Arcade Fire tunes now have Halifax home - The Chronicle Herald (September 29, 2010)

A modern-rock radio station debuting Friday in Halifax is targeting local customers of satellite and Internet services with a lineup of loud and heavy new tunes.

"We are not going to be a classic-rock station. Halifax already has a couple of those. We’re mostly starting in the ’90s and taking it from there," J. D. Desrosiers, program director at Live 105, said in an interview Tuesday.

"There might be some tributes to alternative and grunge-rock classics but our focus is on edgy, modern rock."

Toronto-based Evanov Communications Inc. won approval last year from the Canadian Radio-televison and Telecommunications Commission to establish the city’s 10th, full-service radio station.

Live 105 is a brother station to Z103, a top-40s format station targeting young women. Both will operate from Z103’s downtown location at 5527 Cogswell St.

The new station’s official name is CKHY. It is found at 105.1 on the FM dial.

"These two stations target entirely different demographics. It allows us to offer a combined buy to advertisers, which is essential in this competitive marketplace," Desrosiers said.

The new station, which has been testing its signal and consumer appeal for about a month, is taking direct aim at men aged 18 to 34 who like their rock loud and raunchy.

This is the age group that likes video games and getting their rock music from satellite services and the Internet.

"We are probably one of about six full-power stations offering this modern-rock format across the country. It is a bit of a gamble," Desrosiers said.

Rock music aficionados have long complained that the alternative-modern category gets overlooked by Halifax broadcasters. At the same time, there are entire sections at music outlets and on online services devoted to established and emerging, modern-rock acts like Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Against Me!, Cage The Elephant, Muse and Disturbed. All will be featured on Live 105.

Some broadcasters have experienced difficulties quantifying the male, 18-to-34 demographic, Desrosiers said. For one thing, this group is notoriously unresponsive to marketing surveys used by broadcasters to create playlists and determine market share.

The challenge for Live 105 will be attracting this difficult-to-reach demographic and demonstrating to advertisers that they have, the program director said.

"We’re pursuing males, 18 to 34, but believe we will reach much further than that. We’ll appeal to everybody who likes an eclectic mix of alternative and action rock," he said.

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