Regional CKOI stations turn to talk

While everyone’s focused on CHOI Radio X coming to Montreal, it’s not the only music station in Quebec switching to a talk radio format today.

As announced in June, Cogeco converted three regional stations from the CKOI brand to news-talk brands based on the one used by CHMP 98.5FM in Montreal.

They join FM 93 in Quebec City (CJMF-FM) and FM 98 in Saguenay (CKRS-FM), the latter of which is an independently-owned station that carries some network programming.

The three new stations share much of the same programming. They include:

Each station continues to have its own local morning show, noon show and afternoon drive show on weekdays. They will also air sports programming including Canadiens and Alouettes games, except for the station in Gatineau which air Senators games.

Meanwhile, at other stations

CKOI in Montreal, which remains a music station, launched its new programming today. It adds Yan England to its morning show, Nadia Bilodeau to afternoons (starting Sept. 10) and revamps its noon show to focus more on humour.

Mitsou, who left NRJ in June and was rumoured to be heading to rival Rythme FM, confirmed she’ll be starting there Nov. 20. She’ll join the afternoon show, instead of the morning one, so she can spend mornings with her family. Marie-Soleil Michon will host the show until Mitsou starts. Also joining Rythme FM (CFGL-FM) are Lise Dion and, according to La Presse, Denis Fortin.

NRJ Montreal (CKMF-FM) adds Mike Gauthier with its fall schedule. He’ll also join Rouge FM in Quebec City, which is also owned by Astral.

La Presse has a few other tidbits of programming changes at French-language radio stations in Montreal.

In Quebec City, legendary pranksters Les Justiciers Masqués are back on the radio, joining the afternoon show at the CKOI station there, which is owned by Leclerc Communication.

3 thoughts on “Regional CKOI stations turn to talk

  1. Step

    I wonder if CRTC French music content rules have anything to do with stations going to talk. Could it be it’s close to impossible to successfuly program formats other than hits and Rythm/Rouge type radio?

    There are exceptions I’m sure — I’m thinking of Capitale Rock in Gatineau that competes with three other English rock stations across the river in Ottawa. But to see three music stations outside Montreal plus Planete Jazz going talk makes me wonder how much musical diversity can be successfuly offered in this province.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I wonder if CRTC French music content rules have anything to do with stations going to talk.

      No, it’s ratings. Planète Jazz was never profitable because it was never popular. So RNC Media switched it to a format that’s similar to its top-rated station, and that’s CHOI.

      With the CKOI stations, a look at the Montreal ratings tells the story. CKOI has single-digit ratings even among francophones. But CHMP 98.5 has jumped all the way to No. 1 with a quarter of the francophone listening hours. So it makes sense to copy 98.5 more than CKOI at the regional stations.

  2. Pingback: Ratings prove benefits of talk format – Fagstein

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