MONTREAL, Dec. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B),
Canada's largest radio broadcaster, today announced that it will roll out the
Virgin Radio brand across Canada. In early January 2009, the stations now
known as 95 Crave (95.3 FM) in Vancouver, The Bear (106.9 FM) in Ottawa and
Mix 96 (95.9 FM) in Montreal will become part of Astral Media's Virgin Radio
The groundbreaking commercial association between Astral Media and Sir
Richard Branson's Virgin Radio International to exploit the Virgin Radio brand
was launched earlier this year with the introduction of Virgin Radio 999 in
Toronto, which was the first Virgin Radio station in North America.
"This is a milestone announcement, building a solid Canadian presence for
the Virgin Radio brand across Canada with four stations in the Astral Media
Radio portfolio," said Jacques Parisien, Group President, Astral Media Radio
and Astral Media Outdoor. "With Virgin Radio 999 in Toronto surpassing
1,000,000 listeners in the recent BBM survey, the first since its launch in
August of this year, the excitement and enthusiasm generated among listeners
and advertisers is unprecedented. Astral Media is excited to bring the dynamic
and innovative sounds of the Virgin Radio brand to three new Canadian markets.
We are confident that the Virgin Radio brand will invigorate our stations,
while offering an entirely new and rejuvenated promise to our clients."
Astral Media Radio (AMR) is the largest radio broadcaster in Canada and
is increasingly known for introducing innovative new ideas to the radio
industry. With the launch of the Virgin Radio brand in three new markets, AMR
is challenging the norms of conventional stations and shaking up the radio
landscape with a fresh sound and unique new programming formats; delivering a
new voice with first class entertainment value to each market.
The Vancouver and Montreal Virgin Radio stations that will launch early
in January 2009 will focus on the Hot AC format with a target of 25-49
year-old adults. Virgin Radio Ottawa, also launching in January 2009, will
build on its heritage to feature a re-energized rock format aimed at 25-54
Virgin Radio stations are known for dynamic on-air talent, exciting guest
hosts and international celebrities. Virgin is the record company that signed
the Rolling Stones and countless other bands. The Rock history that is part of
the brand will also be a big part of the Ottawa radio station.
More details of exciting additions to the line ups of each Virgin Radio
station will be announced on launch day in each market.
About Astral Media
Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and
pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and interactive media. Astral
Media's solid and dynamic presence in the country's major markets rests on its
commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted media for
all its audiences. For more information about Astral Media, please visit
About Virgin Radio International
From Bangkok to Bangalore, Delhi to Dubai, Milan to Mumbai and Toronto to
Toulouse to Turkey, Virgin Radio International is one of the most exciting and
fastest growing companies in Richard Branson's Virgin Group. Virgin launched
its first radio station in the UK in 1993. More recently it established Virgin
Radio International to develop opportunities outside of the UK. This has lead
to stations being launched in Canada, Dubai, France, India, Italy, Thailand
and Turkey. Other opportunities are being considered in Europe, the Middle
East and North and South America. For more information on Virgin Radio
International please visit www.virginradio.com.
For further information: (Trade media): Rob Braide, Vice President
Branding/Communications and Industry Relations, Astral Media Radio, (514)
529-3220; (Business media): Alain Bergeron, Vice President, Brand Management
and Corporate Communications, Astral Media Inc., (514) 939-5000