News Local

Larche selling stations including The Dock, KICX

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

A pickup truck adorned with advertising for KICX 106 sits parked outside Larche Communications' Orillia operations Thursday. (ANDREW PHILIPS/SPECIAL TO POSTMEDIA NETWORK)

A pickup truck adorned with advertising for KICX 106 sits parked outside Larche Communications' Orillia operations Thursday. (ANDREW PHILIPS/SPECIAL TO POSTMEDIA NETWORK)

Two regional radio stations have been sold to a larger entity.

While terms of the deal haven’t been released, Bell Media will acquire four FM radio stations from Larche Communications Inc., including classic-hits station 104.1 The Dock, based in Midland, and country-music station KICX 106, based in Orillia.

“I believe Bell Media is uniquely positioned to build on our strong brands and reputation,” Larche president and CEO Paul Larche said in a release.

“They are committed to maintaining the strong relationship our team has cultivated with our community, listeners and advertisers. This can only be enhanced by their television stations in two of our markets.”

Larche declined to say anything more about the deal since it still requires approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

“Once the deal is approved by the CRTC, I’d be happy to comment,” said Larche, who did note he will be keeping Larche Digital Agency, based in Barrie.

The deal also includes sister stations to the Midland and Orillia operations, located in Owen Sound and Sudbury, respectively.

Bell Media also remained tight-lipped about the deal, including whether any of Larche’s estimated 60 full-time employees would be affected once Bell Media begins operating the four stations.

“The agreement is currently subject to CRTC approval and, as a result, it is business as usual at the stations,” Bell Media spokesperson Renee Dupuis said. “We do not comment on financial terms.”

But since the four stations are considered strong performers in their markets, Dupuis noted the purchase will strengthen the company’s iHeartRadio cross-country radio offering in Canada.

“With the acquisition of these award-winning FM radio brands, we will expand iHeartRadio Canada’s industry-leading radio network, offering even more high-quality radio content for our listeners,” she said.

Founded in 1996, Larche Communications has been active over the past nine years on the philanthropy front, raising more than $2.5 million during campaigns designed to advance local health care.

andrewphilips@live.ca



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