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February 7, 2020 4:41 pm  #1


Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

CIXL, known to most as Giant FM, the station at 91.7 in Welland has a new owner - Stingray Radio. The CRTC approved the deal - which also includes co-owned but lesser powered CKYY-FM - on Friday after the station's owner announced he wanted to get out of the radio business. The price for both stations: $6,500,000.

The station is easily receivable in both Toronto and Buffalo and has a killer signal, and the CRTC decision approving the sale notes there are no plans for now to change the format of either property.

There were a few minor notes of interest in the announcement:

"...the vendor, Mr. Holgate, indicated that he wishes to retire from the broadcasting industry. He argued that since the Niagara Region is saturated with radio signals from neighbouring markets, including the United States, and since advertisers are increasingly using Internet advertising, it is more difficult for radio stations to generate revenues. In Mr. Holgate’s view, to maintain investments in programming, CIXL-FM and CKYY-FM need to benefit from the operational efficiencies of larger radio groups."

But that may not mean everyone gets to keep their job.

"Stingray Radio...stated that for the time being, it has no plans to change the stations’ formats or musical programming and will continue to be involved in local events. The applicant also proposed to improve the content aired by the stations by including well-known personalities from its Canada-wide network." 

The licences expire on August 31, 2026.

CRTC Decision

 

February 7, 2020 6:12 pm  #2


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

I'd gladly get out of the radio business for $6.5 mil. Am willing to entertain offers for all my DX equipment.

Last edited by Saul (February 7, 2020 6:12 pm)

 

February 7, 2020 6:43 pm  #3


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

The stations' formats probably make sense as is, and they happen to be (or close to) the two formats with the most stations in Stingray's portfolio, making the "operational efficiencies" that much easier. 

Last edited by RadioAaron (February 7, 2020 7:12 pm)


 
 

February 7, 2020 7:04 pm  #4


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Saul, I got a Wayne Gretzky rookie card and an Iraqui Dinar bank note? Do we have a deal? Meet me half way on this...sure it's not 6.5 million...but we can negotiate a win-win deal, I am sure!
 


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...
 

February 7, 2020 7:13 pm  #5


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

One would think that Stingray would not want to mess with CIXL - The Giant. Giant is #1 in the market and #2 in the number of listeners.However, the undernoted declaration suggests all is not safe for some of the on air people.

"The applicant also proposed to improve the content aired by the stations by including well-known personalities from its Canada-wide network." 

 

 

February 7, 2020 8:40 pm  #6


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Stingray only had 6 stations in Ontario, so the addition of two more helps them locally. Good price for the two  at $6.5 million. 77WABC in New York went for $12 million last summer.  Stingray is also creeping up on Bell Media for most radio stations owned. Bell has 109 stations and Stingray is 4 or 5 stations behind.

Never really hear much about radio in Welland, Niagara Falls, St. Catherines or even Hamilton. These stations close to the border really have their work cut out for them, with lots of out of town competition to the north and south. All of the major Toronto stations come in loud and clear.

 

February 7, 2020 9:16 pm  #7


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Does "for now" mean they're doing music tests in the area to see what else might be (more) profitable? 

When Giant first launched it was a "Giant" Variety hits station originally, so the format has already been changed once in it's life as an FM radio station. 
 

 

February 7, 2020 9:35 pm  #8


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Muffaraw Joe wrote:

Saul, I got a Wayne Gretzky rookie card and an Iraqui Dinar bank note? Do we have a deal? Meet me half way on this...sure it's not 6.5 million...but we can negotiate a win-win deal, I am sure!
 

Sorry to drive a hard bargain here, Joe, but I already have a Gretzky-signed stick and a childhood coin collection in the basement.

 

February 8, 2020 7:50 pm  #9


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Radiowiz wrote:

Does "for now" mean they're doing music tests in the area to see what else might be (more) profitable? 

When Giant first launched it was a "Giant" Variety hits station originally, so the format has already been changed once in it's life as an FM radio station. 
 

They do not do music tests in markets of that size.
 


 
 

February 8, 2020 8:49 pm  #10


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Is the station's location the same as the former CHOW 1470 AM?

