Astral acquires number-one radio status, all of MusiquePlus

It's official. Speculation in late February that Astral Media would swallow up Standard Radio, thus becoming Canada's largest radio behemoth, is now fact.

At a press conference in Toronto this morning, Montreal-HQ’d Astral Media will confirm that the proposed deal MiC reported on Feb. 26 is a go. For a whopping $1.08 billion – and if the CRTC approves – Standard Radio’s 52 privately held AM and FM radio stations will be acquired, making Astral Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 81 stations across the country, and creating a major presence in Ontario and BC.

The deal includes Sound Source Network, Standard’s ad sales unit, Integrated Media Sales, and two conventional TV stations in northern BC. In other TV asset news, Astral is now the owner of MusiquePlus, acquiring the other half of the jointly-owned channel from CHUM and parent CTVglobemedia.

See MiC‘s Feb. 26 coverage, which includes comment from Zenith Optimedia president Sunni Boot on what the news will likely mean for media strategists.