This morning at 4:30 am, Cogeco launched a new French language AM radio station devoted entirely to traffic reports and coverage of current roadwork in the Greater Montréal Area.
Radio Circulation 730 will be on air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that listeners from now on can keep informed at any time about the situation on roads and streets, barriers and obstacles, road closures and other conditions.
Cogeco, in conjunction with Quebec's Ministry of Transport, announced it would launch two dedicated traffic radio stations in Montreal this fall. Cogeco proposed a French language traffic station at 690 AM and an English language all-traffic station on 940 AM. Both stations were to be subsidized by the Ministry to the tune of $3 million a year from 2011 to 2014.
After opposition from Cogeco's radio competitors, the stations were put on-hold pending a licensing decision by the CRTC. The federal regulator has scheduled hearings into the matter in mid-October.
Rather than waiting for the CRTC's decision, Cogeco decided to rebrand their existing French-language sports station CKAC to Radio Circulation 730 with the Quebec governments continued financial support. Cogeco says it has withdrawn its application for a licence to operate Radio Circulation at 690 AM but will continue to push for an English-language all-traffic channel at 940 AM.
"We congratulate the Ministère des Transports du Québec on promoting an initiative that will help drivers on Montréal streets and roads deal better with the impact of current construction," said Cogeco president and CEO Louis Audet. "With the launch of Radio Circulation 730, Cogeco Diffusion is responding in a very definite way to a real need for traffic information in the Greater Montréal Area, and we're very proud to be doing our part. As for getting an English traffic radio station on air, we're asking the CRTC for a decision on awarding an operating licence for the 940 AM slot as soon as possible."
Radio hosts and traffic reporters will be live on air from 4:30 a.m. on weekday mornings and 6:00 a.m. on weekends to take the pulse of traffic in the metropolitan Montreal area.
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