CHBM-FM, boom 97.3, Toronto
Stingray Group Inc.
|CHBM-FM||2018||97.3||28,900||Stingray Group Inc.|
|CHBM-FM||2009||97.3||28,900||Astral Media Inc.|
|CJEZ-FM||2007||97.3||28,000||Astral Media Inc.|
|CJEZ-FM||2002||97.3||28,900||Standard Radio Inc.|
|CJEZ-FM||1995||97.3||28.900||Telemedia Communications Inc.|
|CJEZ-FM||1994||97.3||28,900||Redmond Broadcasting Inc.|
|CJEZ-FM||1987||97.3||4,000||Redmond Broadcasting Inc.|
On March 20, Robert Redmond was awarded a licence for the use of the 97.3 MHz frequency in Toronto. He won out against 12 other applicants. Redmond owned CHSC/CHRE-FM St. Catharines; CHNR Simcoe and CKRY-FM Calgary. Target date for the new station was March of 1987 – the 20th anniversary of the St. Catharines stations. The format would be Group 1 easy listening/beautiful music, targeted to the 25-54 age group, with the primary focus on 35-44. It would be the only Toronto commercial FM station programming an adult 35-54 format. The schedule would include two hours of light classics from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Robert E. Redmond was president of the company and would be general manager of the station. Key personnel would include Bill Ballentine (assistant manager) and Jerry Good. Jay Jackson would be operations manager. He had been with the Redmond’s CHRE for 15 years.
Redmond Communications leased the full sixth floor (13,000 square feet) at 40 Eglinton Avenue East for its new station. The location would also be home to the Redmond corporate offices. Other tenants in the new uptown office building included Cantel and Ronalds-Reynolds.
The Easy 97 CN Tower transmitter site took delivery of two 4,300 watt Continental FM transmitters. The studio facility received three McCurdy control room packages. It would be the ninth FM station to transmit from the tower.
After a period of testing, CJEZ-FM officially signed on May 24 at 9:00 a.m. The frequency was 97.3 MHz and the station had an effective radiated power of 4,000 watts. The “EZ” in the call letters: Easy. Known as “Easy 97”, CJEZ had an easy listening format. That format featured new age jazz, soft pop ballads and some orchestral music.
The original CJEZ on-air team: Jay Nelson (5:30-10:00), last with CKEY. Russ Thompson, formerly with CKFM, handled the 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. shift. Bill Anderson (2:00 to 6:00 p.m.) also came from CKFM. Long-time CKFM staple Carl Banas was heard between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. Don Cameron (also from CKFM) was on the air late-nights. Overnights were handled by Terry Moorehead. He was also an ex-CKFM announcer. Freelance on-air people included: Henry Mietkiewcz of the Toronto Star. He reviewed the arts and entertainment scene; Jim West contributed entertainment through the feature, “In Person”; Bill Morris handled financial news, with Alexander Ross on the daily “Business Backgrounder”. Michael Cuffe hosted a ‘new age’ jazz program.
CJEZ had a ten person news and sports department including a full-time beat reporter and two mobile news cruisers. The news team included Andrea Ring, Bill Bright, Bob Kennedy, Bill Wyatt, Neal Sandy, Glen Anderson (traffic), Murray Eldon (sports director), Jennifer Cowan (entertainment), and Brock Rivers (entertainment). Bright and Eldon had all been with CKFM. Ring joined from CHFI. Sandy & Kennedy had been with CFRB.
Ross L. Dann was general sales manager. He had been with Paul Mulvihill Ltd. That firm now represented CJEZ-FM, as well as the company’s stations in St. Catharines and Simcoe. Jay Stinson was promotions manager. Creative director was Lisa Shedden. Mike Pool was commercial production manager. Jason Sorbie was music director. Larry Garrington was chief engineer. He also continued in that role with CHSC/CHRE-FM.
Jay Nelson joined to host the morning show. He had been with CKEY-AM.
Bob Kennedy was news director. Ross Dann was sales manager.
David Craig joined CJEZ as morning news anchor. He had been with CFRB. Other additions to the news department: Erin Davis, Danny Nicholson, John Mcfadyen, and Ann Lavrih (traffic).
Public affairs broadcaster (formerly of CKFM) Judy Webb joined the station’s Toronto at Noon program. It was a new addition to the station’s line-up and aired from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Russ Thompson was now on the air from 10-noon and 1-2 p.m.
Don Cameron left and Carl Banas expanded his program to cover 6 p.m. to midnight. Rick Morris was now hosting the overnight show. Erin Davis joined from CKO but left later in the year for CHFI. Andrea Ring left for CKFM.
