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December 4, 2020 2:59 pm  #1


Short-term formats

Wondering if anyone can remember these short-term formats, or maybe a few more?

- Disco 790 - One of many format's CHIC-AM had in the '70s. They were also Top 40 for a while, country, talk and a few I've forgotten.

- WACJ - About a decade before Oldies 104 came along, this station played oldies at 104.1 in Buffalo for about a year around 1980.

- Rich Blend 101.1 - Niagara station that was around in the early '90s - didn't last long - but was a nice station for standards fans.

- Hits of Yesterday and Today - CHUM featured this soft rock format between the end of the Top 40 era in 1986 and the beginning of oldies in 1989. Why they didn't go straight to oldies in' 86 is beyond me.

- Metro 1430 - This emerged around 1981 after the calls changed from CKFH to CJCL. Didn't last long, though they had a tremendous lineup that included Andy Barrie and Tom Fulton.

- WEBR - Nice A-C format in the early '70s with original WKBW morning man Perry Allen, Possum Riley and others.

- WHLD - Another Buffalo A-C (actually Grand Island) outlet that was only around for a short time around 1969-70. Sal Punnessa (sp?) was on in the evening.

- WHTT - Before they went oldies in 1989, this station had a nice mix of album rock and current hits. I was disappointed when they went oldies.

- CJRN - My memory is vague on this, but didn't CJRN go all-'70s for a while in the '90s?

- WRLT - Dreadful soft rock mix that replaced Buffalo's 97 Rock in '85 or '86. 97 Rock returned in 1988.

- WHTK - Great format of lesser-played oldies that replaced WYSL at 1400 from 1988 to '91 or so. The music at 14 Karat Gold was put together by a couple of Buffalo music collectors. Even the great Norman B. didn't recognize some of the songs.

- Airport station at 1280 - Didn't this Travellers Information Station have live personalities for a while in the '90s?

- CKMO - CKOC dropped its historic calls for a while in 1992 or so when they went oldies. The CKOC calls returned quickly as I recall.

- CKFH's oldies format: Emerged sometime between the last CKFH chart in 1972 and the switch to country in 1975. Great station and I got to work there as a board op in 1974-75.

- CKEY (as KEY 590) - Not short-term compared to the other examples but this great '80s-early '90s oldies format didn't last long enough for me. Jay Nelson was there for a while.

- Country 59 - Replaced CKEY in 1991 until 1995.

Did this entirely from memory so there are probably errors.


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

December 4, 2020 4:40 pm  #2


Re: Short-term formats

Here's another one. CJMR Mississauga, back when it was on 1190. They had sort of an MOR Top 40 format, complicated by the fact that they had to sign off every day at sundown to protect WOWO. They've since moved to a 24-hour-a-day ethnic format at 1320. 

As for CFYZ, the bizarre airport station at 1280 - which gave updated flight information and not much more - , they actually had a live morning show, complete with a host. To this day, for what was essentially an automated information station, I've never been able to figure out why. 

And one more: WGR-FM (no extra letter) was an automated all oldies station just prior to becoming WGRQ in 1973. I used to listen to it all the time, long before the signal was lost to Toronto. It used to come in like a local.  A great radio station. 

 

December 4, 2020 4:47 pm  #3


Re: Short-term formats

By the way, I recall that Metro 1430, the early incarnation of CJCL (after the CKFH call letters were changed) was a strange hybrid of talk and music, which also featured the Leafs and Jays (their only real money maker.) Brady In The Morning moved there after CFTR (succeeded by Montreal's Dave Patrick), Andy Barrie was on mid-mornings, there was a Bev Bowman-hosted (also formerly of CFTR) noon program called "Talkshow Toronto," I think Al Davis did mid-afternoons, with Scott Walker doing PM drive (later succeeded if memory serves by John Donabie.) (Both played music.)

I may have some of that wrong, and if so someone will correct me - if anyone else remembers the place. 

After 6, there was Open Line Sports Tonight with Earl McRae, usually shortened for a Leaf or Jays game. I can't recall who did the occasional evening shift on non-sports nights, but I believe John Oakley (yes THAT John Oakley) did all nights. 

