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July 16, 2020 12:12 pm  #1


Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Big news in today's Caribbean Camera newspaper is that the G-98.7 is up for sale by order of the courts. Apparently the Toronto fm-station is heavily in debt ($2M+) and has been placed in” investigative receivership ” Farber & Partners Inc has been authorized to conduct a sale and investment solicitation process (“SISP”) in its capacity as court-appointed Receiver of the station

 

July 16, 2020 12:59 pm  #2


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

That's too bad.

Also, tough time to be selling a radio station.


 
 

July 16, 2020 1:35 pm  #3


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

I've heard ads for Farber & Partners.....on the radio.

 

July 16, 2020 2:08 pm  #4


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

CKFG has been in serious trouble since the death of its founder, Fitzroy Gordon. Those who took over have exasperated the CRTC ever since, culminating in this major warning to the station last February. An independent without much funding trying to get a foothold in the biggest market in Canada certainly was never going to have an easy time.

My question: if someone buys the place, will they be obligated to keep the format? While there's clearly a market for this kind of radio, the station has never caught on with a huge percentage of the audience and you have to wonder if any new owner would want to take on that risk. 

Still, part of me wonders if the Evanovs will make a play for it, even if means selling an existing peripheral property. They've been trying to get a better signal into Toronto as long as I can remember and continually get turned down by the Commission, who can see exactly what their motives are.   

Stay tuned. This could get interesting. 

 

July 16, 2020 2:19 pm  #5


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

RadioActive wrote:

My question: if someone buys the place, will they be obligated to keep the format? While there's clearly a market for this kind of radio, the station has never caught on with a huge percentage of the audience and you have to wonder if any new owner would want to take on that risk. 
 

Basically, yes. 50% music from specialty, specifically "International/Wold Beat" They just went through a license renewal and were denied a reduction.

RadioActive wrote:

Still, part of me wonders if the Evanovs will make a play for it, even if means selling an existing peripheral property.
 

They're already in downsize mode, having just announced the sale of their Halifax stations and straight up shutdown of their Montreal station. Under normal circumstances, yeah, that frees up some cash, but they probably needed to do it just to keep the company afloat, not to expand elsewhere.

With ad revenue down so severely, the only existing broadcaster that might be in a position to buy them would be Zoomer, whose ad losses are cushioned by cable revenue. G's audience leans older, too. Might actually be a good fit.
 

Last edited by RadioAaron (July 16, 2020 2:19 pm)


 
 

July 16, 2020 3:02 pm  #6


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

RadioAaron wrote:

With ad revenue down so severely, the only existing broadcaster that might be in a position to buy them would be Zoomer, whose ad losses are cushioned by cable revenue. G's audience leans older, too. Might actually be a good fit.

Is there still room in the cap for Zoomer to hypothetically make a play for the station, even if it wanted to? Moses owns Classical 96.3, but would 96.7 be held against him as already technically having a second FM in the market? I doubt it, but you never know what those opposed to such a move might raise as an issue.

 

July 16, 2020 3:22 pm  #7


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

96.7 *shouldn't* count as it's just a fill-in repeater. Durham Radio in Oshawa is the only precedence-setting example I can think of.


 
 

July 16, 2020 3:51 pm  #8


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Caribanna, or whatever it's called these days being cancelled due to COVID, probably did them in.

Last edited by Charlie (July 16, 2020 3:51 pm)

 

July 16, 2020 4:10 pm  #9


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

RadioAaron wrote:

96.7 *shouldn't* count as it's just a fill-in repeater. Durham Radio in Oshawa is the only precedence-setting example I can think of.

Plenty of examples of FM transmitters for an AM licence not counting against the FM cap - in Chatham/Kent, CFCO's 92.9 doesn't prevent them from owning two full-power FMs in town, 94.3 and 95.1. Same in Sarnia, with the 103.9 fill-in for CHOK 1070 co-owned with two full-power FMs, 99.9 and 106.3. 
 

 

July 16, 2020 4:44 pm  #10


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

fybush wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

96.7 *shouldn't* count as it's just a fill-in repeater. Durham Radio in Oshawa is the only precedence-setting example I can think of.

Plenty of examples of FM transmitters for an AM licence not counting against the FM cap - in Chatham/Kent, CFCO's 92.9 doesn't prevent them from owning two full-power FMs in town, 94.3 and 95.1. Same in Sarnia, with the 103.9 fill-in for CHOK 1070 co-owned with two full-power FMs, 99.9 and 106.3. 
 

I knew there had to be an example in S/W Ontario. My initial thought was CFOS, but looking it up turned up a denied application, so I gave up. Thanks!
 


