CKAC/Montreal To Go All-Traffic
September 2, 2011 at 1:12 PM (PT)
COGECO DIFFUSION has given up on its application to the CRTC to return AM 690 to the air in MONTREAL with an all-Traffic format in French and will instead flip its French Sports CKAC-A to the all-Traffic format as RADIO CIRCULATION 730 on TUESDAY (9/6) at 4:30a (ET). Some of the Sports programming heard on CKAC will move to sister French Talk CHMP (98,5 FM).
COGECO did not withdraw its application for an English-language Traffic station on AM 940. The 690 and 940 frequencies are the former RADIO-CANADA and CBC AM stations that later hosted commercial stations before going dark by CORUS in JANUARY 2010.
COGECO blamed opposition from rivals BELL MEDIA and ASTRAL MEDIA RADIO and from TIETOLMAN-TETRAULT MEDIA for the end of its bid for 690 after the protests led to the CRTC scheduling a public hearing for OCTOBER 17th, further delaying a decision. "This opposition to our project from our competitors came as a surprise since none of them had shown any interest in the AM 690 kHz or AM 940 kHz frequencies since CORUS ended INFO 690 and 940 NEWS operations in January 2010. We continue to believe that our initial project was the best possible use of these frequencies for the public good," said COGECO SVP RICHARD LACHANCE. "We did not make the decision to change CKAC's vocation lightly. However, in our opinion, we made the best choice given the circumstances, because the people of the Greater MONTREAL area have a crying need for continuous information about traffic conditions and road work. It was urgent that RADIO CIRCULATION go live early in SEPTEMBER."
On the move of Sports programming to the FM station, LACHANCE said, "We believe in sports and its potential for radio, and we're not abandoning our audience of sports fans. In fact, we're maintaining a good portion of our sports programming, especially broadcasts of the CANADIENS, ALOUETTES and IMPACT games."