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$25,000 bounty for fugitive on the loose in Ottawa


OTTAWA - Saying it's a Canadian media first, HOT 89.9's listeners have been drawn onto the city streets in order to track down a single man or woman - who could be anywhere in the Newcap station's listening area. The prize is 25-large.

"A disarmingly simple concept, The Fugitive is one of the most innovative contests to hit Ottawa media and looks likely to rekindle the dedicated public interest once bestowed on the likes of Big Brother, The Amazing Race and Canadian/American Idol," says a press release.

Apart from the 8 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. cryptic clues, HOT 89-9 will regularly be running through old clues, offering competition recaps, interviewing callers and the fugitive on-air at

The Fugitive will be at large, somewhere in the greater Ottawa region, on a weekday basis at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. The first person to walk up to the fugitive and asks the question, 'Are you the HOT 89.9 25 thousand dollar fugitive?' will bag the cash bounty.

"It's a great competition, precisely because it occurs within the HOT 89.9 community, and not simply over the radio or the phone line," says operations manager Rob Mise. "You can imagine how many people will be driving in their cars, peering out the window and wondering, 'is that him or her?' The hook is so simple, and yet very effective."

"Our objective at HOT 89.9 with The Fugitive is to drive listenership and loyalty through interactivity," says Mise. "A competition like this enhances the relationship that the audience has with the station, and of course it encourages regular listening. You can't compete if you don't follow the clues on the radio."

While contests are the staple stuff of radio marketing, the door has clearly been open for some time for a competition that breaks the traditional rules and engages the radio public in an unfamiliar manner. The Fugitive pays cognisance to the need for 'something different' on radio - and steps admirably over a new competition threshold, adds the station's release.

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