CFTR-AMCFTR-AM , 680 News, Toronto

Rogers Media

CFTR-AM198568050,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CFTR-AM197968020,000Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co.
CFTR-AM197568025,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CFTR-AM197168010,000/250Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CHFI-AM19696802,500/1,000E. S. Rogers
CHFI-AM19666801,000/100CHFI Ltd.
CHFI-AM1962154050 dayCHFI-FM Ltd.


On September 5, Ted Rogers filed an application with the BBG for a new Toronto AM station on 1540 kHz. He already operated CHFI-FM at 98.1 MHz.


CHFI-FM Limited, owner of CHFI-FM 98.1, launched CHFI-AM on August 8. The new AM station simulcast the “Good Music” sound of the FM parent. This was very unusual as most AM-FM combinations had the FM simulcasting the AM station. CHFI-AM broadcast on a frequency of 1540 kHz and had a daytime-only power of 50,000 watts. The station operated with a directional antenna pattern.

Studios and offices were at 13 Adelaide Street East. The transmitter and two 200 foot towers were located north of Dundas Street in Peel County (now Mississauga). CHFI-FM Ltd. was owned by E. S. (Ted) Rogers, Jr., son of the founder of CFRB-AM in Toronto. In addition to owning CHFI-AM and FM, Rogers also held an interest in CFTO Television (channel 9). 


The corporate name was changed to Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.

Ted Rogers was willing to pay CHLO St. Thomas to move from 680 kHz to 1410 kHz so that CHFI could use the 680 frequency and add night-time service. CHFI was limited to daytime-only operation on 1540 kHz because it was an American Clear Channel and stations like KXEL in Waterloo, Iowa, had to be protected. CHLO’s application to move to 1410 kHz was denied and the frequency was awarded to CKSL 1290 in London. Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. decided to move ahead with its application to use 680 kHz for night-time operation only while continuing to operate on 1540 kHz during the day. 

In October, CHFI-AM was given approval to add night-time service, using 680 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts. Daytime operation would continue on 1540 kHz with power of 50,000 watts.

E.S. Rogers, President of Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. announced the appointment of George W. Harper as General Sales Manager of CHFI and CHFI-FM. He joined the station from Hamilton as Sales Manager early in 1962. Don Watson was news director. Bill Byram left CHFI as general manager, to become vice president of the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. His first day at BBM was February 15.


CHFI-AM was authorized to broadcast on 680 kHz during the day as well as at night. Engineering research showed that CHLO St. Thomas and CHFI could both operate full-time on 680 kHz. 


CHFI was hoping to be on 680 kHz full-time with 1,000 watts during the day and 10,000 watts at night by the fall.

Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. received approval to sell the 1540 frequency in Toronto because CHFI was now licenced for full-time operation on 680. Rogers proposed to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to take over the assets concerned with 1540 kHz. Rogers would then dispose of that subsidiary.

Rogers was given permission to sell Radio 1540 Ltd., the new subsidiary company, to a syndicate headed by Johnny Lombardi.

CHFI was hoping to be on 680 kHz full-time around November 1 and Lombardi had hoped to launch his new CHIN 1540 by the same date. Lombardi had set up studios and offices and already had a fully operational transmitter site – the one used by CHFI 1540 – on 100 acres, a few miles west of Metro. Lombardi said he would have settled for just ten acres but Ted Rogers offered the land on an all or nothing basis.

Bill Compeau left CHFI around this time.


On March 28, CHFI ceased daytime operation on 1540 kHz and began fulltime broadcasting on 680 kHz. Power was 1,000 watts day and 10,000 watts at night. CHFI 680 operated from a new transmitter site located at Highway 10 and Burnhamthorpe Road in Peel County (what is now Mississauga). Nine 309 foot towers were used.

Johnny Lombardi signed his new station on the air on June 6, using CHFI’s old 1540 kHz frequency. It should be noted that Lombardi was an experienced broadcaster. He had produced foreign language programs for stations like CHUM and CKFH in Toronto. Most recently, Lombardi had worked for Ted Rogers. 

Vern Cavanaugh left CHFI-AM-FM for Oshawa.


Roly Koster, CHFI-AM-FM production manager was named station manager of CHIQ Hamilton following the announced purchase of that station by Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. (still required BBG approval). Earl Bradford left for the new Rogers station at Hamilton. He had been CHFI’s assistant news director and would be news director at CHIQ (to be renamed CHAM). 


CHFI 680 applied to the BBG for permission to increase daytime power from 1,000 to 2,500 watts (DA-2). This was approved. The station had previously received authorization for a night-time power increase from 10,000 to 25,000 watts.

Eddie Luther brought his airborne traffic reports to CHFI-AM-FM from CFRB. Harry McIntyre was appointed general sales manager. He had been a sales rep at the stations for the past three years. Jim Fleming was a news commentator.

