Tag Archives: CFRA

CHOI climbs back into second (or first, depending how you count) in Quebec City radio ratings

Numeris released radio ratings for diary (read: medium-size) markets recently. You can read the top-line details here, or get some deeper numbers from Bell Media Sales for stations in Quebec.

Among things of note:

  • After a disappointing fourth-place 11.1% share in last fall’s ratings report, CHOI-FM has bounced back into second with a 14.5% share in Quebec City. CJMF-FM (FM93) remains the top-rated radio station in the market. Among adults 25-54, CHOI is number one again, and among adults 18-34, it’s tied with CJEC-FM (WKND).
  • CHOI’s ratings doubled during the noon hour, pushing it into first place, thanks to André Arthur. But that wasn’t enough for him to stay on. As the ratings period ended, Arthur’s contract was terminated.
  • Radio Classique CJSQ-FM Quebec City jumped from a 2.5% share to 5.3%, closer to its average over the past few years.
  • CBC Radio One (CBVE-FM) in Quebec City still has a 0.6% share. It reaches 15,300 listeners a week in the provincial capital, but 36,000 overall through the Quebec Community Network of retransmitters.
  • Ottawa’s CFRA, which was hit hard by the Bell Media cuts last fall and then again in February, saw its share among anglophones drop from 10.9% to 8.1%. The past few years the ratings had been around 9%.
  • CKOF-FM, Cogeco’s talk station in Gatineau, jumped from 6.9% to 9.4%.
  • Regina’s CIZL-FM (Z99), while still the top station in the market, dropped more than four points, from 20.2% to 16.0%.
  • Lethbridge’s CFRV-FM (107.7 The River) lost almost five points from last fall, going from a tie for first to a distant third. CHLB-FM (Country 95.5) is top with 20%, and CJOC-FM (Classic Hits) jumped up four points in second with 16.5%.
  • In Red Deer, CIZZ-FM (Z98.9) dropped from second place to second-last, from 11.7% to 6.7%. This isn’t the first such radical fluctuation for this station in the ratings.
  • Kamloops, B.C., is really tight: Only one percentage point separates the top four stations in the market.


CFRA upgrades transmitter, improving signal toward Montreal

Comparative map of existing (red) and proposed (black) night contours of CFRA Ottawa.

Comparative map of existing (red) and proposed (black) night contours of CFRA Ottawa.

You might remember back in September, I told you about Ottawa’s CFRA 580AM, which had received CRTC approval for a nighttime transmitter power boost that would improve its overnight signal toward Montreal.

In short, CFRA convinced the commission that a power increase would help it with reaching Ottawa’s growing suburbs. And because there aren’t other stations on the same frequency, it’s not harming anyone to do so.

That transmitter upgrade is currently in progress. The station has been sending updates via Facebook and Twitter because the process involves turning off the transmitter at certain points overnight. It said the disruptions could last until the end of this week.

Radio personality Greg Hébert dies


It’s been almost a decade since he left Montreal for a job at CFRA in Ottawa, but Montreal radio personalities who were around back then are remembering Greg Hébert, who used to work at CHOM and CKGM.

Hébert died Thursday night after a long and heavily-mediatized battle with cancer.

He started his radio career in Montreal as a producer for the CHOM morning show of Pete Marier and Andrew Carter in 1999. After two years, he went to what was then sister station CKGM (Team 990) and produced for the afternoon show of Joey Elias and Tony Marinaro, also working as a sports reporter and weekly show host.

But he’s better known in Ottawa, where he was the host and producer of a nightly business show on CFRA radio, and a business reporter for A Channel (now CTV Two). He left for medical reasons after getting a diagnosis of synovial sarcoma in 2009.

His former colleagues in Montreal posted remembrances on social media.

From Pete Marier:

Sad News today, Greg Hebert passed away last night. He worked as a producer for “Pete and Andrew” on CHOM back in 2001. To his wife Lauren: Greg had outstanding qualities. Chief among them were his honesty, courage, determination and quit wit. These equipped him to rise quickly as a broadcaster and to become one of the bravest persons I’ve ever met.

Know that he touched a lot of people this way, and I’ll always be proud to call him my Friend. Pete Marier.

From Nat Lauzon:

Rest in peace, Greg Hébert, the bravest soul I ever encountered. A husband, son, friend, fighter. And to many like me – a teacher. Join Team Greggybear and read his incredible legacy. A gift to everyone fighting for their very lives against a horrible disease. Thank you Greg. xx

From Tony Marinaro:

There were far more from his colleagues in Ottawa.

Obituaries have been published in the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Sun, CTV News Ottawa and CFRA. They’re well done and I encourage you to read them.


After getting his cancer diagnosis, Hébert decided to go public about his cancer fight. He started up a charitable foundation and wrote a blog. The last post written by him is dated a month ago.

Hébert leaves behind his wife Lauren, who announced after he died that she is pregnant.

A funeral for Hébert will be held on Dec. 28 at 3 p.m. at Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Central Chapel, 315 McLeod St. in Ottawa.

CFRA Ottawa gets power boost toward Montreal

Comparative map of existing (red) and proposed (black) night contours of CFRA Ottawa. (Click for larger image)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today approved a nighttime power increase and pattern change for CFRA 580AM in Ottawa. The change will significantly improve the station’s signal, particularly toward the East, putting Montreal inside its 0.5mV/m contours at night.

Like most AM radio stations, CFRA is required to protect other stations on the same frequency at night, when AM radio signals carry much further. Specifically, it was required to protect the following 580AM stations, all of which have now moved to FM (and all of which are private commercial music stations):

  • CJFX in Antigonish, N.S. (at 98.9 and 102.5 FM exclusively since 2003)
  • CKPR in Thunder Bay, Ont. (at 91.5 and 93.5 FM since 2007)
  • CHLC in Baie-Comeau, Que. (at 97.1 FM since 1996)

The result is a speech-bubble-shaped pattern pointed heavily toward the north, northeast and northwest (the transmitter site is due south of Ottawa).

With these stations gone from this frequency, and no expectation that anyone would try to reactivate them in these small markets where there are still FM frequencies available, Bell Media Radio successfully convinced the CRTC that it should allow CFRA to increase its nighttime pattern to have better coverage toward eastern and western Ottawa suburbs at night. The fact that no one objected to the application also convinced the CRTC that this was a good idea.

Under the approved technical parameters, CFRA will drop from 50kW to 30kW at night (instead of from 50 to 10). The pattern shape will also change slightly, still speech-bubble-shaped but a bit less directional toward the north, improving its signal toward the southeast and southwest.

According to the broadcast engineer’s contour map, the 0.5mV/m contour, which under the current signal goes through Deux Montagnes, Rigaud and Alexandria, will now cover all of Montreal, Laval, the north shore and Châteauguay and Valleyfield regions. It’s hard to translate that into actual receiving abilities (which are dependent on the type of radio and local interference sources), but it will be an improvement.

According to a story on CFRA’s website, “CFRA Chief Engineer Harrie Jones says the technical work will begin soon, and he’s hopeful the affected listeners should hear a difference within a month.”