Category Archives: Radio

Posted in Radio

CRTC approves frequency swap allowing Ottawa station to boost power

Existing (purple) and proposed (black) coverage map for CIDG-FM Ottawa.

Existing (purple) and proposed (black) coverage map for CIDG-FM Ottawa.

In its last day of decisions for 2015, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved a plan proposed by Torres Media’s CIDG-FM (Dawg FM) to pay a community station more than $150,000 to swap frequencies.

The plan, which I told you about in May, goes as follows:

  • CHIP-FM, a community radio station based in Fort Coulonge, Quebec, about 90km northwest of Gatineau, changes frequency from 101.7 to 101.9 MHz
  • CIDG-FM, a commercial station based in Ottawa, changes from 101.9 to 101.7, and because the new frequency has fewer restrictions on it, the station can increase its power from 5,500W to 19,500W.
  • Torres Media, which owns CIDG-FM, pays Pontiac Community Radio, owner of CHIP-FM. The amount isn’t disclosed in the application or decision, but a financial projection included in the application shows it’s at least six figures. It includes Torres Media taking care of all the expenses related to the application itself and the change in frequency for CHIP-FM.

As a result of the change, which also comes with a new transmitter site, Dawg FM would improve its signal considerably toward the southwest, areas like Nepean and Stittsville. The signal still wouldn’t be as good as the older FMs that have unrestricted allocations, but it would be able to fight on a slightly more even level.

Dawg FM, which broadcasts a blues/rock format and launched in 2011, has a 0.5% share among anglophones and 0.2% among francophones in the latest Numeris ratings.

Posted in Radio

Fall radio ratings show status quo in Montreal

Montreal anglo radio ratings (2+, central market). Click for larger version.

Montreal anglo radio ratings (2+, central market). Click for larger version.

PPM radio ratings came out this week. And while there isn’t much that’s headline-grabbing on the anglo side, there’s a few things I noticed that are worth mentioning.

The top-line numbers show that, once again, CJAD is the most popular radio station among anglophone listeners. No shock there. And when you look at the chart above, you can see that over time their share has actually grown. Its their fourth consecutive book above 25%, after years of never getting above 25.2%.

Among the music stations, The Beat is once again the most popular overall (among both anglophones and francophones), but among the important demographic of adults 25-54, Virgin Radio beats it by five points, and the trend is in Virgin’s favour. Among younger adults (18-34), Virgin beats The Beat by nine points.

Among men 25-54, CHOM is still tops with a 28% share, but that barely edges out Virgin. TSN Radio 690 has only a 6% share among this group, a third of CJAD’s.

CBC Radio One, which peaked in the fall of 2014, has been declining since, with a 6.5% share overall. CBC Radio Two is at 1.5%, the third consecutive quarter at that level or below after being above it for at least four years.

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CJAD honours Balcan, Sinclair and Blackman as it opens a “hall of fame”

cjad-cartoons

Framed Aislin cartoons of George Balcan, left, Gord Sinclair and Ted Blackman.

This morning, on its 70th anniversary, CJAD 800 inaugurated what it officially calls a “hall of fame” but program director Chris Bury admitted would probably be more accurately described as a wall of fame. Its first three inductees, unveiled during the Andrew Carter morning show, are of no surprise: George Balcan, Gord Sinclair and Ted Blackman.

The three Montreal broadcasting icons, who all died between 2002 and 2004, were immortalized with caricatures produced by cartoonist Terry Mosher (Aislin), actually taken from cartoons he had already drawn of the three. “We had a few versions” for each of the three, Bury explained, and they decided to go that way rather than use old publicity photos, many of which were not in great condition, were poorly lit or seemed too serious.

The framed cartoons will be hung in the CJAD studio, where people who work at the station “can get a sense of the history of the radio station,” Bury said.

More CJAD personalities will join these three over the coming years. Bury said the plan is to induct one every six months or so until the 75th anniversary in 2020. “Nothing is set in stone” about who else will be inducted, though there are some obvious picks. Simple math would suggest about a dozen inductees in all, though that too hasn’t been set in stone.

“I don’t know how many other stations could do this,” Bury said after the ceremony.

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Posted in Radio

Radio ratings confirm FM93 is still #1 in Quebec City

Numeris, the company that surveys TV viewers and radio listeners to determine ratings for those industries, released its report from radio diary markets on Thursday. This report covers mainly medium-sized markets by having a sample audience fill out forms saying what they listened to. (Larger markets like Montreal are measured using meters, which are considered more accurate.)

