CKGM-AM, TSN Radio 690, Montréal

Bell Media Inc.

CKGM-AM201269050,000Bell Media
CKGM-AM201199050,000Bell Media
CKGM-AM199599050,000CHUM Ltd.
CKIS-AM199199050,000CHUM Ltd.
CHTX-AM199099050,000CHUM Ltd.
CHTX-AM198998010/10CHUM Ltd.
CKGM-AM198598010,000Geoff Stirling
CKGM-AM195998010,000Geoff Stirling


CKGM began operations December 7. It broadcast on a frequency of 980 kHz and had a power of 10,000 watts day and night. The station operated with a single directional pattern, using six towers at a site located on lots 109A and 109B, Concession of St. George, Parish of St. Constant, District of La Prairie. Studios and offices were located at 1455 Drummond Street. CKGM (the “GM” for Greater Montreal) was owned by Maisonneuve Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Geoffrey W. Stirling, C. Charbonneau and Nicole Wanner).

CKGM’s original announcer line-up: Dan Tyler (mornings), Bob Washington (middays), Doc Stone (middays), Bob Washington (middays), Ray Stevens (afternoons), Steve Emery (evenings). George Davies was program director. Guy Royal joined CKGM in September as Local Sales Manager.


Montrealers visiting Florida will hear CKGM personalities telling them the temperature in Montreal and reminding them that when they return home, CKGM will be waiting to entertain them. CKGM worked out a deal with radio stations in Miami, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lakeland and Palm Beach in order to do this. The Florida stations in exchange, aired spots on CKGM about the Florida resort areas.

CKGM owner Geoffrey Stirling was involved in one of the applications for a second television station at Montreal. If Mount Royal Independent Television Ltd. was the winning applicant, Stirling would be manager of the new station. The English licence was awarded to Canadian Marconi (CFCF). A French licence was awarded to Paul L’Anglais.

New additions to the CKGM on-air team: Dan Doctor (former CJRH Richmond Hill news director), Jim Muir (former CHIC Brampton announcer), Peter Romar (former salesman at CFCF), Frank Fyfe (former salesman at WCAX-TV Burlington, VT) and Stan Williams (formerly with CKSO news in Sudbury).

Ads: CKGM dial 98 – first in 26* of 36 BBM half hour time periods** (*In English Montreal. *And in 18 of 26 periods, CKGM has as many or more households than the combined totals of the next two English language stations). / 1,632,900 people… every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.? Hold on to that phone! The latest news from Montreal tells quite a story. In the key periods from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CKGM reaches an accumulative audience of 1,632,900 people – over 456,000 more than the next English station and 559,000 more than the third English station. Also, the combined daily circulation in Montreal and the retail zone of both English daily papers is 264,336. (*Elliott-Haynes)

John Rourke was at CKGM. Bob Washington hosted Housewives’ Club from 9-11 a.m.

Maisonneuve Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. had its FM application deferred by the federal regulator.


Bob Crabb was in CKGM’s news department. He covered the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba for the station. Guy Royal left CKGM in December for the Stephens & Towndrow sales representation firm. He had been National Sales Manger at CKGM. 


The on-air team included Charlie The Morning Mayor and Jim Turner.

CKGM-FM signed on.


Announcer line-up: Doug Burrows (6:00-10:30), Dick Varney (10:30-2:30), John Murphy (2:30-6:00), Bob Gillies (6:00-9:00), George Morris (9:00-12:00), Gord Logan (12:00-6:00).


Geoff Stirling was President of Maisonneauve Broadcasting Corp. Don Wall was vice president and general manager of CKGM. Jim Tapp was commercial manager, Ralph Kirchen was program director, Bob Holiday was news director, and Danny Gallivan was sports director. CKGM was an independent with no network affiliation


CKGM affiliated with the CBS Radio Network. CJAD (also CKAC) had been the CBS affiliate in Montreal. 

Rick Leckner joined CKGM. 


Mel Faris left CKGM for announce work at CKRC Winnipeg.

Slogan: The talk of Montreal. 


On June 1, CKGM-AM and FM moved studios and offices from 1455 Drummond Street to 1310 Green Avenue in Westmount. The CRTC approved the move on May 28.

Don Wall was named president of the company, effective February 1. He had been vice president and general manager of CKGM-AM-FM. 

Pat Burns was on-air at CKGM.


CKGM-FM became CHOM.

Ron Reusch was named sports director. He had been with the Canadian Forces Network in Europe.

CKGM subscribed to the NewsRadio news service, started by Stephens & Towndrow in September of 1968. NewsRadio received news content from CBS in New York.

On December 11, an application to transfer 1,000 common and 8,930 preferred shares of Maisonneauve Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. from Geoffrey W. Stirling to CHUM Limited was denied.


