CHBM-FM

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CHBM-FM
Boom 97 3.png
City of license Toronto, Ontario
Broadcast area Greater Toronto Area
Branding boom 97.3
Slogan 70's, 80's, 90's
Frequency 97.3 MHz (FM)
Format Adult Hits
ERP 28,900 watts
HAAT 420.5 m
Class C1
Callsign meaning C H BooM
Former callsigns CJEZ-FM (1987-2009)
Owner Newcap Radio
Sister stations CFXJ-FM
Webcast Listen Live
Website boom 97.3

CHBM-FM is a radio station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It broadcasts an adult hits format at 97.3 FM. Like most Toronto radio stations, this station transmits from the CN Tower with an ERP of 28,900 watts.

The station's playlist contains tracks released between 1964 and 2005, with a core focus on music released in the 1980s.

History[edit]

The station was launched on May 24, 1987 at 9:00 AM by Redmond Broadcasting, with the call letters CJEZ-FM, and carried an easy listening format under the branding Easy 97. In the early 1990s, it changed its moniker to Lite 97, but soon after, it changed its format to classic hits as Z97.3. In February 1995, Redmond sold the station to Telemedia and on June 30, at 5:30 AM, the station changed monikers to 97.3 EZ Rock. The slogan was "The Heartbeat of Toronto", with a soft rock/adult contemporary format that was geared primarily towards women ages 25–44. CJEZ became the flagship when several other stations owned by Telemedia at the time broadcasting a similar format were also rebranded as EZ Rock.

In the summer of 1998, CJEZ aired liners in Italian, French, Spanish and Cantonese as a way to acknowledge the racial diversity in the city.

The station went through several slogan changes during its tenure with the AC format, including "My Music at Work", which inspired the title of The Tragically Hip's 2000 album "Music At Work". It also had a modified version of that slogan, "Toronto's Music @ Work". In later years, the station had other taglines such as "Toronto's Soft Rock Favourites", "Today's Soft Rock with Less Talk", and "A Better Variety of Yesterday and Today".

In 2002, Standard Radio bought Telemedia and kept CJEZ under their ownership, while some of the other EZ Rock stations were sold to either Rogers Communications or Astral Media.

Since Standard acquired CJEZ-FM from Telemedia in 2002, the studios of CJEZ-FM were relocated to the CFRB/CKFM-FM building.

In 2003, rival station CHFI fired long time morning show host Erin Davis and was replaced by Mad Dog and Billie. To combat this, in 2004, CJEZ hired Davis to partner alongside Mike Cooper (who has been at the station since the flip to EZ Rock in 1995) because long time co-host Christine Cardoso left due to maternity leave. However, when Davis was rehired by CHFI in 2005 (and returned to mornings), CHFI's ratings skyrocketed back to #1, causing CJEZ to slip. To solve this, EZ Rock hired Stu Jeffries (who returned to the station in 2011 for mornings from 5-9) and Colleen Rusholme for mornings and the station began leaning in a more Hot AC direction patterned after its sister station CKFM-FM (now a CHR station as of 2009). During its latter days as EZ Rock, the station removed songs from the 1960s.

In 2007, Astral purchased Standard, resulting in the Standard-owned EZ Rock stations across Canada (including CJEZ) become Astral-owned.

In 2008, Humble Howard, and Kim Stockwood joined Rusholme and took over EZ Rock's morning show in August, replacing Stu Jeffries. In June of the same year, Rick Hodge (formerly a long time morning co-host on CHUM-FM) joined EZ Rock and sister CFRB (AM).

In November 2009, Hodge and Stockwood left EZ Rock. A short time later, midday announcer Darryl Henry was gone from the station as well (he is now at CHFI). Henry has been with the station since 1997 and has hosted evenings and afternoons before moving to middays.

Former CJEZ logo.

As Boom 97.3[edit]

On December 24, 2009, during its standard Christmas music run during the holidays, EZ Rock's website was changed completely by hosting only a countdown clock and a posted message urging listeners to tune in on December 26, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. On December 26, at 6 AM, after playing EZ Rock's final song (which was Christina Aguilera's version of This Christmas), the station began stunting with a recorded message on how to "view" the launch of the new station.

Finally, at 9 AM, the station ended its 14 year run with AC, and flipped to adult hits (the first for the company, even though Astral is Canada's largest radio company) with the branding boom 97.3, Toronto's Greatest Hits, adopting the Boom FM branding used by some of Astral's small-market French-language stations in Quebec. The first song played on boom 97.3 was Don't Stop Believin' by Journey. CJEZ's call letters were changed the following day to CHBM-FM. The station's airstaff remained intact for a time, but in May 2011, Humble Howard and Colleen Rusholme were let go by the station.[1]

The flip to Boom put the station in direct competition with CING-FM, which became a classic hits station a month earlier in November 2009; that station later switched formats to Hot AC in 2013. Currently, CHBM competes with active rock station CILQ-FM. Also, the flip left CHFI as the only adult contemporary station in the Toronto radio market. However, CKDX-FM could now be known as a direct competitor to that station, along with Hamilton's CKLH-FM. It became Toronto's first adult hits station ever since former Jack FM station CJAQ-FM (now CKIS-FM) switched to mainstream rock in 2006. So far, boom is more successful than Jack FM.

During the first book of boom 97.3, it debuted with a 9.3 share, slightly higher than what it was in EZ Rock's last book and one of the highest-rated books since 2005.

On May 28, 2010, Astral Media launched CJOT-FM 99.7 in Ottawa as the new flagship station of EZ Rock, and took over CJEZ-FM's former website, EZRock.com.

CHBM is the only Boom FM station with an adult hits format, although its logo consists of the same font and 45 RPM insert device as its French-language counterparts.

The Boom FM branding was cloned on CJOT-FM on June 30, 2011, replacing adult contemporary with classic hits, unlike the format of CHBM.

In March 2013, the Competition Bureau approved a proposal by Bell Media to acquire Astral Media, under the condition that it divest itself of several television services and radio stations. Following the closure of the merger, CHBM was placed in a blind trust pending its eventual sale.[2][3][4]

On August 26, 2013, Newcap Radio announced it would acquire CHBM along with four other former Astral Media radio stations held under blind trust by Bell Media for $112 million.[5] The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 19, 2014 and the sale closed on March 31, 2014.[6][7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°41′18″N 79°23′40″W / 43.68828°N 79.39441°W / 43.68828; -79.39441