CFIQ

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CFIQ
Global News Radio 640 Toronto.png
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Broadcast areaGreater Toronto Area
Southern Ontario
Frequency640 kHz (AM)
Branding640 Toronto
Programming
FormatTalk
AffiliationsGlobal News
Ownership
OwnerCorus Entertainment
(Corus Premium Television Ltd.)
CFNY-FM, CILQ-FM, CING-FM, CIII-DT
History
First air date
July 1, 1957
Former call signs
CJRH (1957-1961)
CFGM (1961-1988, 1988-1990)
CHOG (1988, 1990-1999)
CFYI (1999-2002)
CFMJ (2002-2022)
Former frequencies
1300 kHz (1957-1959)
1310 kHz (1959-1978)
1320 kHz (1978-1988)
Technical information
Licensing authority
CRTC
ClassB
Power50,000 watts
Repeater(s)95.3 CING-FM-HD2
Links
Website640Toronto.com

CFIQ (640 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Richmond Hill, Ontario, and serving Greater Toronto. The station airs a talk format and is known as 640 Toronto. It is owned by Corus Entertainment with radio studios and offices in the Corus Quay Building at 25 Dockside Drive in Toronto.

CFIQ is powered at 50,000 watts, the maximum for Canadian AM stations. But to protect other stations on 640 AM, it must use a directional antenna. Although it is licensed to a suburban community north of the city, its transmitter is about 60 kilometers (38 miles) south of Toronto. CFIQ's eight-tower array is in the town of Lincoln, in Niagara Region, near the southeast corner of Greenlane and Merritt Road. This location allows the station's signal to cover a large part of Southern Ontario beyond Greater Toronto, as well as Western New York state during the day and at night.

History[edit]

Early Years[edit]

On July 1, 1957, the station first signed on as CJRH.[1] It was a 500-watt station, broadcasting on 1300 kHz. The last two letters in the call sign referred to its city of license, Richmond Hill. It moved to 1310 in 1959, and changed its call letters to CFGM in 1961. The station adopted a country format in 1964. A few years later, it became Canada's first 24-hour country station. Don Daynard, longtime personality on CHFI-FM, was a host on CFGM in the 1960s.

The station moved to 1320 in 1978, and to 640 kHz on September 16, 1988.[2][3]

Top 40 Era[edit]

Final CHOG logo

After 26 years as a country station, CFGM changed its format and call letters on June 29, 1990, at 5 p.m., broadcasting a rock-leaning CHR/Top 40 format as AM 640 The Hog, CHOG (which would later shift towards a more mainstream direction in September 1991).[4][5][6] In June 1992, the station rebranded as AM 640 The Beat Of Toronto. The station adjusted its format to Rhythmic CHR.

Several notable radio personalities were associated with the station during this era, including John Gallagher, Tarzan Dan (Freeman), Pat Cochrane, Adrian Bell, Tony Monaco, Deanna Nason, Randy Taylor, Eric Hollo, Kenny 'The Hitman' Caughlin, Roger Kelly and the Toronto radio team of Jesse and Gene. After CFTR moved from contemporary hits to all-news in 1993, AM 640 (still with the calls CHOG) was the last Top 40 station in the Toronto radio market until CISS-FM adopted the format in February 1999. Talk shows would later come to take up a substantial part of the station's schedule, particularly during midday periods when many of the station's hit music listeners might normally be in school.

Shift to Talk[edit]

Talk 640 logo

On October 10, 1995, at 10 p.m., the station changed to a full-time talk radio format.[7][8] As Talk 640, the station aired syndicated shows such as Joy Browne, Rhona Raskin, Dr. Laura and Live Audio Wrestling, along with local programming hosted by personalities such as Gene Valaitis, Jane Hawtin, Bill Carroll, Shelley Klinck, Marsha Lederman, Karen Horsman, Michael Coren, Dave Chalk, Spaceman Gary Bell and Roger Kelly.

Despite regular adjustments, including acquiring the radio broadcast rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the station received low ratings. During this period, the station adopted the call letters CFYI. The weekend programming was a hit with "The Touch of Health" a show that started with just a half hour in 1997 to a two-hour nationally syndicated show airing 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Hosted, produced and managed by Christine McPhee, other weekend shows were the "Pet Show" with Mitch Levitsky, a "Cruise Show", a "Law Show", a "Beauty Show", and the "Small Canada Business Show".

