Tag Archives: CJFM

Mark Bergman puts himself back on Virgin Radio

Mark Bergman

Mark Bergman missed being on the radio.

Fortunately for him, he runs a hit radio station, so today he decided to just put himself back on the air. Astral announced today that starting Monday, April 8, Bergman will be doing afternoon drive again, from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays.

The press release (copied below) makes no mention of Andrea Collins, who currently holds that position. The station has been reassuring fans on Facebook that Collins is staying with the station.

Here’s how the new schedule will work: Collins will move to late mornings, doing the 9-12 shift. Nikki Balch, who currently does that shift, will move to weekends, but also be doing more web work, making videos and conducting interviews. So she will remain full-time at the station.

Bergman and Astral Radio Montreal Operations Director Martin Tremblay insisted that the changes have nothing to do with the recent ratings report showing Virgin trailing The Beat overall among 2+ audiences (Tremblay noted that the station still dominates most key demographics), but was merely a question of Bergman wanting to come back to the air.

You can read more about the situation in this story I wrote for The Gazette, which will appear in Thursday’s paper.

It’s hard not to see this as a demotion for Collins and Balch to make room for Bergman, if only because it’s consistent with the musical chairs that see people moving one rung down the ladder. Bergman and Tremblay, again, say this isn’t the case. But this could also be seen as Virgin recognizing that it needs to beef up daytime and weekends. The Beat is No. 1 during the daytime because of its strength as an at-work station, and Virgin’s lead on weekends is slipping against a station that has local favourite Nat Lauzon.

Bergman has been at a desk job since he hired his own replacement in 2010. He tells me there are still plenty of hours in the day for him to continue his brand director job and host a show without needing to hire more administrative staff.

Mark Bergman returns


Montreal, April 3rd 2013 – Virgin Radio Brand Director Mark Bergman is thrilled to announce the return of Mark Bergman to Virgin Radio’s airwaves. After a 3-year absence on-air, his deep passion for the product has driven him back to the mic to be part of your drive home!  Apparently, when you give someone a mic they never really want to let it go. As of April 8th at 3 p.m., Mark Bergman is back on Virgin Radio.

“Selfishly speaking, I’m thrilled to have someone as talented as Mark on the air” said Astral Radio Montreal Operations Director Martin Tremblay.  For Mark personally, I know this is something he really wants to do”.  For his part, Mark Bergman said, “I’m assuming that this will mean I will now be getting 2 paycheques.  I’d never double-dip in the chip bowl at a party but I most definitely will with our accounting department”.

Born and raised in Montreal, Mark Bergman has always been Mark Bergman’s favorite radio personality.  He fondly remembers actually starting on-air in 1998 by handing out bumper stickers to Montreal listeners and thinking “One day I want to put myself back on the air!”  After leaving Montreal for 7 weeks for what were rumored to be cosmetic surgery procedures, he realized that there was no place like home and returned to his roots in Montreal, where he has remained an active member of the community!

Mark retains his role as Virgin Radio’s Brand Director… meaning one day he technically could  have the unique opportunity of firing himself.  Mark Bergman implores you to please tune in April 8th at 3 p.m. for the return of Mark Bergman.

About Astral:

Virgin Radio 96 is a member of the Astral family. Astral is one of Canada’s largest media companies.  It operates several of the country’s most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.

Montreal radio ratings: “a solid book” for The Beat, but …

Station Winter 2011 Winter 2012 Fall 2012 Winter 2013
CJAD 25.9 24.8 25.2 25.0
CJFM (Virgin) 18.2 17.3 18.6 15.9
CKBE (Beat) 17.2 14.9 16.6 18.6
CHOM 10.3 11.9 13.7 13.5
CKGM (TSN) 2.6 4.4 2.3 2.6
CBME (CBC1) 7.5 8.2 7.2 7.0
CBM (CBC2) 2.9 2.7 2.4 2.5

BBM ratings, anglo 2+ audience

I don’t normally pay that much attention to the quarterly BBM ratings of Montreal radio stations. Not because I don’t care, but just because there’s rarely anything in them that’s newsworthy. A share point up here, a share point down there. Some stations do better in some time periods, others do better in others. There isn’t usually much movement.

