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English Radio in Quebec

Family Politics : Relations among the English Stations in Montreal during the 1980s and 1990s

by Melanie Fishbane and Mary Vipond



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            During the 1980s and 1990s there were three major private English radio station groups  in Montreal: CJAD-AM and CJFM-FM or Mix 96 (owned by Standard Radio Broadcasting), CKGM-FM and CHOM-FM (owned by CHUM Ltd), and CIQC-AM (formerly CFCF) and CFQR-FM (owned by CFCF Inc. in the early 1980s and purchased by Mount Royal Broadcasting in 1988).  Due to the small size of English-language radio within the total Montreal market, the owners, managers and broadcasters of these stations communicated with each other on a fairly regular basis.  Indeed, one could characterize the relationship among these three stations as being like a small nuclear family.  Like every family unit, there were certain codes of conduct, rules and regulations, that each member was expected to follow; when one member did something that could change the family dynamic, then that member was ridiculed or otherwise retrained.  In this analogy, there was of course the parental figure, represented by the CRTC, which guided the children’s every move and made sure that they all behaved themselves.  Although these stations were quick to tell Mom or Dad when the other had misbehaved, they would still be there for one another.  They were also united by two common, but contradictory goals: to encourage and promote the English-language radio industry in Quebec, and to promote their own private interests at the same time.  In every trio, there is always one member that is left out or ends up being the “third wheel.”  In this case, it would seem that the owners of CFQR-FM were often under attack by the two younger siblings for constantly trying to change formats and thus upsetting the “balance” of radio in Montreal. 


            The CRTC began licensing significant numbers of FM stations in 1975.  FM radio was required to “ become recognizably different from private AM radio as it now exists, and offer high quality programming of wider range...” (CRTC 1975-1976, 1).  In early 1984, the CRTC’s commission on FM programming, chaired by J. R. Robson, decided to adopt a  number of changes to the “Promise of Performance” section of the licence renewal form.  It recommended that the definitions of the subcategories of pop, rock, and country be simplified and updated “through periodic consulation with the broadcasting and music industries” (CRTC 1983-84, 24). The conditions also stipulated that each FM station would have to place itself within a particular “group” category as formulated by the Commission.  In order to understand the issues and language used by the Montreal broadcasters in the 1980s and 1990s, it is useful briefly to outline some of the CRTC categories, and where these stations fit.  The combination of familial politics and CRTC’s FM policy has been the source of many arguments among these stations.


            When a station provides the CRTC with the “Promise of Performance,” it is required to place itself within one of the following four groups.  It is important to recognize that this kind of regulation is of great benefit to these stations because it helps each one focus upon a particular age demographic.

Group I -stations that devote 70% or more of their programming from category 5 (Music-General)...to material from subcategory 51 (Music, Pop and Rock - Softer).

Group II -stations that devote 70% or more of their programming from category 5...to material from subcategory 52 (Music, Pop and Rock - Harder.)

Group III -stations that devote 70% or more of their programming from category 5...to material from subcategory 53 (Music, Country).

Group IV -stations that outline specific musical programming plans with direct reference to subcategory 5 (CRTC 1984, 5-6).


            Trying to place the stations within these groups is tricky because it depends upon how the CRTC defines these subcategories.  As seen above there are three subcategories of Popular Music.   A more elaborate definition of these subcategories as specified in the 1984 report is as follows:

Subcategory 51: Pop and Rock-Softer ...includes music from the softer side of the pop and rock music spectrum and ranges from “easy listening” and “beautiful music” to “pop adult” and “soft rock,” as well as other music forms generally characterized as MOR (Middle-of the Road), and musical selections listed in recognized trade publications as Adult Contemporary.

Subcategory 52: Pop and Rock-Harder ...includes music from the harder side of the pop and rock music spectrum and ranges from “rock and roll” and “rhythm and blues” to rock and hard rock as well as other music forms generally characterized by a rock beat, including musical selections listed in recognized trade publications as “AOR” (Album-Oriented Rock).

