André Arthur, the “king of the ether” both worshiped and cursed

André Arthur started his radio career with CHRC in July 1970 as an emergency aid presenter. He soon realized that controversy could benefit him by organizing a call-in.

Arthur a constaté que, quand on brasse la cage, qu’on est irrespectueux, qu’on fait de la radio qui ne répugne pas à bousculer les gens, ça le servait bien. André était le genre de gars qui pouvait dire: \”Vous êtes une vieille folle! Remettez vos dentiers, allez vous coucher, ça n’intéresse personne\””,”text”:”M.Arthur a constaté que, quand on brasse la cage, qu’on est irrespectueux, qu’on fait de la radio qui ne répugne pas à bousculer les gens, ça le servait bien. André était le genre de gars qui pouvait dire: \”Vous êtes une vieille folle! Remettez vos dentiers, allez vous coucher, ça n’intéresse personne\””}}”>mr. Arthur found that when you shake the cage, when you are disrespectful, when you make radio that doesn’t shy away from crowding people, that served him well. André was the kind of man who could say, “You’re a crazy old woman! Put your dentures back on, go to bed, nobody cares”says media specialist Claude Thibodeau.

André Arthur died at the age of 78. (Archive)

Photo: Radio Canada

against authority

He was André Arthur’s boss at CHRC in 1994. Claude Thibodeau still remembers their first meeting. The one who got the nickname Arthur”,”text”:”le roiArthur”}}”>King Arthur was not easy to direct.

I want you to know, he said, that I don’t recognize that you have any authority over me, fuck you, I don’t want to know anything about you. You can direct everything else but not my showhe says.

Our encounters in the station were epic.

A quote from Claude Thibodeau, former boss of André Arthur

Lawyer for widows and orphans

André Arthur presented himself as the defender of the widow and the orphan against the Quebec elite. He encouraged taxpayers to educate themselves by using his popular phrase: In the gang, we know everything. We need to talk to each other

André, it’s like watching a Marvel blockbuster and playing the protagonist[ait] both the good and the bad. He was able to get to the bottom of the matter. He had an extraordinary penchant for locating certain problems and bringing up elements that no one had seensays former CHRC journalist Bruno Perron.

His strength as a communicator and the strength of his assessments brought much water to the mill. It came in through doors and windows. The hardest part was figuring it out.

A quote from Bruno Perron, former journalist at CHRC

Radio career

André Arthur stayed with CHRC until 1982, when he joined the team of CJRP 1060. During that time he met the woman who would work with him for many years, host and journalist Myriam Ségal.

He taught me everything. He made me a host, he made me a much better journalist. He helped me understand and tame this wonderful medium that is radio and that resists all wavesshe says.

In 1985, the star host was one of the new owners of both the CHRC station and the CHOI FM station.

After a period at FM 93, he set up various collaborations and presented at Radio X until 2016.

It was unique in Canada that a radio host could switch radio stations and completely transport his audience from station to station. There were people who listened to him because they loved him very much and others who stood up to hate himsays Bruno Perron.

Andrew Arthur

Claude Thibodeau looks back on the career of former radio host André Arthur.

Photo: Radio Canada / archive

In September 2016 André Arthur was hired by BVLD 102.1. The station fired him in January 2018 over controversial comments.

André Arthur dominated Quebec’s radio waves for over 20 years. His in-depth knowledge of history and politics enabled him to shed light on certain facts hitherto unknown to the general public.

1980″,”text”:”Il a été un des premiers à lever le voile sur des côtés pas très jolis de notre société, notamment les problèmes d’inceste, de violence à l’endroit des enfants, les problèmes de l’Église catholique, qui a protégé des pédophiles. Il en a parlé dans les années1980″}}”>He was one of the first to lift the veil on the not very beautiful sides of our society, especially the problems of incest, violence against children, the problems of the Catholic Church, which protected pedophiles. He talked about it in the 80ssays Myriam Segal.

tarnished reputation

The host, on the other hand, has tarnished its reputation and has been the subject of several lawsuits, most notably from host Robert Gillet under Operation Scorpion.

André Arthur also used the airwaves to argue that CHRC journalist Benoit Proulx was guilty of the 1982 murder of France Alain, a few blocks from the station. In the end, Proulx was acquitted. He then initiated legal proceedings against the Attorney General of Quebec.

Arthur avait fait sienne la théorie que monsieur Proulx était le coupable. Il a joué de son influence, de son émission et de tous les moyens dont il disposait pour orienter le débat public dans cette direction, ce qui lui a valu des poursuites”,”text”:”M.Arthur avait fait sienne la théorie que monsieur Proulx était le coupable. Il a joué de son influence, de son émission et de tous les moyens dont il disposait pour orienter le débat public dans cette direction, ce qui lui a valu des poursuites”}}”>Mr. Arthur had subscribed to the theory that Mr. Proulx was the culprit. He used his influence, his program and every means at his disposal to steer the public debate in that direction, which brought him lawsuits.Claude Thibodeau recalls.

Arthur à dire que je n’étais pas facteur”,”text”:”Parfois, il amenait de la caricature, il amenait beaucoup de critiques, et nous qui étions sur le terrain, les gens essayaient de passer par nous pour lui passer des messages. J’ai passé une partie de ma vie quand je travaillais avec AndréArthur à dire que je n’étais pas facteur”}}”>Sometimes he brought caricatures, he brought a lot of criticism, and we, who were on the spot, people tried to go through us to send him messages. I spent part of my life working with André Arthur and saying I wasn’t a postmanremembers Bruno Perron.

Andrew Arthur.

Andrew Arthur

Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissinot

Excellent talent

Despite everything, his former colleagues agree that André Arthur has transformed the radio landscape of the capital.

I was saddened by his passing. It really is an era that belongs to him, a style of radio whether you like it or not, but he was an exceptional communicatoremphasizes Bruno Perron.

Arthur avait un talent de communicateur comme on en voit rarement. Il avait un talent d’une telle mesure que je serais porté à dire que, dans un marché comme Québec et même au-delà, il avait un talent de communicateur comme on en voit un par siècle”,”text”:”M.Arthur avait un talent de communicateur comme on en voit rarement. Il avait un talent d’une telle mesure que je serais porté à dire que, dans un marché comme Québec et même au-delà, il avait un talent de communicateur comme on en voit un par siècle”}}”>mr. Arthur had a talent for communication that you rarely see. He had such a talent that I would say that in a market like Quebec and even beyond, he had a talent as a communicator like we see in a century.says Claude Thibodeau.

1 de la communication, AndréArthur. Ça manquait un peu de breaks dans les virages, mais c’est une formule1 de la communication. Il avait à la fois un langage impeccable et populaire, l’art de rejoindre les gens”,”text”:”C’était une formule1 de la communication, AndréArthur. Ça manquait un peu de breaks dans les virages, mais c’est une formule1 de la communication. Il avait à la fois un langage impeccable et populaire, l’art de rejoindre les gens”}}”>It was a Formula 1 of the communication, André Arthur. It was missing a bit station wagons in the corners, but it is a formula 1 of communication. He had both impeccable and popular language, the art of reaching peopleconcludes Myriam Segal.

With the collaboration of Catherine Lachaussée

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