CHFI 680 applied to the BBG for permission to increase daytime power from 1,000 to 2,500 watts (DA-2). This was approved. The station had previously received authorization for a night-time power increase from 10,000 to 25,000 watts. 

Harry McIntyre was appointed general sales manager. He had been a sales rep at the stations for the past three years. Jim Fleming was a news commentator. Adrian Egan was appointed national marketing director for Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. (CHFI-AM-FM, CHAM).

CHFI-AM-FM began using twin helicopters (“traffic twins”) for traffic reporting. CKEY also added a similar service this year and beat CHFI with Monday through Friday reports. Mike Hopkins and Ken Kirkley were the airborne traffic reporters for CHFI.

Former CHAM manager Roly Koster was promoted to manager of operations for all Rogers Broadcasting stations.

Vaughn Bjerre was station manager and program director. He reported that CHFI was going after CFRB in the BBM ratings but the station would continue on with its “Luxury Sound” and limited advertising. Programming was directed to adults, age 20-50. CHFI now had a news staff of 12, a fleet of news cruisers, ABC and Mutual (U.S.) network affiliations, and its own bureau at both Queen’s Park and city hall. CHFI-FM was the city’s number one FM outlet while CHFI-AM was #2 in adult listening in Toronto. The station had developed a new promotion/publicity campaign to draw attention – “We’re Something Else”.

Tom Brown was hired from Kansas City to handle the afternoon drive show. Eddie Luther joined the station after 20 years or so with CFRB. He would join Gerry Herbert in reporting traffic for the stations.

John Barton hosted the morning show.


As a matter of record, Rogers Broadcasting’s sister company Rogers Cable TV Ltd. had its licence renewed for two years on July 10, contingent on Glen Warren Productions Ltd. disposing of its 50% interest in Rogers. Glen Warren ownership was the same as parent Baton Broadcasting with The Telegram Corp. Ltd. hoding apx. 53%. All Telegram shares were owned by Eaton and Bassett trusts.

On July 18, CHFI-AM increased power to 2,500 watts day and 10,000 watts night (different day and night directional patterns) on 680 kHz, from the same site and towers.

Gerry Bascombe was appointed program director of CHFI-FM-AM as of February 24. He had been program director of CFCF/CFQR in Montreal.

Slogan: CHFI 680 the Radio Station to watch.

CHFI-AM obtained the rights to the 1969-70 Argonaut (CFL) games – pre-season, regular, playoffs and Grey Cup.

Rogers formed the Rogers Radio Network (news).

Studios and offices were at 13 Adelaide Street East.

The Rogers Radio News Network was launched in April. It was affiliated with ABC in New York. CHFI-AM and FM were not shown on the list of affiliates but the service was based in the CHFI newsroom. CHUM-AM was a partial affiliate of the network in Toronto. 

At this time, CHFI-AM broadcast approximately 160 minutes of news per day while CHFI-FM offered about 140 minutes. CHFI-AM was geared to the average worker, so offered more news than FM. CHFI-FM went after the more sophisticated listener. CHFI had a news staff of 18.

CHFI announced the purchase of $200,000 worth of equipment from Canadian General Electric for a proposed increase in daytime power from 2,500 to 10,000 watts. 

Slogan: CHFI – No. 2 Adult Radio In Toronto.


On February 13, at 12 a.m., CHLO St. Thomas moved from 680 kHz to 1570 kHz. Ted Rogers, owner of CHFI made two agreements with CHLO. The first was in 1966, allowing CHFI to move from 1540 kHz to 680 kHz, thus causing some interference to CHLO. In the second agreement, Rogers paid Souwesto Broadcasters $400,000 for CHLO’s move from 680 kHz to 1570 kHz. The money would pay for the new equipment needed to make the switch. This last change would allow CHFI 680 to increase its power and not encounter interference from CHLO. The agreement was approved by the CRTC. 

On March 25, the power increase applied for in 1968 was approved as the Department of Communications had now approved a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate. At this time, CHFI 680 was operating with 1,000 watts day and 10,000 watts night (different day and night directional patterns); the station was authorized for 2,500 watts day and 25,000 watts night (different day and night directional patterns); the approved application proposed 10,000 watts day and 25,000 watts night (different day and night directional patterns).


On June 21, on what would have been the 71st birthday E.S. (Ted) Rogers, Sr., CHFI became CFTR. The “TR” in the call letters were a tribute to the late Mr. Rogers and stand for Ted Rogers.

The CFTR and CHFI studios were moved to 25 Adelaide Street East. Just a few months after the move, the old 13 Adelaide location was destroyed by fire. 

George Johns joined CFTR as program director from CFRA in Ottawa.

Program line-up: Bob MacAdorey (5:30 to 10), Rick Campbell (10-2), Earl Mann (2-6), John Woodbridge (6-11) and Jay Dell (11-5:3). Others: Sandy Hoyt, Don Wilson (news), John Badham (sports and The Argos), Jim Fleming (commentary), Eddie Luther and Russ Holden (traffic – joined this year). Chuck “The Magic” Christian (joined in the fall).


