“Save Cold Lake Radio”! (Stingray is Killing it.)

Craig Copeland does an interview at a local radio station. POSTMEDIA ARCHIVES.

As I was perusing Facebook I came across a new banner for “local” radio station 95.3 BOOM FM. The banner stated that a “Real Wake UP” would be starting with two “new” DJs, Vinnie and Randi. Upon seeing this, I wondered what had happened to community members Chris Gill and Peter Jackson. Doing some further internet sleuthing, I discovered that Stingray Radio, out of Quebec, determined that the Cold Lake station, along with many other stations across Alberta, is going to broadcast morning shows out of Red Deer and Calgary.

This is the second purge that Newcap (previous owner) and Stingray (current owner) have done with radio stations in the Lakeland. This purge has now cut all ON-AIR talent to ONE person per station. Local radio, like local newspapers are essential to small towns. Your local DJs are vital to a community. They tell us our local weather, our local sports and arts events. They come out and promote their community. They ARE the community. I have many friends who are or were in radio and they feel that this is the end of local radio. Anyone who has been to the BOOM page in recent days has no doubt seen uproar by people against the sudden change to the morning show. The current programming appears to have the Red Deer crew on mornings, pre-recorded afternoon content and then a Toronto DJ in the afternoon drive, evening slot. There are three-minute “local” cut-in reports by the one remaining person; combine this with the 10-in-a-row commercial-free portion of the programming and you are getting very little local content.

We need to make our voices heard. We need to tell Stingray that this is not okay for our city. Advertisers need to rethink putting their money into radio stations that are simply puppet stations. People need to turn the dial to a different company’s stations for their true local content. People would complain if our local newspaper suddenly was giving us big city only news. Now is the time to defend our local radio stations. Now is the time to start up a truly local station.

Save our station!

Ryan Bailey



  1. It just seems that Newcap and Stingray don’t even care about what listeners want for local radio. One example is Whitecourt, Alberta (which I understand forms a part of the Whitecourt/Edson radio market) that had 96.7 The Rig which was a rock radio station that had its fair share of listeners until it dropped it for Boom 96.7 which obviously is an oldies/ classic hits format. Sure some listeners didn’t mind it but Newcap also owned a classic hits station in Edson with 94.3 The Eagle until that flipped to Real Country. What bugs me is this- why would you flip one station that plays classic hits to a country music format when there’s already a country music station that broadcasts from Whitecourt which also serves Edson and have a well liked rock radio station flip to a classic hits format? Wouldn’t it make a heck of a lot more sense to leave The Rig as it was and have The Eagle in Edson become Boom FM? Not to mention laying off decent local talented announcers to have someone’s voice beamed in from some other place like Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary or Toronto?? Not to mention laying off well respected longtime Deejays at Captial FM in Edmonton (Rob Christie and Audie Lynds to name a couple) in order to fatten wallets down east.

    And I don’t think XM 105 in Whitecourt will be flipping to a rock radio format anytime soon…

  2. It’s pretty sad that all these great small communities are just going to get satellite service. This is the digital model that Stingrays music service is based on. They do not feel there is value in it and that people/listeners don’t care. I used to love driving across Alberta and listening to young broadcasters learning their trade in the smaller markets. Their was some pretty damn good stuff too. So glad I had a chance to work in small markets “back in the day”.

  3. I’ve been in radio since the 80’s. My son is talking about becoming a jock when he graduates. But now that most of the small markets (especially in Alberta) where he could get experience are gone…maybe I can talk him into becoming a Clinical Dermatologist instead!

  4. I agree Sleddog. I once heard some young guy do a break somewhere driving up North and I tell you it was engaging. Humorous for sure, I was laughing out loud. You don’t find that anymore.

    Radio is a sad, dying industry. I feel sorry for it and the talented folks involved.

  5. For Stingray, buying Newcap was to provide cash flow. However this short sighted move will just kill them and turn their cash flow business to cash less.

    There are so many companies doing this. Stingray is no different than the Corus/Bell/Rogers of the world. Canned shows from a far hording your talent in one centre and then eventually burning them out or horse trading talent from one company to another.

    Wonder when the tide turns and stations just shut down or revert to local non corporate ownership that provide more than a jukebox that plays commercials.

  6. I predicted, long ago, that eventually, all Western Canadian radio and tv programming (except in major markets) would eventually be broadcast out of Toronto, featuring Toronto traffic reports, Toronto news, Toronto Maple “Laugh” highlights, etc.

    Three people would run the radio station in large markets, and only one human being in the boonies.

    Also, television anchors would be FORCED to read radio and tv news, write radio copy and maybe even sell radio advertising ???

    Meanwhile, if you have put in 20 or more years at one company, take a red marker and draw a target on your fat rear end, ’cause a firing is not far away ? LOL

    What a shithole business ! The people running radio stations, these days, just stool pidgeons, corrupt as hell with no moral backbone or spine !


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