Lately, CJAD has been first overall among all audiences, while the three music stations have been fighting for audience in key demographics: men for CHOM, young women for Virgin and somewhat older women for The Beat. CBC falls significantly behind, and TSN Radio even further. Other stations don’t even register. Things have been a bit more interesting on the French side with the rise of CHMP 98.5, which is now Quebec’s most-listened-to radio station.

But today’s numbers (PDF) showed a significant change for once: In overall audience (ages 2+), The Beat has leaped ahead of Virgin Radio for the first time, getting an 18.6% share versus 15.9%. That prompted The Beat to send out a press release calling itself “Montreal’s #1 Music Station”.

That was enough for a Gazette story on the matter.

But as the story shows, The Beat’s claim to be ahead of Virgin comes with a caveat: Virgin still outperforms in key demographics (among them, adults 25-54, adults 18-34 and women 25-54) and in key time periods.

In Astral’s press release, in which Virgin also calls itself “Montreal’s number one music station”, it focuses on the key advertising demographic of adults 25-54, in which Virgin still leads.

We could play with demographics all day, but if we stick to adults 25-54, the results show a three-way tie among the music stations: Virgin 21.9%, The Beat 20.1% and CHOM 20.0%, with CJAD behind at 13.1%. This represents an upward trend for The Beat and CHOM, but is down from last year for Virgin.

See some analysis here from Astral, and here from La Presse.

Needless to say everyone’s happy and everyone is number one. Here’s how the numbers break down for each station:

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Inside Astral radio’s new Montreal studios

This fall, Astral Media’s three English stations in Montreal — CHOM, CJAD and CJFM (Virgin Radio) — moved from Fort St. to Papineau Ave. The goal was to consolidate Astral’s five radio stations, allowing them to share resources, including a newsroom.

I got a couple of chances to visit the new offices, once for interviews with a couple of personalities and again when they held an event for clients. Here are some photos to give you a sense of what it’s like inside.

Astral’s building at Papineau Ave. and René-Lévesque Blvd.

I just realized when producing this post that I don’t have a recent picture of the exterior of the Astral Media building at Papineau and René-Lévesque. The one above was taken in August 2009. On the front are logos of the two French stations, both of which have rebranded. Rock Détente (CITE-FM) is now Rouge FM, and Énergie (CKMF-FM) is now NRJ (with the same pronunciation).

Anyway, the outside hasn’t changed much, except for the logos. It’s inside where everything’s different. The offices have been renovated. There’s glass everywhere. Even the office of Astral vice-president Martin Spalding is surrounded by glass, so anyone in the nearby CHOM studio can see what’s going on in there.

The studios of all five stations are on the second floor. Using the Montreal bastardization of cardinal directions, the southwestern corner is CHOM, the southeastern corner (at Papineau and René-Lévesque) is Virgin (facing René-Lévesque) and NRJ (facing Papineau). Rouge FM is on the eastern side, and CJAD’s studios are on the northeastern corner. CJAD’s newsroom covers the north side.

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The young faces of Montreal’s drive-time radio


Gazette Culture section, Jan. 5

On the list of jobs everyone wants but nobody can get, radio DJ ranks pretty high. Right there with TV anchor and newspaper staff columnist. Those privileged enough to get these coveted positions seem like the luckiest people in the world, especially because the job sounds like it’s so simple.

In Montreal, the three big music stations all have announcers or hosts (what they call the DJs now) in the afternoon drive periods under the age of 35. Why is that? Shouldn’t such a prestigious position (second only to the morning drive slot) go to people who worked in the medium for decades, toiling at some obscure community station in a tiny town working as the overnight traffic announcer? What do these people have that’s so special?

For profiles that appear in Saturday’s Gazette, I met with these three announcers, all of whom got their current jobs in 2012, and asked them about their career paths. As you’ll learn, it’s a combination of good timing, talent, a lot of determination, and a bit of luck.

