CHOI-FM, Radio X, Québec City

Radio Nord (RNC Media Inc.)

CHOI-FM200798.181,000RNC Media
CHOI-FM200698.181,000Radio Nord Inc.
CHOI-FM194998.181,000Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale Inc.


CHRC Ltee (CHRC-AM) was granted a 250 watt FM licence.


CHRC-FM opened on November 1. It broadcast on a frequency of 98.1 MHz and had a power of 250 watts.


CHRC-FM was operating on 98.1 MHz with a power of 595 watts. CHRC Ltee was owned by H. Baribeau 39.6%, E. Fontaine 16.7%, E. Flynn 7.2%, J.H. Price 13.9%, G. Pratte 18.4%, H. LePage 4.1%, J. Grenier 0.1%.  


Ad slogan: First. Yes…first French language radio station to broadcast regularly each evening from 9-10 in stereophonic sound. AM 800 kcs. FM 98.1 mgs. Radio CHRC Quebec City ( since October 27, 1958).


By this time, CHRC-FM was operating in stereo with an effective radiated power of 81,000 watts. The station offered programming independent of CHRC-AM between Noon and Midnight, Monday thru Saturday, and between 10:30 a.m. and Midnight on Sundays. Col. Harve Baribeau was president of CHRC Ltee.


Henri LePage retired as general manager on December 31. He had managed CHRC-AM and FM since 1946. LePage would retain his financial interests in the stations and remain on the board of directors. He was also on the board of Television de Quebec (Canada) Ltee, licensee of CFCM-TV/CKMI-TV, and president of CKRS-AM-TV Jonquiere. Aurele Pelletier would become general manager of CHRC-AM-FM on January 1, 1969.


Henri Lepage, 68, died suddenly on August 26, ending a 39 year association in an executive capacity with CHRC. Lepage had retired as general manager of CHRC in January, but remained on the board of directors. He founded CKRS Radio in 1946, then CKRS-TV, in 1955 (Rouyn-Noranda-Jonquiere). He continued as president of both stations up to the time of his death. Lepage was one of the founders of Television de Quebec Ltee in 1953, establishing CFCM-TV and three years later, CKMI-TV (Quebec City). He joined Narcisse Thivierge in founding CJNT Radio and was president of that station at the time of his death. Henri was brother of Paul Lepage, who for many years was manager of CKCV (Quebec City). Henri Lepage entered the broadcasting business in 1930 when he was hired as secretary-treasurer for CHRC Ltee. In 1946, he became station manager, succeeding Thivierge. Lepage became general manager of CHRC-AM and FM in 1956.


CHRC Ltee was purchased by Télé-Capitale Ltée.  




CHOI had its application for change of promise of performance denied. The CRTC accused the station of violating conditions of licence by implementing substantial changes in programming without approval. CHOI-FM was directed to comply with the authorized POP within 30 days.


On August 7, approval was granted for the transfer of indirect control of (A) Enterprises Tele-Capitale Ltee (CKLM, CFCM-TV, CKMI-TV, CFER-TV and CFER-TV-1); (B) CHRC Ltee (CHRC-AM and CHOI-FM) – through the transfer of not less than 50.5% of Class B common voting shares of Tele-Capitale Ltee (the parent company) from Claude Pratte and one or both of the other major shareholders, Jevlam Inc. (J. A. Pouliot) and Baribeau & Fils Inc. (Baribeau family) to Corporation de Gestion La Verendrye. This was conditional on Corporation de Gestion LaVerendrye doing a public offering within 21 days to acquire Class A common non-voting shares of Tele-Capitale. J. Conrad Lavigne was among the new directors of Tele-Capitale. The company undertook to make the following improvements at CHRC/CHOI-FM: $650,000 for separate facilities, $100,000 to develop local talent over the next four years.

Also approved on the same date, the transfer of CHRC and CHOI-FM from CHRC Ltee to Tele-Capitale Ltee and then on to Enterprises Tele-Capitale Ltee.


