TSN Radio

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TSN Radio
Type Radio network
Country Canada
Availability Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver
Slogan The Evolution of Sports Radio
(City Name) Destination for Sports
Owner Bell Media
Programmed by TSN (Bell Media – 80% / ESPN – 20%)
Distributed by Bell Media Radio (Bell Media – 100%)
Key people
Rob Gray
Program Director, TSN Radio[1]
Stewart Johnston
President of TSN[2]
Chris Gordon
President of Bell Media Radio[2][3]
Launch date
October 5, 2011[2]
(TSN Radio 1050 launched on April 13, 2011)[4]
Official website
TSN Radio

TSN Radio is a semi-national sports radio brand and part-time network in Canada carried on AM radio stations owned by Bell Media Radio.[4][5][6] The TSN Radio brand, and some of the stations' content, is shared with Bell Media's television sports channel, The Sports Network. With the American sports network ESPN being a minority shareholder in TSN, most of the stations also air some ESPN Radio programming, usually on weekends and/or overnight.

TSN Radio currently operates stations in Toronto (CHUM 1050), Montreal (CKGM 690), Ottawa (CFGO 1200), Winnipeg (CFRW 1290), Edmonton (CFRN 1260) and Vancouver, which operates two sports radio stations. However, each station produces the vast majority of its programming locally, apart from some live event broadcasts as well as U.S.-produced syndicated programming. Unlike sports radio networks in the United States, there is no all-day 'network' feed, and very few Canadian-produced programs are simulcast nationally (though some of the Toronto station's programming is simulcast on the national TSN2 TV channel).

Overview[edit]

It was announced on February 17, 2011, that its Toronto station CHUM (1050 AM) would discontinue its audio simulcast of CP24's television programming as "CP24 Radio 1050" and switch to an all-sports radio format as "TSN Radio 1050" effective April 13, 2011, becoming the flagship station of the network.[4][7] The company further announced plans on October 3, 2011, to convert its two radio stations in Winnipeg and Montreal under the TSN Radio banner (becoming TSN Radio 1290 and TSN Radio 990 respectively) on October 5, 2011.[2]

The network in some respects represent a revival of the defunct The Team network, which formerly aired on many of the same stations in the early 2000s when they were owned by CHUM Limited. Bell Canada gained 100% control of CTVglobemedia's assets on April 1, 2011, thus renaming the company's name to Bell Media and likewise renamed the radio division, CHUM Radio to Bell Media Radio.

It was reported on January 19, 2011 that Rob Gray, who was the program director for CKST and CFTE, had been hired to be program director for both CHUM and the new TSN Radio network.[1]

Stations[edit]

Broadcast area Station Branding Previous format
Montreal, Quebec CKGM TSN Radio 690 Sports radio as The Team 990
Ottawa, Ontario CFGO TSN Radio 1200 Sports radio as The Team 1200
Toronto, Ontario CHUM TSN Radio 1050 News talk radio as CP24 Radio 1050 (audio rebroadcast from CTV's 24-hour local news channel CP24)
Winnipeg, Manitoba CFRW TSN Radio 1290 Oldies as 1290 AM CFRW
Edmonton, Alberta CFRN TSN Radio 1260 Sports radio as The Team 1260
Vancouver, British Columbia CKST TSN Radio 1040 Sports radio as The Team 1040
Vancouver, British Columbia CFTE TSN Radio 1410 Sports radio as The Team 1410

History[edit]

TSN entered radio broadcasting with CHUM (1050 AM) in Toronto, which became the first station under the TSN Radio moniker, as TSN Radio 1050, on April 13, 2011. The station serves as the flagship of the network.

Bell Media further announced on October 3, 2011 that its radio stations CKGM in Montreal and CFRW in Winnipeg would join the TSN Radio network (becoming TSN Radio 990 and TSN Radio 1290 respectively) on October 5, 2011. CFRW had been long anticipated as a member of the network, having abandoned its oldies format for sports in fall 2010 (and using a TSN-inspired logo in the interim) and acquired the rights to the revived Winnipeg Jets in summer 2011.[2]

There were conflicting reports initially as to whether or not CFGO in Ottawa and CKST and CFTE in Vancouver will re-brand.[8][9] TSN has said that the aforementioned stations 'shall work closely' with the TSN Radio stations,[2] and that for the time being "...our focus is on successful launches of TSN Radio in Montreal and Winnipeg.”[3] Bell has since also acquired a sports radio station in Edmonton, CFRN, through its 2013 takeover of Astral Media.

