|Slogan||Écoutez pour voir (Listen, to see)|
|Launch date||1937 (CBF)|
|Former names||Radio-Canada (1937–1997)|
|Official website||La Première Chaîne|
Première Chaîne is a Canadian French-language radio network, the news and information service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Société Radio-Canada, the public broadcaster in Canada. It is generally reckoned as the French counterpart of CBC Radio One.
The service is available across Canada, although not as widely as CBC Radio One. Only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario are served by more than one Première Chaîne originating station. In all other provinces, the whole province is served by a single station with multiple transmitters. The network does, however, reach 90 per cent of all Canadian francophones.
Each originating station outside of Montreal airs a national schedule, taken from CBF-FM, complete with opted-out local/regional shows at peak times, depending on each market. News bulletins are aired live, irrespective of location.
The network may broadcast on either the AM or FM bands, depending on the market. A national version is available across North America called Première Plus, on Sirius Canada channel 160. Première Chaîne is also available in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East live via the Hot Bird satellite on RCI-2, Radio Canada International's French-language channel.
Some French-language programming had aired on the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission's CRCM since 1933, but the French network was formally created on December 11, 1937, with the launch of CBF in Montreal.
In 1938, the station was expanded into a fledgling network with the launch of CBV in Quebec City and CBJ in Chicoutimi. Also that year, the long-running soap opera La Pension Velder, which ran until 1942 and was then revived in the 1950s as a television series, aired for the first time. The following year, the even more successful and influential Un Homme et son péché was launched.
In 1940, another popular radio soap, Jeunesse dorée, made its debut. In 1941, the network — which had previously relied on Canadian Press reporters — launched its own news division. Also that year, the network launched two shortwave radio stations in Montreal to serve francophones outside of Quebec. Throughout the 1940s, however, the network's expansion in Quebec was accomplished primarily through private affiliate stations.
In 1942, the network controversially refused to give airtime to the "No" side in the Conscription Plebiscite. Nonetheless, 72.9 per cent of Quebec voters were opposed.
In 1945, the International Service was launched. In 1946, the network launched an experimental FM station in Montreal (which would become CBFX), and expanded outside of Quebec for the first time with the launch of CKSB as a private affiliate in St. Boniface, Manitoba, near Winnipeg.
The network also had seven privately owned affiliates:
- CHGB, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, 250 watts
- CHLT, Sherbrooke, 1,000 watts
- CHNC, New Carlisle, 1,000 watts
- CJBR, Rimouski, 1,000 watts
- CJFP, Rivière-du-Loup, 250 watts
- CKRN, Rouyn, 250 watts
- CKCH, Hull, 250 watts
- CKCV, Quebec City, 1,000 watts
In 1948, the influential children's series Tante Lucille and Gérard Pelletier's public affairs program Les Idées en marche debuted. Also that year, three studios in Montreal's King's Hall building were destroyed in an explosion, leading Radio-Canada to centralize its operations in a new building on boulevard Dorchester.
In 1952, the network became autonomous from the CBC head office in Toronto. Previously, all programming decisions had to be reviewed by the Toronto staff in advance.
Through the 1960s, the network began to expand across Canada, taking over Toronto's CJBC in October 1964, and launching Ottawa's CBOF in 1964 and Vancouver's CBUF in 1967. As well, influential broadcaster Lise Payette launched her first program, Place aux femmes, in 1965.
The network eliminated tobacco advertising in 1969, and eventually dropped all commercial advertising in 1974, except for Montreal Canadiens hockey games (which would move to the Radiomédia network in 1997). The Maison Radio-Canada, which remains the flagship facility for all of Radio-Canada's broadcast services, was officially opened by Pierre Trudeau in 1973, and Radio-Canada's FM network was launched in 1974. Through the remainder of the 1970s, the network began to directly acquire many of its private affiliate stations, including CHFA in Edmonton, CFRG in Gravelbourg and CFNS in Saskatoon, although with the CBC's financial difficulties in the 1980s, this process was slowed down considerably.
