Over the past year-and-a-half, we’ve thought — and written — about the then-impending ownership changes that were looming across the country (The Evolving Landscape of Canadian Radio Ownership from October 2013, along with the earlier February 2013 piece Changes Are Coming). Let’s have a look at how things played out.
First, a quick recap to freshen the memory: Bellmedia had paid $3.4-billion for the assets of Astral Media (various radio outlets & specialty TV channels) but needed to shed ten radio stations in order to stay within the CRTC’s market ownership guidelines, while Newcap Radio announced their plans to sell off their Alberta-based holdings during the same time-frame. The fates of dozens of stations (and their staff) were up-in-the-air.
Even though Newcap Radio eventually mothballed their Alberta divestiture plans (reportedly unable to find interested buyers), they did become a major participant in the Bell asset sell-off, picking up five properties in Toronto and Vancouver for the tidy sum of $112-million. The big question now becomes, what are they going to do with their new assets? [Read more...]