Mojo Radio[edit]

Mojo Radio logo used from 2001-2004

In 2000, the station was acquired by Corus Entertainment.[9] On April 23, 2001, at 6:40 a.m., the station re-launched as Mojo Radio, a hot talk radio format aimed at the male demographic.[10] The station also changed its call letters the same day to CFMJ.

The new format featured programs hosted by Humble and Fred, John Derringer, Phil Hendrie, Mike Stafford, Andrew Krystal, Spider Jones, and the syndicated Coast to Coast AM. Later on, John Oakley replaced Scruff Connors who had taken over from Humble and Fred; the latter pair left for hot adult contemporary station CKFM-FM in July 2003. Krystal moved to part-time work at CFRB and CKTB before moving to CJNI-FM in Halifax. Derringer's Mojo show was later discontinued as he concentrated on his marquee morning show on co-owned CILQ-FM.

AM640 Toronto Radio[edit]

In 2004, due to low ratings (MOJO was typically hovering around a 1.4 share), the station moved away from the male-oriented imaging to a more general news and talk format as AM640 Toronto Radio. Oakley and Stafford continued to host the major morning and afternoon drive programs. Craig Bromell joined the station as co-host of a new late morning program, The Beat (later rebranded as Bromell! in 2006), and in 2005, Charles Adler's nationally syndicated radio show was added to mid-afternoons. Award-winning journalist Arlene Bynon was added to the ranks in 2006 to host the Saturday afternoon Toronto Weekend program, which expanded to include a Sunday edition as well.

AM640 Toronto Radio logo, used from 2004-2010

Near the end of July 2007, the programming line-up was shuffled in response to the departure of Craig Bromell, whose show ran until the end of August 2007. Afternoon host Mike Stafford replaced Bromell. The Bill Watters Show was added to the afternoon lineup. Just as the new show with co-host Jeff Marek expanded, Marek moved on to Sirius Satellite Radio. Greg Brady replaced Marek as Bill's co-host. Brady left AM640 in late June 2010 to host a Noon - 3pm program on The FAN 590. Bill Hayes, formerly of Q107, replaced Greg Brady as Watters' co-host. Hayes was fired in January 2011. Co-hosting duties then fell to his son, Brian Hayes. Hayes left AM640 on Friday, April 8 to host his own mid-morning program on TSN Radio 1050. AM640's Leafs play-by-play colour analyst Jim Ralph became co-host of The Bill Watters Show, which ran from 4pm – 7pm covering hockey issues and other major sports news as well, up until July 15, 2011.

Veteran host and reporter John Downs was let go in early August, 2010. His 7pm - 9pm slot was then hosted by Bryan Hayes, whose program was primarily sports-talk, until April 12, 2011 when Bryan took the mid-day host slot at TSN Radio 1050. Charles Adler's 2pm - 4pm program was moved to the 7pm - 9pm slot at the end of August, 2012.

Charles Adler hosted a Toronto-based hour from 1pm - 2pm during the summer of 2010. On Monday, August 30, Arlene Bynon took over hosting duties for the 1pm - 2pm hour, with news anchor Tina Trigiani guest-hosting Friday afternoons. On Monday July 18, 2011 The Bill Watters Show was canceled and Arlene Bynon took over the 4-7pm time slot. Tina Trigiani was the host of the 1-2p slot Monday to Friday.[11] On July 2, 2014 Trijiani's hour was taken over by host Jeff McArthur.

Jeff McArthur, former morning show host for both CFPL-FM and AM in London, Ontario, joined AM640 in late August 2012 to host weekdays 2pm - 4pm. On July 2, 2014 his show expanded to add the 1-2pm time slot.

On January 7, 2013, Arlene Bynon's afternoon program was replaced by Bill Carroll. Arlene stayed on as cohost for the following three weeks. Her last day was Tuesday, January 29, 2013. She now hosts a show on "Canada Talks" Channel 167 on Sirius XM Radio. Bill Carroll hosted the 4-7pm weekday slot in Toronto in addition to his a separate show on Los Angeles talk radio station KFI (which is also at 640 on the AM dial)

One of the station's biggest draws was that it was the radio broadcaster of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which it networked into other markets. Its play-by-play announcers were Joe Bowen, Dennis Beyak, Jim Ralph and Dan Dunleavy. Dennis Beyak left in the fall of 2011 to do the play-by-play for the Winnipeg Jets on TSN regional television and on TSN Radio 1290 CFRW. AM640's 7-year contract for the rights to Toronto Maple Leafs radio broadcasts concluded before the start of the 2012-13 NHL season—Leafs broadcasts are now split between CHUM and CJCL.

