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For the CKOI radio network, see CKOI (network).
CKOI Montreal 2011.png
City of license Montreal, Quebec
Broadcast area Greater Montreal area
Branding "CKOI 96.9"
Slogan Changeons le monde un hit à la fois. (Changing the world one hit at a time.)
Frequency 96.9 MHz (FM)
First air date December 6, 1976 (as CKOI-FM)
Format Top 40
ERP 307,000 watts
HAAT 220.8 meters (724 ft)
Class C1
Transmitter coordinates 45°29′53.88″N 73°34′14.16″W / 45.4983000°N 73.5706000°W / 45.4983000; -73.5706000
Callsign meaning CKOI is an homonym of "C'est quoi?", meaning "What is it?".
Former callsigns CKVL-FM (to 1976)
Owner Cogeco
(Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions Inc.)
Sister stations CHMP-FM, CKAC, CFGL-FM, CKBE-FM
Webcast [5]

CKOI-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Montreal, Quebec.

Owned and operated by Cogeco, it broadcasts on 96.9 MHz from the roof of the CIBC Tower in Downtown Montreal with an effective radiated power of 307,000 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna. It is one of the few Montreal FM stations not to use the standard Mount Royal tower, and it is one of North America's most powerful FM stations. Its studios are located at Place Bonaventure in downtown Montreal.


CKVL-FM, as the station was originally known, was founded by Jack Tietolman and Corey Thomson and probably went on the air at some point between 1947 and 1957. Sources disagree on the date, and at least seven different years (including three post-1957 ones) are known to have been reported as the station's first air date.[1] The confusion is increased by the fact that there is no known report suggesting that the station went silent for any noticeable period of time after getting on the air, despite this phenomenon being relatively common among 1950s FM stations. In any case, the Canadian Communication Foundation, which claims the station's first air date was in 1947, does report that CKVL-FM was confirmed as being on the air in 1957.

The station was originally a full-time repeater of AM sister station CKVL. As such, the station was bilingual (French/English), with the majority of programming being in French.

By 1962, CKVL-FM increased its power from 10,000 watts to 307,000 watts omnidirectional from the rooftop of the CIBC Tower in Downtown Montreal. It is often believed that this high power was the result of a clerical error by the CRTC, but that organization did not exist at the time as radio was still regulated by the CRTC's predecessor, the Board of Broadcast Governors, and regulations limiting effective radiated power to 100,000 watts on FM, which came into force that same year, do not apply to stations which had already received approval for a higher power.

The simulcast of CKVL ended in 1970, as CKVL-FM launched an automated oldies format.

On December 6, 1976, CKVL-FM became CKOI-FM, and the station's format was changed to progressive rock. It evolved into a largely new wave based format in 1979 and adopted a rock-leaning contemporary hit radio format in 1980.

The Fall 1991 Bureau of Broadcast Measurement ratings were a defining moment for the station, as it found itself in first place with over a million listeners in full coverage. It was the first time ever in Montreal that any FM station obtained the first place in the Fall ratings, which are by far the most important for the radio industry as they are used to determine prices charged for advertising. CKOI-FM would get over a million listeners in 32 consecutive books (excluding Summer ratings starting in 2001 which were only done for the central area of the market), from Fall 1991 to Fall 2002 inclusively. (The station had already managed to get a million listeners on a few occasions during Summer ratings before 1991.) The station's best-ever results under the old diary system were obtained in the Spring 1995 ratings, in which CKOI-FM got 1,341,300 listeners; by comparison, CKAC, which was the station's closest competitor, got only 775,500 listeners.

CKOI-FM, along with sister station CKVL, was sold in 1992 by its founder Jack Tietolman to Metromedia CMR, a company owned by Pierre Arcand and Pierre Béland. Both stations would be sold again in 2001, this time to Corus Entertainment.

