Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

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Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby jon » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:26 pm

Stingray Launches 104.3 The Breeze in Vancouver
2018-12-20

Vancouver, December 20, 2018 - On December 26, a warm new breeze will arrive in Vancouver as Stingray launches 104.3 The Breeze… Vancouver’s Relaxing Favourites.

104.3 The Breeze (CHLG-FM) will offer Vancouver listeners something new that has been missing on the dial for many years. With easy, relaxing, and familiar favourites, 104.3 The Breeze will provide an oasis from today’s extremely noisy and busy world.

Listeners can expect a broad playlist spanning five decades, from the 1970s, ‘80s, ‘90s, the ‘00s, and today. 104.3 The Breeze will feature artists like Lionel Richie, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Whitney Houston, Sara McLachlan, Billy Joel, and Adele, giving listeners a non-stop stream of relaxing favourites that they can listen to at work, or at home, or in the car.

“These are songs our listeners know and love. They were all massive hits. And for some reason, radio in Vancouver seems to have forgotten about them,” said Paul Sereda, Stingray’s Program Director for CHLG-FM. “104.3 The Breeze is bringing those amazing songs back to the radio.”

Over the past year, some of the largest cities in the United States have recently seen similar radio stations launch with tremendous success. The Breeze format is now on the air in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Detroit, among other markets, and it is proving to be very popular with listeners and advertisers.

104.3 The Breeze will be available for live streaming at http://www.1043thebreeze.ca and on the Radio Player Canada app featuring over 500 of Canada’s leading radio stations.

104.3 The Breeze launches at midnight on Wednesday, December 26 on 104.3 (CHLG-FM)

About Stingray

Montreal-based Stingray (TSX: RAY.A; RAY.B) is a leading music, media, and technology company with over 1,200 employees worldwide. Stingray is a premium provider of curated direct-to-consumer and B2B services, including audio television channels, more than 100 radio stations, SVOD content, 4K UHD television channels, karaoke products, digital signage, in-store music, and music apps, which have been downloaded over 101 million times. Stingray reaches 400 million subscribers (or users) in 156 countries. For more information: http://www.stingray.com.


Stingray Launches 96.3 The Breeze in Edmonton
2018-12-20

December 20, 2018 - On December 26, a warm new breeze will arrive in Edmonton as Stingray launches 96.3 The Breeze… Edmonton’s Relaxing Favourites.

96.3 The Breeze (CKRA-FM) will offer Edmonton listeners something new that has been missing on the dial for many years. With easy, relaxing, and familiar favourites, 96.3 The Breeze will provide an oasis from today’s extremely noisy and busy world.

Listeners can expect a broad playlist spanning five decades, from the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and today. 96.3 The Breeze will feature artists like Lionel Richie, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Whitney Houston, Sara McLachlan, Billy Joel, and Adele, giving listeners a non-stop stream of relaxing favourites that they can listen to at work, or at home, or in the car.

“These are songs our listeners know and love. They were all massive hits. And for some reason, radio in Edmonton seems to have forgotten about them,” said Al Tompson, Stingray’s Director of FM Programming for Edmonton and Calgary. “96.3 The Breeze is bringing those amazing songs back to the radio.”

Some of the largest cities in the United States have recently seen similar radio stations launch over the past year, with tremendous success. The Breeze format is now on the air in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Detroit, among other markets and it is proving to be very popular with listeners and advertisers.

96.3 The Breeze will be available for live streaming at 963thebreeze.com and on the Radio Player Canada app featuring over 500 of Canada’s leading radio stations.

96.3 The Breeze launches at midnight on Wednesday, December 26 on 96.3 (CKRA-FM)


For more information, please contact:
Susan Reade, General Manager/General Sales Manager, Stingray Edmonton
780-437-9238
sreade@newcap.ca

Al Tompson, Director of FM Programming, Stingray Edmonton and Calgary
780-437-9287
atompson@newcap.ca
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby groundskeeper willy » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Amazing how Paul Sereda and Al Tompson say the exact same phrase, word for word, as they describe how The Breeze will be the greatest thing since whatever. The fact that the Stingray PR folks simply copy'n'paste an over-the-top fictitious quote in their press release tells me volumes about the future success of these stations. No attention to detail. It'll be the same uninspired sludge being pumped out of the transmitters in Vancouver & Edmonton. Thanks but no thanks.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby albertaboy4life » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:51 pm

RIP Capital FM . . .
Faster cars, younger women, older cheese, more money . . .
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby jon » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:54 pm

albertaboy4life wrote:RIP Capital FM . . .