CFMJ's studios were in Suite 1600 at 1 Dundas Street West in Toronto, Ontario until Corus moved all of its Toronto-based radio, television and other assets into Corus Quay upon its completion in the summer of 2010. On September 8, 2015, CFMJ began simulcasting on co-owned CING-FM's HD-2 sub-channel.

Global News Radio 640 Toronto[edit]

CFMJ, along with several other Corus's news/talk radio stations across Canada were relaunched under the new national Global News Radio brand between November and December 2017. The new moniker matches the Global News brand which is already used for the newscasts on Global Television's owned-and-operated stations, including CFMJ's sister station, CIII-DT, which was acquired by Corus Entertainment as part of its acquisition of the Shaw Communications media unit. The official changeover to Global News Radio 640 Toronto occurred on December 1, 2017, with CFMJ maintaining its talk format and on-air roster.

640 Toronto[edit]

The Global News Radio branding was dropped in January 2022 to avoid confusion between news and talk programming on the station. The station continues to have a shared newsroom with Global News and the newscasts themselves are still identified as Global News.[12]

On April 1, 2022, the station's call sign was changed to CFIQ.

Defunct Programs[edit]

Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey[edit]

From the 1998 until 2012, the station aired radio broadcasts of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey broadcasts. Dennis Beyak was the team's play-by-play commentator when Joe Bowen called games on television, though Bowen continued to call games on radio when the Leafs aired on national TV. Beyak was replaced by Dan Dunleavy in 2011 when he left for TSN to be the Winnipeg Jets play by play commentator.

The station no longer airs the Leafs broadcasts since the 2012–13 season. All games has since been split with CJCL and CHUM, owned by Bell and Rogers who co-owns the parent company of the team.

The Morning Show[edit]

On November 7, 2016, the station launched a new morning drive show, The Morning Show, pairing National Post columnist and editor Matt Gurney with CBC contributor and lawyer Supriya Dwivedi as co-hosts, replacing the John Oakley Show, which moved to afternoon drive. In February 2018, as part of the station's "revitalization" following its rebranding as Global News Radio, Gurney was moved to the 9 am to noon slot to host The Exchange with Matt Gurney, and Mike Stafford was moved to The Morning Show with Dwivedi remaining as co-host.[13]

On November 27, 2020, Dwivedi announced on-air that she was leaving the show and Global, filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging that the station had allowed its on-air talent and callers to spread "false narratives" about refugees, Muslims and other groups on air, unchallenged, and refused to enforce journalistic standards on talk radio resulting in her "receiving an increase in racist comments and violent threats". In her resignation letter, she stated “I can no longer be part of an ecosystem that tolerates and in some cases, actively sows division and discord... As a female, racialized journalist, I have been subject to rape threats against me and my 17-month old daughter and absolutely abhorrent statements from members of the public when I attempt to counter and correct the misinformation and false narratives promoted by other hosts and guests on the station.”[14][15]

Mike Stafford remained as the show's host, with rotating guest co-hosts, until June 2021 when he was fired, after 20 years at the station, for using a racial slur in an internal company group chat while commenting that Ontario Premier Doug Ford was likely to slip up and use the slur during his press conference.[16][17] Stafford had previously been briefly suspended in 2019 after making derogatory comments about South Asians and Muslims on social media.[18][19]

Leafs Lunch[edit]

Jeff Marek was offered a position with Sirius Satellite Radio and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada to host a new show. On September 7, 2007 Marek announced that he was leaving Leafs Lunch on AM 640 Toronto Radio to pursue a new route in radio broadcasting on the Hockey Night in Canada radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 122. Brian Duff from the NHL Network was the program's host for a period of time until he was replaced by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. On July 5, 2010, Leafs Lunch was canceled.[20] Leafs Lunch returned to Talk Radio AM640's Saturday and Sunday lineups, filling the noon - 1pm timeslot until spring of 2011, when it was cancelled.

Tina Trigiani[edit]

Trigiani's show aired weekdays between 1pm and 2pm, this show generally covered lighter news and popular interest topics. Like the Stafford Show, a main topic was introduced and then Tina took input from listeners via e-mail and phone calls. Adding occasional colour to the show was added by Trigiani's call screener, Ryan Bonnar and technical producer Patrick Malkin. AM640 Host Jeff McArthur's show absorbed the hour in the summer of 2014.