Subcategory 53: Country and Country Oriented ...ranges from “country and western” and bluegrass to Nashville and country-pop styles and other music forms generally characterized as Country...(CRTC 1984, 3-4).



            These subcategories, however, have shifted over time, and it is clear that the precise definition of a given piece can be debatable.  According to the May 1999 issue of Broadcaster, CJFM-FM (Mix 96) is currently listed as CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio), CHOM-FM as AOR (Album Oriented Rock) and CFQR-FM as AC (Adult Contemporary) (Broadcaster 1999).  CJFM-FM, then, now belongs in Group IV, CHOM-FM belongs in Group II and CFQR-FM belongs in Group I.  Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, however, CFQR caused much conflict with its siblings as it tried, and eventually succeeded, in redefining itself.


                  When CFQR tried to change its listening format from what had been described up until that point by the CRTC and the industry as “beautiful music” to what was later described as “easy listening,” it created a conflict in an already tense environment.   As we will see, CHOM and CJFM felt threatened by CFQR’s desire to change its musical format and used the CRTC to “parent” the situation.


            But there was more to the stations’ relations in these two decades as well.  As in any family, when members are in trouble, another comes to their aid.  This was the case in early 1998 when the antenna for Standard Broadcasting’s AM station, CJAD, was destroyed during the ice storm.  In an act of good will and familial bonding, CHUM Ltd., with the CRTC’s approval, offered Standard the use of its AM transmitter.


Protecting One’s Territory: The Debate Over CFQR-FM’s Change in Format.         

            Throughout the 1980s, CFQR made many attempts to change its musical sound from “beautiful music” to “easy listening.”  It continued its attempts to alter its format in the 1990s, until finally its current format, “adult contemporary” was approved by the CRTC. A number of different CFQR executives over the years, including Dave Middleton, Pierre Béland and Pierre Arcand, argued that the music offered on CHOM and CJFM was attracting the same middle-aged demographic traditionally reserved for CFQR.  As well, they believed that what was being defined as “easy listening” by the industry during the 1980s was changing, and that the station’s format must somehow reflect this.


            Traditionally, CFQR’s format appealed to the 25-49 and 50-plus age demographics. On March 25, 1985, Jean Pouliot, President and Chief Executive Officer of CFCF Inc., and Dave Middleton, the Vice-President and General Manager of CFQR, told the CRTC that they believed that this demographic ranged from younger business professionals to middle-aged established business people to homemakers who wanted a diverse station to listen to - “all those people on the go, who have their own unique lifestyle” (Pouliot 1985). These people wanted an “easy listening” station.  However, the face of FM radio and what was considered by the music industry and its listeners as “easy listening” was in flux, and Pouliot argued that the station was trying to keep up with the evolution.


            In essence, Pouliot and Middleton suggested that the listening sounds of the 1980s were very different from the easy listening of the 1960s and 1970s.  Middleton pointed out that what had been defined as “rock” ten or twenty years before, like The Beatles, was now being called “easy listening” (Middleton, 1985).  He added that voice-free music was “rarely found these days” and that people were more interested in hearing vocal selections than in the 1960s.  While the CRTC had given CFQR authorization to change its vocal to music ratio from 35/65 to 30/70 in 1983, now Middleton asked the CRTC to allow the station to increase (indeed reverse) its vocal/music ratio to 75/25 (Middleton 1985).


