Tag Archives: CHSV

The Jewel shuffles its lineup, moves Tasso to drivetime

Not even a month after he started, Tasso has gotten a promotion.

Starting Monday, Paul Zakaib and his alter-ego move to the afternoon drive slot (3-7pm) from mid-mornings.

That shift bumps Bob Coley to weekends. Kris Leblanc, who was doing weekends, will produce the Tasso show as well as doing weekend and fill-in work.

The move means that Tasso will for the second time be in the same time slot as former partner Aaron Rand. Though just as he did when he started doing afternoon drive at Mike FM, Tasso downplays the idea that his music show and Rand’s talk show are directly competing against teach other.

The Jewel in Hudson hires Tasso for mid-morning show

Paul Zakaib, aka Tasso Patsikakis

Paul Zakaib, aka Tasso Patsikakis

The Jewel 106.7 FM in Hudson is running a listener contest to guess who their new on-air personality is. I hate to spoil the fun, but it’s Tasso.

Paul Zakaib, known on air as Tasso Patsikakis and Aaron Rand’s long-time morning show co-host on Q92, will be doing the 10am to noon shift on the easy-listening off-island station starting April 8, according to two independent sources who are in a position to know this but not in a position to publicly confirm it until the contest is over.

After being dumped from the Q’s morning show in 2009, he resurfaced in 2011 to do the afternoon show on ethnic station Mike FM with his friend and colleague Patrick Charles. Charles left the station, and in 2013 Tasso left too.

Zakaib and the station have been in talks for a while now. Some details are still unclear, such as how much of the old Aaron and Tasso morning show shtick Tasso will bring along with him.

The Jewel 106.7 Hudson launches Monday … live from Hawkesbury

The Jewel 106.7

Five years after the initial CRTC application for a new radio station serving Montreal’s western off-island community, two and a half years after it was given a licence, and four months after it started testing, CHSV-FM The Jewel 106.7 finally comes to life Monday morning with regular programming.

The lineup

As previously announced, Ted Bird is the big star being brought on to host the morning show, 5:30-10am weekdays. Joining him is Tanya Armstrong, a Montrealer who’s not as well known but who has been around Montreal radio many years. Her CV on LinkedIn lists experience with WebSports Media, the people behind the Montreal Hockey Talk show. Previously she worked as an intern on CHOM and did production on what was then Team 990. She’ll be handling news and traffic on the show.

Producing their show is Kris Leblanc, who will also be hosting on weekends. He’s worked previously at Mix 96, CJAD, 940 News and K103.

The afternoon drive show, from 3 to 7pm, will be hosted by Bob Coley, a voice-over artist who lives in Hudson and previously worked at CHOM and CKTS 900 AM in Sherbrooke. He’ll be joined by Sylvia Asche Bullard doing news and traffic. Bullard worked at CJMQ in Sherbrooke, the English-language Townships community station, as well as for the Canadian Traffic Network and The Jewel in Ottawa.

Leblanc, Coley and “another announcer still to be determined” will host weekend shows. The rest of the schedule will be syndicated, including middays (10am-3pm is John Tesh) and evenings (The Jewel’s The Lounge, 7-11pm).

Ted Silver, program director for The Jewel stations in Hudson and eastern Ontario, says there may still be “some surprise announcements” concerning programming.

The location

Even though they’ve been working on this station for half a decade, owner Evanov Radio hasn’t found it a home in Hudson yet, so for the time being it’ll be broadcasting out of the office of its sister station The Jewel 107.7 in Hawkesbury, Ont., 40 kilometres away. (Which I note is less than the distance between Hudson and downtown Montreal.)

I’ll be tagging along on Day 1, and will have more details in the coming days here and in the Montreal Gazette’s off-island section.

The Jewel in Hudson hires Ted Bird as morning show host

Ted Bird

Ted Bird

Three months after it began on-air testing, The Jewel 106.7 (CHSV-FM) in Hudson/St-Lazare is getting ready for a launch in early March and has hired its morning man: Ted Bird.

I have some details in this story in the Montreal Gazette’s Off-Island section.

With the hire, Bird gains his fifth employer and fifth station in five years. He left CHOM in 2010 over “creative differences” with management and months later landed at community station K103 in Kahnawake. In 2012, he left K103 and joined what was then TSN 990. In the fall of 2013, after the Bell/Astral merger put his old CHOM bosses in charge of TSN, he was let go, and joined KIC Country 89.9 in Kahnawake. His last shift at that station was on Friday.

Bird also freelances as a sports commentator. He had a regular segment on CTV Montreal, and recently started doing the same thing for City’s Sportsnet Central Montreal.

Evanov Radio, which owns The Jewel, confirms that it has hired Bird as the morning show host.

“We have also hired a sales team which consists of three representatives to start and are looking to add our sales manager shortly,” says Evanov vice-president Carmela Laurignano.

There’s no word yet on other talent, but we’ll know that in the coming weeks. I’ve heard of a few names familiar to Montreal radio listeners that have tried out.