There was a great article about the short lived format written by the late Les Sole, in which he observed putting together the talent line-up they had would cost millions today and no station could afford it now.

It was a very different time, before there were talk stations in Toronto and the format only lasted about a year or so before they fired most of the staff and went to Music Of Your Life. Here are some great artifacts I collected over the years, including the remarkable and rarely seen "official letter" that led to the mass firings after the format tanked. 

That's followed by an article from the Toronto Star, back when newspapers actually covered radio. 

https://i.ibb.co/jwpMvC6/letter1.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/HHcj2W9/letter2.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/TPWg92P/letter3.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/QrfVqzT/letter4.jpg
 
https://i.ibb.co/CJNj6M9/CJCL.jpg
  

 

December 4, 2020 5:19 pm  #4


Re: Short-term formats

Not that anyone cares, but I found a few more CJCL artifacts. In no particular order:

https://i.ibb.co/7rmxwbC/CJCL-Ad-Sept-1985.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/rQR5MLn/CJCL-Prime-Time-Sports-Ad-Sept-19-1990.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/tBM72vc/CJCL-Ad-Maple-Leafs-1983.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0QXNCRj/CJCL-Ad-Talkshow-Toronto-1983.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/xJSJBHS/CJCL-Andy-Barrie-TV-Guide-Ad-Sept-1981.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/FVNWJNg/CJCL-Ad-Open-Line-Sports-1983.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/yPDdqPy/CJCL-Ad-John-Donabie-1982.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/M9Syg8J/CJCL-Ad-Saturday-In-The-City-III-1982.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/2ZP2VqS/CJCL-Ad-Saturday-In-The-City-II-1982.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/JCXN1mh/CJCL-Ad-Saturday-In-The-City-I-1982.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/8dRXG9R/CJCL-Ad-Dave-Patrick-1982.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/NT8SZ9n/CJCL-Line-up-Sept-1986.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/znwgGPm/CJCL-Line-up-Sept-1985.jpg

 

December 4, 2020 6:05 pm  #5


Re: Short-term formats

=12px"Hits of Yesterday and Today - CHUM featured this soft rock format between the end of the Top 40 era in 1986 and the beginning of oldies in 1989. Why they didn't go straight to oldies in' 86 is beyond me."

In his little blurb introducing the format, PD Terry Williams said it was to serve the audience who grew up with CHUM who still wanted to hear current music along with what they grew up with, just not the stuff that was too "dancy" or "rocky" . For the first couple books it did boost their ratings but within a year or so it trailed off. Around 1989 they launched an even shorter-lived format called Toronto's Soft Rock, which was slightly more current but fell somewhere in that grey area where they weren't hip enough for the younger demos (CFTR was fully in that position by then) and too current for the older crowed. Finally in 1991 they decided to make the jump to oldies. 
e could also include the first attempt at sports - The Team network- which lasted only 15 months on all but two stations.
Or, how about the spot-filler run of carrying the audio feed from CP24 before returning to sports. 

 

December 4, 2020 6:15 pm  #6


Re: Short-term formats


 

December 4, 2020 7:28 pm  #7


Re: Short-term formats

 I'm surprised no one has mentioned The Hog yet.
After only very short time the station dropped the hog and became the Beat of Toronto, sounding a lot more like CFTR and a lot less like a "Rock 40" station.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-33mGcxw8sOQ/Wm3dyDagL9I/AAAAAAAAX1o/dl1g0eGjg3chHGQCRucuUtm9IAPINy6TQCLcBGAs/s320/chog.jpg


 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

December 4, 2020 8:29 pm  #8


Re: Short-term formats

Dale Patterson wrote:

... 

- CKFH's oldies format: Emerged sometime between the last CKFH chart in 1972 and the switch to country in 1975. Great station and I got to work there as a board op in 1974-75.
 ...

So did you cross paths w/ Dick Beddoes doing his phone-in hockey chat show?

Used to listen to that show when I was a young pup. 

 

December 4, 2020 8:47 pm  #9


Re: Short-term formats

g121 wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

... 

- CKFH's oldies format: Emerged sometime between the last CKFH chart in 1972 and the switch to country in 1975. Great station and I got to work there as a board op in 1974-75.
 ...