            Mike Boone’s article in the Montreal Gazette entitled “Boy George Bounces Mantovani as CFQR Shakes Up Its Sound” hit the nail on the head in explaining the motives of CFQR’s management:


After providing bland background music to the city’s elevators, restaurants and geriatric facilities for twenty years, CFCF’s sister station is trying to come up with a distinct sound that will attract a demographic group which can be sold to advertisers (Boone, 1985). According to Boone, Middleton appointed Bob Burgess as CFQR’s new Music Director and told him to make the format sound like a “California radio station.” Alain Montpetit, who had been working at CKMF, a French FM dance station, was also hired by Middleton to do the morning show because he wanted someone who “knows the city, who can relate to St. Denis street, and talk to Montrealers.”  Boone, however, believed that this change would be temporary.  CFQR had in the past

been a respite for its listening audience from the aggressive, sometimes loud approach of its competitors in this marketplace... CFQR will, while realizing the need to be contemporary with today’s young middle-aged adult, maintain the “beautiful music” presentation that has in the past, and will in the years to come, continue to make CFQR the success and choice of those discerning listeners with a taste for a more mature and relaxing representation of their lifestyle (Boone 1985).


Thus Boone suggested that CFQR’s move away from its distinctive sound in an attempt to compete with CHOM and CJFM for the same group of listeners could not be sustained.


            Three years later, on July 5, 1988, when Pouliot was trying to sell the station to Mount Royal Broadcasting, representatives from both CFCF Inc. and its potential buyer approached the CRTC.  Others present were Pierre Béland (the future President and General Manager of the new station and a shareholder), Pierre Arcand (Executive Vice-President and future Director of Programming), John Stubbs, (Operations Vice-President), Claude Dufault (Sales Vice-President), Andy Peplowski (News Director) Raymond David (Financial Consultant), Alain Dubé (Financial Consultant), Francine Coté (Legal Council) and Adrien Pouliot. Béland argued that the situation for radio stations in Montreal was in a “crucial stage” because the Anglophone market was “at best stable if not declining” (Béland 1988).  He stated that although throughout the 1960s and 1970s CFQR was the leading FM station in Canada, it had been in a steady decline since.  According to the purchaser’s investigation, the listening average was calculated at 8.2 hours weekly, which was much below the average of other stations such as CFGL-FM and CITE-FM (French stations) which averaged eleven or twelve hours (Béland 1988).  Here is a summary of Mount Royal’s proposal to the CRTC:

1. While remaining within the authorized parameters of a Group I station, the applicant proposed to change the ratio of vocal to instrumental selections from 30/70 to 65/35.

2. To reduce the amount of traditional and special interest music (category 6) from 6 hours to 2 hours per week. 

3. Ensured that CFQR-FM would continue to target an adult audience between the ages of 35 to 54.

4. It would have a distinctive identity because most of its vocal music would be from the recent and past repertoires and it would continue to be the only FM station in Montreal to feature instrumental music ( CRTC 1988, 11-12).



            Both Rob Braide from Standard Broadcasting and Lee Hambleton from CHUM Ltd. wrote and came before the CRTC to express their concerns over the possible loss of their territory.  They argued that allowing this change to go forward would disenfranchise the listening demographic CFQR claimed to represent and would repeat the service already available on their stations. In a letter dated June 14, 1988, Braide told Fernand Belisle, the Secretary General of the CRTC, that although he had no problem with Mount Royal Broadcasting’s purchase of CFCF and CFQR, he wanted verification that CFQR would keep the same format:

The proposal by Mount Royal Broadcasting Inc. to change CFQR’s Promise of Performance to the predominantly vocal format from one now featuring a preponderance of instrumental selections threatens to upset the aforementioned balance and negatively affect the diversity of services now available (Braide 1988a).



He believed that the new format would not be aimed at the 35 to 54 group, but at the younger demographic consisting of people between the ages of 25 and 45.  Most importantly, he placed his concerns within the context of “the changing linguistic composition of the Montreal area,” and told the CRTC that it must give “constant direction” to issues concerning English broadcasting in Quebec (Braide 1988a).


            Braide, alongside his Program Director Jeff Vidler, made an appearance before the CRTC in July 1988.  He argued that if CFQR were allowed to change its format, there would be a duplication of services already available on CJFM-FM, CKGM-FM, CJAD-AM and CFCF-AM.  He stressed that leaving the 50-plus demographic with no station to listen to would disenfranchise a large and growing group of listeners and introduce a “new element of competition to the already established radio stations who were already facing hardships due to the shrinking English population and lack of advertising dollars spent to attract Anglophone listeners” (Braide1988b).


