CHRC-AM, Quebec 800, Québec City
Les Ramparts de Quebec
|Les Ramparts de Quebec
|TVA Group/Radio Nord
|Genex Commications Inc.
|Capital Radio Broadcasting Operations Inc.
CHRC went on the air April 1, on 880 kHz.
CHRC switched to 600 kHz.
CHRC moved back to 880 kHz with 100 watts.
CHRC switched to 645 kHz with 100 watts.
CHRC moved to 580 kHz with 100 watts. Owner: CHRC Ltd. Studios were in the Victoria Hotel.
CHRC became a United Press subscriber.
The Association of Independent Stations of the Province of Quebec was formed at the end of January, with CKAC, CHLP and CFCF Montreal; CHRC and CKCV Quebec; CKCH Hull; CJBR Rimouski; CHNC New Carlisle; CHLT Sherbrooke; CHLN Trois-Rivieres; and CKRN Rouyn as members. Phil Lalonde of CKAC was elected president; Narcisse Thivierge, CHRC, vice-president; Alex Dupont, CKCH and Marcel Lefebvre, CHLP, directors. Arsene Nadeau was chief engineer.
Under the Havana Treaty, CHRC moved from 580 to 1400 kHz (Class IV) on March 29. Power was 100 watts.
CHRC was airing completely in French, games of the Quebec Amateur Hockey Association. The French commentary was handled by Phil Gimael, with R. Halpin reflecting in English between periods. CHRC increased power to 1,000 watts in July. At some point in the year, the station also moved to 800 kHz. Narcisse Thivierge was CHRC’s managing director. CHRC’s studios in the Victoria Hotel were destroyed by fire on September 19. The station lost five minutes of air time and then went on to broadcast a flame by flame description of its own fire. Until arrangements could be made for new studios, CHRC was broadcasting from the transmitter site. The schedule continued without interruption.
J.N. Thivierge was CHRC’s manager. J.D. Boudreau left CHRC as traffic manager to become manager of the new CJEM in Edmundston, N.B.
Joseph A Hardy left CHRC’s sales department to form Joseph A. Hardy & Co. Ltd.
CHRC – “The Station in Quebec District” – increased power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts. The station was owned by CHRC Ltee. Studios were at 39 St-Jean, and the transmitter was on Route Demeule, St. Romuald. CHRC was on the air from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sundays.
CHRC was now operating with 5,000 watts of power. Slogan: The Voice of Old Quebec. Narcisse Thiverge announced his resignation as managing director after 25 years with the station. He started in radio in 1921. In 1932, he incorporated his amateur station as CHRC. He was a co-founder and recently re-elected a director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Quebec Association of Private Broadcasters. Following Thiverge’s announcement, CHRC made the following appointments: Henri LePage (general manager), Aurele Pelletier (commercial manager), Magella Alain (program director), Leon Delisle (secretary-treasurer). CHRC was granted a 250 watt FM licence.
Henri LePage was manager. Aurele Pelletier was commercial manager.
CHRC-FM was inaugurated.
CHRC applied for permission to increase power from 5,000 to 10,000 watts. The application was denied.
Slogan: Leader in Quebec area in power and results. Your best French seller. The CBC approved the recapitalization of CHRC Ltee from 7,500 common shares to 7,500 common and 5,000 preferred shares. The board also approved the issuance of 1,598 preferred shares in CHRC Ltee.
Former CHRC sales manager Joseph Antoine Hardy passed away in June at the age of 61. He left the station as sales manager in 1946.
CHRC received approval to use a 1,000 watt emergency transmitter. Albert Brie was an announcer. Magella Alain was program director. From an ad: “Top French Radio Voice in Quebec Area”. The only 5,000 watt station in Quebec City. CHRC reaches 250,000 radio homes in a 29 county area. A joint application by Famous Players Canadian Corp. and radio stations CHRC, CJNT and CKCV, for a television station at Quebec City was filed. The CBC Board of Governors approved the application. CHRC joined the RTNDA. Guy Rondeau was news director. Approval was given for the transfer of 1,124 common and 213 preferred shares in CHRC Ltee.
NABET was certified as bargaining agent for employess of CHRC and CKCV. Approval was given for the redemption of 253 preferred shares and the issuance of 255 preferred shares in CHRC Ltee. Guy Rondeau was in the news department.