Danny Nicholson was a news reporter at CJEZ. Grant Turnpenny joined CJEZ as Chief Engineer in April.
Mark LaVigne left CJEZ-FM for Broadcast News. Erin Davis left CJEZ for CHFI. David Craig joined CJEZ for morning news after 17 years at CFRB. Judy Webb (ex of CKFM) joined the station. She would team up with Craig and news director Bob Kennedy on the “Toronto at Noon” program.
Kellie Edgar joined CJEZ as music director.
Peter Shurman was appointed general manager, replacing Jay Jackson, who became executive vice-president, Central Ontario, Redmond Broadcasting Group. Shurman had been with Standard Broadcasting. Bill Ballantine was named operations manager and assistant general manager. Connie Cole was appointed production manager.
Line-Up: Jay Nelson (5:30-10), Russ Thompson (10-12), Toronto at Noon with Judy Webb (12-1), Russ Thompson (1-2), Bill Anderson (2-6), Carl Banas (6-12) and Rick Morris (12-5:30). Weekend announcers: Stew Hill, David Cameron, and Don Cameron. The news department included David Craig (news director), Gary Parkhill, Bill Bright, Sue Hall, Mark Henderson, Neal Sandy, Bob Kennedy, Kevin Trudell, Danny Nicholson, Murray Eldon (sports), Jennifer Cowan (entertainment), and Ann Lavrih (traffic).
George Wilson joined for late evenings on December 4. He had been at CFRB. Eldon left. Kennedy left for CHUM in September.
As of January 2, Bill Anderson was now on in the morning and Jay Nelson moved to mid-days. The following were added to the news department: Bob Greenfield, Kathy Kinzora, Chris Skene, and Sue Hall (traffic). Entertainment was handled by Jeremy Brown, and Henry Mietkiewcz. Brown joined in January from CFRB and returned to that station in November. Jay Nelson moved to weekends early in the year, then left the station in August. He was replaced by Stew Hill.
Stew Hill left for CKYC, and was replaced by Brian Currie (Bill Anderson was in AM Drive and left for CKYC). Currie left and was replaced by Ross Carlin. On November 4, John Majhor replaced Carlin in mornings. Julie Gordon joined for mid-days. J. Robert Wood was program director. David Lennick and Andy Neill were now heard on the station. Andrea Rooz was doing traffic.
CJEZ-FM was one of three applicants to go after the former CKO-FM frequency of 99.1 MHz. The other applicants were CFMX-FM and Rawlco Communications. The CRTC denied all three applications. It decided to study the Toronto market in preparation for a future hearing. The Commission said CJEZ and Rawlco had not substantiated their need for a better frequency. CFMX was advised to consider moving its transmitter from Mississauga to downtown Toronto.
On the air: 6:00 John Majhor, 10:00 Julie Gordon, 3:00 Russ Thompson, 7:00 Carl Banas and 12:00 Rich Griffin. Weekends: Art Drysdale, Terry Louise. News: Mark Henderson, David Craig, Sue Hall, Danny Nicholson, Andrea Ring (traffic). J. Robert Wood was program director.
In March Pete Newman (from CKOC Hamilton) & Maryanne joined for AM Drive and John Majhor moved to afternoons. In April, Carl Banas and Russ Thompson left the station.
CJEZ began calling itself “Lite 97”, using liners such as “come into the Lite” and to “turn on the Lite.”
Dave Foreman joined for mornings, Terry Steele moved to middays, John Majhor went to afternoons, Lexine Stephens joined for evenings. TerrY Lee Somers had done AM Drive, Majhor Middays, Rich Griffin afternoons, and Murray Smith was in evenings.
John Majhor left in January.
Terry Steele (James Stromberg) died August 13, at age 46.
Tom Rivers joined for mornings from CKFM on September 7. Maureen McCall was in middays, Dave Foreman (afternoons), Lexine Stephens (evenings), Pete Newman (overnights).
Program director J. Robert Wood left. Bob Van Dyke joined.
Former CJEZ personality Jay Nelson (Frank Coxe) died February 18. He was 57.
Shelley Wright replacee Marureen McCall in middays. Charlie O’Brien joined from CKLW to replace Dave Foreman. Terry McElligott moved from weekends to evenings, Anwar Knight moved to overnights. Larry Silver (news) joined from CFTR.
In June, CJEZ increased effective radiated power from 4,000 watts to 28,900 watts.
Tom Rivers left in December.