 
 

July 16, 2020 4:46 pm  #11


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Charlie wrote:

Caribanna, or whatever it's called these days being cancelled due to COVID, probably did them in.

I doubt that a festival that wouldn't have even started yet being cancelled somehow put them $2M in debt.

Last edited by RadioAaron (July 16, 2020 4:46 pm)


 
 

July 16, 2020 5:11 pm  #12


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Yes indeed it "shouldn't" count as a station. But yes, the CRTC made it clear in 2015 that CFZM-FM-1 does count as an FM. Even though a commissioner filed a dissenting opinion regarding this exact scenario. 

I wonder if the ruling as since changed? Maybe in a license renewal? 

 https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2015/2015-162.pdf

 

July 16, 2020 5:18 pm  #13


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

RadioAaron wrote:

Charlie wrote:

Caribanna, or whatever it's called these days being cancelled due to COVID, probably did them in.

I doubt that a festival that wouldn't have even started yet being cancelled somehow put them $2M in debt.

A festival in Toronto probably would have brought in plenty of dough in advertising.  It must have hurt the bottom line.
 

 

July 16, 2020 5:24 pm  #14


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Charlie wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

Charlie wrote:

Caribanna, or whatever it's called these days being cancelled due to COVID, probably did them in.

I doubt that a festival that wouldn't have even started yet being cancelled somehow put them $2M in debt.

A festival in Toronto probably would have brought in plenty of dough in advertising.  It must have hurt the bottom line.
 

How? Whatever ad money that would have brought in this year wouldn't have even hit the books yet. Did them in?


 
 

July 16, 2020 5:31 pm  #15


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

torontostan wrote:

Yes indeed it "shouldn't" count as a station. But yes, the CRTC made it clear in 2015 that CFZM-FM-1 does count as an FM. Even though a commissioner filed a dissenting opinion regarding this exact scenario. 

I wonder if the ruling as since changed? Maybe in a license renewal? 

 https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2015/2015-162.pdf

Wow. Thanks for looking that up. So 107.7 in Oshawa, which covers the market, doesn't count, but that tiny 96.7 signal does? The CRTC in nothing if not inconsistent.

It might be worth it to shut 96.7 (which doesn't seem to have helped them at all in ratings) down in order to acquire G.

 


 
 

July 16, 2020 6:05 pm  #16


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

@RadioAaron.  you'll note that all the examples of FM repeaters provided are on border stations.  Oshawa was grandfathered if i recall.  look up the Corus decision for CJOB Winnipeg from about 10 years ago, along with the CFOS decision.  Commission is pretty consistent about calling FM rebroads as "stations" for the COP.  granted, doesn't make sense, but there ya go.
 

 

July 16, 2020 6:23 pm  #17


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

CKNX FM 101.7 has a low power rebroadcaster in Meaford at 104.9 it has been around since the mid 90's.  The station's main transmitter was putting in a poor quality signal in Meaford and the valley surrounding the town which is part of their coverage area.  CRTC agreed and they got the repeater.

 

July 16, 2020 6:27 pm  #18


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

The CJOB application was for 100k and was quite obviously a full-on move to FM.

What do you mean by grandfathered with respect to Oshawa? It's hasn't been on more than ~10 years, I think.

In the decision you linked to, the CRTC noted how there was a large population in 96.7's coverage...well, of course, it's downtown Toronto! But it's a fraction of 740's coverage and 100% overlap.

The CRTC seems to go out of its way to make technically correct decisions with absolutely zero practical context. 


 
 

July 16, 2020 7:01 pm  #19


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

I well recall the application for 96.7 in downtown Toronto. It came about after Moses threatened that if the CRTC didn't grant the request, he planned to shut the station down entirely. I remember it was a big thread on one of the incarnations of SOWNY at the time and the word "blackmail" was used more than once. For whatever reason, the Commission gave him exactly what he wanted.  

 

July 16, 2020 8:07 pm  #20


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

CRTC inconsistencies are really making themselves known with this situation. Let's not forget that 98.7 is second adjacent to CBLA.. so why CKFG got approved in the first place is beyond me. I get that CBC must've been fine with this (since it doesn't interfere).. but regardless it's very weird. 

I agree that Zoomer would indeed be better off to scrap the "rebroadcaster" and pickup G98.7. They could stick zoomer on CFMZ-HD-2 for what it's worth. Or better yet.. fight the CRTC on CFZM-FM counting as a full fledged FM. 

 

July 16, 2020 8:12 pm  #21


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

I  may have been mistaken about Oshawa, sry.  However, Moses jumped several hurdles to get his Toronto repeater, but the COP wasn't one of them.