Early in the year, CFTR broke away from simulcasting CHFI-FM’s beautiful music programming and adopted a Top 40 format. 


On-air names: Jim Brady (joined in July), Paul Godfrey, Mike Marshall, Steve Shannon, Doc Holiday (left October 31), Stirling Faux, Rick Allen (aka Rick Moranis), Don Valli (aka Roger Klein), Duke Roberts (joined in June), Robert Holiday (news), Darryl Dahmer joined Eddie Luther and Russ Holden in covering traffic reports. 

George Johns left CFTR for Fairbanks Communications. When he left CFTR, he was manager.


Some On-Air names: Jim Brady (mornings), Paul Godfrey (middays), Duke Roberts (afternoons), Robert Holiday and Clint Nickerson (news), Eddie Luther, Darryl Dahmer and Russ Holden (traffic). 

John Mann joined Rogers Radio as director of engineering for CFTR and CHFI. 


On April 10, Radio Rogers Ltd. was given approval to increase CFTR’s daytime power from 10,000 watts to 25,000 watts. Night power would remain 25,000 watts. The power increase took effect later in the year, using thirteen 309 foot towers from the existing transmitter site.

Program line-up: Jim Brady (6-9), Paul Godfrey (9-12), Keith O’Bryan (12-3), Red Knight (3-6), Bill Edwards (6-9), Dick Joseph (9-12) and Mike Christie (12-6). Others: Glen Walters, Don Biefer, and Sandy Hoyt. Red Knight (Peter Thompson) joined from London’s CKSL. He replaced Duke Roberts who headed back to the U.S. Keith O’Bryan (Keith Moriarity) came to ‘TR from CKOC in Hamilton. Sandy Hoyt left for CHFI-FM.


CFTR issued its first Top 30 chart on March 23. It appeared in the Toronto Star newspaper.

Chuck Camroux was station manager at this time.

When CFTR had its licence renewed, it was told that the coverage and treatment of news should be improved.

John Mann left CFTR-CHFI for M.S.C. Electronics.

Tom Jeffries (joined), Bobby Day, Rick Hunter (joined from CKWS Kingston), and Mike Cooper (joined from CHUM) were now on CFTR. Robert Holiday and Clint Nickerson were among the news people. Darryl Dahmer, Eddie Luther, and Russ Holden were traffic reporters.

Dan Plouffe was named assistant program director. 


Monitor 680 was launched by the news department. 

Robert Holiday was news director. Glenys Bell was news co-ordinator. John Hinnen did sports. Tim Keele was a reporter.

Chuck Camroux, vice-president of programming for Rogers Radio left that position to become a consultant for the company. Paul Godfrey left the air to become program and music director. He then left for CHYM in Kitchener. Tom McLean was named general manager, coming from CKGM Montreal. 


Tom Hoar was now CFTR’s chief engineer.

The corporate name was changed again – this time to Rogers Radio Broadcasting Ltd. 

Bill Hayes, Bill Edwards, Don Biefer and Jeff Newfield were now on the air at CFTR. Corey Galbraith, and Larry Silver were now in the news department. Shirlee Gordon joined CFTR as a reporter. 

Jim Brady left in June for KOPA in Phoenix, Arizona, but returned to CFTR in August. Red Knight left for CJBQ Belleville in June. Mike Cooper moved to afternoon drive. Dan Williamson joined from Vancouver’s CKLG. Gerry Forbes joined. Don Biefer and Tome Jeffries left.


On July 30, Radio Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. received tentative CRTC approval for CFTR to increase its daytime power and to relocate its daytime transmitter site. These changes would require what would likely be lengthy international negotiations. The proposal would see daytime power increase from 25,000 to 50,000 watts. The transmitter site would be changed for daytime operation only, from 33.6 km southwest of Toronto (at Mississauga) to a site located 56 km southwest of Toronto (at Grimsby). The night-time signal would continue to transmit from Mississauga at a power of 25,000 watts.

New production facilities were installed, including a new Neve console and Studer tape decks, new turntables, and speakers. At the transmitter site, a new Continental 317C 25,000 watt transmitter was now in operation.

On-air line-up: Jim Brady (6-10), Mike Marshall (10-2), Dan Williamson (2-6), Mike Cooper (6-10), Bill Hayes (10-2); Scott Miller, Gerry Forbes and Gary Bell took turns in the overnight shift. Rick Hunter and Jim Johnson were heard on weekends. Russ Holden, Darryl Dahmer, and Eddie Luther covered traffic. The news room included, Robert Holiday, Larry Silver, John Wilson, Ben Steinfeld, Corey Galbraith, J. Michael Phillips, Mike Katrycz, Ted Bird, John Hinnen (sports), Clint Nickerson, Evelyn Macko, Elaine Loring, Mike Robins, and Arlene Bynon. 

