Tag Archives: CBF

Montreal radio ratings: Virgin Radio 96 slips to fourth place

Market share among anglophone Montrealers, based on Numeris data

Numeris published its latest quarterly report for metered markets today, and the data for Montreal is about the same as it always is, with one exception: Virgin Radio 96 has its lowest overall share ever, and for the first time has dipped below CHOM to fourth place among anglophones — 12.1% to CHOM’s 12.5%. Both stations are owned by Bell Media, so it’s not a huge deal in terms of competition, but the trend line for Virgin is clearly heading down, from a high of 20% in 2012.

I have no magical explanation for this trend, and I’m sure everyone has their theories, from its use of syndicated programming like Ryan Seacrest to its loss of popular announcers to The Beat, but the most likely explanation is that The Beat has a better idea of what music anglos want to listen to.

The Beat’s press release, announcing itself as the number one radio station (among adults 25-54) is here. Virgin decided to just go with its weekly reach number without trying to rank itself.

Market share among Montreal francophones, based on Numeris data.

On the French side, CHMP-FM 98.5 remains the top-rated station by far among all ages 12+, but Radio-Canada’s ICI Première has climbed into second place, edging out Rythme FM. The trend line for Radio-Canada is impressive, taking a big jump in the fall of 2016 and continuing to improve. (Alain Gravel took over as morning show host on the station in the fall of 2015.)

Both adult contemporary stations Rythme FM (Cogeco) and Rouge (Bell) have declined significantly over the past two years, with Rouge falling from third place to fifth. Its major shakeup this fall, bringing in most of the on-air staff from sister station Énergie, hasn’t done much to help yet. (And since the top of that list was Éric Salvail, it’s not getting better soon.) CKOI and Énergie are about the same as they were two years ago in terms of share, with Énergie getting about the same number of francophone listeners as the three English-language music stations (dotted lines in the chart above).

Bell Media tried to polish the ratings turd as well as it could, crowing about how Énergie is the most improved francophone music station in Montreal, and how Rouge FM is … also the most improved? … actually how Rouge has seen the biggest gain in overall reach in the past six months, and how the drive-home show is best among women 25-54 despite “un mois d’octobre tumultueux.”

At the bottom of the chart (I’m excluding stations below 1%), RNC Media’s 91.9 Sports continues to slowly improve its numbers. This is the first time since it was a jazz station that it has kept the same format and brand for more than two years. And it looks like the city’s only French-language full-time sports station has finally found something that works.

The chart line for CJPX-FM Radio Classique stops this summer. The station was not included in the Numeris report, meaning that it has stopped subscribing to the service.

Still below 1% are Evanov’s CHRF 980 AM, Cogeco traffic station Circulation 730, and community station CIBL 101.5, which have average minute audiences of 900, 300 and 100, respectively.

Marie-France Bazzo to replace René Homier-Roy on Radio-Canada radio

Radio-Canada wasted little time. Hours after René Homier-Roy announced on air that he would not be returning in the fall as host of C’est bien meilleur le matin, the local morning show on CBF-FM (Radio-Canada Première Chaîne), the public broadcaster announced that Marie-France Bazzo, host of Télé-Québec’s Bazzo.tv among other ventures, will succeed him. She had been contributing to the afternoon drive morning show on the station’s main competitor, 98.5FM. That collaboration ended today.

Bazzo is the first woman to take up this particular post at Radio-Canada. There’s already talk that this is some sort of historic appointment, breaking some glass ceiling. But that ceiling is very narrow in scope. She’s not the first female morning host on radio in Quebec, or even in Montreal. Christiane Charette hosted the show that Homier-Roy led into, and Catherine Perrin hosts that show now. Isabelle Maréchal hosts the mid-morning show on 98.5FM. And those shows are Quebec-wide. Nancy Wood hosted the local morning show solo on CBC Radio One in Montreal. And there are plenty of other examples of women hosting radio shows in Quebec and Montreal. Morning shows in Montreal, particularly on music stations, tend to be hosted by teams, which is the main reason I would argue that having a solo female host there hasn’t happened yet.

That said, Bazzo is a solid appointment for this post. She knows her news, has extensive interviewing experience, and commands great respect as a broadcaster.

No worries about Bazzo.tv. The Thursday-night show on Télé-Québec will return in the fall with Bazzo as host.

Bazzo has been added to the list of guests on Tout le monde en parle this Sunday. Homier-Roy will be on Pénélope McQuade next Monday, reports Le Soleil.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misspelled René Homier-Roy’s name.