This week, I’m taking a closer look at the applications for Montreal’s AM clear-channel frequencies 690 and 940 kHz that were presented at CRTC hearings in October. Today, I’m looking at the application from Dufferin Communications for a music-talk station for the gay community on 690.
I didn’t get a chance to talk to representatives of Dufferin Communications (a subsidiary of Evanov Communications – the two names were used interchangeably) during the CRTC hearing. I feel a bit guilty about that, but it’s hard to see their proposal for a music/talk station geared toward the gay community as anything more than an also-ran in this battle between the heavyweights.
Evanov is an established but small player in the radio market. It owns 13 radio stations (including two whose purchase was approved a week after the hearing), mostly in small-market Ontario, but also two in Halifax and three in Winnipeg. It does not own any French-language stations.
Its proposal for 690 AM in Montreal is based on Proud FM in Toronto, a station of only 128 watts (up from 50) that airs programming of interest to the gay community (well, LGBT and whatever other letters you want to add to that). The programming would be mainly talk and music, with a bit of news of special interest to the community.
Characterizing Toronto’s Proud FM as “very successful,” Evanov VP Carmela Laurignano pointed out it’s the only commercial radio station of its kind in Canada during a phone interview before the hearing.
Considering Montreal’s vibrant gay community, it made sense for them to want to try that format here.
“We had been looking at it and studying it a little bit,” she said. “We had been planning to do it anyway, but there was a call for applications.”
Seeing a CRTC notice for applications for 690 and 940, Evanov put in its application for Radio Fierté.