Bell Media Radio
Bell Media Radio is the Canadian radio broadcasting division of Bell Media which is owned by BCE Inc. The division owns the bulk of the radio properties owned by CHUM Limited in 2007 when it was purchased by CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media), and Astral Media when it was purchased by Bell in 2013.
|Founded||1945 (as CHUM Limited)|
2007 (as CHUM Radio under CTVglobemedia ownership)
2011 (current name)
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Randy Lennox, President of Broadcasting|
|Divisions||Orbyt Media (formerly CHUM Radio Network)|
Bell Media Radio currently owns 109 radio stations across Canada , broadcasting in 45 markets, including most of Canada's largest radio markets. The company's programming is also distributed to other stations across Canada via its syndication division Orbyt Media, which prior to the acquisition by Bell was known as the CHUM Radio Network. On legal ID's for its radio stations, the ID's include "A division of Bell Media" after the call letters and city-of-license.
As of August 2009, its head office is currently located at 250 Richmond Street West in Toronto, where the studios of its Toronto flagship stations CHUM-FM, CKFM-FM, and CFRB are located. In July 2008, CTVglobemedia sold its former location 1331 Yonge Street to developer Aspen Ridge Homes for $21.5 million. The stations were expected to move to 250 Richmond Street West, a downtown location near 299 Queen Street West.
The large "Dial 1050 CHUM" neon sign from the Yonge Street building, which is considered a Toronto landmark, has been moved to the new location, and has added "Dial 104.5 CHUM" to the sign.
CHUM Radio also previously operated CHUM Satellite Services, a multimedia division which provided programming and production services for corporate clients. This operation was acquired in 2009 by Stingray Digital, which eventually renamed it Stingray360.
Re-acquisition of CTVglobemedia by BellEdit
On September 10, 2010, BCE announced plans to re-acquire 100% of CTVglobemedia's broadcasting arm, including CHUM Radio. When the deal was finalized on April 1, 2011, CTVglobemedia became Bell Media, and likewise CHUM Radio became Bell Media Radio. CHUM Radio had been the only division of the company to retain the CHUM name following the acquisition of CHUM Limited by CTVglobemedia in 2007.
On January 6, 2016, iHeartMedia announced that Bell Media would enter into a licensing deal to launch a Canadian version of its radio streaming service iHeartRadio. Bell will handle Canadian licensing, marketing, and distribution of the service, contribute its content to the venture, and also gain rights to produce iHeartRadio-branded events. The service launched in October 2016.
Bell Media Radio's stations broadcast in a variety of formats, although hot adult contemporary and adult hits are particularly common. Its hot AC stations use a variety of brand names, but are all patterned to an extent after flagship CHUM-FM, while its adult hits stations are all branded as Bob FM. The company is the largest private-sector radio operator in Canada with 106 radio stations across the country.
The stations typically air locally produced or voice-tracked programming for the majority of their schedules, although some national network programming, including the weekly MuchMoreMusic Countdown, also airs. In 2007 and part of 2008, the hot adult contemporary radio stations also aired the national evening program The Sound Lounge.
The company also operates eight sports radio stations, all branded as TSN Radio. Three of these stations were formerly part of a larger but short-lived national sports radio network known as The Team, which was launched by CHUM Limited in 2001 on virtually all of the company's AM radio stations across Canada, but was dissolved in 2002 due to poor ratings. The stations that did not remain AM sports radio stations are either oldies or news/talk formats.
In addition to the FM/AM stations, Bell Media (through iHeartRadio Canada) has licensed and/or created 100+ digital-only radio stations. Bell programmed streams focus mainly on Canadian and Francophone content, while majority of the digital only streams are programmed by the American counterpart and distributed through the partnership with iHeartMedia
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- "TSN Radio a reality". The Globe and Mail, January 21, 2011.