Corus sells Quebec radio stations

Eleven stations sold to rival Cogeco Inc. for $80 million

TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment has sold its struggling Quebec radio stations to rival Cogeco Inc. for $80 million.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, follows Canadian radio stations nationwide continuing to suffer from a drop in ad revenue, despite an economic recovery producing a rebound in TV ad revenue.

"Corus Entertainment has made the strategic decision to divest of its Corus Quebec radio stations and focus on brands in our television division and our Ontario and western Canadian radio stations," Corus president and CEO John Cassaday said Friday.

Corus' overall radio revenues were down 4% to $55.7 million in the latest quarter to Feb. 28, while overall revenue at its 11 Quebec radio stations was down 2% in the same period.

The Quebec radio stations, acquired in part by Corus five years ago as part of an asset swap with Astral Media, will now merge with five radio stations Cogeco runs in Montreal, Quebec, Trois-Rivieres and Sherbrooke.

Cogeco also runs Canada's fourth-largest cable network in the Quebec and Ontario markets.
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