Be interesting to see how Pattison's UP (CIUP-99.3) reacts to this.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:17 pm

Sounds like it could be a lot like the EZ Rock format which I believe was in Edmonton in the mid 90's to mid 2000's on CFMG ( now Virgin Edmonton). I know there are still a few EZ Rock stations in BC and one in Ontario. It will be interesting to see how Stingray handles this which I think is the first format change for any of their recently acquired stations. Wonder if there are any more format changes coming in the next few weeks. They have a lot of stations. I have an open mind on this since Stingray is new to the traditional broadcasting industry, Want to see if they handle format changes any different than Bell, Corus, Rogers etc.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby 45 RPM » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:08 pm

Interesting that the two program directors quotes are identical. Must be something in the Kool Aid. With 6 days notice, I have to wonder if one of Edmonton's low rated Top 40 stations might pull off a quick
flip within the next couple of days. Likewise with Kiss 104.9 in Vancouver. A few weeks back, Corus did a press release about a few of their stations flipping to all Christmas music the following day. Stingray beat them to the punch in Edmonton when they flipped Capital FM to all Christmas several hours before The Chuck welcomed Santa.

If Stingray is slashing their Classic Hits stations (both with good numbers) what's the life expectancy for XL 103 in Calgary?

This format has been gaining popularity in the US for the past year. Why did it take some genius programmers in Canada a year to get on the bandwagon? iHeart in the US seems to own The Breeze name, wouldn't Bell have the rights to that branding in Canada?

Merry Christmas to all. The next week could be interesting.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby RadioDon11 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:41 am

Doesn't CHLG LG104.3 still have to play Blues in the evening re the hangover POP from the Shore Days???
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby linderella » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:32 am

Specifically Vancouver;
We started listening to lg104.3 because they do NOT play Adele (every time I hear "Hello" I say Goody-Bye and switch stations), Ed Sheeran, Sarah MacLachlan, etc. and it was something the hubby and I cud agree on, radio-wise. As ageing Baby Boomers it's nice to relive the high school, dating & early marriage days in music. Surely there are enough other stations around to cover this morose & sleep-inducing zzzzz dribble?
Cheerio, 104.3; we're heading back to 101.1 :walk:
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:51 pm

Looks like today "The Breeze" has made it's way into Buffalo NY with the format change with WMSX Mix 96. The station had been A/C-Hot A/C since September 2014. For many years prior to MIx 96 the station was known as WJYE Joy FM which started out as MOR and later moved to a softer A/C format.

The press release states that core artists for The Breeze will range from Air Supply, Fleetwood Mac, Boys II Men, Adele, Ed Sheeran and Whitney Houston.

First hour of programming today included-

Christopher Cross- Sailing
Bonnie Tyler- It's a Heartache
B.S. Boys- Want it That Way
Bee Gees- Fanny
Counting Crows- Big Yellow Taxi
Rod Stewart- You're in My Heart
Big Mountain- Baby I Love Your Way
Culture Club- Karma Chameleon
Genesis- In too Deep

Nothing really exciting or innovating in this. Again it is pretty much the EZ Rock format. CFMG in Edmonton was EZ Rock mid 90's to mid 2000's. Don't really understand why this would become popular in some US markets, unless possibly there was no soft A/C radio available. Any impressions or reports how the changeover to The Breeze in Vancouver and Edmonton went today? Going to listen to them this evening and compare to the Buffalo version.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby jon » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:05 pm

Wasn't sure of the on-air lineup until this morning when their new web site showed Sean Burke on Mornings, and also heard him on-air, even past his 9 AM scheduled end time.

Sean is very popular in the Edmonton market and should do very well for CKRA if management gets the music right, which is tough to do in this market if you want to do AC. Especially since it needs to sound fresh, not just the same set of songs forever.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:40 am

This has been interesting. I have monitored several Breeze stations. So far my favourite would be Edmonton, largely because at least they have live announcers! Sean Burke sounded good this morning, liked the phoners with listeners talking about the new format. Nice jingle package, weather and traffic info and of course commercials. Good liners for the new format in my opinion. Vancouver sounded similar but seemed to be voice tracked when I tuned in. Traffic and weather just jumped out of no where so it sounded disjointed.