The network was rebranded as Première Chaîne in 1997, concurrently with the rebranding of all of the CBC's radio networks.
In 1999, Radio-Canada applied to the CRTC for a license to launch a third all-news station in Montreal, on the 690 AM frequency CBF had surrendered in 1997 when it moved to FM. The application was rejected. Radio-Canada filed an appeal of the decision with the Federal Court of Appeal, which denied the request in October of that year.
In 2002, two of the network's last three remaining private affiliate stations, CKVM in Ville-Marie and CFLM in La Tuque, disaffiliated from the network, and the final private affiliate, CHLM in Rouyn-Noranda, was directly acquired by the network in 2004. The network now directly owns all of the stations that broadcast its programming.
The majority of the national schedule is produced for flagship station CBF-FM in studios at Maison Radio-Canada in Montréal and aired live across Québec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. In the Western provinces, programmes are delayed according to the respective local time zone, with local programming aired live.
National news is read at the top of every hour. Extended newscasts, called the Radiojournal air at 8:00, 9:00, 12:00, 17:00 and 18:00; other newscasts are brief summaries of headlines. Local newscasts air throughout the morning and afternoon on weekdays, either on the half hour or immediately following a national newscast. Local newscasts only air in the morning on weekends. Note: The brief National Research Council Time Signal airs daily at 12:00 Eastern Time Zone across the network.
There are various regional adjustments to the national schedule. Maisonneuve en direct, a weekday phone-in show, airs live across Canada, (in the same way as its English-language counterpart, Cross-Country Checkup), and as such, following programs are delayed.
In the Atlantic provinces the national schedule airs live, with programme trailers announcing the broadcast time as one hour later (for example- "huit heures, neuf heures dans les maritimes"). Due to the time difference, local programming airs one hour earlier to schedule, with Le réveil starting at 6:00 AM AT, 6:30 AM NT. An hour-long filler programme, Au ryhtme des courants also airs at 9:00 AM AT.
Radio Nord Québec airs a hybrid French/English schedule, produced from CBF-FM and transmitted via shortwave to communities in the Nord-du-Québec region.
The schedule for Sirius Canada (Première Plus) airs live across North America from CBF-FM in Montréal, meaning programmes are broadcast using the Eastern Time Zone. However music replaces the general schedule from 17:00 weekdays (19:00 weekends) until the next day of programming.
Schedule (as of October 2011)
In June 2001 it was announced that Christiane Charette is to stand down from her self-titled mid-morning show from June 2011. It was replaced in September 2011 by a similar programme, Médium large, hosted by Catherine Perrin.
- 5:00 - 5:30 - C'est bien meilleur le matin
- 5:30 - 9:00 - Local morning shows (C'est bien meilleur le matin continues on CBF-FM. Radiojournal is broadcast at 8:00)
- 9:00 - 11:00 - Médium large - current affairs
- 11:00 - 12:00 - Maisonneuve en direct - aired live across Canada
- 12:00 - 12:15 - Radiojournal - national news bulletin
- 12:15 - 13:00 - Regional noon shows (Maisonneuve en direct continues in Québec and Atlantic provinces)
- 13:00 - 15:00 - L'après-midi porte conseil
- 15:00 - 17:00 - Local afternoon shows (Désautels on CBF-FM)
- 17:00 - 17:15 - Radiojournal
- 17:30 - 18:30 - Désautels
- 18:30 - 19:00 - Classe économique - Financial news round-up.
- 19:00 - 20:00 - Bien dans son assiette - Programme about food. Produced by CBV-FM
- 20:00 - 21:00 - Plus on des fous, plus on lit. Book show.