(These stories took a surprisingly long time to do. Astral was a bit nervous in light of the whole Bell thing, and even after I managed to do all the interviews, the story stayed in the bank for a month so it could work as a feature story in the first week of January when the local arts scene is pretty uneventful. To give you an idea, the photos of Bilal Butt and Andrea Collins, which I took during their interviews, were taken while CHOM and Virgin were still at their old studios on Fort St.)

The Beat’s Vinny Barrucco

“Cousin” Vinny Barrucco, 28, started at The Beat in May, after being poached from the same job at Virgin Radio. The Beat’s management apparently found him good enough to fire their existing drive guy and convince Vinny to stay off the radio for three months to comply with a non-compete clause in his Virgin contract.

A guy this young getting poached like this (Cat Spencer and Nat Lauzon were also lured to The Beat from Virgin, though they have much more experience) has got to get to a guy’s ego.

Vinny might seem like a goofball, and to a certain extent he is, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t work hard. He started by doing those right-of-passage jobs, interning for Mitch Melnick on Team 990 and then working at Kahnawake’s K103. He had his eyes set on Virgin, and as he tells it pestered management there for months to get noticed. Finally he was offered an overnight shift in 2009, but quickly moved up to afternoon drive, replacing Mark Bergman who became the station’s brand director.

Vinny’s story includes other tidbits, like his rejections from Concordia’s communications studies program, or the untimely death of his father that set his career back a year but also helped to get it started.

It’s the story of a man who is living his dream because he followed his passion and never gave it up. Yeah, it sounds like a cliché, but there were a few Oprah-like moments when I interviewed him at The Beat, so it seems a propos.

CHOM’s Bilal Butt

Bilal Butt, 33, is a more familiar name among Montreal radio listeners. He’s been at CHOM since 2005, and worked at CHOM and Mix 96 before that. He was mainly doing evenings until the unceremonious departure of Pete Marier led him to be upgraded to the afternoon drive slot.

When I talked to him last summer and again in the fall, he apologized for leading such a boring life. He’s just a guy with a job on the radio and a musician in his spare time.

To Butt’s boss, André Lallier, that’s what makes him so relatable to listeners: he’s just a regular guy.

Not that his life has been entirely vanilla. His home didn’t have music in it when he was growing up, and his parents didn’t approve of his career goals at first. But he loved radio too much. After interning for Cat and Nat at Mix 96, he began working for CHOM, then took a job in Fort McMurray, Alta., before coming back to CHOM in 2005. And though maybe someday when he’s older he might make the jump to mornings, he’s more than happy where he is right now, with a schedule that lets him both sleep in and go out at night, and a job that lets him play rock music and sit behind a microphone.

Virgin’s Andrea Collins

Andrea Collins, 28, is the newbie to Montreal radio. She started here in 2011, taking over Virgin’s daytime shift after Nat Lauzon left to focus more on her other projects and do weekends at what would become The Beat. In April, after Barrucco also left for The Beat, Collins was bumped up to afternoon drive.

So I guess Collins owes a lot of her career here to The Beat, even though she’s never worked there.

Collins came to Montreal after a career that led to her working at stations in Winnipeg and Victoria at stations called Kool, Curve, Bob and Q. It involved a lot of moving, but that helped her get so far in such a short time.

As I spoke to her, it had become clear that she’s embracing this city. She’s fallen in love with the Plateau (yeah, she’s become one of those people), and is working on improving her French.

One thing noteworthy about Collins is that she’s the first female solo drive-time announcer at a major commercial English station in Montreal, at least as far as anyone knows (correct me if I’m wrong here). Not that there haven’t been other women in strong positions in Montreal radio, with Sue Smith, Nancy Wood, Nat Lauzon and Donna Saker among them. But the afternoon drive post has been a pretty male-oriented slot, or with a male-female team (conversely, the workday has been mainly female-oriented for music stations like this).

What’s perhaps most remarkable is that this isn’t a big deal, either for Collins or Virgin. It may be a historical footnote, but gender wasn’t really a consideration in choosing Collins for this job, and there hasn’t been some huge feminist revolution that has opened the door to this. It just happened.

