|Branding||"La Radio Gospel"|
|Slogan||Le son gospel du Québec|
|Frequency||1650 kHz (AM)|
|First air date||2006|
|Format||News, Talk, french gospel|
|Callsign meaning||C J Radio Shalom (after previous format)|
(operated by Communications Michel Mathieu)
CJRS is a 24-hour non-profit radio station based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Broadcasting a French language (and at times English language) Christian format as La Radio Gospel, the station broadcasts at 1650 AM.
CJRS was initially established in 2001 as a subcarrier FM radio service, Radio Shalom Montreal, before relocating to 1650 AM in May 2007. It was Canada’s first and only trilingual Jewish radio station. Radio Shalom was also the only all Jewish radio station in North America, broadcasting in French, English and Hebrew. The station was run under president Robert Levy.
Radio Shalom was the only radio station in Canada that broadcasts mizrahi, Yiddish, ladino, klezmer, hassidic and Israeli music. It also had news and talk shows such as the weekly Sunday evening program, 'The Howie Silbiger Show', which includes a live call-in segment. Other shows include those produced by Alexandre Fredeau, and long-time 'Montreal Jewish Magazine' host Stanley Asher.
The CJRS Call sign
The station's call letters of CJRS are said to represent the station's branding of Radio Shalom. A common interpretation is that they actually stand for "Canadian Jewish Radio Station" or "Radio Shalom," and station executives have suggested that they, in fact, may. The fact that CJRS and Radio Shalom share similar initials of RS is purely coincidental.
Radio CMM/CKZW/Le son Gospel du Québec
In accordance with Halacha (Jewish law), Jewish programming on Radio Shalom was suspended on Shabbat and on Jewish holidays. During these periods, the station brands itself on-air simply as CJRS 1650 AM, and also as Radio CMM (Communications Michel Mathieu) and "CKZW 1650", Le son gospel du Québec. French language (and at times English language) gospel music and programming were featured during these times. As of 2015, the CKZW call letters have not been registered with the CRTC or with Industry Canada. The website http://www.CKZW.ca (later replaced by http://laradiogospel.ca/ ) offers a webstream at all hours, whether 1650 AM is carrying its programming or not. It also offers a separate English-language stream. CKZW is programmed by André Joly, the founder of CKZW.
On Friday, April 1, 2016, it was announced that Radio Shalom will be ceasing operations that night at 6 p.m., as the volunteer-run operation lost money needed to keep the station in operation, and efforts to raise additional money through donations were in vain. There was no mention of Radio Shalom's closure on the air: its final program before the switchover was a syndicated Judaica program from France, which was abruptly cut off when it switched to CKZW's feed.
In the interim, CKZW's Christian format will broadcast at all hours, including at times when Radio Shalom would have been broadcasting. CJRS's license conditions do not require it to broadcast in French or carry a Jewish format, though it does require to limit its popular music and be balanced in religious issues. Joly announced plans to acquire CJRS from Levy, pending CRTC approval.
Partial return of Jewish programming
On May 24, 2016, Radio Shalom announced the partial return of Jewish programming to CJRS via their official Facebook page. The content consists of a daily Israeli news program from 8 to 8:30 a.m., and a four-hour program from 7 to 11 p.m. Just as was the case under the full-time Jewish format, all Jewish programming is suspended on Shabbat and holidays.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-80
- Radio Shalom business show drawing listeners in Canadian Jewish News, 20 January 2011.