Former (pink) and new (black) transmitter locations and signal patterns for CHAA-FM 103,3
Montrealers equipped with HD Radios picked up a new signal this week, as 103.3 FM activated its new transmitter on Mount Royal and began testing.
The station, CHAA-FM, which serves Longueuil and south shore communities, was forced to move off of its previous transmitter location atop the Olympic Tower, and so applied for and was approved permission to move the transmitter to the CBC’s Mount Royal Antenna, which houses most of Montreal’s FM radio stations.
The new transmitter, which is both higher (284m vs 192m) and stronger (1.7kW vs 1.4kW max ERP), should improve the reception for most listeners.
The move, expected to cost around $200,000, was financed in part by a grant from the Quebec culture ministry last summer.
Éric Tetreault, general manager of FM 103,3, tells me the testing period began on June 11, and will continue for 20 days (so until the end of the month).
Last week, Bell Media was the last of the major English-language broadcasters to present their fall schedules to the public and advertisers. The big sells are the new (mostly American) series they’re adding to their primetime schedules. I haven’t seen any of them, so let’s instead focus on everything else that was announced and that I find interesting:
Numeris has released its quarterly top-line ratings report for metered markets including Montreal.
Someone’s gonna need to explain to me what happened to Virgin Radio.
You can say The Beat took away its stars (Cat Spencer, Nat Lauzon, the since-departed Vinny Barrucco), or that Virgin failed to connect with listeners with too much Ryan Seacrest. You can lay the blame entirely at the feet of program director Mark Bergman (who recently left his job there), or blame the pencil-pushing cost-cutters at Bell Media who care more about profits than ratings. Or maybe there’s something about the music, the main reason people listen to music stations in the first place, that was driving people away.
But either way, something happened in the past few years that has created a huge gap between Virgin and main competitor The Beat. In the summer of 2012, Virgin 96 (as it was called then) had a 20.9% share, almost five points above the recently launched Beat. Now, for the second straight quarter, it’s in the single digits. Its 9.4% share is exactly half of The Beat’s 18.8%.