Ted Bird joined. Bill Gardner joined for the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift. Scott Miller joined in January and left in August for CKLW Windsor. Eddie Luther left.

Tom Mclean was general manager and Reg Johns was appointed program director.

In September Keith Dancy joined Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. as executive vice president and director.


Announcer Mike Marshall (son of Hamilton broadcaster Norm Marshall) left CFTR for CKFH.


Bill Gable was appointed program director, effective April 1. He had been PD at Windsor’s CKLW. Bill Gardner left June 6 and was replaced on-air June 9 by Bill Gable. Robert Holiday was named vice president, Radio Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. He was replaced as news director by Evelyn Macko (from CKTB St. Catharines). Arlene Bynon joined CFTR news from CJRN in Niagara Falls.The Supreme Court of Ontario cleared the way for CFTR to build eight 400 foot towers at Grimsby. The decision ended the town’s two-year battle to block the construction.

Dan Plouffe was CFTR’s promotions manager.


Morning personality Jim Brady left CFTR on August 12. He was replaced on August 24 by John Landecker from WLS in Chicago. Brady moved to Toronto’s CJCL 1430 (ex-CKFH). Dave Barrett became executive vice president and general manager at CFTR. He had recently worked in the U. S., but had managed Montreal’s CFCF/CFQR-FM prior to that.

CFTR received approval to increase night-time power to 50,000 watts and to move the night transmitter site to Grimsby. Daytime operations would continue from Mississauga. In a related application, CKGB Timmins, was authorized to move from 680 kHz with 10,000 watts to 730 kHz with 25,000 watts, to facilitate CFTR’s power increase. 

Charlene Roycht was named CFTR/CHFI promotions manager as of October 1.


Robert Holiday left CFTR for CJCL. Holiday had been a VP at Rogers Radio and CFTR’s news director before that. John Hinnen took over as news director. Bob Saint became program director, replacing Bill Gable who left for WLW in Cincinnati. Gable left on April 2. Rob Cowan joined CFTR from CJCL as swing announcer. 

Tony Viner

Tony Viner became executive vice president of Rogers Radio after five years of running CFGM/CILQ-FM. Research director and weekend announcer Rick Hunter was appointed assistant program director. Newsman Mike Robbins left for CJCL. Tom Hoar moved from the engineering department to the corporate level.

Rogers Broadcast Productions cancelled the news magazine “Sunday, Sunday” which had aired on 52 stations in 48 markets across the country. CFTR continued to produce and air the program, hosted by Arlene Bynon and Ben Steinfeld.

Eric G. (Sandy) Sanderson was named CFTR’s program director. The Toronto native had worked for WABC (New York), WLS (Chicago) and ABC-FM Radio. Bob Saint became assistant program director and music director.


Early in the year, Ron Turnpenny, vice-president of engineering for Rogers Radio, reported that completion of the CFTR Grimsby transmitter site was expected by late in the year. After some delays, work had resumed and the new towers had been delivered.

CFTR began using the Kahn AM stereo system.

Approval was granted for CFTR to change its day-time radiation pattern. 

Tom Rivers joined CFTR on January 8 to handle weekends. He had last been with CHUM-AM. Later in the year, Rivers took over CFTR’s morning show when John Landecker returned to Chicago to work at WLUP-FM. Rick Hunter left for CJCL.


CFTR newsman John Hinnen became regional director of the RTNDA.

John Seymour, with CFTR for 17 years and now retail sales manager, was named a vice president of Rogers Radio.

Work on CFTR’s eight tower array on Lake Ontario at Grimsby was nearing completion. The transmitter site would cost about $3.5 million to complete. CFTR was one of three Toronto AM stations moving its transmitter site to the other side of Lake Ontario. CFTR and CKEY were locating to Grimsby (more than 30 miles across the lake from downtown Toronto). The move would allow the station to up its power to 50,000 watts full-time and beam an unobstructed signal across the lake towards the metropolitan area. Site beautification was important because of the site location along the lake shore, adjacent to the QEW highway. The existing Mississauga transmitter site was on 106 acres, used 13 towers, and put out a full-time power of 25,000 watts. At Grimsby CFTR would use a Continental C2 transmitter and a Continental C1 for standby use. CFTR would operate in stereo, using the Kahn system. The engineering team consisted of Ron Turnpenny, Les Henwood and Tom Hoar. Consulting engineer was E.W. Horrigan. Target date for daytime operation: September, 1984; night-time: January, 1985.


In February, CFTR increased daytime power to 50,000 watts from its new Grimsby daytime-only transmitter site. Night power remained 25,000 watts from Mississauga. Eight 410 foot towers were used at the Grimsby site. 

Sister station CHFI-FM was authorized to use SCMO as a back-up monaural program feed for CFTR’s new transmitter site at Grimsby.

