A made-in-Manitoba radio format is being nationally syndicated to an even wider audience.
Kroeger Media Inc., the company behind the HANK FM brand of stations, has partnered with Envision Radio Networks as its national syndicator for the HANK format.
The LaSalle-based company is also the brains behind the BOB FM and JACK brands, creating turnkey formats for radio stations all across Canada and the U.S.
“We are now in the age of the celestial jukebox,” said Howard Kroeger, the creator and voice of HANK FM. “The Internet, peer to peer file sharing, iTunes, TV, video games and the box office have all contributed towards remapping listeners music tastes as we start this second decade of the 21st Century. Wide variety based formats are now a successful niche. The success of the BOB/JACK format is hard evidence of that.”
“The format will give a broader musical choice in the crowded country radio arena,” said Danno Wolkoff, Envision’s president and CEO.
Envision provides content and services to more than 1,000 radio stations and reaches over 40 million listeners weekly.
A new Winnipeg radio station was launched Tuesday morning on the same frequency as the former Hank FM.
K-ROCK 100.7 began at 6 a.m. with the “Bob & Tom Show” — a syndicated program out of the U.S. featuring news, sports, lifestyle content, and celebrity interviews.
The station is promising to provide listeners with world class rock, such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Neil Young, and Van Halen.
“We are very proud to be Winnipeg’s newest home of the best rock that has ever been recorded,” said general manager Randy Skulsky. “It’s an eclectic mix that has never been heard in our great city before.”
Skulsky was also the general manager of 100.7 Hank FM, which failed miserably as a station in almost every ratings book in recently memory.
K-ROCK 100.7 is also owned by NewCap Radio.
A list of local on-air talent wasn’t immediately available.
It’s not a surprise Winnipeg country radio station Hank FM was dead last again in the latest spring ratings. Although, to their credit, they’re trying to compete and make something of themselves. That is, at least according to a recent renewal application the station filed with the CRTC to amend its licence. To sum it up — they want to become a big boy radio station.
The broadcast regulator ruled on May 28, 2010 against the proposed changes NewCap Radio set forth for CHNK-FM (Hank’s legal call letters). The station wanted to delete certain requirements under its category 2 (popular music) licence, such as having to play music composed before 1956 and having to devote a weekly average of 2% or more of its musical selections from category 2 to those periods to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.
If the amendments were approved, NewCap said it would permit Hank “to compete more effectively with other commercial radio stations in the Winnipeg market and make future enhancements to the quality of its programming service and would provide stability to both CHNK-FM and its ethnic station CJKS Winnipeg.”
The changes weren’t without opposition. In the filing, CJSB-FM in Swan River and Hot 103 and QX104 in Winnipeg expressed concerns about the application. Astral Media — who owns both Hot and QX — said NewCap’s request would mean Hank would enter in direct competition with other existing mainstream commercial radio stations in the market. It submitted that the amendments requested by NewCap were not appropriate for the following reasons:
The Winnipeg market cannot sustain another mainstream commercial radio station at this time;
NewCap’s request is contrary to the Commission’s rationale for the station’s licensing in 2002, namely to increase the diversity of radio programming in the market without creating direct competition with existing commercial stations; and
The introduction of additional direct competition with mainstream commercial stations would be inconsistent with the recent analysis of the Winnipeg market following the licensing of new radio stations in the market in August 2008.
If that wasn’t enough to discourage Hank FM, the filing also pointed out numerous non-compliance violations, such as missing programming on logger tapes from July 17-23, 2007, and an apparent category 2 violation with its musical selection during that same week. The CRTC are pretty sticky when it comes to details like that.
Based on those violations and the interventions from other media, the application was denied. In its defence, Hank pointed out several shortcomings with its station to perhaps score sympathy points. The application noted when the station was purchased, the equipment and signal were very poor, requirements for CTD (Canadian talent development) had not been met, and the station was essentially operated by volunteers whose quality of programming was poor. Don’t expect any ’employee of the month’ awards over there.
Hank’s licence was renewed until August 31, 2013 — which is considered to be very short-term in the radio industry. During that time, the CRTC will be monitoring the station closely for any slip-ups.
You may have also noticed Hank FM did not renew its lease recently in the Portage Place Skywalk. We’re told most of the on-air programming is now being voice-tracked out of the station’s small office on Corydon Avenue.
On Friday, 100.7 Hank FM terminated their midday host Carie Jones. Now we’re learning they also cut ties with their receptionist.
Is anybody still employed over there? Hopefully this will be the last round of layoffs for a while. People gotta work!
The receptionist handled duties for both Hank FM and their sister station CKJS 810 AM.
Besides the personnel changes, rumours have been circulating that Hank will switch formats soon. NewCap Radio operates several stations under the ‘Capital FM’ brand, and 100.7 could be next.
The date December 26 could also have some significance. On December 26, 2006, Cafe 100 took to the air on the 100.7 frequency, then on the same date in 2007 is when Hank FM debuted.
Could December 26, 2009 be when Capital FM hits the airwaves? The only thing that may block a potential switch is if NewCap can’t get the category 3 classification lifted under CRTC guidelines. Category 3 states that a station must play traditional and special interest music to Canadian Selections, such as concert, folk and folk-oriented, etc. If the category restriction isn’t lifted, it could cramp the station’s style to bring in a new sound and ultimately leave it at the bottom of the ratings barrel.
We put in a request for comment with the station’s GM this morning.
With a station that’s plagued last in the ratings, things don’t look good for the NewCap entity.
A source at the station tells ChrisD.ca, “It’s unfortunate that due to a lack of leadership that so many people have been affected.”
UPDATE: November 21 — Carie sent the following statement: “I will miss all my friends at the station immensely. I am extremely grateful for the time I spent at NewCap Radio, and for everything I learned there, and I’m looking forward to the next step on this incredible journey.”