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February 9, 2022 2:09 pm  #1


Something's up at Flow

Hearing buzz from across the border that the airstaff is out and there might be something changing at 2 this afternoon... stay tuned! 

(No, you can't hear 93.5 from Rochester, but with my VPN engaged, I can at least stream it...)

 

February 9, 2022 2:19 pm  #2


Re: Something's up at Flow

They've turned on their HD-1 signal for what it's worth.

 

February 9, 2022 2:35 pm  #3


Re: Something's up at Flow

tvguy wrote:

They've turned on their HD-1 signal for what it's worth.

Which explains why WBLK is getting wiped out around the GTA now. (I can hear just enough of a fringe WBLK signal around Rochester that I'm pretty certain it's still at full power from the Rand Building.)

     Thread Starter
 

February 9, 2022 2:38 pm  #4


Re: Something's up at Flow

It looks like 98.7 will pick up the Flow branding as of Monday....the website is already up. Not sure what will be of 93.5.
https://flow987.com/

 

February 9, 2022 2:46 pm  #5


Re: Something's up at Flow

eladb wrote:

It looks like 98.7 will pick up the Flow branding as of Monday....the website is already up. Not sure what will be of 93.5.
https://flow987.com/

So Stingray has sold the branding off to G's owners, from my understanding? Very interesting....

 

February 9, 2022 3:06 pm  #6


Re: Something's up at Flow

eladb wrote:

It looks like 98.7 will pick up the Flow branding as of Monday....the website is already up. Not sure what will be of 93.5.
https://flow987.com/

Well spotted. Here's what's on the front page of the old site right now. If they have dumped all their staff (and I haven't heard an announcer since 2 PM), it would make this a new kind of St. Valentine's Day massacre. 

But wow, they sure didn't give much notice to their listeners, however many there may be. 

So what goes on 93.5? They're running announcements saying a "new station" debuts on Monday. No clue yet as to the format. 

https://i.ibb.co/F309tM6/flow.jpg

 

February 9, 2022 3:16 pm  #7


Re: Something's up at Flow

All the links to the old pages - including the one that featured the on-air staff - are gone, replaced by a 404 Not Found message. Here's what it looked like a few minutes before 2 PM.

https://i.ibb.co/yh9DpX3/flow1.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Ths79Lz/flow2.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/1Q7NrZd/flow3.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/vmGJmXt/flow4.jpg

 

February 9, 2022 3:34 pm  #8


Re: Something's up at Flow

So FLOW is moving to 98.7 on Monday and 93.5 becomes something else.  Finally, some format movement in the long static Toronto radio scene!   Now let's see if this gets any coverage or mentions in Toronto newspapers or television in the days ahead.  Or maybe prompts other changes or tweaking in the Toronto radio market. 

 

February 9, 2022 3:42 pm  #9


Re: Something's up at Flow

A lot depends on what they're changing to. If it's more of the same old/same old, it won't be as good a story. Frankly, outside of a Toronto-based country station, I can't think of a format that would be all that different from what's currently on the GTA dial. But I really wonder if Stingray would do that.

Also, which is the better signal? Why make this move if it will only confuse listeners? There must be some benefit to going to all this trouble redesigning everything, especially if they're keeping relatively the same format on a different frequency. And if they are making a format alteration to Flow, why not just do it and keep it on 93.5?

 

February 9, 2022 3:54 pm  #10


Re: Something's up at Flow

RadioActive wrote:

A lot depends on what they're changing to. If it's more of the same old/same old, it won't be as good a story. Frankly, outside of a Toronto-based country station, I can't think of a format that would be all that different from what's currently on the GTA dial. But I really wonder if Stingray would do that.

Also, which is the better signal? Why make this move if it will only confuse listeners? There must be some benefit to going to all this trouble redesigning everything, especially if they're keeping relatively the same format on a different frequency. And if they are making a format alteration to Flow, why not just do it and keep it on 93.5?

Because it’s 2 different companies. Stingray is no longer interested in running a hip-hop format. The owners of 98.7 are and some good IP has become available.

Even if 98.7 were owned by Stingray, they couldn’t do the new format there due to the specialty license.

Last edited by RadioAaron (February 9, 2022 3:54 pm)


 
 

February 9, 2022 3:54 pm  #11


Re: Something's up at Flow

Broadcast Dialogue has the best hints of what's to come for 98.7, indicating Stingray decided to "licence" the Flow brand to its competitor, which will also mean more variety in the music they'll play. 

“The slogan has changed. Where the current Flow is “Toronto’s hip hop,” we’ll be “Toronto’s hip hop and R&B.” So, we will take on the edginess of Flow, but we’ll also take on a softness to please those outside the traditional hip hop heads…it will still be new, still be fresh, but also appeal to more mature listeners as well.”

No hint, though, as to what will be on 93.5 come Monday. 


G98.7 rebrands to Flow 98.7 as Stingray relinquishes heritage brand

 

February 9, 2022 4:02 pm  #12


Re: Something's up at Flow

fybush wrote:

tvguy wrote:

They've turned on their HD-1 signal for what it's worth.

