CJFM-FM, Virgin FM, Montréal

Bell Media Inc.

CJFM-FM201395.945,000Bell Media
CJFM-FM200795.945,000Astral Media Inc
CJFM-FM198595.945,000Standard Radio Inc. (Alan Slaight)
CJFM-FM197895.945,000Standard Radio Inc. (Montague & Conrad Black)
CJFM-FM196295.945,000Standard Radio Inc.


CJAD-AM applied for an FM licence and it was approved by the CBC Board of Governors. A frequency was not listed but effective radiated power would be 6,020 watts and antenna height above average terrain would be 205 feet. CJAD did not put the station on the air at this time.


In September, Standard Radio Ltd. concluded an agreement with J. Arthur Dupont for the purchase of CJAD Ltd., subject to BBG approval. Dupont would continue as a director and consultant to CJAD.


On February 8, CJAD Ltd. a susbsidiary of Standard Broadcasting, applied to the Board Broadcast Governors for a new FM station in Montreal to operate alongside CJAD-AM at its studios at 1407 Mountain Street, Montreal.

The station would initially provide 18 hours of separate programming daily and simulcast with CJAD’s broadcasts from midnight to 6 am. It would operate in stereo on 95.9 KHz with an effective radiated power of 41,200 watts.

On October 1, CJFM-FM was officially opened and began broadcasting from brand new studios one floor above CJAD’s studios. Lyman Potts, retaining the post of program director of CJAD, was appointed Manager. Program director was Frank Kirton. News was provided by CJAD’s newsroom headed by Doug Williamson, Chief engineer was Ernie Mott.

The first ten recordings (115 selections) of Canadian musicians produced in mid-summer by CJAD and CFRB for the Canadian Talent Library were premiered. 
The creation of The Canadian Talent Library was a commitment in CJAD’s application to join with CFRB to hire Canadian musicians and singers to make recordings that would bring Canadian content to Canadian radio.


Lyman Potts was appointed Assistant to the President of Standard Broadcasting and manager of FM broadcasting. He moved to head office in Toronto.


W,C. Thorton Cran was President of CJAD Ltd. H.T. McCurdy was General Manager. 


It was announced on June 26 that Standard Radio Ltd. would be renamed Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.

W.C. Thornton Cran, president of Standard Broadcastng, appointed H.T. “Mac” McCurdy as president of CJAD Ltd.


William F. Hambly was appointed Vice President and Director of Programming. George E. Daniels was named Vice President and Director of Sales. Hambly had been CJAD Program Director and Daniels had been with Standard Broadcast Sales.


H.T. McCurdy was appointed President of Standard Broadcasting Corporation and moved to Toronto to succeed W.C. Thornton Cran, who died shortly thereafter.


In December, Don Hartford became president of CJAD Ltd.


Peter Shurman, station manager of CJFM was appointed VP of the station. Shurman had been with CJAD Ltd. for ten years, working in engineering and sales.


G. Montegu and Conrad Black took control of Ravelston Corp., which controlled Argus Corp., which was the owner of Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd., from the widows of J.A. MacDougald and W.E. Phillips.


 Greg Stewart was named vice president of programming for CJFM. Joseph Levy became vice president of sales.


CJFM and CJAD moved to new studios and offices at 1411 Fort Street.

Peter Coleman joined the FM96 news department from sister station CKFM-FM in Toronto. 

CJFM-CJAD started covering traffic in the 1960’s with a piston powered Bell 47 helicopter. The station graduated to a Bell JetRanger. In the past year, the station experimented with a twin engined Cessna Skymaster (fixed-wing) before settling into a piston-engine 2-place Hughes 300 chopper. Rick Leckner did traffic reports for the stations.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CJFM’s licence until September 30, 1985.


Susan Davis was named program director and Judy Goodman was named promotion director.


Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. was purchased by Slaight Broadcasting Inc. (Allan Slaight). 

CJFM manager Greg Stewart moved to sister station CJAD as vice president and general manager. 


Bruce Kenyon was now morning man at FM96. 


