The station originally began broadcasting at 101.1 FM in September 1975. CJUM-FM was one of the two first campus radio stations ever granted a broadcast licence in Canada, the other being Carleton University's CKCU-FM. However, the station faced financial difficulties, and closed down in June 1980. The original station signed off the air with Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run".
Several of the staff and volunteers at CJUM-FM during this era went on to careers in commercial and public broadcasting, including Les Siemieniuk, Shelia Baptie, Reid Dickie, Howard Mandshein, Hugh Malcolmson, Andy Frost, Rick Carter,Steve Baidwan, Liz Clayton, Chris Reichardt, John Quinn, Roman Onafrychuk, Dale MacIntyre, and Marty (Goldstein) Gold.
In the spring of 1996, a group of University of Manitoba students started a campaign to bring radio back to the campus. During a referendum that year, a $5 increase in student fees was sought, and passed with 2,520 votes for the levy, to go towards the construction and maintenance of this new station. The University of Manitoba Students' Union put forth an application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a broadcasting licence, broadcasting at 101.5 MHz with effective radiated power of 1,200 watts was officially approved on October 2, 1997, and the station was reincarnated and began broadcasting on September 4, 1998 at 6:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time.