CRTC orders CJMS 1040 AM to shut down Aug. 31

After more than a decade of the station failing to meet its licence obligations, the CRTC decided Friday it has had enough, and refused to renew the licence of St-Constant country music station CJMS 1040 AM. As a result, it will no longer legally be allowed on the air after Aug. 31.

The decision reads:

In light of the severity and recurrence of the current instances of non-compliance; of the station’s history of non-compliance and the licensee’s actions, which demonstrate a poor understanding of its conditions of licence and regulatory obligations, or a lack of willingness to respect them; of its inability to implement the necessary measures to ensure compliance; and of its disregard for the Commission’s authority and for its responsibilities as a broadcaster, the Commission is convinced that the imposition of conditions of licence or of mandatory orders, a suspension, or a short-term licence renewal would not be effective measures. Consequently, the Commission finds that not renewing the licence is the only appropriate measure in the circumstances.

In a separate decision also released Friday, the commission also refused to renew the licence of troublesome station CFOR-FM Maniwaki.

CJMS, which launched in 1999, has a long history of licence compliance issues, and might have had the licence revoked in 2013 had its owner of the time, Alexandre Azoulay, not agreed to sell it to Jean Ernest Pierre, owner of Haitian station CJWI (CPAM 1410). When CJMS was last asked to appear before the commission, Azoulay surprised the commissioners by blaming his father’s dementia for the compliance issues.

There’s also the fact that Michel Mathieu, a broadcast consultant who was the original licensee of CJMS, filed a strongly-worded intervention demanding the CRTC pull the license.

The decision should worry Pierre about the future of CJWI, which like CJMS has a long list of compliance issues and was the subject of mandatory orders that appeared to be insufficient to keep it in line. But CJWI has more original programming and is more vital to its community than CJMS, and the fact that the CRTC didn’t issue a decision Friday, giving the stations exactly one month before they were to shut down, suggests it might be given one last chance.

CJMS could appeal the decision, by asking the federal government to intervene or by asking the federal court to overturn the decision if it can find some error in law. Pierre told the Journal de Montréal he’s looking at options. But neither are likely to succeed. Instead, if someone wants to start a new commercial radio station serving St-Constant, there’s a transmitter that can probably be bought for pretty cheap.

Other country options

So if you’re a fan of country music in Montreal, where can you go for your fix? There aren’t any big commercial country stations here like in other Canadian markets, but you have options besides going online:

UPDATE (Aug. 29): It looks like for the time being the plan is to keep CJMS running as an online-only radio station once its licence expires. Program director Jocelyn Benoit posted on Facebook that it would continue streaming as of Sept. 1, and he renamed the station’s Facebook group and page from “CJMS 1040” to “CJMS 2.0”.

UPDATE (Sept. 1): CJMS went off the air at 38 seconds after midnight on Sept. 1. I recorded its final minute on air, which ended with announcer Jocelyn Benoit being cut off mid-sentence.

A new website is being worked on at cjms.ca.

6 thoughts on “CRTC orders CJMS 1040 AM to shut down Aug. 31

  1. Brett

    Even with the issues they had this was a decent station. When CKKI 89.9 was playing music I didn’t like I would sometimes switch to CJMS.

    Lots of dedicated listeners will be sad that they will be gone. I wonder how CKKI will try to pull in CJMS listeners looking for French Quebec country music? In the past CKKI did have a Sunday french show. Wonder if something like that would come back to win over CJMS listers who don’t have french Country radio anymore?

    Reply
  2. MICHEL MATHIEU

    boy am I HAPPY for me its a 20 years of injustice that came to an end at 11AM this morning FINALLY the CRTC came through and did THE RIGHT THING now i hope that the next decision will be to shut down CJWI CPAM radio union .com and we will then be ris or radio trash !! MIKE MATHIEU founder of the soon to be defunct CJMS country.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    For Country music in the area…

    WVNV-FM 98.5 can also be heard in most parts in Montreal. Especially in the car.

    CHAA-FM 103.3-HD2 is a nice surprise. Since this is a new add on to CHAA-FM, it’s running commercial free Country music. You only get interrupted by the station I.D., for now. and they clearly state 103.3-HD2.

    They’ll have to do some marketing on this one though since you need a HD Radio in the car or at hometown get it. A few billboards on the roads will certainly help spread awareness.

    Reply
    1. Nick

      WVNV-FM is @ 96.5 FM , not 98.5 !

      if you’re in the west part of Montreal, try listening the Ottawa/Gatineau stations , a lot of them can reach the West part of Montreal frequently. Those include
      93.9 FM (Pure Country – Bell)
      101.1 FM ( Country 101.1 – Roger)

      A quick tip: when listening the radio using an AV receiver, there is an option/setting called Fm mode,
      if set to stereo (default) , a station must be tuned to be able to listen to it , if not you’ll just have a silence
      if set to mono , you’ll be able to listen to everything from pure noise if really there is nothing to stations that are just on the tuning edge, just because in stereo mode it give you a silence doesn’t mean there is nothing!

      In mono, I’m able to listen the Ottawa/Gatineau stations but also a lot of smaller stations in Montreal (CJVD 100.1, CKOD 103.1…) and North Country Public Radio , in my case it’s WSLO 90.9 FM Malone,NY.

      The down side of this is that some frequencies are problematic because 2 stations are using the same frequency and sometimes I receive 1 station, sometimes the other stations and finally sometimes I get both at the same time resulting in a very special mix of noise.

      Those problematic frequencies include

      89.9 FM – CIHT (Hot 89.9 in Ottawa) and CKKI (Kic Country)
      101.9 FM – CBMG (a CBC RAdio 1 re-broadcaster in Cowansville) and CHAI (Chateauguay)
      103.3 FM – CBOQ (Ottawa’s CBC Music ) and CHAA-FM
      104.1 FM – CKTF (Énergie Gatineau) and CFZZ (Boom in Saint-Jean sur Richelieu)
      104.5 FM – CFLG (Fresh Radio in Cornwall) and CHOU (a low power station in Saint-Léonard)

      Reply
  4. Brett

    Yes CKKI is an option but their station is going down hill. It’s good for the country music listener but not for the advertiser. If any business is trying to target a county listener it won’t happen there. Kic Country doesn’t air advertising. If they do I just haven’t heard it.

    As for CHAA-FM HD2 if your on the western south shore it’s harder to pick up the main station. Flipping through the dial in Kahnawake I landed on 103.3 FM with static and couldn’t make out what was in radio. That’s using a powerful portable HD radio that pics up more distant american stations. So don’t know how the new country station will reach western listeners who loved CJMS

    Reply
  5. Pingback: CJMS 1040 goes off the air … and then back on the air | Fagstein

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