Radio X family grows in Quebec

RNC Media rebrands three regional stations as Radio X, and risks reigniting local debates.

Montreal-based broadcaster RNC Media, which owns radio and TV stations across Quebec, recently changed the format of three of its regional stations to reflect the shock-jock format of its popular Quebec City-based Radio X. The latest drive time commercial share for CHOI Radio X and Radio X2 Rock is 30% of the male 25 to 54 demo (separately, CHOI 21% and X2 9%), and a Léger Marketing survey last May found Radio X had the highest awareness rating in Quebec (close to 9 out of 10 recognize the brand), with one in three surveyed regularly tuning in to Radio X when within its broadcast area.

The Radio X umbrella offers news, rock music, sports and on-air discussions, and now RNC has made over three regional stations to reflect the loud format, while keeping some of the local flavour of the Outaouais, Abitibi and Saguenay region stations. Before the rebranding, the stations (CHOI Radio X, KYK, GO and TAG) had an audience of 433,000 listeners weekly last fall (source: BBM), but Giguere expects that to grow with the change to more than 500,000 by this May.

Targeting the male 18-to-49 demo, Radio X jockeys have sparked controversial debate in the past, says Marc Giguere, VP operations, sales and marketing, adding that the goal now is for the group to keep that fighting spirit, but slightly tone it down. ‘We keep the focus on everything that is happening in the market in terms of political issues and economic issues, but we don’t want to be as controversial as we have been in the past,’ Giguere tells MiC.

Radio X will offer an alternative to RNC’s Planete Radio family, a collection of seven more relaxed AC stations across Quebec that target adults 35 to 64. ‘Advertisers are trying to find a way to go local and regional,’ he says. ‘What we offer now is more simplified,’ explains Giguere, on the segregation of its properties into two categories. ‘It’s easier for [advertisers] to buy us and easier for them to know the kind of music or team that they will get when they will be on those stations.’

Meanwhile, the focus on regional content also gives audiences material relevant to their lives that they can’t find anywhere else, he says. ‘[Listeners] all want to know what happened in their city, what happened in their specific lives, and that’s the kind of role we want to play,’ Giguere says.
Radio X stations can be found on the web at, and, as well as at for stations CHOI 98.1 Radio X and ROCK 100.9 Radio X2 in Quebec.