            Similarly, Lee Hambleton of CHUM Ltd. wrote Fernand Belisle in June stressing that CFQR’s proposal to eliminate the only predominantly instrumental format station in Montreal would abandon a large number of listeners:

the proposal to play 10:25:65 current, recurrent and past repertoire and target a mainly 35-49 demographic would, by its very nature, suggest a duplication of the programming of at least two of the three music-intensive English language radio stations in Montreal which rely heavily on older music (Hambleton 1988).


He also argued that these proposed changes would mean that four of the six private English radio stations in Montreal would be offering, in varying degrees, the same oldies-based music programming (Hambleton 1988).


            Hambleton also intervened when Mount Royal Broadcasting appeared before the CRTC hearing on July 5.  Hambleton and his program director, Susan Davis, stated that while they were not opposed to the purchase of the station by Mount Royal Broadcasting, they were concerned that the change in programming would adversely affect the overall balance of services in the Montreal market (Hambleton and Davis 1988).  To duplicate their service, they continued, would run contrary to the Commission’s policy that broadcasters should complement and extend available programming; moreover it would abandon the needs of those audiences which were currently being served by CFCF and CFQR (Hambleton and Davis 1988).


            In the end, the Commission approved some of the changes to CFQR’s “Promise of Performance” by allowing the station to change its vocal to instrumental ratio from 30/70 to 65/35.  Not only did the CRTC impose the restriction that the percentage of category 5 vocal music could not exceed 65 per cent, however, but it also required that both instrumental and vocal music had to be evenly distributed throughout the day.  If CFQR failed to comply with this restriction, it would be reprimanded by the CRTC (CRTC 1988, 12).  Undoubtedly the intervention of the other two stations influenced the Commission’s decision.


            Throughout the next four years, the stations used the CRTC to spy on each other.  For example, Braide complained extensively both directly to Béland and to the CRTC about CFQR’s lack of compliance with its “Promise of Performance.”  On December 21, 1990, Peter Fleming of the Directorate of the CRTC wrote to Béland informing him that Braide had accused CFQR of not following the proper musical format between November 4 and 10 (Fleming 1990).  Fleming conducted his own investigation and determined that CFQR did play 70.2% vocal music (5% more than allowed) over the week (Fleming 1990).  When Braide saw these findings, he wrote again to Fleming, once more pointing out CFQR’s continuous breaches of its “Promise of Performance” (Braide 1991a).  CFQR, he wrote, had been given three separate opportunities by the CRTC to correct its practices, in May, September and October of 1990, but had not done so.


            A second issue cropped up here as well.  In their regular reports to the CRTC, stations must list all the music played.  But one way they can get around percentage requirements is by listing a piece which was not in fact played in full.  Braide claimed that CFQR was indulging in this practice.  When he listened in on January 7, 1991, he stated, an instrumental was aired right before the news on the half-hour and faded out after only a minute.  In fact, the average length of each instrumental selection over a two-hour period was only 66 seconds, well below the CRTC’s required 2 minutes.  Pierre Arcand admitted that this had occurred, and promised the CRTC that in future at least 2 instrumental selections would be played per hour, each at least 2 minutes long (Arcand 1991).


            From the other side, Claude Dufault, the General Manager of Mount Royal Broadcasting, claimed later that year that “both the letter and the spirit of the CRTC basic regulations” had been breached by CJFM when it played more than its share of “hit” music (Braide 1991b).  Rob Braide responded to this accusation by providing Dufault with a dissected summary of the music selections played on the day in question.  He argued that Dufault’s claim that CJFM had played 62 per cent hits when the CRTC maximum was 49.9 per cent was unfounded; according to his play list, Braide calculated the hit ratio at 47.2 per cent (Braide 1991b).  He sarcastically added that the person who reviewed the list must not have had “any knowledge of popular music or the ability to recognize or track songs according to CRTC categories” (Braide 1991b).

