Montreal Radio Blog

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Merging the resources of Radio and TV is not a new concept in Montreal

It’s strange how things seem to come full-circle sometimes. It hasn’t taken long for effects of Bell’s acquisition of Astral Media to become evident to radio listeners. Aside from the unfortunate recent job cuts, the one thing most listeners will notice is the convergence of the resources of what had been outlets that were independent of each other.

What this essentially means is that you will now hear people from TSN 690 on CJAD and vice-versa, as well as having CTV Montreal people appear on the airwaves of the local Bell-owned radio stations. In essence, they are supposedly now one big happy family. It's therefore easy to figure out that the sharing of resources will lead to the redundancy of some jobs.

It is ironic that CTV Montreal is now once again intimately connected with radio entities. As the 80s drew to a close, CFCF Inc. was still a local media giant. And for the longest time, housed in that now forgotten impressive complex on Ogilvy Avenue was both CFCF TV, CFCF 600 AM and eventually CFQR 92.5 FM. Through the 1980s, it was commonplace to hear CFCF TV people appear on the radio, especially on 600. Pulse sport anchors like Dick Irvin and Ron Reusch would frequently deliver sportscasts on the radio.

As the 1990s arrived, CFCF wanted out of the radio business and sold both CFCF Radio and CFQR. As part of the deal CFCF 600 was forced to change its call letters to avoid any confusion. It became CIQC, which it remained until becoming CINW nearly a decade later. Ironically, CIQC for a time, would broadcast the audio of Pulse News at 6 PM. CFRA in Ottawa, also owned by Bell, now broadcasts the CTV Ottawa (CJOH) 6 PM newscast on their airwaves. Can we expect a similar simulcast to start up in Montreal any time soon? We’re hearing more and more audio feeds of TV shows on CJAD, so maybe that prospect isn’t so inconceivable.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yes, this used to be a blog

I have not had enough time since last summer to continue posting here on a regular basis. Instead, it has been easier to redirect my thoughts directly toward my radio program.

I’ve now spent over four years at Radio Centre-Ville. English programming can be heard on CINQ from 10:30 PM on Fridays through to 4 PM Saturdays. The English team is comprised of a small, but dedicated group of station members and volunteers. The only reason people devote so much time and effort to the station is because they love what they do and still believe in the relevance of radio.

I’ve found that one of, if not the biggest problem facing the English team is lack of exposure. Seven languages are heard on CINQ, and all of them, except for English and French do not really have to “compete” with commercial radio for listeners. For instance, it is easier to build an audience for a specific linguistic community than it is with say, English programming which is more general and less associated with a specific ethnic group.

In other words, we need to get the word out that we exist in a market with many big-budget English-language outlets. Considering we broadcast only once a week, that only adds to the challenge. In recent months, we have been increasing our efforts to get the word out about our programs. A new Facebook fan page has been launched, as has a Twitter feed. Several of our programs also have a web presence like Tracey's Cuisine, Jazz Boulevard, Scottish Voice, Arts Notebook and of course, Yesterday‘s News. All of our latest shows are available via podcast at and some of our shows have online archives and are available on iTunes.

One other way we have been using to get the word out about our shows is an occasional overnight replay of some of our programs. We’ve done it twice already and hope that it may have introduced some new listeners to some of what they may have been missing. The next installment of “Best of” Radio Centre-Ville’s English-language programming will air on Saturday, June 1st from 2:30 AM through to 7:30 AM. If you happen to be up during the early morning hours, please give it a listen on 102.3 FM in Montreal, or online with the station's live audio feed.