CFXJ-FM

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CFXJ-FM
93.5 FM Today Radio.png
Broadcast areaGreater Toronto Area
Frequency93.5 MHz (FM) (HD Radio)
Branding93.5 Today Radio
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatAdult hits
Ownership
OwnerStingray Group
CHBM-FM
History
First air date
February 9, 2001
Technical information
ClassB
ERP1,058 watts average
3,706 watts peak
HAAT298.7 meters (980 ft)
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitehttps://935todayradio.com/

CFXJ-FM (93.5 FM, 93.5 Today Radio) is a Canadian radio station in Toronto, Ontario. Owned by Stingray Radio, it broadcasts an adult hits format. CFXJ's studios are located at Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto's Deer Park neighbourhood, while its transmitter is located at the top of First Canadian Place in Toronto's Financial District.

The station first launched on February 9, 2001 as Flow 93.5, under the ownership of Denham Jolly's Milestone Radio. The station was Canada's first Black-owned radio station, and first to carry an urban contemporary format. The station was later acquired by CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media) in 2010. It was then resold to Newcap Radio as part of Bell's acquisition of Astral Media, making it a sister to CHBM-FM (which was divested from Astral during the purchase). From its launch through 2022, the station aired various urban and rhythmic formats.

In February 2022, current owner Stingray Radio announced an agreement to transfer rights to the "Flow" branding to CKFG-FM (which originally launched as an urban adult contemporary station in 2011), and launch a new format on the 93.5 frequency, a move which led into its current adult hits format.

History[edit]

Launch[edit]

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 station, CISS. Jolly was born in Green Island, Jamaica in 1935 and immigrated to Canada in 1962.[1][2] 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.[3][4]

Both decisions sparked controversy in Toronto, as the CRTC's reasons for passing over an urban-format station (which Toronto, and Canada as a whole, 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.[5][6][7][8]

The original logo of Flow 93.5 (2001–2007)

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.[9][10] 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 16 of that year.[11]

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 and the Wailers being the first song played. Live programming launched on March 1.[12][13][14] 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.

Rhythmic top 40 era (2007–2014)[edit]

Logo used as "The New Flow 93.5" until 2011

In 2005, the station began to shift towards a more rhythmic direction. In 2007, the station re-branded as The New Flow 93.5, completing its shift to a rhythmic contemporary format. By 2009, with Rogers' relaunch of the Kiss top 40 format on CKIS, CFXJ shifted back towards an urban direction. However, this proved unsuccessful, and many of the adult urban tracks were dropped by March 2010.

On June 23, 2010, it was announced that CTVglobemedia's CHUM Radio would acquire the station, subject to CRTC approval; the transaction was approved on December 23.[15][16] CHUM previously joint ventured with Milestone with CHBN-FM in Edmonton, which was sold to Rogers Radio along with CHST-FM 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 CTV specialty television stations are based). In February 2011, the sale to CTVglobemedia (which was acquired by shareholder Bell Canada and renamed Bell Media several months later) was completed. Upon the closure of the sale, nearly the entirety of its staff was laid off, all specialty programming was cancelled, and the station shifted back to a rhythmic contemporary format.[17]

CHUM's vice president of programming, David Corey, replaced Wayne 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.[18] With the launch of urban AC competitor CKFG-FM, the station moved back to an urban direction once more. However, by December 2012, the station had moved back to a rhythmic CHR format.

Third logo (2011–2015)

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.[19][20][21] CFXJ, along with four other Astral Media radio stations, was sold to Newcap Radio for $112 million.[22][non-primary source needed] The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 19, 2014, and the sale closed on March 31, 2014.[23][24][non-primary source needed] With the sale, CFXJ moved their studios to the former CFRB and CKFM studios at 2 St. Clair West (at Yonge and St. Clair).

Classic hip hop era (2014–2016)[edit]

Fourth logo (2015–2016)

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".[25][26]

The Move, return to Flow (2016–2022)[edit]

Logo as "The Move" (2016–2019)

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, the station flipped to rhythmic adult contemporary as 93.5 The Move, with a focus on rhythmic and hip-hop hits from the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The first song on "The Move" was "The Way You Move" by OutKast.[27][28] CFXJ joined CKBE/Montreal as the only English-language rhythmic AC outlets in Canada.[29]

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-FM in Ottawa prior to the rebrand. On November 6, 2017, CFXJ switched back to a rhythmic contemporary format once again, while maintaining the Move branding and a small amount of rhythmic recurrents. CFXJ would also change slogans to "Toronto's Hits. Toronto's Throwbacks." before changing to "Toronto's Hip Hop".[30]

Logo under second iteration as "Flow" (2019–2022)

Newcap Radio was acquired by Stingray Group in October 2018.[31] On February 11, 2019, CFXJ reverted to the Flow 93.5 branding and returned to an urban contemporary format.[32]