            These issues were still paramount in January 1992 when Mount Royal Broadcasting went back to the CRTC and asked to have its programming format changed yet again.  Béland argued that historically the station had always sought the 35-plus demographic, and that this was no longer possible because the other two rock stations were targeting the same audience (Béland 1992).  (This was of course the gradually ageing but still very large Baby Boomer group.)  Béland proposed a soft adult contemporary format for CFQR with a target audience of 35-plus.  This format would have a ratio of 95 per cent vocal to 5 per cent instrumental which would permit the station to program more of the music its audience wanted (Julio Iglesias, Barry Manilow, Rita McNeill, etc.) and thus place it on an equal footing with its competition (Béland 1992).

            Béland pointed out that CFQR-FM’s sister AM station at that point was using an “oldies” format which had enabled certain gains in the 35-54 age demographic.  In the meantime, he argued, CFQR had “only been able to maintain its audience and hours in the demographic indicating the station was losing step with the evolution in FM adult radio, both in the eyes of the Montreal audience, as well as some advertisers who considered the station as largely instrumental and out of touch with the 90s lifestyle” (Béland 1992).


            Béland also blamed WEZF-FM Burlington for competing directly with its “unregulated” 100% vocal soft adult contemporary format that attracted 90,700 listeners, 35,900 of whom were 35-54 years of age (Béland 1992).  Béland argued that “increased competition in the market place is only half the problem.  The other half can be attributed to the evolving musical taste of today’s mature audiences” (Béland 1992).


            During the 1960s, he pointed out, easy listening developed successfully in Canada and the United States, because listeners liked Henry Mancini and Ray Conniff.  Today, however, the Baby Boomers demanded a different approach and placed little, if no value, on instrumental (or “elevator”) music (Béland 1992).  The station conducted its own investigation in 1991 and determined that less than 5 per cent of the population purchased instrumental music and because of that, record companies had cut production (Béland 1992).  Instead, New Age artists such as Enya and Loreena McKennitt was becoming more popular.  Because of this trend, Béland argued, CFQR must take a new approach (Béland 1992).


            Braide once again interfered with CFQR’s plans when he wrote a letter on behalf of Standard Radio to Mount Royal Broadcasting arguing that since the 1988 purchase of the station, the broadcaster had “consistently tried to avoid the letter and spirit of its license conditions” (Braide 1992).  He stressed that by taking away the instrumental requirement, the Commission would make CFQR’s profile “virtually undistinguishable from CJFM-FM” (Braide 1992).

              However, this time around, the protests of CFQR’s siblings were in vain and the CRTC passed a decision on September 4, 1992 declaring that Mount Royal Broadcasting could delete the condition of the licence that stated “that the percentage of category 5 vocal music selections may at no time exceed 65% measured on a weekly basis” (CRTC 1992).  By doing so, the CRTC helped CFQR find a more successful niche for itself in the Montreal market.


Lending a Hand and Fueling the Tension: The Situation during the Ice Storm in January 1998


