CHOI

From Academic Kids

CHOI is a French language FM radio station that broadcasts on the frequency 98.1 MHz out of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Locally, it is known as Radio X (a reference to "Generation X", as most of CHOI's listeners consider themselves). It is owned by Genex Communications since July 1996. The Bureau of Broadcast Measurement ratings released in December 2004 revealed that CHOI was the most popular radio station in the city with 443,100 listeners, up from 380,500 earlier in the year. The station is well-known for airing controversial ideas and opinions, and is very critical of the province's center-of-left political consensus, notably of the Parti Quebecois. The station has become a target of various groups for some controversial political statements, notably feminists and homosexual advocates, as well as prominent politicians.

Following a ruling by the CRTC, the station is in danger of losing its license to broadcast in 2005.

Main Hosts of the station

Jeff Fillion was the most popular host at the station. He was the morning man, hosting with his staff "Le monde parallèle de Jeff" every weekday morning. Over the years, his ideas and opinions made him the city most controversial radio host. He teamed up, during a certain time, with Quebec City's famous long-time morning man André Arthur. Fillion was sued numerous times by many well-known people around the province because of his flaming, on-the-air comments. The station's problems with the CRTC are mostly attributed to him and his comments.

In the past, he was well-known for his show's contests. For example, he created a contest in the late 1990s where a woman would win a breast implants surgery on Good Friday. Good Friday being "Vendredi saint" in French and the words "saint" and "sein" breast have the same pronunciation.

On the air, on the morning of March 17, 2005, Fillion announced that he was immediately resigning as host of the morning show. In the weeks following this, it became obvious that he resigned over disagreements with the station's owner Patrice Demers. In May 2005, the former host started giving interviews to various Quebec media where he complained about what he says is a lack of respect towards him by the station's owners. He says that they have not offered him any severance pay since he left the air. The owners reply that they have offered him various jobs inside their company but he has refused all of them. The station also claims that Jeff Fillion's demands for severance pay are unreasonable. They say that Fillion's demands are evaluated at 2 million dollars. He is apparently also asking to be cleared of all responsibility in current or future lawsuits against him or the station. This would bring the total to 5 million dollars.

It seems very unlikely that he will make a come back to radio in the near future.

Gilles Parent was hired by the station in 2001. He came from CHIK 98.9 MHz, CHOI's rival station, to host the "Le retour de Gilles Parent" every weekday afternoon. His thoughts and opinions are less controversial and are expressed in a much more respectful manner than Fillion's.

Marto Napoli is the crazy host of the "DRX" (short for "Décompte Radio X") which airs every weeknight from 6 to 9. He is known for making fun of people on the phone and mocking random things and people. His show is a total delirium, which makes it very popular among teenagers.

In July 2004, after CHOI's issues with the CRTC started to put the station in danger, he decided to create the "DRX Army", in reference to the Kiss Army. The DRX Army Soldiers were defending CHOI with pacific acts and with a huge "Visibility Operation", which caused the whole area of Quebec and its surroundings to be marked with "DRX Army" and "Liberté!" logos on farm doors and flags proudly being shown.

He pretends that Marto Napoli is his real name and that he is of Italian descent, but it is all part of his show/delirium. His real name is Martin Castonguay and he is the first son of Édouard Castonguay, a Country/Western signer.

He also organizes a tour, called the Marto Napoli tour, in bars around the province of Quebec, where he starts huge parties with wet t-shirts contests and pet-o-boys contests. With the money he gains from these parties, he helps the "Marto et ses ti-pauvres" Fundation, which is his way of calling the Saint-Vincent de Paul Foundation that helps fight child poverty around the Quebec City area.

Since August 2004, he also helps the "Fondation Québécoise de la Fibrose Kystique", which is when Godasse ("Old Shoe", in French slang), a teenager who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, joined the DRX and started presenting "La chronique à Godasse" every Friday during the show.

Even though Marto is the most outspoken and probably the meanest and weirdest host at CHOI, he has a golden heart and many people recognise it.

Denis Gravel (known as "The fucking news guy") hosts "Le Char de hits", which is the most popular radio program of the area at lunch time. He also did the news segments during Jeff Fillion's morning show. When Jeff Fillion resigned, Denis replaced him as the host of the morning show. On March 16, 2004, he became well-known in the province for inadvertently revealing the name of one of the victims of a well-followed child prostitution case during Gilles Parent's afternoon show.

Dispute with the CRTC

On July 13, 2004, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled that the radio station would be shut down because it kept airing offensive and insulting remarks even after being put on probation in 2002. This meant that the station would be forced to stop transmitting on the night of Tuesday, August 31, 2004, when its license expired. This prompted a huge march in the streets of Quebec City on July 22 when 50,000 people walked through the streets of the city to support the station, claiming the right of freedom of speech and opinion, the hugest march in the capital city of Quebec since the 1960s.

On August 10, 2004, the station staged a protest against the CRTC's decision on Parliament Hill in Ottawa where 5,000 Quebec fans of the station went to the country's capital to demonstrate their support for the station. CHOI aired their regular afternoon show live from Ottawa.

On August 11, 2004, the station filed an appeal in federal court to extend its licence and to reverse the CRTC's decision.

On August 25, 2004, the CRTC and the federal government did not object to the station's request to continue its normal operations during the court proceedings. This means that even though the station's license expires on August 31, 2004, it will be permitted to continue transmitting after that date and as long as the court procedures are in progress.

The shutting down of CHOI by the CRTC has generated a debate regarding freedom of expression in Quebec and Canada, notably since CHOI is the only right-wing radio station on the air in the province, and generally opposed to the values and opinions of the ubiquitous Liberal Party of Canada.

On May 24, 2005, the court started to hear the case. For four days, the station's lawyers pleaded to the three judges of the court that the CRTC overstepped their authority in ordering the shut down of the station. They claimed that it should not be possible for the CRTC to shut down a station based only on the contents of the station's shows. The lawyers also pleaded that the CRTC could have used more moderate methods to punish the station, such as imposing a fine. Both the station and the CRTC have said that should they lose, they would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

External links

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Choi is also a Cantonese surname, translated from 蔡.


fr:CHOI

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