CFMZ-FM, Classical 96.3 FM, Toronto


CFMZ-FM201096.313,300Zoomermedia Ltd.
CFMZ-FM200896.313,300MZ Media Inc.
CFMZ-FM200696.313,300MZ Media Inc. (Moses Znaimer)
CFMX-FM199296.313,300Martin Rosenthal
CFMX-FM198896.3117,000Different Drummer Communications Inc.


CFMX-FM Cobourg, on the air since 1979, was awarded a licence which would allow it to break in to the lucrative Toronto market. It was one of a number of applicants trying to obtain the 96.3 MHz frequency at Mississauga. On April 25, the CRTC announced its decision and Different Drummer Communications (CFMX) was the winner. CFMX-FM would serve areas to the east of Toronto on 103.1 MHz and Toronto and immediate areas to the west on 96.3 MHz. The Mississauga transmitter would be a full-time rebroadcaster of the Cobourg station.

CFMX-FM-1 Mississauga began on the air testing on September 1. It broadcast on 96.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 19,100 watts. The tower was located atop the Kaneff IV building at Burnhamthorpe Road and Highway 10. This was a 35 storey condominium apartment building and ws the highest structure in Mississauga. A panel antenna was chosen in order to generate the required pattern and to keep the close-in vertical radiation within the mandatory 115 dBu field strength. The new transmitter received the Cobourg signal directly over the air using a highly directional, staged Kathrein Yagi antenna system and special receiver. The presence of CKLH 102.9 Hamilton made it more difficult to receive the Cobourg signal, some 125 kilometres away.

The on-air tests proved the signal was not as good as those offered by stations broadcasting from the CN Tower and First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto. However, CFMX-FM-1 began official broadcasting from Mississauga on October 7.

Actor Daniel Chevrier, dressed up as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, helped manager Jerry Good, and owners Martin and Truus Rosenthal flip the switch to put CFMX-FM-1 on the air. CFMX-FM now served most of southern Ontario – from St. Catharines to Belleville – reaching more than four million listeners compared to about 80,000 previously.

A production studio and sales office was being constructed in downtown Toronto. The station had operated a sales office in the city for some time. Before the end of the year, the new Toronto facility was opened. It was located at 468 Queen Street East. Studio equipment included a Ward-Beck console, top of the line reel-to-reel machines, turntables, CD units and cart machines.


CFMX received approval to increase effective radiated power for the Mississauga transmitter from 19,100 watts (class B) to 43,100 watts (class C), with some limitation on 96.3 MHz.

In August, CFMX-1 raised power to 43,100 watts (average ERP) directional from the same site in Mississauga. This was the equivalent of 100,000 watts beamed toward Toronto (100,000 watts maximum at horizontal, 43,100 watts average at horizontal, 103 meters EHAAT).


September 3 – CFMX became known as “Classical 96 & 103 FM”. 
The CRTC approved the 96.3 move from Mississauga to Toronto in November.

CFMX 96.3 was now broadcasting from a new tower atop First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto.


CFMX moved all of its operations (Cobourg and Toronto) to new facilities in Toronto at 550 Queen Street East (2nd floor). A sales office was maintained in Cobourg. 

The BBM spring ratings gave CFMX-FM its best raings ever – 408,700 listeners weekly. That was an increase of 24% from the fall, with over 4 million hours tuned. 

Bill Dulmage moved to weekend news on January 22, replaced in weekday afternoon news by David Craig (last at CFTR Toronto) on January 23. David Craig began hosting the weekend show Concert In The Park on June 8. Franco stopped hosting Canadian Showcase.