The Jewel is licensed to serve Hudson and St-Lazare, and its signal also covers Vaudreuil, Rigaud, Oka, Île Perrot and the western part of the West Island. Its programming will be mainly easy-listening music, but will have news and information specific for the Hudson/St-Lazare community (its application promised four hours and 22 minutes a week of news, of which half would be local to that community). Evanov told the CRTC in applying for the licence to the station that this community of should be considered a separate market from Montreal. (According to the CRTC’s measure, Hudson and St-Lazare alone have about 22,000 anglophone residents.)

Hudson radio station The Jewel 106.7 begins testing

The Jewel 106.7

Less than two months after getting CRTC approval for a new transmitter site, CHSV-FM 106.7 in Hudson has begun transmitting.

The station, owned by Evanov Radio subsidiary Dufferin Communications and carrying the brand The Jewel, is currently in its on-air testing phase, which began Nov. 4. Another Evanov station, Radio Fierté 980 AM, is also testing and will launch in January with about 10 full-time employees.

The Jewel is an easy-listening format and has six stations in Ontario and another in Winnipeg. The Hudson station at 1,420 watts ERP should easily cover the western off-island area, plus adjacent areas like Oka, the West Island and Ile Perrot. Reception in the Montreal area is complicated by co-channel interference from WIZN 106.7 in Burlington, Vt., and in eastern Ontario it should be wiped out by Jump 106.9 (CKQB-FM).

Like Fierté, The Jewel is playing music and station IDs. It asks anyone who finds problems to email signal@jewel1067.com.

UPDATE: No word on a launch date, which has more to do with when Industry Canada gives its approval than anything else. If there are no problems reported, “we should be officially on the air by Christmas,” says Evanov VP Carmela Laurignano. “For the first while we will have a music intensive program. The full format will roll out in the new year.”

The station expects to have about 20 employees. No names have been released yet.

Two new radio stations to launch in Montreal region by end of 2014

The last regulatory hurdle to the Montreal area getting its newest commercial radio company has finally been passed. On Thursday, the CRTC approved a technical change for CHSV-FM Hudson/St-Lazare, a new English-language music station first approved two years ago.

As a result, it and a sister station, Radio Fierté (approved in 2011), will launch by the end of 2014, owner Evanov Communications says.

Former (orange line) and new (red line) pattern of CHSV-FM 106.7 Hudson, with interference zones of 106.9 Ottawa (Jump) and 106.7 Burlington, Vt. (The Wizard)

Former (orange line) and new (red line) pattern of CHSV-FM 106.7 Hudson, with interference zones of 106.9 Ottawa (Jump) and 106.7 Burlington, Vt. (The Wizard)

CHSV-FM 106.7 St-Lazare (The Jewel)

Evanov (through its subsidiary Dufferin Communications) had applied for the change to CHSV-FM because the Bell tower it had planned to use in Hudson had run out of space and would have required expensive upgrades to support another antenna.

So Evanov proposed to move to a Rogers-owned tower on Chemin Sainte-Angélique near Rue des Liserons, about 5.3 kilometres southwest of the Bell tower. In order to still cover Hudson, the change also meant a power increase, from 500W to 1420W average ERP.

Some competitors, such as CJVD Vaudreuil (a French-language station which serves the same region and wanted to use CHSV’s frequency) and Groupe CHCR (which owns CKIN-FM 106.3 in Montreal and was worried about interference), objected to this change as deviating from what was originally approved.

But the CRTC didn’t buy those objections. While the new pattern is significantly stronger toward the west and southwest, it is about the same toward Montreal, and so can’t be seen as some back-door way into getting into the Montreal market. And the situation that led to the application, and the proposed solution to it, are perfectly reasonable.

In its application, Evanov said the station, which will carry easy-listening music and the Jewel brand used at six other stations in Ontario and another in Winnipeg, would be ready to launch “within weeks of approval as all our other infrastructure and equipment are in place.”

Carmela Laurignano, vice-president and radio group manager for Evanov, said they won’t waste any time now. “It is our intention to get started on making preparations next week. It will require us to schedule installation of the transmitter, going through a testing phase to satisfy all requirements by Industry Canada and then sign-on air. We expect to be signed on by Christmas!”

When it does go on the air, for testing and then at launch, The Jewel in Hudson will cover the western off-island area, Ile Perrot, areas on the north shore around Oka, and the extreme West Island. Areas further than that may be able to pick up the station, but may experience interference from WIZN (The Wizard) from Burlington, Vt., or CKQB-FM (Jump) in Ottawa. Reception from downtown Montreal or points east of there will be very difficult because of interference from both WIZN and the Boom FM station at 106.5 in St-Hyacinthe.

CHRF 980 AM Montreal (Radio Fierté)

Evanov is also the licensee of Radio Fierté, a new French-language AM station serving Montreal’s LGBT community. The station was approved in 2011 on TSN Radio’s former frequency of 990 AM. Last December, the CRTC approved a technical change for that station, moving it to 980 AM and allowing it to have a less restrictive pattern at night.

