|Broadcast area||Montreal, Quebec|
|Slogan||Classique et mélodique|
|Frequency||980 kHz (AM)|
|First air date||February 2, 2015|
|Power||50 kW day / 10 kW night |
|Callsign meaning||CH Radio Fierté
|Sister stations||CFMB, CHSV-FM|
CHRF (AM 980) is a radio station in Montreal, Quebec. Owned by Evanov Communications, the station currently broadcasts a adult standards format, along with some multicultural programming. CHRF's studios are located on York Avenue in the Westmount area of Montreal, while its transmitters are located near Mercier.
The station was awarded a license by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on November 21, 2011, with the intent to broadcast a Francophone LGBT-based talk and music format. CHRF was initially licensed to broadcast at the 990 AM frequency previously occupied by sports radio station CKGM, which moved to 690 AM on September 4, 2012. At 990 kHz, the station was to have begun operations in 2013, operating with a power of 50 kW as a class B station, a signal that would broadcast directionally at night in order to protect two other stations at that same frequency, Class-A clear-channel stations CBW in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and CBY in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.
On July 25, 2013, Evanov filed a request with the CRTC to relocate CHRF to 980 AM, due to potential coverage problems in light of directional broadcasting due to CBW and CBY on 990. The station has chosen 980 AM, as there are no clear channel stations using that frequency, nor are there any close by that broadcast there currently – the closest ones are CFPL in London, Ontario; WCAP in Lowell, Massachusetts; WOFX in Troy, New York; and WTEM in Washington, D.C. In addition, the closest 980 allocation to Montreal, in Quebec City, has remained vacant since 1997, when CBV relocated to FM. The frequency change was approved on December 4, 2013. CKGM, the former occupant of 990, relocated there from 980 in 1990.
On September 18, 2014, a representative from Evanov announced that the station plans to commence broadcasting in November 2014. Testing of the 980 signal, consisting of pop music, promotional material, and invitations to the public to report reception issues, began in late October 2014.
CHRF's programming, under the name Radio Fierté, debuted at 6:00 AM on February 2, 2015 (delayed from January 2015). Programming on CHRF under the LGBT format was similar in style to its Toronto sister station CIRR-FM, and included morning program Les Barbus, hosted by Michel Duchesne and Sylvain Verstricht; Les matins lesbiens with Véronique Chevrier; afternoon program Marino et ses Diamants, hosted by Marie-Noëlle Gagnon ("Marino"); and drive-time program Les Pétards, hosted by Joe Bocan and Miguel Doucet. Chart programs included Doucet's nightly Ta Playlist, and two Saturday chart shows, Le Top 10 Franco and Le Top Anglo, hosted by Duchesne, Verstricht and Doucet, plus a Sunday morning music show, La Chansonnette avec Marino.
On December 1, 2015, CHRF dropped the "Radio Fierté" format after just 10 months, and began stunting with Christmas music as AM 980. Much like its previous format, the station aired Christmas music in both English and French, while the station's imaging was completely in French, per condition of its license. On December 28, CHRF adopted an adult standards format, still as "AM 980". The adult standards format will air during daytime hours, while the station will air programming targeting the Haitian community during evening hours.
Under its current format, as well as during its Christmas music stunt (which returned in 2016), all music broadcast on CHRF is presented without use of disk jockeys or personalities.
In the Numeris ratings for the period during December 2015 through February 2016 (when CHRF's Christmas stunt and standards/Haitian formats were in effect), the station was placed in last place among both Anglophone and Francophone stations surveyed, with an average of 100 Francophone and zero Anglophone listeners each day, and a market share of 0.1% and 0.0%, respectively. However, internet radio service TuneIn recorded at least 17,000 listeners for CHRF's online streams.
By June 2016, CHRF would reintroduce hosted programming, with weekday morning show Café Rivard (hosted by station music director Alain Rivard), drive-time program Le Retour de Plaisance (with program director Serge Plaisance), Saturday night LGBT discussion program LGBT Avec Vous (hosted by Danyel Turcotte and Arlet Fara), and Sunday Italian music program Arcobaleno Musicale (with Mario Lipari). CHRF had also discontinued its evening Haitian programming, with lounge music block Soireés Loungy heard weekday evenings. In all cases, conditions set forth in its license in terms of music and talk content remain in force.
- Faguy, Steve. "Radio Fierté requests frequency change, one-year extension to launch". Fagstein.com. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Making waves: Montreal broadcasters in flux". The Gazette, August 11, 2012.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-721". CRTC, November 21, 2011.
- "TSN 990 Montreal Moves to 690 Tuesday". RadioInsight, August 31, 2012.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-648, December 4, 2013
- "Radio Fierté requests frequency change, one-year extension to launch". Fagstein, July 25, 2013.
- "Two new radio stations to launch in Montreal region by end of 2014". Fagstein, September 18, 2014.
- Fagstein: "Radio Fierté begins testing on 980 AM", October 27, 2014.
- Faguy, Steve. "Radio Fierté is now officially broadcasting". Fagstein.com. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Fagstein: "Unanswered Questions going into 2016", January 9, 2016.
- Numeris: "PPM Top-line Radio Statistics Montreal CTRL Anglo and Franco", for survey period November 30, 2015 - February 28, 2016
- Fagstein, "Radio ratings: Virgin and The Beat are tied (so both declare victory)", March 12, 2016.
- AM 980 programming schedule
- Fagstein: "Montreal radio ratings: The Beat gaining on Virgin", June 12, 2016.
- AM 980 (official site)
- CHRF history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Radio locator CHRF
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHRF