Astral Media announces signature of letter of intent to acquire Standard Radio


    MONTREAL, Feb. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B)
today announced that it has signed a letter of intent and has entered into
exclusive negotiations regarding the acquisition of substantially all of the
assets of radio broadcaster, Standard Radio Inc.
    The assets under consideration include Standard Radio's 52 radio stations
in 29 markets across Canada, including some of the most recognized and
listened-to radio brands in the industry: EZ ROCK, MIX, THE BEAR as well as
the Newstalk format on the AM band; IMS, a national advertising sales company;
Sound Source Networks, a leading radio content service provider offering a
comprehensive range of targeted programming; and two television stations
located in northern British Columbia.
    The purchase price is expected to comprise a cash component representing
80% of the total consideration while the balance consist of the issuance of
Astral Class "A" non-voting shares. Consummation of this transaction is
subject to several customary conditions, including completion of satisfactory
due diligence, the signing of a definitive agreement and regulatory approval.
    Upon completion of the transaction, Astral Media will become the largest
radio broadcaster in Canada with 81 radio stations across the country. In
addition to the 52 radio stations to be acquired from Standard, Astral Media
also operates 29 radio stations in Québec and the Atlantic provinces. In
Québec these include 21 FM stations comprising three highly complementary and
successful French-language networks: Energie, RockDétente, and Boom FM. Astral
Media also operates seven FM stations and one AM station in New Brunswick and
Nova Scotia.
    "With the acquisition of Standard Radio, Astral Media will not only be
acquiring the best performing radio stations in the country, we will at the
same time acquire a company with similar values and culture. said Mr. Ian
Greenberg, President and CEO of Astral Media. "Over the past four decades the
Slaight family has built a remarkable collection of strong radio brands and
has contributed meaningfully in shaping the Canadian radio industry as we know
it today. We are delighted with the prospect of welcoming Standard Radio's
employees into our team."
    "We are looking forward to becoming a part of the Astral Media family,"
said Mr. Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Standard Radio. "We are pleased to
see our legacy live on with a company such as Astral that has such a strong
track record and commitment to its employees and to the Canadian radio and
television industries."
    The companies will have no further comment until a formal agreement is
signed.

    Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty,
pay and pay-per-view television, radio, outdoor advertising and the Internet.
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.

    This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning
the future performance of the Company. These forward-looking statements are
based on current expectations. We caution that all forward-looking information
is inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from the
assumptions, estimates or expectations reflected or contained in the
forward-looking information, and that actual future performance will be
affected by a number of factors, including technological change, economic
conditions, regulatory change, competitive factors and changes in accounting
rules or standards, many of which are beyond the Company's control. We
disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statements.



For further information: Alain Bergeron, Vice-President, Brand
Management and Corporate Communications, Astral Media Inc., (514) 939-5000;
Claude Gagnon, Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Astral Media
Inc., (514) 939-5000