Astral Media Inc. announced May 30 that its radio swap with Corus Entertainment was officially closed. Astral Media now operates five new FM stations in Rimouski, Amqui, St. Jean-sur-Richelieu and Drummondville QC, along with 16 FM stations in major markets in Quebec, and eight in the Atlantic provinces. Under the deal, Corus Quebec acquired seven AM stations and one FM station: CKAC Montreal, CHRC Quebec City, CJRC Gatineau, CKRS Saguenay, CHLN Trois-Rivières, CHLT Sherbrooke, CKTS Sherbrooke and CFOM-FM Lévis. Corus Quebec said that it planned to launch Corus Nouvelles, the largest private radio news agency in Quebec. CKAC union representatives appealed to no avail the CRTC’s decision because they did not agree with Corus’ plan to change the focus of the station to sports and health from its current popular news and talk-radio format (CCR, April 22/05; March 11/05). CKAC’s mission as a talk radio station will be strengthened, and listeners will be given more opportunities to speak. In addition, programming will focus on the following areas: health, sports, politics, and news, Corus Quebec said. “Corus Quebec management shares Montrealers’ attachment to the station. That’s whey we have decided to position CKAC for the latest industry trends to help it reclaim its record listenership levels,” said Corus Quebec president Pierre Arcand in a statement.
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