Flow moves to 98.7; Today Radio (2022–present)[edit]

On February 9, 2022, Stingray announced that it had reached an agreement with CKFG-FM and its new owner, Neeti P. Ray's CINA Media Group, to move the Flow branding to that station beginning February 14, and that 93.5 would launch a new format the same day. CFXJ subsequently went jockless, and much of its on-air staff was let go.[33][34] A Stingray executive stated that the company had originally wanted to "[bring] Flow back to its roots as a community-driven station". However, after realizing that this would have competed directly with CKFG, Stingray instead reached an agreement to transfer the Flow brand to the station. CINA plans to position the station as serving the entirety of Toronto's Black Canadian community by essentially merging the two formats into one station, adding the hip-hop already heard on Flow to its existing format of R&B and Afro-Caribbean music.[34]

On February 13, CFXJ began stunting with a self-described "random selection" of pop songs, interspersed with promos redirecting Flow listeners to 98.7, and sweepers stating that "Today" was "arriving tomorrow".[35] The following day, CFXJ relaunched as 93.5 Today Radio—an adult hits format with a focus on topical discussions and interactions with listeners. The brand and format, which are licensed from a Vancouver-based marketing company, are also used on Pattison Media's CKCE-FM in Calgary, with similarities to the Now! hot adult contemporary format used by its sister stations CKNO-FM/Edmonton and CHNW-FM/Winnipeg.[35][36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CRTC Decision 90-993
  2. ^ Twelve applicants dance for last local FM radio spot, Greg Quill, Toronto Star, November 23, 1989
  3. ^ CRTC Decision 97-362
  4. ^ CBC vs. 'dance' - who'll win 99.1 FM?, Peter Goddard, Toronto Star, April 12, 1997
  5. ^ Wrong headed CRTC fails Black community Royson James, Toronto Star, August 30, 1997
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Seems Blacks denied FM voice for reasons other than ability, Toronto Star, September 19, 1997
  8. ^ Canadian radio fails young urban musicians, Toronto Star, September 30, 1997
  9. ^ CBC offers plan for new FM station; hopes to calm outrage at taking last spot, Tim Harper, Toronto Star, October 1, 1997
  10. ^ Cabinet eyes a radio deal for black station and CBC, Tim Harper, Toronto Star, October 18, 1997
  11. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-203
  12. ^ Radio dream gives city its first black station: Flow 93.5 FM offers eclectic blend of music Greg Quill/Toronto Star, February 8, 2001
  13. ^ "Flow" goes with Marley as new station hits the air Greg Quill/Toronto Star, February 10, 2001
  14. ^ Two Mikes go with the "Flow 93.5"; Black culture radio station launched at party Ashante Infantry/Toronto Star, March 2, 2001
  15. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-715
  16. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-964
  17. ^ "Changes Flowing In Toronto". RadioInsight. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  18. ^ "More Changes At Flow 93-5 In Toronto". All Access. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  19. ^ Biblic, Mirko (27 June 2013). "Re: Voting Trust Agreement between BCE Inc. and Pierre Boivin, the trustee Application No. 2013-0243-9 – Approved". CRTC. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Competition Bureau OK's BCE-Astral deal, with conditions". CBC News. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Bell moves closer to Astral with sale of TV assets". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  22. ^ "Newcap signs agreement with Bell Media to acquire five radio stations in Toronto and Vancouver". CNW. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  23. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-129
  24. ^ "Newcap Radio receives CRTC approval to purchase stations in Toronto and Vancouver". Canada Newswire. March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  25. ^ "Flow Toronto The Best Throwbacks and Hottest Hits". 16 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-23.
  26. ^ "classic rock and classic rap". 12 November 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  27. ^ "93.5 The Move Debuts In Toronto". RadioInsight. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  28. ^ Flow 93.5 Becomes The Move
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "93.5 Toronto Moves Back To Currents". RadioInsight. 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  31. ^ "CRTC Approves $506-Million Sale of Newcap Radio to Stingray". VOCM. Archived from the original on 2019-07-08. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  32. ^ Slingerland, Calum. "Toronto Hip-Hop Radio Station Flow 93-5 Relaunches". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  33. ^ Venta, Lance (February 9, 2022). "Double Flip Coming In Toronto As Flow 93.5 Moves To 98.7". RadioInsight.com. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  34. ^ a b Thiessen, Connie (February 9, 2022). "G98.7 rebrands to Flow 98.7 as Stingray relinquishes heritage brand". Broadcast Dialogue. Momentum Media Marketing, Inc. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  35. ^ a b Venta, Lance (2022-02-14). "93.5 Today Radio Arrives In Toronto". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  36. ^ Ross, Sean (February 7, 2022). "Sometimes Live, Sometimes Local, Always Vital, Still Winning". RadioInsight. Retrieved February 14, 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°38′55″N 79°22′54″W / 43.648611°N 79.381667°W / 43.648611; -79.381667