In June, night power increased to 50,000 watts. The station was now transmitting day and night from the Grimsby site.

James Sward
Jim Sward

James F. Sward, president of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Ltd. announced the appointment of Kirk Nesbitt as director of engineering for Rogers Radio. He would be responsible for all facets of transmitting and studio operations including DOC and CRTC liaison for CHFI/CFTR Toronto, CHYR Leamington, and CKJD/CJFI Sarnia. He would also work with Ron H. Turnpenny, vice-president of corporate engineering in the exploration and development of new radio technologies.

On-air: Tom Rivers (mornings), Bob Saint (mid-days), Bill Hayes (afternoons), Mike Cooper (late afternoon/evening), Steve Gregory (evenings), Kris James (evenings), Gary Bell (overnights). Ted Bird left CFTR’s news department.

On October 1, Roger Radio Broadcasting Ltd. became Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. (a division of Rogers Communications Inc.).

CFTR broke the long-standing record of CFRB as having the largest radio audience in Canada. With CFTR at the top of the ratings, program director Eric G. (Sandy) Sanderson was promoted to vice president of programming for Rogers Radio.


Rogers added a TV station to its Toronto group when it acquired CFMT-TV channel 47.

Bob Aykler was CFTR’s Queen’s Park reporter. Eric Thomas did sports. Bob Saint was music director. 


Ron Turnpenny retired as vice-president of engineering at Rogers Radio Broadcasting. 

Newsman Dick Smyth joined CFTR from CHUM. John Hinnen was news director.

CFTR program director Sandy Sanderson was named vice president and senior programmer for all of the Rogers Radio stations.

Erik Thomas was CFTR’s sports director. Larry Fedoruk was promotions manager.


Tom Harkness left CFTR as senior sales rep to become general sales manager at CKSL/CIQM-FM in London.

Dick Smyth was senior news editor and commentator for CFTR and CFMT-TV.

Larry Silver became CFTR’s news director after John Hinnen moved to take over CHFI’s news deparment.

John Seymour was CFTR’s sales manager. Sharon Taylor was program director.

CFTR held a 28 hour radiothon to aid hurricane-ravaged Jamaica.

On-air: Tom Rivers, Bill Hayes, Mike Cooper, Steve Gregory, Gary Bell, Larry Fedoruk, Bob Calihan, Kris James. News: Dick Smyth, Larry Silver, Evelyn Macko, John Hinnen, Eric Thomas (sports). Traffic: Russ Holden, Darryl Dahmer.


Tony Viner, with Rogers Broadcasting since 1982 as executive vice president and general manager of CFTR and CHFI, was appointed chairman of the board of BBM Bureau of Measurement.

The Harvard Business School Club of Toronto named Ted Rogers, 1989 Canadian Business Statesman of the Year. The president and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc., was cited for providing Canadians with a wide range of TV viewing options and for demonstrating a rare combination of vision and management ability that helped place Canada on the leading edge of communications technology.

Glenn Wilkens joined CFTR news from CIDC-FM in Orangeville where he had been news director.

Tony Viner was appointed president and chief operating officer of Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. James Sward remained CEO despite his appointment as president and COO of Rogers Cantel Inc.

Bill Hayes left for CKFM in January or February. Larry Fedoruk joined Tom Rivers in AM Drive in August. He had been handling weekends. Mike Cooper left for 590 CKEY. Steve Gregory moved to mid-days. Gregory & Kris James took turns filling the PM Drive slot until Jesse & Gene arrived from CILQ. Al Zimmer joined the news department from CFRB. Tom Otto (news) left for CKEY.


Gary Miles
Gary Miles

Gary L. Miles and Eric G. (Sandy) Sanderson were named executive vice presidents of Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.

CFTR received a five year licence renewal but was told to schedule more Canadian content in morning drive and to come up with new plans to support Canadian talent. CFTR proposed reducing news content with the introduction of hourly 68-second news updates, but was told to maintain its current level of five hours and ten minutes a week.

Tarzan Dan (Dan Freeman) joined CFTR in January from CKXY Vancouver. He would do early evenings. Larry Fedoruk left co-morning drive for CKFM in July or August. Steve Gregory left in September. Gary Bell left in September. Scott Thompson moved to overnights from weekends. Charmain Mullen (news) left for CHOG. Dan Blakely (news) left for CHUM.


On-air: Tom Rivers (5:30-9), Kris James (9-2), Jesse Dylan & Gene Valaitis (2-6), Tarzan Dan (6-10), Bob Calihan/Cat Spencer (10-2), Scott Thompson (2-5:30). News: Mike Randall, Bob Nichols, Anne Lavrih, Larry Silver, Dick Smyth, Mike Gleegore, Evelyn Macko, Jim Morris, Lucy Zilio, Peter Gross (sports). Traffic: Darryl Dahmer, Gloria Martin, Russ Holden. 