CKGM dropped regular evening and night-time newscasts. Overnight news would now concentrate on in-depth news instead of repetitious reporting on an hourly and half hourly basis, according to owner-manager Geoff Stirling.


Lee Murphy was evening announcer. 


Maisonneauve Broadcasting was given approval to move studios and offices to 1355 Greene Ave.

Ralph Lockwood was morning man. Darrell Provost was a Weekend announcer. Chris James joined CKGM’s on-air team from CFRW in Winnipeg. John Mackey was at CKGM.


In addition to Lockwood, Mark Edwards, and Dan O’Neil were also on-air at CKGM.


CKGM had plans to use two directional patterns rather than one, from the existing six towers. 

On the air: Ralph Lockwood (6-9), Mike Williams (9-12), Randy Dewell (12-3), Donny Burns (3-6), Steve Shannon (6-10), William B. Bell (10-1, aka Gary Bell), Marc Denis (1-6, joined the station this year). Weekend announcers: Greg Stewart, Chuck Morgan, Dan O’Neill. News: Lee Marshall, Ginger Jones, Brian Stone, Gerry Dixon, Alain Montpetit, Jim Bay (Sports). Mary Anne Carpentier did traffic for the Ralph Lockwood show and then left for 1050 CHUM to join the Jay Nelson show in Toronto.


On March 6, CKGM was authorized to change its daytime radiation pattern in order to improve its signal to the northeast, southeast and southwest sectors of Montreal.


CKGM had its licence renewed but its request to use some French was denied. The station was also told to increase spoken word programming. 

Line-up: Ralph Lockwood (6-9), Mike Williams (9-12), Randy Dewell (12-3), Donny Burns (3-6), Rob Christie (6-10), Marc Denis (10-1), Scott Carpentier (1-6). Lynn Desjardins was also on the air at CKGM. 


On the air: 6:00 – Ralph Lockwood, 10:00 – R. G. Hall, 1:00 – Rob Christie, 4:00 – Mike Cooper, 8:00 – Marc Denis, 12:00 – Scott O’Brien. Weekends – Greg Stewart, Bobby Day, Terry McPhail. Dave Williams joined CKGM this year.


Line-up: 6:00 – Ralph Lockwood, 10:00 – Rob Christie, 2:00 – Robert G., 6:00 – Marc Denis, 10:00 – Gary Bell, 2:00 – Chris Michaels. Weekends – Greg Stewart, Dave Williams, Scott O’Brien.


CKGM applied to make changes to its daytime radiation pattern. 

Announcers included Ralph Lockwood, Buster Bodene (joined from CKRC Winnipeg), Marc Denis, Doug Price, and Dan Wilmot.


Marc Denis (afternoon drive) left for CJFM-FM in September.


CKGM proposed to change frequency from 980 kHz to 990 kHz, change the transmitter site, and increase power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts. 

Ralph Lockwood (mornings) and Michael Dee Graham (middays) were on the air at CKGM.


John Mackey left as general manager of CKGM and CHOM. He was replaced by former sales manager Phil Parker. Mackey moved to CJBK in London. Jim Welcher, formerly general sales manager at CJMS/CKMF-FM became local and regional sales manager for CKGM. 

Ralph Lockwood (mornings) left. Michael Dee Graham (middays) left in May.


CKGM received approval to move from 980 kHz to 990 kHz, increase full-time power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts, and move the antenna site from Sainte Philomene de Chateauguay (Mercier) to Ste. Martine.


The authority for CKGM to move from 980 kHz to 990 kHz, increase power, and move the antenna site, was voided by the CRTC because the station failed to submit the appropriate technical documentation.

CKGM’s FM station – CHOM – moved to the CKGM building at 1310 Greene Avenue, third floor.


Lee Hambleton
Lee Hambleton

On August 20, CHUM Limited purchased Maisonneauve Broadcasting (CKGM & CHOM-FM) from Geoff Stirling’s Apache Communications. 

Following CHUM’s purchase of CKGM/ CHOM-FM (and CKWW/CJOM Windsor), Lee Hambleton was named vice president and general manager of CHUM Quebec. He had been with the Montreal stations for 17 years. 

Ralph Lockwood returned to CKGM as morning man. He had been with the station for most of the 1970’s, then went to TV where he became the voice of the Montreal Concordes football team.


David Wolfe was named program director. He returned to CKGM after working for CHUM stations CJCH-AM and ATV Halifax, and MuchMusic in Toronto.


On January 15, CKGM switched from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary (Lite Rock, Less Talk, Favourites of Yesterday and Today). 

Steve Anthony left CKGM for Toronto’s CILQ-FM. 