So did you cross paths w/ Dick Beddoes doing his phone-in hockey chat show?

Used to listen to that show when I was a young pup. 

As a matter of fact, I did. I was a call-screener on "Hockey Hot-Line" for a while. Didn't really to know him, but he seemed like a real nice guy.
 


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
     Thread Starter
 

December 4, 2020 8:52 pm  #10


Re: Short-term formats

Dale Patterson wrote:

g121 wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

... 

- CKFH's oldies format: Emerged sometime between the last CKFH chart in 1972 and the switch to country in 1975. Great station and I got to work there as a board op in 1974-75.
 ...

So did you cross paths w/ Dick Beddoes doing his phone-in hockey chat show?

Used to listen to that show when I was a young pup. 

As a matter of fact, I did. I was a call-screener on "Hockey Hot-Line" for a while. Didn't really to know him, but he seemed like a real nice guy. One memory I have of that is station manager Gerry Wilson - who was also involved in the show - asking me in an accusatory tune, "you have another job, don't you?" Well, I did - I was working three nights a week for The Canadian Press. To this day, I don't know what the problem was, as the two jobs never conflicted. I never heard about it again.
 

 


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
     Thread Starter
 

December 4, 2020 9:09 pm  #11


Re: Short-term formats

Not a format, but I remember the old CBL playing oldies between 3-4 p.m. each day just like a commercial station. This would have been in the '90s and it seemed so unusual for them.

I remember CKOC's country music from 5-6 a.m. Nevin Grant told me this hour of country music started in 1968 and was so popular it lasted until 1988.

I recall CFNY-FM doing a Top 10 countdown every Thursday night at midnight. The funny thing was, it wasn't an album countdown as you might expect, but a singles countdown, and I actually heard "Lazy, Crazy, Hazy Days of Summer"" on that countdown on CFNY. It seemed so out of sync with the other music they were playing.

Last but not least, I remember driving home one night and hearing "Allegheny Moon" by Patti Page on Oldies 104. This was a station that subscribed to the 300-song playlist and never played any musical surprises. How "Allegheny Moon" got in there is anybody's guess. Never heard it again on that station. I was so out of character for them I believe it must have been a mistake.



 

Last edited by Dale Patterson (December 4, 2020 9:09 pm)


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
     Thread Starter
 

December 4, 2020 9:52 pm  #12


Re: Short-term formats

820 CHAM decided that talk radio was where it was at in September 2008 with their TALK 820 format, before reverting back to country music in July 2010.


PJ


Toronto's ORIGINAL classic hits station! http://www.classichitsonline.com
 

December 5, 2020 11:05 am  #13


Re: Short-term formats

There was CKEY FM Niagara  Falls in the 90's with an alt rock format at 101.1 as The Planet. I think they later became the new Planet FM with a dance/chr type format around 1997.

98 Classic Rock/AOR at 98.5 right after the demise of the great WZIR/free form on the same frequency. Have quite a few examples of WZIR and one clip of Z 98 on the web site.

WBUF 93.9 AOR from 1979-80. Have a few examples of that on the web site from a day they were doing a 60's weekend.

This is one that I vaguely remember  and it may have only lasted a few months. 94.5 Buffalo after WEBR and before WNED FM. In 1973/4 they had an automated and hip soft rock format featuring acoustic singer songwriters and such. I remember hearing hearing Aztec Two Step  a few times on the station. Wish I had taped some as that one seems to be lost to memory by all.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

December 5, 2020 12:22 pm  #14


Re: Short-term formats

Fitz wrote:

98 Classic Rock/AOR at 98.5 right after the demise of the great WZIR/free form on the same frequency. Have quite a few examples of WZIR and one clip of Z 98 on the web site.

WBUF 93.9 AOR from 1979-80. Have a few examples of that on the web site from a day they were doing a 60's weekend.

I remember 98.5 WRXT (called out as 98 and a half WRXT, which I guess was a fusion AOR/CHR station, kind of like 103.3 WPHD.  They rocked like Q-107, but somehow Cyndi Lauper made it in there.

