|Broadcast area||Greater Toronto Area|
|Slogan||70's, 80's, 90's|
|Frequency||97.3 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||December 26, 2009|
|HAAT||420.5 meters (1,380 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||C H BooM|
|Former callsigns||CJEZ-FM (1987-2009)|
CHBM-FM is a radio station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada broadcasting at 97.3 FM. The station currently broadcasts a classic hits music format branded as Boom 97.3. CHBM's studios are located at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue in Toronto's Deer Park neighbourhood, while their transmitter is located atop the CN Tower.
The station's playlist contains tracks from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, with a core focus on music released in the 1980s, while also playing select tracks from the 1960s and early 2000s.
The station was launched on May 18, 1987 at 9:00 AM by Redmond Broadcasting, with the call letters CJEZ-FM, and carried an easy listening format under the branding Easy 97. Staff for the new station included many long-time Toronto personalities, such as Jay Nelson, Russ Thompson, Bill Anderson and Carl Banas. In the early 1990s, it changed its moniker to Lite 97, but soon after, it changed its format to classic hits as Z97.3. In February 1995, Redmond sold the station to Telemedia and on June 30, at 5:30 AM, the station changed monikers to 97.3 EZ Rock. The slogan was The Heartbeat of Toronto, and aired an adult contemporary format. EZ Rock launched with the intent of having an audience of mainly women ages 25–44, and the Toronto station became the flagship when several other stations owned by Telemedia at the time broadcasting a similar format also gained the "EZ Rock" branding.
The station went through several slogan changes during its tenure with the AC format, including My Music at Work, which inspired the title of The Tragically Hip's 2000 album Music At Work. It also had a modified version of that slogan, Toronto's Music @ Work. In later years, the station had other taglines such as Toronto's Soft Rock Favourites, Today's Soft Rock with Less Talk, A Better Variety of Yesterday and Today, and Toronto's At Work Station.
In June 2003, rival station CHFI fired long time morning show host Erin Davis and was replaced by Mad Dog and Billie. To combat this, in September 2004, CJEZ hired Davis to partner alongside Mike Cooper (who had been at the station since the flip to EZ Rock in 1995) because long time co-host Christine Cardoso left due to maternity leave. However, when Davis was rehired by CHFI in September 2005 (and returned to mornings), CHFI's ratings skyrocketed back to #1, causing CJEZ to slip. To solve this, EZ Rock hired Stu Jeffries (who returned to the station in 2011 for mornings from 5-9) and Colleen Rusholme for mornings and the station began leaning in a more Hot AC direction patterned after its sister station CKFM-FM (now a CHR station as of 2009). During its latter days as EZ Rock, the station removed songs from the 1960s.
In 2007, Astral purchased Standard, resulting in the Standard-owned EZ Rock stations across Canada (including CJEZ) become Astral-owned.
In 2008, Humble Howard and Kim Stockwood joined Rusholme and took over EZ Rock's morning show in August, replacing Stu Jeffries. In June of the same year, Rick Hodge (formerly a long time morning co-host on CHUM-FM) joined EZ Rock and sister station CFRB.
In November 2009, Hodge and Stockwood left EZ Rock. A short time later, midday announcer Darryl Henry was gone from the station as well (he is now at CHFI). Henry had been with the station since 1997 and has hosted evenings and afternoons before moving to middays.
As Boom 97.3
On December 24, 2009, during its standard Christmas music run during the holidays, EZ Rock's website was changed completely by hosting only a countdown clock and a posted message urging listeners to tune in on December 26 at 9:00 a.m. On December 26, at 6 AM, after playing EZ Rock's final song (which was Christina Aguilera's version of "This Christmas"), the station began stunting with a recorded message on how to "view" the launch of the new station.
Finally, at 9 a.m., the station ended its 14-year run with AC, and flipped to classic hits with the branding boom 97.3, Toronto's Greatest Hits, adopting the Boom FM branding used by some of Astral's small-market French-language stations in Quebec. The first song played on "boom" was "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. CJEZ's call letters were changed the following day to CHBM-FM. The station's airstaff remained intact for a time, but in May 2011, Humble Howard and Colleen Rusholme were let go by the station.
The flip to Boom put the station in direct competition with CING-FM, which became a classic hits station a month earlier in November 2009; that station later switched formats to Hot AC in 2013. Currently, CHBM competes with active rock station CILQ-FM. Also, the flip left CHFI as the only adult contemporary station in the Toronto radio market. However, CKDX-FM could now be known as a direct competitor to that station, along with Hamilton's CKLH-FM. It became Toronto's first adult hits station ever since former Jack FM station CJAQ-FM (now CKIS-FM) switched to mainstream rock in 2006. So far, boom has been more successful than Jack FM.
During the first book of Boom, it debuted with a 9.3 share, slightly higher than what it was in EZ Rock's last book and one of the highest-rated books since 2005. Since then, Boom has become one of the highest rated stations in the Toronto radio market, according to Numeris, usually placing within the top 3 (next to CHUM-FM and CHFI respectively).
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, CHBM was placed in a blind trust pending its eventual sale. On August 26, 2013, Newcap Radio announced it would acquire CHBM, along with four other former Astral stations, for $112 million. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 19, 2014 and the sale closed on March 31, 2014.
- CJEZ sets up shop on dial's last FM spot, Craig MacInnis, Toronto Star, April 25, 1987
- CKFM's Carl Banas defects to new station, Craig MacInnis, Toronto Star, May 8, 1987
- EZ Rock radio woos women, Peter Goddard, Toronto Star, June 29, 1995
- Keep it soft, but be smart and hold the Bolton, Peter Goddard, Toronto Star, July 8, 1995
- Humble and Colleen Fired from Boom 97.3
- 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.
- boom 97.3
- CHBM-FM history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHBM-FM