Claude Rajotte on CHOM? No, but …

Claude Rajotte is a familiar name to long-time CHOM listeners. The francophone music expert worked at the rock station for two decades, often speaking in French until the CRTC told him he couldn’t do that anymore. He also worked on the other side of the language divide, spending about as much time at MusiquePlus.

Until recently he had a job at Espace Musique, Radio-Canada’s music radio network. But when RadCan wanted to kill his show and move him online, he left. He took a job back at MusiquePlus, where he hosts two shows, Rajotte (Fridays at 7pm) and Hors Circuit (Sunday mornings at 1am). They’re not exactly big-budget shows (Hors Circuit in particular looks pretty cheap), but the quality is in Rajotte’s biting commentary (like tonight where he trashed Nickelback by saying they seem to be stuck in a 90s time-warp).

Having gone back to MusiquePlus, Rajotte wondered if maybe he could get a job at CHOM as well. But, La Presse reported, CHOM said no.

It’s not because they’re not interested, explained Astral Media VP Martin Spalding, just that they don’t have any openings for him. “There wasn’t an opportunity,” Spalding said. “But that doesn’t mean there won’t be an opportunity in the future.”

Spalding explained that giving Rajotte a show would mean cutting the time of existing staff like Bilal Butt, who hosts evenings. “For the time being, we want to allow Bilal to grow in that timeslot,” Spalding said.

Sadly, the radio market isn’t what it was even a decade ago, and the anglophone music stations aren’t as eager as the francophone ones to grab big names to do an hour a day.

Could fate open up an opportunity for Rajotte at his other former home? As Spalding would say, never say never. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

21 thoughts on “Claude Rajotte on CHOM? No, but …

  1. Jordan

    Claude was one of the originals when it pertains to Francophone FM radio, he was one of the first original DJ’S at CKVL FM when it became CKOI FM in 1976, he later truly built up Geoff Sterlings CKGM with a grand following of Francophone listeners, a great time in Canadian radio when competition actually had a meaning. CHOM is stupid not re hiring him, he is a pro

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  2. Vahan

    Claude is really a great host. I remember him on CHOM and they had this new music program, I forget the title now, but anyway Claude would know a million things about the artists he was talking about. I also heard that sometimes people who wrote the show for him would add huge English words just to trip him up but he would push through and do the show without flinching. If this is true he is awesome and probably has a great sense of humour.

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  3. Sheldon

    I think Claude Rajotte could easily be a Francophone version of Jian Ghomeshi with the CBC. Rajotte knows the business and is a wealth of information on the music scene, particularly in Quebec, but in the world of music in general. In my opinion, he is a quality catch. I’d be surprised if someone out there in media doesn’t latch on to him sooner than later.

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  4. ATSC

    I remember him as well when he was at CHOM. Truly great radio at the time.
    Well, if CHOM doesn’t want him, perhaps CKDG as a weekly spot for him. They’ve already grabbed other radio personalities that couldn’t find a spot on local radio.

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    1. Fagstein Post author

      perhaps CKDG as a weekly spot for him. They’ve already grabbed other radio personalities that couldn’t find a spot on local radio.

      CKDG is limited by its license. It can’t insert another show … unless Rajotte wants to speak Greek. And I don’t think it would have the budget for it anyway.

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  5. Scotty

    If Spalding hadn’t wasted his time and money on bringing Dimonte back to annoy us all, he’d have lots of room for Claude. For example, Rajotte and Tootall would have made a great morning team. No gigantic egos, no laughing at their own lame jokes, just two veterans to whom music is more important than making themselves sound important.

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  6. Gazoo

    A Time Warp is right. How about bringing back Chris Michaels, or Steve Anthony, or Peppermint Patty.

    Good grief. Move forward.

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  7. Kevin

    Are radio announcers really necessary today? People want to listem to music. If CHOM wishes to suceed all they have to do is play a format similar to sattelite radio. Variety is the driving force and unfortunately, CHOM plays the same bland music. Play the bands from the past, but at least air their other songs.

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  8. Scotty

    Kevin I coyldn’t agree more. It’s ironic that CHOM has these great new ads claiming CHOM is all about the music yetthey spend ridiculous amounts of money for saleries of aging mouthpieces who treat the music as a secondary part of their shows. Maybe Rajotte should have said CHOM was stuck in the 90s along with Nickelback! :)

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    1. Fagstein Post author

      It’s ironic that CHOM has these great new ads claiming CHOM is all about the music yetthey spend ridiculous amounts of money for saleries of aging mouthpieces who treat the music as a secondary part of their shows.

      What’s your source for your assertion that they “spend ridiculous amounts of money for salaries”?

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      1. Jimmy Jack

        How about from: (albeit the Calgary salary)

        http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/preview/story.html?id=88d9d5ea-11a9-424b-8c44-ff15e1d39fd6

        “In the end, he got an offer he couldn’t refuse from Q109 in Calgary, an escalating five-year deal that culminates with a salary in the mid-six-figure range that will make him one of the most highly paid and secure radio personalities in the country.”

        A five year contract ending up in the half mil range is completely ridiculous.

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        1. Fagstein Post author

          A five year contract ending up in the half mil range is completely ridiculous.

          Perhaps, and if so it would make sense for the station not to want to extend it beyond those five years.

          For the record, DiMonte says rumours of his salary were exaggerated, though he didn’t put a dollar figure on how much he was paid.

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          1. Jimmy Jack

            “For the record, DiMonte says rumours of his salary were exaggerated, though he didn’t put a dollar figure on how much he was paid.”

            So, the Gazette printed something that wasn’t true? :)

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  9. tigger

    I taped New Music Foundation religiously for years as a kid growing up in Plattsburgh in the early-mid 80s and desperate for good music. That show was a major influence on my life. I found this while searching for articles about it. :)

    Reply

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