J. Roger Hebert became vice president and general manager of CHOI-FM.

In renewing CHOI’s licence, the CRTC described the station as one of the best private French-language FM stations in Quebec. 


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CHOI-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.


Capital Radio Broadcasting Operations Inc. purchased CHRC and CHOI-FM from Télé-Capitale Inc. (formerly Télé-Capitale Ltée). 


The CRTC told CHOI that its licence may be in jeopardy if deviations from its Promise of Performance continued. The station was called to a public hearing because of complaints by CJMF-FM. CHOI admitted programming had been altered during the spring of 1986 BBM survey. The station also accused CJMF of similar failings but the Commission rejected CHOI’s attempts to justify its actions. Unintelligible logger tapes were also an issue. CHOI was ordered to confirm by February 15, 1987, that its logger tape equipment was in place and operating.


On March 27, the CRTC renewed CHOI-FM’s licence to March 31, 1996. This term would enable the licensee to comply with the Commission’s requirements with respect to the ownership of this station. The application to renew CHOI-FM’s licence was considered in the context of a major restructuring of the AM radio stations operated in the province of Quebec by Radiomutuel Inc. and Télémédia Communications Inc. including, ultimately, the transfer of the licensee to Télémédia. In Decision CRTC 95-119 of today’s date, the Commission approved an application to transfer all the issued and outstanding shares of Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale Inc. to Télémédia. Télémédia would obtain, as a result of this transaction, 100% control of ERC. Télémédia also owned CITF-FM in Quebec City. The Commission’s longstanding policy relating to common ownership was that two radio broadcasting undertakings of the same class serving the same market in the same language should not fall under common ownership. The Commission noted that Télémédia undertook to divest itself of CHOI-FM, if the above-mentioned transfer of control application was approved. As a result, the Commission directed Télémédia to file, within six months of the date of this decision, an application for authority to transfer effective ownership or control of CHOI-FM to a third party. 


Telemedia announced it had sold 80% of CHOI-FM to Genex Communications, 60% owned by Patrice Demers and 20% by Les Enterprises Octave (controlled by Jean Morin). Telmedia would finance the purchase but said if future operating losses force it to take back the station, it would immediately put it up for sale again. Telemedia had acquired CHOI with CHRC but was told to sell the FM because it already owned CITF-FM in Quebec City. 

The CRTC approved the purchase of CHOI-FM by Genex Communications inc. from Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale inc. (Télémédia). Télémédia would continue to hold a 20% interest.


CHOI was given approval to decrease effective radiated power from 81,000 to 40,000 watts and to relocate the transmitter to a site 1.4 kilometres from the current site.


On July 13, the CRTC decided not to renew the licence of CHOI-FM and issued a call for  broadcasting licences to carry on a new French-language FM station in Québec. Since Genex acquired CHOI-FM in 1997, the programming on the station had been the subject of numerous complaints with respect to the conduct of the hosts and the spoken word content that aired, including offensive comments, personal attacks and harassment. The Commission found that on numerous occasions, Genex had failed to comply with the Radio Regulations 1986 as well as CHOI’s Code of Ethics. The station was ordered to be off the air by August 31, the expiry date of the existing licence. The CRTC issued a call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on a French-language radio station.

On August 26, the Federal Court of Appeal authorized Genex to continue operating CHOI-FM under the same terms and conditions as those specified in the licence then in effect, and directed the CRTC to stay the call for applications for a new broadcasting licence to operate on the 98.1 MHz frequency in Québec. The stay was to remain in effect until the FCA rendered its final judgment on the merits in the matter of the appeal filed by Genex from Decision 2004-271.


The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by Genex on September 1.

On September 14, the CRTC issued a Broadcasting Public Notice in which it announced that the call for applications would be restricted to those that proposed to use frequencies other than 98.1 MHz.

On September 23, the Federal Court of Appeal extended the period during which Genex was permitted to continue operating CHOI-FM under the same terms and conditions as those specified in its previous licence, and extended its order to stay the call for applications for use of the 98.1 MHz frequency, until such time as the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a decision on an application to be filed by Genex for leave to appeal the FCA decision of 1 September 2005.

