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Newcap moves into television with Lloydminster deal

Companies in this story
Newfoundland Capital Corp
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Mergers and acquisitions
DARTMOUTH, N.S. - A purchase announced today by Newfoundland Capital Corporation signals the company's entry into broadcast television, company president Robert Steele told www.broadcastermagazine.com today.

NCC division Newcap announced today it has entered into an agreement to purchase the broadcasting assets of Shortell's Limited and its related companies, subject to approval from the CRTC, for $12.9 million. The assets include Mid West Broadcasting, which are: radio stations CKSA-FM and CILR-FM; television stations CKSA-TV and CITL-TV and the majority interest in an outdoor billboard business, all based in Lloydminster, Alberta. The television stations are national affiliates of and CBC (CKSA) and CTV (CITL).

The Lloydminster media assets were founded and operated by Art Shortell and his family. When Mr. Shortell died in 1976, his wife Mary ran the company. Mary Shortell died in late 2003. Art founded CKSA-AM in 1957 and CKSA-TV in 1959, adding the other assets later on. CKSA-AM switched to FM last year.

"We're hanging onto the TV stations," Steele said this afternoon. "We're quite excited about it." Newcap has spent the past few years becoming a pure media play, which so far has meant just radio. The company owns and operates 42 radio stations across the country, many in smaller communities such as Lloydminster.

However, Steele says he sees prospects for growth in television as there are a number of broadcasters in Canada in smaller markets which he would take a look at. "There are opportunities out there," he added. Steele said that the company is not interested in large-market assets currently in play, such as Craig Media's Toronto 1.

"We've been saying we want to be a pure media play and people have assumed that we just meant radio, but in the back of my mind I've always thought of television," added Steele.

"In Newcap we saw a company that's as close as can possibly be to our family," Mid West's vice-president and general manager Ken Ruptash said in response to the sale announcement today, referring to the buyer's commitment to the communities it serves and the fact it has a long history of serving small towns well. "That helped make our decision," he added. Ruptash and Mid West's other co-owner, Graham Brown, are sons-in-law of Mrs. Shortell.

Lloydminster, a community whose main street is also the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan (it's about the half-way point between Edmonton and Saskatoon) "is a strong marketplace," added Ruptash, "we've had an extremely strong year this year. (The sale) is a good business decision."

The acquisition of these assets is in line with Newcap's strong western presence and enhance the company's "advertising revenue growth in the region that includes its radio stations in the nearby centers of Cold Lake, St. Paul and Wainwright, Alberta," says the press release.

"These media assets are influential and have a long history in Lloydminster and the surrounding area. NCC is very pleased with this transaction," said Steele. "Lloydminster is reflective of the kind of centers where we already enjoy success. The addition of these historically important broadcast outlets will be highly complementary to the 20 other Alberta communities we serve."
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