 

February 9, 2020 2:17 pm  #11


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Yes


 
 

February 10, 2020 10:42 am  #12


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Doubt the format will change much or at all.  Stingray also does a great job with classic hits formats.

Great station indeed.

 

February 10, 2020 10:56 am  #13


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

markow202 wrote:

Doubt the format will change much or at all.  Stingray also does a great job with classic hits formats.
Great station indeed.

I believe the word we're looking for here is "tweaked" maybe?

 

August 14, 2020 2:31 pm  #14


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

interesting that the commission today renewed RB's CKYY licence for only one year, because Stingray hasn't closed the deal.  Wonder if it will ultimately fall apart.

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2020/2020-271.htm

 

August 14, 2020 2:55 pm  #15


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

"The applicant also proposed to improve the content aired by the stations by including well-known personalities from its Canada-wide network." 

This means Boom Toronto's Stu Jeffries  will be heard on mornings in the Niagara region come 2021.

 

August 14, 2020 3:59 pm  #16


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Johnny B wrote:

"The applicant also proposed to improve the content aired by the stations by including well-known personalities from its Canada-wide network." 

This means Boom Toronto's Stu Jeffries  will be heard on mornings in the Niagara region come 2021.

Isn't Jeffries is already heard in the Niagara region on Boom?  I was down there recently and the station was coming in loud and clear.     Stingray has other network voices that aren't heard much here.  They have a syndicated evening show for smaller markets I believe.

Giant will likely will have a local morning show and use other network hosts in some other day parts.   But this all hinges, as splunge pointed out, if the deal actually goes through.  Stingray had a dreadful quarter and possibly having second thoughts on the Welland stations or possibly renegotiating.

Having said that, a friend in the business told me that radio revenues have been coming back pretty good this summer, at least in the K/W area. 

 

August 15, 2020 9:46 am  #17


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

Radiowiz wrote:

Does "for now" mean they're doing music tests in the area to see what else might be (more) profitable? 



When Giant first launched it was a "Giant" Variety hits station originally, so the format has already been changed once in it's life as an FM radio station. 
 

Actually, prior to the name “Giant” they were a country station known as “Spirit” - formerly CHOW 1470

 

August 15, 2020 10:49 am  #18


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

djwildbill wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

Does "for now" mean they're doing music tests in the area to see what else might be (more) profitable? 



When Giant first launched it was a "Giant" Variety hits station originally, so the format has already been changed once in it's life as an FM radio station. 
 

Actually, prior to the name “Giant” they were a country station known as “Spirit” - formerly CHOW 1470

Yes indeed. several format changes already, but with Country already as a sister station, that's one less format to "switch back:" to.  

 

August 15, 2020 1:57 pm  #19


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

As long as KK stays on, that's all that matters to me as a listener. 

 

August 15, 2020 2:13 pm  #20


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

rawkgurl wrote:

As long as KK stays on, that's all that matters to me as a listener. 

100%.  https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/smile.png
    KK is a great dj.  
 

 

August 15, 2020 4:03 pm  #21


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

mikew wrote:

rawkgurl wrote:

As long as KK stays on, that's all that matters to me as a listener. 

100%.  https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/smile.png
    KK is a great dj.  
 

97.7 HTZ FM's big time loss and Giant FM's MAJOR gain!!! https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/cool.png

 

August 15, 2020 9:43 pm  #22


Re: Giant FM Welland Sold But No Format Change For Now

I worked with Kristy when she was in school in Owen Sound at CFOS.  She was my operator when I was on remote, which was often.  She was the best operator I ever had, and we had so much fun.   Still a teen she proposed and hosted a top 40/rock show Prime Cuts on Sunday Night.  After that she was on her way and never looked back.

So happy for all of Kristy's success over the years at Q, HTZ and now GIANT.  I knew her parents too, great people. Radio was so much fun and working at a smaller station you had a lot of freedom. 

Heather Hiscox of CBCNN fame also worked at CFOS as an announcer at the same time, and these two teens became pals while they were working at the station over the summer.  John Northcott also now working at  CBCNN was in the news department at CFOS around this time too.   Nice to see Heather and John occasionally working together again on CBC mornings. 

Absolutely going to listen to KK and look her up at Giant FM.  It sounds like a good station.  Nice to see she has fans here on SOWNY.