There are still some aspects of radio that are sexist in nature. Morning shows, like TV newscasts, are paired male-female, even when some of the most popular teams have been of the same gender (see: Aaron and Tasso, Terry and Ted). But it’s nice to see that another glass ceiling has disappeared, even if Collins didn’t feel it smash as she passed through.

Five things you didn’t know about professional music radio announcers

1. They listen to themselves. You might think these people just show up to work, talk about random stuff they have in their head and then go home. But they actually review a lot of what they say, and so do their bosses. It’s the best way to improve how they sound, and constant improvement is necessary in a world where success is measured by ratings. So these announcers will listen back to recordings of their breaks (in music radio, a “break” is the part where the announcer talks live into the microphone, which sounds like the exact opposite of what a break should be).

2. They’re not rich or famous. Collins and Butt drive old beat-up cars. Barrucco takes the commuter train. Though they can’t claim to be poor, radio announcers in their kinds of jobs have pretty middle-class salaries. Add to that the complete lack of job security and it’s less glamorous than you might think. As for fame, these characters walk the streets undisturbed pretty often. Butt recounts the one time someone recognized him at a Subway. Being recognized in public is the exception rather than the rule.

3. They spend a lot of time at fundraisers. It’s even written into contracts now that radio personalities have to participate in certain events to help promote the station. Add to that events that they’re asked to participate in outside of work. Part of it is because they’re perceived to be locally well-known, and part of it is that radio announcers like these tend to make good emcees.

4. Many of them work alone. Morning shows still have a concept of team, with multiple hosts, a news announcer, a traffic announcer and a technician. But most other shifts at these music stations consist of a single person, who hosts and operates the boards, cueing songs and taking calls. There’s enough time to do it with all the music that plays, but it’s quite a bit of multitasking, and it takes a while to get it all down without screwing things up. Adding social media communication to the mix only adds to that workload.

5. They plan what they say. A good deal of research goes into these shifts. Music announcers have to keep up on the latest news and get everything from celebrity gossip to concert announcements to relay that information to listeners. Even finding little bits of trivial information to send out between two songs requires going out and finding it. It’s not exactly like putting together a Master’s thesis every day, but it’s still a lot of work.

The end of Fort and Ste. Catherine

Virgin studios at Fort and Ste. Catherine Streets.

This weekend, Astral Media’s English radio stations stopped using studios at Fort and Ste. Catherine Streets and began using new studios in the Astral building at Papineau Ave. and René-Lévesque Blvd.

The new studios are in the same building as Astral’s French stations NRJ and Rouge FM, as well as other corporate offices. The consolidation has been planned for a long time, since well before Bell announced it was going to purchase Astral.

The new location across town is in an unofficial media district. The Maison Radio-Canada is on the other side of René-Lévesque. The Bell Media building (which houses the studios of CFCF and RDS) is on the other side of Papineau. The TVA building is just a few blocks away.

CTV was one of the media outlets to chronicle the transition. You can see the report from Derek Conlon (who worked at CJAD) here.

UPDATE (Sept. 3): Rob Kemp did a little video marking his final shift at CHOM’s Fort Street studio.

Isabelle Racicot joins Virgin Radio

Isabelle Racicot (photo: Astral Media)

Virgin Radio 96, a station that has been losing some of its top talent to rival The Beat over the past year but insists its team is bigger than one individual superstar, has just added a pretty big star to its lineup.

Isabelle Racicot, host of TVA’s talk show Ça finit bien la semaine, has been added to Virgin Radio’s lineup, where she will host the Virgin Hit 20 weekend show, Saturdays at 5pm and Sundays at 10am, starting Aug. 25, Astral Media announced on Wednesday.

Racicot replaces Tony Stark, who was set to leave Virgin for a job in Halifax but has changed his mind. Stark also hosts Monday to Thursday evenings (including the Virgin Radio Takeover listener-driven show), as well as Sunday afternoons.

Putting TV personalities on the radio is common at French-language music stations in Montreal, but not so much on the English side (Todd van der Heyden is one of the exceptions). The lack of non-news local TV programming in anglo Montreal certainly has some part in this.

