In this week’s issue… Canadian AMs go dark amidst CTV cuts – Carton to exit WFAN – Remembering Pittsburgh’s Savran – Battle of the Buffalo Stars – Seven Mountains buys again in PA – New TV tech in Boston
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*When we were in CANADA a couple of weeks ago for RadioDays North America (have you heard our podcast episodes about that inspiring conference?), we had a bunch of conversations about the future of AM radio.
Three more AMs in Ontario – CHAM (820) and CKOC (1150) in Hamilton and CKWW (580) in Windsor – are being spun off to an as-yet-unidentified buyer.
Several of those AMs won’t make much of a splash as they exit the scene: in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary, the silenced AMs were carrying Bell’s automated “Funny” comedy format, which is also heard on CHAM in Hamilton. CKOC has also been something of a throwaway AM, most recently running Bloomberg business news and some sports overflow.
A few others, however, will leave more of a void in their markets. CFRN in Edmonton was the market’s sports station, carrying Bell’s TSN sports programming.
In Windsor, CKWW has a cult following with its oldies programming, which continues the legacy of sister station CKLW (800).
What happened? Bell isn’t saying much, except that the sudden shutdown came as part of overall cutbacks within the company that will eliminate 1300 total positions across all of Bell and about 3% of its broadcast workforce, including the closing of several CTV News bureaus in London and Los Angeles. Ottawa bureau chief Joyce Napier was one of the high-profile reporters suddenly cut loose. The Toronto Sun reports the cuts also brought some closure to the controversial ouster of CTV National News anchor Lisa LaFlamme last year: her executive producer, Rosa Hwang, is out – and so is Michael Melling, the former CTV News manager who fired LaFlamme and had subsequently been moved to a non-newsroom position.
In Toronto, Bell’s CHUM (TSN 1050) cancelled its “Leafs Lunch” show after 12 years on the air, though its hosts remain with the company in other roles.
FEBRUARY IS ALMOST GONE
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