CFMJ

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CFMJ
Talk Radio AM640.png
City of license Richmond Hill, Ontario
Broadcast area Greater Toronto Area
Branding Talk Radio AM640
Slogan This Is Talk Radio
Frequency 640 kHz (AM)
First air date 1957
Format sports, talk
Power 50 kW
Class B
Callsign meaning C F MoJo
Former callsigns CJRH, CFGM, CHOG, CFYI
Owner Corus Entertainment
Sister stations 102.1 The Edge, Q107
Website Talk Radio AM640

CFMJ is a Canadian radio station, broadcasting at 640 kHz on the AM dial. It is officially licensed to Richmond Hill, Ontario, but the studio is in the newly constructed Corus Quay building, located at 125 Queens Quay East in Toronto. The station airs a talk radio and sports format targeted to the entire Greater Toronto Area.

CFMJ transmits with an eight-tower directional antenna; although it is a Toronto market station that is licenced to a suburb located to the north of the city, its transmitter is actually located in the town of Lincoln, in Niagara Region, near the southeast corner of Greenlane and Merritt Road. This location allows the station's 50,000 watt signal to cover a large portion of Southern Ontario beyond Greater Toronto, as well as western New York state, both during the day and at night.

History[edit]

The station began in 1957 under the callsign CJRH, on the 1310 frequency. It changed its call letters to CFGM in 1961. The station adopted a country music format in 1964; a few years later they became Canada's first 24-hour country station. Don Daynard was a notable host with the station in the 1960s.

The station moved to 1320 in 1978, and to 640 in 1989.[1]

Final CHOG logo

On June 29, 1990, the station changed its format and call letters, broadcasting rock music as CHOG (branded 640 The Hog). The Hog format was short-lived, and evolved into contemporary hit radio as AM 640: The Beat Of Toronto. Several notable radio personalities were associated with the station during this era, including John Gallagher, Tarzan Dan, Pat Cochrane, Kenny 'The Hitman' Caughlin, Roger Kelly and the Toronto radio team of Jesse and Gene. After CFTR moved from contemporary hits to all-news in 1993, AM 640 (still with the calls CHOG) was the last contemporary hit radio station in Toronto proper (and the very last AM station in the area to broadcast Top 40 hits) until CISS adopted the format in 1999. Talk shows came to take up a substantial part of the station's schedule, particularly during midday periods when many of the station's hit music listeners might normally be in school.

Shift to Talk[edit]

Talk 640 logo

On October 11, 1995, the station changed to a talk radio format. As Talk 640, the station aired syndicated programming such as the Joy Browne, Rhona Raskin, Dr. Laura and Live Audio Wrestling, along with local programming hosted by personalities such as Gene Valaitis, Jane Hawtin, Bill Carroll, Shelley Klinck, Marsha Lederman, Karen Horsman, Michael Coren, Dave Chalk, Spaceman Gary Bell and Roger Kelly. Despite regular adjustments, the station received low ratings. During this period, the station adopted the call letters CFYI. The weekend programming was a hit with "The Touch of Health" a show that started with just a half hour in 1997 to a two hour nationally syndicated show airing coast to coast 2-4 Saturdays. Hosted, produced and managed by Christine McPhee, her other collection of weekend shows were the "Pet Show" with Mitch Levitsky, a "Cruise Show", a "Law Show", a "Beauty Show", and the "Small Canada Business Show".

Mojo Radio[edit]

Mojo Radio logo used from 2001-2004

On April 23, 2001, the station re-launched as Mojo Radio, a talk radio format aimed at the male demographic. The station also changed its call letters the same day to the current CFMJ. The new format featured programs hosted by Humble and Fred, John Derringer, Phil Hendrie, Mike Stafford, Andrew Krystal and the syndicated Coast to Coast AM, John Oakley replaced Scruff Connors who had taken over from Humble and Fred in the morning show; the latter pair left for hot adult contemporary station Mix 99.9. Krystal moved to part-time work at CFRB and CKTB before moving to Halifax. Derringer's Mojo show was discontinued as he concentrated on his marquee morning show on "brother station" Q107.