- 21:00 - 22:00 - Monday: Le 21e, Tuesday: L'histoire des objets, Wednesday: Les mercredis lumières, Thursday: De remarquables oubliés
- 22:00 - 23:30 - Culture physique - Sports round-up
- 23:30 - 0:00 - Tam-tam Canada - Programme for recent immigrants to Canada. Produced for Radio Canada International
- 0:00 - 5:00 - La nuit qui bat - late-night current affairs
as Monday to Thursday except:
- 19:00 - 20:00 - Le Sportnographe
- 20:00 - 21:30 - Génératrice
- 21:30 - 0:00 - Bande à part
- 0:00 - 2:00 - Studio 12 - radio version of the television show of the same name, produced by Télévision de Radio-Canada
- 2:00 - 6:00 - Le temps d'une nuit
- 6:00 - 7:00 - Bien dans son assiette - highlights from the past week. Produced by CBV-FM
- 7:00 - 11:00 - Local morning shows (Samedi et rien d'autre on CBF-FM)
- 11:00 - 12:00 - À la semaine prochaine - satirical comedy show
- 12:00 - 12:15 - Radiojournal
- 12:15 - 1:00 - Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit - Political magazine
- 13:00 - 14:00 - Pouvez-vous répéter la question? - news quiz
- 14:00 - 16:00 - Boulliant de culture
- 16:00 - 17:00 - La sphere
- 17:00 - 19:00 - La tête ailleurs
- 19:00 - 20:00 - Communautaire 36
- 20:00 - 0:00 - Par 4 chemins - Long-running programme; reflections on society
- 12:00 - 1:00 - Le courrier mondial - Produced for Radio Canada International
- 1:00 - 2:00 - Pomme et mandarine - Produced for Radio Canada International
- 2:00 - 5:00 - Vent d'Est
- 5:00 - 6:00 - Pomme et mandarine - Produced for Radio Canada International
- 6:00 - 10:00 - Dessine-moi un dimanche - Current affairs
- 10:00 - 12:00 - Dimanche magazine
- 12:00 - 12:15 - Radiojournal - news bulletin
- 12:15 - 14:00 - Les années lumières
- 14:00 - 15:00 - Babylone café - Culture
- 15:00 - 16:00 - La belle epoque des radioromans - Radio serials of the past
- 16:00 - 17:00 - À la semaine prochaine (repeat)
- 17:00 - 19:00 - La tête ailleurs
- 19:00 - 20:00 - La librairie francophone - Produced by Radio France in Paris. Co-production between Radio France, Radio-Canada, RTBF and Radio Suisse Romande
- 20:00 - 23:00 - Tout le monde en parle (simulcast of program of same name with Télévision de Radio-Canada)
- 23:00 - 0:00 - Le Sportnographe (repeat)
- 0:00 - 5:00 - La nuit qui bat - late-night current affairs
In addition to primary production centres listed here, most stations in the network also serve a larger region through rebroadcasters. Due to the significant number of such rebroadcast frequencies, those are listed in each individual station's article rather than here.
Some of the former Radio-Canada French network transmitters that once operated on the AM dial can be viewed here. Historically, Première Chaîne has broadcast primarily on the AM band, but many stations have moved over to FM. Over the years, a number of CBC radio transmitters with a majority of them on the AM band have either moved to FM or had shutdown completely. See: List of defunct CBC radio transmitters in Canada (Première Chaîne)
- Radio Canada Sirius, retrieved 22-10-2011
- Radio Canada International - RCI-2 French-language schedule (pdf). Retrieved 22-10-2011
- "CBC’s French service ditches ‘Radio-Canada’ for ‘Ici’". The Globe and Mail, June 5, 2013.
- "Radio-Canada retreats on rebranding company as ICI". CBC News. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- CBC Radio-Canada French Radio Network - at the Canadian Communications Foundation website
- Christiane Charette ne reprendra pas son émission à l'automne. Radio-Canada, published 12-05-2011
- List of Radio-Canada rebroadcasters from 1985 (French) page 86.
- Première Chaîne (French)
- Première Chaîne Régions, with regional programming (French)
- Première Plus at Sirius Canada (French)
- Radio Canada International (French)
- Windows Media Stream (French)