Thursday 7 March 2013

CRTC would be wise to accept TSN 690 marriage with Astral threesome

Well the folks at Bell Media finally have it right. As part of their bid to acquire Astral Radio and in particular English stations CJAD, Virgin Radio and CHOM (herein referred to as the triplets), Bell Media is telling the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to grant them an exception to own four English language stations in the same market - the fourth being TSN Radio 690. Precedent has already been set most recently with Cogeco Radio operating four French stations in Montreal.

This is good business for Bell Media and sports fans. TSN 690 is reportedly not profitable. Moving them out of their Greene Avenue headquarters in Westmount would first and foremost save a monthly raincheque and create instant synergy by having them cohabitate with the triplets in their new digs on Papineau and Rene-Levesque. That address, by the way, is directly across the street from CTV and the local bureaus of TSN, RDS and The Globe andMail.

Utimately a lot more savings could be introduced by the sharing of human resources.

If TSN 690 and CJAD, for instance, are under the same roof there are great possibilities. Broadcasts of the Alouettes and Impact could be moved to TSN 690, except in cases of a schedule conflict with the Canadiens.

Abe Hefter

Rick Moffat, Abe Hefter and Chantal Desjardins of CJAD Sports could all be made available to TSN 690

Ted Bird could finally be reunited with his pal Terrry DiMonte. Bird is now part of the TSN 690 morningshow. But could easily pop in from across the hall. I would love to see TSN 690's Tony Marinaro doing a morning commentary on CJAD.

Freeway Frank of Virgin Radio is a huge sports fan. I am sure he would love some kind of role on TSN 690.A back and forth with him and Marinaro would also be grand.

Mitch Melnick talks a lot of entertainment on his drive home show. It would be nice to have him connect with Natasha Gargiulo of Virgin or his old friend Anne Shatilla, CJAD's Hollywood correspondent.
Mitch Melnick and Wayne Bews

One thing I hope Bell Media takes into consideration is the future of Wayne Bews, the general manager of TSN 690 who has allowed this station to thrive under challenging circumstances since day one. He should retain a prominent role in the operation and would work well with Martin Spalding, the boss of the triplets.

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  1. Sorry Mike, You make some valid points on principle, but it still doesn't wash with me. Here's why. Bell should not control the market.No one company should. I'm not happy about Cogeco's arrangement on the French side either. Open the market up to new players. Otherwise you will have the same banal, predictable lowest common denominator focus group driven slop that we've had for years, only worse. As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens another man says the Proverb. Competition... aggressive, life or death competition is what is going to drive conventional radio away from the mediocrity into which it has become comfortably numb.

    Sorry, but i don't buy into the idea that a group of stations complementing each other best serves the marketplace. One or two, fine. but 4? Give me a break already. Ottawa was better off when CFRA , CFGO, Majic and Kool were under separate ownership. Different voices. At the end of the day, he who pays the piper calls the tune, Is either the CBC or Bell point of view what we want?

    At least there's still some diversity in Ottawa, Rogers is also a player. Astral is there too with The Bear and Boom 99.7, and you even have Newcap with their absolutely atrocious Hot 89.9. Evanov has the Jewel, and there is also CHRI, DAWG, and a few others. Toronto has , in addition to the usual suspects, Moses Znaimer's stations, Jolly's Flow, and several others.

    Why is it that Montreal is condemned to a couple of Monopolies on all the full power stations, with others confined to frequencies that fade after Dorion?

    I will not support Bell the Bully getting any more stations. While we're at it, let COGECO sell some of theirs.

    And these corporate suits wonder why people are switching to satellite and Ipods?

  2. Neal, thanks for this comment as it saves me a valuable amount of time on Bell corporate nonsense and trying to bully the CRTC and even in its application..and now they're even trying to buy its way with all sorts of cash towards amateur sports,etc..

    But if you notice, there's no promise of more local sports coverage or some sort of weekly program to the local scholastic scene..REASON: their hands are tied by the Toronto Sports Network ( TSN) so having to carry some of thier programming or EPN's...Enough time wasted..All you want Bell is the 690 frequency.Admit it.