I remember Foxy 93 (I think the calls were WFXE), taking over WBUF in 1980.  I recall it being an AC, because I heard Air Supply, Dr Hook and and Jim Photoglo as currents on the station.
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

December 5, 2020 12:54 pm  #15


Re: Short-term formats

I had mentioned this one about a month ago but one format that was very unique in it's day was from K106.5 in Owen Sound.  

The station signed on in 1988 with an A/C format, somewhat softer than Wingham's established FM 102.  

In about 1993 they changed radically with something that nobody was doing.  K106- The Mix That Kicks had it's debut with a hybrid format of new country, acoustic rock, and contemporary folk.

So in a show you would be playing current country hits from Dwight Yoakam, Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain along with Alanis Morissette, REM, Tragically Hip, Incubus, Blind Melon and appropriate gold from 1980 forward.  Everything was mixed into the rotation and believe it or not, it actually sounded good.    

After about 4 months of introducing the new format, the station bravely asked listeners to call in to comment on the sound. At the same time K106 featured a music contest with the battle of Country vs Contemporary.  So you would play a cut by a current country artist and then a non country artists and callers would vote.  It was interesting, and comments and popularity often split up the middle. 

I always gave the station a lot of credit for actually trying something new.  I guess it would be close to an Americana format which really wasn't around back then.
 
They had this sound for about 8 years, but dropped it when Bayshore broadcasting introduced Country 93 in 2001. And by this time the novelty had worn off and it seemed that as many didn't really care for the music as liked it.

Becoming Mix 106 in 2001, back to a A/C format but even this was different since they played more rock artists and classic rock than traditional A/C.  Today 106 has a more traditional Hot A/C format.

Bayshore is still not afraid to create new formats.  89.1 MAX FM in Orillia has their Alternative North offering.  Pretty daring for a commercial station to have this format in a small market and in the middle of cottage country.  They play alternative music. new music, some local artists and songs/artists rarely heard in much larger markets, other than maybe college radio.

 

December 5, 2020 1:09 pm  #16


Re: Short-term formats

paterson1 wrote:

Bayshore is still not afraid to create new formats.  89.1 MAX FM in Orillia has their Alternative North offering.  Pretty daring for a commercial station to have this format in a small market and in the middle of cottage country.  They play alternative music. new music, some local artists and songs/artists rarely heard in much larger markets, other than maybe college radio.

I agree with paterson1

Bayshore is one of the bright lights out there in terms of keeping their stations somewhat local and distinct. 

 

 

December 5, 2020 1:13 pm  #17


Re: Short-term formats

in the '80's i worked at a macLean-hunter am/fm operation in halifax. the am station's sell line was "today's easy listening". that translated into... low ratings.

 

December 5, 2020 1:16 pm  #18


Re: Short-term formats

CKFH appeared to be trying an FM on AM format in the summer of 1970. They played a lot more album cuts than usual which blended very nicely into "The Open Lid" at 10 o'clock. It sounded great, but didn't last as they were back to singles in the fall. "The Open Lid" was gone by the next year.

In 1979, CKFH dropped country for a nice mix of cross-over country and adult contemporary. It was a nice blend, executed well, but it didn't last.



 

Last edited by Dale Patterson (December 5, 2020 1:21 pm)


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
     Thread Starter
 

December 5, 2020 1:23 pm  #19


Re: Short-term formats

The now silent CKSL 1410 London was probably ahead of its time with their News Talk for the 90's format. It was backed with top-notch and probably expensive talent. They had a great morning team, an excellent news guy (George Gordon I believe) and two of the best talk shows hosts in the market: Jim Chapman and Andy Oudman.  Alas, it did not seem to last very long; maybe two years then it went to a oldies format.

I listened to CKSL a lot during that time, I wish they had been able to make this profitable. Perhaps if they had they would not be silent today. Here's a you tube link for a TV commercial from that era.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0epgSelThsU


 

Last edited by darcyh (December 5, 2020 1:25 pm)

 

December 5, 2020 3:05 pm  #20


Re: Short-term formats

A few more that were heard on cable in the 1970's.

CHIC FM as a very low power station started playing album sides but by 1975/6 I could hear them on cable and they were free form. At 102.1 on FM and cable before CFNY.

I also heard a station originating from Scarborough College on cable for a few years.

