Bell moves Énergie shows to Rouge FM

Here’s a head-scratcher. Bell Media has announced that Éric Salvail, Dominic Arpin, Mélanie Maynard and Patrick Langlois are moving from Énergie 94.3 to Rouge FM 107.3 starting Aug. 14.

Moving an entire show (Salvail is taking his contributors with him) from one station to another is very unusual. Moving an entire lineup, which also includes the morning show, is downright bizarre.

Rouge is keeping mid-day hosts Julie Boulanger and Eric Nolin, and Pierre-Marc Babin will host the evening show, but the rest of its weekday lineup is being replaced. Patricia Paquin and Benoît Gagnon will also remain with the station, on weekends.

Rouge FM has been struggling in the ratings recently, losing ground to adult contemporary competitor Rythme FM, owned by Cogeco. Moving more popular (and more well-known) hosts to Rouge makes sense for that station, especially if those hosts appeal more to women than men.

But the bigger question is what happens to Énergie.

UPDATE (June 14): We have a bit of an idea what’s happening to Énergie now. Though there was a rumour of Les Grandes Gueules being reunited on the station, it’s actually only half that: José Gaudet will co-host the afternoon show with Richard Turcotte and Marie-Christine Proulx, in a show that will be broadcast on all Énergie stations except Quebec City. Jonathan Roberge, who co-hosted the morning show with Arpin and Maynard, will remain on Énergie in the mornings, with more details to be announced later.

It’s definitely going to be big changes for both stations, and the mix of talk and music might still change, but the idea that 94.3 FM in Montreal will go news-talk like 98.5 is pretty dead, at least for now.

Bell has Énergie and Rouge FM stations in Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Gatineau, Drummondville and Rimouski. It has Énergie stations Rouyn and Val-d’Or in western Quebec, and a Rouge FM station in Amqui, in the Gaspé peninsula.

4 thoughts on “Bell moves Énergie shows to Rouge FM

  1. dilbert

    I think you may have hit it here. Energie’s morning show was perhaps the best performing part of the station, the rest has been underperforming for a very long time. The Energie branding is fairly old and doesn’t seem to have that much currency in the market place. Rouge and Energie have also had a more and more overlapping target audience and to some extent artist playlist. Combining the two (and hopefully combining the audience) should give Rouge a boost, at least to start with.

    Dumping the whole Energie thing is probably not a bad idea. Getting many of the listeners over to Rouge will probably work, some will be lost to CKOI, CHOM, or similar, but the popular morning show should get a number of people switched to Rouge. Then the 94.3 frequency is ripe for redevelopment. Talk format appears to be the biggest marketplace right now, and a quick and decisive move now will undercut any challenge that the (insanely useless) TTP station might offer in that area.

    It’s incredibly sad, however, to see more and more FM frequencies given over to talk instead of music. In a market that is lacking in band space, it seems like a less desirable option. But without any license restriction, the change can be complete and overnight if Bell so desires – and probably will be. My guess is 6PM to 6AM in music and 6AM to 6PM as a talk station almost exactly to match 98.5.

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  2. Brett

    If Bell does indeed flip Energie 94.3 to talk that would not only help French sister stations but also Virgin Radio.

    People who don’t like CKOI would end up listening to Virgin for the hit music.

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  3. Anonymous

    Could moving the Energie jocks to Rouge FM also include a format change (or tweak at minumum) on 107.3?

    Reply

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