|City of license||St. Catharines, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Niagara Region
Buffalo, New York
|Branding||Niagara's EZ Rock|
|First air date||1967|
|Callsign meaning||CH REdmond (former owner) or St. CatHaRinEs|
|Website||105.7 EZ Rock|
CHRE-FM is a radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Airing at 105.7 FM, the station broadcasts an adult contemporary format for the Niagara region, especially for Buffalo, New York with the brand name 105.7 EZ Rock. However, sister station CKLH-FM in Hamilton (also using the same format as CHRE-FM) is targeted towards the Toronto & Hamilton areas, but CKLH-FM leans towards adult top 40. CHRE-FM & CKLH-FM both report on Mediabase & Nielsen BDS as Canadian AC stations.
CHRE was launched in 1967 as CHSC-FM by Radio Station CHSC Ltd., the licensee of the city's CHSC.
As CHSC-FM it simulcast much of its programming on CHSC-AM (1220). By 1970 the two stations were doing their own programming with CHSC-FM adopting the "Beautiful Music" format by 1978. During this time the station had a number of popular specialty programs. "A Starlight Concert" heard weeknights from 10 to 11pm features light classical music introduced by Francis Kirton who became the station's fine arts director. Kirton also hosted the Sunday morning programs "Variety Theatre" featuring condensations of popular operettas recorded by the Readers Digest Association, "Concert in the Park" featuring marches and brass band music, "Waltz Time", a half hour of familiar music in 3/4 time and "At the Console" showcasing the world's great theatre organs.
Other specialty programs included "Ray Wickens' Broadway" hosted by British theatre aficionado Ray Wickens and featuring full original cast recordings; and "The Golden Age of Comedy" hosted by Armand Romagnoli and Mark Lawrence presenting classic comedy routines and old-time radio comedies. For a time in the late 1970s the station also carried the syndicated version of "The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre". The station's most popular program was "Howard Cable Presents" hosted by Howard Cable who was, at the time, the music director for the Imperial Room at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto. The program showcased many of the performers appearing at the Imperial Room as well as popular songs from shows and movies, Big Band favorites and Classical music.
On July 1, 1979 the callsign was changed to CHRE for station owner R.E. (Robert) Redmond. By 1985 Redmond determined that the "beautiful Music" audience was rapidly aging and opted to switch to a soft rock/adult contemporary format geared to a younger crowd. At this time all of the specialty programs were dropped.
The parent company became known as Redmond Communications in 1985 and was granted a license to open CJEZ-FM (now CHBM-FM) in Toronto. The station was subsequently sold to Affinity Radio Group in 1999.
In September 2010, CHRE-FM underwent several changes including a change in direction, a new logo and new on-air staff. The station tweaked its adult contemporary format featuring current pop hits mixed with retro hits (80s & 90s), a change similarly done at sister station CKLH-FM. CHRE-FM partially reaches the city of Toronto, although its signal is sometimes blocked by CHRY-FM. In addition, sister station CIQM-FM moved to hot adult contemporary, but CHRE-FM & CKLH-FM did not change their actual formats due to existing hot adult contemporary stations in those areas. By 2011, CHRE-FM started to lean more hot adult contemporary in the playlist by adding Simple Plan's Jet Lag & Nickelback's When We Stand Together to differ from the sounds of nearby sister AC station CKLH-FM in Hamilton, Ontario. It was also due to the demise of hot AC on the CFLZ-FM station that became adult hits as CJED-FM in August 2011. Its Buffalo, New York rival WJYE (owned by Townsquare Media) still airs softer music than this station; however, reception of CHRE in Western New York has declined due to the 2010 sign-on of adjacent-channel WGWE.
On July 5, 2013, Bell Media officially took ownership of Astral Media, and as a result, CHRE-FM became a part of Bell Media's radio station group.
- 105.7 EZ Rock
- CHRE-FM history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHRE-FM