In Quebec, the headlines from this report is that talk station FM93 is the undisputed leader in the provincial capital (Le Soleil, Journal de Québec) with a 17.7% market share, well ahead of the next best stations, Rouge FM (CITF-FM) and Radio-Canada Première (CBV-FM), tied at 12.3%. CHOI, once the market leader, is fourth at 11.1%, the same rank it was at in the spring ratings. Among adults 18-34, it has dropped from first to sixth place. It’s also sixth among women 25-54, down from a close second last year.

But before you declare the CHOI style of “radio poubelle” dead, note that former CHOI personalities are doing quite well at other stations, according to data collected by Le Soleil and RadioEgo.com. Jeff Fillion at Énergie beats his former station, but is still behind FM93 (his move from the lunch hour to afternoon drive caused the lunch ratings to plummet back to a third of what they were under him among adults 25-54, and the afternoon drive numbers to more than double). Stéphan Dupont is doing well as Énergie’s morning man (whether he’s #1 or #3 depends how you measure), and it seems clear from the ratings numbers that he’s taking his audience mainly from CHOI, quadrupling his station’s audience in the mornings in one year. Éric Duhaime is #1 at noon with Nathalie Normandeau at FM93, beating CHOI’s Richard Martineau. And André Arthur’s show at CHOI is #1 in his short timeslot of 11:30 to noon weekdays. The station would probably do better overall if he was willing to take more airtime.

Going up: Énergie’s well behind competitors, but its share has increased from 7.8% to 9.4%. And though CHOI is still fourth, its 11.1% share is up from 9.5% in the spring. WKND is up two points from 5.9 to 7.9% (and its reach is up about 15%).

Going down: Rouge and Radio-Canada are both down about two points from the spring. CJSQ Radio-Classique saw its share drop from 4.7% to 2.5%. The fact that Radio-Classique was in transition during the ratings period probably has a lot to do with that.

The sole English-language station in Quebec City, CBC Radio One (CBVE-FM), has a 0.6% rating, down from 0.7% in the spring. About 37,000 listeners in Canada listened to that station or its retransmitters on the Quebec Community Network (which covers most of Quebec except Montreal and Gatineau) for at least 15 minutes during the measured period.

Sherbrooke

Little change here from the spring. The two Bell Media stations (Énergie and Rouge FM) lead with about a 20% market share each.

Trois-Rivières

There’s now a very tight three-way race for the top between NRJ (CIGB-FM) at 16.8%, Rythme FM (CJEB-FM) at 16.5% and Rouge FM (CHEY-FM) at 15.5%. That’s a significant drop for Rythme. Independent Bécancour station CKBN-FM jumped from 5.2% to 9.0% for fourth place, edging Radio-Canada. Talk station CKOB-FM 106.9 is behind at 6.2%, and Espace Musique jumped from 2.9% to 5.6%.

Saguenay

Rouge FM (CFIX-FM) has solidified its dominance here and now has a 31.9% share, up from 25.3% in the spring. Its sister Énergie (CJAB-FM) dropped three points to sit at 17.5%, while KYK Radio X (CKYK-FM) gained two and a half to reach 15.7%.

The Rythme FM station owned by Attraction Radio has fallen back to Earth after shooting up a couple of points following the format change. It’s now at 7.1%, about what it was before becoming a Rythme affiliate.

Drummondville

The only two stations surveyed in this market are tight as can be: CJDM-FM (Énergie) at 27.8% and CHRD-FM (Rouge FM) at 27.7%. Competition would be intense if they weren’t both owned by Bell Media.

Ottawa/Gatineau

On the anglo side, Bell Media’s New Country 94 (formerly Bob FM) still hasn’t been resonating with audiences, stuck with a 2.9% market share. But its competitor Country 101, a Rogers station operating out of Smiths Falls but which targets Ottawa, has seen its share drop more than half from 6.7% to 3.3% in a year.

Otherwise, the only change by more than a couple of points is CBC Radio One, up four points to 22.9%. It has more than twice the share of any other station, thanks mainly to the fragmentation of the market.

On the franco side, Rouge FM is still by far the top rated stations, but it lost 4.5% market share, and is now at 17.7%. Otherwise the only notable shift is a more than doubling of the share for Corus’s English music station Jump! 106.9, which is now at 4.2% of francophone listeners, similar to other English-language music stations in the market.