Which explains why WBLK is getting wiped out around the GTA now. (I can hear just enough of a fringe WBLK signal around Rochester that I'm pretty certain it's still at full power from the Rand Building.)

They apparently turned on their HD today but WBLK's signal has been weak to none for sometime now. I just tried 93.7 and the weak Georgina signal that had been there since WBLK's demise has disappeared I guess b/c of the HD at 93.5.

In terms of the new format there's no country, triple A or Talk on FM in Toronto. Despite the heritage of the old CHUM FM and CFNY I would be surprised if they go with triple A. Country is a better bet but who knows.

Edi: Maybe classic rock as Stingray owns a few stations that have that format.
 

Last edited by Fitz (February 9, 2022 4:10 pm)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

February 9, 2022 4:03 pm  #13


Re: Something's up at Flow

Does CFXJ have any format conditions on its license these days? Or is Stingray free to do whatever with it?

     Thread Starter
 

February 9, 2022 4:13 pm  #14


Re: Something's up at Flow

fybush wrote:

Does CFXJ have any format conditions on its license these days? Or is Stingray free to do whatever with it?

I'm not sure if this is still in force, but way back in 2010, when CTV acquired the station, several people intervened with the CRTC to ensure the hip hop format would remain intact and that CFXJ would continue to serve the Black community. 

The CRTC decided they couldn't order that:

"The Commission notes the request by the interveners concerning the imposition of measures to ensure that CTV reinstates and maintains CFXJ-FM’s original music format. In this regard, the Commission notes that specific conditions of licence relating to the music format were not imposed for CFXJ-FM when the licence was issued and that Milestone is in compliance with its current conditions of licence. Accordingly, the Commission does not consider it appropriate to impose a condition of licence regarding music format."

If that's still the case, it would appear Stingray is free to do anything it wants. Listener reaction should be interesting. 

CRTC Ruling

 

February 9, 2022 4:19 pm  #15


Re: Something's up at Flow

fybush wrote:

Does CFXJ have any format conditions on its license these days? Or is Stingray free to do whatever with it?

 

According to an old CRTC decision when these stations were acquired by Newcap Inc:
"the station is currently not subject to any conditions of licence relating to its programming format"

 

February 9, 2022 4:21 pm  #16


Re: Something's up at Flow

RadioActive wrote:

I'm not sure if this is still in force, but way back in 2010, when CTV acquired the station, several people intervened with the CRTC to ensure the hip hop format would remain intact and that CFXJ would continue to serve the Black community. 

This is from 2010, and the one I mentioned above is from 2014. So I'd imagine it's still the same. 

 

February 9, 2022 4:25 pm  #17


Re: Something's up at Flow

Flow's move from 93.5 to 98.7 confuses me a bit, as apparently Flow's on air crew won't all be moved to the CINA Radio Group and a certain amount of staffs will be fired. However, it does make sense that the new owner of G98.7 wants to get rid of the previous brand built by Fitzroy Gordon and develop a new image for the station. The current music selection of G is definitely more Caribbean-oriented, with a significant percentage of reggae, dancehall and soca music, it might be possible that after adapting the Flow brand from Stingray, the new Flow 98.7 will shift towards a more hip hop oriented direction, similar to the urban stations in States such as Hot 97 & Power 105 in New York.


Moreover, the frequent change of Flow's airstaff and music playlist might deemed ineffective for the past few years, and the audience was fed up with the tweak, as a result Stingray would rather totally give up Flow and and try something else. As an avid hip-hop listener, I always find Flow being hard to listen to half of the time, mostly due to the poor music choices, which causes Flow sound like other CHR stations occasionally. I really anticipate that the new Flow 98.7 will continue the direction of G98.7, by playing some authentic urban music and getting rid of all those pop tracks.

Answering the question by RadioActive, it is undoubted that 93.5 has away better signal than 98.7. Even though 93.5 only has a maximum ERP of 3.706kW, it still transmits fairly better in the GTA than 98.7. 98.7 is also listenable throughout the GTA, except the eastern parts, especially beyond Ajax. In eastern Scarborough and Pickering 98.7 is occasionally being interrupted by CBC Radio 1 from Peterborough.


Regarding the new format of 93.5, I have little clue of what will it change to next Monday. It is doubtful that Stingray will continue its urban format, due to the multiple failed attempt in terms of improving the station. I  really wish Flow could have modified into a more hip-hop oriented direction. It's a pity that there will be less choices for urban music in Toronto, if Stingray really decides to drop the format. Someone has suggested the country format for 93.5, but given the existence of KX and the fringe country music audience in GTA, it is unlikely too. It might also be some format brand new to the market or something related to hip hop. Let's wait till Monday to see the change.

 

February 9, 2022 4:36 pm  #18


Re: Something's up at Flow

RadioActive wrote:

And if they are making a format alteration to Flow, why not just do it and keep it on 93.5?

I doubt that's in the cards. Pick a cookie cutter-any cookie cutter that Stingray owns. Maybe Stingray sees more money in any one of those-except Rewind-that would be a direct threat to sister station Boom. 
(& yes, "Real Country" is one of their cookie cutters-just throwing that out there...)
 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

February 9, 2022 4:42 pm  #19


Re: Something's up at Flow

fybush wrote:

Does CFXJ have any format conditions on its license these days? Or is Stingray free to do whatever with it?

