(TORONTO – Canada) – Corus Entertainment Inc. made its debut today as Canada’s newest entertainment company. Shares in Corus will begin trading on The Toronto Stock Exchange (SYMBOL: CJR) at the opening of trading on September 3, 1999.
Created from the former media assets of Shaw Communications Inc., Corus plans to use its established stable of radio and specialty television interests (see attached backgrounder) as a base for expansion through both acquisitions and new licenses. Subject to regulatory approval, Corus will also hold the media and entertainment assets to be acquired with the proposed split of Western International Communications Ltd. (WIC).
“The Shaw family is deeply committed to continuing to improve entertainment in Canada, particularly children’s programming, where the company’s record of investing in Canadian programming is impressive,” said Heather Shaw, Executive Chair of the Company. “For investors, Corus offers a pure financial play in two of North America’s fastest growing media segments. For advertisers, it’s delivering clearly defined audiences. This is the kind of excellence Corus will be known for.”
With interests in enormously successful specialty channels such as YTV, Treehouse and Country Music Television (CMT) and radio stations such as Toronto’s Edge 102 (CFNY-FM), Vancouver’s CFOX-FM and the three recently approved Blackburn radio stations in London, Corus represents an exciting new entertainment company with expected revenues of $260 million in its first full year of operation.
“We believe our focus on children’s programming and music, combined with the fact that we are largely positioned in two of Canada’s most dynamic growth segments, specialty TV and radio, will be attractive to Canadian investors,” said John M. Cassaday, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corus.
In an era of consolidation in the entertainment business, the launch of Corus introduces a new player into the system. The Company’s specific focus on children and music, particularly country music has also helped to set it apart from the pack. Over the past 10 years, YTV has spent over $550 million on children’s television production. Newly launched Treehouse has committed over $10 million to independent preschool production over its license term. And over $9 million has been invested by CMT to support video production of Canadian country music.
“Corus is deeply committed to continuing this leadership role well into the future,” Cassaday said.
Under the arrangement which sees Corus officially split from Shaw Communications Inc., Class A shareholders of Shaw will receive one new Class A share of Shaw Communications Inc. and one-third of one Class A share of Corus for each Class A share of Shaw previously held by them. Class B non-voting shareholders of Shaw will receive one new Class B non-voting share of Shaw Communications Inc. and one-third of one Class B non-voting share of Corus for each Class B non-voting share of Shaw previously held.
Corus Entertainment Inc. is one of Canada’s fastest growing media companies. Its principal assets consists of a national radio network, a number of specialty television stations including YTV, Treehouse and CMT, and interests in Teletoon, Telelatino and The Comedy Network. Corus is also a key player in the digital music market (DMX) and local cable advertising services.
A VIDEO NEWS RELEASE on the launch of Corus is available by satellite. This VNR includes interview clips from John Cassaday (Corus President and CEO) and Heather Shaw (Corus Executive Director) as well as footage of the Corus logo and visuals from many of the company’s entertainment properties: DATE OF FEED: Wednesday, September 1, 1999 TIME OF FEED: 14:30 – 15:00 hrs (2:30 – 3:00 pm) Eastern CO-ORDINATES: ANIK E2C, Transponder 1B, Audio Channels 6.8 and 6.2 Technical contact number – Satellite feed: (416) 341-2150
A RADIO NEWS RELEASE on the launch of Corus is also available by satellite. This reporter’s story includes interview clips from John Cassaday (Corus President and CEO) and Heather Shaw (Corus Executive Director): DATE OF FEED: Wednesday, September 1, 1999 TIME OF FEED: 15:10 hrs (3:10 pm) Eastern CO-ORDINATES: BN Channel 3 Technical contact number – Satellite feed: (416) 507-2181 For further information: John Cassaday President and Chief Executive Officer, Corus Entertainment Inc. Tel: (416) 642-3771
BACKGROUNDER: CORUS ENTERTAINMENT INC. ASSETS – The following is a list of assets of Corus Entertainment Inc.: RADIO – 14 high profile radio stations servicing youthful, desirable demographics across Canada: Location / Call Letters – Frequency / Music Format Vancouver / CFOX-FM 99.3 / Rock Vancouver / CKLG-AM 730 / Adult Contemporary Calgary / CKRY-FM 105.1 / Country Edmonton / CISN-FM 103.9 / Country Edmonton / CHQT-AM 880 / Soft Adult Contemporary,News Red Deer / CKGY-AM 1170 / Country Red Deer / CIZZ-FM 98.9 / Rock Barrie / CHAY-FM 93.1 / Adult Contemporary Burlington / CING-FM 107.9 / Dance,Hits Toronto / CFNY-FM 102.1 / Rock London / CFPL-AM 980 / News/Talk London / CFPL-FM 95.9 / Adult Rock London / CFHK-FM 103.1 / Classic Hits Woodstock / CKDK-FM 103.9 / Dance,Hits – Additional radio stations pending CRTC approval include 12 WIC stations (National). SPECIALTY TELEVISION Varying degrees of equity in Canadian specialty television channels, including: – YTV (100%); – Treehouse (100%); – Country Music Television (80%); – Teletoon (20%); – Telelatino (20%); and – Comedy (15%). Additional television assets pending CRTC approval include equity positions in: – Family Channel; – Pay TV (Viewer’s Choice, Superchannel, Movie Max); and – Video on Demand (in partnership with Alliance Atlantis). Corus is currently awaiting licensing approval for: – The Edge (alternative music video); and – Chaos (young adult lifestyle) OTHER ASSETS – Shaw Advertising Services; – The development and sale of advertising products and services through electronic media, specifically: – TV Listings Channel; – Real Estate Teleguide; and – Shoppers Teleguide; – DMX (Digital Music Express Canada); and – 50% Canadian Broadcast Sales (CBS) pending CRTC approval of the WIC transaction.