CHUM Radio buys Flow; sells Bounce
CTV's CHUM Radio is pulling out of Edmonton and doubling its Toronto FM properties. President Chris Gordon explains why the urban Flow 93.5 will complement CHUM FM.
CTV’s CHUM Radio yesterday announced it will purchase Toronto radio station Flow 93.5 FM, which over the past 10 years has built a solid fan base of younger-skewing hip hop and R&B listeners. Pending CRTC approval, Flow would become CTV’s second FM property in the Toronto market, which would complement the more mature CHUM FM, explains Chris Gordon, president, CHUM Radio.
‘It’s very advantageous to own more than one radio station in this market. You’re able to spread advertising on two different brands. You’re also able to operate efficiently and provide offerings for clients and solutions for clients that you just can’t do on just one radio station,’ Gordon tells MiC.
The acquisition from Milestone Radio comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that Rogers Broadcasting is purchasing Edmonton’s BOUNCE (CHBN-FM), the majority of which was owned by CHUM Radio. Milestone was a partial owner of BOUNCE as well.
‘We’re getting out of the radio business in Edmonton,’ Gordon says. ‘Nothing against Edmonton, but Toronto is a market near double the size of Edmonton and our strategy is to grow in the biggest markets.’
There are no plans to change the format of Flow 93.5, and while the number of young listeners is shrinking, it’s stations like Flow – which hosts autograph sessions with popular artists like Drake and is active in the online space with sponsorships and content such as its own fashion blog – that can help CHUM capture a ‘good chunk’ of younger listeners, says Gordon.
While CHUM owns stations in other markets that cater to a similar demo – for instance The Beat in Vancouver and BOUNCE in Halifax – there are no plans to standardize a national urban radio format.
‘Radio is a local medium and its strength is really a local business. Each station is really targeted to its own market,’ Gordon says.