CJFM/CJAD vice president of sales, John Bartrem, left for Ottawa’s CKOY/CKBY-FM. Barry Tomlinson became vice president of sales for CJFM and Ed Cliff became vp of sales for CJAD. 

Standard Radio Inc. was set up as a division of Standard Broadcasting Corp. to own and operate the company’s radio stations. 


Alan Black left CJFM for Broadcast News in Toronto. Rob Braide became general manager of CJFM/CJAD. He had been program director at CHOM-FM.


Susan Davies left CJFM where she had been program director. She took up the same post at CKGM-AM.


Jeff Vidler, CJFM program director since 1988 left for the Angus Reid Group.


CJFM-CJAD chief engineer Ernie Mott died on March 14. He had been with the stations for some 20 years. Before that Mott worked for Roy Thomson’s Northern Broadcasting.


Blair Bartrem joined Mix 96 as PD. He had been with sister station Mix 99.9 in Toronto.


Tim Klassen, who left MIX 96, wound up at MIX105 (CJMX) Sudbury as morning show host. Ken Connors was hired to host the midday show. At this time, Andre Maisonneuve was hosting the morning show and Cat Spencer did afternoon drive.


Nat Lauzon joined MIX 96 as evening host. She had been with MIX 99.9 (CKFM) in Toronto. Andre and Ted hosted the morning show. 


CJFM was given approval to operate a transitional digital radio undertaking. Transmitters installed at Place Ville-Marie in Montréal and at Laval. The EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system employed. The transmitters operated on 1454.56 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 1,400 watts at Montréal and 1,594 watts at Laval. 


Standard Radio took ownership of CHOM-FM from CHUM Ltd.


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 CJFM-FM. C JAD-FM, and CHOM-FM. 


On January 12 at 4:00 p.m. Mix 96 became Virgin Radio 96. 

Martin Spalding, assistant vice-president, sales and marketing for Astral Media Radio Quebec, was named vice-president and general manager of Virgin Radio 96, CHOM 977 and CJAD 800 effective November 2. Luc Tremblay currently VP/GM of the stations and vice president, Operations of AMRQ, would now concentrate on the management of the Quebec operations and would return to the René-Lévesque offices as of November 2.Bob Harris currently vice-president, programming and operations manager of CJAD, Virgin 96 and CHOM would move to the post of vice-president and GM of Astral’s Hamilton stations K-Lite, Talk 820 and Oldies 1150 in January 2010. Jacques Bolduc, GM, local sales in Montreal, would see his responsibility broaden by taking on management for Local Sales of AMRQ. 

With the departure of VP programming/operations manager Bob Harris to Astral Radio Hamilton (in January 2010), the following appointments were made in Montreal by VP/GM Martin Spalding. Mark Bergman was named interim program director of Virgin Radio 96. Mark would also continue his afternoon drive shift and music director responsibilities. Mathew Wood was appointed CHOM 97-7 promotion director. Melissa Mancuso was named Virgin Radio 96 promotion director. Bianca Bayer was appointed Virgin Radio promotion co-ordinator. Lisa Fuoco was named promotion director CJAD 800. With former CJAD PD Mike Bendixen accepting the role of PD of CFRB Toronto, Chris Bury formerly of CINW (940 News) was appointed CJAD program director/interim news director (effective January 4, 2010). 


Madhvi Shah was named music director of Virgin Radio Montreal. 

Mark Bergman became Interim Program Director at Virgin Radio, adding that responsibility to his Music Director/afternoon drive duties. Melissa Mancuso was the new Virgin Radio Promotion Director and Bianca Bayer became Virgin Radio Promotion Co-ordinator. 

Martin Tremblay returned to Astral Media Radio Montreal as Director of Content and Sales. He had been with Astral Media Radio Toronto’s Virgin Radio and boom 973.

Astral’s Montreal head office moved June 28 to a new location at 1800 McGill College. The building formerly known as Place Montreal Trust became Maison Astral.


