CJAD, CHOM and Virgin move east
MONTREAL - When CJAD last moved in 1980, station brass rented a flatbed truck and held a small parade along de Maisonneuve Blvd. to commemorate the one-kilometre shift from Mountain St. to Fort St.
When radio host Tommy Schnurmacher attempted to board the float, the ladder slipped and he fell on his face.
There were no such wild moments in CJAD’s weekend move from its home of 32 years to its new studios at Papineau and Rene-Levesque however.
Astral is moving its Montreal-based radio stations, which also include Virgin and CHOM, to its east end facilities in an effort to centralize operations.
For CHOM, the move meant hauling a doorway which has followed it from its long-time former home on Greene Ave. The door, however, will no longer be a gateway to rock. It will be affixed to the wall as a piece of memorabilia.
Packing up the long-time home of the city’s anglo AM radio ratings leader has been a walk through some glorious times.
CJAD morning man Andrew Carter said the walls of Fort St. echoed with glorious radio nostalgia.
“I know the walls are infused with, the legends, the great names, the wonderful broadcasters and the great memories but the walls are also infused with a lot of dust and it's time to move,” quipped CJAD morning man Andrew Carter.
His confrere from CHOM will also have to drive a different early-morning route to work.
“’Pack your bags!’ That not something you want to hear when you're in the radio business, 'pack your bags!’” chuckled CHOM FM morning man Terry DiMonte.
On the upside, however, the new facilities have windows, an upgrade over the previous facilities, which had no such view, leaving the disc jockey at a loss to know whether it was sunny or snowing outside.
“The equipment is all new, the control room view for the gang at CHOM is the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and overlooking Rene-Levesque, it’s a nice Montrealais view of the city,” said DiMonte.
And there’s also a considerable upgrade in technology involved.
“With new equipment and the latest and the stuff that's being provided for us, you're going to hear happier-sounding people,” said CJAD afternoon host Ric Peterson.
CJAD, which was based at 1191 Mountain when launched in 1946, was the first to make the plunge into the new facilities, with Virgin and CHOM setting up later this weekend.
And one-widely heard voice is already giving an unabashed thumbs-up to the new facilities.
“When I got in to the studio and sat down in the host's chair and saw where the guests were going to be, I saw that it's an incredible dynamic,” said CJAD talk show host Tommy Schnurmacher.