There was also CKRG from Glendon Collage on cable and David Pritchard was involved with them as a consultant. The station at one time also had a low power AM and then FM licence


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

December 5, 2020 3:44 pm  #21


Re: Short-term formats

CKSL was always a good station, but they seemed to get lost in the shuffle of corporate ownership when Telemedia acquired the station from locally run London Broadcasters in 1989. This peaked in 1993 with the two year News/Talk format, which possibly was just a few years ahead of it's time.
 
CKSL did have some stability in the 80's when Gord Hume was in charge and he upgraded facilities, and introduced a new FM station.   During this time,  CKSL was reasonably successful with their then bright A/C format and solid news, even cutting deep into CFPL 980's audience.

This might have been sweet for SL since CFPL was finally able to lure Peter Garland in 1981 after years of trying.  Peter was a popular guy in London and was mornings at CKSL for 9 years.  And CJBK was no slouch either.  London was and is a great radio town that so many people outside of the city know little about.  Most of London's stations AM and FM could have been placed in any major market and not sound out of place.

Talking about short term formats, we can't forget 1050 CHUM and their daring format move with new wave, new music from about July 1979 to into 1983.  For a time CHUM sort of sounded like an AM version of CFNY.  They didn't seem to be following traditional top 40 charts. CHUM was playing a lot of new artists that other AM stations wouldn't touch. 

Interesting though during this time both CKSL and CJBK in London did adopt a variation of CHUM's music later in the day.  CKSL in particular was very progressive sounding afternoon drive through to overnight.

I remember listening to CHUM one Saturday afternoon and hearing them play The KKK Took My Baby Away.  Name me another major market AM station in North America that would play that or album cuts from Talking Heads or Pete Townsend?   Most of the other major AM top 40 stations were getting somewhat stale and predictable musically with more adult and safe music.

To me they sounded fantastic and I loved that you never knew what they would play next.  Also the gold that CHUM put in the mix was very well chosen.  I remember Terry Steele going from XTC Generals and Majors into a 1967 song by The Seeds and Pushing Too Hard.  Wow, music on radio was interesting again!

But by late 1983 FM was really starting to replace AM for music in Toronto and CFTR was starting to eat CHUM's lunch, so they reverted back to a more traditional top 40 sound although still heavier than TR.

 

Last edited by paterson1 (December 5, 2020 3:46 pm)

 

December 5, 2020 7:01 pm  #22


Re: Short-term formats

paterson1 wrote:

But by late 1983 FM was really starting to replace AM for music in Toronto and CFTR was starting to eat CHUM's lunch, so they reverted back to a more traditional top 40 sound although still heavier than TR.
 

There were a few factors at play during that time as I recall. CFTR became a lot more aggressive in promoting itself. Then they acquired the powerhouse duo of Tom Rivers in the morning and Mike Cooper in drive. They tightened up their playlist and concentrated mostly on current hits with select gold tunes from the recent past. 
Meanwhile CHUM was still paying homage to its past with oldies all day on Sundays and some gold-based features at different times during the week which served to project the image that they were the station your parents listen to. At the same time the FM side became a competitor as it evolved from rock to pop, causing some younger listeners to migrate.
When Terry Williams was brought in to help turn things around he began to soften the playlist in advance of the eventual format flip in 1986 which left CFTR as the lone carrier of the Top 40 torch until the erosion of listeners to music on AM necessitated their flip.

 

December 5, 2020 7:18 pm  #23


Re: Short-term formats

paterson1 wrote:

But by late 1983 FM was really starting to replace AM for music in Toronto and CFTR was starting to eat CHUM's lunch, so they reverted back to a more traditional top 40 sound although still heavier than TR.
 

There were a few factors at play during that time as I recall. CFTR became a lot more aggressive in promoting itself. Then they acquired the powerhouse duo of Tom Rivers in the morning and Mike Cooper in drive. They tightened up their playlist and concentrated mostly on current hits with select gold tunes from the recent past. 
Meanwhile CHUM was still paying homage to its past with oldies all day on Sundays and some gold-based features at different times during the week which served to project the image that they were the station your parents listen to. At the same time the FM side became a competitor as it evolved from rock to pop, causing some younger listeners to migrate.
When Terry Williams was brought in to help turn things around he began to soften the playlist in advance of the eventual format flip in 1986 which left CFTR as the lone carrier of the Top 40 torch until the erosion of listeners to music on AM necessitated their flip.

