Radio ratings: CJAD audience slips as 98.5 soars again

Numeris released its meter ratings for the spring season, and while Montreal’s numbers don’t change much in terms of the order of stations, we do see some trends worth noting (or repeating).

On the English side, CJAD remains the #1 station, but for the first time since the meter rating system came into place, it has dropped below 10,000 average minute listeners. This seems to be continuing a downward trend for CJAD over the past five years.

Is this because fewer people are interested in news-talk radio? Maybe not, because CBC’s audience has grown slightly on average over that time, and French station 98.5 FM is once again boasting that it’s not only the most popular station in Montreal but in Canada as well.

Among the other stations, not that much has changed. The Beat remains number 2, followed by CBC Radio One (though it has come down a bit from that spike in fall 2021), CHOM and then Virgin Radio. It’s been almost three years since Virgin blew up its morning show and installed Vinny and Shannon as the new hosts, and despite Bell-owned billboards all over the city with their faces on them, the station’s overall ratings remain below what they were before they were brought on board.

TSN 690, meanwhile, continues to hold its own despite the poor showing of the Canadiens this season and lukewarm interest in the city’s other sports teams. Notably, it still has an overall audience above French-language sports station 91.9 Sports, which makes some recent decisions even more of a head-scratcher.

Among other French stations, not much to note, except at Énergie, which must be happy with its best audience in years. Its 8.7% share among francophones was the highest since 2013.


Meanwhile in other markets

Last week, Numeris released radio ratings for diary markets, including Quebec City, Ottawa/Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Saguenay and a bunch of other places across the country. You can find the full top-line data report here.

In Quebec City, Radio-Canada takes top spot over the populist talk stations with a 22.9% share at ICI Première. It’s followed by CHOI Radio X (17%), FM93 (15.9%), Rythme 102,9 (7.6%), WKND 91,9 (7.5%) and Rouge 107,5 (6.4%). CBC Radio One trails the pack with a 0.3% share.

In Sherbrooke, Radio-Canada again leads the pack with a 21.4% share, followed by Rouge (15.9%), Énergie (14.2%), 107,7 (13.3%) and Rythme (7.8%).

In Trois-Rivières, again Radio-Canada leads with a 14.4% share, with Bell’s Rouge and Énergie neck and neck for second place and Rythme in third.

In Ottawa-Gatineau, among francophones, Radio-Canada is well ahead with a 21% share, followed by Rouge, Wow, talk station 104,7, Énergie and ICI Musique.

15 thoughts on “Radio ratings: CJAD audience slips as 98.5 soars again

  1. A listener!

    Congratulations to q92 for being number 1. I’m a listener and I truly appreciate their music. Like yo, they play Madonna, UB40 ?, Samantha fox, bob marley, George Michael, and all kind of throwbacks you could imagine! Does virgin play those? Nope, it’s all artists that we don’t know and it’s not as fun. The beats playlist compared to virgin is very different. Like once every song they play is a throwback! Absolutely amazing guys! Personalities are great as well! Keep it up and please for whoever is reading this why not tune in you’ll like it! I want more listeners to listen to the beat because you guys are amazing! Cmon virgin, people want more throwbacks!

    1. Brett

      Virgin won’t add more throwbacks. It’s not part of their format. Their format is Contemporary hit radio. So they play the new music. CHR stations trow in a throwback but it’s not many. If they added more Virgin’s format would be different.

  2. Anonymous

    CJAD ratings are dropping since half their programming is now from Toronto. The CJAD evening show is the CFRA morning show!

  3. Peter L

    What did ICI Première do between the summer and fall books in 2016? That’s what all other stations need to do. :-)

    As for J Arthur Dupont’s station … Having to listen to a Toronto station is a great way to tell Montreal listeners to go away (I was contemplating other words …) but their larger problem like all of radio is that their audience is dying and not being replenished.

  4. Zebb

    I won’t miss Marinaro but wish him the best.

    There are a lot of people trying to monetize podcasts right now. It’s not easy to get good sponsors, and it takes a lot of discipline to keep cranking out a quality product over time. Many fall off and disappear.

    Melnick is shifting 2-6, so 10-2 will likely be Campbell. I’d like to see some new blood beyond Andie brought in. Even bringing Rod back to produce a show would help.

    I don’t mind Starr, McKenna, Campbell or Gallo but there is a certain sameness to what they bring.

    1. Gazoo

      And for me McKenna and Starr can go. All they talk about is their outside lives. Could care less where they eat, drink or sleep.
      Worst decision was letting Price go in favour of McKenna.

      1. Zebb

        Biggest problem (in my opinion) with McKenna and Starr is that they are too similar. Until recent life changes, way too much dog talk. Too much food talk, even about fast food “chicken tendies”. Starr with a little too much talking about his golf game. McKenna about other random stuff.

        Perhaps with different partners they’d stay on the rails more.

  5. Anonymous

    With CFQR finally getting around to broadcasting something other than music, my hopes are that it will fill the void with local English talk programming, that CJAD has been sorely lacking since the Bell takeover. Given the current political climate, we need this more than ever. Fingers crossed…

    1. Anonymous

      I don’t see news/talk happening for a while. Looks like it will probably stay a hybrid talk/ music. I seen it work in the US. Last time I was in Orlando they had a talk/rock hybrid. Maybe that’s where they will head with their classic hits they currently have.

  6. Kevin

    I don’t listen to music radio much, but when I do, I find it absolutely bizarre to hear the same song twice within an hour.

    1. Peter L

      Undoubtedly a station automation issue. I haven’t lived in the Montreal market for ages, but it seems everywhere you go … there is a lack of engineering talent that understands how the automation works. Same commercial three times? Sure, why not?

  7. Dilbert

    CJAD is on the decline, it is clear. It’s also clear that it is happening against the back drop of Bell cutting the actual amounts of local programming and stuff. It’s sort of what happened on TV as well. Local TV Matters, remember? Running stuff out of Toronto for nearly half of the broadcast day is not going to make people want to listen.

    The big question now is Andrew Carter. Without a doubt, he should be the most expensive piece of the puzzle there, and with declining ratings, it may be time to put the pencil tapping “professional” out to pasture. It likely won’t improve ratings, but simply fix the bottom line for a couple of more quarters. Which brings the question, who will be in the morning chair come September or January?

    The rest are stable. However, the listening minutes continue to drop, which indicates a wider turning away from terrestrial radio. There are other more modern methods to receive music, and as mobile internet users get more and more bandwidth to play with, it’s more likely they go that way.


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