Aurele Pelletier was program director.
Listing: CHRC 800 kHz 5,000 watts full-time, DA-1, CHRC Ltee. (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%). Herve Baribeau was president of the company and Henri Lepage was CHRC’s manager.
A print ad promoted CHRC’s power increase to 10,000 watts – Now! 10,000 watts. Selling in metropolitan Quebec and 32 counties. 800 k.c. Radio-Quebec City. 31 years of sound broadcasting have gained CHRC the confidence of listeners and local and national advertisers. A. Pelletier was manager. Dick Thibodeau was national sales promotion manager. Ad slogans: CHRC rings the bell for ’58 – now 10,000 watts – Quebec City’s most powerful station. First in power. First in coverage. First in influence. / Let CHRC be your Mouthpiece in Greater Quebec. / CHRC can blow your horn louder in Greater Quebec. / Feel secure! Cover Quebec with CHRC. / 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). According to Elliott-Haynes CHRC reached a total of 228,541 adult listeners every day.
Ad: CHRC Radio Quebec sells the entire economic region. 10,000 watts – 800 Kc.
CHRC announcers included Roc Prou, Georges McKie, Nap Gariepy, Michel Montpetit, Claude Septembre and Guy Thivierge.
CHRC 800 now had a fulltime power of 10,000 watts. Col. Herve Baribeau was President of CHRC Ltee while Henri Lepage was Managing Director of CHRC. Aurele Pelletier was manager.
Slogan: Preferred by far for public service in Metro and Rural Quebec.
Miville Couture, 52, died April 24. The well known radio personality started his career at CHRC and CJBR (Rimouski) in 1938 as a comedy announcer. He joined the CBC in 1941. Slogan: Radio-Quebec City. 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.
From an ad: Number one station. 50,000 watts. 800 kc. 24 hours a day. Yes we deliver more audience than any other station in Quebec City.
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.
Gilles Gregoire was promoted to president of Tele-Capitale while retaining the position of chief operating officer.
In May, the CRTC approved the transfer of CHRC & CHOI-FM to Capital Radio Broadcasting Operations Inc., from Tele-Capitale Inc. CHRC adopted a news/talk format, with 21.5 hours weekly being picked up by CKVL in Verdun. The network portions also include a three hour program of music from the 1930s and 1940s.
Claude Beaudoin, executive vice president and general manager of Tele-Capitale for the past year, returned to Montreal to work for Telemedia.
On January 8, the CRTC approved the application by Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale Inc. for a licence to operate a French-language AM radio network for the purpose of broadcasting pre-season, regular season and play-off games of the Quebec Nordiques hockey team as well as pre and post-game programs during the 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 seasons of the National Hockey League. The Commission issued a network licence expiring at the end of the 1990 hockey season (in the spring of 1991). CHRC’s licence was renewed for only 20 months over concerns about the station’s handling of talk shows.
CHRC had its licence renewed only to August 31, 1990. The station was instructed to submit new guidelines and any other control measures it proposed specifically tailored to its open line programming and to respond to concerns about its programming. CHRC was given three months to respond.
A one-year licence renewal and several conditions reflected the CRTC’s renewed concern about the handling of open line shows at CHRC – specifically by host Andre Arthur. The Commission said instead of improving since the 1988 renewal, the situation has deteriorated. Jacques Duhamel, president of CHRC’s parent company said he was shocked by the decision. He said the ruling could set a precedent in defining the limits of free speech on the airwaves.
The CRTC denied the purchase of CHRC by Telemedia. The Commission was concerned about the closure of CKCV, the dominant position the company would gain in Quebec City with the purchase of CHRC – both in audience share and ad revenue. The Commission also expressed concern over the management agreement that would exist between CHRC and CHOI-FM. The deal would have the two stations managed by the same individuals on behalf of two different licensees. CHRC received another short term licence renewal from the CRTC. The Commission still had concerns about open-line host Andre Arthur. The renewal was for a one-year term – the station’s third consecutive short-term renewal.
The CRTC removed conditions from CHRC’s licence that were imposed as a result of talk show problems. It was noted the station was now spending $750,000 a year on news and $430,000 on sports information.
