|City of license||Leamington, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Essex County, Detroit-Windsor|
|First air date||1955 (At 710AM)|
|Format||hot adult contemporary|
|Former callsigns||CJSP, CHIR|
710AM CJSP/Cheer Radio
The station was launched in 1955 by Sun Parlor Broadcasting at 710 AM, as a daytimer with a 250 watt transmitter, using the callsign CJSP. The principal shareholders in Sun Parlour Broadcasting were Al Bruner, John Garton Sr., Lou Tomasi and Art Gadd. The station increased its power to 1,000 watts in 1960. The "SP" in the call sign stood for "Sun Parlour," a nickname for the Leamington/southern Essex County region of Ontario.
In 1967, the station adopted its current callsign, and received approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to broadcast at nighttime; due to clear channel rules, the station remained on 710 during the day, but shifted to 730 at night. The switch in frequency was called fine tuning time and was accompanied by a Lou Tomasi voiced 60-second audio bed series of varying-pitched beeps which helped the listener re-tune (hopefully) to the station where they would be told "you're back on the beam with Cheer Radio". The station also used a different callsign, CHIR, but retained the same Cheer branding. During its years of operation on two frequencies, the station had two licenses, one for each call sign. In 1968, the station was sold to Rogers Communications although Sun Parlour Broadcasting continued to operate as a separate subsidiary.
As "Channel Seven, Cheer Radio," CHYR/CHIR aired a top 40 music format. In the mid seventies they started to spell out the daytime call letters on-air "C-H-Y-R" as well as use the phrase "Super Seven Cheer" and variations with a new Pepper/Tanner jingle package (reportedly as a light poke at the "Big 8" just up the road in Windsor), but overall the format approach and on-air policy was always "bright, tight, brief and real!"
In 1974, the CHIR calls were quietly abandoned, and the nighttime transmitter's call sign instead became CHYR-7. The station increased its nighttime power from 250 to 500 watts that year. In 1975, Keith Dancy acquired Sun Parlour Broadcasting from Rogers, although two years later he sold the station back to Rogers, along with CKJD in Sarnia, in exchange for CHIQ in Hamilton.
Soft AC Years/CHYR Country/Move To FM
In 1987, the station's ownership was spun off to Blue Water Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Maclean-Hunter. That same year, CHYR moved from Top 40 to an adult contemporary format. In 1991, the station adopted a country music format.
In 1993, the station received CRTC approval to move to the FM band. In preparation for the move, most of the AM transmitter towers had to be demolished to make room for the new FM tower; as a result, the 730 frequency was abandoned and the station operated full-time at reduced power on 710 for a few months. The move to FM was completed in July of that year. After a brief period of simulcasting, CHYR ceased operations on 710 kHz on September 10, 1993 at 6 p.m. In 1994, Maclean-Hunter was acquired by Rogers and The Blue Water group was sold to Blackburn Radio.
96.7 Cheer-FM/Mix 96.7
On April 22, 2001, the station abruptly dropped its country format after 10 years in favor of Hot AC branded as "96.7 Cheer-FM". Market vet Tim O'Neill took over mornings and Corey Robertson arrived in late 2001 for afternoons.
On March 3, 2008 at 9am, the station rebranded as "Mix 96.7", bringing confusion to a Detroit radio station Mix 92.3, which airs an urban adult contemporary format. As such, CHYR-FM is still the only station in Detroit to hear Canadian pop music not played by American radio stations.
- Mix 96.7
- CHYR-FM history at the Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHYR-FM