Tag Archives: CINQ

The power struggle tearing Radio Centre-Ville apart

A protest outside Radio Centre-Ville’s office on March 29.

Montreal’s only community ethnic radio station is in crisis. It started as a financial one, without a major source of revenue to pay expenses. But since last fall it has turned into a legal one as well, with two stubborn sides fighting it out. And each side is willing to financially bankroll their legal battle, even though that money would be put to far better use rescuing the station directly, because they’re convinced that their victory is the only way they can truly save the station.

And neither side is willing to negotiate or compromise.

The issue has been getting some media attention, with articles in Métro and Le Devoir. I wrote about it as well for the Montreal Gazette. Here, I’ll lay out the issues in more detail, based on interviews with both sides.

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Astral stations nominated for industry awards

The Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards nominations were announced last week.

With more than a dozen categories and 7-9 nominees per category, the bar isn’t very high. But nevertheless, congratulations to the nominees from Montreal (all anglophone stations, since I guess French-language ones are excluded):

  • Program director of the year (major market): Mark Bergman, CJFM
  • Station of the year (hot adult contemporary): Virgin Radio 96 (CJFM)
  • Station of the year (classic gold): CHOM
  • Station of the year (multicultural): Radio Centre-Ville (CINQ)
  • Station of the year (news/talk): CJAD

Among categories with no Montreal nominees are music director of the year and on-air talent. I’m sure critics of commercial radio here will be liberal in their interpretation of that.

The awards, along with others for the recording and touring industry, are handed out March 22 during Canadian Music Week in Toronto.

The lure of the Digital Life

I was recently invited to appear as the guest on an episode of The Digital Life, a half-hour show on Radio Centre-Ville (CINQ 102.3 FM). Pre-recorded last Wednesday, it aired on Saturday afternoon and is available as a podcast on their website. I was asked about the origin of the name “Fagstein”, what I think of journalists who look down on bloggers, and a few other things.

Digital Life host Reisa Levine and producer Mark Korman

The half-hour went by pretty fast, even though there were no commercials or breaks for news, traffic and weather.

It was my first time at Centre-Ville’s studio (which, despite its name, is actually at St. Laurent and Fairmount – closer to a geographic centre of the city than downtown). I’d say it’s tiny compared to other radio studios, but I can’t really think of any big radio studios these days.

Small studio at Radio Centre-Ville

The show was recorded in the smaller of two studios – another down the hall used for live broadcasts has a much larger table and more microphones. But the quality was fine.

Reisa Levine and Mark Korman have been doing the show for about a year now, since the former hosts stepped aside (as tends to be the case for volunteer work). Levine works at CitizenShift (formerly of the NFB) and is a veteran media producer. Korman is the author of the Montreal Radio Blog, which is worth reading for locals interested in radio.

Recent topics covered include PodCamp and the Citizen Media Rendez-Vous. If you know what those are, this show is probably worth listening to.

I asked them why they do it. Why, when just about everyone is a social media expert and has their own podcast, they would have their own show on the subject and devote so much time at a community radio station that barely anyone can hear.

Levine’s answer was simple: It’s a labour of love. It’s the same reason I write this blog. You do it for yourself.

Makes perfect sense to me.

The Digital Life show airs on Radio Centre-Ville (102.3 FM) every Saturday from 2:30 pm to 3 pm. It also streams live from Radio Centre-Ville’s website and is available as a download from the Digital Life blog.

Quebec Press Council roundup

A new round of decisions from the Quebec Press Council has been posted to its website. In addition to the Gazette case I mentioned earlier, and other dismissals, were some slaps on the wrist:

UPDATE (April 3): Le Devoir reports on these decisions a week later, saying the decisions were released “yesterday” which I guess means I’m psychic.