Comparisons will naturally be drawn (by me, at least) between Racicot and Anne-Marie Withenshaw, who hosts All Access Weekend at The Beat, Saturdays at 10am. Both are weekend shows hosted by bilingual personalities known more for French television than anything else. (The two shows will not be competing with each other directly – though it’s interesting that one airs 10am to noon on Saturdays and the other 10am to noon on Sundays.)

Isabelle Racicot (left) at Virgin Radio and Anne-Marie Withenshaw (right) at The Beat. What’s with the shiny grey T-shirts?

I couldn’t help noticing that Racicot’s Astral photo is oddly similar to the one done for Withenshaw when The Beat launched last year (plus some silly lens flares). Or are shiny grey shirts in style these days?

UPDATE (Aug. 26): Brendan Kelly profiles Racicot in Saturday’s Gazette.

Tony Stark leaving Virgin Radio for Halifax (UPDATE: NOT)

Virgin Takeover is going to need a new host


Virgin Radio 96 is losing another personality, but at least this time it’s not another poaching from The Beat.

Tony Stark, the evening announcer who hosts Virgin Radio Takeover and Virgin Live on CJFM-FM from 7pm to midnight Monday to Thursday, as well as Sunday afternoons, is leaving to return to CJCH-FM (101.3 The Bounce) in Halifax, where he’s accepted a job as their afternoon drive host. Stark came to CJFM two years ago from CJCH, where he hosted the 10am to 2pm timeslot.

Stark’s last day at Virgin hasn’t been decided yet. He’s currently substituting for the vacationing Andrea Collins as the afternoon drive host there.

It’s “gonna be tough to leave a great city like Montreal,” Stark tells me, but an opportunity for a high-profile job in a market he’s familiar with (and has “a great vibe”) was just too good to pass up.

CJCH-FM is owned by Bell Media, which is in the process of buying Astral Media and CJFM.

Virgin has posted an opening for Stark’s position, with the same on-air times. Interested parties can apply to brand director Mark Bergman by Aug. 14.

Bergman jokes: “In search for people with the names Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker!”

UPDATE (Aug. 12): Stark isn’t leaving after all. Bergman and Stark said this weekend that he’s actually sticking around, for unforeseen and unspecified “personal reasons.”

Radio ratings: Good news for 98.5, The Beat and CHOM

Quarterly radio ratings were released earlier this month. You can see the BBM compilation of top-line data here (PDF), but it doesn’t say too much.

Astral and Cogeco both provide analysis for the benefit of advertisers, Astral in the form of a slideshow (PDF) and Groupe Force Radio (which represents Cogeco stations and independent former Corus stations in Quebec City and Saguenay) also does a slide presentation (PDF). The latter tends to be more detailed, but is also more biased, highlighting their stations’ successes and their competitors’ struggles.

Here, based on those reports, is some analysis of what’s going on in commercial radio in Montreal. We’ll start with the English side.

English radio

Afternoon ratings show a spike for Donna Saker’s show on CKBE, rocketing it to No. 1. There’s a similar spike in late mornings and at noon-hour.

Overall, there hasn’t been much change in the ratings. A few points up, a few points down. But breaking it down a bit you see some significant gains for CKBE-FM 92.5 (The Beat) and a few highlights for CHOM-FM 97.7 as well.

The Beat, which rebranded last fall in an effort to attract a younger female audience but hadn’t seen much movement in ratings until now, is starting to see the change (and accompanying marketing spending) pay off. It’s second behind Virgin Radio among adults 18-49 and 25-54 (in both cases passing CHOM), first among adults 35-64 (passing CJAD) and has seen a gain of more than 50% in a year for men 25-54 (which is interesting because the station is targetting women).

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CJFM’s Virgin Radio Takeover makes use of Listener Driven Radio

The press release says “Virgin Radio lets YOU takeover the airwaves!” – but don’t show up to Astral’s studios on Fort St. looking to get behind the microphone.

Instead, CJFM 95.9 is giving its listeners more say in what music ends up on the radio, at least for a few hours. Four nights a week starting Monday, June 11, Tony Stark hosts Virgin Radio Takeover, a show that allows listeners to suggest songs and up- or down-vote upcoming songs on its playlist to shape what makes it to air.

