CIQM-FM

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CIQM-FM
975 Virgin Radio.png
City of license London, Ontario
Branding 97-5 Virgin Radio
Slogan "London's #1 Hit Music Station"
Frequency 97.5 MHz (FM)
First air date 1986 (at 103.1 FM)
Format CHR
Audience share Increase 10.3% [1]
ERP 50,000 watts
Class B
Owner Bell Media
(Bell Media Radio)
Webcast Listen Live
Website 97.5 Virgin Radio

CIQM-FM is an FM radio station broadcasting at 97.5 FM in London, Ontario, Canada, branded as 97-5 Virgin Radio. The station airs a rhythmic-leaning/dance-emphasizing CHR format. CIQM is owned by Bell Media and its sister stations include CJBX, CJBK and CKSL.

CIQM operates on a frequency once occupied by CKO from 1977 to 1989.

History[edit]

CIQM originally operated as "Q103" at 103.1 FM (now the home of CFHK-FM "Fresh FM" in St. Thomas) from its sign-on in 1986 [2] until moving in 1993 to the 97.5 frequency vacated by CKO.[3] For many years, the station was known as "Q97.5," even after taking on the "EZ Rock" trademark; in 2006, the "Q" was dropped and the station became known as simply "97.5, London's EZ Rock."

EZ Rock logo 2010-2012

On September 6, 2010, CIQM underwent several changes, including a tweak in branding (as "The New Sound of EZ Rock"), a new logo and new on-air staff. The station moved from its 24-year-old adult contemporary format to hot adult contemporary. The switch was due to rival CKOT-FM switching from easy listening to a gold-based Soft AC mix, and also because of rimshot rivals CIHR-FM and CHGK-FM, both mainstream AC stations, also being heard in London. The station also dropped the decimal point from the station ID after flipping to Hot AC. Just after the format tweak, Astral switched CIQM's jingles from the adult hits jingles to the hot adult contemporary jingles. Despite all of the changes, CIQM, which once dominated the market, suffered from ratings erosion, and had the lowest share in the London CMA, and was a distant second place behind CKOT.

On August 13, 2012, CIQM began stunting with jockless music, as well as their website being replaced by a countdown clock, informing listeners to tune in August 17 at 8 AM. At that time, the station flipped to CHR, becoming the 5th station in Canada (7th overall, including CKQB in Ottawa, although that station reverted to its previous "Bear" branding, and CKZZ in Vancouver, though they are considered Hot AC, and has since reverted to its former "Z95.3" branding) using the "Virgin Radio" branding. The final song on EZ Rock was "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse, while the first song on Virgin Radio was Pound The Alarm by Nicki Minaj. The station has a full-time air staff, as well as the London affiliate for On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Longtime rival CFHK-FM (103-1 Fresh FM) became once again the market's only hot adult contemporary station. CIQM-FM's flip to contemporary hit radio filled the Top 40 void in London for the first time since 2004, when CFHK dropped it in favour of its current Hot AC format.

As part of Astral's merger with Bell Media on June 27, 2013, CIQM is now owned by Bell Media.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°57′20″N 81°21′19″W / 42.95556°N 81.35528°W / 42.95556; -81.35528