|Broadcast area||Greater Toronto Area|
|Branding||93-5 The Move|
|Slogan||Toronto's Hip Hop|
|First air date||2001|
1,058 watts average|
3,706 watts peak
|HAAT||298.7 meters (980 ft)|
CFXJ-FM is a Canadian radio station broadcasting at 93.5 FM in Toronto, Ontario owned by Newcap Radio. The station signed on the air in 2001 as Canada's first urban contemporary radio station under the brand name Flow 93-5, but has since alternated between urban and rhythmic contemporary formats. From October 2014 to February 2016, the station primarily played classic hip hop/R&B, then switched to rhythmic AC as part of its rebrand as 93-5 The Move. As of November 2017, the station has once again switched to rhythmic CHR.
The urban era (2001–2005)
Milestone Radio, a company incorporated by Denham Jolly, first applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for an urban music station in 1989, but were passed over in favour of a country music station, CISS. They applied again in 1997, and were passed over in favour of CBLA, the city's existing Radio One station, which the CBC wanted to move to FM for technical reasons.
Both decisions sparked controversy in Toronto, as the CRTC's reasons for passing over an urban-format station (which Toronto did not have) in favour of existing radio services were believed to be racist in nature. The lack of an urban station also created immense difficulties for Canadian hip hop, reggae and R&B musicians, who had no radio outlets in Canada to play and promote their music.
As well, the 99.1 signal which was awarded to the CBC was believed to be the last available FM frequency in the city. However, in 1998, the CBC found that it was able to surrender two repeater transmitters outside of Toronto due to CBLA's superior coverage of the region. In 2000, the CRTC opened applications for new services on these two frequencies, and on Milestone's third application, the CRTC awarded the 93.5 frequency to the company on June 16th of that year.
CFXJ signed on the air on February 9, 2001, at 9:35 p.m., under the name Flow 93.5, with "Roots, Rock, Reggae" by Bob Marley being the first song played. Live programming launched on March 1. Before the station became prominent in the Greater Toronto Area, many listeners would tune into Buffalo, New York's 93.7 WBLK, which has aired an urban contemporary format since the 1960s. Since CFXJ's debut, many Canadian hip hop and R&B musicians – including Jully Black, k-os, Kardinal Offishall and Jarvis Church, among others – have made the types of significant career breakthroughs that often eluded Canadian urban musicians in the 1990s.
The rhythmic top 40 era (2005–2014)
Flow and R&B/Hip hop in Canada
Since 2005, CFXJ has constantly "tweaked" its sound, experimenting with combinations of rhythmic CHR and urban by adding artists such as The Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Eva Avila and Pussycat Dolls, while still striving to satisfy hip hop and R&B enthusiasts by breaking new North American/international music in Canada, such as Chamillionaire, Young Jeezy, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Akon. In August 2007, the station launched a new campaign using the moniker "The New Flow 93.5" on air.
Urban-format stations quickly followed in several other Canadian cities as well. However, since then, CIBK-FM in Calgary, CFBT-FM in Vancouver, CFLZ-FM in Niagara Falls, CKBT-FM in Kitchener, CIHT-FM in Ottawa, and CHBN in Edmonton, have evolved to mainstream CHR due to the lack of R&B, hip hop and/or dance product by Canadian acts being released and the pressure to follow the CRTC's guideline on Canadian content music quotas.
By 2009, with the arrival of top 40 station CKIS-FM, CFXJ-FM continued as a rhythmic CHR station, but leaned back towards its urban roots, with some of the rhythmic pop songs phased out. CFXJ-FM continues to be reported on Mediabase and Nielsen BDS on the Canadian CHR panel, since there are no other rhythmic CHR stations in Canada. However, this move back towards an urban lean was unsuccessful, and many of the adult urban tracks were dropped by March 2010. (CKFG-FM launched as an urban AC in October 2011).
In February 2011, CFXJ re-tweaked its format back to a conventional rhythmic CHR direction that once again includes dance product and began billing its slogan as "Hip-Hop, Dance, and R&B." It also saw a mass exodus of air staffers (including program director Wayne Williams and sales staff, as well as all specialty programs and mix shows being cancelled) as CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media Radio) took over the ownership of the station from Milestone.
CHUM's vice president of programming, David Corey, replaced Williams as PD and reshuffled the lineup, bringing in fellow ex-WJMN/Boston imaging director Scott Morello as APD, and re-teaming morning host Melanie Martin with her fellow CKIS alumni J.J. King. Midday personality Miss Ange, afternoon drive personality Jeni, swing personality (now evenings) Peter Kash, MD Justin Dumont, promotions coordinator Angelique Knights, morning show producer Johnny Michaels, creative writer John Shannon, and producer Korey Bray, along with former sales manager Byron Garby and some other account representatives, were all retained as part of this change.
By August of that year, its slogan once again became simply "Toronto's Hip-Hop and R&B". In November, the station once again returned to urban with the launch of competitor CKFG-FM. However, by December 2012, the station had moved back to a rhythmic CHR format, with a heavy emphasis on currents and re-currents and a new slogan, "The Beat of Toronto".
