More on the Imminent Death of Roundhouse Radio


Roundhouse Radio CEO Don Shafer, in the station’s studio in Vancouver on Aug. 11, 2015. Mr. Shafer said on April 17, 2018, that the station would cease broadcasting: ‘The bottom line is we ran out of time, money and runway.’




Vancouver radio station Roundhouse Radio is scheduled to cease broadcasting April 30, following a decision by its board of directors to discontinue financial support. The news was delivered to employees on Monday by a devastated Don Shafer, the station’s founder, CEO and director of programming.

“The bottom line is we ran out of time, money and runway,” Mr. Shafer told The Globe and Mail in an e-mail on Monday. “Our investors believed and did their utmost to find a way, but we are now out of both [time and money], without investment or a buyer.”

The board had been trying to find investors or a purchaser with Capital Canada. The station stays while there continues to be dialogue, but the board has determined that without a potential buyer, Roundhouse Radio will go off the air at the end of this month.

Billing itself as hyperlocal, Roundhouse Radio – CIRH-FM – was launched in October, 2015, broadcasting from Railtown, with an interview-heavy, NPR sort of format. At 98.3 FM, the signal is low power so as not to interfere with other stations on the same frequency. Its reach is limited to the city of Vancouver and the North Shore.

Hosts include former Toronto radio personality Gene Valaitis, former Sportsnet host Jody Vance and former mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe, who hosted the morning show when the station launched.

“It has been a great privilege to be a day-one host at the station. I didn’t particularly love getting up at 4 to be the morning person, but I did love what I could discuss. My evening show permitted me to stretch some discussions a bit, and the hour-long Business in Vancouver show I now co-host with Tyler Orton and Hayley Woodin is the only local show with a focus on business,” Mr. LaPointe wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

According to the post, the station has featured more than 10,000 guests. “It’s a daily master class in the expert fields of those who talk to us,” he wrote.

He wrote that the business model is “highly challenging” for a for-profit station with a very limited broadcast reach.


For the VANCOUVER SUN’s take on this story, go HERE. 


  1. I am so sorry but I am surprised the station stayed on for as long as it had. There must have been a good hundred listeners at many times of the day. Some employees will retire, some will find work on other radio stations, some will move away, thats life when a business closes.

  2. Sad news for Mr Shafer and the staff of RHR. They really gave it a good shot. Exactly how much did it cost to run RHR? I would suspect plenty. One of the toughest and most expensive formats to tackle. It’s not like you are “Pumpin’ Out The Hits” on some automated jukebox with someone from down east doing voice tracking. It’s got to cost a small fortune to run a station like RHR and with few advertisers even I could do the math.

    Exactly who would purchase the station? Obviously someone with a whole lot of money to lose. As Don says you need a lot of time to get a new station going , five years or more but even with that extra time could you make a go of it with that format and weak signal? Maybe, but talk about a challenge.

    Hats off to Mr. Shafer for trying. The product sounded very professional. It must of been a lot of fun putting the station together from scratch. Too bad the outcome wasn’t brighter but in my view even the “Big Boys” couldn’t of pulled this one off.

  3. Being a populist CBC-like radio didn’t cut.
    Good antenna siting atop a downtown tower on Burrard gave them a signal way out to Coquitlam, but there are not many listeners to talking radio.

    Sport-only stations have only a few more listeners, but rich back-east pockets.

    Back to the other ends of the dial at 100.5 and 107.9 for me.

  4. Comparing RHR to NPR is misguided. NPR like the CBC gets grants and/or government money to operate rather than running commercials which can make listeners tune away quickly. They can throw any slop on the air and not really worry if it will bomb as they are getting their funding anyway. Not the case with RHR who needed to show a profit eventually.

  5. just read the Sun article where it quotes Shafer saying they hoped or believed they, RHR would come between CBC and CKNW as far as listenership was concerned. That would have been a great idea had the station abandon their left wing agenda and start providing Vancouverites with the kind of conservative talk radio they deserve. Its obvious the conservatine/libertarians and clear thinkers have been totally deserted as an audience.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here