Tom Rivers did his last (morning) show on June 11. Jesse & Gene moved to that shift from afternoon drive on June 17. (Rivers left for a six week vacation and on his return, found out he was no longer morning man but would now do afternoon drive). During the time that Rivers was away, Kris James had been doing afternoon drive. Jim Elyot took over as mid-day host.


Tom Rivers left CFTR in August and was replaced in afternoon drive by Tarzan Dan.


Former CFTR traffic reporter Eddie Luther died February 16. He was 72. He was with CHFI/CFTR from 1968 to 1979. 

On June 1, all of CFTR’s music personalities were fired as the station prepared to move to an all-news format at “680 News”. The announcers were: Jesse & Gene, Tarzan Dan, Kris James, Bob Calihan, Jim Elyot, Cat Spencer (on vacation). Music director Rob Farina and librarian Donna Lidster were also let go. All of the news staff remained for the new format.

Between June 1 and 7, CFTR aired “The CFTR Story”, a Top 500 countdown from the past 25 years. The program was played over and over until the debut of 680 News.

On June 7 at 6:00 a.m., CFTR became 680 News with an all-news format. News anchors included Dick Smyth, Evelyn Macko, Maryanne Summers, Larry Silver, Paul de Courcy, Lucy Zilio, Ken Cassavoy, Dennis Woolings, David Craig (news director), Peter Coleman, Wendy Howard, David Melbourne, Al Zimmer, Bob Nichols, Stephanie Smyth, Karen Bodirsky, Nancy Danyo, Michael Kane, Rob Graham, Joe Snyder, Catherine Hyde, and Marlane Oliver (joined in October from CFRB). The reporting team included: Al Zimmer, Bob Nichols, Stephanie Smyth, Karen Bodirsky, Catherine Hyde, Ann Lavrih, Jim Morris, and Jane Michenson. Traffic: Gloria Martin, Tom Reynolds, Darryl Dahmer, Russ Holden, Carolyn Heldmond, Linda O’Connor, James Monroe, Michael Kane, Rob Graham, Joe Snyder, and Ann Lavrih. Business: John Hinnen, Mike Epell, and Anne Marie Parsons. Sports: John Hinnen, Peter Gross, Danny Nicholson, Susan Rogers, Mike Dejohn, and Steve Duncan.


Susan Rogers left for TSN. Larry Silver left in August for CJEZ-FM. Chris Wilson joined from CFRB.


680 News said it was Toronto’s fastest growing station, doubling the number of listeners to 557,000 (BBM) since going all-news in 1993.

In the mid-90s, CFTR changed its address to 36 Victoria St. (same building). 

Evelyn Macko left for CHOG-CILQ. Ben Steinfeld left for CJEZ-FM. John Majhor joined as promo voice from CITY-TV.

680News General Sales Manager Gary Murphy was now acting Director of Business Development at Rogers Broadcasting. New GSM was Derek Berghuis, who had been with the ABC Radio Networks in New York.


David Craig left in August.


In August, CFTR and  CHFI gained a sister station in Toronto when Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was given approval to purchase CISS 92.5. 

On-air – News anchors: Ellie Sedinsky, Tanya McIntyre, Dick Smyth, Con Stevenson, Chris Wilson, Michael Hainsworth, Cairie Hart, Ken Cassavoy, Donna Lee Williams, Paul de Courcy, Paul Cook, Marlane Oliver, and Stephane Smyth. Reporters: Scott Simpson, Chris Mavridis, Bob Pritchard (computers), Jason Gennaro, Robin Polson, Al Zimmer, Bob Nichols, Rudy Blair, Jose Heisig, Karen Parsons, Jim Morris, Richard Bloom. Business: Mike Eppell, Michael Kane, Rob Graham. Sports: Andrea Goldstein, Rob Mahood, Bill Cole, Peter Gross. Traffic: Darryl Dahmer, Russ Holden, Janet Deline, Alana Gest, Anne Michowski. Entertainment: Leslie James, Gloria Martin.

Mike Dejong & Karen Bodirsky left CFTR. Brian Hill joined for weather. Ellie Sedinsky joined from CFRB in April. Rogers Communications’ CFO, Sally Moyer, resigned. 


On May 26, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was granted a licence for a digital radio undertakings to serve Toronto for CFTR. The transmitter was installed at the CN Tower and  employed the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. The station operated on 1456.304 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,084 watts. 

CFRN/CFBR-FM Edmonton promotions manager Vicky Belfiore joined CFTR/CHFI. 

Mike Epell left for CTV.


