CFTR (AM)

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CFTR
CFTR-AM 680 News logo.svg
City of license Toronto, Ontario
Broadcast area Greater Toronto Area
Branding 680 News
Slogan "All News Radio"
Frequency 680 kHz (AM)
First air date 1962
Format all-news
Power 50,000 watts
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 43°12′51″N 79°36′31″W / 43.21417°N 79.60861°W / 43.21417; -79.60861 (CFTR)
Callsign meaning Canada's First Ted Rogers
Former callsigns CHFI (AM)
Affiliations Canadian Press, ABC News
Owner Rogers Media, Inc.
Sister stations Radio: CHFI, CJCL, CKIS
TV: CFMT, CITY, CJMT
Webcast Listen Live
Website 680 News

CFTR, broadcasting under the brand 680News, is an all-news radio station based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which broadcasts live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 680 kHz on the AM dial. According to a recent survey by the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM), 680News is one of the most-listened-to AM radio stations in North America, with daily cume of 768,100 listeners for the period of May 30, 2011 - August 28, 2011.

History of CFTR[edit]

The station launched in 1962 on 1540 kHz as CHFI-AM, simulcasting the beautiful music of CHFI-FM, one of Canada's first FM radio stations. Since 1540 was a clear-channel frequency assigned to stations in the United States and the Bahamas, CHFI-AM was authorized to broadcast only during the daytime. In 1963, it sought to pay CHLO in St. Thomas, Ontario to move from 680 to another frequency to free up 680 for CHFI-AM's use. No deal was finalized, but, by 1966, the stations reached an agreement to share 680, and CHFI-AM moved to twenty-four hour operation at that frequency.

Final CFTR logo

In 1971, it changed its call letters to CFTR, a tribute to Ted Rogers, Sr., radio pioneer and father of controlling shareholder Ted Rogers.

In 1972, it abandoned the simulcast of CHFI and adopted a Top 40 format. For many years, it was the primary competition to Toronto's original Top 40 station, 1050 CHUM.

In 1973, programmer Chuck Camroux upped the ante in the Toronto radio "Rock and Roll Wars" by tweaking CFTR's notoriously bad signal, adding some reverb, and hiring a new morning man named Jim Brady, to rival 1050 CHUM's Jay Nelson. Both stations hovered near one million listeners per week. Although Brady finally topped Nelson in the ratings in 1979, over-all, CFTR surpassed CHUM in the Toronto BBM ratings by 1978. CHUM dropped Top 40 in favor of an Adult Contemporary formatin 1986.

Other announcers included Duke Roberts, Paul Godfrey (*Host of his own TV show, "Boogie" ), Dick Joseph, Peter "Red Knight" Thompson, Bobby Day, Tom Jeffries, Bob Saint, Big "G" Glenn Walters and "Big Don" Biefer. The newsroom was headed by Robert Holiday and included Larry Silver, John Wilson, Ted Bird, Clint Nickerson and others.

The station also hired John Records Landecker from WLS in Chicago. Landecker spent two years at the station. His dismal ratings caused the firing of the program director who hired him. Bill Gable.

On June 1, 1993, CFTR announced they would be discontinuing their Top 40 format. For the final few days, the station aired a jock-less countdown of "the top 500 songs of the (then) past 25 years" titled "The CFTR Story." At 6 AM on June 7, after playing Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" (which was the #1 song in the countdown) and Starship's "We Built This City" (which also ended CHUM's Top 40 era in 1986), CFTR adopted its present all-news format. It was the first all-news radio station in Canada since the end of the former CKO network in 1989. With the Toronto station's success, Rogers later expanded the format to stations in Vancouver (CKWX) in 1996, Calgary (CFFR) in 2006, and Ottawa (CIWW) in 2010.

In addition to these stations, Rogers owns news-talk stations in Kitchener (CKGL), Halifax (CJNI-FM), Saint John (CHNI-FM), and Moncton (CKNI-FM). All of these are branded similarly to the company's all-news stations, and use a similar all-news wheel during morning and afternoon drive.

Weather guarantee[edit]

As part of an ongoing promotion, 680News has a “guaranteed high” temperature for the day. The forecast is set in the morning and the “guaranteed high” is announced on all weather reports. Listeners can enter a contest on the station’s website, and if the forecast high and the actual recorded temperature at Pearson International Airport differ by 3 or more degrees (Celsius) a name will be drawn from a pool of listeners. The winning listener wins a jackpot (starting at $1,000) which is increased by $100 every day the station gets the temperature correct.

The largest jackpot for the weather guarantee was awarded on April 5, 2010 to Charmane Palmer. The station got the temperature correct (within the parameters of the contest) 286 days consecutively, making the jackpot total $35,200 (additional funds were added to the prize during the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics).[1]

Hour newswheel[edit]

The 680News format is very rigid except in cases of extreme breaking news when they switch to "In-depth Team Coverage" and the format has been known to be loosened a little.

Newsflow and commercials make up the rest of the unscheduled time.

Standard Hour Hotclock[2]

  • 0:00 - Time Signal/Headlines
  • 0:01 - Traffic and Weather
  • 0:03 - News
  • 0:05 - Commercial Break
  • 0:06 - News
  • 0:09 - Cottage Country Traffic (certain days/hours only during the summer)[3]
  • 0:10 - Commercial
  • 0:11 - Traffic and Weather
  • 0:13 - Market Minute (Trading Hours Only)
  • 0:13 - Commercial
  • 0:14 - Headline re-cap
  • 0:15 - Sports
  • 0:17 - Commercial
  • 0:18 - International
  • 0:19 - Cottage Country Traffic (certain days/hours only during the summer)
  • 0:20 - Commercial
  • 0:21 - Traffic and Weather
  • 0:23 - Commercial
  • 0:24 - Entertainment
  • 0:25 - Commercial
  • 0:26 - Business Report
  • 0:28 - Commercial
  • 0:29 - Traveller's Weather
  • 0:29 - Cottage Country Traffic (certain days/hours only during the summer)
  • 0:30 - Time Signal/Headlines
  • 0:31 - Traffic and Weather
  • 0:33 - News
  • 0:35 - Commercial Break
  • 0:36 - News
  • 0:39 - Cottage Country Traffic (certain days/hours only during the summer)
  • 0:40 - Commercial
  • 0:41 - Traffic and Weather
  • 0:43 - Market Minute (Trading Hours Only)
  • 0:43 - Commercial
  • 0:44 - Headline re-cap
  • 0:45 - Sports
  • 0:47 - Commercial
  • 0:48 - Health
  • 0:49 - Cottage Country Traffic (certain days/hours only during the summer)
  • 0:50 - Commercial
  • 0:51 - Traffic and Weather
  • 0:53 - Commercial
  • 0:54 - Entertainment
  • 0:55 - Commercial
  • 0:56 - Business Report
  • 0:58 - Commercial
  • 0:59 - Regional Conditions, followed by credits and station identification
  • 0:59 - Cottage Country Traffic (certain days/hours only during the summer)

Notable presenters[edit]

Past[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]