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Sat Feb 3 3:58 pm  #1


Two border stations switching formats

CFLZ/101.1 Fort Erie(adult hits; 101.1 Juice FM)and CJED/105.1 Niagara Falls(CHR: 2dayFM)were recently sold to the Burlington, Ont.-based Byrnes Media for $800,000 Cdn., as noted in a recent CRTC decision. Said decision notes that both stations have been losing a lot of money in the past few years-and Byrnes proposed investing in the stations instead of paying what they call "tangible benefits". (I'll let others explain that term in more detail.) That would include training personnel and hiring new staffers, building up the music libraries and improving the infrastructure. (Which is a good thing-at least in CFLZ's case, because every once in a while the station goes off the air!) And they would devote local programming targeted to both of the markets they're licensed to, much as they've done for CIHR-FM in Woodstock(which Byrnes also owns).

Now, to the main point: As of today, BOTH stations are running liners mentioning the new owners and that a new format is coming to both CFLZ and CJED. Whatever it is, they're not tipping their hand....yet.

So...any speculation on what's coming?

 

Sat Feb 3 4:22 pm  #2


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Strictly a guess-are there ANY two cookie cutter stations that Byrnes media owns already that compliment each other well...maybe one of those??

Last edited by Radiowiz (Sat Feb 3 8:11 pm)

 

Sat Feb 3 4:54 pm  #3


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Radiowiz wrote:

Strictly a guess-are there two cookie cutter stations that Byrnes media owns already that compliment each other well...maybe one of those??

Interesting statement, since Byrnes only owns one other radio station, in Woodstock ON.  Hard to be "cookie cutter" with only one outlet, no?

 

Sat Feb 3 4:56 pm  #4


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Radiowiz wrote:

Strictly a guess-are there two cookie cutter stations that Byrnes media owns already that compliment each other well...maybe one of those??

Byrnes only owns CIHR.

     Thread Starter
 

Sat Feb 3 5:15 pm  #5


Re: Two border stations switching formats

...and Heart FM is likely going to end up on one of the signals. He's been trying to extend that brand for a long time now.

CIHR also runs Classic Hits on its HD2, so I guess that's possible, but it's already the format on 101.1

Last edited by Don (Sat Feb 3 5:15 pm)

 

Sat Feb 3 5:34 pm  #6


Re: Two border stations switching formats

niagara falls CJED also has a lower 30% cancon for selections pre-1981.  that might factor.....

 

Sat Feb 3 8:16 pm  #7


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Yup.
My new guess leans toward a HEART FM Niagara and a sister station of some sort to compliment it.

Last edited by Radiowiz (Sat Feb 3 8:16 pm)

 

Sat Feb 3 9:08 pm  #8


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Radiowiz wrote:

My new guess leans toward a HEART FM Niagara and a sister station of some sort to compliment it.

A St. Catharines resident who draws a hell of a crowd once a year at Marineland and the title of one of his many best-selling albums may hold a clue.

It's Polka Time!
 

 

Sun Feb 4 1:05 am  #9


Re: Two border stations switching formats

I love the polka idea! But my vote is on soft AC and Country. After all, WYRK is always #1 in Buffalo and has no competition. Country 89.1 does not make it to Fort Erie too well.

 

Sun Feb 4 2:02 am  #10


Re: Two border stations switching formats

WJPYFM wrote:

I love the polka idea! But my vote is on soft AC and Country. After all, WYRK is always #1 in Buffalo and has no competition. Country 89.1 does not make it to Fort Erie too well.

If they go with Country, I would love for them to call it Froggy. 
Froggy 97 is doing quite well in Watertown NY. Maybe they can model the format after their station.
 

 

Sun Feb 4 7:51 am  #11


Re: Two border stations switching formats

mike marshall wrote:

    It's Polka Time!   

AM 1300 WXRL Buffalo/Lancaster has an excellent polka program noon - 3:00 Sundays, Mike



 

 

Sun Feb 4 2:27 pm  #12


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Jonny wrote:

mike marshall wrote:

    It's Polka Time!   

AM 1300 WXRL Buffalo/Lancaster has an excellent polka program noon - 3:00 Sundays, Mike



 

They do....PLUS they have a weekday polka show from 5-7pm(and the guy who does that ALSO handles a polka show on WECK/1230(with a translator at 102.9 FM, and a second one will be added at 100.5 FM in the near future)Sunday mornings from 8-11am.

I honestly think they'll take one of the stations(likely 101.1)and make that AC, giving CHRE some competition. What 105.1 will become....eh, who knows?

     Thread Starter
 

Mon Feb 5 9:39 pm  #13


Re: Two border stations switching formats

I am guessing the Heart FM format will land on 105.1 because its transmitter is located south of Thorold and the reception is good in Welland, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines.  The 101.1 format will be a challenge because the signal is good mainly in Fort Erie and Port Colborne where advertising opportunities are limited.