            As stated previously, as in any family, even if there is conflict, when one member is in trouble, another will lend a hand.  Unfortunately, there is also often one member who refuses to help out, and in fact makes things more difficult.  When CJAD’s four 675-foot transmission towers collapsed under a total of 200 tons of ice during the ice storm on January 9, 1998, the station’s management frantically searched for a way to keep its all-talk station broadcasting in one of the most news-intensive periods Montreal had ever experienced.  Its first expedient was to use time on its sister station, CJFM-FM.  However, CJFM’s executives were apparently concerned that if CJAD remained on the FM frequency, their own advertising revenue would be lost.  So an arrangement was worked out giving CJAD’s anchormen Gord Sinclair, Victor Nerenberg, Ted Blackman and Dave Fisher a ten-minute newscast each hour during the morning of January 9 as well as all that weekend (Braide 1998).  But that was not satisfactory to CJAD, which needed to be on-air non-stop if it was to serve its listeners properly.  CHUM Limited then stepped forward and offered to help.  As a first step, CJAD tried to get CKGM’s former 980 kHz transmitter tuned to its own channel, 800 kHz..  This proved impossible because four of the six towers on the old CKGM site had fallen.  A few years before, the ethnic station CFMB had left its 1410 kHz transmitter when it moved to the old CJMS position of 1280 AM, thus making it free for any station that  needed it (Hay 1999, 1).  CJAD thus welcomed CFMB’s offer to use its transmitter and by January 10 was able to go on air.  However, the signal was so weak that it disappeared in Montreal’s west end, where most CJAD listeners lived, after dark (Hay 1999, 1).  On January 17 Braide published a letter in the Montreal Gazette explaining, among other things, CJAD’s current technical problems and expressing the hope that within the next few days “a 300 foot tower will be erected on the site of our fallen transmitter towers,” which would enable the station to broadcast on the 800 frequency again (Braide, 1998).  But this was a much more difficult task than Braide had realized, and only a few days later, on January 21, CJAD and CHUM struck the following agreement to enable CJAD to use CKGM’s current transmitter at 990 kHz for the duration::


Whereas given the technical problems with the backup facility on 1410 kHz, and the extensive time it will take for the existing CJAD facility on 800 kHz to be back in full operation, it is in the public interest for Standard to enter into a network arrangement with CHUM under which CHUM would delegate control over the programming schedule of CKGM to Standard, and CKGM would broadcast the CJAD service on a temporary basis.

(Standard Broadcasting and CHUM Ltd 1998, 1)



The two broadcasters agreed upon the following eight points:

1. Standard will apply to the CRTC for a temporary network licence for a period of 60 days, to provide the programming schedule for CKGM, Montreal, as a network operator.


2. CHUM will apply to the CRTC for an amendment to its licence for CKGM, authorizing that station to become affiliated with the temporary network operated by Standard.


3. Subject to CRTC approval of the foregoing applications, CHUM hereby delegates its programming responsibility for CKGM to Standard during the period of that temporary network licence, until 14 days after the CJAD technical facility is fully operational, or until the termination of this agreement, whichever comes first.


4. CHUM will maintain and operate the CKGM technical facility in good working order, on an “as-is” basis, and bear all costs of such maintenance and operation; Standard will bear all costs of delivering its programming signal to the CKGM facility.


5. In consideration of this agreement, and in full compensation for the agreement by CHUM to broadcast the programming supplied by Standard on CKGM, Standard agrees to pay CHUM the following:


(a) A one-time payment of $64,950, to be paid upon CRTC approval of the foregoing applications; and


(b) a fee of $61,500 per month, to be paid at the end of the calendar month during which the network arrangement commences, with the amount to be pro-rated to the actual number of days during which the CJAD programming was broadcast on the CKGM facility in that month, provided that this fee shall apply for not less than 4 months.


6. Standard shall use its best efforts to rebuild its existing transmission facility on 800 kHz as quickly as possible to make it fully operational.  Should such be necessary, Standard will apply for one or more renewals of its temporary network licence, for further periods of 60 days, as may be required.  However, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, this agreement will automatically terminate six months from the date hereof.


7. Once the CJAD 800 kHz facility is fully operational, Standard will simulcast the CJAD programming on both the 800 and 990 kHz facility for a transitional period of 14 days, following which control of the programming on CKGM will revert to CHUM.  During the subsequent 24-hour period, during which CHUM will have control of the programming on CKGM, CHUM agrees to run public service announcement every 2 hours notifying its listeners that CJAD programming service is now available on 800 kHz.


8. Standard agrees to identify CHUM against any claims in respect to the programming being supplied or broadcast hereunder (Standard and CHUM Ltd. 1998, 2).


CHUM’s Vice-President of Finance, Taylor Baiden, said that they allowed this transfer because “it would be a loss of public interest because of the loss of news information if the station [CJAD] was not on the air” (Baiden 1998).  The reality was that CKGM did not have the staff or resources to provide appropriate coverage in the emergency, while CJAD did.


