At 8:30 a.m. Friday, 106.9 The Bear dropped the Virgin label it had held for two years, a decision made after managers at the station came to realize their viewers still did not recognize the new brand.
The first song for the re-rebranded station? Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle."
By the end of the workday on Friday, more than 1,000 people had joined the rebranded Bear Facebook page, a number that astounded managers at the 16-year-old station.
"It was a bad decision," said Bruce Gilbert, the brand manager representative in Ottawa for owner Astral Radio, of the switchover that followed Astral's purchase of the station in 2007.
"I think the major flaw when we transitioned was we put away something that the city loved for something shining and brand new, and we totally underestimated how much the city loved the Bear."
The station lists its audience as adult males, 25 to 54 years old, who enjoy listening to something "topical and irreverent, cool, and sometimes controversial."
The Bear will remain under Astral ownership, with no personnel changes. There will also be slight programming changes under the new brand, but just a few different songs here or there, Mr. Gilbert said.
"We're trying to deliver the product that our audience wants, which sounds horribly cliche, but it's true," he added.
"We ask questions all the time, we research all the time, and we’re maybe widening our horizons a little, expanding a little."