It’s based on a platform called Listener Driven Radio, brought to Canada’s Virgin music stations via Orbyt Media. A similar show launched in April at the Calgary and Edmonton stations.

“This is real social radio,” program director Mark Bergman tells me, and is a big step toward the so-called So-Lo-Mo strategy of social, local and mobile.

In addition to influencing the playlist by voting up and down songs added to it, the system allows people to suggest songs to add to the playlist. But the system is set up according to parameters set by the program director, which means you won’t be able to suggest Mozart or death metal or other types of music that don’t fit on the station. (My attempts to add Weird Al tracks to the playlist failed, for example.)

Bergman said he didn’t know exactly how many songs are available to suggest, but that it was in the thousands, and represents a large part of the station’s music universe (meaning all of the songs played on the station). Naturally it includes a lot of pop hits from artists like Katy Perry, Usher, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Maroon 5. But it also includes some older hits from Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi, New Kids on the Block and NSYNC.

Changes to the playlist are shown in realtime, with animations showing songs changing position in the list.

I wondered if there was some veto power or other massaging of the playlist that could be done in case listeners’ choices start going too far toward one artist, for example. Bergman assures me it’s all out of his hands. “The only power I have is I can go on and vote for songs myself,” he says, and the choice of song is “literally left to chance” based on listeners’ votes.

What about Cancon? Is the system rigged to make sure that enough Canadian songs are played? Apparently not. But that’s okay, Bergman says. If the playlist that comes out is low on Canadian content, they can make up for that later.

Bergman says he’s anxious to see how the audience will react to this new format. Will it attract more listeners in the 18-34 demographic that they already have a strong lead in? Will it make them more engaged? We’ll see when the next ratings book comes out in the fall.

Virgin Takeover airs Mondays to Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm. Stark continues as the host in non-takeover mode until midnight.

Virgin shuffles lineup, puts Ryan Seacrest and Andrea Collins on afternoons

Andrea Collins moves to afternoon drive on CJFM

CJFM has shuffled its weekday lineup to fill the hole left by Cousin Vinny’s departure for CKBE. Andrea Collins, who was doing late mornings, gets to take over the afternoon drive slot from 3-7pm. Nikki Balch, who did early afternoons, moves to late mornings (9am to noon), and the remaining hole from noon to 3pm is being filled by … Ryan Seacrest.

Virgin Brand Director Mark Bergman tells me he had candidates from inside and outside Montreal for the afternoon drive job posted after Vince Barrucco’s sudden resignation, but that he found Collins was “the best one for the position.” Bergman said “she’s got a young sound to her, yet mature.”

“I’m soooooo excited! I’m used to more of a morning or drive spot, so this right up my alley,” Collins wrote to me in an email during her Wednesday shift. “Drive is generally a male-dominated position, so I’m really pumped to own it as a female, and happy the great peeps at Virgin were open to making that change. I promise it’s the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship ;)”

Balch, one of the unsung heroes of Virgin’s lineup, gets to start her day earlier.

But it’s Seacrest that will probably get some eyebrows raising among local radio watchers because it means no local announcer for three hours in the middle of weekdays. Bergman said he put Seacrest in the slot was because of his star power and how popular he is with the audience that Virgin Radio is attracting. Seacrest has long been a fixture of the Virgin schedule, including a Saturday morning show. But it’s a big leap from low-rated weekend slots to weekday afternoons.

Virgin’s schedule moves contrast with those of its main competitor, The Beat. While Cogeco’s music station is hiring away Virgin announcers (Cat Spencer, Nat Lauzon, Vince Barrucco) and putting a serious focus on local talent (even overnights), Virgin’s schedule is considerably lighter on local people. Its only weekend personality is Kelly Alexander and it has no live local person for weekday overnights. (It’s not just a question of being owned by Astral Media – CHOM is also heavy on local talent, including overnight and weekends.)

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the ratings. Will listeners care that the voice between the hit songs they hear is Seacrest instead of someone local? Will star power have more of an impact than a local voice?

We’ll see.

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.