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|Broadcast area||National Capital Region|
(Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Upstate New York)
|Slogan||The Capital of Rock|
|Frequency||106.1 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||March 25, 1977|
|HAAT||291 metres (955 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||from a French word meaning "at the home of"|
|Owner||Rogers Media |
(Rogers Media, Inc.)
|Sister stations||CIWW, CISS-FM, CJET-FM, CKBY-FM|
CHEZ-FM is a Canadian radio station broadcasting a mainstream rock format at 106.1 FM in Ottawa, Ontario. The station uses its on-air brand name as 106.1 CHEZ and is owned by Rogers Media. CHEZ's studios are located at the intersection of Thurston Drive and Conroy Road in Ottawa, while its transmitter is located in Camp Fortune, Quebec.
CHEZ was launched at 6 PM on March 25, 1977 by CHEZ-FM Inc., a company owned and operated by Harvey Glatt. Glatt owned Treble Clef music stores, a chain of retail record stores, and was also a major local concert promoter.
The initial signal strength was 100,000 watts, and the first song was "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder. The original morning show host was Mike O'Reilly, better known at the time as frontman in the rock group Bolt Upright and the Erections. Other early DJs included Geoff Winter, Steve Colwill, Sheryl Nicholson, Brian Murphy, Pierre Bourque, Paul Hunks, and Kathy Donovan. Ken Rockburn provided news and Randy Burgess did sports.
The station focused on the 18-34-year-old demographic by playing English progressive rock music. CHEZ also ran children's programming, talk programming and even some French programming when it first launched on air. Shows like CHEZ Ottawa, The Source, Jazz 106, Medium Rare and In the City distinguished the station from others in the Ottawa market.
During the first few years on air, CHEZ-FM competed with AM station CFRA, then a pop-leaning music station. In 1987, just a few weeks before celebrating its tenth anniversary on the air, CHEZ attained the number one position in the Ottawa market for the first time, with nearly 300,000 weekly listeners.
The station and its holdings (Rideau Broadcasting), Canada's last major independent radio station, was sold to Rogers Radio in 1999, joining CKBY (Y105) and CIWW (1310 News) as Rogers-owned stations in the Ottawa market.
In 2011, CHEZ changed their slogan to "World Class Rock", and began adding more current rock music to its playlist, shifting towards a mainstream rock format. In March 2014, the station added more active rock music, and their slogan was changed again to "Ottawa's Rock Station" reflecting their competitor CKQB switching from active rock to a Top 40/CHR format.
On June 6, 2016, CHEZ 106 was rebranded to 106.1 CHEZ with a new logo and the station's new website was launched reflecting the change.
In June 2019, CHEZ announced the arrival of their new morning show, "The Biggs and Barr Show", which formerly aired on the St. Catharines ON Bell Media station CHTZ. The show is set to begin in late August or early September.
- "Music Mogul; How Harvey Glatt transformed Ottawa's 'wasteland'". Ottawa Citizen, July 31, 2017.
- "Is TV ready for talk show host with a beard?; CHEZ news director at front of proposed Ottawa-based late-night program that would have more than idle chatter". Ottawa Citizen, October 17, 1990.
- "CFRA loses top spot to CHEZ". Ottawa Citizen, March 12, 1987.