Astral gets HOT

Astral Media Radio Sales is now representing Edmonton's new station, targeting gals under 35.

Astral Media Radio Sales announced yesterday it will represent a new radio station in Edmonton that’s targeting the under-35 female demo. Almost half of Edmonton’s entire population is under 35 years old, says owner John Yerxa, quoting 2006 Census figures, and only three out of 16 stations serve the younger age demo.

Yerxa, a research consultant who is the son of Hal Yerxa, the founder of popular country music station CFCW, says HOT 107 will have a limited commercial inventory. ‘Although we will be running 100% music hours in certain dayparts, we won’t turn around and run a dozen or more commercial units in various stopsets,’ Yerxa tells MiC. ‘This benefits our advertisers because it will give clients the reassurance that their ads will be heard. There will also be limited competition amongst similar businesses.’

The station launched on Oct. 5 but is playing 10,000 tracks (pop, hip-hop and R&B) commercial-free to mark its arrival before launching into an official format. Hot 107 will broadcast from the West Edmonton Mall and will reach the entire Edmonton CMA, including Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Sherwood Park and Leduc. Its main youth-targeting competitor is The Bounce (91.7 FM), which Yerxa says will have about a 65% crossover musically. ‘But 35% of our playlist is unique to HOT 107 in this market. We will be able to provide more new music to younger Edmontonians,’ he says.

The station and its website are promoted through a variety of social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. ‘We also have an aggressive outdoor advertising campaign that highlights the website,’ says Yerxa about the station’s promotion.

There are currently no ad opportunities on the site. ‘Once we are certain of our site’s effectiveness and we have enough people engaged, then we can look towards the right advertising opportunities that make sense for our clients and listeners,’ Yerxa says.