Heather Backman left the Virgin Radio Montreal team. She accepted a job hosting the afternoon drive show at Q104 in Cleveland, Ohio. Nikki Balch joined the station to host the mid-day show (1-4 p.m.). Her first day was March 7. Freeway Frank (Frank Depalo) joined the station as morning co-host, partnering with Lisa Player. Player had been morning co-host for the last 7 years. Mornings with Freeway & Lisa debuted on March 21 at 5:30am. Frank moved from CKCE-FM Calgary’s morning show. 

It was announced that Andrea Collins would be mid-day (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) host at Virgin Radio (CJFM)…as of August 15. Andrea replaced Nat Lauzon who left to handle weekends at The Q92.5 (CFQR). Nikki Balch was the new mid-day Host. She moved from morning co-host at Z103.5 Halifax.

Robert Latreille, the general manager of engineering at Astral and based in Montreal, retired November 11. He had been with the organization for 35 years.


Natasha Gargiulo moved from afternoons at Virgin Radio to partner with morning show host Freeway Frank Depalo (as of January 3). She succeeded Lisa Player who left the industry. Senior vice president and CFO Claude Gagnon of Astral Media in Montreal, after 20 years with the company, retired. His successor was Robert Fortier, the VP, Finance. Fortier began as VP/CFO February 1.

Virgin Radio 96 re-jigged its weekday line-up, moving Andrea Collins from late mornings to afternoon drive. She succeeded Vince Barrucco (Cousin Vinny) who moved to The Beat 92.5. Nikki Balch moved to late mornings from early afternoons and syndicated Ryan Seacrest was slotted into the Noon to 3 p.m. time slot. 

Tony Stark left Virgin FM to become afternoon drive host at 101.3 The Bounce in Halifax.

Since September 3, Astral’s five radio stations, NRJ Montréal 94.3, 107,3 Rouge fm, CJAD 800 AM, Virgin Radio 96 and CHOM 97 7, had been broadcasting from the same address, thereby making Astral Radio Montreal Canada’s largest private radio broadcasting centre. Over the past year, Astral Radio had made major investments in its Montreal headquarters in order to make state-of-the-art technology an integral part of its infrastructure. The Astral Radio English-language stations (CJAD 800 AM, Virgin Radio 96 and CHOM 97 7) left their studios on Fort Street to join their French-language counterparts (NRJ Montréal 94.3 and 107,3 Rouge fm) at 1717 René-Lévesque Boulevard East. Astral Radio’s five Montreal stations were now united under one roof, sharing cutting-edge technology in their exceptionally modern and attractive new premises. In addition to uniting the strengths of the five stations, this endeavor brought stations, shows and radio personalities together under one roof.


Virgin Radio Montreal Brand Director Mark Bergman, after a three-year absence from performing, went back on the air in afternoon drive April 8. Bergman retained his BD title.

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., including CJFM-FM.


Don Hartford died at age 95. He was president of Standard Broadcasting’s radio division; president of St. Clair Productions and Eastern Sound Systems; a director of Standard Broadcast Productions, Standard Broadcasting Corp. and Standard Sound Systems (Muzak). Hartford began his radio career as an announcer at CFAC Calgary and later became sales manager, then VP/GM. In 1960, he moved to Toronto and began his career with Standard. 


Lyman Potts died December 9 at the age of 102. His radio career started at CHWC Regina in 1935. In 1940, he moved to Hamilton’s CKOC, as production manager. In 1956 he helped launch CKSL in London and then assisted Arthur Dupont (CJAD) in his attempt to gain a Montreal television licence. He later became GM of CJFM, which he helped put on the air in 1962. Lyman eventually became president of Standard Broadcast Productions. From 1970-74, he was president of Standard Broadcasting Corp. (UK). Potts retired from broadcasting in 1981 and formed J. Lyman Potts & Associates. He then went on to create the Canadian Talent Library, a non–profit trust supporting Canadian recording. Lyman was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978, inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1976 and named to the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1987. He inspired the formation of the Central Canada Broadcast Engineers Association in 1953 and was a founding member of the Canadian Communications Foundation, serving as its vice-president from 1994 to 2004.

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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