Rogers Buys Bounce FM

by Jordan Richardson on June 24, 2010

Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. has purchased Bounce FM to add to its radio repertoire. Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. is a subsidiary of Rogers Media and Rogers Media is a division of telecom giant Rogers Communications.

The purchase was attractive to Rogers for the simple reason that the radio station was “for sale.” Paul Ski, chief executive for radio at Rogers Media, made no bones about the fact that Rogers was looking to expand its radio presence in Edmonton and snapped up the first station that became available to them.

Bounce FM now joins Sonic, a modern rock station, and World FM, a global music station, as part of Rogers’ Edmonton radio properties. Rogers also owns 13 radio stations in Calgary, Canmore, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. Rogers Broadcasting also operates the Citytv and Omni television stations.

It’s hardly surprising to see the telecommunications giants in Canada scrambling to buy up territory. Both Bell and Telus are heavily invested in Canada’s broadcasting sectors, which is partly why any regulatory angles carry additional complications. There is a lot of runoff in terms of broadcasting rights and communications rules.

There’s no word as to what moves Rogers has in mind for Bounce FM. In some of these sorts of sales, the formats of the radio stations change in order to line up with the purchaser’s business model. In this case, Bounce general manager Gisele Sowa was focused on the positive.

“Two great radio stations operating under the same roof is always a good situation,” she said.

John Yerxa, owner and general manager of rival contemporary hit station Hot 107, was less than enthused about what the sale meant. “What you’re doing is you’re removing another stand-alone in the market like myself and you’re putting it in the hands of another major corporate entity,” Yerxa said.

Yerxa said that he was interested in purchasing the station himself and had approached its previous owner, CTV, about a deal. If the deal’s not complete, he says he’s still interested.

The days of radio have been dwindling for a long time now, as independent players have been routinely gobbled up by corporate interests. With more ads than actual content, it’s not hard to imagine what’s going wrong. People simply have too many other ways to listen to current music, so it almost seems futile for any company to purchase radio stations unless for the pure purposes of a power grab.

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