Canadian radio sees higher '07 profits

Earnings increase 5.5% for AM, FM stations

OTTAWA -- Despite the threat from new digital media platforms, profits for Canadian radio stations rose last year on higher revenue, the country's broadcast regulator reported Wednesday.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said pretax earnings for Canada's private AM and FM radio stations in 2007 rose 5.5% to CAN$300.1 million ($297.3 million) as revenue grew 6.2% to CAN $1.5 billion ($1.49 billion), compared with 2006.

The Canadian radio market, dominated by FM radio stations, in 2007 consolidated as Astral Media became Canada's largest radio station operator after it acquired rival Standard Broadcasting and rival CTVglobemedia acquired 35 radio stations from Chum Ltd.