Joyeux anniversaire, Radio-Classique ! by Réjean Beaucage
/ June 4, 2003
On June 25, 2003,
Radio-Classique-Montreal, CJPX 99.5 FM celebrates 5 years of broadcasting as one
of the most listened to classical music radio stations in Canada. "Since 1968,
Jean-Pierre Coallier, the founder of Radio-Classique, applied three times to the
CRTC for a licence for an accessible and melodious classical music radio
station," said François Paré, the station's program director. "Different reasons
sank the project the first two times; I don't think the CRTC thought the idea
was viable. Nobody imagined the kind of impact we would have: we were the most
surprised when the first measurements gave us 450,000 listeners.
Listeners don't tune to
Radio-Classique to learn about the origins of classical music; the programs are
presented with limited commentary and are focused on the "top 40" of the most
beautiful classical music tunes. "When we went on-air, the studio was not
completely installed," said Paré. "We only had one microphone for recording ads.
Of the first 200 calls,190 congratulated us for presenting radio that doesn't
talk. It took us by surprise and we have continued in this way ever since.
Subsequently, we have developed a way to identify the works."
What is the
secret to Radio-Classique's programming? "I used my 30-years experience in Pop
radio to apply the same criteria for selecting a piece to put on-air. For
example, we bring back popular pieces at certain times in the day, at certain
repetitions and to keep a specific order within each hour. Every week, we add
new releases to our playlist." With listenership still high, the additions will
keep going for a long time to come. [Translated
by Wah Keung Chan]
Note: Since the emergence of CJPX, Toronto's Classical 96 adopted the less talk
approach two years ago to similar success.