Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

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Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby jon » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:23 pm

POWER struggle: Edmonton radio stations to battle over naming rights in court
Karyn Mulcahy
CTV News Edmonton
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2019 1:07PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:43PM MST

EDMONTON -- Radio listeners who lived in Edmonton in the 1990s and early 2000s likely remember top 40s radio station POWER 92. While the station has since been rebranded, it’s now at the centre of a copyright lawsuit.

"Corus alleges that CJNW has rebranded itself as POWER 107 and stolen the well known 'phrase that pays,'" reads a statement of claim filed by Corus last month in a Calgary court.

From 1991 to 2004, CKNG FM Edmonton was known as POWER 92. It was bought by Corus Communications in 1999. Its distinctive black and white branding and phrase that pays, "POWER 92 plays today’s best music, now show me my money" were central to the station’s marketing.

Flash forward to August of 2019. Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s CJNW FM flipped formats, changing its name from Hot 107 to POWER 107, and the branding was strangely familiar, from the bold black and white logo splashed across buses and billboards all over Edmonton, to the phrase that pays, "POWER 107 plays Edmonton’s best music, now show me my money." The rebranded station even plays 90s/2000s music.

Corus says it’s more than a coincidence.

"Harvard Broadcasting Inc. ("Harvard"), owner of CJNWFM 107 has brazenly copied the brand, marks, slogans, advertising materials and other identifiable attributes of Corus Radio Inc.'s successful POWER 92 radio station in Edmonton. It has done so in an attempt to increase listenership and advertising revenues for its struggling CJNW-FM 107 radio station in Edmonton," reads the Corus statement of claim filed on Sept. 12.

The Corus injunction seeks to ban Harvard from using the POWER 107 name or any name that includes POWER.

Corus is also demanding Harvard cancel or cease the use of the domain name http://www.power107.ca

The case will be heard in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 8.

A spokesperson for Corus said Corus is unable to comment because the matter is before the courts. Harvard Broadcasting has not responded to CTV News Edmonton's request for comment.
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Re: Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby Rocky » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:29 pm

jon wrote:[size=150]

"Corus alleges that CJNW has rebranded itself as POWER 107 and stolen the well known 'phrase that pays,'" reads a statement of claim filed by Corus last month in a Calgary court.

From 1991 to 2004, CKNG FM Edmonton was known as POWER 92. It was bought by Corus Communications in 1999. Its distinctive black and white branding and phrase that pays, "POWER 92 plays today’s best music, now show me my money" were central to the station’s marketing.

Flash forward to August of 2019. Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s CJNW FM flipped formats, changing its name from Hot 107 to POWER 107, and the branding was strangely familiar, from the bold black and white logo splashed across buses and billboards all over Edmonton, to the phrase that pays, "POWER 107 plays Edmonton’s best music, now show me my money." The rebranded station even plays 90s/2000s music.

Corus says it’s more than a coincidence.

"Harvard Broadcasting Inc. ("Harvard"), owner of CJNWFM 107 has brazenly copied the brand, marks, slogans, advertising materials and other identifiable attributes of Corus Radio Inc.'s successful POWER 92 radio station in Edmonton. It has done so in an attempt to increase listenership and advertising revenues for its struggling CJNW-FM 107 radio station in Edmonton," reads the Corus statement of claim filed on Sept. 12.

The Corus injunction seeks to ban Harvard from using the POWER 107 name or any name that includes POWER.

Corus is also demanding Harvard cancel or cease the use of the domain name http://www.power107.ca



Corus were the ones who dumped the Power identity 15 years ago to jump on the "JACK" bandwagon with JOE FM playing Classic Hits. If the POWER identity was so valuable to them, why didn't they return it to 92.5 after JOE had run his course?

I'm thinking Corus is just pissed that they dropped the ball by not bringing back POWER 92 instead of some of the unsuccessful brandings they've used since JOE went away. As for the domain name, it wouldn't be an issue if they had renewed that valuable asset at some point in the past 15 years.

How many markets have had various KISS branded stations with different owners over the years? Did Rogers try suing Corus when they launched NW2 in Vancouver which was basically a carbon copy of News 1130? I don't recall anybody coming up with lawsuits when Newcap brought back the XL branding in Calgary complete with the Drive Decent slogan, or the recreation of the LG name in Vancouver.
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Re: Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby paterson » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:15 pm

Well, well, well, seems Corus is in a bit of a pickle! Not only is nobody stepping up to buy the company, but the once stellar radio division seems to be going from bad to worse.

Nice to see a smaller, smarter and more nimble company out maneuver one of the big guys. Good on you Harvard Broadcasting! :salute:

I hope this lasts about 2 minutes in court (if it gets that far) and Corus learns a lesson. Just seems like a case of sour grapes, and the Power logos and domain certainly are not unique to Corus.

They had many years to bring back the Power brand and didn't. They opted for The Chuck, and recently brought in an imported morning show from Seattle. Oh yeah,
how are the new kids doing in the morning? Still a few teething pains I guess? I bet Brooks and Jubal will be out by this summer. How low can Chuck go? Wait and see!
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Re: Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby jon » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:40 pm

Dan Sys' Canadian Radio News has a post mentioning that CKNG-FM Edmonton, before they were owned by Corus, got their branding from a U.S. station.

This one in Los Angeles looks the most likely. From Wikipedia:
At 6 p.m. on January 11, 1986, KMGG dropped its adult contemporary format, and became the first rhythmic contemporary-focused top 40 formatted radio outlet with the new callsign KPWR and the handle "Power 106."
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Re: Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:44 am

paterson wrote:how are the new kids doing in the morning? Still a few teething pains I guess? I bet Brooks and Jubal will be out by this summer. How low can Chuck go? Wait and see!


Zeros. Every morning.
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Re: Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby WheresFredTaylor » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:00 pm

Aaron wrote:
paterson wrote:how are the new kids doing in the morning? Still a few teething pains I guess? I bet Brooks and Jubal will be out by this summer. How low can Chuck go? Wait and see!


Zeros. Every morning.


I gotta think it's Christmas music come Tuesday morning.
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Re: Corus Sues Harvard over use of POWER in Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:44 pm

Yeah, I'm betting on them being first.
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