AM640 Toronto Radio[edit]

In 2004, due to low ratings (MOJO was typically hovering around a 1.4 share) the station moved away from the male-oriented imaging to a more general news and talk format as AM640 Toronto Radio. Oakley and Stafford continued to host the major morning and afternoon drive programs. Craig Bromell joined the station as co-host of a new late morning program, The Beat (later rebranded as Bromell! in 2006), and in 2005, Charles Adler's nationally syndicated radio show was added to mid-afternoons. Award-winning journalist Arlene Bynon was added to the ranks in 2006 to host the Saturday afternoon Toronto Weekend program, which has expanded to include a Sunday edition as well.

AM640 Toronto Radio logo, used from 2004-2010

Near the end of July, 2007 the programming line-up was shuffled in response to the departure of Craig Bromell, whose show ran until the end of August 2007. Afternoon host Mike Stafford replaced "Bromell". The Bill Watters Show was added to the afternoon lineup. Just as the new show with co-host Jeff Marek expanded, Marek moved on to Sirius Satellite Radio. Greg Brady replaced Marek as Bill's co-host. Brady left AM640 in late June 2010 to host a Noon - 3pm program on The FAN 590. Bill Hayes, formerly of Q107, replaced Greg Brady as Watters' co-host. Hayes was fired in January 2011. Co-hosting duties then fell to his son, Brian Hayes. Brian left AM640 on Friday, April 8 to host his own mid-morning program on TSN Radio 1050. AM640's Leafs play-by-play colour analyst Jim Ralph became co-host of The Bill Watters Show, which ran from 4pm – 7pm covering hockey issues and other major sports news as well, up until Friday July 15, 2011.

Veteran host and reporter John Downs was let go in early August, 2010. His 7pm - 9pm slot was then hosted by Bryan Hayes, whose program was primarily sports-talk, until April 12, 2011 when Bryan took the mid-day host slot at TSN Radio 1050. Charles Adler's 2pm - 4pm program was moved to the 7pm - 9pm slot at the end of August, 2012.

Charles Adler hosted a Toronto-based hour from 1pm - 2pm during the summer of 2010. On Monday, August 30 Arlene Bynon took over hosting duties for the 1pm - 2pm hour, with news anchor Tina Trigiani guest-hosting Friday afternoons. On Monday July 18, 2011 The Bill Watters Show was canceled and Arlene Bynon took over the 4-7pm time slot. Tina Trigiani is now host of the 1-2p slot Monday to Friday.[2] On July 2nd, 2014 Tina's hour was absorbed by host Jeff McArthur.

Jeff McArthur, former morning show host for both CFPL-FM and CFPL (AM) in London, Ontario, joined AM640 in late August 2012 to host weekdays 2pm - 4pm. On July 2nd, 2014 Jeff's show expanded to add the 1-2pm time slot.

On January 7th, 2013 Arlene Bynon's afternoon program was replaced by Bill Carroll. Arlene stayed on as cohost for the following three weeks. Her last day was Tuesday, January 29th 2013. Bill Carroll hosts the 4-7pm weekday slot in Toronto in addition to his Noon-3pm weekday slot on talk radio station KFI in Los Angeles, California (which is also located at 640 on the AM dial)

One of the station's biggest draws was that it was the radio broadcaster of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which it networked into other markets. Its play-by-play announcers were Joe Bowen, Dennis Beyak, Jim Ralph and Dan Dunleavy. Dennis Beyak left in the fall of 2011 to do the play-by-play for the Winnipeg Jets on TSN regional television and on TSN Radio 1290 (CFRW). AM640's 7-year contract for the rights to Toronto Maple Leafs radio broadcasts concluded before the start of the 2012-13 NHL season—Leafs broadcasts are now split between CHUM and CJCL.