I’ll leave looking at other markets to others since I’m less familiar with them. PPM quarterly ratings, which includes the Montreal English and French markets, come out next week.

If you want to delve into deeper analysis, InfoPresse has posted the charts put together by Bell Media research and Cogeco Force Radio, or you can read the self-congratulatory statements from Bell or Leclerc.

Posted in Radio, TV

Bell Media rehires Louis Douville as regional sales manager

Louis Douville

Louis Douville

Two months after he lost his job as general manager of CTV Montreal, Louis Douville is back at Bell Media. It was just announced internally that he is taking on the new job of regional sales manager for local TV and radio in Quebec, starting Monday.

In his new job, Douville will be responsible for advertising sales managers at CTV Montreal and Bell Media’s radio stations in both languages throughout the province. He reports directly to Toronto.

Douville tells me he considers the change a lateral move, with “a more focused responsibility” but with a wider scope.

He says he had no hard feelings about being cut as part of hundreds of job cuts at the company this year. “I never took it personally. I was a victim of economic times,” he said. “To be able to stay with a company that I’ve invested in for 33 years is pretty fabulous.”

Advertising is a big challenge, especially for a company like Bell Media, which is looking to increase or at least maintain its revenues while operating with fewer staff. Douville said he has ideas for strategy but wants to discuss them with his staff first. And as for taking on that daunting task, he offered advice he heard from a wise man once:

“If you take a challenge that doesn’t terrify you, you’re not taking on enough of a challenge.”

Posted in Radio

Châteauguay’s CHAI-FM seeks to replace two transmitters with one

If you look at a list of radio transmitters in the Montreal area, you’ll find a listing at 101.9 MHz for CHAI-FM, a community radio station in Châteauguay. But you’ll also find one called CHAI-FM-1 in Candiac, also at 101.9 MHz.

It’s an unusual solution to a coverage problem to have a repeater on the same frequency, and CHAI is the only one in the area that attempted it. There’s a reason for this: talk to any broadcast engineer and they’ll tell you that while it can be done, it’s very tricky. If the stations aren’t perfectly synchronized, people between the transmitters can hear unpleasant sounds and echoes.

CHAI-FM proposal: A new transmitter (green) replaces the two old ones (red and blue).

CHAI-FM proposal: A new transmitter (green) replaces the two old ones (red and blue).

So CHAI has decided after less than a decade to abandon that plan and instead seek changes to its primary transmitter (an increase in power, change in pattern and shift of location and height) to allow it to cover both the city of Châteauguay and the MRC de Roussillon with one signal. As you can see from the map above, the engineers have done a pretty good job of replicating the two coverage areas with one signal.

The new CHAI-FM would transmit from atop the Châteauguay water tower in the eastern corner of the city, using a directional antenna and a power of 238 watts, up from 100. The height above average terrain would go from 50 to 66.7 metres. (The city approved the installation unanimously in a council meeting on Dec. 1, 2014, setting a $350 a year rent plus taxes and $460 a year for electricity, a deal of five years renewable twice.)

Being so close to Montreal, the signal has to be careful not to interfere with other existing ones. An engineering analysis found potential interference issues with a half dozen stations but managed to minimize them:

  • CBMG-FM Cowansville (101.9): CHAI and this CBC Radio One transmitter would cause interference to each other, but CHAI notes that the area of CBMG’s signal it would interfere with, centred around Iberville, would be covered by Radio One’s main Montreal transmitter at 88.5 FM, which carries identical programming. CBMG could cause interference to CHAI in Candiac, Delson, Lery and the southern West Island.
  • CJSS-FM Cornwall (101.9): Though they operate on the same frequency, the analysis found CHAI would not interfere with CJSS and CJSS’s interference with CHAI would be minimal, confined to a sliver of its pattern southwest of Lery.
  • WCVT-FM Stowe, Vt. (101.7): No potential interference was found here unless WCVT were to increase to its maximum theoretical power, which it couldn’t do anyway because that would interfere with CBMG.
  • CHPR-FM Hawkesbury, Ont. (102.1): The stations are far enough apart in space and frequency that there are no interference issues.
  • CIBL-FM Montreal (101.5): CHAI would cause some interference to reception of the Montreal community station in the area southeast of CHAI’s transmitter, but that interference would be less than is currently caused by both CHAI-FM and its retransmitter. CIBL would not cause interference to CHAI.
  • CINQ-FM Montreal (102.3): The mutual interference situation for CINQ is virtually identical to that of CIBL.