Any non-specialty (Talk, Jazz, etc) format is fine.


 
 

February 9, 2022 4:42 pm  #20


Re: Something's up at Flow

Radiowiz wrote:

Pick a cookie cutter-any cookie cutter that Stingray owns. 

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm expecting 93.5 to become. I'm not counting on anything innovative or groundbreaking here.
 

 

February 9, 2022 5:45 pm  #21


Re: Something's up at Flow

Country would definitely make the most sense. CKIS 92.5  has also made some recent changes. Playing a lot of throwbacks now in addition to new music.

 

February 9, 2022 5:52 pm  #22


Re: Something's up at Flow

This is going to be interesting and in very last minute time.   As for the format of the new 93.5 - its been a throwback station before, didnt work.   Country im kind of hoping for but I highly doubt it.  

Since we have so many formats already on the dial, I have no idea what would work now besides maybe country since an official Toronto country station is missing.

It wont effect the big-wig stations much at all.

 

February 9, 2022 6:58 pm  #23


Re: Something's up at Flow

I think 93.5 could flip to a country format or to a light A/C sound, similar to some of the Breeze stations.  The only competition for this is the new Lite FM out of Brantford and Newmarket and both of these stations have minimal impact in Toronto. Same as the two country suburban stations around Toronto. 
 
Country could do well, never be in the top 5 but still better than what FLOW was pulling in.  Country FM does great in Vancouver which is just as diverse as Toronto.  One big difference is that country radio has been in Vancouver for a long time and they are seeing the benefits with strong ratings.

Stingray has two country brands, Real Country and New Country.  So if they go this route, I hope they plan to give the station lots of promotion and are in it for the long haul.  Also don't make the mistake that CISS made back when they had a successful launch of country music in Toronto.  Within months CISS started to mix in too much cross over music.  Those that don't like country music are not going to listen to the station anyway so it makes no sense trying to cater to them with cross over and non country songs.

 

February 9, 2022 7:22 pm  #24


Re: Something's up at Flow

Neither country nor Soft AC make sense.

Country is in a down-cycle and it's just the wrong signal for it.

The Breeze only works when the market doesn't have a successful heritage AC. On top of that, it would take tuning from Boom. They're not going to let anything touch Boom.


 
 

February 9, 2022 7:31 pm  #25


Re: Something's up at Flow

RadioAaron wrote:

Neither country nor Soft AC make sense.

Country is in a down-cycle and it's just the wrong signal for it.

The Breeze only works when the market doesn't have a successful heritage AC. On top of that, it would take tuning from Boom. They're not going to let anything touch Boom.

Fine, then what does make sense Aaron?  

 

February 9, 2022 7:34 pm  #26


Re: Something's up at Flow

A gold-based variety pop/rock format that demographically fits nicely just under Boom.


 
 

February 9, 2022 7:42 pm  #27


Re: Something's up at Flow

RadioAaron wrote:

A gold-based variety pop/rock format that demographically fits nicely just under Boom.

Yes, similar to Evanov's LITE FM.  Isn't that more or less what Breeze stations in Canada are?

 

February 9, 2022 8:12 pm  #28


Re: Something's up at Flow

I'm trying to remember the last time there was a situation in Toronto radio where there was not only a format switch, but a frequency change, as well. The closest I can recall came on Feb. 6, 1995 when Telemedia-owned The Fan 1430 moved to become Rogers' The Fan 590, leaving canned country playing on the old dial position. 

The following year, Telemedia sold the station to Fairchild, which turned it into CHKT, the all-Chinese station, which it remains to this day. 

But this one is slightly different in that it's FM and the old owners aren't looking to dump 93.5 and instead will immediately be putting a new format on the frequency in only a few days.

This just doesn't happen very often and it's a unique moment in this city's radio history. 

 

February 9, 2022 8:24 pm  #29


Re: Something's up at Flow

paterson1 wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

A gold-based variety pop/rock format that demographically fits nicely just under Boom.

Yes, similar to Evanov's LITE FM.  Isn't that more or less what Breeze stations in Canada are?

By "under Boom" I mean younger than Boom. Boom for millennials.

Last edited by RadioAaron (February 9, 2022 8:24 pm)


 
 

February 9, 2022 8:32 pm  #30


Re: Something's up at Flow

RadioAaron wrote:

A gold-based variety pop/rock format that demographically fits nicely just under Boom.

I agree with Aaron. I think they'll essentially be CHFI & CHUM-FM's new competitor - especially in the younger end of their audience. If so, it'll be interesting to see if they go all-Christmas and take a dent out of CHFI. 

The CFXJ signal is too small for country, plus the "KX" country stations cover the CMA very well except for the areas of Toronto in which country probably wouldn't do very well anyways. I think country would be o.k., but they'd essentially get the same ratings they have now..... so why take the jump? Rock is oversaturated here, as is Top 40, talk would be interesting but they don't have the news resources, and every other format is dead. 

I think this is a really wise deal for both stations involved.