CKZW-AM, Christian – La Radio Gospel, Montréal

Radio Shalom

CKZW-AM201616501,000André Joly
CJRS-AM200716501,000Radio Chalom


On March 15, the CRTC approved an application by Radio Chalom to operate a commercial religious AM radio station in French (60%), English (30%) and Hebrew (10%) in Montréal. The proposed station would primarily serve Montréal’s Jewish community, replacing the service that had been offered by Radio Chalom on the SCMO facilities of CIRA-FM Montréal. The station would broadcast on 1650 kHz with a transmitter power of 1,000 watts, day and night. The applicant indicated that at least 90% of all the musical selections aired in each broadcast week would be drawn from content category 3 (Special interest music). At least 12% of the content category 3 musical selections aired in each broadcast week would be Canadian. In each broadcast week, the station would broadcast at least 90 hours of local programming. Radio Chalom stated that 33% of its weekly programming, or almost 42 hours, would be devoted to spoken word programming and would include at least 11 hours of news and information programs. News programming would be broadcast 16 times each day and would include twelve 3-minute news bulletins and four 10- to 15-minute new bulletins. They would cover local, regional, national and international news, sports, traffic reports, weather forecasts and information on community services and entertainment. The applicant added that, in each broadcast week, the station would air 100 hours of religious programming, of which 18 hours would be devoted to programs intended to ensure balanced programming. Radio Chalom planned to broadcast 90% Canadian religious programs and 10% acquired programs. Radio Chalom stated that it would comply with a condition of licence requiring that the station broadcast 18 hours of balanced programming each week. Radio Chalom affirmed that balance in its programming would be a fundamental principle. The station would offer programming that provided differing views on issues and events presented during its primary programming, including the presentation of different religions. In addition, 15% of the weekly air time would be devoted to programs produced by other religious groups. The balanced programming would include programs originating with the Communauté Catholique Congolaise de Montréal and the Association socio-culturelle bulgare. Other spoken word programming would include La religion au Québec, a review of the various aspects of religion within Quebec geopolitics, and Hindu tradition Sanatan Dharma, a program about various aspects of Hinduism. The applicant indicated that an ethics and balance monitoring committee, composed of representatives from the Jewish and other religious cultures, would oversee the balanced programming. The Commission considered that the proposed service would have had a rather limited commercial impact on the Montréal market. The station would target a limited, specialty audience and the forecasted advertising revenues were generally modest. Accordingly, in the circumstances, the Commission determined that a call for applications was not necessary. The licence would expire 31 August 2012.

On December 18, Radio Chalom was authorized to change the antenna site for its proposed AM station.


In February, CJRS 1650 –  Radio Shalom began test broadcasting. 

The station officially signed on the air on May 5 at 9:00 p.m. Studios and offices were located at 4835 Côte St. Catherine Road,  Suite 2. The “RS” in the call sign: Radio Shalom. Programming features music and a mix of talk in English, French and Hebrew.

In recognition of the Jewish Sabbath, between 6:00pm Friday and 7:00pm Saturday the station identified itself as CKZW-AM, and broadcast gospel music as part of its commitment to Category 3 (Special interest) music. 


On August 17, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CJRS to August 31, 2013.


It was announced that Jewish content CJRS – Radio Shalom – would shut down April 1 due to financial difficulties. While Founder and President Robert Levy originally said that he would pull the plug January 31 if a solution wasn’t found, he kept the station operational in the hope that a new board would step up to the plate.

André Joly, who operated an evangelical Christian service on Radio Shalom during the Sabbath, was asked to take over programming 24/7. Joly said he was in talks to buy the station. There was still be hope for someone in the Jewish community to step in and keep the station alive.

In April, CJRS Radio Shalom (Hebrew format) became French-language Christian station, CKZW.

The story continues elsewhere…
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