Bill Roberts was news director. Mary Ann Carpentier did traffic. Ralph Lockwood left CKGM where he had been morning man. 


David Wolfe left as CKGM’s program director to become marketing director for a San Diego based firm. He was succeeded at CKGM by Susan Davies who had been CJFM-FM’s program director. 

Karen Bryant was director of promotions. 

Steve Kowch took over as news director of CKGM/CHOM. He replaced Bill Roberts who left the job for health reasons. 

1986-88: in addition to doing traffic, Mary Anne (Carpentier/Pervin/Lisney) was also a morning show feature personality and the feature entertainment editor. She had also been at CKGM in 1973, working with Ralph Lockwood. When Mary Anne left CKGM, she headed to CHUM in Toronto.


On February 10, oldies formatted CKGM became CHTX “980 Hits” with a contemporary hits format. 

Announcers included The James Gang (AM Drive) and Paul Bouchet (evenings).


On February 5, CHTX received CRTC approval to increase full-time power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts, move from 980 kHz to 990 kHz, and to relocate the transmitter site. The changes would improve the station’s signal quality in Montreal and increase the overall coverage area.

In July, CKGM installed its new Nautel Ampfet 50,000 watt transmitter. Other equipment supplied for the new transmitter site in Ville Mercier, included a Kintronic DL-50 dummy load and Potomac 7 tower antenna monitor (with two patterns). Operations manager Joanne Rudy reported conversion to (Motorola) stereo was by adding an Orban stereo upgrade unit to the Optimod AM, and an Orban Co-operator unit at the studios. CKGM was now boasting the slogan “50,000 watts on 990 in 1990”. 

Mark Hollywood was evening announcer.


On May 24, at 6 a.m., CHTX returned to an Oldies format as CKIS “Oldies 990”. 


Chris Ryan (St. Clair) joined CKIS in January from CKLC Kingston.


In May, Chris Ryan left for CFQR-FM.


Former CKGM president and general manager Don Wall died at the age of 69 on January 13. He left the station in 1970 for CJOR in Vancouver. Failing health forced him to retire in 1979. 

On January 15, CKIS returned to the CKGM calls and the format changed to talk (Talk Radio with Attitude).


For much of the first half of 1998, CKGM turned its 990 frequency over to CJAD 800. CJAD had lost its towers in a major ice storm. On June 12, at noon, CKGM returned to the air (on 990) with a new (or old) format: oldies. CJAD had returned to 800 kHz on May 29 and simulcast on both frequencies until June 12.

CKGM was given approval to operate a transitional digital radio undertaking from a transmitter on Mont Royal, using the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. The transmitter would operate on 1452,816 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 11,724 watts.

In June, CKGM re-launched its former Oldies 990 Montreal format – kicking off the programming shuffle (from talk) with “10,000 songs in a row.” The uninterrupted music flow was expected to last about a month.

Mark Dickie, general sales manager at CKGM/CHOM-FM, left that post August 28 for his new job at Generation Net.

Marc Chambers, formerly of the Pelmorex Radio Network, was now doing evenings on both CHUM Toronto and CKGM Montreal, voice tracking shows for both stations.


Pierre Rousseau, formerly of CFCF-TV, where he developed and sold ‘CF’s promotions to retail and national clients, moved to CKGM/CHOM as promotion director.


Announcers (before all sports): 6:00 Andy K., 9:00 Charlie O’Brien, 2:00 Gord James, 7:00 Marc Chambers (to midnight).

On May 7, CKGM Oldies 990 switched to an all-sports format as part of CHUM Limited’s “The Team” sports network. The station became known as The Team 990.

On May 9, Ted Blackman and Mitch Melnick began hosting Team 990’s morning show.


Standard Radio Inc. took ownership of CHOM-FM.
On August 27, the Team network folded but CKGM continued to operate with the sports format. 

Former CKGM personality Ted Blackman died October 1, 2002. He was 60.


Former CKGM general manager Lee Hambleton died in January.

Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CKGM,  passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.


On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval.  On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM.  The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC.

On December 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.


A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007.  On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver.   Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CKGM-AM.   


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


Former CKGM announcer Mal Faris passed away.

Randy Dewell died at 62. The former Halifax alderman, award-winning broadcaster – including the Ted Rogers Sr/Velma Rogers award – and civil servant, had such stops in his on-air career as CFRA Ottawa, CHUM Toronto, CKGM Montreal and CJCH Halifax.


On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control. 

On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.

BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the portal.

It was announced that Team 990 would carry Montreal Canadiens broadcasts this fall as part of a 7-year deal. The games had aired on CJAD for a number of years.

The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.