On March 27, the CRTC approved the applications for authority to transfer effective control of Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale Inc. and the assets of CHRC owned by ERC. These transactions involved the following: A. The transfer of the issued and outstanding class A shares of ERC, belonging to Mr. André Arthur and Mr. Jacques Grenier, to Financière Micadco Inc. (25%), Groupe Commercial AMT Inc. (25%), 2861-3545 Québec Inc. (25%) and Télémédia Communications Inc. (25%); B. Subsequently, the transfer of the shares of ERC held by Financière Micadco Inc., Groupe Commercial AMT Inc. and 2861-3545 Québec Inc. (75%) to the remaining sole shareholder, Télémédia Communications Inc.; and C. The transfer of the assets of CHRC to Radiomédia Inc. The Commission issued a licence to Radiomédia Inc., expiring August 31, 1999. This period would enable the Commission to review, within a reasonable period, the implementation of the programming proposals put forward by the applicant. It would also enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence together with that of CKAC Montréal and the new Radiomédia network, the licences for which were issued to the partners of Radiomédia S.E.N.C., including Télémédia Communications Inc. and Radiomutuel Inc. The applications were filed with the Commission in the context of a major restructuring of the AM broadcasting undertakings of Télémédia Communications Inc. and Radiomutuel Inc. in the province of Quebec, announced on September 30, 1994. Under this restructuring, six AM radio stations were closed: CJMS Montréal, CJRP Quebec City, CJTR Trois-Rivières, CJRS Sherbrooke, CJMT Chicoutimi and CKCH Hull. At the request of the licensees involved, the Commission revoked the licences of these stations, as well as the licence for Radiomutuel’s AM radio network, on November 2, 1994. Radiomédia argued that this restructuring had become necessary, due in part to the difficult economic situation AM radio had been facing for a number of years and the significant losses it had incurred. It noted in particular that, between 1989 and 1993, AM radio in Quebec as a whole posted cumulative losses of more than $60 million, close to 50% of which was borne by Télémédia and Radiomutuel. It added that, during this period, advertising revenues declined by 33%, and that the situation was apparently not about to improve, notwithstanding certain measures that had been taken to rationalize operations. The applicant stated that, in the circumstances, it had come to the conclusion that it would have to regroup and retrench its AM radio holdings in Quebec if it were to maintain an adequate level of service. It decided to implement this plan by retaining a single AM station in each region, the one with the best frequency and capable of reaching the widest audience; and by creating a new AM network, the Radiomédia network, anchored by two stations owned equally by Télémédia and Radiomutuel, namely CKAC Montréal and CHRC Quebec City. The applicant also decided to establish a news agency, Radiomédia Information, with CKAC as the flagship station, to provide the Radiomédia network stations with a news service operating 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. ERC held the licences for two radio stations in Quebec City: CHRC and CHOI-FM. These applications concerning the transfer of control of ERC to Télémédia followed a series of transactions between 1992 and 1994, when ERC was experiencing an extremely difficult financial situation and the class A capital stock changed hands, passing in turn from one group of shareholders to another. Télémédia ultimately became the sole shareholder of the ERC. The Commission questioned Télémédia about the manner in which ownership of ERC had been taken over and the possibility that the transaction had been completed without the prior approval of the Commission, and that the Commission had, thereby, been confronted with a fait accompli. While Télémédia emphazised the exceptional circumstances and the urgency imposed by ERC’s crippling economic situation, it confirmed that for all intents and purposes, the transaction was completed on the basis that the former ERC shareholders had been paid, that Télémédia had taken possession of the shares, and that the former directors had resigned. While approving the applications pertaining to the transfer of control of ERC, the Commission was nonetheless greatly concerned by the fact that this transfer was completed without prior authorization. The Commission noted further that Télémédia was also the owner of 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. 