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CHUM-FM is a Canadian radio station, broadcasting at 104.5 MHz in Toronto, Ontario. Owned by Bell Media, the station broadcasts a hot adult contemporary format. CHUM's studios are located at 250 Richmond Street West in the Entertainment District, while its transmitter is located atop the CN Tower. The station also broadcasts nationwide on Shaw Direct channel 872, Bell TV channel 990, Bell Fibe TV channel 978, and locally on Rogers Cable channel 925.
|Slogan||Make Toronto Pop!|
|Frequency||104.5 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||September 1, 1963|
|Format||Hot adult contemporary|
|HAAT||420.5 meters (1,380 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||CHUM Limited (former owner)|
|Owner||Bell Media |
(Bell Media Regional Radio Partnership)
|Sister stations||Radio: CHUM (AM), CFRB, CKFM-FM|
TV: CP24, CFTO-DT, CKVR-DT
CHUM is consistently one of Toronto's most popular stations according to Numeris' radio ratings, and is currently the third most listened-to private station in the market after Rogers Media-owned Adult Contemporary station CHFI-FM, and Newcap Radio's CHBM-FM.
CHUM-FM started broadcasting on September 1, 1963 with an ERP of 18,000 watts and a transmitter and studio at 1331 Yonge Street.  It aired a classical music format, the first station in Canada to do so. On March 21, 1966, their ERP was increased to 54,000 watts. In 1968, CHUM-FM received approval for a change in its transmitter location and increase in power to 100,000 watts. The transmitter was to be moved to the top of the Manufacturer's Life Building at 250 Bloor Street East.
At Midnight on July 1, 1968, CHUM-FM changed formats to progressive rock, a forerunner to the present-day adult album alternative format, by playing a wide range of music ranging from world music and jazz to classical and folk. The station also aired public affairs programming, such as In Toronto. The station featured many famous Canadian radio personalities such as Larry Green, Walter Michaels, Steve Harris, Pete and Geets, Larry Wilson, David Marsden, David Pritchard and actor Rick Moranis.
On December 14, 1973, the station was authorized, along with other Toronto radio and TV stations, to move their transmitter to the top of the CN Tower. The new transmitter was turned on on May 31, 1976 with a reduced ERP of 40,000 watts.
In 1978, CHUM-FM created a Top 30 Album Chart to complement sister station CHUM's Singles Chart. A television version of the countdown was later broadcast on Citytv, featuring music videos for most of the songs in the countdown; the TV version was discontinued in January 2008, following Rogers Communications' acquisition of Citytv.
In June 1984, the station started evolving towards adult contemporary, with the shift completed by that September, though the station would retain a rock lean through the remainder of the decade. Longtime morning show host Roger Ashby would join the station from CHUM-AM on September 2, 1985, and would be paired with Rick Hodge (who had been doing sports updates on the FM's morning show since 1974). Marilyn Denis would join the show in July 1986, with the show becoming an instant success, making them some of the best known broadcasters in Toronto radio. Throughout the next two decades, CHUM-FM would usually be the highest rated station in the Toronto market, though it would occasionally alternate with CHFI, who was usually ranked a very close second, and would occasionally dip to third place behind CFRB.
The station evolved towards its current Hot Adult Contemporary format in 1990.
On May 26, 1998, CHUM-FM was granted a license to broadcast in Digital audio broadcasting using the Eureka-147 system. The transmitter was installed on the CN Tower and broadcast at 1456.304 MHz with an ERP of 5,084 watts.
Since the mid-1990s, CHUM-FM's playlist has been noticeably more open to periodic, carefully selected rhythmic crossover songs, including R&B, reggae, hip hop, and dance music, while keeping some 1980s, 1990s and 2000s songs, as well as standard pop/rock material that forms the Hot AC format. The reason for this was to balance younger and older audiences. Many hot adult contemporary stations in Canada have followed this pattern and resulted in audience growth nationwide, making Hot AC the country's most listened-to format. The closest local competition musically within the format came from CKFM-FM, which leaned mostly younger.
At the 25th Anniversary Canadian Music Industry Awards, held March 8, 2007, CHUM-FM was honoured as Station of the Year, Program Director of the year for CHUM-FM PD Rob Farina, and air talent of the year for Roger, Rick & Marilyn. Former CHUM President Jim Waters was inducted into the Music Industry Hall of Fame that same evening.
VP Programming Rob Farina moved to Astral Media as EVP of Content in 2009. David Corey, ex-APD at Kiss 108 in Boston, took over as program director that same year.
On June 22, 2007, CTVglobemedia purchased CHUM-FM and most of the other assets of CHUM Limited, the station's owners since their sign-on in 1963, following approval by the CRTC, while the Citytv stations were sold to Rogers Communications.
On June 23, 2008, Rick Hodge resigned from both CHUM and CHUM-FM to pursue other opportunities. Roger Ashby and Marilyn Denis continue to host mornings, which would then be titled Roger, Darren & Marilyn (when Darren B. Lamb joined the show after a stint of afternoon drive host); Lamb left the station on September 23, 2015, with mornings currently hosted by Ashby and Denis. Hodge currently works at sister CHRE-FM in St. Catharines, Ontario, and Lamb is now at CHFI.