Some changes took place at Rogers Broadcasting in the early part of the year. Executive vice president, programming, Sandy Sanderson, would focus on his role as national program director, relinquishing his operating responsibilities at the Toronto cluster (CFTR/CHFI); Chuck McCoy, formerly of CKWX/CKKS Vancouver, became vice president, Toronto Radio Operations, reporting to Gary Miles, and responsible for CHFI, CFTR and management of CISS-FM Toronto (throughout the LMA period and after, if approved, Rogers’ acquisition of CISS); general sales manager Derek Berghuis took on the added role of general manager at CFTR; CHFI-FM program director Paul Fisher took on added responsibility of general manager/vice president of programming, CHFI; John Hinnen, vice president, Radio News Programming, for Rogers took up new responsibilities as acting GM at CKWX Vancouver, also continuing his role as executive editor at CFTR Toronto; Dale Buote became general manager/program director at CKKS-FM Vancouver. Buote was most recently GM at CKWX; and, Victor Dann, general sales manager at CHFI-FM also became Toronto Market sales manager.

Former CFTR personality Glenn Walters died December 9, at age 62. 

John Stall joined CFTR. John Majhor was no longer promo voice for the station.

John Tory was named President/CEO of Rogers Communications’ cable TV division. He succeeded Trey Smith, an American citizen who retired and returned to the U.S. Tory joined Rogers in 1995 as head of its Rogers Media and Maclean Hunter Publishing units, with responsibility for the broadcasting, publishing and new media businesses… Tony Viner became President/CEO of the Rogers Media division, and continue in his role of Rogers Broadcasting president. 


In September, CFTR, CHFI-FM, CISS-FM and the Rogers Media corporate offices moved to new facilities at the head office tower of Rogers Communications, 777 Jarvis Street (at Bloor) in downtown Toronto. It is a 10-storey structure (45,000 square feet) that was built in the 1950’s. 

Chris Mavridis left in January for Talk 640.


Ted Rogers, 67, announced plans to step down in January of 2004 as president and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc. He would then begin a five year consulting contract with the company.

Mike Wilner left in April for CJCL. 


CJCL 590 “The Fan”became a sister station to CFTR when it was purchased by Rogers. CJCL joined the other Rogers radio stations at 777 Jarvis in June.

Rogers Toronto launched CJMT-TV (Omni 2) in September.  

680 News reporter Jim Morris died March 5, at age 43. 


Vaughn Bjerre passed away. According to his daughter, Sheryl, Vaughn was sought after by Rogers to create a format that would put CHFI FM on the dial – “Candlelight & Wine” with Don Parrish – a sophisticated and distinctive format to compete with CFRB. Vaughn was Executive Vice President & launched CFTR-AM. She adds: many announcers and sales managers worked for Vaughn elsewhere – Rick Campbell (announcer) and Roly Koster (came from London’s CKSL) for example.


On December 2nd, the Rogers family announced that Ted Rogers had died at home in the early hours of the morning at the age of 75, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for several months.


Stephanie Shaguhnessy was named promotion manager for 680 News and The Fan 590. She had spent the last five years in CHFI-FM’s promotion department. 

Sara Buchan left 680 News/Fan 590 to become news director at Free FM in Grande Prairie, AB.

On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CFTR-DR-2. 

With the reirement of Toronto cluster manager Sandy Sanderson, Derek Berghuis became AM market manager (680News, THE FAN590) and Chuck McCoy became FM market manager (98.1 CHFI, KiSS 92.5). Julie Adam has officially assumed the role of program director for KiSS 92.5 along with her responsibilities to CHFI as general manager and PD. Julie would also continue to assist in the national programming area as assistant national program director for Rogers Radio stations.

Former CFTR newscaster Howard Cooney passed away on September 22. He was in his 89th year.


Rogers Media launched an Apple iPhone application for 680News. It was available only to Rogers Wireless and Fido customers.


Chuck McCoy became VP/Cluster Manager for Toronto/Kitchener Radio and Julie Adam was now VP Programming & National Program Director for the Rogers Radio Division. As well, she would retain duties as Program Director at either CHFI or KISS 92 Toronto, depending on the results of a PD search. Most recently, McCoy was the Rogers’ National Program Director. Adam was GM/PD of CHFI and added Assistant National Program Director duties in 2008. The changes were announced in March by Paul Ski, chief executive officer, Rogers Radio.

David Magro was now responsible for imaging and commercial production within the Rogers Radio Toronto cluster production department. His 20-year career included stops at Virgin Radio 999 Toronto, Corus Toronto, New Flow 93.5 Toronto and Z103 Toronto.

Leah Walker left 680News as business editor to take up a similar position with CFRA Ottawa.

Rogers Communications Inc. announced the appointment of Keith Pelley as the President of Rogers Media effective September 7. Pelley succeeded Tony Viner who announced his plan to retire in May 2010. Keith Pelley, 46, would report to Nadir Mohamed and would have overall responsibility for Rogers Media properties including Rogers Broadcasting, Rogers Publishing, Rogers Digital Media, Rogers Sportsnet, the Shopping Channel, the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre. Pelley was most recently Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning at CTV and President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. He succeeded Tony Viner, 63, as President and CEO of Rogers Media. Viner joined Rogers in 1982 and had grown Rogers Media from three radio stations when he started, to a diversified media company  comprised of radio, over-the-air and specialty television services, publishing, digital media, and sports entertainment. 

Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media, announced the appointment of two senior executives to his senior leadership team. Leslie Sole was promoted to the newly created position of chief content officer. Scott Moore assumed the position of president of broadcasting. Sole would be responsible for the creation and execution of the Rogers Media content strategy. Prior to this, he oversaw the expansion of the Rogers Television division. Moore would oversee Rogers Media television including Citytv, Sportsnet and OMNI and all radio properties and would be responsible for the programming, sales, production, regulatory, engineering and distribution. He joined Rogers from CBC Television. 

Kerry French was now the Director, Research at Rogers Radio in Toronto. French had been doing quite a bit of contract work of late (FACTOR, Rogers) but perhaps was best known for her years at CHUM Toronto. 

John Seymour died at age 83 in Bobcaygeon. He was a long-time Vice President of Sales at CFTR.

Ted Rogers was inducted into the international Wireless History Foundation Hall of Fame In October at a gala dinner in San Francisco. Melinda M. Rogers, RCI’s Senior VP of Strategy and Development, accepted the award on behalf of the family and company. 

Tom Harkness, after 41 years of selling radio, retired December 31. Most of his career had been with Rogers Radio Toronto but stops along the way included CKLB Oshawa, CFGM Richmond Hill, CKFH Toronto and CKSL/CIQM London.


Veteran traffic reporter Rob Valentine joined 680NEWS on December 7. He had been with CFRB/Astral Media Radio Toronto. Valentine would be on the air weekdays from 6 a.m. to 12 noon, joining seasoned traffic experts Darryl Dahmer and Russ Holden. 

Ron Combden, regional engineering manager for Rogers Broadcasting in the Toronto/ Kitchener markets, was no longer with the company. Rick Dal Farra, who had been appointed Rogers Radio director of engineering for BC Radio in April of 2006 (based in Vancouver), returned to Rogers in Toronto in June. He became regional engineering manager there, succeeding Ron Combden.

The new News Director at CD989 Simcoe was John Crawford, most recently of 680News Toronto and, before that, K-Lite Hamilton. Also at CD989, the new morning show co-host was Shaena Patton.


Veteran traffic reporter Russ Holden marked his 45th anniversary at Rogers Communications, earning the distinguished honour as the company’s longest serving employee. Holden began his career with the company in 1967 as part of the 98.1 CHFI production team. Since 1973, Holden has been on-air delivering Toronto’s most up-to-date traffic information, becoming one of the city’s most recognized and beloved media personalities. At this point in time, Holden was seen Mondays to Fridays delivering his trusted traffic information to Greater Toronto audiences on Breakfast Television Toronto, CityNews Channel, and 680News.


Darryl Dahmer celebrated his 40th anniversary with Rogers Radio this week, all of those years as CHFI/CFTR Toronto’s traffic reporter.

In late October, after four decades of work with Rogers Radio, John Hinnen, Vice President of News and General Manager of 680News, announced he would retire December 31. 

Paul Ski (Rogers Radio CEO) added responsibilities for day-to-day operations in the Toronto radio market as well as heading the integrated conventional TV and radio stations in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. 


Former CFTR morning man Jim Brady passed away at age 67.


CFTR became available in HD via CKIS-FM-HD2 at 92.5 MHz.


Mike Reid (57) died June 28. He was an imaging and commercial producer at CFTR during the 1980s, followed by 23 years as an audio/video producer at Echo Advertising. He then formed independent production house Mr. Flyer Productions.

In the late summer, Russ Holden announced he would retire after a 50-year career with Rogers Media. Russ joined CHFI in 1967 doing a variety of jobs. He later became the traffic reporter for both CHFI and CFTR. More recently, Holden was with City’s Breakfast Television.

In the fall, Rogers completed work on brand new studios at their Bloor & Jarvis location for 680 News, KiSS 92.5, and CHFI.

Brian Fysher signed off from 680 News after 16 years with the station and a 46-year career in broadcasting. He began his career at CFOR Orillia in 1970, with stints along the way at CKAR Huntsville, CHOO Ajax, regional reporter for Global in Hamilton-Niagara, and 23 years as news director at 820 CHAM Hamilton.


Brian Hill delivered his last forecast for 680 News. He retired on Victoria Day. Hill started as a meteorologist with City TV, then worked for a number of television stations in the United States. He returned to Toronto and 680 News, shortly after the all-news format was launched.

Former CFTR News Director Robert Holiday was elected to the Canadian News Hall of Fame for 2018. Holiday spent 50 years in radio news, working at stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. He spent 16 years teaching at the Humber College School of Media Studies before retiring in 2006.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

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