In July 2012, Bell Media submitted an application to the CRTC, requesting permission to convert Montreal's TSN Radio station, CKGM, into a French radio station that would be known as RDS Radio 990—co-branding with TSN's French-language sister network Réseau des sports in a similar manner to TSN Radio. While Bell specified that this move was primarily intended to take advantage of CKAC's recent flip from sports radio in French to traffic radio, it was also intended to help satisfy ownership caps as a part of Bell's proposed acquisition of Astral Media, since Astral already owned the maximum number of English-language stations it could own in Montreal (owning two on FM, and the AM station CJAD). CJAD would have been given CKGM's English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens after the flip, if approved.[10][11] The CRTC ultimately rejected both proposals.[12] Bell would ultimately receive an exemption to the ownership cap so it could remain the owner of CKGM through the acquisition, which was finalized in June 2013.[13][14]

On September 30, 2013, CFRN in Edmonton and CFGO in Ottawa re-branded as TSN Radio stations.[15]

On August 28, 2014, it was announced that the Team stations in Vancouver—CKST and CFTE—would finally rebrand as TSN Radio stations on September 8, 2014.[16]

Programming[edit]

TSN Radio's secondary studios are also located at Bell Media's 9 Channel Nine Court, where TSN and CFTO-DT are based

To date, TSN Radio has not yet created a full-day national programming schedule along the lines of the 24-hour ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio services in the United States, nor is one expected.[2] Several weeks before confirming plans for TSN Radio, TSN president Stewart Johnston argued that "local is key" for the success of sports radio in Canada, as demonstrated by the earlier failure of The Team's attempt to produce most of its programming for national distribution out of Toronto.[17] Indeed, the TSN stations rarely if ever carry another station's local programming. Although there are some common programs, this is mostly limited to a handful of specialty weekend shows, and to U.S. syndicated programming such as The Dan Patrick Show and ESPN Radio (and even these programs are not carried on all stations).

Mike Richards signed on to host the Toronto station's morning show, Mike Richards in the Morning. The show airs from 5:30am-9am (ET),[18] and was expected to be simulcast on TSN2 beginning in September 2011.[6] However, due to delays in the studio being built at 9 Channel Nine Court, the premiere of the show was delayed to February 18, 2013.[3] CHUM's new drive time show, TSN Drive with Dave Naylor, also premiered in simulcast the same day.[19] With the announcement of TSN3, TSN4, and TSN5 Bell stated that it planned to set up additional TV simulcasts of NHL-oriented programs from local TSN Radio stations[20][21]

TSN Radio's main studios are also located at Bell Media's 250 Richmond Street West which is connected to the 299 Queen Street West building

Additionally, TSN has radio broadcasting rights for golf's The Open Championship, The U.S. Open, UEFA Euro 2012 and 2016, the NBA Playoffs, and NFL on Dial Global Sports. As part of TSN's television contract extension with the Canadian Football League, TSN Radio also owns the radio broadcast rights to the Grey Cup from 2013 to 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Star’s Cox in negotiations to join TSN full-time". The Globe and Mail, January 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "TSN Radio launches in Montreal and Winnipeg on Wednesday". TSN, October 3, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Get ready for a lot of Winnipeg Jets coverage ". Globe and Mail, October 5, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Ground shifting as broadcasters brace for sports war"
  5. ^ "TSN Radio a reality"The Globe and Mail, January 21, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Jump to TSN ‘bittersweet’ for Mike Richards" The Globe and Mail, January 27, 2011.
  7. ^ TSN RADIO 1050 Hits the Airwaves April 13
  8. ^ "Canucks uncork tribute to Russian groundbreaker Lariono". Vancouver Sun, January 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "TSN Takes The Next Steps Towards Its Radio Network". Radio Insight, January 23, 2011.
  10. ^ Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (2012-07-10). "Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-370 (item 2)". Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  11. ^ "TSN Radio 990 to become a francophone station". Canadian Press. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-574". CRTC. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Rogers tells CRTC it is willing to buy TSN 690". The Gazette. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "CRTC approves Bell-Astral merger". CBC. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "TSN Radio hits the air in Ottawa and Edmonton". TSN.ca. Bell Media. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "TEAM RADIO SWITCHES TO TSN1040 & TSN1410". teamradio.ca. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Dowbiggin, Bruce (2011-01-10). "TSN considers starting own radio network to challenge The FAN: Challenge would ratchet up the corporate rivalry between Rogers Communications Inc. and CTV Inc. for the sports audience in Canada". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  18. ^ "Friday Toronto Sports Media Roundup" Toronto Sports Media, February 05, 2011.
  19. ^ "TSN Radio 1050 launches new drive show to air on TSN2". TSN.ca. 
  20. ^ "TSN goes on the offence, unveils three new channels". The Globe and Mail. 
  21. ^ "TSN expanding to a total of five national feeds". TSN.ca. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 

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