With the move of CFMX operations to Toronto (from Cobourg) in November, there were some programming changes as well. The new line-up: Morning Show – Bill Anderson (5:30-10), Morning Concert – Kerry Stratton (10-12), Luncheon Date – Arlene Meadows (12-1), Musically Speaking – Catherine Belyea (1-3), Potpourri – Terry Campbell (3-7), Sounds Great – Michael Lyons (7-11), Nocturne – Arlene Meadows (11-12), Nightwatch – Colin Fox (12-5:30). Notes: Terry Campbell joined for afternoons on August 25 (he guest hosted the AM show the previous week). Michael Lyons moved to evenings on September 2. Bill Dulmage left CFMX on November 15, and was replaced the next day by Neal Sandy. Alexa Petrenko returned in November. Michael Compeau now hosted Nightwatch on weekends only. SEE CFMX-FM Cobourg for program information prior to 1997.


The corporate name changed to Trumar Communications Inc. 

Newsman Neal Sandy left in August and was replaced by Milt Conway. Robin Glenny became retail sales manager at Classical 96 Toronto.


Terry Campbell left CFMX and Stu Allen was added.


On January 18, Trumar was granted a licence for a digital broadcasting transmitter for CFMX-FM-1 Toronto. The transmitter would be installed at the CN Tower and would employ the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system, and operate on 1,466.768 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,084 watts. 

On-air: Bill Anderson (5:30-10), Kerry Stratton (10-3), Michael Kramer (3-7), Michael Lyons (7-11), Arlene Meadows (11-12), Catherine Belyea (12-5:30). Weekends: John van Driel, Mona Globek, Richard Gale, Alexa Petrenko. News: David Craig, David Franco, Milt Conway. Notes: It was announced in May that Luncheon Date would be cancelled. Michael Kramer (formerly a newscaster at CBC Radio) replaced Alexa Petrenko on Potpourri in September. Alexa would continue to work weekends.


On July 22, CFMX-FM-1 Toronto was authorized to increase average effective radiated power from 13,300 to 24,500 watts. The changes would result in a better quality signal by reducing adjacent channel interference and by strengthening the signal reception in certain areas.


On August 31, MZ Media Inc. (Moses Znaimer) was given approval to acquire CFMX-FM-1, CFMX-DR-1 Toronto, and CFMX-FM Cobourg from Trumar Communications Inc. (Martin and Truus Rosenthal). Znaimer took ownership of the station on September 29.


Early in the year, CFMX-FM Cobourg and CFMX-FM-1 Toronto became CFMZ-FM and CFMZ-FM-1 to reflect the new MZ Media ownership. (Digital transmitter became CFMZ-DR-1).


CFMZ-FM-1 Toronto changed its call sign back to CFMX-FM-1. The Cobourg transmitter retained the CFMZ-FM call letters.

On February 19, the CRTC approved the application by MZ Media Inc. to amend the licence of CFMX-FM-1 Toronto by deleting its rebroadcasting transmitter CFMZ-FM Cobourg. The commission also approved the application by MZ Media for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language Specialty FM radio programming undertaking in Cobourg (103.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 86,700 watts). MZ Media noted that because CFMZ-FM presently receives all of its programming from its originating station CFMX-FM-1 Toronto, the station can offer only full coverage advertising rates based on CFMX-FM-1 operating as a Toronto central market area station. The applicant submitted that approval of its applications would benefit local Cobourg and area businesses since it would be able to offer customized local advertising packages directed specifically to Cobourg and the surrounding area at rates significantly lower than the current full coverage rates. MZ Media stated that it would provide, on average, a maximum of 24 hours per week of differentiated local programming content directed specifically to listeners in Cobourg and the surrounding area. MZ Media defined this differentiated content as advertising and spoken word material that would not be broadcast on CFMX-FM-1 during the same broadcast week.

On March 31, MZ Media received approval to purchase CHWO-AM 740 from Primetime Radio Inc.

The call signs were officially changed in the spring to CFMZ Toronto and CFMX Cobourg.

New sister station CHWO-AM joined Classical 96 at 550 Queen Street East.

CHWO changed call letters to CFZM. 


25-year Toronto news veteran Jane Brown was appointed morning news anchor for The New AM 740 and assistant news director for both The New AM 740 and The New Classical 96.3 FM. She made her on-air debut August 4.

On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CFMX-DR-1.


