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The Changing Face Of Radio In Halifax Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 12 April 2006
960 CHNS abandons AM for the FM band - AM radio ratings fall - and is a local radio personality on the move...... again?

Radio in Halifax is changing and life on the AM dial will never be the same as 960 CHNS is abandoning ship for the more  lucrative FM band. CHNS has a long history on the AM band, but reality bites as the vast majority of radio listeners abandoned the AM band several years ago. CHNS will be moving to 89.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. During the transition period,  the CRTC ruled that the broadcaster will be allowed to simulcast the programming of the new FM station on CHNS for a period of three months following the commencement of operations of their FM station.

The format is changing too. With the move to FM, CHNS will dump the stale and long-in-the-tooth oldies format for a more commercial Adult Contemporary music format with a mix of locally relevant programming service that is community-centred and community-driven.

With CHNS moving out, Halifax will be left with just two local AM stations clinging for life in a market with very few listeners and slick FM competition and the new 'HOT' Canadian Satellite Radio networks Sirius and XM picking off their listeners on a daily basis.

The recently released spring radio ratings show 920 CJCH at the bottom of the heap in the AM market with a market share of 2.7 down from 3.3 in the fall '05 ratings. CFDR AM (780/KIXX) sits at 3.9 down from 4.3 and rounding out the AM ratings, CHNS AM sits in second with a 3.5 down from 3.7. All three AM stations suffered losses over the previous period. The writing appears to be on the wall, the AM dial is on its final legs in Halifax.

Rating for the remaining two AM broadcasters in Halifax will likely continue to plummet as CHNS takes a large chunk of the AM audience with them into the future of Halifax radio.

Is another popular radio personality on the move in the HRM?

In other radio news, the rumour mill is churning with chatter that a popular local radio personality will be leaving 920 CJCH for a competitor in the Halifax market. Last year, 920 CJCH lost long time newsroom fixture, Doug Reynolds when he was pouched by the new Rogers station, News/Talk 95.7 FM.

Below are the most recent radio ratings in the Halifax market.

Halifax 2006 BBM Adults 12+ (Fall '05 in Brackets)

C100 FM 18.5 (24.4)
CFRQ FM (Q104) 17.8 (18.0)
CHFX FM (FX 101.9) 14.9 (11.2)
CBC Radio One 14.7(10.6)
CKUL FM (KOOL-FM 96.5) 12.8 (13.7)
CFDR AM (780/KIXX) 3.9 (4.3)
CHNS AM 3.5 (3.7)
CJCH AM 2.7 (3.3)
CJNI FM (NEWS 95.7) 1.5 (N/A)
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