CHOI plummets from first to fourth in Quebec City radio ratings

Numeris released its spring radio ratings report for diary markets today, and it’s really bad news for Quebec City’s controversial talk station CHOI-FM. It goes from having a 17.7% market share last fall to only a 9.5% share this spring, dropping from first to fourth in the market.

The top three stations are tight, with CJMF-FM (FM93) having a 15.5 share, followed by CBV-FM (Première Chaîne) at 14.5, and CITF-FM (Rouge) at 14.1.

Looking deeper into the numbers suggests it’s not that Quebec City radio listeners are tuning away from CHOI-type programming, but rather that other stations are using that very style of talk to lure away listeners. In particular, NRJ’s decision to hire away CHOI star Stephan Dupont made a big difference, more than doubling NRJ’s morning show audience and cutting CHOI’s noon-hour show’s audience by half.

The FM93 show with Eric Duhaime and Nathalie Normandeau also managed to create a boost and more than double its audience for the noon hour.

Most of the music stations have about the same share as they did before. Bringing up the rear is CBC Radio One, which registers a 0.7% share, much higher than the 0.2% share of last fall, but the margin of error is too big to draw conclusions from that.

More details from Le Soleil and the Journal de Québec.

Sherbrooke: Bell Media still dominates

Not much change in Sherbrooke, though CITE-FM-1 (Rouge) has edged CIMO-FM (NRJ) in market share, with 21.9 to 19.9, respectively, and CKOY-FM (fm 107.7) has climbed well above CFGE-FM (Rythme) for fourth place behind Première Chaîne. Rouge and NRJ are both owned by Bell, and Rythme and 107.7 are owned by Cogeco.

More details in La Tribune

Trois-Rivières: Status quo

Rythme FM (CJEB-FM) is still the top station here, now up more than five points on its nearest rivals, CIGB-FM (NRJ) at 15.6, and CHEY-FM (Rouge) at 14.7. Première Chaîne follows the at 9.6, then Cogeco talk station 106.9 fm (CKOB-FM) at 6.2 and the Bécancour independent station CKBN-FM at 5.2.

Saguenay: Rythme format is working

In Saguenay, there’s little change for the top stations: Rouge (CFIX-FM) at 25.3, NRJ (CJAB-FM) at 20.6, KYK Radio X (CKYK-FM) at 13.2, and Première Chaîne (CBJ-FM) at 9.8. But the transformation of Attraction Radio’s CKRS-FM from a talk station to a Rythme FM affiliate (and change of callsign to CILM-FM) brought its share up from 6.8 to 8.9. It still has a way to go, but it’s headed in the right direction.

Ottawa-Gatineau: Both country stations lose audience

On the English side, the numbers worth analyzing are for the country music stations. Bell Media’s CKKL-FM went from Bob to New Country 94 last November. But its market share nevertheless dipped from 3.3 to 2.7, about the same as it was last spring. Its direct competitor, Rogers’s CKBY-FM (Country 101) in Smiths Falls, saw a greater ratings drop, from 6.7 to 4.2.

On the franco side, Rouge FM (CIMF-FM) is still king with a 24.4 rating, followed by Première Chaîne at 15.5. They’re followed by NRJ (CKTF-FM) at 9.4 and Cogeco’s talk station CKOF-FM at 8.2. All other stations are below 5, including CHLX-FM , whose affiliation to the Rythme FM network hasn’t had much of an impact on its share.

More details from Le Droit.

The next report for PPM markets, including Montreal, will come out on June 11.

13 thoughts on “CHOI plummets from first to fourth in Quebec City radio ratings

  1. Steve

    $64,000 Question:

    On June 11th how much of the gains that the Beat
    made in the winter book will be retained ?

  2. Dilbert

    I think the Ottawa thing is interesting. It suggests that the total market share for “country” / “new country” hasn’t changed, and just that the listeners have been redistributed between two stations instead of one. Apparently Bell hasn’t tapped into some previously unknown massive country music market! You have to think that unless they see a solid uptick in the next couple of rating periods that the whole experiment will go out the window and get replaced with something (anything) that might work.

    It looks for all the world like all the Bob listeners went away, and 2.5% of the market (give or take) moves from CKBY to the new Bell country station. Sucks to be Rogers in this case, as 6.5 or so market share for CKBY would be enough to make the station reasonably profitable and nice, but at 4 they may be in more serious trouble. I guess they can wait it up and see if Bell gets tired of having even less market share than they did running a semi-automated station.

    1. Mimo

      The only thing the move to country did was allow people who have a hard time hearing CKBY to hear their music on a better signal. CKBY doesn’t hit the inner city well at all, and is wiped off the dial in the centretown area on most radio due to overload. Since CKBY isn’t based in Ottawa, they can rely on the rural listeners.

      1. Dilbert

        Mimo, you are correct – but I do think it’s a clear indication that the total marketshare for country is probably about 6-7%, and having two stations just ends up splitting the market, making both stations less profitable (or in fact, losers), It’s a situation unlikely to be supported for too long. The move from Bob format to country was made to improve the station ratings, not shrink them. The worst possible situation would be two stations with similar 3.x ratings, at that point neither is likely to be profitable and the market perhaps over served.

          1. Dilbert

            It’s an interesting point, but I think it may be one of those deals where the book actually pretty much sucks, but the PDs and such make happy noises about some area where they shine. Country 94 was hoping for that demographic shift, I am sure – but taken as a whole, it means that they lost even more in other segments.

            The real question will be a book or two away, which is can they build a market outside of that narrow demographic and move the station into a profitable position, and will they continue to do it on the back of CKBY?

  3. Cilive

    So who really cares? You are a English site and again, you are telling us about French crap. We don’t care. Do you work for the Gazette or La Presse?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      So who really cares?

      I do.

      Do you work for the Gazette or La Presse?

      I work for the Montreal Gazette. But this website is affiliated with neither newspaper.

      1. Clarence

        I agree with Clive. How about stories that interest English Quebeckers. French speaking people have lots of places to get information en francais.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          French speaking people have lots of places to get information en francais.

          The problem is that English-speaking people don’t have lots of places to get information about what happens in Quebec. That’s the main reason I write stories like this. But if you don’t like it, just move on to the next story.

          1. Brett Morris

            The fact that you write about French radio market is very interesting. I am interested in a things radio French or English. I am glad you write about it.

    2. Tony Dee

      WOW….Some people do find this information interesting…..Thanks for always informing us Fagstein…

  4. mark trafford

    Firstly as someone who has crappy skills en francais,i am glad to get this information about the other part of the radio market,when i worked on air in Montreal radio,i was amazed at how little some of my co workers who were not imports,like me,knew of what was happening on the French side.Radio is about people and what they respond to,its worthwhile to know for anyone with an interest in the biz.Thanks,fagstein!


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