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. Radiomédia was an incorporated company equally owned by Télémédia and Radiomutuel. In this regard, the applicant noted that Télémédia and Radiomutuel had not merged their respective undertakings; it added that, with the exception of CHRC and CKAC, the AM stations maintained in operation following the restructuring would be affiliated to the Radiomédia network and would continue to be owned by Télémédia or Radiomutuel as the case may be. It also noted that the FM stations owned by Télémédia and Radiomutuel were likewise unaffected by the restructuring, and would continue to compete in their respective markets. The Commission noted Radiomédia’s undertaking to broadcast at least 60 hours per week of local programs on CHRC, including a minimum of six hours of local and regional news. The applicant also indicated that CHRC would contribute to the Radiomédia network by providing news reports and broadcasts on current affairs, sports and other events occurring in Quebec City. It was also noted that as a result of the aforementioned restructuring, CHRC would be the only AM station in Quebec City, and would also lose its status as an independent station. The Commission noted that CHRC had been the subject of numerous complaints and lawsuits in recent years concerning the abusive language used on the air by certain open-line program hosts. The Commission imposed strict conditions of licence in this regard in 1990 and 1991, which were deleted at the time of the last renewal of licence (Decision CRTC 92-588). The Commission noted that, since September 1, 1992 it had received seven complaints concerning CHRC similar to the previous complaints. Two of these had been settled to the satisfaction of the Commission. The other five complaints were the subject of an exchange of correspondence that was placed in the station’s public file, and the Commission informed the complainants that additional discussions would be held concerning all of them at the time of licence renewal. CHRC’s current licence was scheduled to expire on August 31, 1996; as a result of this decision, the term of the licence was extended to 1999. The Commission was of the view that a condition of licence was warranted in view of the station’s past history and the new complaints that had been filed since the last renewal of licence.
On January 21, the CRTC approved an exchange of assets between Corus Entertainment Inc. and Astral Media Radio Inc. Corus acquired from Astral: CKAC Montréal, CHRC Québec, CJRC Gatineau, CKRS Saguenay, CHLN Trois-Rivières, CHLT and CKTS Sherbrooke, and CFOM-FM Lévis. Astral acquired from Corus: CFVM-FM Amqui, CJDM-FM Drummondville, CJOI-FM and CIKI-FM Rimouski, and CFZZ-FM Saint-Jean-Iberville.
On June 26, the sale of CHRC by Corus (591991 B.C. Ltd.) to 9183-9084 Québec inc. was approved. The new owner was a corporation controlled by the Hockey Club, Les Remparts de Québec inc., which in turn was jointly controlled by three shareholders: Financière Micadco inc. (Michel Cadrin), Gestion Maurice Tanguay (Jacques Tanguay) and Phantrex inc. (Patrick Roy). The CRTC noted that Corus tried unsuccessfully to remedy CHRC’s financial situation. Furthermore, under the proposed transaction, a group of local owners involved in the Québec community would have an opportunity to reactivate the only AM station in the market. The Commission further notes that 9183-9084 Québec is a company of individuals with business expertise, including expertise relating to business turnarounds, and that the applicant committed to undertake numerous initiatives to make the station financially viable. Mr. Michel Cadrin and Mr. Jacques Tanguay were shareholders in CHRC from 1985 to 1994, and from 1992 to 1994 they were active in the turnaround of the station following a very difficult financial situation. In 1994, they surrendered the station to Télémédia. Although the applicant indicated that it would offer local programming in the form of sports and weather coverage and cultural information, the Commission considers that given the applicant’s intent not to broadcast local news, the applicant’s proposed local programming does not satisfy the definition of local programming as set out in the Commercial Radio Policy. The Commission therefore expects that applicant to incorporate, into its local programming, spoken word programming of direct and particular relevance to the community being served, in compliance with that policy. This spoken word programming must include local news, local weather and local sports coverage, and the promotion of local activities and events.
On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CHRC until August 31, 2016.
It was announced that CHRC, Quebec City’s oldest station, would be closing. It was the only commercial AM outlet left in the capital city. The owner (Quebec Remparts hockey club), citing financial losses, did not give a date for shutting it down but sources expected it to happen within weeks. CHRC, begun in 1926, spent most of its life programming talk. Once dark, CJAD Montreal, also at 800, would be the beneficiary. After 86 years on the air, CHRC 800 was closed down at 6:06 p.m. on September 30. CHRC was the city’s last AM station and this made Quebec City the largest city in Canada without an AM outlet. The final moments on the air included an interview with president Claude Rousseau and an audio montage of all of the station’s personnel saying their goodbyes. The final word aired was Merci.
The story continues elsewhere…
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