The area is saturated with FM signals, particularly since Country 89 signed on in Welland.  It is difficult to adopt a new format without sounding like one of the other stations.

 

Tue Feb 6 12:43 am  #14


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Chuck99 wrote:

 It is difficult to adopt a new format without sounding like one of the other stations.

I don't entirely agree with that. There's a world of formats out there, but then there's the 35-40% Can Con rule.
That's where things get tricky.

You can't just copy a station in the States (ie one with a signal too weak to reach Niagara area.)
It's actually smarter to search Canada wide for something that is already working (or working well enough) and take it from there. 

I still think they'll do a Heart FM and a Classic fm combo. (as strictly a guess)
 Maybe even with the classic station continuing where Vinyl 95.3 left off, but this is all strictly a guess...and I'm also not aware of the success/failure ratings wise of the late great Vinyl 95.3 vs what Niagara has to work with currently...


 

Last edited by Radiowiz (Tue Feb 6 12:46 am)

 

Tue Feb 6 1:57 am  #15


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Unless you are a music expert, some of the music formats that are supposedly different, sound virtually the same to the average listener. A good example is The Edge and Indie 88 in Toronto, where the playlists overlap considerably.

Also, some formats such as music from the 60s and early 70s that were played by stations such as WHTT in Buffalo and WCBS in New York no longer draw an audience because of an aging demographic.. The Vinyl 95.3 format was similar, although the playlist was expanded  to include music from the 80s, but  Corus still dropped it after a couple of years..

In some of the large U.S. markets such as Boston, FMs have flipped to all-sports.  Others have experimented with all-news.  But those formats are not really viable in markets such as Niagara Falls and Fort Erie because most of the shows would have to be syndicated, and that would be difficult to do when the stations are not owned by a chain such as Corus.

In theory, there are many formats, but when you factor in Can-Con regulations, aging demographics, and other practical considerations,  the number of viable options is limited. 

 

Tue Feb 6 4:34 pm  #16


Re: Two border stations switching formats

How about Niagara tourism information for 105.1 and “The River” for 101.1? Oh, wait, sorry having a flashback! I know it not possible but they should sell 101.1 to Buffalo. Keep 105.1 and put a translator or booster in Fort Erie to repeat 105.1, because Fort Erie is just not that big compared to the other areas.

 

Tue Feb 6 9:25 pm  #17


Re: Two border stations switching formats

WJPYFM wrote:

How about Niagara tourism information for 105.1 and “The River” for 101.1? Oh, wait, sorry having a flashback! I know it not possible but they should sell 101.1 to Buffalo. Keep 105.1 and put a translator or booster in Fort Erie to repeat 105.1, because Fort Erie is just not that big compared to the other areas.

  That was definitely the hey day for those two stations.  At one time, 101.1 The River had 100,000 listeners, but lost most of them when the format was switched to 105.1 which could barely be heard outside of Niagara Falls at the time.  The 101.1 signal was much better because it was re-broadcast on a 500 watt transmitter near St. Catharines, but because Vista shut down the booster transmitter in 2014, the signal is now very weak in Northern Niagara .  Byrnes would have to apply to the CRTC to use the booster signal again because the license has lapsed,  Without it, I do not think you can ever make money on 101.1, because it can not be heard in the biggest ad market in the region. 

The other problem that Byrnes faces is that the licenses for both stations were recently renewed until 2024.  So the license for 101.1 would be violated  if it is not operated as a stand-alone station.
 

 

Wed Feb 14 5:27 pm  #18


Re: Two border stations switching formats

CJED is still 2Day 105.1.. heard it here last night.

 

 

Wed Feb 14 8:49 pm  #19


Re: Two border stations switching formats

No change yet on 101.1 either.  It is still Juice FM as of today.

 

Thu Feb 15 10:35 am  #20


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Good gawd! My current guess is that they're going all out, spending crazy money on music tests in the Niagara area at the moment...

 

Thu Feb 15 2:08 pm  #21


Re: Two border stations switching formats

As long as GIANT 91,7 doesnt flip formats. Im liking listening to that one for a proper-ish classic rock mix with little commercials.

 

Thu Feb 15 6:25 pm  #22


Re: Two border stations switching formats

markow202 wrote:

As long as GIANT 91,7 doesnt flip formats. Im liking listening to that one for a proper-ish classic rock mix with little commercials.

The fact that there are little commercials should concern anyone who enjoys the station as we all know what it translates to. 

 

Thu Feb 15 6:34 pm  #23


Re: Two border stations switching formats

kevjo wrote:

markow202 wrote:

As long as GIANT 91,7 doesnt flip formats. Im liking listening to that one for a proper-ish classic rock mix with little commercials.

The fact that there are little commercials should concern anyone who enjoys the station as we all know what it translates to. 

Truth to tell, Alt Buffalo(at 107.7 & 104.7)proudly touts that it plays 54 minutes of music an hour.

Also, I don't think Byrnes Media will announce what the new formats are until they're ready.