 

December 5, 2020 7:38 pm  #24


Re: Short-term formats

paterson1 wrote:

Talking about short term formats, we can't forget 1050 CHUM and their daring format move with new wave, new music from about July 1979 to into 1983.  For a time CHUM sort of sounded like an AM version of CFNY.  They didn't seem to be following traditional top 40 charts. CHUM was playing a lot of new artists that other AM stations wouldn't touch. 

I remember listening to CHUM one Saturday afternoon and hearing them play The KKK Took My Baby Away.  Name me another major market AM station in North America that would play that or album cuts from Talking Heads or Pete Townsend?   Most of the other major AM top 40 stations were getting somewhat stale and predictable musically with more adult and safe music.

To me they sounded fantastic and I loved that you never knew what they would play next.  Also the gold that CHUM put in the mix was very well chosen.  I remember Terry Steele going from XTC Generals and Majors into a 1967 song by The Seeds and Pushing Too Hard.  Wow, music on radio was interesting again!

But by late 1983 FM was really starting to replace AM for music in Toronto and CFTR was starting to eat CHUM's lunch, so they reverted back to a more traditional top 40 sound although still heavier than TR.

 

During the spring and summer of 1982, 1050 CHUM was playing all kinds of AOR goodies like Judas Priest, Uriah Heep, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy even made the #82 spot on their year end countdown, The Top 82 of 1982.

A few other songs during that era, although not metal, made their way onto CHUM that probably wouldn't have seen the light of day on most traditional CHR stations, like "Johnny, Are You Queer?" by Josie Cotton and "Stick It Where the Sun Don't Shine" by Nick Lowe.

1050 CHUM tried to hang on to their rock cred even after getting pummeled in the ratings by CFTR. I remember as late as 1984 hearing them play "Midnite Maniac" by Krokus, and another time they played Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"...followed by Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It For the Boy." Talk about a strange mix! The only thing that those two artists had in common was that they were both on Columbia Records! 

I oftentimes think that if CHUM had hung on to their CHR format a few years longer they would've rebounded in the ratings, as hair metal was getting big around 1987 or so. When they changed their slogan in 1984 from "The Rock of Toronto" to "Hit Radio", it was a clear nod to CFTR's more pop-ish sounding format. The thing is, the new slogan was more cosmetic than anything else, as CHUM didn't really jump on the hits the way CFTR did.


PJ


Toronto's ORIGINAL classic hits station! http://www.classichitsonline.com
 

December 5, 2020 9:52 pm  #25


Re: Short-term formats

Good assessment of 1050 CHUM in the 80's Paul, wouldn't disagree with anything to said.  To me CHUM really started to lose their way at some point in late 1983 and early 1984 and you are right CFTR by this time was beating CHUM.  

CFTR had become much slicker on air than CHUM and stuck to a true top 40 hit music sound.  CHUM seemed to be trying to be an FM station on AM for some reason with too many music sweeps, few announcer breaks and as you mentioned heavy music that wasn't heard on AM radio. They also lacked the fun of CFTR.

When CHUM threw in the towel in August of 1986, I always thought CFTR would likely cruise.  But actually they got better and better in my opinion.  CFTR's music improved and the on air talent was excellent.  And great promotions like Commercial Free Sundays (brought to you by Labatt) were brilliant. CFTR was even carried on the FM band with Rogers cable.

CFTR continued to evolve and they had a unique high energy sound into the 1990's with great on air talent. The jocks and operators knew how to work the phones and were superb with listeners on air. When all AM music stations had long since dropped operators, TR still had them all day and into the night.  This made the station sound so polished.  To their credit they generally stayed away from a lot of the mellow MOR adult cuts that had infiltrated top 40 everywhere else. Especially afternoon, into evenings/all night and on weekends CFTR cooked on air!

