After playing Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" for 24 hours, CKKS 104.9 FM has become SONiC RADiO (yes, both 'i's are lower case in official branding).
Also broadcasting on 107.5 FM in Chilliwack and 92.5 FM in Abbotsford, SONiC replaces KiSS, which ended its broadcasts early on June 29. Early June 30, the new brand was announced as the alternative rock format took over the space on the airwaves.
This isn't the first alternative rock SONiC in Canada; Rogers Media, which owns CKKS, has one in Edmonton. And it's not the first time 104.9 FM has been branded Sonic; the first time was in 2011 when it was a pop music station for a few years while it was CFUN.
"We’ve seen huge success with our SONiC brand in Edmonton, serving listeners who are looking for an alternative to pop music. We know there’s an appetite here in the GVA and Fraser Valley to launch this exciting format," says Christian Hall, content director for SONiC and Jack 96.9 (also owned by Rogers).
SONiC is entering the market where 102.7 FM the Peak and 99.3 FM C-Fox are already established. In the most recent radio ratings, the three stations were basically neighbours (C-FOX and KiSS both had 4.0 market shares).
The new station already has its on-air talent lined up with Angela Valiant (formerly of the Peak) taking the morning slot (the first solo female-fronted morning show in Vancouver, according to Rogers). Middays will see Jack alum Alex Carr on air, followed by Carly Meyers and Jay Brody in the afternoons, both recently from Toronto's the Edge. Marc Michaels and Katlynn Millions, recently on Jack FM in Calgary will take the evenings. (Departing KiSS on-air talent Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu stunned fans with news of their abrupt departure earlier in the week.)
The rebrand follows much speculation after 104.9 FM spent most of June 29 playing "KIlling in the Name" on a loop, with media outlets like Rolling Stone magazine and London's The Guardian covering the story. Many on social media speculated that after on-air staff from KiSS 104.9 FM were let go on June 28 a staff member had taken over the station.
However, the publicity stunt, known as 'stunting' is meant to cause buzz as a station changes formats.
Hi! We're SONiC. The New Alternative.— SONiC RADIO (@sonicradio) June 30, 2022
📻: 107.5 Chilliwack l 92.5 Abbotsford l 104.9 Vancouver. Smart Speaker: "Play SONiC RADIO" pic.twitter.com/BACXQKNlPU