Posted in Montreal, Radio

Behind-the-scenes changes at Astral Media radio

From the Airchecker blog, a memo about changes at Astral Media radio stations in Montreal (which include CJAD 800, CHOM 97.7 and CJFM 95.9).

The skinny:

  • Mike Bendixen, former CJAD programming director who took a temporary job doing the same at CFRB 1010 in Toronto, will remain there permanently.
  • Steve Kowch, the man Bendixen replaced at CFRB (and who took Bendixen’s job at CJAD in a rather ironic move), is out. His last day is Dec. 18. He had expected to be at CJAD until March. Now he can concentrate on writing a book, at least.
  • Chris Bury takes over as PD/Interim News Director at CJAD on Jan. 4. Bury started at CJAD in 1998, but for most of this decade worked at 940 News. He became CINW’s program director when it became 940 Hits.
  • Mark Bergman becomes Interim Program Director of CJFM (Virgin Radio 96), replacing Bob Harris, who is leaving for Hamilton. Bergman is currently the assistant PD. Bergman will remain on his afternoon show with Chantal Desjardins.
  • Mathew Wood, who managed promotions for all three stations, now focuses exclusively on CHOM.
  • Melissa Mancuso, a promotions assistant, replaces Wood as Promotions Director at CJFM.
  • Bianca Bayer becomes Promotions Coordinator for CJFM. (What’s the difference between a Promotions Director and Promotions Coordinator? Beats me.)
  • Lisa Fuoco becomes Promotions Director at CJAD, stripping “assistant” from her title.
  • Peter McEntyre will assist Fuoco part-time. (McEntyre is also one of the hosts of CJAD’s Irish Show)

VP/GM Martin Spalding explains the strategy, in case it’s not obvious:

The strategy is to have a dedicated Program and Promotions Director for each station. This will enable CJAD, Virgin 96 and CHOM to compete independently, prosper and build strong brand identities within an aggressive and ever-evolving radio market.

Could it be that Astral Media is finally realizing that radio stations work better if they have their own brands and target audiences, and that the tag “an Astral Media radio station” doesn’t impress anyone?

UPDATE (Dec. 10): The Suburban’s Mike Cohen talks briefly with some of the figures in these changes.

6 thoughts on “Behind-the-scenes changes at Astral Media radio

  1. Marc

    Could it be that Astral Media is finally realizing that radio stations work better if they have their own brands and target audiences, and that the tag “an Astral Media radio station” doesn’t impress anyone?

    I sure as hell hope so. But I’m not holding my breath. For all we know these changes could be just a hill of beans.

    Reply
  2. Vahan

    Who cares about this cosmetic change. CHOM will still be a Classic Rock station CJAD will always be a Talk/evening sports station and CJFM will always be a pop station. So each will focus on their already target audiences. CHOM old French rockers, CJAD the West Islanders and CJFM the wannabe MILFs from the ‘burbs working in the city dressing too young for their age and walking in packs loudly.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Chantal Desjardins replaces Kim Rossi on CHOM morning show – Fagstein

  4. Pingback: Mark Bergman hiring own replacement at CJFM – Fagstein

  5. Jacques from Lapraire

    Astral Media does not impress anyone in Montreal,

    the Montreal market has never been keen on syndicated shows , who remembers DR.LAURA.
    Anyone? anyone?

    IF i was an anglophone living in Montreal, I would be livid and pissed off at the slow erosion of local programming on Montreal radio.

    BEGONE RYAN SEACREAST
    BEGONE COAST TO COAST
    BEGONE RYAN DOYLE.

    Reply

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