The classic hip hop era (2014-2016)
Two years later, in late 2014, influenced by the popularity of The Back in the Day Buffet noon-hour mix-show, as well as the growing popularity of the classic hip-hop format in the United States, the station revamped its playlist to include classic hip-hop, R&B and reggae tracks from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, while still playing some currents. In addition, CFXJ added a secondary slogan: "The Best Throwbacks and Hottest Hits." By March 2015, the station's primary slogan was altered to "All The Best Throwbacks".
93-5 The Move (2016-present)
On February 25, 2016, CFXJ went jockless and began promoting a "big move" to take place at 8 a.m. the following Monday (February 29). At that time, after playing Over by Toronto native Drake, CFXJ flipped to Rhythmic AC as "93-5 The Move." The first song on "The Move" was The Way You Move by OutKast. The station expanded their playlist to include more pop and dance tracks from the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and added some current R&B/hip hop and dance-pop hits to appeal to a younger audience, while retaining many classic hip hop hits. The station continued to use the slogan "All the Best Throwbacks," a holdover from the previous "Flow" days.
As part of the rebrand, the station also axed numerous on air hosts, including Melanie Martin of the JJ & Melanie morning show, midday host Miss Ange, and evening host Megan Coady. Weekend host J'ness moved to sister station CIHT in Ottawa prior to the rebrand.
On June 23, 2010, it was announced that CHUM Radio, would acquire full control the station, subject to CRTC approval. On December 23, 2010, the CRTC approved the sale of CFXJ to CHUM. CHUM previously joint ventured with Milestone with CHBN in Edmonton, which was sold to Rogers Radio along with CHST in London. The station's headquarters were relocated from their longtime home at 211 Yonge Street to CTV's 250 Richmond Street West (near 299 Queen Street West, where MuchMusic and other Bell Media specialty television stations are based) in February 2011 after CTVgm took control of the station. On April 1, 2011, Bell Canada completed its acquisition of 100% of the shares in CTVglobemedia it didn't already own. It renamed the company Bell Media and likewise renamed the radio division Bell Media Radio.
In March 2013, the Competition Bureau approved a proposal by Bell Media to acquire Astral Media, under the condition that it divest itself of several television services and radio stations. Following the closure of the merger in July 2013, CFXJ was placed in a blind trust pending its eventual sale.
On August 26, 2013, Newcap Radio announced it would acquire CFXJ along with four other former Astral Media radio stations from Bell Media for $112 million. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 19, 2014 and the sale closed on March 31, 2014. With the sale, CFXJ moved their studios to the former CFRB and CKFM studios at 2 St. Clair West (at Yonge and St. Clair).
- CRTC Decision 90-993
- Twelve applicants dance for last local FM radio spot, Greg Quill, Toronto Star, November 23, 1989
- CRTC Decision 97-362
- CBC vs. 'dance' - who'll win 99.1 FM?, Peter Goddard, Toronto Star, April 12, 1997
- Wrong headed CRTC fails Black community Royson James, Toronto Star, August 30, 1997
- How the CRTC sold out Toronto decision to reject 'urban' format for 99.1 was power play, pure and simple, Peter Goddard, Toronto Star, August 2, 1997
- Seems Blacks denied FM voice for reasons other than ability, Toronto Star, September 19, 1997
- Canadian radio fails young urban musicians, Toronto Star, September 30, 1997
- CBC offers plan for new FM station; hopes to calm outrage at taking last spot, Tim Harper, Toronto Star, October 1, 1997
- Cabinet eyes a radio deal for black station and CBC, Tim Harper, Toronto Star, October 18, 1997
- Decision CRTC 2000-203
- Radio dream gives city its first black station: Flow 93.5 FM offers eclectic blend of music Greg Quill/Toronto Star, February 8, 2001
- "Flow" goes with Marley as new station hits the air Greg Quill/Toronto Star, February 10, 2001
- Two Mikes go with the "Flow 93.5"; Black culture radio station launched at party Ashante Infantry/Toronto Star, March 2, 2001
- "CFXJ Switching Formats" from All Access (February 3, 2011)
- Changes Flowing in Toronto
- "More Changes At Flow 93-5 In Toronto" from All Access (February 15, 2011)
- "Flow Toronto The Best Throwbacks and Hottest Hits". Retrieved 2014-10-23.
- "classic rock and classic rap". Retrieved 2014-11-17.
- CFXJ To Lose Its Flow
- Flow 93.5 Becomes The Move
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-27.
- 93.5 Toronto Moves Back to Currents
- CHUM Radio buys Toronto's New Flow 93.5 FM from Milestone[permanent dead link]. Canadian Business, June 23, 2010.
- CHUM Radio to Acquire Toronto Radio Station The New Flow 93.5 FM[permanent dead link] from CTV Media Site (June 23, 2010)
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-715
- Biblic, Mirko. "Re: Voting Trust Agreement between BCE Inc. and Pierre Boivin, the trustee Application No. 2013-0243-9 – Approved". CRTC. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Competition Bureau OK's BCE-Astral deal, with conditions". CBC News. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "Bell moves closer to Astral with sale of TV assets". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "Newcap signs agreement with Bell Media to acquire five radio stations in Toronto and Vancouver". CNW. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-129
- "Newcap Radio receives CRTC approval to purchase stations in Toronto and Vancouver". Canada Newswire. March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- 93.5 The Move
- CFXJ-FM history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFXJ-FM