Pure Country replaces all Bell Country stations and 98.9 The Drive Kingston

Shannon Ella Midday host at Pure Country

As had been heavily speculated over the last few months, Kingstons 989.9 The Drive was set to change format. Rumours began to swirl in January that a change was happening when all the on-air staff were moved to Fly FM. Most of the rumours were of an upcoming flip to the country format. I had heard they were going to move to a national country branding, and eventually, flip The Drive to that national branding. On Monday The Drive was stunting with a hybrid format that featured Drake, Eminem, Anne Murray, Michael Bolton and more, leading to speculation that there was about to be a new Easy Listening station in Kingston

Here is the press release

iHeartRadio Canada falls head over boots for country music today with the launch of PURE COUNTRY, Canada’s first-ever, national country music radio brand. Rolling out beginning today across 13 Canadian radio stations from Northern B.C. to Truro, NS, as well as the iHeartRadio Canada app and PureCountry.ca, PURE COUNTRY delivers everything country music listeners love, but now with a new name and look.

PURE COUNTRY is anchored by local morning and drive home shows, while iHeartRadio Canada host Shannon Ella hosts a nationally syndicated midday show weekdays on all PURE COUNTRY stations. Ella plays all the biggest country hits, keeps listeners up-to-date on the latest music news, and chats with some of country music’s biggest artists. Ella joins the PURE COUNTRY team after previously being on air with Today’s Country BX93 in London and KHJ in Fredericton.

“We are thrilled to bring this new brand to iHeartRadio Canada, right in the midst of the rapidly growing popularity of country music in Canada,” said Nikki Moffat, President, Radio and Local TV, and SVP Finance. “Across Canada, listeners can hear all their favourite country songs complemented with exclusive content, including one-on-one candid interviews with country megastars.”

“With PURE COUNTRY, our country stations can benefit from the scale of a national brand while maintaining a local focus,” said Rob Farina, Head of Radio Content, Strategy, and iHeartRadio. “We look forward to bringing PURE COUNTRY energy to local communities across Canada.”

Additional programming on PURE COUNTRY includes the IHEARTRADIO PURE COUNTRY COUNTDOWN, hosted by Sophie Moroz and Jeff Hopper, airing Saturday and Sundays (check local broadcast times) on all PURE COUNTRY stations across Canada. The hosts count down the 20 biggest songs of the week, plus brand new music with “What’s On Tap”, a throwback with “Pure Country Yearbook”, and music from the “Feature Artist of the Week.”

PURE COUNTRY also airs BOBBY BONES DAILY SHOW during the evenings, and BOBBY BONES COUNTRY TOP 30 COUNTDOWN on the weekends (check local broadcast times), broadcasting from Nashville, TN. Bones is the youngest-ever National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and has been dubbed “the most powerful man in country music” by Forbes.

PURE COUNTRY will also get exclusive access and behind-the-scenes footage from some of the biggest country music festivals this summer including Cavendish Beach Music Festival and Boots and Hearts Music Festival.

PURE COUNTRY is set to deliver exclusive prizes and contests, kicking off with the $25,000 Pure Country Cash Code contest, running across all PURE COUNTRY stations beginning tomorrow, May 29 until June 21. Listen for the code word three times daily and enter the code word online at PureCountry.ca (check local website) to qualify for $25,000. One winner will be randomly drawn.

The following iHeartRadio Canada stations are now rebranded as PURE COUNTRY:

Ottawa’s Pure Country 94
Fredericton’s Pure Country 103.5
Nova Scotia’s Pure Country 99.5 (Truro)
London’s Pure Country 93
Central Ontario’s Pure Country 106 (Orillia, Barrie, Midland)
Pembroke’s Pure Country 96.7
Peterborough’s Pure Country 105
Sudbury’s Pure Country 91.7
Dawson Creek’s Pure Country 890
BC North’s Pure Country (Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat)
Brandon’s Pure Country 101
Regina’s Pure Country 92.7
Kingston’s Pure Country 99


Published on May 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm by Brian Cook


May 28, 2019 - 9:57 pm


It’s also rumored that HTZ in Niagara is flipping once the morning show leave.
In fact I’m surprised they didn’t flip that one before Kingston. There are several other stations rumored to be included in the flip. Especially in Alberta and the prairie provinces
It’s also rumored that HTZ in Niagara is flipping once the morning show leave.
In fact I’m surprised they didn’t flip that one before Kingston. There are several other stations rumored to be included in the flip. Especially in Alberta and the prairie provinces

May 29, 2019 - 1:02 pm

Radio Redneck

HTZ perhaps. The only possible station I could think of Bell flipping in Alberta would be Funny 1060. Calgary has 2 FM country stations already – flipping Virgin (national brand) or CJAY would be insane. Edmonton has TSN Radio on AM as the only pure sports station in that market (and again a national brand) and Virgin and The Bear. For a nation-wide country network, they’re most likely going to have to give one of the most ‘country’ of provinces a pass.

Nice spin on the Press Release though claiming to be the first nationwide network. Rogers is pretty broad with the ‘Country’ brand, and Stingray goes pretty wide with their ‘Real Country’ name as well. Interesting times indeed.

May 30, 2019 - 3:21 am


Everyone in Kingston is PISSED.

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