I've confirmed with multiple sources that Evanov Communications, owner of Proud FM 103.9, are shutting down the station at the end of the month.
Launching on April 16, 2007, Proud FM 103.9 was the first radio station in Canada targeted specifically to an LGBT audience, and the first commercial, terrestrial radio station in the world to target such an audience.
Coincidentally, Bob Willette was over last night for our 19th episode of #TOAST and Bob was the program director at Proud FM for several years. During that time, Mary Jo Eustace and Ken Kostick co-hosted the "What's For Breakfast?" morning show. Today I produce Mary Jo's podcast, Senior Bitches.
Back in 2010, we recorded a few Humble and Fred podcasts in the Proud FM studio at Church and Wellesley, thanks to Bob sneaking us in.
Although there's not yet been an official statement from Evanov Communications, the first radio station in Canada targeted specifically to an LGBT audience will soon be off the air.
Update: There's been some chatter about Evanov simulcasting Z103.5 on 103.9, but my sources tell me this is not the plan. They will literally turn off the 103.9 signal and it will go quiet.
Evanov Communications has made a statement, as published by Broadcast Dialogue on August 17, 2023.
“The media landscape has evolved significantly since Proud FM first went on-air in 2007,” the company said in a statement. “When the station launched, it was the world’s first commercial radio station targeting the LGBTQ+ audience. The past 16 years have not only seen new outlets and platforms emerge to serve the community, but also existing services pivot to target this audience. At the same time, all broadcasters are now contending with the challenges of increased competition, a difficult economic climate, and the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”