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October 14, 2020 3:19 pm  #1

How Do These Canadian-U.S. Radio News Affiliations Work?

I remember when I worked at CKEY way back in the late 70s, they had a major affiliation with CBS Radio News and it was one of that station's many news strengths. When 'EY disappeared, Standard/Astral/Bell became the Canadian affiliate of CBS Radio here in Canada. 

And then, about a year or more ago, they let that longtime partnership lapse and joined the newly reconstituted NBC News, which is really just a shadow of its former self from when GE owned the company. It's basically NBC in name only and it gives them access to some reporters and the rights to use at least a bit of the audio from the TV network's Nightly News.

I thought that was it, until this month when Corus' 640 started doing debriefs with CBS reporters, which likely means they've picked up the affiliation that Bell dropped. (Global also airs CBS-TV content in its newscasts, so it might be part of a larger package.)

The Canadian Press has long owned the rights to ABC Radio News in Canada and I don't think anyone here has linked their stations in with Fox Radio, which is far less successful than the other three. 
And so my questions: how do these things come about? Does it cost a station group money to affiliate with a particular U.S. radio network? Is one better than the others? How are these decisions made and are they even necessary? And why did Bell let go of one of the best U.S. radio news presences in North America? 

I'm sure most don't care, but I hadn't really thought about this much until I heard Oakley talk to a CBS reporter on Wednesday. Talk about musical chairs! Or at least news-ical chairs...


October 14, 2020 4:03 pm  #2

Re: How Do These Canadian-U.S. Radio News Affiliations Work?

CHED in Edmonton is affiliated with ABC News Radio, so the radio news affiliation agreements might be on a per-station basis?


October 14, 2020 4:07 pm  #3

Re: How Do These Canadian-U.S. Radio News Affiliations Work?

I'm not sure, but if they're affiliated with The Canadian Press (which Corus stations are, taking some of their weekend  and overnight newscasts from them), they'd almost certainly receive those audio feeds from that source. But I admit to my lack of knowledge on this subject, which is why I asked the question. So anything's possible.

     Thread Starter

October 14, 2020 5:44 pm  #4

Re: How Do These Canadian-U.S. Radio News Affiliations Work?

Interesting that no one contracts with ITN or SkyNews in the UK (I suspect CBC has a content exchange deal with the BBC). They do international coverage, including the US, and the advantage would be their reports from the US don't sound like their intended for an American audience - and I suspect their cheaper than US providers. Do Canadian stations just think a British accent would turn listeners off?