With today's closing of its acquisition of substantially all the assets of Standard Radio Inc., Astral Media Inc. officially became the largest radio broadcaster in the country. The comprehensive media company's radio presence, which is in 34 English markets across eight provinces, includes leading brands such as CFRB, EZ Rock, The Mix and The Bear. The additions complement Astral's existing brands Énergie, RockDétente and boom fm in 13 francophone markets. "Our national network of 82 radio stations now enables us to offer advertisers an unprecedented access to highly defined audiences at the local level through some of the best radio brands in the country," said Astral president and CEO Ian Greenberg in a press release. "In today's changing media world, radio remains a very powerful and exciting medium that positions us well for future growth."
The talking point of the ramifications of lighter regulation in broadcasting found a home once again last week at Insight's Entertainment Industries Summit in Toronto, where a panel of industry experts weighed in on the potential impacts of deregulation for both broadcasters and consumers.
Novell Inc. has named Tim Wolfe as president, Novell Americas. He will be responsible for the execution of Novell's strategy across the region. Wolfe brings nearly three decades of software, technology and consulting experience to the role, most recently serving as VP and GM of Novell's East region in the United States. He will play a key role in Novell's transition to a greater focus on customers and partners.
A recent In-Stat survey of US consumers reveals that 44% of urban females, 52% of urban males, and 44% of suburban males say they are not getting enough international content from their US television programming services. Filling this need, reports In-Stat, could be a straightforward path to increasing viewing hours among key demographics. Consider that about 30% of the survey respondents said they were light television viewers, with their TV set on for less than four hours a day, and 35.6% of households with incomes greater than US$100,00 per year are likely to be light viewers as well. In-Stat reports that both female and male light viewers are among those who do not feel they are getting enough international content on TV. "Advertisers are constantly working to attract young males," reads the In-Stat press release. "[Our] survey shows that broadcasters and Subscription TV services could deliver this vital demographic by bringing in more international programming and content."
At a Toronto conference earlier this week one of the authors of the now notorious Dunbar/Leblanc regulatory framework review elaborated on how deregulation can benefit Canadians and Canadian programming.
Toronto-based mobile media company MyThum Interactive Inc. has been recognized as one of the 10 fastest-growing wireless companies in North America by the Deloitte Wireless Fast 50 Program. This most recent ranking comes on the heals of MyThum placing fourth in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in Canada ranking earlier this year. "We are honoured to be recognized as a leader in the North American wireless industry," said Michael Carter, President and CEO of MyThum Interactive in a news release. "Our success – as evidenced by our continued expansion — can be attributed to our persistent innovation, excellence in customer service and employing the best and brightest talent." The Deloitte Wireless Fast 50 achievement, which is based on the percentage fiscal year revenue growth over five years [from 2002-2006].
Given the CRTC's desire to lighten its regulatory burden in the broadcasting space we could be headed for a major industry realignment following February's BDU and discretionary services review. Industry observers, however, are wary about how much the commission can, and will, let market forces reign in broadcasting.