Radio + Audio + Podcast NewsRadio & Podcast News - Pandemic PPM ratings reveal at-home tuning anomalies

Radio & Podcast News – Pandemic PPM ratings reveal at-home tuning anomalies

Numeris’ latest PPM release includes the 13 weeks from Feb. 24 to May 24, covering the listening period that saw most Canadians transition to work from home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Home tuning increased, representing 62% of total tuning this spring, compared to 48% last quarter for A12+. Music stations were among those that saw unexplained gains in certain demos with Toronto’s CHFI-FM leading with men, 25-54, with a 14% share, up from 11.3 in the last book and claiming a 32% share with M18-34. Other notable jumps included Rock 101 (CFMI-FM) Vancouver which posted a 14.3% share F25-54 (up from 8.4%) and a 16.2% share with F18-34. CFOX-FM grabbed the lead for M25-54 listeners, delivering a 15.0 % share (up from 13.0 %). CFOX was also out in front for M18-34 with a 21.6 % share of hrs. tuned. The Bear (CFBR-FM) in Edmonton made gains with M18-34, posting a 21.9% (up from 17.7). Talk radio reigned in Montreal with CHMP, earning a 24.7% share, A12+ (up from 19.6%). For A12+ (Anglo), CJAD 800 is #1 with a 32.6% (up from 20.1%). CBC Radio One also made gains in every market. Read David Bray’s breakdown here.

Numeris’ Spring 2020 Radio Diary Release included 12 weeks of sample from Fall 2019 and eight weeks of new sample, minus the COVID-19 lockdown period in March and April, due to remote measurement challenges. David Bray has the ratings breakdown for Ottawa, Hamilton, Halifax, Winnipeg, and Victoria. Read more here.

Evanov Radio Groups CHRF 980 AM Montreal, the company’s only French-language station, went dark on Sunday. Broadcasting an adult standards format with some multicultural programming, Carmela Laurignano, Evanov VP and Radio Group Manager, said the move to ask the CRTC to revoke the station’s licence was not a decision that was taken lightly. Ultimately, a lack of synergy with other stations in the group and revenue pressures, compounded by COVID-19, led to the move. The station’s two remaining employees will both be redeployed to the company’s other Montreal station, CFMB. Read our interview with Laurignano, here.

CRTCThe CRTC non-compliance hearing for Montreal’s CJMS 1040 AM and CJWI 1410 AM will be held virtually on June 16, as well as Radio Bas-St-Laurent’s (RBS) application to acquire CFYX-FM from Radio Rimouski. In the case of both CPAM Radio Union, which is looking to renew the broadcasting licence for French-language ethnic commercial station CJWI, and Groupe Médias Pam inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for French-language commercial station CJMS Saint-Constant, the commission has asserted its concerns over continued non-compliance with regulatory requirements. That amounts to a third consecutive licence term in the case of CJWI and a fifth consecutive term of non-compliance for CJMS.

The Canadian Podcast Listener (CPL) is out with a Spring 2020 update. Ordinarily, the full study would be in field at this time, but has been delayed until fall when Jeff Vidler of Signal Hill Insights hopes consumer behaviour will be closer to the “future normal.” In the meantime, CPL has undertaken a brief survey for subscribers around Joe Rogan’s recent move to sign a multi-year exclusivity deal with Spotify. According to CPL, Spotify is gaining ground on Apple Podcasts as a podcast platform.YouTube remains the most widely used platform for podcast content, with Apple and Spotify now in a close race for 2nd and 3rd. Vidler says though still hypothetical at this point, and recognizing that Spotify clearly has other strategic benefits up its sleeve with the Rogan deal, it’s interesting to see the potential loss of reach among Joe Rogan Experience fans who use YouTube as a primary podcast platform. Download the Spring 2020 mini report, here.

