The future of Hamilton radio stations CHML, CING-FM, CJXY-FM is in doubt.
Owner Corus Entertainment is in severe financial trouble, filing an application to the CRTC on an exceptional basis to reduce its television broadcasting licenses’ financial obligations.
The CRTC responded it is in agreement to allow Corus to decrease its Canadian content television spending.
The CRTC response letter provides a summary of Corus’ bleak financial situation.
“Corus has found itself in a unique financial situation. As set out in the application, the company’s debt ratio has increased to unacceptable levels owing to a 61 percent free cash flow decrease over the previous year and rapidly declining profitability,” CRTC Secretary General Marc Morin writes in a letter granting an exceptional hearing.
Corus is significantly challenged by declines in television revenue.
More “Restructuring” is Possible
Hamiltonians will recall how Corus’ August programming cuts that included laying off Bill Kelly and replacing his 9:00 a.m. to noon show with a simulcast of Toronto’s AM 640.
Corus’ radio revenue decreased last quarter, thanking in part to layoffs, radio profits increased last quarter.
There is chatter in national media cycles that Corus will make further cuts to its talk radio format while also moving the talk format to the FM dial – possibly switching CING-FM at 95.3 FM to broadcast talk programming.
Corus unliterally moved its AM talk to the FM dial earlier this year in Calgary. The CRTC wrote a letter noting non-compliance, reported Broadcast Dialogue.
The CRTC can be expected to continue writing letters without any enforcement action.
Over-the-air radio is struggling in the digital age, a struggle made even worse by work-from-home routines that cause people to spend less time in their cars.
Corus’ most recent financial crunch is driven by television issues resulting from the writers’ and actors’ strikes in the United States.
Corus reported a loss of four cents per share in its latest quarterly report, released on Friday. Its share price is down by 56 percent in the past year.
Production Details v. 1.0.0 Published: October 29, 2023 Last edited: October 29, 2023 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version