It’s a given that some radio stations are more professional than others. Some have big pockets, expensive ads and lots of people doing marketing. Others are just trying to get by.
On Tuesday morning, rumours started circulating on the Radio in Montreal forum that CJMS 1040 AM in Saint-Constant (no relation to the former CJMS on 1280) would be pulling the plug. The station, which bills itself as Montreal’s only country music station (though that’s arguable, there’s another one in Kahnawake), has seemed to be doing its best to confirm that it’s going off the rails. Its programming has been cutting in and out, sometimes mid-song, leaving minutes of dead air. There’s no apparent live announcer.
the website has been suspended. UPDATE: It’s back.
But according to station owner Alexandre Azoulay, who I reached by phone, there’s no plan to shut down the station and as far as he knows everything is proceeding normally, with the exception of some technical problems caused by a transformer that was blown during Friday’s storm.
He couldn’t say why the station’s programming seemed to be having problems.
One reason could be summer vacations. Pascal Poudrier, who provides a bulk of the station’s weekday programming, went on vacation last Friday, according to his Facebook page. Summer vacations were also cited as a reason for the lack of news in the hearing that led to the station’s last CRTC licence renewal.
In that renewal, issued in 2010 and expiring Aug. 31, 2014, the CRTC addressed numerous issues with the station’s licence compliance. There were required contributions to Canadian talent development, which were issued late due to what the licensee said was a lack of liquidity. There was the lack of newscasts after 5pm Monday to Thursday and all day Friday to Sunday, during a review of the station’s programming for the second-last week of July, 2010 (what a coincidence, we’re in the same week now). And there was an issue relating to the proper submission of lists of songs broadcast.
That said, the CRTC noted that CJMS had taken significant steps toward improving its licence compliance, and even though it was just coming off a two-year renewal and could have been facing a legal mandatory order or even the suspension or revocation of its licence, the CRTC gave it some breathing room with a four-year term.
Listening for about the past hour (a livestream is still available, and it’s still broadcasting on 1040 AM), the programming issues seem to have gotten less jarring. So it looks like this was a false alarm.
But whether this small station can survive in the long term is another question. We’ll have a clearer idea next year when it applies for its next licence renewal.
Michel Mathieu probably started this rumour cuz he has trouble getting paid!
It should be noted that the information indicating that CJMS would be shutting down at 10 am this morning came from Montreal area broadcast engineer Michel Mathieu. He stated via telephone to David Melanson, a local Montreal area ham operator, who in turn provided me with the information that the station had not been paying its bills, including its Hydro bill and that the station would be going silent this morning. Things actually started happening with the station’s signal at 11:08 am today with the station going off in mid-song. For the next hour or so, the station was on and off, sometimes with the transmitter off completely and at other times with just an open carrier. It was noted as well that live streaming from the station was available through sites such as TuneIn but, as pointed out, the station’s webpage was offline, indicating that the account had been suspended.
It’s likely that their online account has very limited bandwidth, and the amount of demand from even a few people wanting to listen to streaming and checking the website likely put them past what they are allowed.
As of this point (8 15 pm) both the live stream and the website are up and available – I cannot say for the OTA signal.
Is this really a new problem?
I used to treat WBZ at 1030 as a “local” station overnight (and early evenings even, in the winter), flipping to it if Peter Anthony Holder’s show wasn’t interesting, or if it was a period when he’d been banished to the evenings. WBZ of course programs a local talk show overnight, but they also realize the listeners may come from quite a distance.
Then this station started up, and adjacent to WBZ and kind of in that direction, it tended to wash out WBZ, even with a good receiver. But I’d still routinely check it every so often, and after the initial thrust, I found there were times when the station wasn’t broadcasting (at least, no modulation, I can’t remember about a carrier) or at least the music station was doing talk, so a good IF filter did allow for reception of WBZ. And that was years back.
I honestly haven’t paid attention to this CJMS, except to note whether it’s interfering with WBZ. With AM relatively vacant, and more so since the station went on the air, it’s uinfortunate that the station has to be adjacent to WBZ. Though oddly, the station on 1050 doesn’t seem to have the same interference problem, maybe direction but more likely the IF filter in the receiver i”m using isn’t symmetrical. It wouldn’t matter if this CJMS wiped out some station carrying “Coast to Coast”, it’s there endlessly up and down the dial.
Truthfully I feel bad for the station. While I’m not a fan of country, there are very few outlets to hear French language country. The signal upgrade they recently went through has made them available in Ottawa for the colder months for the first time, and there are some DXers in the North East U.S. who actually like the music. If only there could be some money put into the station, it might have a fighting chance. I do hope they can get every thing in order.
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Beaucoup de personnes agés compte sur cette station qui diffuse des chansons agréables et des conseils santé judicieux et des commentaires de personnes satisfaites des produits de Johanne Verdon et des animateurs de l’émission qui rendent le tout très agréable .C’est le poste de radio préféré de ma mère ! Un peu de bonheur dans leur vie de tous les jours tout en vacant à ses occupations de femme au foyer , c’est tout ce qu’elle demande ! S’il vous plait , trouvez une solution pour rediffuser le poste CJMS 1040 am , cela plaira à beaucoup beaucoup de personnes , j’en suis convaincu ! Merci d’ avance pour votre attention ! Merci pour les efforts déployés !
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jespaire qu il trouveronune soulution a leur problaime car des animateur comme andre sylvain et quelques colaigres vonts nous menquer ont a de la dificulter a ecouter sur le radio je me suis abonner a internette pour pouvoirs ecouter CJMS sur internette Allard jesperres ques leur situations vas saranger et que lont va pouvoir lecouter sur internette