What's up with Vista Radio?

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What's up with Vista Radio?

Postby dmehus » Wed May 16, 2018 4:48 pm

Since Nick Frost attempted his latest "play" (no pun intended) for his own vanity with the purchase by Avenue Radio Ltd of the CJUI-FM radio assets for, arguably, a "song" (pun intended), I haven't kept up with the latest ownership and station changes at Vista Radio. The CRTC's latest ownership charts show that it is, effectively, 75% owned by 2003 TIL Settlement Trust, for which The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. serves as its trustee, related to the death of Thomson family patriarch Roy Thomson and later Kenneth Thomson. Has that always been the case? I remember when they bought the Halliburton Broadcasting stations in Ontario, Margot Micallef, Paul Mann, et al, either divested their equity positions in Vista entirely or diluted them and Westerkirk Capital was brought in to help finance the deal.

I see that Sherry Brydson, through Brydson Holdings, owns 15% of TIL Investments Ltd., and I remember reading about an asset dispute with fellow Thomson family members involving her and David Thomson (her brother?), but were they always involved in Vista?

Odd to see BNS in a voting control position of a major radio broadcasting group. I think they do a fairly decent job of cost efficiently providing radio service in smaller communities through 7 major radio brands in station "clusters," but I feel like they're in a "holding pattern" here. Anyone want to make a wager on their assets being the next major sale, possibly to Stingray Digital Group in a couple years once they've integrated and rebranded the NewCap stations (there's relatively little overlap, especially now that CJUI-FM was sold to Frost in Kelowna - they could bring onboard the B.C. Interior South and North stations with, probably, no required divestitures). Another possibility, if he has any interest in expanding east of Saskatchewan would be Jim Pattison. Either buyer, I think, would be welcome.

Cheers,
Doug
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Re: What's up with Vista Radio?

Postby Aaron » Wed May 16, 2018 4:54 pm

I will be shocked if Vista isn't sold to Stingray. MyFM too - this is exactly was those smaller regional groups were waiting for.
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Re: What's up with Vista Radio?

Postby dmehus » Wed May 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Aaron wrote:I will be shocked if Vista isn't sold to Stingray. MyFM too - this is exactly was those smaller regional groups were waiting for.


Thanks, Aaron, for your reply and thoughts. I agree with your thinking that some of the smaller regional radio groups, though with 41 radio stations and 63 transmitters, Vista's probably the biggest and almost has a national presence - without the major metropolitan markets. Any others you see potentially being sold, whether to a Bell Media Radio, Stingray NewCap/Vista combined entity, Jim Pattison, Corus, or Rogers?

Speaking of Corus or Rogers, I think Corus keeps their Radio division as it's their only growing division, other than maybe the main Global TV network, but do you think Rogers is committed to radio long term? They don't exactly have a large network anymore and they've been selling, and writing off, Rogers Media assets a lot in the past couple years.

Cheers,
Doug
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Re: What's up with Vista Radio?

Postby WheresFredTaylor » Wed May 16, 2018 6:01 pm

dmehus wrote:
Aaron wrote: but do you think Rogers is committed to radio long term? They don't exactly have a large network anymore and they've been selling, and writing off, Rogers Media assets a lot in the past couple years.

Cheers,
Doug


Won't happen. They hold too many sports rights.
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Re: What's up with Vista Radio?

Postby dmehus » Thu May 17, 2018 7:00 am

Ah, didn't think about that. Guess listening to sports, even in the major markets, is more popular than I might've otherwise imagined. Isn't their sports broadcasts usually on their AM stations, though? Could you see them keeping the AMs and News<frequency> AM/FM stations and selling off their music-focused stations (i.e., Sonic [or whatever it's called now], Jack, etc.)?

Cheers,
Doug
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