Blackburn Radio staff in Wingham, ON are celebrating after winning $1 million in the Jan. 6 Lotto Max draw

 RADIO/AUDIO/PODCAST:

Blackburn Radio staff in Wingham, ON are celebrating after winning $1 million in the Jan. 6 Lotto Max draw. The 27-member group includes employees and managers from 101.7 The One (CKNX-FM), Classic Rock 94.5 (CIBU-FM) and CKNX-AM 920, representing about three quarters of the staff. They’ll each receive $37,000. Employees have been purchasing tickets for over nine years, with this their first monetary prize win.

The CRTC will hear applications on March 27 related to its call for a radio licence or licences to serve the urban Aboriginal communities in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The call was issued after Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.’s licenses for Type B Native radio stations serving those markets was revoked on the basis of repeated non-compliance. The applicants include Wawatay Native Communications Society (Ottawa and Toronto), Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton), VMS Media Group Ltd. (Calgary and Edmonton), Northern Native Broadcasting (Vancouver), and First Peoples Radio Inc. (Ottawa, Toronto, Ontario; Calgary and Edmonton, Vancouver).

880 CKLQ-AM Brandon, MB has received approval from the CRTC to shift to FM while continuing to also broadcast in AM, as a repeater. Riding Mountain Broadcasting Ltd. is proposing to broadcast the station at 91.5 MHz at 100,000 watts with the timing of the FM expansion to be determined. The use of 91.5 MHz is conditional on Native Communications Inc. (NCI) changing the frequency of CIWM-FM, a rebroadcasting transmitter for Native radio station CINC-FM Thompson, from 91.5 MHz to 107.5 MHz. NCI has until March 2018 to make the change.

The CRTC has approved an application by 1811258 Alberta Ltd. to operate an ethnic commercial AM radio station in Edmonton. The company, which already provides brokered ethnic programming on Newcap-owned CKJR-AM Westaskiwin, proposes the use of 580 AM. The new station will serve a growing ethnic audience, offering a mix of spoken word and music programming, primarily targeting the South Asian community but also providing programming to nine ethnic groups in at least 17 different languages. The CRTC also approved an application by Société Radio Communautaire du Grand Edmonton Society for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language community FM radio station in Edmonton, which would broadcast at 97.9 MHz.

Eternacom Inc. has applied to the CRTC for six rebroadcasting transmitters of Christian station CJTK-FM Sudbury. The proposed locations are Spring Bay, Sundridge, Iroquois Falls, Sault Ste. Marie, Englehart, and New Liskeard, ON. The deadline for interventions or comments is Feb. 7.

The man who had convictions for sex assault and forcible confinement overturned after homophobic comments by a juror on the now-defunct Dean Blundell Show on 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM), won’t face a new trial. The Crown won’t retry Joshua Dowholis, 36, after the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed his 2013 convictions last fall and ordered a new trial following jury foreman Derek Weisman’s on-air comments. The producer and on-air personality discussed the case, involving alleged assaults on men the accused met in a bathhouse, with Dean Blundell and co-host Billie Holiday, making derogatory comments. The two-to-three decision saw one of the panel judges disagree, saying comments made in the context of a program that indiscriminately mocks everything and everyone is not definite proof of juror bias.

Valley Heritage Radio (CJHR-FM) in Renfrew, ON will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Jan. 15 with a birthday party at the Renfrew Armouries. The community radio station officially hit the airwaves Jan. 15, 2007. Unable to obtain a bank loan, VHR’s board initially raised the $337,000 to purchase broadcast equipment by obtaining $1,000 loans at six per cent interest from the Ottawa Valley community. A board member put up the remaining $30,000 to take the station to air.

SiriusXM ended 2016 with over 31.3 million subscribers, adding more than 1.7 million net subscriber additions last year, exceeding company projections of 1.7 million net additions. Self-pay net subscriber additions in 2016 were 1.66 million, coming out ahead of estimates of 1.6 million and resulting in self-pay subscriptions of about 26 million at year end. The company also announced it expects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.

David Frear

Shares of internet radio service Pandora tumbled last Friday morning after SiriusXM CFO David Frear poured cold water on the idea of a merger or acquisition. Pandora’s stock has been buoyed on speculation Sirius would offer a buyout. Following Frears comment that an acquisition was “not very likely,” Pandora shares were down 5.2 per cent on Friday to $12.33. Pandora has not offered a rebuttal.

Norway has become the first country to start switching off its FM radio network. The Norwegian government started the process Jan. 11, which will be complete by the end of the year in favour of DAB or digital audio broadcasting. Switzerland plans a similar shift in 2020, with the UK and Denmark also considering the move. DAB has failed to catch on in North America, in part due to the high cost of digital receivers for consumers. Fourteen Canadian radio stations continue to experiment with HD Radio, with about 4,000 American stations now using HD technology.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has renamed JUNO Award category Aboriginal Album of the Year as Indigenous Music Album of the Year, acknowledging all First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. The category accepts all traditional Indigenous music including traditional Aboriginal music: Iroquois, Social Pow Wow Drum (i.e: Sioux, Assiniboine, Cree, Ojibway & Blackfoot, etc.); all Hand Drums (e.g. Inuit, Dene, Cree, Micmac, West Coast, etc.), Inuit Throat Singing; Traditional Flutes; Métis, Cree & Micmac Fiddling. In addition, fusions of all genres of contemporary music that incorporate the above and/or reflect the unique Indigenous experience in Canada, by virtue of words or music. The Indigenous Music Album of the Year award will be presented at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on April 1 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.

Corus Entertainment Inc. announced its first quarter financial results reporting an increase of 105 per cent in its consolidated revenues for the quarter, consolidated segment profit growth of 100 per cent, consolidated segment profit margin of 41 per cent and net income attributable to shareholders of $71.1 million. Adjusted basic earnings were $0.41 per share for the quarter. The results for the quarter ended Nov. 30, reflect Corus’ acquisition of Shaw Media last spring. Without those consolidated results, Corus’ overall revenue would have been down five per cent year over year. President and CEO Doug Murphy says the Q1 results reflect meaningful improvements in the company’s cost structure, with solid segment profit margins and subscriber revenue growth offset by anticipated softness in advertising revenue.

Larche Communications is celebrating its new studios, equipment and transmitter for Hot New Country KICX 106 (CICX-FM) Orillia, ON.

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