CIUT-FM

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CIUT-FM
CIUT logo.png
City of license Toronto, Ontario
Frequency 89.5 MHz (FM)
First air date 1966
Format Campus and community programming
ERP 15 kW
Callsign meaning CI University of Toronto
Owner University of Toronto Community Radio Inc. (registered charity)
Webcast Listen Live
Website ciut.fm

CIUT-FM is a campus and community radio station owned and operated by the University of Toronto community. The station broadcasts live and continuously from Toronto on the 89.5 FM frequency. Programming can also be heard nationally via channel 826 on Shaw Direct, and over the internet via the CIUT website. The station is financially supported by donations and an undergraduate student levy.[1] CIUT-FM also broadcasts a Punjabi and Urdu language station, Sur Sagar Radio on a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation frequency.

History[edit]

The station began as a closed-circuit broadcaster called Radio Varsity in 1966, later becoming Input Radio, UTR and then CJUT. All these versions of the station were only heard within the confines of the University of Toronto, thanks to an extensive network of loudspeakers, amplifiers, and cables strung through the extensive underground network of steam tunnels beneath the UoT downtown campus.[2] The station was granted a broadcast license and became CIUT-FM in 1986, and on January 15, 1987, the station's FM broadcasts began to reach a considerably wider range across southern Ontario.[1]

In 1999, CIUT was $150,000 in debt resulting in the student union taking over management, firing two employees,[3] dismissing five volunteers,[4] shortening time slots for other programs and selling late-night time slots to an internet broadcaster.[3]

The next year, the station was sued by one of the dismissed programmers, Eddy Brake, who challenged his dismissal as well as the restructuring.[4] The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2005.[5]

The old headquarters of CIUT-FM at 91 St. George Street, opposite Robarts Library

Today, CIUT broadcasts at 15 kilowatts from a transmitter on the top of First Canadian Place in Downtown Toronto. With greater signal power than generally found at other community radio stations, CIUT's broadcast reaches as far as Barrie to the north, Buffalo to the south, Kitchener to the west and Cobourg to the east.[6]

In 2009, CIUT moved from 91 St. George Street, the Victorian house it had occupied for 40 years, to new studios in Hart House. The old location was demolished in order to make way for the expansion of the Rotman School of Management.[7]

In the fall of 2010, CIUT's board of directors cancelled station manager Brian Burchell's contract due to financial irregularities. As a result, program director Ken Stowar was appointed to the additional role of station manager.[8]

In 2012, CIUT filed a lawsuit against Burchell seeking damages of $162,193.68 for what The Varsity newspaper described as "alleged long-term embezzlement" prior to his firing in October 2010.[9]

In 2014, the CIUT transmitter of 27 years died, shutting the station off the air for a couple of days until a backup transmitter could be shipped to Toronto from Nova Scotia. In the ensuing fundraising drive, CIUT's dedicated listeners rallied to the cause and a brand new, state-of-the-art transmitter was installed and operating by August.

Alumni[edit]

Former Radio Varsity/CIUT talent includes:

  • Paul Shaffer; 7T1, well-known musical director, producer, performer, and David Letterman sidekick.
  • Jeff Healey; blues guitarist
  • Mopa Dean; singer for hardcore punk band Armed and Hammered
  • Stacy Case; founder of the Pillow Fight League and amateur film maker
  • Lise Waxer; musicologist, professor and author of works about Latin Jazz
  • Dave O Rama; Former host and producer of the CIUT FM programs The Dream Consortium, Headstrokes and Alligator Wine. Current host and producer of The Lovecast on CHLY-FM Vancouver Island.
  • Cheri DiNovo; hosted The Radical Reverend before being elected to the Ontario legislature in 2006.[10]
  • Mike Sullivan; former CBC master control radio operator, elected to Parliament of Canada in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b About 89.5, ciut.fm
  2. ^ "University of Toronto Steam Tunnels", Infiltration Journal, July 2000
  3. ^ a b "CKLN tunes out volunteers", The Varsity, September 22, 2008
  4. ^ a b "National: U of T student president slapped with lawsuit", The Peak, January 10, 2000
  5. ^ Notice, The Bulletin, May 9, 2005, page 10.
  6. ^ Radio Station History - CIUT-FM, Canadian Communications Foundation
  7. ^ "CIUT to shack up at Hart House", The Varsity, June 16, 2008
  8. ^ "CIUT manager axed", The Varsity, October 25, 2010
  9. ^ Smeenk, Dan (November 26, 2012). "U of T radio station to sue former general manager: Lawsuit details alleged long-term embezzlement at CIUT 89.5". The Varsity. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Radical reverend star in NDP race", NOW Magazine, July 13, 2006

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°39′52″N 79°23′54″W / 43.66450°N 79.39834°W / 43.66450; -79.39834