The worst interference issue both ways is with the Cowansville station, and that’s the only one that would actually increase a non-trivial amount under this scenario. CHAI’s proposed parameters go as far as they can without leaving a coverage hole for CBC Radio One (an area that isn’t within either coverage area of CBME-FM 88.5 or CBMG-FM 101.9).

The CRTC is accepting comments on this application until Jan. 18. You can download the application here (.zip) and comment here. Note that all information submitted, including contact information, becomes part of the public record.

Posted in Radio

Valleyfield’s CKOD-FM gets approval for sale, rebrands as Max 103

Barely a week after the CRTC officially approved the sale of the station to Torres Media (owner of Ottawa’s Dawg FM), CKOD-FM has relaunched with a new studio location, $75,000 of new equipment, and a new branding: Max 103.

As I explained in May, the Valleyfield station was in a pretty dire situation less than a year ago, unable to pay its rent or even keep the transmitter running. Torres Media came in with a lifeline and got it back up and running, getting the CRTC to approve a temporary management agreement while it deliberated on the official sale.

The purchase price was $250,000. Torres Media asked for an exemption to the CRTC’s tangible benefits policy, which normally places a 6% tax on the sale of radio stations, with that money going to Canadian content development funds or other similar initiatives. The commission denied that request, and so the new owner has to pay $24,076 in addition to $1,500 to make up for the previous owner’s failure to pay mandatory Canadian content funding contributions.

The relaunch happened yesterday, and Cogeco’s local community TV service sent a reporter to do a report on it:

The Journal Saint-François was also there.

 

Yves Trottier, who has been with the station for a couple of decades now, returns to the air as the morning man. He also has a 5% ownership stake in the station.

CKOD-FM’s 3kW signal at 103.1, which is unchanged in this ownership transition, allows it to cover the Suroît area, reaching from Hudson to Huntindgon and the Ontario border to Saint-Martine. Its coverage area also includes Île Perrot and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. People further east will have trouble hearing it due to interference from CHAA-FM 103.3.

The investment seems significant, and Torres Media seems serious about relaunching the station. They’ve promised to keep it local, and have apparently reached a deal with InfoSuroit.com to provide local and regional news.

I can’t find a website for the station The station’s website is pretty bare right now, and there’s no online stream. Hopefully that will come soon.

Posted in Radio

Radio Humsafar ready to launch on AM, but needs to move its antenna first

Jasvir Sandhu in the Radio Humsafar studio in Lasalle.

Jasvir Sandhu in the Radio Humsafar studio in Lasalle.

A year and a half after it was approved by the CRTC, Radio Humsafar, a South Asian station set to broadcast at 1610 AM, still isn’t on the air.

But there are signs of life. The group has applied to the commission for an amendment after it determined that its original plan to share an antenna with CJLO 1690 AM wasn’t feasible (the frequencies are too close together).

Instead, Humsafar will install its own antenna on 46th Ave. near François Cusson St. in Lachine’s industrial park, four kilometres west of CJLO’s antenna. Otherwise, the technical parameters are the same, 1000W day and night, and the coverage pattern is almost identical.

Humsafar has gotten a permit from Lachine to install the antenna, according to a report in the community paper. But the CRTC needs to approve the location change, so it has opened the application to public comment until Jan. 8. That means it’ll probably be the end of February before it gets the okay from the commission.

In the meantime, you can listen to it online.

Posted in Radio

TSN 690’s Elliott Price, Abe Hefter laid off as part of Bell Media cuts in Montreal

The wave of job cuts sweeping Canada finally hit Montreal today, with the first big names on the list of those getting the axe: Elliott Price, co-host of the morning show on TSN Radio 690, and Abe Hefter, host of the weekend morning show.

I lay out the news in this story in the Montreal Gazette.

“Unfortunately, I can confirm that Elliott Price departed the company as part of the ongoing restructuring at Bell Media,” was the official comment from Bell Media spokesperson Olivier Racette.

Bell Media isn’t offering much comment on departures, and program director Chris Bury referred all comment to Racette.

Price didn’t respond to a request for comment and hasn’t said anything on Twitter, but he did change his Twitter biography:

price-bio

Price’s departure leaves the morning show in the hands of Shaun Starr and Rick Moffat, along with their contributors.

Price has been a fixture on Montreal radio since 1982, notably as a voice of the Montreal Expos.

