Kamloops, B.C.- May 16, 2013 – Bell Media, Astral Media Inc. (Astral) and the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership (Pattison) today jointly announced Pattison’s acquisition of three key FM radio stations located in Calgary and Winnipeg.
Subject to regulatory approvals, Pattison will purchase the following two Bell Media stations and one Astral station:
• KooL FM 101.5 (CKCE-FM) – hot adult contemporary format in Calgary
• FAB 94.3 (CHIQ-FM) – classic pop format in Winnipeg
• QX 104 (CFQX-FM) – country format in Winnipeg
“This is a very important acquisition for our Broadcast Group and, with the approval of this transaction from the CRTC, we will expand our presence in the major markets of Calgary and Winnipeg, which we have been focusing on for some time,” said Rick Arnish, Chairman of Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.
“With the pending launch of our newest station CHPK-FM (95.3 The Peak) in Calgary, combining forces with KooL FM (Today & Back in the Day) and its great team will allow our Group to have a very strong competitive FM radio combo in Alberta’s fastest-growing city,” Mr. Arnish continued. “We’re also very excited about the opportunity to expand in western Canada and specifically into the Winnipeg radio market with two separate stations, QX 104 (Today’s Country) and FAB 94.3 (Super Hits of the 60s +70s). We are really looking forward to working and learning from the superb teams at these separate Winnipeg operations as we expand into a new marketplace for our Group.”
Said Rod Schween, President of Pattison Broadcasting: “We’re just delighted that we are being given this opportunity to expand our radio reach in western Canada, and the addition of these three exciting stations will definitely strengthen our Group and their resources in B.C., Alberta, and now in Manitoba. We look forward to building on the legacies created by both Bell Media and Astral. Our history has been built on acquisitions and new licences, as we are great believers in the future of radio, and this purchase is part of our strategic plan to grow and expand in the west.”
Pattison’s acquisition of these radio stations is a result of the proposed transaction to unite Astral and Bell Media. Astral and Bell are divesting certain radio stations to comply with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) Common Ownership Policy, which limits the number of stations a company can own in a single market.
The Pattison transaction is subject to approval from the CRTC, for which an application will be submitted shortly, and contingent on CRTC approval of the Astral-Bell Media transaction.
“While a necessary outcome of our plan to join with Astral, the decision to sell these stations wasn’t easy,” said Chris Gordon, President, Radio and Local TV, Bell Media. “Each is a strong performer in its respective market, and they will undoubtedly strengthen Pattison’s growing portfolio of media assets.”
“Parting with a valued station is difficult, but we trust that the QX 104 team and the Pattison Group will both benefit from this acquisition and help make the Canadian radio industry more vibrant than ever,” said Ian Lurie, Chief Operating Officer, Astral Radio.
Founded in 1961, Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A ACM.B) is one of Canada’s largest media companies. It operates several media properties – pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital – that are among the most popular in the country. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich, and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers alike. To learn more about Astral, please visit Astral.com.
About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media entertains, informs and inspires Canadians. Bell Media owns 28 conventional stations, including CTV, Canada’s #1 television network, and owns and operates 30 specialty channels, including TSN, Canada’s #1 specialty channel and RDS, Canada’s #1 French-language specialty channel. Bell Media also owns 33 radio stations, dozens of websites, Dome Productions Inc. and has partnered with Cirque du Soleil to form Cirque du Soleil Media, a Montréal-based production company. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit BellMedia.ca.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, with its headquarters in Kamloops, B.C. is the industry’s largest private, western-based broadcast group, currently operating 30 FM radio stations, as well as three conventional television stations, in British Columbia and Alberta. Pattison Broadcasting is a proud division of the Jim Pattison Group, a diversified group of operating businesses, based in Vancouver, which has grown to become the second largest privately-held company in Canada. Please visit www.jimpattison.com and www.jpbroadcast.com for more information.