Radio Fierté has proposed a mixed music and talk format. It’s based on Proud FM (CIRR-FM), an English-language station in downtown Toronto. Because Fierté is on AM, it will likely be more focused on talk.

Though they operate in different languages, in different cities, and have different formats, Radio Fierté and The Jewel will share overhead, including management. So this CRTC decision allows Evanov to move forward on both stations.

Laurignano said Radio Fierté should be on the air by mid-November.

Hudson FM station ready to start “within weeks”

Existing (orange line) and proposed (red line) pattern of CHSV-FM 106.7 Hudson

Existing (orange lines) and proposed (red lines) patterns of CHSV-FM 106.7 Hudson, with interference zones from 106.9 The Bear (blue) and 106.7 The Wizard (red).

The western off-island communities of Hudson, Saint-Lazare and Vaudreuil could see their first English-language local station later this fall if the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approves a technical amendment so the station can change its transmission site.

Transmission Plan B

Dufferin Communications, which has a licence to operate a 500-watt English-language music station at 106.7 FM serving the region, was originally supposed to transmit from a Bell-owned tower on Route Harwood near Rue Thomas, which would have put it right in the Hudson community. But on April 29, Bell informed Dufferin that “the tower is now at its capacity and any additions will cause overload and reinforcement will be inevitable.” It also says that the location on the tower that Dufferin had been looking at originally has now been taken by an antenna being used “for public safety purposes.”

Rather than spend as much as $100,000 to reinforce the Bell tower, $50,000 to install a tower extension, and $40,000 to install a new transmitter shelter, Dufferin decided it would seek another tower nearby. Its search led it to a Rogers-owned tower on Chemin Sainte-Angélique near Rue des Liserons, about 5.3 kilometres southwest of the Bell tower.

Because it’s much farther from Hudson than the Bell tower, Dufferin is also seeking changes to the station’s pattern to compensate. Rather than an omnidirectional antenna at 500 watts, they would operate a (slightly) directional antenna with an average of 1420W and a maximum of 2650W. (Both the approved and proposed antennas would be at a height of 95 metres.)

“In order to maintain the 70 dBu contour in the same position over the target area of Hudson/St-Lazare, and in order to compensate for some minor terrain grazing, it is necessary to increase power to 2650 watts,” its brief to the CRTC says.

The new signal keeps about the same coverage in Hudson, but significantly improves the quality of the signal toward the west (Rigaud) and a bit toward the south (Saint-Clet). The larger 54dBu contour improves in all directions (more so toward the west), but the signal’s actual reach will mainly be limited by interference from other stations. Toward the east and south, people in the West Island, Mirabel, Beauharnois and Valleyfield will likely experience interference from WIZN (The Wizard) in Burlington, Vt., which operates on the same frequency. Toward the west, people in Lachute and on the other side of the Ontario border will hear interference from CKQB-FM (106.9 The Bear) in Ottawa.

Though the new signal greatly increases the population served, Dufferin warns that it doesn’t greatly increase the number of anglophones served in that population, since anglos in the area are concentrated around Hudson and Saint-Lazare.

Ready to go

Dufferin tells the CRTC that the Rogers site “is ready made and will allow us to implement the service within weeks of approval as all our other infrastructure and equipment are in place.”

Vice-President Carmela Laurignano confirmed to me that, indeed, the station could be on the air very quickly once this technical plan is approved. She said the tower is ready, the antenna is on stand-by, and programming is ready to go.

Because it was approved only last October, it has until Oct. 19, 2014 to launch, unless it asks for an extension.

Names of on-air talent are “confidential at this point,” Laurignano said, but some of the station’s 25 or so full-time and part-time employees have already been hired.

The station, which will carry the brand “106.7 The Jewel”, part of a network of such stations in southern and eastern Ontario, will air mainly music with an easy listening format (Céline Dion, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé). Its original application said it would have live programming during peak hours, including local newscasts, but voice-tracked programming outside of those hours. Its budget would be about $750,000 a year, based off mainly local ads that would cost between $22 and $34 a minute on average.

The application can be downloaded as a .zip file here. Comments are being accepted until Sept. 16, and can be submitted online here. Remember that all information submitted, including contact information, appears on the public record. There is no timeline for a decision, but if the CRTC does not find it controversial, expect it within weeks of the deadline for comments.

Status report: How things are changing at Montreal TV and radio stations

Last fall, I wrote for The Gazette that there were a lot of changes going on at local TV and radio stations. This year, 2013, is turning out to be the biggest one for local broadcasting in decades, with new stations, ownership changes and other big plans.

Because of that, a lot of people have been asking me what’s going on with some of them. My usual response is either “I don’t know” or recapping a blog post I published or something I posted on Twitter.

As we hit the halfway mark of the calendar year, I figured now is a good time to give you an update on what’s going on at each of these stations, one by one.

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