            But the problems did not end there.  Bill Brownstein reported in the Gazette at the beginning of February that the 990 AM frequency that was on loan to CJAD toppled “simply out of shock” on February 4, causing the station to temporarily lose its signal (Brownstein 1998).  With that problem resolved, CJAD was able to continue to broadcast on the 990 frequency until May 29, when it returned to its original position.  Indeed, all measures relating to the above agreement were fulfilled by both companies until CJAD-AM returned to its 800 frequency.


            At the same time, however, CIQC-AM, owned by Mount Royal Broadcasting, was not as supportive of CJAD and took advantage of the opportunity to encourage listeners to listen to its news reports of the ice storm with a little help from one of CJAD’s own announcers, Jim Duff.  When the ice storm began, Duff was the host of the 4-7 pm “Drive with Duff” program on CJAD.  Duff believed that Standard Broadcasting had made an incorrect decision in not moving CJAD’s programming to CJFM.  He voiced his protest publicly, and suddenly found himself no longer an employee of CJAD.  Some listeners were critical of CJAD’s reaction to Duff’s decision.  Montreal pharmacist Ron Lemish, for example, phoned the Gazette to complain that when he tried to support Duff’s view on air, he was quickly cut off (Boone 1998).  Within a few days CIQC announced that Jim Duff would be hosting a new morning show from 6 to 9 a.m.  “Morning Drive with Duff” began broadcasting January 19.  The contretemps over Duff likely did little to improve the relations between Standard and Mount Royal.


            In his letter to the Gazette on January 17, Rob Braide tried to mend the tattered image of his station.  He stressed that he wanted to “clear the air on some things that have been said about CJAD” (Braide 1998).  The letter focused on CJAD’s 24-hour hotline which helped those in need get in touch with the right people, the efforts of the station’s employees who drove through the storm to give people coffee and muffins and the airing of important information such as Dr. Joe Schwarcz’s advice on food preservation.  Braide did not, however, mention Duff or the arrangement with CJFM in this letter; he chose to salvage the station’s reputation by concentrating on its community involvement.





            From these two case studies, we see that the allegory of the family is appropriate when describing the relations among these three broadcasters and especially their FM stations throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  United under one common goal of strengthening a very weak English radio industry in Montreal, these broadcasters battled among themselves for the number one spot and the most advertising dollars.  Although each one recognized that they all had a vital role to play, they were always watching what the other sibling was doing, and making sure that each member followed the rules so that territories were clearly defined and protected.  In essence, when CFQR tried to enter the bedrooms of CJFM and CHUM, they made sure that their “Do Not Disturb” signs were clearly visible.  When Standard Broadcasting almost floated out to sea during the ice storm, its sibling, CHUM Limited, did not hesitate to throw the net to carry it home.  However, the already poor relations between Mount Royal Broadcasting and Standard Broadcasting Inc. encouraged the rivalry to continue. And through it all, the CRTC made sure that everyone acted on their best behaviour so that in the end the tantrum in the mall never happened.



Reference List


Arcand, Pierre, 1991.  Letter to Peter Fleming, January 30, 1991.  CRTC Examination Files,  CFQR: Radio (FM) Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Baiden, Taylor, 1998.  Letter to the CRTC, January 21, 1998.  CRTC Examination Files,  File 6240-CJAD-X199 Standard Radio Inc.


Béland, Pierre, 1988.  “Presentation to the CRTC, July 5, 1988.”  CRTC Examination Files,  CFQR-FM (Radio) Programming Undertaking, Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 2, from April 21, 1988.


Béland, Pierre, 1992.  “Presentation to the CRTC, January, 1992.” CRTC Examination Files,  CFQR-FM (Radio) Programming Undertaking Mount Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, 1992-1993.


Boone, Mike, 1985.  “Boy George Bounces Mantovani as CFQR Shakes Up Its Sound,” Montreal Gazette, June 27, 1985, C5.