Don Shafer

Don Shafer, the industry veteran behind The Conversation Lab podcast, is marking the 100th anniversary of radio in Canada with a Zoom-cast on Sunday, June 7 that will feature broadcasters and music industry veterans sharing their stories about great moments in radio. Among those set to participate are Bernie Finkelstein, Bob Roper, Cliff Dumas, Doug Thompson, Donna Saker, Dusty Shannon (Joanne Wilson), Earl Jive, JJ Johnston, Keith Hampshire, Rob Braide, Alexander Mair, Shirley McQueen and Terry David Mulligan. The hour-long event, which starts at 3 p.m. ET,  is open to everyone.

99.3 County FM (CJPE-FM) Prince Edward County, ON is planning a COVID-safe format for its Radiothon 2020, June 25-28. The annual Radiothon is moving to a slightly different format that will still feature performances by more than 40 local artists, but will be a mix of live in-studio performances and a collection of pre-recorded sets, produced at Back 40 Productions. The event’s Honorary Chair is Dr. Elizabeth Christie, lead physician of the Prince Edward Family Health Organization, and co- director of the PEC Covid Assessment Centre

Jacobs Media has released the results of its second “flash survey” to better understand radio’s role in the coronavirus crisis. Fielded May 12-14, nearly 100 commercial radio stations across the U.S. and Canada participated in the web-based survey. Unemployment among the 16,000 survey respondents rose to 15%, with another 5% indicating they were working reduced hours. Among the employed, nearly four in 10 were worried about job security. 26% of respondents said they were listening to their go-to radio station more, up from 18% in April; 48% said they were using more streaming services like Netflix (up from 46% in April); while watching local TV dropped from 25% to 19%. More than a fifth of respondents don’t have a working radio in their homes, with streaming up across station websites, apps, and smart speakers. The full survey results can be found here

Rogers’ Frequency Podcast Network has debuted its latest podcast, Heaven Bent, in which host Tara Jean Stevens explores the charismatic phenomenon known as the “Toronto Blessing” that began at Toronto’s Airport Vineyard church in 1994 and eventually made its way to her home congregation in Prince Rupert, BC. Worshippers would find themselves laughing, shaking, and falling to the ground. Stevens, who is now part of the KiSS (CKKS-FM) Vancouver morning show, looks back on her own experience 25 years ago in a search for the connection between truth and divine intervention.

Stitcher has released The Stitcher Podcasting Report, which looks at a decade of industry growth from the app’s perspective. As the industry continues to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic, the report also includes an analysis of COVID-19-related listening patterns. Among its findings: the growth of podcasts is not slowing down with the number of podcasts published to Stitcher growing more than 129,000% since 2010; episodes are trending shorter with the average podcast episode length shortened by 2.4 minutes since 2013; and Gen X is the most dedicated listener group. While the 18–34 age group makes up the largest chunk of listeners, the 35–55 age group is more dedicated based on listening hours and the number of shows they’ve added to their favourites.

Acast has announced that any show on the Acast Open platform can now apply to be part of Acast Marketplace and request dynamic ad insertion as a potential revenue generator. Johan Billgren, Acast’s co-founder, says the move is aimed at further democratizing the podcasting landscape. 

LISTEN:  Broadcast veteran Tina Cortese is our guest on the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast. Cortese, station manager at 105.9 The Region, serving the York region of Greater Toronto, talks about the role of independent, local radio, the importance of diverse media voices, and why she’s hopeful about the future. Read more about 105.9 The Region, here.

LISTEN: Former CFRN-TV Edmonton anchor Carrie Doll joins Matt Cundill on the latest Sound Off Podcast. Doll, who left TV news in 2014, now hosts weekly podcast, The Inner Circle, and works as a public speaking coach. 


Broadcast Dialogue
Broadcast Dialogue
Broadcast Dialogue is Canada’s broadcast industry publication of record. The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is distributed by controlled circulation every Thursday. Broadcast Dialogue content may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher. To report a typo or error please email -

The Weekly Briefing - Subscribe Now – Free!

It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Events / Conferences