Paul Arcand left his mark on morning radio for life

Paul Arcand left his mark on morning radio for life
Paul Arcand left his mark on morning radio for life

All politicians feared him, but few refused his microphone.

I listened to Paul Arcand faithfully Hello Montreal at CKAC starting in 1997, then at Since you have to get up at 98.5 FM from 2004. Wherever I was, Paul was just as essential to me at dawn as my orange juice, my paper newspaper or my tablet.

His review of current events will remain the model of its kind. You have to have been a journalist to know that such a review is a difficult exercise that few press professionals master. Between a thousand news stories, you have to choose those that are really important, that change or will change people’s lives, without forgetting an insignificant news item or a stupid statement that will spice things up. Paul’s review killed all the others. After listening to it, you felt like you knew everything so well that you didn’t feel the need to look elsewhere.

STILL AT THE TOP OF THE PRIZES

Paul would have had every reason to show off or inflate his ego. His show was, until tomorrow’s, the “der des der”, always at the top of the charts. Politicians were dying to participate and artists and authors of all kinds knew that being interviewed could mean success. If Paul was without anger, but also without pity with politicians, knights of industry and crooked entrepreneurs, he only invited to his microphone artists and authors about whom he could speak well. As proof, I only want his fascination with my comrade Luc Dionne, the astonishing mastermind of District 31 on Radio-Canada.

When I could no longer stand the multiple commercial interruptions of Since we have to get up, I happened to be unfaithful to Paul. Especially when my friend René Homier-Roy was trying to convince Montrealers that it was much better in the morning on Radio-Canada. But I always came home for Paul and the small, irresistible team he surrounded himself with, Marie-France Bazzo, Jean Lapierre, Luc Ferrandez, Alain Crête, Nathalie Normandeau and a few others. Not to mention the improbable duets whose formula he invented and which we imitate everywhere.

A VAINE ATTEMPT

In 1985, when I was trying to set up a new television channel that could compete with Radio-Canada and Télé-Métropole in a new register, I tried everything to win Paul over on the radio. The very serious young man of 25 was then part of the CJMS newsroom.

I first tried to seduce Raynald Brière, his immediate boss, who wanted to appoint him director of information for the Radiomutuel network. With some bad grace, Raynald ended up agreeing to let me meet Arcand. Even though I had brought with me my entire arsenal of massive persuasion, nothing could prevail. There is no question of Paul leaving radio.

I have always had the conviction that Télévision Quatre-Saisons could have had a better fate if it had been able to count on the quiet strength of Paul Arcand. The years that followed proved him right: he was a radio man. This man, it seems, could read his personal future as well as he could read the news of the day!

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