Alberta media news, events, awards & personalities

Bell Media Acquires Montreal-Based Astral Media for $3.38 Billion

Astral MediaBell Canada, the country’s biggest telecommunications company, has agreed to buy Montreal-based Astral Media Inc. for $3.38 billion, giving the company more control over content for its cellphone, internet and land-line services. The company has pledged to pay $50 per share for Astral, a 40 per cent premium from the $36.25 level that Astral Media shares closed at on the TSX on Thursday. Astral owns radio stations and television properties and has an advertising division that operates billboards across the country. Bell’s owner, BCE Inc., made the purchase announcement Friday morning, March 16.

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Astral Media to Launch On-Demand Streaming Music and Music Video Service

Astral MediaAstral Radio, a division of Astral Media Inc., will launch an on-demand streaming music and music video service. Available online and on mobile devices, the innovative service is Astral Radio’s most recent initiative to reach listeners beyond the airwaves. “Astral Radio continues its long history of innovation in the digital space and we are excited to be the first radio broadcaster in North America to bring this on-demand offering to Canadian music fans in both English and French,” said Charles Benoit, Executive Vice President at Astral Radio.

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The Astral Caring for Kids Radiothon goes live across Canada on Thursday, May 5

On May 5, 2011, Astral Media will hold its annual Astral Media National Day of Caring for Kids. The event will be broadcast live throughout the day on more than 60 English-language stations across Canada. This national event is in support of about 20 major hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. Last year, in twelve hours, the largest Radiothon event in North America raised over 7.1 million dollars.

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Virgin Radio Now On Alberta Airwaves

CIBK  Virgin Radio 98.5

CIBK > Virgin Radio 98.5

Virgin Radio now owned by Montreal based Astral Media arrived in Alberta in June 2010 with the flip of CIBK in Calgary from Vibe 98.5 to Virgin Radio, a brand owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson. In February 2011, CFMG in Edmonton followed suit when Astral flipped the station from EZ Rock to 104.9 Virgin Radio.  Astral also operates Virgin Radio stations in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Stations carrying the Virgin Radio brand typically play rock or contemporary hit radio (CHR) with a lean towards rhythmic and dance tracks and operate independently with some shared programming under licences purchased from one of the 400 companies owned by Branson.

The Virgin Radio stations in Alberta describe their listeners as active, fashionable and early adopters of the latest trends and they describe their stations as ‘Fun and Sexy’.

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Marilyn Jones, Edmonton, Alberta ABOUT ME
I am Marilyn Jones, a news junkie with a penchant for publishing, politics, communications, gardening, hiking, reading, the arts and training nonprofit organizations in media relations and social media communications in Alberta (BA in English with Honours, U of A; Master of Publishing, SFU)