Buffalo NY WMSX 96.1 also made the switch to The Breeze yesterday. This station is playing 10,000 songs non stop, no jocks or information, just female voice liner notes every second or third song.."Buffalo's relaxing favorites at work..Buffalo's new home for relaxing favorites.." etc. This station is mellower than either the Edmonton or Vancouver versions. Read in the Buffalo News that the morning personality was let go and there was no word on any of the remaining on air staff. I figure the station will be commercial and info free for about 26 days. WMSX sales reps?? Sorry about your luck no commissions for you! Buffalo used to have Boxing Day/Week sales since they are on the border so this is a big hit revenue wise for the station. I can actually pick up the station off air here in Kitchener.

Also gave a listen to The Breeze in Philadelphia and Detroit that both made the format change last month. Again these stations are mellower and softer than either Edmonton or Vancouver. WISX Philadelphia (Philly's Relaxing Favorites) seems to only have one announcer judging by their website. Dan Blackman is on the air Mon-Friday 9am to 5pm, would assume a mixture of live and voice tracked. This station plays 106 minutes commercial free every morning at 8am and again at 4pm. Yikes! How the heck do statons like this survive?

Read on another forum that the first Breeze in this configuration was in San Francisco in 2016, and more stations have been popping up in the US over the past six months. I read somewhere how Stingray got the jump on Bell Media iHeart in Canada since in the US iHeart had the rights to the Breeze format and name. This is not correct, both Detroit and Philadelphia are not iHeart stations.

Interesting to see how all this plays out in Edmonton, and Vancouver, and wondering if Stingray will move any other stations to this format. Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. All the best in 2019.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:22 am

Slight correction, WISX Philly is an iHeart station, Buffalo WMSX and Detroit WDZH Breeze are not. Also noticing how Vancouver's playlist with a few exceptions is almost identical to Calgary? Just an hour or so behind with the time zone change. A few differences but very similar.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:58 am

paterson wrote: Again these stations are mellower and softer than either Edmonton or Vancouver.


It's largely the Cancon that keeps these stations from being as soft as their American counterparts.

paterson wrote: Read on another forum that the first Breeze in this configuration was in San Francisco in 2016, and more stations have been popping up in the US over the past six months. I read somewhere how Stingray got the jump on Bell Media iHeart in Canada since in the US iHeart had the rights to the Breeze format and name. This is not correct.


That's right. The Breeze brand is not trademarked nationally. It's first come, first serve market-by-market. It's also not all that important as you can't trademark a format. So while The Breeze is a good name for it, plenty of other names could work.

paterson wrote: Also noticing how Vancouver's playlist with a few exceptions is almost identical to Calgary? Just an hour or so behind with the time zone change. A few differences but very similar.


Yeah, there's a master log, but Vancouver needs to modify it for their higher Cancon level and specialty music requirements.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby groundskeeper willy » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:06 pm

Aaron wrote:Yeah, there's a master log, but Vancouver needs to modify it for their higher Cancon level and specialty music requirements.


Aaron's correct. Vancouver needs to make up the inevitable cancon shortfall resulting from that four-hour block of blues programming staring at 8pm, though it's not that difficult to do. The station does roll as much David Gogo, David Wilcox and Monkeyjunk as they can each night, usually hitting into the neighbourhood of 10-15% cancon, so the deficiency isn't overwhelming. For example, between 6am & noon today, they were at around 37% cancon, so by continuing to bump up the cancon by a few extra songs each hour, they'll have no worries about running afoul with the CRTC.

It appears that Vancouver's commercial load is lighter than that in Edmonton, so that gives them even more opportunities to slip in an extra song every hour or two.

Sadly, for my tastes, they're making up the difference with way too much Luba.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:49 pm

groundskeeper willy wrote:
Aaron wrote: Vancouver needs to make up the inevitable cancon shortfall resulting from that four-hour block of blues programming staring at 8pm, though it's not that difficult to do.


CHLG also has a 40% overall Cancon target, as opposed to Edmonton's 35%. The blues block has become a Smooth Jazz block. I don't know how much Cancon there is in the block since I don't know a single one of the artists, but I suspect it's low. (though the specialty music itself only needs to hit 20% Cancon)
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