The station started on August 19, 1965 on 1110 kHz, with 10,000 watts power. It originally broadcast an MOR music format.
In 1979, CHQT started using 50,000 watts power.
In 1985, the station changed frequency to 880 kHz on the sale to Monarch Broadcasting, Ltd.
In June 2001, CHQT began using the moniker COOL 880 as it dropped its longtime MOR format for oldies.
In October 2003, it became '880 JOE AM' for a few months before it returned to 'COOL 880' on January 13, 2004. The reason for the change to Joe AM was to protect its sister station Power 92 (CKNG-FM), which was planning a change to the adult hits format. The company was afraid that another broadcaster would take the name and/or format on the FM band. However, the station lost a considerable amount of its listeners, and has not recovered. Power 92 then became JOE FM and abandoned the top 40 format in favor of an 80's and 90's mix of music.
On May 20, 2008 at 6:30 AM, the oldies format was discontinued for an all-news format.
Before the name change and being bought by Corus Entertainment, their news slogan was This is Alberta's Major News station - AM 880 CHQT - Currently all newscasts on Edmonton Corus radio stations are produced by 630 CHED.