Quebec AM, the CBC Radio One morning show heard throughout Quebec outside of Montreal and Gatineau, will be starting later in the morning, at 5:57am instead of 5:30am, starting Monday.
The change, which is permanent, is based not so much on saving money, though CBC is in the middle of some deep cuts, but rather on audience.
“Morning radio listenership dramatically increases at 6am,” explains Debbie Hynes, CBC Quebec’s communications director.
The move makes sense. The number of people listening to CBC Radio One in English outside of Montreal before 6am is pretty low. You don’t have the people in Montreal suburbs who have to get up that early because of the long commute. You don’t have early-morning joggers getting up before civilization to take advantage of quiet roads and parks. Though you might have some farmers getting up with the sun who now have half an hour less of regional information on the radio.
Montreal’s Daybreak, hosted by Mike Finnerty, retains its 5:30am start time.
“Quebec AM made this choice in order to better serve its audience with stories that run in peak listening times,” Hynes said. And people wanting local news will still get that at 5:30. “Shawn Lyons will still do a hit at 5:30am with a local newscast. From 5:30-5:57am, listeners will hear the overnight service.”
As Hynes points out, 6am start times are common for CBC Radio One local morning shows in Canada. Most stations either carry regional programming from 5:30 to 6am before starting a local show or carry the overnight service, which broadcasts best-of-CBC and public radio shows from the BBC and other international broadcasters.