Two Montreal radio stations go off the air Friday
Published Friday, January 29, 2010 11:58AM EST
Corus Entertainment shut down French-language AM station Info690 and its English sister station, AM 940, at 7 p.m. Friday.
Both stations ceased programming as of 10 a.m. Friday and were playing a continuous loop of statements from managers, explaining the decision.
"This decision was, for us, very difficult to make," said Mark Dickey, General Manager of AM 940.
"Despite the excellence and dedication of station employees, the current economic climate made this decision unavoidable."
Montreal-based Corus says the two stations were unprofitable.
The media company says it will return the two radio licenses to the broadcast regulator, the CRTC.
Ten people will lose their jobs, including eight at Info 690, which is an all-news station.
Eight of the French journalists at 690 will keep their jobs. Newscasters and traffic reporters will continue broadcasting on 98.5 FM.
The English-language 940 Montreal, which will lose two positions, was once an all-news station. Corus shut down the English newsroom in 2008 and switched to an oldies format.
Political analyst Jean Lapierre, a broadcaster and former politician, told CTV News that Corus' decision is bad news for people who live outside Montreal.
"In Montreal we still have some choice," he said.
"Outside of Montreal, most stations don't have any local news right now . . . so this is getting really bad, and the small markets, it's even worse."
AM 940 is one of the world's oldest radio stations, hitting the airwaves in the 1920s. The station was once owned by CTV Montreal, when it was known as CFCF Radio at 600 on the AM dial.