CFCA-FM is a Canadian radio station licensed to transmit from Kitchener, Ontario and serving the Waterloo Region area broadcasting at 105.3 FM. The station currently plays a Top 40/CHR format branded as 105.3 Virgin Radio and is owned by Bell Media.
|Broadcast area||Waterloo Region|
|Branding||105.3 Virgin Radio|
|Slogan||Kitchener's #1 Hit Music Station|
|Frequency||105.3 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||1949|
|HAAT||250 meters (820 ft)|
|Owner||Bell Media |
(Bell Media Radio)
|Sister stations||CKKW-FM, CKCO-DT|
Based on the current format, CFCA-FM competes with CKBT-FM.
CFCA was first launched on 106.1 FM in 1949 by local broadcaster Carl A. Pollock. It was the first FM radio station in Canada to operate independently, without an AM radio sister station. Due to the limited audience reach of FM radio at the time, however, the station left the air in 1951. Pollock subsequently launched television station CKCO-TV in 1954 and AM radio station CKKW in 1959, and then relaunched CFCA in 1967 as an easy listening station. Pollock's broadcast holdings became part of Electrohome in 1970.
CFCA and CKKW were tentatively sold in 1992 to a local consortium consisting of Jack Schoone, a former local radio announcer, and Irving Zucker, a former owner of competing stations CKGL and CHYM-FM, but the deal fell through and the stations were instead acquired by CHUM Radio in 1993. By then the station had migrated from its beautiful music/easy listening sound to a brighter adult contemporary format. On August 12, 1994 at Noon, CFCA flipped to classic rock as 105.3 Kool FM.
During the early 2000s, the station added pop/rock songs into their playlist, and shifted towards Hot AC.
On July 26, 2016, CFCA began stunting with Christmas music, while teasing a change to come that Friday (July 29) at Noon. At that time, CFCA flipped to Top 40/CHR, branded as 105.3 Virgin Radio, making CFCA the 8th station in Canada to utilize the "Virgin Radio" branding. (At the same time as CFCA's flip, sister CJCH-FM in Halifax rebranded to "Virgin".) The first song on "Virgin" was "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris.
- Davis, Brent. "Kool-FM lays off staff in advance of expected format change". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
Radio industry websites RadioInsight and Puget Sound Radio both reported that the station is expected to be reborn as a Virgin Radio "contemporary hit radio" station.
- "Kool Christmas Stunt In Kitchener ON – RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Virgin Radio Launches In Halifax & Kitchener – RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Bell Media PR on Twitter: "Bell Media Radio Extends Canada's #1 Hit Music Brand as 105.3 Becomes 105-3 Virgin Radio @VirginRadio_KW"". archive.org. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "CFCA Becomes 105.3 Virgin Radio – Format Change Archive". formatchange.com. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- 105.3 Virgin Radio
- CFCA-FM history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC Canadian station database for CFCA-FM
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