On October 31, Genex filed an application with the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the FCA decision of September 1.


On June 13, Genex filed a motion with the Supreme Court of Canada requesting that its consideration of Genex’s application for leave to appeal be adjourned for one year. Genex stated that it had entered into an agreement with Radio Nord Communications inc., under which RNCI would apply for a new licence to continue the operation of CHOI-FM. It added that RNCI had in fact filed such an application with the Commission, and submitted that a certain period of time was required to allow for consideration of the application at a public hearing.On June 29, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to adjourn, until 31 May 2007, its consideration of Genex’s application for leave to appeal.

On October 20, the CRTC approved the application by Radio Nord Communications inc. for a broadcasting licence to carry on a French-language FM radio programming undertaking in Québec. In effect, RNCI would contine the operation of radio station CHOI-FM on the 98.1 MHz frequency, with an effective radiated power of 40,000 watts. The applicant proposed to offer an alternative rock music format that would target an audience of young adults 18 to 34 years of age. RNCI said the station would focus on local content and provide 100% local programming. The company emphasized that the news to be broadcast as part of CHOI-FM’s programming would be distinct from that of its station CKNU-FM Donnacona, so as to effectively meet the needs of the two different target audiences. The CHOI-FM newsroom would also remain independent and have two full-time journalists.


Radio Nord became known as RNC Media. 


On February 12, the CRTC approved an application by RNC MEDIA Inc. to amend the licence for CHOI-FM in order to operate the station in a specialty FM format. Specifically, the licensee proposed to devote more than 50% of the broadcast week to spoken word programming.
The station was offering an alternative rock music format. The licensee indicated that it would contribute significantly to the diversity of programming offered to the population of Québec, and that it would offer a new outlet for the broadcast of local news. The Commission notes that RNC MEDIA’s application proposes a significant investment in local information, produced by and for the people in the Québec market, and that, according to RNC MEDIA, the information available to the audience in this market is currently deficient, particularly on evenings and weekends. The investment in local information proposed by RNC MEDIA would partially compensate for the recent cuts to local information made by the TQS network (now known as “V”) and by CHRC, as well as the ceasing of publication of the daily newspaper Média Matin Québec after the labour dispute at the Journal de Québec was resolved. Further, the Commission notes that in a market study submitted by RNC Media, 89.8% of those polled listed information as a main interest. In addition, according to the study, 35-year-old audience members, who are the core of CHOI-FM’s target audience, are the most interested in local news. The Commission notes that few commercial stations operate in a specialty format devoted to spoken word programming in the Québec market. CHOI-FM, by operating its station in a specialty FM format, would offer a new voice for broadcasting local information. In addition, CHOI-FM already boasts strong performance in terms of profitability and listenership. Moreover, the Commission notes that the station intends to offer some music-based programming on weekends, where the alternative rock genre would be emphasized and maintained, and that CHXX-FM offers a music format that is almost identical to that of CHOI-FM.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council dealt with three complaints related to multiple episodes of a CHOI-FM talk show, Dupont le midi. The complaints dealt with inaccurate information about social assistance, unduly negative representations of Haitians and inappropriate coarse language for daytime broadcasts. It also concluded that a discussion of suicide, including the broadcast of two suicide victims’ names, did not violate any broadcast Codes, although two adjudicators dissented from that decision. 


On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHOI-FM until August 31, 2013.


On April 30, the CRTC approved applications by Leclerc Communications to acquire the assets of CHOI Quebec City and CKLX Montreal from RNC Media. Because Leclerc already owned CJEC-FM and CFEL-FM in the Quebec City market, the addition of CHOI would mean the company would have to sell one of the three stations. The commission told Leclerc that it must submit an outline of its plans to sell a station by May 30, 2019. It was reported that Leclerc indicated that it would not adhere to the condition to divest one of its Quebec City stations and walked away from the deal for both CHOI and CKLX.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

Contact this station