|Broadcast area||Greater Toronto Area|
|Frequency||740 kHz (AM)|
|Repeater(s)||CFZM-1-FM 96.7 FM (low power signal for downtown Toronto)|
|First air date||1956|
|Callsign meaning||Derived from sister station CFMZ-FM; also the letters "ZM" stand for "Zoomer Media".|
|Former callsigns||CHWO (1956–2008)|
(MZ Media Inc.)
|Sister stations||CFMX-FM, CFMZ-FM|
CFZM is a Canadian Class A clear-channel radio station, licensed to Toronto, Ontario, which airs at 740 kHz on the AM radio dial and in downtown Toronto at 96.7FM. The station airs a pop standards format branded as Zoomer Radio, with the slogan "Timeless Hits". Its studios are located in the Liberty Village neighbourhood, while its transmitter is located in Hornby.
CFZM is perhaps the only remaining adult standards-formatted station in North America that broadcasts a 50,000-watt clear channel signal. The station's nighttime signal blankets most of the eastern half of North America—including three-fourths of Canada and just over half of the United States. It can reach as far west as Minneapolis and Winnipeg, and as far south as New Orleans.
CFZM's daytime signal can be heard as far north as Georgian Bay; as far south as Youngstown, Ohio; as far east as eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire including Nashua, Lawrence and Portsmouth; and as far west as the Michigan Thumb. Such signal strength allows CFZM to often register significant Arbitron ratings in such markets as Buffalo, New York and Erie, Pennsylvania, cities where disenfranchised listeners of former adult standards station WRIE can easily pick up CFZM. Although WECK in Buffalo recently returned to an adult standards format; CFZM offers instrumentals (in the form of a Sunday evening 4-hour big band program) and many specialized music programming blocks. WECK offers very few instrumentals and the only specialized music block WECK has is a weekly 3-hour polka music show. CFZM offers online streaming of their audio through their website.
The station was originally launched in 1956 on AM 1250 in Oakville, with the call sign CHWO, by Prime Time Radio, a company owned by broadcaster Howard Caine and a number of minority investors. In 1967, shortly before Caine's death, his wife Jean was appointed to the board of directors and took over the station's management.
In 2000, after the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's CBL relinquished the AM 740 frequency and moved to FM, the prized clear channel frequency became hotly contested by new and existing stations in the area. CHWO applied for the frequency, citing that it could provide a stronger service to the region's older adult population. Concurrently, the Caine family also applied for a new station on the old 1250 frequency, to air a Christian music format. The applications were granted, and CHWO moved to the 740 frequency on January 8, 2001, leasing CBL's former transmitter in Hornby from the CBC. CHWO originally applied for the new call sign CFPT, but when this was denied by Industry Canada because the call sign was already in use, the station chose to retain its heritage CHWO calls. CHWO's replacement at AM 1250, CJYE, launched on February 5.
On September 18, 2007, Prime Time Radio announced a deal to sell the station to Moses Znaimer, under whom it would become a sister station to Toronto's classical music station, CFMZ. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 31, 2008. Znaimer also moved the station's studios and city of licence to Toronto, and changed the station's call sign to CFZM on July 22, 2008.
Under Znaimer's ownership, the station's program schedule now includes a daily talk show, airing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by consumer advocacy journalist Dale Goldhawk. The station still plays "traditional" nostalgia music weekday evenings on the show Sentimental Journey and on some weekend specialty shows, and caters principally to listeners over 40 years of age. Other personalities currently associated with the station include television and radio sportscaster John Gallagher and former MuchMusic VJ Ziggy Lorenc.
Monday through Thursday nights, CFZM carries three late-night speciality programs: Theatre of the Mind (10-11 P.M. Eastern time), rebroadcasting in their entirety classic shows from the "Golden Age of Radio"; Stardust (11 P.M.-12 Midnight Eastern time), an hour of romantic music; and Midnight Blue (12 Midnight-1 A.M.), an hour of "raunchy" music that CFZM promotes as "the only X-Rated radio show" (in truth, some of the lyrics are raunchy and suggestive, but most listeners would not consider them "X-Rated").
CFZM also carries two weekly shows featuring 1950s/1960s oldies music, Friday Night Bandstand (7 P.M.-1 A.M. Eastern time, focusing more on the 1950s and early 1960s, with fewer post-1964 songs) and The Heart and Soul of Rock 'n Roll (7 P.M.-1 A.M. Eastern time on Saturday nights, focusing more on music from 1964 to the early 1970s, although some 1950s and early 1960s hits are heard).
Weekends on AM740 are an eclectic mix of informative programming and specialty music shows. A complete list of programs with descriptions can be found on the shows page of the website.
The station was originally owned by Znaimer's privately held MZ Media Inc. As part of a reorganization of Znaimer's media assets, the station was transferred to the publicly traded ZoomerMedia in 2010.
In 2012, Zoomer Media was one of 27 applicants for an FM station at 88.1 megahertz, for the purpose of simulcasting CFZM in the city of Toronto itself. The bid was unsuccessful and the CRTC awarded the frequency to CIND-FM.
On April 27, 2015, MZ Media received CRTC approval to operate a nested FM transmitter in downtown Toronto to rebroadcast CFZM at 96.7 MHz with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 22.4 watts (maximum ERP of 82 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 280.1 metres), with transmitting facilities located atop First Canadian Place. The repeater (CFZM-1-FM) would enable CFZM to overcome the deficiencies of the AM signal in the downtown core--the same issues that led CBLA to leave the AM band 15 years earlier. The repeater, however, will be a first-adjacent signal to CKHC-FM 96.9, a college radio station at Humber College that serves an area in the northwestern part of the city, as well as having co-channel interference with CHYM in Kitchener and CJWV in Peterborough. The repeater would sign on that July.
- Decision CRTC 2000-205
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-73
- History of the former CHWO AM at Canadian Communications Foundation
- category/shows/ zoomerradio.ca Retrieved 2014 April 7.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-193
- "Indie-rock station coming to Toronto". Toronto Star, 11 September 2012.
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-126. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, 2 March 2012.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-162, CFZM Toronto - New nested FM transmitter in Toronto, CRTC, April 27, 2015
- Zoomer Radio
- CHWO history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFZM
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFZM-1-FM
- Query the FCC's AM station database for CHWO
- Radio-Locator Information on CHWO
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for CHWO