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Broadcaster

Torstar not interested in Toronto 1

7/29/2004

TORONTO - Torstar president and CEO Robert Prichard told financial analysts in a conference call yesterday that his company is currently not interested in broadcaster Toronto 1

"Torstar is not participating in the bids for Toronto 1 at this stage and is not in the process," Prichard said yesterday when the newspaper, publishing and media company released its quarterly report yesterday.

As reported previously by www.broadcastermagazine.com, CHUM Ltd. has agreed to purchase Craig Media, owners of the A Channels (Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary), CKY-TV (Brandon) and digi-nets MTV Canada, MTV2 and TV Land, as well as Toronto 1. However, CRTC approval of the deal is conditional on the sale of Toronto 1, which is struggling financially.

The CRTC has set a deadline of September 2nd for CHUM to have a Toronto 1 suitor in place. The Commission hearing into the CHUM-Craig deal is set for September 7th.

Any number of suitors could be interested in the station, but Torstar was thought to be in the running because it was so interested in getting the broadcast license for the region during hearings two years ago.

Besides the usual suspects of Rogers Communications, Alliance Atlantis, and Quebecor, it was reported recently by the National Post that Trinity Television's Willard Thiessen - which operates Christian broadcaster NOW TV in Vancouver - may have an interest.

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