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April 25, 2019 12:07 pm  #1


Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

The local multicultural station at 88.9, CIRV, rarely gets mentioned here. But Canadian Radio News reports they've just rebranded and will now be known as "Red FM." 

At first I couldn't figure out why they chose that moniker but a quick look at their new website explains it - RED stands for "Reflecting Ethnic Diversity." But since English isn't likely to be the first language their listeners speak, I'm not entirely sure how well that will register with them. 

The site says it will broadcast Punjabi, Hindu and Urdu music from 4AM to midnight, starting May 1st. It doesn't say what they plan to do overnight. 

THE OLD
https://cirvfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/cirvlogo408.png


THE NEW

https://toronto.redfm.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/redfm_toronto_logo224.png

 

April 26, 2019 9:52 am  #2


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

What are their 3 HD sub-channels airing?

 

April 26, 2019 10:17 am  #3


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Andy: I have HD2 as Portuguese, HD3 as Spanish, & HD4 as a simulcast of Red FM 93.1 (CKYE) Vancouver. Of course chances are that they have since dumped the HD4 simulcast now that CIRV itself has been branded as Red FM.

 

April 27, 2019 11:01 am  #4


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

RadioActive wrote:

But since English isn't likely to be the first language their listeners speak, I'm not entirely sure how well that will register with them. 

The name is only the beginning.
How about the ability to submit a news tip? That's all in English also...
https://redfm.ca/ (scroll down)

 

April 27, 2019 12:08 pm  #5


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Dan Sys wrote:

Andy: I have HD2 as Portuguese, HD3 as Spanish, & HD4 as a simulcast of Red FM 93.1 (CKYE) Vancouver. Of course chances are that they have since dumped the HD4 simulcast now that CIRV itself has been branded as Red FM.

Just checked, and the HD4 is still a simulcast of CKYE.


 
 

April 29, 2019 8:21 am  #6


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

So was there approval from the CRTC for the change of the COL to all Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu? Or is this just another non public back room slight of hand?
Seems the Portuguese community has to buy HD radios to get the service they had since CIRV signed on.

 

April 29, 2019 8:27 am  #7


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

They were never licensed for any specific language, Portuguese or otherwise.  Most recent version I can find has them committed to 9 separate languages other than English or French, but does not specify which ones they have to be.


 
 

April 30, 2019 8:17 pm  #8


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Looking at their Facebook page, it seems this has gone over well with their original base. It's probably not a great idea to sweep the rug out from under your listeners by giving them short (possibly no?) notice that they'd need new hardware or an active internet connection to continue listening. Especially given radio's appeal to older, less tech-oriented demographics.

Do any general brick and mortar retailers even carry consumer HD radios? I couldn't find any on the sites for Best Buy, Wal-Mart and The Source.

 

April 30, 2019 8:31 pm  #9


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Retaw wrote:

Looking at their Facebook page, it seems this has gone over well with their original base...

Having looked at the page, I think you meant to type hasn't gone over too well. Those people are some kind of pissed when you translate their complaints.

Retaw wrote:

Do any general brick and mortar retailers even carry consumer HD radios? I couldn't find any on the sites for Best Buy, Wal-Mart and The Source.

My favourite place to buy a radio these days is RadioWorld on Steeles near Keele. They have an amazing amount of choice and you can listen to them and try them out in the store before you buy.

AM/FM Radios
 

     Thread Starter
 

May 1, 2019 4:42 pm  #10


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

I was being sarcastic. Most are frustrated, with some sending their condolences because they believe the Portuguese programming will end completely. Across the entire page, there's a recurring theme in the comments about how their parents/grandparents don't have internet access or an indoor HD radio. There is still Portuguese content on the main station, but it's been significantly diminished. 

Based on their site, RadioWorld only seems to carry three HD capable models. All well over $100. For the elderly on a fixed income, that might be a big ask.

 

May 1, 2019 5:19 pm  #11


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Sorry, missed the sarcasm! As for HD radios, yes, the choice is somewhat limited. But I'm not sure where else in Toronto you can buy one that plays that format, especially one you can test out before forking over the bucks.  

     Thread Starter
 

May 1, 2019 9:16 pm  #12


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Although I respect free market, such an abrupt change from CIRV to Red FM clearly upsets a lot of Portuguese listeners that have been dedicated to the station for decades. Currently Red FM still allows them to broadcast from 6 to 9 pm, however in the afternoon it’s just all south Asian programming. I believe the listeners of CIRV would rather listen to online stream than switch to the non-friendly HD Radio...

Furthermore I found the ethnic radio market in Toronto is quite imbalanced. I did a little research about it, except English, French and aboriginal, 13 radio stations are broadcasting other types of languages (530, 1320, 1430, 1540, 1610, 1650, 1690, 88.9, 91.9, 100.7, 101.3, 102.7, 105.9) (just check it out if you’re interested). 9 out of 13 stations are providing at least several hours to 24 hours south Asian programming, however only 2 out of 13 stations provide Chinese programming (1430, 1540) and 5 stations broadcast in European languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek etc.). Although south Asian group is clearly the largest ethnic group in GTA, with nearly 1 million inhabitants, people of Chinese race (600,000 inhabitants) and European (except English) language speakers are still constituing a considerable fraction in GTA.

With the launch of Red FM, I’m pretty sure some south Asian stations (especially those on the AM dial) will really suffer from the competition. Also Chinese people deserve at least a spot on FM dial (maybe 100.7, shifting with 1540) and Europeans (of other language) deserves more choice than now, with the demise of CIRV Radio.

Lastly, I just wonder why CRTC would allow Red FM to broadcast in Toronto, with already plenty of south Asian radio stations...

 

May 3, 2019 3:42 am  #13


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

It's all timing. If Red Kelly were to have passed away sooner, some people may have mistaken this station for being a tribute station in his honour or something... https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/cool.png
 

 

May 3, 2019 9:02 am  #14


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

Adrian106072 wrote:

Lastly, I just wonder why CRTC would allow Red FM to broadcast in Toronto, with already plenty of south Asian radio stations...

Specific languages for 3rd language stations generally aren't regulated.


 
 

May 11, 2019 12:19 am  #15


Re: Toronto Ethnic Station Rebrands As "Red FM"

And I remember there’s still one yet-to-launch south Asian station from Brampton, Radio Humsafar on 1350 AM. It’s orginally based in Montreal serving the local south Asian communities, but I wonder could it be financially sustainable in GTA. There’s already 7 south Asian stations serving the whole Toronto area, it is even questionable whether the station will able to be launched, or they have to surrender their license...