Hefter, host of The Locker Room, is also gone, Mitch Melnick announced today on the air.

Other confirmed on-air cuts:

The fact that both Virgin and CHOM have ditched their overnight hosts suggests to me that they might try going announcerless overnight. We’ll see.

There are also several behind-the-scenes jobs at these stations that have been cut. Producers, marketing and promotions people and others.

At CTV Montreal, the cuts have been more modest. No anchors or reporters have lost their jobs yet, though they will be filling the vacant Quebec City reporter position internally instead of hiring someone new, according to union local president Susan Lea.

Five positions are gone, all in operations (i.e. off-air jobs), of which one was a voluntary departure with a severance package to protect the job of a younger employee, Lea said.

“We’re expecting a couple more” jobs to be cut, she said.

Lea said CTV Montreal was probably spared more severe cuts like we’ve seen elsewhere because of more severe cuts that happened a year ago. The station is down to about 100 people.

I haven’t heard about on-air cuts at RDS or other French-language properties in Montreal yet.

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Posted in Media, Radio, TV

Bell Media cutting hundreds of jobs, including 110 in Montreal

Updated Nov. 23: Here are the cuts we know so far, broken down by region:

Victoria

Vancouver

Most of the above names from this Vancouver Sun blog post

Edmonton

CTV Edmonton noted on air that the first four departures noted above are all voluntary.

Calgary

Saskatchewan

From Unifor:

In Saskatoon a Tech and Administrative Assistant took early retirement, two vacant part-time positions won’t be filled and a temporary contract employee was let go a year early. In Prince Albert, two operations positions were eliminated. In Yorkton, a part-time camera operator position was eliminated. As far as out of scope employees are concerned The Traffic Department manager has retired, and a financial manager was let go.That’s a total of 10 union positions and 2 out of scope positions. Regina is not unionized but I had heard 13 layoffs.

Winnipeg

  • CTV: Operations manager, promo manager, payroll manager, shooter, editor, floor director, feed and play operator, web producer, manager of traffic and receptionist.
  • Radio: 9 in total, including in production, sales, street team, and engineering.

Above information via ChrisD.ca.

Windsor, Ont.

London, Ont.

  • CJBK 1290 AM host Steve Garrison
  • CTV Two health reporter Jan Sims
  • Three news editors, two cameramen, and engineer and technical director at CTV Two
  • Several managers in both TV and radio

Toronto

In addition, TSN is downgrading Off the Record from its own show to a regular segment on SportsCentre. TSN spins this as a positive.

Barrie, Ont. (CTV Two)

  • Weatherman Bob McIntyre (retirement)
  • Creative Service Writers – 2
  • Creative & Promo Editors – 2
  • Promotion Producers – 2
  • ENG/EFP Camera -1
  • Librarian – 1
  • Receptionist – 1
  • Announcer – 1
  • News director, accounts Manager, salesperson and P.T. Executive Secretary

The union says the Barrie station lost a quarter of its workforce with this cut.

St. Catharines, Ont.

Ottawa

Stories in the The Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Sun. The Sun also reports that CFRA will have its newscasts read by CTV Ottawa personalities. And Unifor says CTV Ottawa will no longer have a local sports segment at 11:30pm weekdays.

UPDATE (Dec. 4): The Ottawa Sun has an interview with Meehan. As does the Ottawa Citizen. And CBC.

Montreal

Sherbrooke

Quebec City

The Journal de Québec has a roundup of cuts at Énergie and Rouge FM stations, including Marie-Josée Longval at Rouge in Quebec City and Patrice Henrichon at Énergie in Sherbrooke.

Atlantic Canada

Two positions affected at 21-M in Halifax/New Brunswick/Cape Breton. One each in TV and radio.
A swing traffic/receiptionist was lost in TV, and an on-air person in radio.
Two might not seem like a lot, but in TV for example 21-M is down to fewer than 20 members.

This is a very incomplete list, based on names reported so far. It doesn’t include probably scores of behind-the-scenes staff like cameramen, producers, editors, support staff and more. If you have names to add to this list, or to confirm, or links to other reports, send them my way.

