CJLO, funky purveyors of music, ride the waves up the AM dial

“Turn you AM radio dial all the way up, then turn it back two slots,” said CJLO station manager Chris Quinnell. “We’re right at the top of the dial.”

1690 AM – that’s going to be CJLO’s spot on the dial as of Jan. 6. Concordia’s radio station is heady with their success in finally getting on public airwaves.They had been working for two years on their application to Canada’s broadcasting agency, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

As they approach their date to broadcast all over the island of Montreal, Quinnell and his staff of about 100 DJs have been busy improving the quality of their on-air programming. Quinnell showed off CJLO’s new quirky jingle, one of the many ways they will formally stylize their theme as Concordia’s community radio station.

“We wanted that when someone tunes in, they know they’re listening to CJLO regardless of the music that’s being played,” said Quinnell as he lined up his CDs for his Thursday afternoon show.

The non-profit station currently broadcasts an array of 50 shows, ranging from indie rock to alternative and world beats, via their website. According to Quinnell, the station’s mandate is to focus mainly on local artists that are too often under appreciated in mainstream media.

But, complying with CRTC regulations means a few changes have to be made: they have to meet a minimum of 33 per cent Canadian content and a maximum of 10 per cent mainstream Top 40 songs.

CJLO was set up in 1998 when two stations, CRSG and CFLI, merged. Six years later, Loyola’s campus radio station is finally building their tower and transmitter. Up until now, they were the only major university in the province without a spot on public airwaves.

To increase their public presence on campus, CJLO has set up a weekly spot at Reggie’s every Wednesday night.

“If I take 3 people off the street or around campus and I say ‘CJLO’, [to have] at least 2 people know it’s Concordia’s radio station, right now that’s not the case,” said promotion director Alex Huynh at Reggie’s last week, where albums from TV On The Radio, Mars Volta and The Roots were launched.

Huynh is working with Katie, another CJLO promotion director, to not only play underground music at our campus’ bar, but also invite students to expose their talent. Seline said projects such as vernissages were in progress. They also hope to screen student films.

“We want to get students involved and show off what they can do,” said Quinnell.

He’s also looking for anyone that wants to help out with sound engineering or producing, and said that the station provided the training and all the tools necessary.

Quinnell has been at the station since 2000, and was initiated to Djing with his Canadian content show Canadian Bacon. Quinnell has only been the station manager since July, but according to Huynh, his dedication has really “cleaned up the station” since his debut by making sure shows were professional and structured – especially since Jan. 6 is knocking at his door.

Stop by their Loyola campus office CC-430 to pick up an application form if you want to sign up or visit www.cjlo.com to view their full schedule.


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