Let’s talk about radio | The Press

The cuts announced by Bell Media on February 8 sowed consternation and aroused the anger of Justin Trudeau. But as the metropolis was spared, we quickly moved on.

The regions once again affected

As Luc Plamondon would say in the song News, “when it doesn’t happen in Montreal, it seems like it hurts less.” I would like to point out that hosts and journalists from Rimouski, Sherbrooke, Mauricie and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, some of whom are veterans, have lost their jobs. Once again, local news suffers. And that increases the level of worry.

Arsenal Media is gaining momentum


Sylvain Chamberland, owner of Arsenal Media

The thing was mainly of interest to the radio industry, but the sale of regional stations by Bell Media made the media company Arsenal Media a very important player in the radio landscape. The network, which already had 18 radio stations, purchased 2 stations in Drummondville and 2 others in Rimouski. He also acquired antennas in Amqui, Saint-Hyacinthe and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The network now has 25 radio stations. This transaction must now obtain authorization from the CRTC. It will be interesting to see how Arsenal Media plans to organize this growing network.

The emotion that crosses the waves


Josée Blanchette, in September 2020

There have been several emotional moments that have played out on the radio over the past few days. Nathalie Normandeau received Julie Bertrand last Wednesday on her show. The latter returned to the interview she gave with her partner Réjean Tremblay to Denis Lévesque and which set social networks on fire for several days. It was in tears that Julie Bertrand tried to defend herself. Earlier in the week, Josée Blanchette broke down in front of Pénélope McQuade while talking about the dark future of our planet. At the microphone of Marie-Louise Arsenault, Vincent Marissal compressed his emotion by speaking about his departure from The Press. Still on ICI Première, Hugo Lavoie, responsible for media review on the show All one morning, struggled to tell the story of this little Palestinian woman who was found dead among other members of her family. Microphone or not, when emotion needs to be expressed, it does.

The concept of ICI in France

I came across an interview which heralds a small revolution in the PAF (French audiovisual landscape). The regional radio stations France Bleu and the television channel France 3 will now be brought together under a “single brand” which will be called “HERE”. Well, well, well… Does that mean anything to you? Would the leaders of France Télévision and the France Bleu network have been inspired by the shift taken a few years ago by the different components of Radio-Canada? There is also talk of digital content and cameras in radio studios. These changes will be able to be seen and heard from next September.

Digital Radio Festival

The 8e edition of the Digital Radio Festival will take place from April 24 to 27 in Gatineau. The programming will be revealed soon, but I can tell you that it will be about horror podcasts and true crime, two genres that are extremely popular with listeners. We will also address the challenges of the podcast industry, both narrative and conversational. We learned a few days ago that, according to data compiled by the Media Technologies Observatory, podcast listening remains stable with a rate of 26% of French-speaking Canadians (compared to 39% for English-speakers). Podcast listening has seen phenomenal growth, particularly during the pandemic.

Podcasts on tour


The Denis Drolet

Julien Morissette, artistic director of Transistor Média, at the origin of the Digital Radio Festival, told me that certain comedians, influencers and other social media stars who produce podcasts in front of an audience are so successful that they are increasingly more numerous to perform on tour in large capacity venues (700-900 seats). “These animators and their audience discover a happening formula where the framework is much freer, more open,” he explained to me. One of the very good examples of this success is the Denis Drolet tandem which records its podcast show Cream Rinse as part of a major tour which stops in several cities in Quebec and which will mark the opening of the Digital Radio Festival on April 24 at the Odyssée hall in Gatineau.

Awkward moment

On February 13, we celebrated World Radio Day. Artisans have found various ways to emphasize this. I came across a segment from a Saguenay radio station belonging to the Cogeco group. We asked several collaborators to share a good moment experienced on the air and another less good one. A host recounted the time he presented a live show in a shopping center with a colleague. While she was on the air, a man stood in front of her and said: “Are you the one sleeping with my wife? » I add a detail to this: the man was accompanied by his two children. After that it’s difficult to follow up with a weather or traffic report!

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