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CHMP logo.jpg
City Longueuil, Quebec
Broadcast area Montreal, Quebec
Branding 98,5 FM
Slogan "Vous le Savez Maintenant!"
("Now You Know!")
Frequency 98.5 MHz (FM)
First air date April 9, 1977 (as CIEL-FM)
January 5, 2004 (as CHMP-FM)
Format talk radio/sports (French)
ERP 100 000 watts
HAAT 301.5 meters (989 ft)
Class C1
Callsign meaning CH Montreal Parlé (Talk in French)
Former callsigns CIEL-FM (1977-2000)
CKOO-FM (2000-2004)
Owner Cogeco
(Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions Inc.)
Sister stations CKBE-FM, CKAC, CKOI-FM, CFGL-FM

CHMP-FM is a French language Canadian radio station located in Montreal, Quebec. Owned and operated by Cogeco, it broadcasts on 98.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 40,800 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna atop Mount Royal. CHMP's studios are located at Place Bonaventure in downtown Montreal.

While CHMP's studios and transmitter site are in Montreal, CHMP's official city of license is and always has been Longueuil due to a previous incarnation of the station being located in that city.

The station identifies itself as "98,5 FM" and is one of the few full-time FM talk stations in North America to broadcast in stereo. However, the station has some music blocks, during weekends.

Notable hosts include popular morningman Paul Arcand, midday host Benoît Dutrizac and afternoon drive host Paul Houde. Gilles Proulx was also heard on the station from 2004 until his retirement on August 7, 2008.[1]



In 1976, Stephane Venne applied for the license to operate a new station on the FM dial in Longueuil. He initially wanted 93.5 MHz (Channel 228) with a power of 10,000 watts, but this frequency was granted to CBC Radio. On January 20, 1977, Radio MF CIEL (1976) Inc. got permission to use callsign CIEL-FM. The station went on the air April 9, 1977 with 10,000 watts, as an adult contemporary format. Stephane Venne was director of CIEL.

On October 17, 1978, Radio MF CIEL (1976) was sold to Stereo Laval Inc which also owned CFGL-FM in Laval. In 1981, Stereo laval was purchased by Placements Roland Saucier Inc. and ownership of CIEL was transferred to a holding entity called Radio MF CIEL (1981) Inc.

In 1987, CIEL moved its antenna from Mont Saint-Bruno to Mount Royal, and reduced its power from 100,000 watts to 45,000 watts, and then to 40,800 in 1988.

CIEL-FM changed to more of a hot adult contemporary format by the early 1990s after it gave up the AC format to rivals CFGL-FM & CITE-FM

Throughout its 23 years with the CIEL-FM callsign, the station's studios were located on St-Charles street in Old Longueuil, but the station served the entire Greater Montreal area.

Cool FM[edit]

In 1998, owner Jean-Pierre Coallier sold CIEL-FM to Metromedia CMR. On August 8, 2000, the station's call sign was changed to CKOO-FM as it switched to a modern rock format branded as Cool FM. The station was moved from Longueuil to Verdun in 1999. The format was changed to mainstream rock in 2001 when Corus Entertainment acquired the station, and the format was changed again to classic rock in 2003. The Cool FM branding continued to be used and all those rock music formats failed to attract listeners.

Cool FM wanted to become the first French-language rock station in the Montreal area. It took inspiration from CHOI-FM in Quebec City.

As the station's lack of popularity continued, Corus announced on November 27, 2003 that it would implement a talk format starting in 2004. Following the announcement, all Cool FM programs were immediately stopped and the station played continuous Christmas music for the rest of the year.


CHMP-FM's original logo from 2004-2011

January 5, 2004 marks the air date of the new talk format with the CHMP-FM callsign and the branding 98,5 FM, Le FM parlé de Montréal. The current CHMP-FM calls became official by spring 2004.

With Paul Arcand as host, 98,5 FM rapidly climbed up on top as the news source in Montreal with 1,133,000 listeners and 120,000 visitors on its website.[2]

CHMP-FM holds the distinction of being the last station to broadcast from the legendary 211 Gordon Avenue studios in Verdun, which had been home to CKVL and CKOI-FM for decades. The station moved to new studios in Place Bonaventure in Downtown Montreal on July 29, 2006; the old 211 Gordon Avenue studios were demolished in December 2006.

From February 2005 until April 1, 2007, the station had an all-talk format only during Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulated hours (it played continuous music at night). While the station wanted to switch to such a format beginning in January 2004, it was previously unable to do so because of CRTC regulations limiting talk shows on the FM band and aired a mix of talk and classic hits in 2004 and early 2005.

Since April 2, 2007, the station has a full-time talk radio format, except for weekends Souvenirs Garantis classic hits programming.

On April 30, 2010, it was announced that all Corus Québec stations, including CHMP-FM, would be sold to Cogeco for $80 million, pending CRTC approval.[3][4] On December 17, 2010, the CRTC approved the sale of most of Corus' radio stations in Quebec, including CHMP-FM, to Cogeco.[5] CHMP formally became a Cogeco station on February 1, 2011.

CHMP-FM is now the producer of the Cogeco Nouvelles news bulletins for the French-language stations in the Cogeco chain. Originally CorusNouvelles, the station assumed this task for the Corus Québec network following the closure of sister station CINF in January 2010.[6]

CHMP-FM overtook sister adult contemporary station CFGL-FM as the most-listened-to North American radio station broadcasting in the French language as of the fall 2011.

Since 2011, CHMP has been the Francophone flagship of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. It began simulcasting Canadiens games in 2007 to make up for sister station CKAC's reduced nighttime coverage. It became the sole flagship in 2011 after CKAC changed to a Francophone traffic format. Also since 2011, CHMP has been the Francophone outlet for the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes.

On November 29, 2013, the CRTC approved an application for broadcasting improvements, with the station increasing its power from 40,800 watts to 100,000 watts, and decreasing its antenna from 301.5 metres to 298.9 metres EHAAT.[7]

Additional notes[edit]

Another station, CJRM-FM, previously used the 98.5 MHz frequency in Montreal during the late 1960s.

The call sign CIEL-FM ("ciel" being French for "sky") is used since 2001 by a station in Rivière-du-Loup formerly known as CJFP-FM.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′20″N 73°35′30″W / 45.50556°N 73.59167°W / 45.50556; -73.59167