Report: Bell Globemedia To Buy CHUM Ltd.
July 12, 2006 at 6:45 PM (PT)
The GLOBE AND MAIL is reporting that CHUM LTD., the Canadian radio and TV giant, is about to be purchased by BELL GLOBEMEDIA. Trading of CHUM stock on the TORONTO STOCK EXCHANGE has been halted TODAY with an announcement expected later in the day. The deal would be in the area of C$1.7 billion.
BELL GLOBEMEDIA owns the CTV television network, the GLOBE AND MAIL, 17 cable networks, ad 15% of the parent company of the TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS and RAPTORS and AIR CANADA CENTRE, while CHUM owns 33 radio stations, 12 TV stations (including the CITY-TV channels in TORONTO, VANCOUVER, WINNIPEG, EDMONTON, and CALGARY and the A-CHANNEL stations throughout ONTARIO and in VICTORIA, BC), and 21 cable networks (including MUCHMUSIC), as well as the MUZAK franchise for CANADA.
Primary ownership of BELL GLOBEMEDIA is changing with BCE INC. reducing its share from 68.5% to 20% and selling 8.5% to the THOMSON family (which will hold 40%), 20% to TORSTAR CORP. (owner of the TORONTO STAR), and 20% to the ONTARIO TEACHERS' PENSION PLAN.
THe CBC reported late WEDNESDAY that CHUM has laid off about 281 full- and part-time employees of its TV division in advance of the ownership change, cutting news on the CITY-TV outlets in CALGARY, EDMONTON, and WINNIPEG from an hour regular newscast to a half-hour magazine show plus a new national/international news half-hour and other changes in various markets.