On August 22, the CRTC approved the applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., carrying on business as Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CJCH-FM and CIOO-FM Halifax, CKGM Montréal, CKKW-FM and CFCA-FM Kitchener, CFRW, CFWM-FM and CHIQ-FM Winnipeg. Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE. 7550413, the other partner holding the remaining 0.01% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Media and is also controlled by BCE. BCE submitted that the purpose of this corporate reorganization was to realize tax efficiencies. The Commission noted that this transaction would not affect the effective control of the undertakings which would continue to be exercised by BCE. 

Long-time Montreal broadcaster Ted Tevan died at the age of 78. He was associated with The Team 990 between 2001 and 2006. 

Bell Media announced that as of October 5, CKGM (The Team 990 – Montreal) and CFRW (Sports Radio 1290 – Winnipeg) would rebrand as TSN Radio 990 and TSN 1290, respectively, joining CHUM (TSN Radio 1050 – Toronto) to form the TSN Radio network. Both stations would maintain local schedules, although TSN announced that there would be some talent exchange amongst the stations. TSN also said that CFGO (The Team 1200 – Ottawa), and CKST and CFTE (The Team 1040 and The Team 1410 – Vancouver) would work closely with the network. 

On November 21, the CRTC approved an application by Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership, to amend the licence for CKGM in order to change the frequency from 990 kHz (Class B) to 690 kHz (Class A). Bell stated that the reception of the station’s night-time signal was poor in Montréal, especially in the west end, and that the use of 690 kHz, would result in better night-time protection as well as fewer constraints for protecting third adjacent signals, would bring a significant improvement to CKGM’s night-time coverage. As well, because 690 kHz has superior propagation qualities, the applicant indicated that the signal received in Montréal would be of better quality, daytime and night-time. The applicant explained that improving the quality of the station’s signal, particularly in regard to its night-time coverage of Montréal, would enable it to better serve its listeners, particularly in the western part of the island of Montréal, and to ensure financial viability. At the hearing, Bell explained that CKGM’s technical problems have had and continue to have a negative impact on the station’s revenues. According to the applicant, the station incurred losses of $4.9 million from 2007 to 2011. Bell Media also indicated that the proposed amendment would allow it to enhance the consumer’s experience, increase CKGM’s advertising revenues – a necessary condition for the financial health of the station – and to invest further in the production of local programming, which was now 100 hours per broadcast week. According to Bell, the use of 690 kHz would enable it to stabilize the station’s operations, to make it profitable and to ensure its continued presence in the Montréal market. Power on 690 kHz would be 50,000 watts daytime and night-time. CKGM’s format was predominantly spoken word (sports) with a target audience of males aged 25 to 54 in Montréal.

ESPN hockey journalist Pierre LeBrun joined TSN and Bell Media Radio as a hockey insider. He was also a regular contributor on TSN RADIO 1050 Toronto, THE TEAM 1040 Vancouver and THE TEAM 990 Montreal. 

TSN Radio 990 morning co-host Dennis Casavant left the station to join RDS and RDS 2 in Montreal.


Ted Bird, who moved to K103 Kahnawake as morning host two years ago, left and made a quick landing at TSN Radio 990 where he teamed up with morning hosts Elliott Price and Shaun Starr. There’d been an opening since Denis Casavant left in November.

On September 4, CKGM TSN Radio 990 officially moved to 690 on the dial, becoming TSN Radio 690. The new frequency would improve reception, particularly on the West Island.

In the fall, CKGM 690 wrapped up simulcasting on the old 990 frequency. The simulcast period had expired.

Frank Ogden died in December at age 92. He was an in-demand speaker on the conference circuit who once keynoted the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention in Vancouver. Ogden was General Manager at CKGM during the FLQ crisis. He also was host of the daily syndicated radio series Dr. Tomorrow…Today.


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. Conditions of licence applicable to existing Bell station, CKGM Montréal: The licensee shall operate CKGM as an English-language commercial AM radio programming undertaking whose programming is dedicated predominantly to all aspects of sports, including coverage of professional and amateur sports events, sportscasts, magazine shows, interviews, commentaries, documentaries, audience participation and open-line programming, instruction and training programs and other programs that promote physical fitness. CKGM will devote its programming principally to Canadian sports coverage.

After 21 years, Wayne Bews left radio but remained with Bell Media. He had been GM/GSM at TSN Radio 690. He was now Retail Sales Manager at CTV Montreal.


On December 8, CKGM became available in HD via sister station CITE-FM. CKGM could be heard on the FM station’s HD3 channel.


In the spring, TSN 690 and the Montreal Alouettes announced a new multi-year broadcast rights agreement that would see TSN 690 remain the exclusive English-language home of all Alouettes games.

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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