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Standard Network

Overview

This page considers the Canadian Standard Broadcasting group.


It covers -

  • introduction
  • Standard
  • Slaight
  • holdings
  • studies

Introduction

Standard Broadcasting encompasses a commercial radio network across Canada, along with minor multimedia interests. It is controlled by Allan Slaight (1931- ).

Standard

Standard dates from establishment of Toronto radio station CFRB in 1927 by Ted Rogers Sr. as a showcase for his rectified AC-power supply (CFRB denotes 'Rogers Batteryless').

It went through several corporate changes during its decades, with control passing from the Rogers family to E. P. Taylor and then to J. A. McDougall of the Argus conglomerate, which encompassed major stakes in retailing, paper manufacture, mining and other interests. In 1968 Standard Radio was rebadged as Standard Broadcasting.

Desmarais' Power gained over 50% of the equity in an attempted takeover of Argus in the mid-1970s but failed to acquire sufficient voting shares, ultimately acquired by Conrad Black and associates. Black increased Argus' stake in Standard before selling the network to Allan Slaight.

Slaight

Slaight initially worked as a travelling magician in Western Canada. His father was publisher of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald and in 1948 acquired CHAB Moose Jaw. After positions at that station Slaight became an executive of the CHUM network.

The current group dates from Slaight's acquisition of radio stations CFGM, Toronto and CFOX Montreal in 1970. In 1973 Slaight and investment partners merged their radio interests with IWC Communications Ltd (IWC). In the following year IWC and associates rescued the bankrupt Global Television Network: Slaight served as Chair and CEO until IWC exited in 1977. CILQ-FM (Q107) in Toronto was launched in 1977. Two years later Slaight Communications bought out other investors in IWC, becoming sole owner of CFGM-AM and Q107.

In 1982 Slaight acquired Urban Outdoors Corporation, following the same trajectory as Clear and other networks that expanded into billboards. In 1985 Slaight acquired Standard Broadcasting Corporation (inc CFRB and CKFM-FM Toronto, CJAD and CJFM-FM Montreal, CKQB Ottawa, and CKTB and CHTZ-FM in St Catharines) for C$180 million from Conrad Black. To comply with CRTC caps on station ownership Slaight sold CFGM and Q1O7.

In 1988 Standard sold CJOH-TV Ottawa to Baton Broadcasting. Sale funded an expansion of the group's expanding radio interests, which reached twelve stations in 2000. In 2001 Standard bought 60 radio stations from Telemedia for C$400 million, retaining the most profitable and shedding 25 'underperformers'. It paid Craig Music & Entertainment C$20 million for several radio stations: four stations in London, three in Hamilton and three in St Catharines. By mid-2003 the group included 51 radio stations, along with television stations in Terrace and Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

It has recently expanded into DVD distribution and post production, along with operation of the online Iceberg Radio portal and a 40% stake in Sirius Canada, a satellite radio provider.

Holdings

As of 2003 Standard and Slaight family interests encompassed

  • 51 radio stations
  • two television stations in Terrace and Dawson Creek, BC
  • Urban Outdoors Corporation - billboards
  • a 30% equity interest in Milestone Radio Inc. (Toronto)
  • a 30% equity interest in the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. (9 Ontario stations)
  • a 30% interest in 19 rural Alberta stations and a Calgary jazz station
  • imsradio - national sales representation company
  • Sound Source Networks - provider of programming
  • Iceberg Media - online broadcaster
  • Video One - distributor of prerecorded video cassettes
  • Instore Focus Inc. - instore sampling company
  • Professional Warehouse Demonstrators - onsite product demonstration services
  • Canada Post Transfer Corporation - post-production facilities and motion picture laboratories in Toronto and Vancouver, and recording studios in Toronto.

Studies

There are no major studies of Standard or the Slaights.