On December 19, the CRTC approved the sale of CJEZ by Redmond Broadcasting to Telemedia Communications.
Line-up: Bob Van Dyke (5:00), Shelley Wright (10:00), Charlie O’Brien (3:00), Terry McElligott (7:00), Anwar Knight (12:00). Weekends: Ken Chambers, Bob Van Dyke. News: Ben Steinfeld, Anne Winstanley, Hugh Berl, Don Mcdonald, Larry Silver. Traffic: Andrea Rooz, Christine Cardoso.
In February, Telemedia Communications Ontario Inc. took ownership of CJEZ.
Terri Michael joined for mornings in March.
On June 30 at 5:30 a.m., CJEZ replaced its classic hits format (“EZ 97.3”) with soft rock as “EZ Rock 97.3” (“The Heartbeat of Toronto”). Vice President and General Manager Mark Paris said the new Soft Adult Contemporary sound was a lifestyle format targeted primarily at women aged 35-54.
Mike Cooper joined Terri Michael for mornings in July from CHAM Hamilton. With Cooper and Michael in AM Drive (5-10), the following adjustments were also made: Sandy Bishop (10:00), Darryl Henry (3:00), Bob Van Dyke / Shelley Wright (7:00), Anwar Knight (12:00).
CJEZ’s former General Manager Jay Jackson died at the age of 60.
Charlie O’Brien left in the summer for CHUM. Ben Steinfeld joined from CFTR/CHFI. Don McDonald joined from CKYC then left for CFRB. Anne Winstanley joined from CFRB. Larry Silver left in January.
Bob Van Dyke left.
Bill Ballentine died at age 60. He was instrumental in putting CJEZ-FM on the air.
Christine Cardoso was now morning co-host with Mike Cooper. Terri Michael was now in middays. Marc Denis joined for PM Drive in July, Darryl Henry moved to evenings. Gene Stevens was program director. Marc Paris was vice president and general manager.
Marc Paris announced the appointment of Rod Chicorli as production manager and operations coordinator. Grant Turnpenny left the engineering department at CJEZ-FM.
On May 26, CJEZ was granted a licence to carry on a transitional digital radio undertaking. The transmitter was installed at the CN Tower and employed the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. CJEZ operated on a frequency of 1458.048 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,084 watts.
Bob Van Dyke returned. Craig Fox joined.
In the summer, EZ Rock began airing multilingual jingles – French, Italian, Spanish and Cantonese. General manager Marc Paris said it was a recognition of the Toronto marketplace, “a way to connect with them and acknowledge their culture”.
Doug Moorhouse became CJEZ’s production manager.
Rod Chicorli left CJEZ as production manager/ops co-ordinator.
The corporate name changed from Telemedia Communications Inc. to Telemedia Radio Inc.
On-Air: 5:00 Mike Cooper & Christine Cardoso, 9:00 Terri Michael, 1:00 Marc Denis, 5:00 Darryl Henry, Andrea Rooz & Yolande McLean, 8:00 Shelley Wright, 12:00 Craig Fox. Weekends: Murray Smith, Deanna Nason, Anwar Knight, Bob van Dyke, Adam Growe. Gene Stevens is PD.
Claude Beaudoin, CEO of Telemedia Radio Inc. announced the appointment of Mario Cecchini as executive vice president for the Ontario region.
On August 4, the following left CJEZ: Michael, Marc Denis and Yolande McLean. Wright moved from evenings to 9-2, Henry & Rooz moved from 5-8 to 2-7. The evening shift wasn’t filled until later in the month when the syndicated Delilah was added (from the U.S.). PD Gene Stevens left earlier in the year. Brian DePoe was now program director. On August 14, CJEZ switched slogans from “Toronto’s Music @ Work” to “Toronto’s Soft Rock Favorites.”
Telemedia Radio Inc.’s vice president of sales, research & marketing, Mario Cecchini, added the title of executive VP for Ontario region.
On-air: Mike Cooper & Christine Cardoso (5:00), Shelley Wright (9:00), Darryl & Andrea (2:00), Delilah (8:00), Craig Fox (11:00). Weekends: Murray Smith, Deanna Nason, Trevor Biggs, Peter Kaye, Bob Van Dyke.
Late in the year: Shelley Wright and Andrea Rooz left – Darryl Henry moved to 9-2 with K-J taking over 2-7. Van Dyke and Fox left.
Tanya Buchanan became promotions director at EZ Rock. She had been with Energy Radio.
