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|City||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Broadcast area||Metro Vancouver|
|Branding||94.5 Virgin Radio|
|Slogan||Vancouver's #1 Hit Music Station|
|Frequency||94.5 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||February 15, 2002|
|ERP||45,000 watts average
90,000 watts peak
horizontal polarization only
|Callsign meaning||C F BeaT (former brand name)|
(Bell Media Radio, G.P.)
|Sister stations||Radio: CKST, CFTE, CHQM-FM
CFBT-FM is a Canadian contemporary hit radio (CHR) radio station in the Greater Vancouver region of British Columbia. It broadcasts at 94.5 MHz on the FM band with an effective radiated power of 90,000 Watts from a transmitter on Mount Seymour in the District of North Vancouver. Owned by Bell Media, with studios located at Robson and Burrard Street in Downtown Vancouver, the station broadcasts a contemporary hit radio format branded as 94.5 Virgin Radio. The station's main competitors are CKKS-FM and CKZZ-FM.
The 94.5 FM frequency was originally assigned by a low-power temporary FM radio station to provide information on traffic conditions between Vancouver and Coquitlam, which received approval in 1998.
The CRTC began the application process for a new Vancouver FM station in the fall of 2000. There were eleven prospective applicants, reflecting the fact that the 94.5 MHz frequency was the last remaining high-power FM slot in the Vancouver market. On June 5, 2001, Focus Communications was granted a licence to operate an Urban format. The station's call letters, CFBT-FM, were assigned in November of the same year, and an official launch date was set for March 4, 2002 as the second urban station in Canada. Test transmissions began in mid-February 2002. The station adopted a "soft start" launch wherein announcers and programming were gradually introduced over a period of several weeks. By mid-2003, the station changed to more of a rhythmic top 40 format.
In September 2004, CFBT changed its format to a top 40/CHR format, significantly decreasing the amount of hip hop and R&B on the station's playlist. This change was prompted by the shift of CKZZ-FM (Z95.3) from top 40 to its current hot AC format on March 1, 2004. It became the only top 40 station in British Columbia until 2007. The station continued to lean rhythmic for about a year, before adopting a more mainstream direction. More rhythmic tracks were phased in by 2007, when CTVglobemedia acquired the station.
On February 26, 2007, CHUM Limited (CHQM-FM, 1410 CFUN, and 1040 The Team) announced that it would acquire the station from previous owner Focus Entertainment Group. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the sale in October, and CTVglobemedia (CHUM's successor) assumed ownership on November 2, 2007.
Until 2011, CFBT was the only CTVglobemedia radio station that had never been owned by CHUM Limited until it acquired CFXJ-FM in Toronto most recently. Since CTVglobemedia acquired the station, it is also the largest contemporary hit radio station in Canada not under local ownership. The station was sold to Bell Canada in 2011, like with most CTVglobemedia stations/channels, and the CHUM Radio Network subsidiary became Bell Media Radio.
On April 25, 2012, Bell Media announced a new morning show, The Beat Mornings with Holly Conway, Jonny Staub, Nira Arora and Amy Beeman, to start on April 30. Former morning show host Kid Carson left the station and joined Sonic 104.9 in September after his non-compete contract expired.
On February 20, 2015, Bell announced that CFBT would rebrand as "Virgin Radio" on March 5, returning the brand to the market for the first time since March 2014, when CKZZ rebranded back to its former "Z95.3" moniker due to Bell's merger with CKZZ's then-owner Astral Media, with Bell retaining the rights to the "Virgin" branding in Canada. On March 5, at 9 AM, the official rebranding took place. The final song on "The Beat" was "Jealous" by Chromeo, while the first song on "Virgin" was "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
Mornings: Jonny Staub, Holly Conway, Nira Arora
Middays: Chris Palliser
Afternoon Drive: Remo
5 o'clock Traffic Jam: mixed live by DJ Flipout
Evenings: Denai Johnson
Late Nights/Weekends: Joelle St. Clair, Kevin Getz and Megan Edwards
Program Director: Curtis Strange
Assistant Program Directior / Music Director: Jasmina Koga
The Beat Music Awards
The station conducts an annual local talent search, The Beat Music Awards. The winner of the competition gets to record four songs with the professional production team RockSTAR Music corporation. In 2010 the finalists "compete for the grand prize of a production deal with RockSTAR Music Corp with two professionally produced songs to be featured as MP3 downloads on thebeat.com." ("Beat 94.5 Contests - 2010 Beat Music Awards", at http://thebeat.com/post/9420 as accessed 16 July 2010)
The 2007 winner, Elise Estrada, scored a Top 40 hit on the Canadian charts in the summer of 2007 with "Insatiable". Elise Estrada has also released a self-titled album and is touring Canada.