||This article may contain original research. (March 2013)|
|City of license||Montreal, Quebec|
|Broadcast area||Greater Montreal|
|Slogan||The Spirit of Rock|
|First air date||July 16, 1963 (as CKGM-FM)
October 19, 1970 (as CHOM-FM)
|Callsign meaning||Arbitrary coinage|
|Sister stations||CJAD, CJFM|
CHOM-FM is an English language radio station located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Owned and operated by Astral Media, it broadcasts on 97.7 MHz from the Mount Royal candelabra tower, with an effective radiated power of 41,200 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna.
The station has a mainstream rock format since the station started using the brand name CHOM, and is sometimes pronounced // shoam as if it were a French word, but other Astral Media Radio personalities have also pronounced it as // chom.
Early years (1963-1974)
CKGM-FM, as the station was originally known, was founded by Geoff Stirling as a sister station to AM station CKGM, and opened on July 16, 1963. After a few weeks as a simulcast of CKGM, CKGM-FM launched a beautiful music format on September 1, 1963.
On October 28, 1969 CKGM-FM changed its format to album-oriented rock. The first song played after the format switch was Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra", followed by The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun". The station would change its call sign to CHOM-FM almost two years later, on October 19, 1971. It moved from 1310 Greene to 1355 Greene in Westmount for a few years.
Going bilingual (1974-1977)
In 1974, CHOM-FM proposed to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission a plan in which the station would become bilingual (English/French). The CRTC accepted this plan but only on an experimental basis that would last three years; it also blocked a plan to implement quadraphonic broadcasting. In 1977, the station was forced by the CRTC to opt between the two languages, and after considering becoming a French-language station, it finally reverted back to English full-time.
Rise and fall and CHUM takeover (1979-2002)
The 1993 loss of popular morning man Terry DiMonte to Mix 96, combined with new competition from American modern rock station 99.9 The Buzz in 1996, resulted in a decline in ratings which the station tried to stop by acquiring rights to the syndicated show of shock jock Howard Stern as well as a move away from the classic rock direction they had tried in the early 90s. Stern made his debut on CHOM-FM on September 2, 1997 amid much controversy as he launched himself on his very first show heard in Montreal in an anti-Francophone/anti-French tirade. His show was dumped a year later, on August 27, 1998, after numerous complaints to the CRTC about politically incorrect remarks interpreted by complainants as sexist and homophobic, despite the fact that the show ran on a tape delay with more controversial comments being censored, which sometimes resulted in minutes of dead air. While the CRTC did not take any actions against CHOM-FM, it is generally believed that owner CHUM Limited feared other projects could be hampered by them having such a controversial host on one of their stations. During Stern's departure, CHOM 97.7 FM brought in Steven Anthony & Andrew Carter (now with sister station CJAD for mornings since 2002) to their morning show when CHOM 97.7 FM moved towards an adult album alternative direction in 1998.
Return to their classic rock direction and Standard Radio takeover (2002-2007)
Effective in January 2002, the station was sold to Standard Broadcasting, which already owned CJAD and CJFM-FM in Montreal, in exchange for Standard's CFWM-FM in Winnipeg. As a result, CHOM-FM moved from Westmount to 1411 Fort Street in downtown Montreal. This ownership change was promptly followed in February by a direction change from adult album alternative to classic rock, although it primarily stayed mainstream rock and the return of DiMonte as morning man, which resulted in ratings improvements.
Astral takeover and new direction (2007-present)
Ownership changed hands again when on October 29, 2007, Astral Media took control of Standard Broadcasting and its assets.
On October 19, 2010, CHOM-FM celebrated its 40th anniversary as a radio station.
On June 22, 2011, it was announced that Terry DiMonte will be making a return to the station, however it is unlikely that he and Ted Bird will reunite on air.
1971-1980s: CHOM-FM MONTREAL (with logo having a heart in a circle)
1980s: chom 98 ROCK
1990s-2002: chom 97.7 fm
2002–Present: CHOM 97-7 (even since logo change in 2010, the branding is unchanged from 2002.)
- Official website
- CHOM-FM history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHOM-FM
- CHOM 97.7 on FindRadio
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