Canadian Radio Owners Seek Government Help As Turmoil Rolls


Canada’s second-largest radio group, Stingray, is uniting with independent broadcasters to urge the government to support and safeguard the country’s local radio sector. This comes after the country’s largest station owner declared radio is, “Not a viable business anymore.”

Stingray and its partners are advocating for a budgetary provision that allocates a minimum of 70% of the Government of Canada’s advertising spending to local media, with equitable distribution across various platforms including radio, television, print, and Canadian-owned digital outlets.

They further propose a 20% tax credit for advertisers who choose Canadian-owned print and broadcast media, aiming to stimulate investment in these critical yet vulnerable sectors.

The initiative garners support from several independent industry leaders, including Acadia Broadcasting Limited, Arsenal Media, and many others, highlighting a collective effort to bolster the independent radio sector.

This measure ties to the recent decision of Bell Media to sell 45 of its 103 radio stations in February. Bell parent company BCE Inc., is also laying off nine percent of its workforce, equivalent to 4,800 jobs. The decision follows previous layoffs in June 2023, influenced by regulatory challenges from the CRTC, which also led to the discontinuation of CFTE, an AM station with a century-long history.

Stingray CEO Eric Boyko said, “The local radio sector is an integral part of our national identity, providing a connection to Canadian culture, music, and essential information, particularly during local or regional emergencies. Stingray and our respected independent industry partners are calling on the government to implement these measures, which are critical to the sector’s viability.”


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