Sound Source seeking sponsors for national radio blues programs

The Sound Source Radio Network is negotiating to sign deals with several major advertisers to sponsor Canada-wide broadcasts of two weekly shows produced by CBS Radio Programs of the u.s.Last week, Sound Source, which is the syndication division of Standard Broadcasting...

The Sound Source Radio Network is negotiating to sign deals with several major advertisers to sponsor Canada-wide broadcasts of two weekly shows produced by CBS Radio Programs of the u.s.

Last week, Sound Source, which is the syndication division of Standard Broadcasting of Toronto, revealed it has reached an exclusive agreement with cbs to distribute Live from the House of Blues, a 90-minute live musical program.

The signing follows closely on the heels of the company’s late February announcement it will distribute The House of Blues Radio Hour, a taped one-hour program hosted by comedian, actor and sometime-musician Dan Aykroyd.

Jean-Marie Heimrath, vice-president and general manager of Sound Source, says he is hoping to sign national agreements with a total of ‘four or five advertisers to sponsor both shows.’

Heimrath says he has approached ‘quite a few’ potential advertisers in a range of likely product categories, including Molson Breweries and Bausch & Lomb Canada, maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Sunglasses, of course, figure large in Aykroyd’s film The Blues Brothers, which is the inspiration for The House of Blues Radio Hour and the chain of House of Blues bars in which Live from the House of Blues is taped.

Heimrath says other likely categories include jeans, soft drinks, bottled water and hair products.

He says his strategy in selling the programs to radio stations is to encourage them to pick up both and run them back-to-back, so they can be advertised jointly as a ‘two-and-a-half-hour blues special.’

Heimrath says the star power of host Aykroyd, combined with the fact the two programs focus on traditional blues music, with some rock and roll thrown in, ‘will make the show unique on radio,’ and, thus, ‘appointment listening’ for Aykroyd fans and blues enthusiasts.

Sound Source is offering the shows free to radio stations in return for four minutes of commercial time each hour.

A number of Standard Broadcasting stations will participate in the network, including The Mix 99.9 FM in Toronto, which debuted The House of Blues Radio Hour March 26 at 8 p.m.

Heimrath aims to split the ad time among its roster of national sponsors, which will also gain audience exposure through such promotional opportunities as program segment book-end ads.

He says the sponsors will also be encouraged to exploit their relationship with the show via consumer and trade promotions.

In his role as host of the House of Blues Radio Hour, Aykroyd dons the persona of Elwood Blues, the harmonica-blowing bluesman he portrayed in The Blues Brothers.

Heimrath says Aykroyd will support the shows by appearing, as the character Elwood Blues, in promotional ads for both the syndicated shows and the participating stations.