Corus Entertainment is still mulling over a CRTC decision that could finally end a limbo period for seven AM stations in Quebec and a Quebec City FM station that Astral Media has been trying to unload for three years. Corus had agreed to an $11-million swap of radio stations in the province with Astral, but it is hesitating due to conditions imposed by the CRTC in approving the transfer. Martin Tremblay, of CASACOM, which is handling the media for Corus, said that the company is evaluating the decision and is refraining from making any public statements until the matter is thoroughly discussed with Astral. Corus isn’t expected to be in a position to speak publicly about what it intends to do until next week at the earliest, he said. “We would like to thank the commission for the approval, but it will require some analysis before we make further comment,” said Corus Quebec president Pierre Arcand in a statement released after the January 21 decision. “The conditions are new and financial circumstances have changed since the hearing, so we need to assess the matter carefully.”  As a result of programming concerns, the CRTC imposed a condition of licence requiring specific amounts of local programming on the stations Astral is proposing to transfer over to Corus (Broadcasting Decision 2005-15). Corus asked during public hearings into the matter last September that it be allowed to broadcast just 40 hours of local programming on the Montreal AM station it was acquiring. But the CRTC has imposed a minimum of 60 hours of local programming in 2005-06 and increased the amount to 80 hours by 2009. Corus proposed airing 20 hours on the other French-language AM stations, but the commission settled on a minimum of 27 hours this year, with the amount rising to 37 hours by 2009. The CRTC reduced the licence term of the stations so that it could monitor compliance.  Astral’s acquisition of the eight stations was approved three years ago by the CRTC as part of a larger deal Astral had with Télémedia Inc., but the Competition Bureau of Canada prohibited the purchase of those stations. Astral subsequently agreed to sell the stations to Quebecor’s TVA. That sale was blocked by the CRTC, which expressed concerns about Quebecor’s increasing media concentration in Quebec. Astral then came to terms with Groupe Morin, but that company pulled out of the $12-million deal without explanation at the last minute in February 2004.