Similarly, CKNX in Meaford is outside the Wingham primary contour.  no COP issue there.

 

July 16, 2020 10:46 pm  #22


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

CKNX FM -2 applied for a Freq Change to 102.7 to 250 watts was denied in 2008 and in 2016 they asked for the 5 watts at 104.9 be deleted.  

I knew the 'Nested" 100 kw FM in Winnipeg was a chance at an overlap service. As Jack H explained to me that wanted FM for Winnipeg but 680 for all of Manitoba. 

Last edited by tri-cities (July 16, 2020 10:47 pm)

 

July 17, 2020 12:37 am  #23


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

G98.7 is one of the most important Black Canadian radio stations in the history of media, even the station has been poorly managed by its previous owners, it still represents the voice of Black and Caribbean people in Canada. I guess CRTC will seek for new investors who attempt to retain the same format as G98.7, under the diversity and ethnic radio policy. There are over 400,000 Black people living in the Greater Toronto Area, so CRTC wouldn't easily let the frequency become another Top 40 or oldies radio station.

I've noticed speculations that Evanov and Zoomer Radio might be actively interested in buying 98.7. However Evanov has just sold 2 radio stations in Halifax, they wouldn't have enough capital to invest in a new frequency in Toronto. Meanwhile I cannot foresee Zoomer will retain the 'urban' format if they acquired the station.

 

July 17, 2020 3:32 am  #24


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

So why not just let CHRY have it? A Vibe 2? Community radio station for Toronto if no one else is interested in maintaining the current format? 

 

July 17, 2020 3:53 am  #25


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Radiowiz wrote:

So why not just let CHRY have it? A Vibe 2? Community radio station for Toronto if no one else is interested in maintaining the current format? 

That's a solid point, I consider VIBE 105 the best tender for the frequency 98.7 if there's no bidder willing to continue G98.7's format. Moving their station to 98.7 will allow them to have a much better signal covering the GTA. However the possibility of having a 'VIBE 2' would be minimal.

I still hope some individuals or companies will be willing to continue G98.7's format, also taking up its whole crew.

 

July 17, 2020 10:16 am  #26


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

sweir wrote:

Big news in today's Caribbean Camera newspaper is that the G-98.7 is up for sale by order of the courts. Apparently the Toronto fm-station is heavily in debt ($2M+) and has been placed in” investigative receivership ” Farber & Partners Inc has been authorized to conduct a sale and investment solicitation process (“SISP”) in its capacity as court-appointed Receiver of the station

Here's the article referred to in the original post:

Radio Station G98.7-FM to be sold

 

July 17, 2020 6:13 pm  #27


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

CKNT to FM? Imagine!

 

August 8, 2020 8:54 pm  #28


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

The owners of CKFG, along with members of the Black Action Defence Committee, are asking the Prime Minister to intervene to prevent the sale of the station, arguing it would seriously harm multiculturalism and the black community,

My favourite part of the article:

"The group said the outstanding debts that triggered the court-ordered sale is, “a mere $5 million”.

Well, if it's only a lowly $5 million, then I guess it's OK...

“Don’t Silence Us!” – Radio Station G98.7 FM wants Canadian Prime Minister to intervene in sale

 

August 8, 2020 9:33 pm  #29


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

RadioActive wrote:

My favourite part of the article:

"The group said the outstanding debts that triggered the court-ordered sale is, “a mere $5 million”.

Well, if it's only a lowly $5 million, then I guess it's OK...

“Don’t Silence Us!” – Radio Station G98.7 FM wants Canadian Prime Minister to intervene in sale

Real Debt Matters.
 

 

August 8, 2020 11:02 pm  #30


Re: Caribbean Canadian radio station up for sale

Adrian106072 wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

So why not just let CHRY have it? A Vibe 2? Community radio station for Toronto if no one else is interested in maintaining the current format? 

That's a solid point, I consider VIBE 105 the best tender for the frequency 98.7 if there's no bidder willing to continue G98.7's format. Moving their station to 98.7 will allow them to have a much better signal covering the GTA. However the possibility of having a 'VIBE 2' would be minimal.

I still hope some individuals or companies will be willing to continue G98.7's format, also taking up its whole crew.

Vibe is technically a campus community license owned by York University, where G987 is a commercial ethnic license.   I have a feeling it would be hit with some resistance from the CRTC.   The licence is ethnic which limits the format it can be without CRTC approval.    This could keep the station alive as long as the CRTC stands it's ground and refuses to change or lift the limits put on the license with this condition.    Sadly changes are needed to get the financials brought in line regardless. It's the sad reality.