CHOU-FM (Multicultural), Montreal, CRMO Radio Middle East
On March 15, the CRTC approved an application by 9015-2018 Québec inc. (doing business under the name of Radio Moyen Orient du Canada) for a broadcasting licence to operate a new ethnic commercial AM radio station in Montréal. The applicant proposed a service primarily intended for Arab communities in the city. The new station would broadcast on 1450 kHz with a transmitter power of 1,000 watts, day and night. The applicant committed to provide, during each broadcast week, programming directed to a minimum of 10 different ethnic groups in a minimum of 4 languages. All of the station's programming would be devoted to ethnic programming and in third languages. In its application, the applicant indicated that about 80% of spoken word programs would be directed to Arabic language groups and would be presented in a mixture of the most commonly used dialects, while 12% would be in classic literary Arabic. The remaining 8% of programming would serve Armenian, Syrian, Egyptian, Maghrebian and Iranian communities equally (1.6%). The applicant made a commitment that at least 95% of all programming broadcast by the new station would be locally produced. According to the applicant's plans, this would include 42 hours per week of spoken word, of which 15 hours would be news. The applicant stated that it would take the necessary measures to ensure that open-line programming always complied with the regulatory requirements for this type of programming. The licence would expire 31 August 2012.
CHOU 1450 (“CRMO Radio Middle East)” began broadcasting on January 18. The station actually began life in 1996 on an SCMO channel of CISM-FM. The 1450 frequency had been used in the area by CHEF Granby until 1996.
On April 28, CHOU was authorized to increase daytime and nighttime transmitter power from 1,000 watts to 2,000 watts. The changes would improve the reception of the signal in downtown Montréal as well as on the south shore where the signal is almost non-existent.
On August 17, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CHOU to August 31, 2013.
On October 7, the CRTC denied CHOU's application to add a low-power FM rebroadcaster in Montréal (104.5 MHz with ERP of 50 watts).
Bill Dulmage - Updated October 2014