Both CHUM and CFTR had great long runs as top 40 hit music stations.  Interesting that TR's era was only 7 years less than CHUM.  1050 had 29 years and was Canada's first 24 hour rock and roll station and CFTR had 21 years and possibly the last on the AM dial.  They shifted to all news on June 7 1993.  Stations like CHUM FM, Q, CHFI, CKFM and a few others had largely replaced AM radio as the source for music.

 

December 5, 2020 10:34 pm  #26


Re: Short-term formats

I'd have to get a source for this, but I remember reading a New York Times article in June 1993, citing the outgoing CFTR as a model of CHR radio that American programmers sought to imitate.  That's high praise for that station.

You mentioned CFTR being on cable.  In Stoney Creek on Cogeco Cable, CFTR appeared on 98.5 MHz, which was odd in a couple of ways.  CFTR had a similar tightness to their sound and the same Mitch Craig imaging that a certain other CHR station on THAT side of the Niagara River had, and this other station natively broadcast on 98.5 MHz.
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

December 5, 2020 10:45 pm  #27


Re: Short-term formats

Here was a post from the past that's relevant to 1050 CHUM's FM/AOR like presentation"
https://gta.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=28661#p28661

https://gta.boardhost.com/images/quote.png
paterson1 wrote:


Absolutely right Paul, 1050 CHUM did have more of an FM sounding signal.  Especially in the early 80's when they were playing a lot of new wave music. I didn't mean the flatter sound as a criticism, and if anything I also preferred the more natural sound of CHUM over CFTR. 

CHUM didn't sound like your typical top 40 station back then programming wise, and in terms of sound quality either. CFTR and stations like CKSL in London, CHYM in Kitchener had the more typical processed AM sounding signal.
 
And I responded:

CHUM was (to me) a CHR format but presented like an AOR.  Out of the news, they would mention "Now from the album .... etc ....etc - here's ..... on CHUM).  I've mentioned this before too, that all of the songs played between 1979 and 1983 were usually LP versions from what I can remember.  Only the censored version of "Highschool Confidential" by Ms Pope and her Trade, and Blondie's "Rapture" were single edits.

I could always recognize CHUM-FM because of a laggy, billowy bass in the early 80s.  I believe some of this was a result of turntable rumble, which tends to rob amplification power at low frequencies.  That's how I usually can identify someone spinning vinyl straight to air.  With some songs though, it lent a unique sound quite frankly.  On "L'Affair du Moutier" by the Box, the artifcact seemed to add a pleasant bounce to the mid-bass.  But on "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" bu U2, the bass distortion was unlistenable (well OK a slight exaggeration ....lol).  I also found that a loud pop on a record would hammer their compressor so badly, that it shot the level down no different than if someone bumped the pot down and gently raised it again.  Probably an overly aggressive attack setting.
 

Last edited by Jody Thornton (December 5, 2020 10:46 pm)


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

December 6, 2020 10:42 am  #28


Re: Short-term formats

I went through my recordings and tapes to see if I had anything from CHUM FM from the early 80's. I may but for now these are two small snips:. From the CHUM FM block era where they would feature artists or album sides. I think I have an hour that I have not uploaded yet but here is a small snip from May 1980. Also from a program called Flashback and I am not sure of the date but maybe late 70's or early 80's:

Flashback

Rick Ringer 1980




 

Last edited by Fitz (December 6, 2020 10:45 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
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December 6, 2020 11:05 am  #29


Re: Short-term formats

Fitz wrote:

I went through my recordings and tapes to see if I had anything from CHUM FM from the early 80's. I may but for now these are two small snips:. From the CHUM FM block era where they would feature artists or album sides. I think I have an hour that I have not uploaded yet but here is a small snip from May 1980. Also from a program called Flashback and I am not sure of the date but maybe late 70's or early 80's:

Flashback

Rick Ringer 1980

 

I wonder if Rick's playing a 12" white label promo for "Clones".  The percussive intro is much longer here than on the LP, and the end of the previous track joins into it.  That's absent here.

Good stuff though Fitz!
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

January 12, 2021 8:12 pm  #30


Re: Short-term formats

Found this old CJCL ❤ 1430 promo in a pile of old newspapers and magazines but not sure what year this was from. I suspect maybe 1980's?https://i.ibb.co/54tR8mn/IMG-20210112-0002.jpg