Astral’s CHOM gets edgy new look

The Montreal-based radio station has rebranded with a new look to match its new musical direction, promoted with a local media campaign.

After 40 years, Montreal’s CHOM 977 is updating its look to reflect the new decade.

The Astral Media-owned radio station debuted its new look today with a new logo and brand positioning that the station says reflects its updated focus on modern rock. The station – formerly all classic rock – started including more ’90s and ’00s music into its mix almost a year ago, a move that culminates this month in the addition of more of-the-moment songs.

The new look is being promoted with a ‘big time’ billboard execution in Montreal through Astral’s OOH division, Daniel Tremblay, program director, CHOM 977, tells MiC, and also with a two- to three-week buy with CTV in Montreal for two 15-second spots. All media was handled in-house.

The target demo for the radio station remains the same – 25- to 54-year-olds – although the new modern-rock content aims at the 25- to 49-year-old segment of that demo a little heavier, Tremblay explains.

The goal was to trend the content younger, but not alienate current listeners.

‘We still have 1.2 million listeners who are really pleased with what they hear, so you don’t want to tell them, ‘Hey! We’re not CHOM anymore! We’re a new CHOM!’ So this is not new; it’s only an evolution.’

Astral Media acquired the station last year, along with Montreal’s Mix 96, which it reformatted and rebranded into Virgin Radio 96. The completion of the Virgin rebrand set the stage to focus on CHOM, Tremblay said, which had not been updated in 15 years. ‘We felt that it was time to do a new logo and new branding that represents more what CHOM is now in this market,’ he explains.