CFMJ's studios were formerly located in Suite 1600 at 1 Dundas Street West in Toronto, Ontario. Corus moved all of its Toronto-based radio, television and other assets into Corus Quay upon its completion in the summer of 2010.

Programs[edit]

Leafs Lunch[edit]

Jeff Marek was offered a position with Sirius Satellite Radio and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada to host a new show. On September 7, 2007 Marek announced that he was leaving Leafs Lunch on AM 640 Toronto Radio to pursue a new route in radio broadcasting on the Hockey Night in Canada radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 122. Brian Duff from the NHL Network was the program's host for a period of time until he was replaced by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. On July 5, 2010, Leafs Lunch was canceled.[3] Leafs Lunch returned to Talk Radio AM640's Saturday and Sunday lineups, filling the noon - 1pm timeslot until spring of 2011, when it was cancelled as well.

The John Oakley Show[edit]

Airing weekdays between 5:30am and 10:00am, the John Oakley show offers opinion and discussion of the issues of the day. The Oakley show also includes economic and investment news and advice from financial expert Lou Schizas. Often radio callers will greet Oakley with the phrase 'it's a great day for talk radio'. Other segments include "Skinny on Shinny" hockey discussion with guest Bill Watters, "The Econo Clash", "The Media and the Message" and City Hall political discussion with guest Sue-Ann Levy of the Toronto Sun. Prior to 2010, the show also featured a weekly segment with then City Councillor, Rob Ford on issues in City Politics

The Stafford Show[edit]

Currently airing weekdays from 10am - 1pm, The Stafford Show show offers opinion and listener response to the issues of the day and various topics of interest. Host Mike Stafford often discusses topics that relate to "The Greatest Generation" (while Tom Brokaw's definition refers to the generation who grew up during the Great Depression and fought during World War II, Mike's definition covers the generation who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s). Stafford's program does not feature "guests", but instead relies on input from listeners. Each Friday at noon, Stafford hosts "Fast & Furious Fridays" which discusses automotive related topics.

Tina Trigiani[edit]

Tina's show aired weekdays between 1pm and 2pm, this show generally covered lighter news and popular interest topics. Like the Stafford Show, a main topic was introduced and then Tina took input from listeners via e-mail and phone calls. Adding occasional colour to the show were Tina's call screener, Ryan Bonnar and technical producer Patrick Malkin. AM640 Host Jeff McArthur absorbed Tina's hour in the summer of 2014.

Jeff McArthur[edit]

The Jeff McArthur show fills the 1-4pm slot on AM640. Until late 2013, McArthur would fill in during the afternoon drive slot if there were breaking news events, due to other work commitments by Afternoon Drive host Bill Carroll. The show generally begins with "Opening Shots", a series of brief news stories and quick witted commentary by Jeff McArthur. The last segment of the show includes "7 Calls Says it All" in which Jeff tries to take 7 Calls from listeners on a single topic with limited time remaining in the show. On Fridays Jeff hosts the "AM640 News Chain Game" in which listeners have to answer a series of questions about the week's news events in order to win a prize. Jeff added the 1-2pm slot that was formerly hosted by Tina Trigiani in July of 2014.

Bill Carroll[edit]

Airing weekdays from 4pm - 7pm. Carroll hosts the show live from his home in Los Angeles, along with commentary from news anchor Sandy Salerno and producer Chris Cresten. The opening segment of each show is known as "Carroll on the News" in which Salerno, Cresten and Carroll discuss the major news stories of the day. This portion of the show is taped earlier in the day due to a conflict with Carroll's other show on KFI 640 in Los Angeles.

The Post Game Show with Andy Frost[edit]

Following each Toronto Maple Leafs game, radio host and Leafs PA announcer, Andy Frost discusses the ups and downs of the night's game. Much of the broadcast involves taking phone calls from the show's audience.

See also[edit]

  • CHMJ, a radio station in Vancouver that also used the Mojo format

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°10′45″N 79°25′59″W / 43.17917°N 79.43306°W / 43.17917; -79.43306