Former CFMX and CHUC owner Donald B. Williamson passed away on January 12. As a broadcast consulting engineer, Williamson was responsible for the design of many of Canada’s transmission towers still in use today. 

On March 30, the CRTC approved, subject to certain conditions, the applications by ZoomerMedia Limited, on behalf of itself and on behalf of Christian Channel Inc. and ONE: The Body, Mind and Spirit Channel Inc., for authority to effect a multi-step transaction involving the specialty television service VisionTV, the Category 1 specialty television service ONE: The Body, Mind and Spirit Channel and the television stations CHNU-TV Fraser Valley and CIIT-TV Winnipeg, as well as for a new broadcasting licence to continue the operation of VisionTV. Further, the Commission approved an application by MZ Media Inc. (CFZM, CFMZ-FM, CFMZ-DR-1 Toronto and CFMX-FM Cobourg) for authority to transfer all its issued and outstanding shares from Mr. Moses Znaimer to ZoomerMedia. ZoomerMedia is a public corporation effectively controlled by Mr. Moses Znaimer, who owns directly and indirectly, through his holding corporation Olympus Management Limited, 77.89% of the voting interest in ZoomerMedia. Following the transaction, Mr. Znaimer would own, directly and indirectly, a 66.28% voting interest in ZoomerMedia and continue to exercise effective control of the corporation.

Zoomer Media had begun making arrangements for its move to 64 Jefferson Avenue. The company purchased the building that had been housing Corus Entertainment’s broadcast facilities. Corus was moving to an expanded facility on the city’s lakeshore. Zoomer Media, owned by Moses Znaimer, would combine its Toronto radio stations (AM 740 and Classical 96), TV stations for which they recently received CRTC approval and its magazine operations. 

On November 26, the CRTC renewed the licences for CFMZ-FM and CFMX-FM to March 31, 2011.


MZ Media Inc. requested the revocation of its licence for CFMZ-DR-1 Toronto and on February 15, the CRTC carried out the request. This followed the CBC having all of its digital radio licenses revoked across the country. There was a general lack of interest by all parties involved, for the operation of digital radio in this country. 

On March 18, the CRTC renewed (administrative) CFMZ-FM’s licence until August 31, 2011.

On July 29, the CRTC renewed the licences for the specialty FM radio stations CFMZ-FM Toronto and CFMX-FM Cobourg until August 31, 2015. These short-term licence renewals would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and its conditions of licence. The Commission approved the licensee’s request to be relieved from subsection 15(4) of the Regulations relating to the requirement that 60% of Canadian content development contributions be devoted to FACTOR or MUSICACTION. The proposed amendment would permit MZ Media to devote up to 80% of its basic annual CCD contributions to initiatives related to the stations’ classical music format and to direct the remainder to FACTOR. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2010-912, the Commission stated that the licensee may have failed to comply with subsection 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 relating to the filing of each station’s annual returns for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years. The Commission also stated that the licensee may have failed to comply with its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development contributions for the 2003-2004 broadcast year with respect to CFMZ-FM. In light of all of the above, the Commission considered that a short-term renewal for CFMZ-FM and CFMX-FM was appropriate.


George Grant, President & CEO of MZ Media (The New Classical 96.3 FM Toronto, The New Classical 103.1 FM Cobourg, and The New AM 740 Toronto) stepped down August 15.


John van Driel, V.P. Programming & Operations and host of A Little Night Music at New Classical 96.3 FM left the station September 30. He had been with CFMX/CFMZ since 1983 and would now become Chief Content Officer for the KUSC Radio Group in Los Angeles (as of November 7).


In February, Bill Anderson began broadcasting Bill’s Classical Jukebox from a new studio in Collingwood. Anderson was contemplating retiring to Collingwood, so the decision was easy to build him a studio to keep him on the air, according to management.

In September, CFMZ began broadcasting in HD, offering a feed of CFZM 740 on CFMZ-FM HD2.

The story continues elsewhere…
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