Boone, Mike, 1998.  “Ins and Outs of Storm Coverage: Some Anchors Donning Parkas, While Others Stay in Warm Studios,” Montreal Gazette, January 14, 1998, C6


Braide, Rob, 1988a.  Letter to Fernand Belisle, June 14, 1988.  CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM), Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Braide, Rob, 1988b.  Presentation to the CRTC, July, 1988.  CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM), Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Braide, Rob, 1991a.  Letter to Peter Fleming, January 7, 1991.  CRTC Examination Files, CFQR Radio (FM), Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Braide, Rob, 1991b.  Letter to Claude Dufault, September 11, 1991. CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM) Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Braide, Rob, 1992.  Letter to the CRTC, January 1992, CRTC Examination Files, CFQR-FM (Radio) Programming Undertaking Mount Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, 1992-1993.


Braide, Rob, 1998.  “CJAD was there to help listeners, station GM says.” Montreal Gazette, January 17, 1998, C2.


Brownstein, Bill, 1998.  “Balcan Drops Bombshell: Morning Radio Won’t Be the Same Without  Jovial Icon,” Montreal Gazette, February 4, 1998, F1.


Broadcaster, 1999.  “Radio Stations,” Vol. 58, No. 5 (May 1999), pp. 20-24.

CRTC, 1975-76. Canadian Radio and Television Commission, Annual Report, Ottawa.


CRTC, 1983-84.  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Annual Report, Ottawa.


CRTC, 1984.  CRTC Proposes Simplifications to its FM Policy, April 5, 1984.  CRTC, BC91-12/118-15.


CRTC, 1988. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Decision, Mount Royal Broadcasting Inc., Montreal, Quebec, September 6, 1988. CRTC 88-583.


CRTC, 1992.  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Decision, Mount Royal Broadcasting, Inc., Montreal, Quebec, September 4, 1992.  CRTC Examination Files,  CFQR (Radio) Programming Undertaking Mount Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, 1992-1993.


Fleming, Peter, 1990.  Letter to Pierre Béland, December 21 1990. CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM) Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3,  July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Hambleton, Lee, 1988.  Letter to Fernand Belisle, June 14, 1988.  CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM) Mount-Royal Broadcasting Inc., Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Hambleton, Lee and Susan Davis, 1988.  “CKGM/CHOM-FM. Intervention to the Application by Mount Royal Broadcasting Inc. to Amend the Programming Commitments for CFQR-FM and CFCF- AM Montreal,” July 5, 1988.  CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM) Mount-Royal Broadcasting, Vol. 3, July 5, 1988 to May 19, 1992.


Hay, J.R., 1999.   “Verglace ’98: Radio Stations Go Skating...” http://www.haya.qc.ca/radio.htm; accessed May 5, 2000 .


Middleton, Dave, 1985.  Proposal to the CRTC to Change CFQR-FM’s Format, March 25, 1985. CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM) CFCF Inc., Vol. 5.


Pouliot, Jean, 1985.  Proposal to the CRTC to Change CFQR-FM’s Format, March 25, 1985. CRTC Examination Files, CFQR: Radio (FM) CFCF Inc., Vol. 5.


Standard Broadcasting & CHUM Ltd., 1998.  “Temporary Network Agreement Between Standard Radio Inc. (hereinafter “Standard”) and CHUM Limited (hereinafter “CHUM”),” January 21, 1998.  CRTC Examination Files,  File 6240-CJAD-X199 Standard Radio Inc.


Projets réalisés
English Radio in  Quebec

CFCF: The Early Years of Radio (see also Anecdotes...)

CFCF before the Massey and Fowler Commissions of the 1950s

In the Name of the "Public Interest": CFCF and some Controversies...

A Brief History of CJAD

Relations among the English Stations in Montreal

Chronological Master List of Quebec's English-Language Radio Stations

Galerie d'images / Gallery Extraits sonores / Sound Clips  



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Mise à jour le 29 juillet 2004

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