|City of license||St. Catharines, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Niagara Region, Hamilton, Greater Toronto Area, Buffalo, New York|
|Branding||CHTZ - 97.7 HTZ-FM|
|Slogan||Southern Ontario's Best Rock|
|First air date||February 1, 1949|
|Callsign meaning||HTZ = Hits|
|Website||97.7 HTZ FM|
CHTZ-FM is a radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The station airs at 97.7 MHz FM, and broadcasts an active rock format with the brand name HTZ (Hits) FM. It is one of the most powerful rock stations in Southern Ontario , as it can be heard not only in the Niagara Region, but also in Hamilton, the portion of the Greater Toronto Area that includes Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga, and in Buffalo, New York.
HTZ FM features an active rock format that capitalizes on hard rock, and heavy metal. Core artists include Metallica, The Tragically Hip, Rob Zombie, Billy Talent, AC/DC, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, Soundgarden, and The Standstills.
The station launched in 1949 as an FM simulcast of the city's CKTB. The station later launched distinct programming, and adopted a country music format with the new callsign CJQR in 1979. Niagara District Broadcasting, the owner of CKTB and CJQR, was acquired by Standard Broadcasting in 1980.
The station subsequently adopted its current callsign and a contemporary hit radio format in 1986, which would later morph into its current rock format in 1995.
In 1998, the station was sold to Affinity Radio Group. In 2000, Affinity was acquired by Telemedia, which was in turn acquired by Standard in 2002. Standard retained ownership of CHTZ after the reacquisition.
On October 26, 2007, the station once again changed hands. The following Monday, CHTZ officially began broadcasting the name of its new owner, Astral Media, as part of its station identification. The following year, along with sister station CFBR-FM in Edmonton, Alberta, Astral Media shifted the stations to active rock from mainstream rock, whereas the existing active rock station in Buffalo, New York is Citadel Broadcasting's WEDG, particularly because it began having rivalry with CIXL-FM, which dropped adult hits for classic rock. Astral's sister rockers CKQB-FM (Virgin Radio 106.9, now back to their former Bear branding) Ottawa & CJAY-FM Calgary followed suit by 2010.
Kristy Knight, better known as "KK," continues rocking middays, Paul Morris and Joe Cahill are both covering evenings and weekends. Nikki Sixx hosts "Sixx Sense", a syndicated show that is broadcast weeknights from Dallas. Longtime afternoon (and formally morning) dj "Iron" Mike Bensson passed away on 7 November 2013 after a battle with cancer.
Sale to Bell Canada Enterprises
- 97.7 HTZ FM
- CHTZ-FM history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHTZ-FM