     Thread Starter
 

Thu Feb 15 7:06 pm  #24


Re: Two border stations switching formats

ckg927 wrote:

Truth to tell, Alt Buffalo(at 107.7 & 104.7)proudly touts that it plays 54 minutes of music an hour.

107.7 has the most room to be a deliberate tax write off. It was bought strictly for the purpose of preventing the competition from buying it and launching competition to WKSE.

Giant 91.7 is the sister station to Country 89 FM. 
How is the Country side doing? Maybe there is enough revenue there
to allow for Giant 91.7 to operate at a lower revenue? (or tax write off)
I honestly don't know...I'm just guessing.

 

 

Thu Feb 15 11:30 pm  #25


Re: Two border stations switching formats

The bulk of money on radio is made during early morning and drive time broadcasts.  If it generates enough revenue in those two time slots, a station can still be profitable even with few commercials on mid-days and evenings..

 

Fri Feb 16 6:58 pm  #26


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Radiowiz wrote:

ckg927 wrote:

Truth to tell, Alt Buffalo(at 107.7 & 104.7)proudly touts that it plays 54 minutes of music an hour.

107.7 has the most room to be a deliberate tax write off. It was bought strictly for the purpose of preventing the competition from buying it and launching competition to WKSE.

Except that when Entercom purchased 107.7 in 2004, they yanked the sports format on WNSA likely because it was in direct competition with WGR. It switched calls to WLKK and became Triple A The Lake, then switched to a simulcast of WBEN(which went nowhere fast), leading to what we have now.

One other thing I forgot to mention: CKEY was, again, running a liner today(worded differently)mentioning the change in ownership and pending format change. Just in case anyone forgot.

Last edited by ckg927 (Fri Feb 16 6:59 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

Fri Feb 16 8:15 pm  #27


Re: Two border stations switching formats

ckg927 wrote:

One other thing I forgot to mention: CKEY was, again, running a liner today(worded differently)mentioning the change in ownership and pending format change. Just in case anyone forgot.

Great, except, there's no more CKEY Niagara. I think the change originally took place when the late great ED fm came to be. Now it's CFLZ and CJED.

This however, does not put CKEY on the shelf. It would seem someone picked up those calls (CKEY) for tourist information in Barrie Ontario @ 98.5 FM 
http://1800fm.com/barrie_coming_soon_140.html
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CKEY



 

Last edited by Radiowiz (Fri Feb 16 8:21 pm)

 

Fri Feb 16 8:40 pm  #28


Re: Two border stations switching formats

ckg927 wrote:

Except that when Entercom purchased 107.7 in 2004, they yanked the sports format on WNSA likely because it was in direct competition with WGR. It switched calls to WLKK and became Triple A The Lake, then switched to a simulcast of WBEN(which went nowhere fast), leading to what we have now.

Entercom Buffalo is not a fan of any sort of competition. 
They bought Magic 102, (was competition to WKSE, switched it to Q, and later Star)
They also bought WGR News radio 55 (switched it to sports so WBEN can have no competition) and then they purchased 107.7 to prevent someone else from doing top 40 in Buffalo.

Entercom must have thrown a huge party when CRTC ruled that Wild 101 (at the time) can not function as a Buffalo targeted station. 
 

 

Fri Feb 16 10:13 pm  #29


Re: Two border stations switching formats

why are people talking about CKEY or Giant FM, when one doesn't exist, and the other has nothing to do with Byrnes?  Never mind competition from the U.S. which can be easily offset by aggressive local sales.

Let's assume that Vista unloaded these stations because they were unprofitable.  And, let's assume that Byrnes purchased them on the assumption that their formula can generate revenue.  Vista isn't exactly known for aggressive entries into new Ontario markets,  They lost in Niagara, so someone new has a shot.

The transfer agreement may not take hold until March 1st?  Just sayin, speculation is fun, but let's talk in a month... or a year from now.
 

 

Yesterday 5:57 pm  #30


Re: Two border stations switching formats

Radiowiz wrote:

ckg927 wrote:

Except that when Entercom purchased 107.7 in 2004, they yanked the sports format on WNSA likely because it was in direct competition with WGR. It switched calls to WLKK and became Triple A The Lake, then switched to a simulcast of WBEN(which went nowhere fast), leading to what we have now.

Entercom Buffalo is not a fan of any sort of competition. 
They bought Magic 102, (was competition to WKSE, switched it to Q, and later Star)
They also bought WGR News radio 55 (switched it to sports so WBEN can have no competition) and then they purchased 107.7 to prevent someone else from doing top 40 in Buffalo.

Entercom must have thrown a huge party when CRTC ruled that Wild 101 (at the time) can not function as a Buffalo targeted station. 
 

Well, Entercom didn't purchase what became WTSS until 1999 from(believe it or not)Sinclair; they were exiting radio to focus on TV. And 107.7 wasn't bought until 2004.

     Thread Starter