On January 1, 2002, the station's city of licence became Montreal (it had always officially been Verdun until then), as a result of forced municipal mergers which made the City of Verdun a Montreal borough.

Unlike other North American superpower FM stations which have lowered their power since the 1990s, CKOI-FM does cherishes its signal; as a result, when Industry Canada advised the station in 2004 that it was not compliant with updated Code 6 safety regulations (which deal with acceptable levels of radiation), owner Corus Entertainment invested to make the transmitter compliant, instead of taking the "easy way" out, which would have been in this specific case to reduce power to "only" 122,800 watts.

longtime Corus-era CKOI logo; used until February 2011

The station's studios were moved for the first time ever in July 2006, after decades at 211 Gordon Avenue in Verdun; the new studios are located at Place Bonaventure in Downtown Montreal.

On April 30, 2010, Cogeco announced it would purchase Corus Quebec's radio stations, including CKOI-FM, for $80 million, as Corus's Quebec stations were less profitable than its stations in other parts of Canada.[2][3] On December 17, 2010, the CRTC approved the sale of most of Corus' radio stations in Quebec, including CKOI-FM, to Cogeco.[4]

On November 24, 2011, the CRTC determined that CKOI-FM had abusively used musical montages of English-language songs in order to get around the French-language music quotas, and imposed a condition of licence on the station limiting the broadcasting of montages to 10 percent of the broadcast week.[5][6][7]


In recent years, the station has been known especially for pranks by the Masked Avengers, a duo composed of Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel, against internationally-known personalities such as Jacques Chirac, Britney Spears, Sarah Palin[8] and George W. Bush. The duo appeared on the program's afternoon show Les Cerveaux de l'info, along with co-host Richard Z. Sirois.

Comedian Pierre Brassard, also known for prank phone calls, was also previously associated with the station.

CKOI-FM lost its longtime morningman Normand Brathwaite on March 17, 2006, following a conflict with former co-host Jean-René Dufort; the latter became the station's morning man until June 22, 2007.[9]

Normand Braithwaite is now with CITE-FM since August 2011.


  • 1980s-1990s: Le son de Montréal (The sound of Montreal)
  • 2000s: Plus de hits, plus de fun (More hits, more fun)
  • 2009-2011: La puissance musicale de Montréal (The musical power of Montreal)
  • February–August 2011: L'ultime radio (Ultimate radio)
  • August 2011-August 2012: La puissance des hits (Hit power)
  • August 2012 – 2015: Mes hits. Mon fun. (My hits. My fun.)
  • 2015-present: Changeons le monde un hit à la fois. (Changing the world one hit at a time.)


  1. ^ According to the Canadian Communications Foundation, CKVL-FM opened in 1947 [1]; according to a 1992 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision, it was in 1950 [2] ; according to the Phonothèque québécoise, it was in 1951 [3] ; according to Gilles Proulx's 1979 book "L'aventure de la radio au Québec", it was in 1954, and according to his 1986 book "La radio d'hier à aujourd'hui", it was in 1958; according to Broadcast Dialogue, it was in 1962 [4] ; and according to the "éphémérides" service used by CKAC, it was in 1970. The website of CKOI-FM does not acknowledge the pre-1976 history of the station.
  2. ^ "Canada's Corus Entertainment sells all its stations in Quebec, including Montreal". April 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ St. Petersburg Times, "Canada Report" column, May 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-942: "Transfer of effective control of various commercial radio programming undertakings from Corus Entertainment Inc. to Cogeco inc.", issued December 17, 2010.
  5. ^ "French radio must limit English song montages, CRTC rules",, November 25, 2011.
  6. ^ CRTC Press Release: "The CRTC takes radio stations to task for their inappropriate use of musical montages", November 24, 2011.
  7. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-726, November 24, 2011.
  8. ^ "CKOI Pranks Sarah Palin". CBC. 
  9. ^ "En bref - Dufort quitte CKOI", Le Devoir, June 2, 2007.

External links[edit]