MONTREAL – Wayne Bews, General Manager, TSN Radio 690, today thanked Montreal radio listeners and sports fans for their overwhelming support for the station's future. More than 15,000 people have signed a petition at SaveTSN690.ca in favour of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) allowing Bell Media to keep the station intact as an English-language, all-sports radio format in Montreal. In addition, Bews thanked the Montreal community for submitting more than 1,000 individual letters of support to the CRTC.
“The TSN Radio 690 Montreal team is overwhelmed by the support of our loyal listeners. There is no greater validation than having your fans rally together to keep you on the airwaves,” said Bews. “Hopefully the CRTC agrees with our request, and with the passionate Montreal sports fans who want to save TSN Radio 690. Meanwhile, we're staying focused on what we do best – covering the Montreal sports scene like no other station in the city.”
“We asked our fans for help and boy did they deliver! We are humbled by the strong unwavering support of an unbelievably loyal audience,” said Mitch Melnick, host of Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN Radio 690 Montreal. “15,000+ hugs from all of us here at TSN Radio 690.”
Montrealers passionately responded with more than 1,000 letters of support:
“The people and the values of TSN 690 cannot be duplicated. They really understand our city and have become an integral part of it. TSN 690 is much more than a sports radio station. It has become an important piece of Montreal that cannot be spared.”
– Joseph Gagnon, President, Westmount Moving & Warehousing
“I've been an advertiser since day one on TSN Radio 690. My company, Dagwoods Sandwichs et Salades Inc., has grown to 21 locations thanks to the listening community of the station. I've witnessed the growth of the station over the years and the hard work by all the staff at the station. It would be shame to let all the hard work go to waste and lose another English-language voice in Quebec.”
– Spiro Krallis, President, Gestion Dagwoods Inc.
“The station is unique within the English Montreal radio universe in that no other radio station offers this type of content. Moreover, its use of local talent and local programming cannot be matched by most other stations, French or English.”
– Ioannis Segounis
“We need TSN 690. It is part of our special place in Montreal, Quebec and Canada.”
– Richard McConomy, Attorney
The campaign to save the station began last month when Astral filed an application with the CRTC requesting a united Astral-Bell Media to operate four English-language stations (two AM and two FM) in Montreal – one more than what is generally permitted under CRTC rules. This exception will allow Bell Media to continue to own and operate TSN Radio 690 and maintain its current format as an English-language, all-sports radio station.
On May 6, 2013, a public hearing will begin, where the exemption will be considered by the CRTC.
As part of the request for an exception to the CRTC's common ownership policy for radio, Bell Media has confirmed the following:
- Bell Media would continue to own and operate TSN Radio 690 – and maintain its current English all-sports format for at least the next seven years
- English-language radio coverage of Montreal Canadiens games will continue to be broadcast in the greater Montreal area on TSN Radio 690 for the duration of its current broadcast agreement with the team
- TSN Radio 690 will contribute $245,000 over the next seven years to sports journalism scholarships at Concordia University and to amateur sports in Montreal
- The exception will have no adverse effects on other radio stations in the market or on the entry of new competitors
About TSN Radio 690 Montreal
TSN Radio 690 is Montreal's English-language all-sports station. As the official home of the Montreal Canadiens, the station broadcasts every Habs game live on AM 690 in Montreal and nationally online at TSN.ca/Montreal. Along with wall-to-wall coverage of the Canadiens, TSN Radio 690 delivers in-depth coverage of all Montreal sports teams, including the Alouettes and the Impact. Led by Elliott Price, Ted Bird, and Shaun Starr in the morning, Tony Marinaro in the mid-morning, and Mitch Melnick in the afternoon, TSN Radio 690 delivers an all-star line-up of local coverage. The station was launched in 2001 under its original name Team Radio. It was rebranded to TSN Radio in October 2011 and moved to AM 690 in September 2012 to improve the station's reception for fans.