Corus to sell radio stations to Cogeco

All of Corus's Quebec properties are set to be transferred to Cogeco in the coming months, pending CRTC approval.

Cogeco will purchase 11 radio stations from Corus Entertainment for $80 million, the networks announced this morning. The deal, which would transfer all of Corus’ Quebec-based radio properties, is still subject to regulatory approval from the CRTC.

Cogeco has not prepared its application yet, but will do so in the coming summer months, Marie Carrier, corporate communications director, Cogeco, tells MiC.

The station formats and media placements made by advertisers will not be affected until an application to the CRTC has been made and a decision reached. ‘Until then it’s business as usual,’ says Carrier.

Cogeco already owns five stations in Quebec – four of them are Rythme FM, an adult-contemp format that serves women aged 25 to 54, and the fifth is FM93, a rock station.

Carrier says the acquisition will allow Cogeco to bolster its local radio offerings for listeners and advertisers. ‘The combination of these stations with the existing particular stations will enable us to better meet advertiser needs…and give them access to a broader cross-section of customers.’

For Corus, the sale will allow the network to focus on its radio brands in Western Canada and also on its television division, John Cassaday, president and CEO, Corus Entertainment, said in a release. According to the network’s fourth-quarter financial report on April 14, TV revenue was up to almost $137 million from $123.4 million a year earlier, while radio revenues dropped to $57.9 million. In Quebec, radio revenues had decreased by about 2%.

The stations that will be affected are Montreal French (CKOI 96.9, 98.5, CKAC Sports – including CKAC’s digital licence), Montreal English (The Q 92.5), Quebec City (102.9 Souvenirs Garantis, CKOI 102.1), Gatineau (104.7 Souvenirs Garantis), Sherbrooke (107.7 Souvenirs Garantis, CKOI 104.5), Trois-Rivières (106.9 Souvenirs Garantis) and St-Jérôme (CIME 103.9).