|City of license||Montreal, Quebec|
|Broadcast area||Greater Montreal|
|Branding||Radio NRJ Montréal 94.3|
|Slogan||La radio des hits (logo & station identification)
La radio des tous les hits (primary)
|First air date||May 11, 1964|
|Format||contemporary hit radio|
|Callsign meaning||The MF is the French terminology for FM|
(Bell Media Radio)
|Sister stations||CHOM, CITE, CJAD, CJFM|
The station has a contemporary hit radio format and is the flagship of the NRJ network (formerly Radio Énergie), which operates across Quebec. It offers an eclectic yet progressive mix of personality-driven DJs and current francophone and anglophone pop music.
Early station years (1964-1970)
Originally known as CJMS-FM, the station started operations on May 11, 1964, as a sister station to the now-defunct CJMS 1280. Upon its opening, CJMS-FM was owned by the Radiomutuel Group. The station originally had a classical music format; that format was abandoned in 1970 and the call sign was changed at that time to CKMF-FM.
Early CKMF years (1970-1994)
The station became Canada's first radio station with a disco music dedicated segment in November 1978. Because of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rules and the fact that CKMF is a French-language station, it was required to play mostly French-language over English-language music, therefore English songs were spread thinly across the broadcast schedule. "Le 5 à 8" became the most popular show between 1978 and 1986, because they concentrated their CRTC quota of English and International music (mostly disco) between the hours of 5-8PM. "Le 5 à 8" was hosted by Michel Jasmin and later Alain Montpetit and Guy Aubry, featuring the talent of the best DJ's in Montreal like Alain Bourque, Big Dan Moreau and Michel Cadoch doing shows like "Live from the Limelight" and other famous clubs in Montreal, along with programs like "Le Show A Mario" with Mario Lirette and DJ Michel Cadoch, gave CKMF 94.3 that unique sound for the Disco era. One of the station's biggest on-air personalities of the disco era was the openly gay Douglas Coco Leopold, one of whose trademarks was his local trendsetting lists of who and what was "in" and "out" of fashion. The program Le 5 à 8 was later revived by sister station CITE-FM in 2011 following the station's rebranding as Rouge FM with jock Marina Orsini.
As was fictionalised in the 2010 Canadian film Funkytown, Montpetit's popularity as an influential DJ and promoter would be tarnished by being named as the prime suspect in a 1982 murder of a model in New York City (which would not be confirmed until 2002), and would prompt Leopold to criticize fellow airstaffer Montpetit on air publicly. Montpetit would later die in a Washington, DC hotel of a drug overdose in 1987, just several months after station management fired him after he showed up drunk and appeared too incoherent to do a airshift. The station relocated for a final time in 1983 to its current building at the corner of René Lévesque Boulevard East (then named Dorchester Boulevard) and Papineau Avenue.
Radio Énergie and the Astral takeover (1994-2009)
It was from there that the Énergie name came to be as the station carried it over from its evolution from Rhythmic Top 40 in the 1980s and 1990s, to its current format which began in 1994. In January 2000, Astral Media acquired the assets of Radiomutuel including CKMF.
While a power increase to 75,000 watts was planned around 2000 to combat expected interference from the power increase of fourth-adjacent CBF-FM 95.1 from 17,030 to 100,000 watts, it never took place and was not even applied for, as the expected interference never took place. However this plan was notified internationally even though it was never implemented, which explains the United States Federal Communications Commission's FM query erroneous claims that CKMF-FM has a power of 75,000 watts.
From Énergie to NRJ and proposed Bell Media takeover (2009-present)
The Énergie branding was discarded in August 2009 when Astral Media licensed the NRJ branding from a European broadcaster. The last song under the Énergie branding was Pictures Of You by The Last Goodnight, seguing to the station's morning show as the station relaunched as NRJ at 6am ET. The first song under the NRJ branding was Beggin' by Madcon. The airchecks remain unchanged, but the slogans were changed over.
In 2010, the station became the French-language radio flagship of the Montreal Alouettes (CFL football). The contract was supposed to last until 2013 inclusively; while both parties were apparently satisfied immediately after the end of the 2010 season, the contract was later terminated and the Alouettes returned to CKAC in time for the 2011 season.
- Astral Communications inc. (2000-01-14). "Notice annuelle -- Exercice terminé le 31 août 1999" (in French). Retrieved 2006-12-11.[dead link]
- Official website
- CKMF-FM history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKMF-FM