be conflict/war, failing economies, jab ‘n stab politics for 10-15-20 minutes, then they go to fluff ‘n stuff where they will talk about foody, wine, or other silly social stuff, for 10-15-20 minutes, to then rerun some B rated canned preproduced crap, to then go back to some serious topic for 10-15-20 min, to then natter on with all too often rather air headed producers for 10-15-20 min. THEN IT’S ALL RINSE AND REPEAT ALL DAY/NIGHT LONG!!!

When 10pm. comes and Coast to Coast is the most interesting and often captivating program each night on CKNW, well then it’s “Houston, we have a Problem.”

HERE IS AN IDEA, FIND SOME OLD TAPES FROM CKNW and even old CJOR of the 80’s and 90’s and listen to how those talk shows and hosts were doing it, THE JUST MAKE EFFORTS TO COPY THEM AND HOW THEY WERE GENERALLY PRODUCED AND PLAYED OUT!!!

So here is hoping 1410 goes proper news/talk, even though its signal can suck out in the valley.

April 26, 2017 - 5:48 pm

Max Power

I don’t see the logic for Bell in throwing in the towel on 1410. Wouldn’t it be better to keep it going to make it tougher for Sportsnet 650 to muscle their way in instead of easier?

By the way, bad news if Rogers does to local sports radio what they did to our regional sports station they bought and basically now use to force-feed us Toronto-centric (Blue Jays) content.

April 26, 2017 - 9:32 pm

Wayne Cox

If there is an attempt at another talk station in Vancouver, It wouldn’t be all that bad to fashion it after a station I listen to in Phoenix AZ. KTAr-FM. Listen live on their website. The hosts, Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes from 10-2 and Mac and Gaydos, the hosts from 2-6 are the usual American high energy, over the top types, but at the same time, extremely entertaining! In other words…”never a dull moment.” Give it a try?

April 26, 2017 - 11:30 pm

Joe Leary

That requires forward thinking and logic Wayne. This is radio. That doesn’t apply, does it?

April 30, 2017 - 6:13 am

David Russell

Jenn and Joe FTW!

May 1, 2017 - 1:08 pm


Let’s just hope that who ever they hire, it’s new blood .. keep Shorty and John Garret, but not the same old tired people who have been tossed around station to station. Keep 1040 the way it is.. they need serious competition.. no more “news/talk” stations! A format that has been over done in this city for much too long!

May 2, 2017 - 3:53 pm


Great time to bring back Dan Russell.

May 6, 2017 - 9:21 am


I hope Dan Russell can bring back his sports talk show again

May 7, 2017 - 10:02 pm

Paul smith

Somehow, keep both Jim Rome and Dan Patrick. They are a god-send to true sports enthusiasts who are interested in following the entire spectrum of sport, with hosts, guests and callers who have knowledge and a great sense of humor.

May 18, 2017 - 4:06 pm


I miss the “14-CFUN, Vancouver” jingle from the 70s when that station was introducing teenage me to power pop/new wave – music that is peppy and, uh, fun. Fun is not a bad word. I’m not sure how you would program amusing, good-vibes radio but if every other talk radio goes with gloom and blood and rage, maybe that is a niche.

May 24, 2017 - 8:19 pm


CFUN jingle from 1978

May 25, 2017 - 5:43 pm


Larry, absolutely brilliant. But unfortunately, lost on today’s market.

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