Saturday, January 30, 2010

Major Canadian stations off the air

50,000-watt stations CINF-690 and CINW-940 Montreal both left the air Friday night. The shutdowns are permanent. CINF had been a French-language all-news outlet; CINW had the same format in English, though they'd flipped to oldies a few months ago.

This is the second time these two frequencies have gone silent. They were originally launched by the CBC, as their stations for English-language Radio 1 (940) and French-language Radio-Canada. (690) Both CBC stations moved to FM.

The 690 facility has the best coverage of any Montreal station - you might expect one of the smaller AM facilities to express interest in taking it over.

But both frequencies are currently silent and will likely remain so for months. When the CBC abandoned the frequencies for their Montreal stations, their 690 station in Vancouver was heard over a fair part of the continent. There is also a French-language station on 690 in Saskatchewan.


Anonymous said...

I live in Seattle Wa., and the Vancouver 690 comes in fairly well in the day (130 miles)but not to well at night. There is interferance from 690 Tijaqua Mexico.
The CBC wanted to shut off the Vancouver 690 and go FM only but the Canadian regulators said "No", because of mountains. The CBC was
allowed to symualcast 690 with
a new 88.1 in Vancouver.
They also operate on 6160 khz shortwave for sea traffic.

Eduardo Cappia said...

I´m worried about the moving process from AM to FM. Is this fact one more signal of Am´s death?

Eduardo Cappia

Doug Smith said...

"Is this fact one more signal of Am´s death?"

Yes, probably...

Prince Edward Island is now AM-free. There are only ten AM stations left in New Brunswick, and four are low-power (40-watt) CBC relays. In Nova Scotia, the figure is six, and one of those already has a permit to move to FM. I can see the Maritimes becoming AM-free within ten years.

Mexico has launched a program to move the country's AM stations to FM.

The U.S. won't have a formal program to move AMs to FM, but station owners are engaged in an informal program. Most music programming has already disappeared from AM; now, increasingly we're seeing spoken-word formats like talk and sports moving to FM as well.

I can see a day when AM is home to niche programming -- foreign-language material, religion, community and college stations. Everything mainstream will be on FM.