On April 19, the CRTC approved the purchase of several radio and television stations by Standard Radio Inc. from Telemedia Radio Inc. and its subsidiary Telemedia Radio (West) Inc., located in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Standard agreed to sell some of these stations to Rogers Broadcasting and
to NewCap Broadcasting. CJEZ was among the stations that Standard decided to keep.
On June 16, CJEZ officially began broadcasting from Standard’s studios and offices at 2 St. Clair Avenue West.
Robert E. Redmond, founder of CJEZ-FM passed away on May 7.
On September 27, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions. The purchase included CJEZ-FM, CFRB-AM and CKFM-FM.
Astral Media took ownership of the Standard stations on October 29.
“Humble Howard” Glassman took over EZ Rock 97.3’s morning show in August. He replaced Stu Jeffries.
On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CJEZ-DR-1.
In November Rick Hodge and Kim Stockwood left EZ Rock. A short time later midday announcer Darryl Henry was gone from the station. Hodge had also been doing commentary on sister station CFRB.
Martin Tremblay was program director.
On December 26th at 9:00 a.m., EZ Rock 97.3 (CJEZ) became boom 97.3 Toronto’s Greatest Hits CHBM – the BM for boom.
Chris Ebbott was the new Program Director at Virgin Radio and boom 973. His last stop was at KCBS. He succeeded Senior PD Martin Tremblay who returned to Astral Media Radio Montreal as Director of Content and Sales.
David Lindores became the Promotion Director at KiSS 92.5/98.1 CHFI on June 15, moving from Astral Media Radio Toronto where he’d been for about three years.
Barb Jelly left Boom FM to become morning show co-host at Mix 106.5 Owen Sound.
Val Meyer, Vice President of Sales at Astral Outdoor in Toronto, succeeded Sherry O’Neil as Vice President and General Manager of Astral Radio Toronto (CFRB/boomfm/Virgin), effective December 6. O’Neil became Astral’s corporate Vice President of Planning and Transformation.
Bill Herz, vice president of sales at Astral Media Radio and based in Toronto, announced his retirement. He’d been with the operation, through three owners, for 45 years beginning with CFRB in 1965. In 1975, he tried TV sales at Baton Broadcasting, then went back to Standard Broadcasting. In 1995, he worked at CHUM for short time and then returned to Standard. Humble Howard and Colleen Rusholme were no longer morning show hosts at Boom FM (as of May). Rusholme wound up at Vinyl 95.3 Hamilton. She joined CJEZ in 2005 after leaving CING-FM, and stayed through the station’s rebranding as Boom FM. Stu Jeffries was returned to that time slot. Lorie Russell was now managing sales for the entire Astral Radio Toronto cluster. She added Newstalk 1010 after Scott Johns was promoted to revenue director for English Canada stations. Also at Astral Radio Toronto, retail sales supervisors Brett Dakin and Brian Labonte were promoted to retail sales managers.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJEZ-DR-1 to April 30, 2012.
On April 23, the CRTC administratively renewed the broadcasting licence for digital radio programming undertaking CJEZ-DR-1 until August 31, 2012.
On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHBM-FM until August 31, 2013.
Vanessa Murphy joined Boom 97.3 from 94.9 The Rock in Oshawa.
On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc. It was a condition of the approval that BCE must divest itself of ownership of several television and radio programming undertakings, including CHBM-FM. Pending eventual sale, the Commission directed BCE Inc. to transfer the interim management and control of CHBM to a trustee pursuant to the terms of the voting trust agreement addressed in a letter of approval issued 27 June 2013, by no later than 29 July 2013.
On August 26, Newcap and Bell Media announced that they had entered into an agreement whereby Newcap would acquire from Bell Media Inc. the licences of five radio stations of which BCE had been required to divest itself as part of the CRTC approval for BCE to acquire Astral. CHBM-FM was one of the stations included in the deal, which was subject to CRTC approval.
On March 19, the CRTC approved applications by Newcap Inc. on behalf of various licensed subsidiaries of Bell Media Inc. for authority to change their ownership and control to Newcap. Among the stations to be transferred to Newcap was CHBM-FM.
On May 9, CFRB and CKFM left 2 St. Clair Ave. W. for the downtown Bell Media facility. CFXJ and CHBM remained at 2 St. Clair.
On October 23, the CRTC approved an application by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, on behalf of Newcap Inc. and its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, for authorization to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of various radio and television broadcasting undertakings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, so that effective control of the undertakings would be exercised by Eric Boyko (Stingray Digital Group Inc.). Stingray took ownership of the stations just a few days later.
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.