Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hot 103 is now Virgin Radio; song remains the same

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THE FM airwaves aren't as hot in Winnipeg anymore.

At 8 a.m. Friday, Hot 103 became known as Virgin Radio. The brand, owned by the Richard Branson's Virgin Group, is already operating in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal at stations owned by Hot 103's parent company, Astral Media Inc.

The station will remain a top 40 hits station with the same locally produced Hot 103 shows and hosts, but has access to Virgin Radio shared programming, which includes interviews and access with more artists, and fewer commercials.

To kick off the rebranding, the station will be commercial-free throughout the long weekend and the Virgin Radio Street Team will be driving around the city randomly paying for gas fill-ups, buying Slurpees at 7-Eleven and picking up bar tabs.

"We're all very excited. A Virgin Radio station in Winnipeg puts us on the Virgin worldwide map, allowing us to bring even more exciting artists, contests and fun to music fans in Winnipeg. We're incredibly pumped," said Sharon Taylor, vice-president and general manager of Astral Manitoba.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 1, 2012 G2

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