Also in 2008, CTVglobemedia announced they had sold 1331 Yonge Street to a condominium developer and had acquired a new property, 250 Richmond Street West, to serve as the new home of CHUM and CHUM-FM. On August 18, 2009, CHUM-FM left 1331 Yonge Street, ending 46 years at its historic home. The site is slated to become a new condominium complex. The new building is adjacent (and connected) to Bell Media's headquarters at 299 Queen Street West (which also formerly housed the studios of Citytv).
Until late 2009, CHUM-FM continued to be the most listened to and most influential radio station in Canada with over 1,166,000 weekly listeners according to the BBM data released on December 3, 2007. But in December 2009, when CJEZ-FM flipped from adult contemporary to adult hits, adult contemporary rival CHFI became the most-listened-to radio station in Toronto. During the 2005-2009 season, CHFI continued to usually beat CHUM as the top-rated radio station in Toronto, although CHUM had unseated CHFI in some books. Also in 2009, CHUM-FM dropped most modern adult contemporary artists and large numbers of older songs from its playlist, and began leaning towards rhythmic AC. By 2011, CHUM-FM dropped most rhythmic artists and now patterns itself to be more of a mainstream Hot AC station. At this point, CHUM-FM's playlist closely resembled CHFI's, who began phasing in more currents and rhythmic content.
On September 10, 2010, Bell Canada announced plans to re-acquire 100% of CTVglobemedia's broadcasting arm, including CHUM Radio. When the deal was finalized on April 1, 2011, CTVglobemedia became Bell Media, and likewise CHUM Radio became Bell Media Radio, effectively retiring the last remaining piece of the former CHUM Limited company. CHUM Radio had been the only division of the company to retain the CHUM name following the acquisition of CHUM Limited by CTVglobemedia in 2007.
Beginning in the summer of 2016, CHUM-FM began to ramp up advertising for new Bell Media partner brand iHeartRadio. Since then, the launch of iHeart Canada brought on some changes to CHUM-FM, including a new website, and a newly added "iHeart" sign to the CHUM building at 250 Richmond Street West underneath the famous CHUM neon sign. Also since the launch of iHeart, CHUM-FM has experienced a shift in programming, dropping most of its 1980s and 1990s songs from the playlist, focusing on playing more current hits, and a variety of recurrent songs from 1995 to the present.
On January 26, 2017, after nearly 40 years with CHUM-FM, midday host Ingrid Schumacher was released from the station.
On June 22, 2018, the station underwent a major rebranding as part of an effort to appeal more strongly to women, including a new logo (amending its brand to CHUM 104.5), a generally hotter music direction, as well as a stronger emphasis on social media interaction and community interaction.
Marilyn Denis and JamarEdit
CHUM's morning show was hosted by Roger Ashby and Marilyn Denis for 32 years. The show originally featured Rick Hodge as an additional host until he resigned in 2008; after Hodge's resignation, Darren B. Lamb became a co-host, until he too resigned in September 2015. On July 16, 2018, the show returned to three people with the addition of Jamar "J. Niice" McNeil branded as "Roger and Marilyn with Jamar". On October 25, 2018, Ashby announced that he would retire from the morning show effective December 6th, after 50 years with CHUM/CHUM-FM. As of January 2019, the show is now branded as Marilyn Denis and Jamar (Jamar taking over Roger’s seat as co-host), and Marilyn Denis as host.
Until 2017, the CHUM morning show had a consistent hold as the highest-ranked and most listened-to morning show in the Toronto market. Despite the station's overall market share battle with CHFI, the CHUM morning show's average minute audience was over 50% higher than CHFI's morning show, which is hosted by former co-host Darren B. Lamb and Maureen Holloway. As of December 2017 though, Lamb and Holloway have claimed its spot as the #1 morning show in Toronto.
On July 4, 2017, CHUM-FM launched HD Radio multi-casting services. The HD1 sub-channel carried the same programming as the standard analog frequency, while the HD2 sub-channel carried a simulcast of sister station CFRB, and the HD3 sub-channel carried a simulcast of CHUM (AM). As of Spring 2018, CHUM-FM was no longer broadcasting in HD, with the sub-channels moving to sister station CKFM.
- "Top-line Radio Statistics" (PDF). numeris.ca.
- "CHUM-FM". Canadian Broadcasting Foundation. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- Theresa Boyle, "CHUM site slated for luxury condos", Toronto Star, 29 July 2008.
- Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Archived from the original on 13 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "CHUM Ltd. - (1944-2008) at the Canadian Communications Foundation". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- Maloney, Val (30 June 2017). "People Moves: CRTC, iProspect and more". Media in Canada.
- "Bell Media takes CHUM FM to the streets with rebrand". Media in Canada. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- "CHUM 104.5". Bell Media.
- Raju Mudhar (25 October 2018). "Roger Ashby retiring from radio after 50 years". Toronto Star.
- "CHUM Mornings". iheartradio.ca.
- "Spring 2015 PPM Webinar" (PDF). Bell Media. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-08.
- Rogers Media (7 December 2017). "98.1 CHFI Rings in the Holidays as Toronto's #1 Radio Station". Cision.