I Used To Have A Radio Show

Sunday, August 8, 2010

English Radio Outside of Montreal

It’s no secret that there aren’t too many English-language radio stations in Quebec, especially outside of the Montreal area. Of course, the CBC has a presence - if not at all local, all across the province... Outside of Montreal, there is a community radio station serving Lac Brome - CIDI 99.1 FM. They offer broadcasts in both official languages.

There used to be a few English stations scattered around the province, some of them seem to have done pretty well for themselves. For example, there used to be a decent English-speaking population in Quebec City. It was decent enough to keep a radio station up and running. That is not the case anymore. CFOM 1340 AM was the only English-language station in Quebec City until it closed up shop in 1976. They had been forced to run CBC programming because of the lack of an english CBC station in the area. By the early 1970s, they tried to change their format to attract more listeners, but were forced to stop and go back to the CBC non-commercial stuff by the CRTC. That was the beginning of the end for them. The station had been around since 1949, under several different call letter combinations.

CJMQ 88.9 FM is Bishop’s University’s community radio station. They came on the air in 1995, and can be heard in Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships.

CKTS 900 AM had been in Sherbrooke since the 1940s. They tried to appeal to more French listeners during the 1980s, but were told by the CRTC that they had to remain a 100% English station. They ended up simulcasting CJAD programming during the final years of their existence. The station was shut down by its new owners in 2006.

There is no doubt that the CRTC frowns at the idea of purely “bilingual” radio stations. That would probably be the only way any English radio could ever possibly be viable outside of Montreal nowadays.


  1. Community station CHIP 101.7 in Fort Coulonge, Quebec claims to be bilingual.


  2. Very interesting. I wondered about Ottawa...