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CRTC changes its mind, gives TTP Media yet another extension on AM radio stations

Le Conseil proroge le délai de mise en exploitation de ce service jusqu’au 21 novembre 2015. À défaut de respecter ce nouveau délai, l’autorité accordée dans la Décision 2011-721 deviendra nulle et sans effet. Cette prorogation est la dernière extension de temps accordée par le Conseil pour la mise en exploitation de ce service.
— CRTC, Sept. 14, 2014

This was going to be it, the deadest of deadlines, the date of no return when we can finally declare that the Tietolman-Tétrault-Pancholy Media project for AM radio stations is dead and not coming back. The CRTC had promised a year ago that the first of them would not be given an extension past Nov. 21, 2015. It even bolded the word to make it clear.

But it seems the commission is willing to give this phantom company one more chance. In a decision dated last week and posted online yesterday, it has given a rare third one-year extension for the establishment of a French-language AM radio station at 940 AM, and a second one-year-extension for an English-language station at 600 AM. They now have until Nov. 21, 2016 and Nov. 9, 2016, respectively, to begin operations.

In a letter to the CRTC dated Oct. 20, managing partner Nicolas Tétrault explains that the company is finalizing a deal to acquire from Cogeco Diffusion the transmission equipment at the Kahnawake site, as well as the rights to use the land (subject to Kahnawake band council approval, which they believe is a mere formality).

Tétrault says the site is ready for transmission at 940 kHz, and requires only “minor modifications” to be ready for 600 and 850 (the latter is a French-language sports radio station first approved in 2013).

The letter requested “six to twelve months maximum”, but then again the last extension made a similar months-away promise that was never realized.

So we have another year of guessing and arguing whether this project will ever see the light of day. There still have been no announcements as far as studio location, on-air staff, management, name, callsigns or anything else.

The letter approving the third extension doesn’t give reasons for the exceptional treatment, and only states again that this will be the final extension (a similar letter says the same about the second extension for 600 AM). CRTC’s media relations offered this explanation when asked:

Usually, the second extension granted by the CRTC to start a service is final. However, in certain exceptional cases, the CRTC grants a third extension to commence a service when the justification given in the request is sufficient and that the service appears to be imminently commencing. This was the case for 7954689 Canada Inc.

I guess this means final doesn’t always mean final.

ttp-letter

ttp-letter2

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Radio Classique relaunches, hires Bernard Derome as new morning man

The studios and offices of CJPX 99.5 Montreal, at Jean-Drapeau Park

The studios and offices of CJPX 99.5 Montreal, at Jean-Drapeau Park

Radio Classique fait peau neuve. The classical music stations in Montreal and Quebec City have a new owner in Gregory Charles, a new logo, a new website and a new slate of on-air hosts. But as Charles explains, the music is the same and the new group wants to maintain the same passion.

The station’s schedule is posted, but contained a mysterious omission of 6-9am Monday to Thursday. Today we learn through the Journal de Montréal that Charles is putting a big-name hire into that slot: Former Radio-Canada anchor Bernard Derome. He starts on Monday, and will be joined by collaborators who will offer local news updates (the station had promised three minutes of national and international news and one minute of local news each hour during the morning show).

Derome seems to be a pretty good fit for the station, and a great get. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this hire is that the retired 71-year-old would be willing to get up four days a week and be in a studio for 6am.

radioclassiqueOther hosts on the schedule are mainly people who were at the station before:

Plus Charles himself, hosting from noon to 1pm weekdays, repeating at 5am.

Names we no longer see include Raymond Desmarteau, Chantal Lavoie, Julie Bélanger, Karen Hader and the Coalliers — Jean-Pierre, Marc-André and Claude-Michel. (Claude-Michel Coallier is still on the ad sales team.)

UPDATE: La Presse stories on Derome and other changes at Radio Classique.

UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2016): Derome, Charles and Hervieux were interviewed on Tout le monde en parle, in part about Radio Classique.

Posted in Radio

CHOM/Énergie program director André Lallier dies of cancer

Andre Lallier

André Lallier, a fixture at Montreal radio for 30 years, died Sunday of cancer, Bell Media announced. He was 52.

Lallier was program director for CHOM for a little under five years, and has been with CKMF 94.3 since he was 20 years old.

In Bell’s press release, Martin Spalding, the general manager of local radio in Quebec, made it clear he lost a friend:

Our entire team today lost an irreplaceable professional and a valued friend. Thanks to his love for radio and music and his total dedication to the success of the stations where he worked over the years, André has left an indelible mark on our entire industry. On behalf of everyone at Bell Media, I wish to salute the memory of André and offer my sincere condolences to his spouse Annie, son Alex, and his family and many friends.