Bill Carroll[edit]

Aired weekdays from 4pm - 7pm. Bill Carroll hosted the afternoon drive slot along with commentary from news anchor Sandy Salerno and producer Chris Chreston until early 2016. The opening segment of each show was known as "Carroll on the News" in which Salerno, Chreston and Carroll discussed the day's major news stories. This portion of the show was taped earlier in the day due to a conflict with Carroll's show on KFI 640 in Los Angeles. Carroll resigned from his position in Los Angeles, but soon after left AM640 in early 2016 for 580 CFRA in Ottawa.

The Post Game Show with Andy Frost[edit]

Following each Toronto Maple Leafs game, radio host and Leafs PA announcer, Andy Frost discussed the ups and downs of the night's game. Much of the broadcast involves taking phone calls from the show's audience. This show was cancelled on the station, however Frost remained an evening and weekend host on AM640's sister station Q107.

A View from Space[edit]

For over 15 years Gary Bell (nicknamed 'The Spaceman') hosted a show, broadcast on Saturday nights, that dealt with current events, numerology and conspiracy theories . The show was cancelled, following its November 11, 2017 broadcast, when parent company Corus fired the late-night host citing complaints of anti-Semitic content.[21] Bell also worked as a producer for various weekday shows during his time at the station and had previously worked as a technician at CKGM and CFTR. He died of cancer in June 2018.

Tasha Kheiriddin[edit]

Weekdays from 12:00pm–2:00pm Tasha Kheiriddin focused on politics and lifestyle. The show was produced by Jackie Lamport. The show featured a Political Panel every Wednesday from 1:20 - 1:40pm. On Fridays during the same time slot a Top 3 panel took place where three women joined the show to talk about three of the top stories of the week. Notable panelists included Maddie Di Muccio, Lisa Kinsella, Anne Lagacé Dowson, and Sophie Nadaeu. The final edition of the program aired March 1, 2019 when it ended its run after three years.

The Exchange with Matt Gurney[edit]

Aired weekdays from 9am - 12pm, The Exchange was a news based talk show with host Matt Gurney. Heather Purdon, Mike Stafford's former producer, produced the show. The show was launched in February 2018 and ended in February 2019.

Notable on-air staff and alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

  • CKGO, a radio station in Vancouver that also used the Mojo format

References[edit]

  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1958 page A-467
  2. ^ Decision CRTC 87-376
  3. ^ CFGM sliding down the dial to reach millions of new listeners - Toronto Star, September 16, 1988
  4. ^ "Nobody waved goodby to CFGM". Archived from the original on 2016-05-06.
  5. ^ http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/cfgm-farewell-jun29-90.mp3
  6. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Billboard/90s/1991/BB-1991-09-21.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ Top hits AM 640 turning to talk radio
  8. ^ CHOG Flips from Top 40 to Talk
  9. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2010 page D-645
  10. ^ On MOJO, it's all guys, all the time - Toronto Star, April 20, 2001
  11. ^ "640 Toronto".
  12. ^ "Toronto Mike'd: Amanda Cupido: Toronto Mike'd #1006 on Apple Podcasts".
  13. ^ "GLOBAL NEWS RADIO 640 TORONTO LAUNCHES NEW MORNING DRIVE, MID-MORNING TALK SHOWS". Corus (press release). February 23, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  14. ^ "Prominent Global News Host Quits Alleging On-Air Climate Increased Racist Threats". Vice. December 1, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "CANADA: GLOBAL NEWS HOST SUPRIYA DWIVEDI RESIGNS AFTER BEING TARGETED BY RACIST THREATS". THE COALITION FOR WOMEN IN JOURNALISM. December 2, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  16. ^ Stevenson, Jane (June 11, 2021). "AM640 radio show host gone after using racial slur to mock Doug Ford". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  17. ^ Krishnan, Manisha (June 10, 2021). "Global News Radio Host Leaves Company After Making Racist Slur in Work Chat Group". Vice. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  18. ^ "Global News Radio Investigating Mike Stafford For Offensive Tweets". Canadaland. July 24, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  19. ^ "AM 640 host Mike Stafford and Corus part ways after alleged use of slur". Broadcast Dialogue. June 10, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-07-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Demara, Bruce (29 November 2017). "Corus fires AM640 late-night host, citing complaints of anti-Semitic content | The Star". Toronto Star.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°10′45″N 79°25′59″W / 43.17917°N 79.43306°W / 43.17917; -79.43306