Media | Paul Arcand Leaves at the Top of the Ratings

One week before his departure, Paul Arcand could not have hoped for a better exit. His show, “Puisqu’il faut se lever,” which has been at the top of the ratings for years, gained more listeners this spring.

98.5 FM had seen its audiences decline in the fall when Paul Arcand had to take a few weeks off due to health problems. The radio king, who will leave the station on June 14th after over 30 years of morning radio, returned to his microphone in January for his final season. His comeback is reflected in the listening numbers in the greater Montreal area, which were revealed on Wednesday by the firm Numeris.

Between February and May, “Puisqu’il faut se lever” saw its average number of listeners per minute increase by 14% compared to last winter, making it still the most popular show in Montreal. No other show in the top 10 can boast such a large increase. 98.5 FM, whose entire programming suffered from Paul Arcand’s absence in the winter survey, remains the most tuned-in frequency. The Cogeco spoken station held 23.7% market share this spring, slightly up from the winter.

The spring ratings are also quite encouraging for Radio-Canada. With 17.7% market share, ICI Première slightly increased its audience. Pénélope McQuade’s morning show remains the most listened to on the station. For a second consecutive survey, it continues to surpass Nathalie Normandeau’s show in average number of listeners per minute. At noon, on ICI Première, Alec Castonguay also stayed ahead of Luc Ferrandez, who hosts on the rival station.

On weekends, ICI Première also shows excellent results. On Sunday mornings, Franco Nuovo saw his number of listeners increase by 19%; Marie-Louise Arsenault, on Saturday early evening, by 22%.

Movement to expect this fall
It remains to be seen what will happen in the fall, as 98.5 FM will completely reshape its weekday programming following Paul Arcand’s departure. Nathalie Normandeau and Luc Ferrandez will co-host a new show at noon. The evening show will be hosted by Philippe Cantin, while Patrick Lagacé will take over the morning slot, the most important in a private station.

Patrick Lagacé is currently doing very well in the evening time slot. His show does not seem to have suffered from the sudden and highly publicized departure of the columnist MC Gilles, who was fired by 98.5 FM in April. “Le Québec maintenant” is the second most listened to show in Montreal, increasing in market share and average number of listeners per minute.

While Cogeco can celebrate the numbers obtained this spring by 98.5 FM, the same cannot be said for Rythme FM. In Montreal, this station remains the most listened-to music radio, but the gap with its main rival, Rouge, owned by Bell, is narrowing. At this time last year, Rythme FM held 14.3% market share. In the survey released on Wednesday, the Cogeco station fell to 10.5%.

Paul Arcand is a renowned radio host in Montreal, with over 30 years of experience in morning radio. He has been the host of the popular show “Puisqu’il faut se lever” on 98.5 FM, which has consistently been at the top of the ratings. Arcand’s health issues forced him to take a break in the fall, but he made a successful comeback in January for his final season. His departure from the station on June 14th marks the end of an era in Montreal radio. Throughout his career, Arcand has been a dominant figure in the industry, attracting a loyal audience and setting the bar high for radio hosts in the region.