Visitation is at the Sainte-Thérèse Complex of Les Résidences Funéraires Goyer (105 Desjardins Blvd. E. in Ste-Thérèse) on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 1-4pm, followed by “a celebration in his honour” from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

News of Lallier’s death has resulted in a flood of messages to his Facebook page from colleagues and friends.

Particularly touching is this image of the door to his office, via Pierre Landry:

lallier-door

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Posted in Radio, TV

CBC Daybreak on TV: Slightly enhanced radio makes for awful television

Host Mike Finnerty, right, with sports reporter Andie Bennett in the Daybreak studio.

Host Mike Finnerty, right, in the Daybreak studio.

For almost two weeks now, CBC has been broadcasting an hour of Montreal radio morning show Daybreak on television, with cameras installed in the radio studio. Managing Director Shelagh Kinch explains a bit how it works on her blog. But basically, a handful of cameras are set up in the studio that allow us to see the people on the air as they’re speaking. Because the cameras are voice-activated, the switching happens without the need for human intervention (i.e. without needing to hire someone for it).

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91.9 Sport launches with lots of talk, but no sports

Four years after CKAC abandoned its all-sports format, leaving Canada’s largest French-language market without an all-sports radio station in that language, RNC Media’s 91.9 FM officially became 91.9 Sport this morning at 6am. And it made clear that it sees itself as a natural successor to the former CKAC Sports, even though CKAC is owned by its competitor Cogeco Diffusion.

Here’s what the first couple of minutes sounded like today:

RNC announced the format change two months ago, after concluding that talk format “Radio 9” had done about as well as its predecessor “Radio X”.

With the launch, we get some more details about programming. The basics:

  • Live talk shows from 6am to 7pm
  • Repeats (highlights) of the day’s shows from 7pm to midnight
  • Rock music on weekends, 10am to 6pm

The schedule is very similar to what Radio X/9 had before it, and shows that they’re really focusing on daytime audience right now.

No announcements have been made concerning live sports programming. Rights to Canadiens and Alouettes games are held exclusively by Cogeco’s 98.5 FM, which also airs select Impact games. 91.9 Sport could pick up other Impact games, similar to what TVA Sports did when it first started, as well as non-local sports like NFL games. But it doesn’t look like this is a priority for the station.

Some people have been asking how you can have an all-sports radio station without broadcasting rights to live sports, as if this spells immediate doom. But 91.9 isn’t trying to compete during the evenings or weekends, it’s going after daytime audiences that used to listen to CKAC, and daytime at all-sports stations is about talk.

Sure, being the official broadcaster brings prestige and access, but it’s not a dealbreaker. TTP Media, which still plans to launch its own French all-sports station at 850 AM someday, came to the same conclusion: it’s the discussion that matters, not the play-by-play.

The host lineup is as follows:

  • 6-10am: Du sport … le matin! (Michel Langevin and Enrico Ciccone): The return of Langevin to morning radio is probably the clearest link with the old CKAC. He’s joined by former NHLer Ciccone, who like Langevin has been a frequent panelist on shows like 110%.
  • 10am-noon: Langevin en prolongation (Michel Langevin): More Langevin. This guy is going to be on air for six straight hours a day.
  • noon-1pm: Jean-Charles le midi (Jean-Charles Lajoie): One of the Radio 9 personalities to keep his job, Lajoie hosts both the noon show and the drive-home show, but gets a break in between at least.
  • 1-3pm: Laraque et Gonzalez (Georges Laraque and Stéphane Gonzalez): Pairing the former Canadiens enforcer with a numbers guy could be interesting, or could end up as an awkward failure.
  • 3-7pm: Jean-Charles en liberté (Jean-Charles Lajoie): The second half of the Lajoie shift. Langevin and Lajoie alone cover 11 of the 13 hours of daily broadcasts on this station.
  • 7pm-midnight: Les faits saillants: The best moments from the day, condensed, the station’s website promises
  • Weekends, 10am-6pm: Le garage (Jeff Paquet): Like 98.5, 91.9 mainly puts music on weekends.

Add to the list of hosts several regular collaborators, including Michel Villeneuve, Réjean Tremblay, Yvon Pedneault, Daniel Brière, plus non-hockey contributors Étienne Boulay (football), Valérie Tétrault (tennis), Serge Touchette (baseball) and Olivier Brett (soccer).

If you want to get a better idea of 91.9’s on-air team, there’s a half-hour montage posted here, and a “mot du producteur” posted here.