Posted in Montreal, Radio

CKGM (TSN Radio) moves from 990 to 690 on Tuesday

Bell Media Radio announced today that CKGM (TSN Radio 990) will be officially changing frequency, from 990 kHz to 690 kHz, as of Tuesday, Sept. 4.

TSN PR guy Greg McIsaac clarifies: The switch officially happens at 6am on Tuesday, and the station will simulcast on both frequencies for about three months before it vacates 990. This is standard practice for a frequency change.

CKGM is already transmitting on 690 (though its signal appears weak), running a test loop so it can configure its transmitter. The loop contains recordings of shows (Mitch Melnick, Tony Marinaro, the morning show) and a message asking people with interference issues to contact the station at 690testing@bellmedia.ca.

The frequency change, which will result in an expanded coverage especially at night, was approved by the CRTC last November. It is unrelated to the application in front of the CRTC to change the station from English to French. That application will be heard at a hearing at the Palais des congrès starting Sept. 10, that will last a full week because of all the parties opposed to or commenting on the Astral acquisition and the CKGM license change.

Once 990 is vacated, which should happen in early December, it will be free for a new station, also approved by the CRTC last November. The station, owned by Dufferin Communications (Evanov Radio), will be called Radio Fierté, a talk and music station aimed at Montreal’s LGBT community. No start date has been set for that station yet, though they expect to be operating before their deadline of November 2013.

22 thoughts on “CKGM (TSN Radio) moves from 990 to 690 on Tuesday

  1. Marc

    Yup, as of the time I write this, 690 has a fair bit of static. I emailed them and got a personal reply a few minutes later.

    Though I wonder, when Pauline takes office next week, if she’ll be true to her word about getting jurisdiction in that area, creating the QRTC. Then you can be sure all but one, maybe two, English radio stations’ days will be numbered.

    Reply
  2. Sheldon

    I think the timing of 690 coming on the air is interesting… just one week before Bell has to go before the CRTC in Montreal hearings, they get TSN Radio on the air on 690. Hey look, CRTC…we did exactly what we asked you to let us do…move 990 to 690 so that the English community, particularly in the West Island, can receive a crisp, clear signal in the evenings, and TSN Radio can thrive in English with all the new advertising revenue we will be able to generate with a better signal and all those people who want to hear the Montreal Canadiens games in English for the next 7 years will have a clear, 50,000 watt signal to listen to them on.

    But, oh, wait a second. No, we didn’t really want 690 so we could do that. No, we want to turn the station into a French RDS Sports Radio station and when you approve our takeover of Astral, we’ll move the Canadiens games over to CJAD on 800, to a frequency that has even worse coverage to the western part of Quebec at night that our original 990 kHz did!

    Oh, well.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I think the timing of 690 coming on the air is interesting… just one week before Bell has to go before the CRTC in Montreal hearings, they get TSN Radio on the air on 690.

      I think it’s mostly a coincidence. They have been aiming for September for a while, and the day after Labour Day makes sense for something like this.

      Reply
      1. Andre

        If that’s the case, I would call CJAD opening their new studios literally right across the street from CTV/RDS a coincidence. No PR campaign/event what so ever about the 690 change other than a press release less than a week before the switch is a coincidence. Afternoon host on vacation while the switch is made is a coincidence.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I would call CJAD opening their new studios literally right across the street from CTV/RDS a coincidence.

          Sort of. That area of town is considered Montreal’s broadcasting hub. It’s also across the street from the Maison Radio-Canada, and the TVA building is just a few blocks away.

          No PR campaign/event what so ever about the 690 change other than a press release less than a week before the switch is a coincidence.

          I would imagine such things would start when the new frequency is operational. From then, they have three months of simulcasting to get people to start switching.

          Afternoon host on vacation while the switch is made is a coincidence.

          People take vacation. I’m sure he’ll be back before 990 goes off the air.

          Reply
  3. Resigned

    Everything points to the CRTC insisting the 690 move , for TSN,
    Will have stand…600am has a far superior eastern pattern and RDS
    Will be moved there.

    Bell should sell CJAD to fulfill license quotas….leaving the 2 sports stations
    - Bell’s true focus – in place …CJAD bleeds 10 times the red ink more than
    TSN

    Bet on it

    Reply
    1. Mimo

      How will RDS be moved to 600? That’s a completely different company applying for the frequency. The same one who received approval for 940. They got 940 for French and they want 600 for English. Is there any chance they might switch languages? I doubt it.

      Bell may be forced to keep 690 English as they applied for the frequency to serve the English population. If all the interventions filed have any weight at all, the request to switch the language should be denied.

      Since I didn’t live in Ottawa (where I live now) back when CFCF/CICQ was on the air, how far did it go to the west in the day time? Was it receivable in Ottawa at all, day or night?

      Reply
    2. Mario

      Agreed. If CRTC wants to really balance the playing field, then they should force Bell-Astral to sell CJAD. Question is, would CRTC render a decision on the proposed Bell-Astral purchase on a property by property decision?

      Reply
    3. Michael D

      TTP Media will get 600 AM,considering they already have the licence for the French station at 940 and considering there were only 6 interventions, 5 in favour and one against from some guy in Sherbrooke that a copy to the TTP applicants was handwritten,, it really didn’t make sense that particular, it seemed incoherent…

      Bell should be forced to sell TSN 690, to someone who really wants it…Wouldn’t it be a good fit for COGECO since they don’t have anything in AM in English and they have the Habs’ and Als’ rights at 98.5……Why not, would be a good fit and synergy between the two stations..

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        Wouldn’t it be a good fit for COGECO since they don’t have anything in AM in English and they have the Habs’ and Als’ rights at 98.5.

        Cogeco would be more likely to turn it into an English all-traffic station, which is what they applied to the CRTC for in the first place.

        Reply
  4. Dave

    LGBT station? Don’t these folks listen to the same music as the rest of us? Stereotyping them into all liking lady Gaga and dance music. Montreal needs a
    good active rock French station. CHOM is so stale.

    Reply
  5. joe cannes

    I live in Gatineau, and got a nice surprise this morning when I could not listen to TSN 690 (or even 990) anymore.

    The signal does not come all the way to Gatineau anymore :(.

    Does anyone know what’s the email address I can use to contact TSN 690 abot this situation?

    Thanks,

    JC

    Reply
    1. Steve

      690 is coming in quite strong in Ottawa west. Nothing on 990 (used to come in but mostly just daytime).

      Other Montreal stations…
      Weaker but receivable are Circulation 730, CJAD 800 (day only).
      1280 but only on the good radio.

      Reply
  6. Mimo

    I turned on my radio an hour ago and heard nothing at either 690 or 990. Usually I should be able to get either one fairly clearly here in Ottawa. Does anyone know what’s going on? Except for a very weak signal on Saturday night I haven’t heard a peep out of 990 since Friday. 690 seems totally silent right now, but it was there all weekend.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I turned on my radio an hour ago and heard nothing at either 690 or 990. Usually I should be able to get either one fairly clearly here in Ottawa. Does anyone know what’s going on?

      I’m guessing that it’s either the transmitter was off when you were tuning or the station isn’t yet operating at full power. If you’re still not getting them, you can email 690testing@bellmedia.ca and let them know.

      Reply
      1. Mimo

        690 Did come back and with a much better signal than over the weekend. 990 must be on very reduced power. What used to be the second best Montreal signal here in Ottawa during the day is not even a whisper. It’s probably enough to cover Montreal and just weak enough to encourage people to go over to 690. 990 is there at night but it’s a much poorer signal than it usually is.

        Reply

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