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|Broadcast area||National Capital Region
(Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Upstate New York)
|Slogan||Ottawa's Rock Station|
|Frequency||106.1 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||March 25, 1977|
|Callsign meaning||from a French word meaning "at the home of"|
|Owner||Rogers Media, a division of Rogers Communications
|Sister stations||CIWW, CISS-FM, CJET-FM, CKBY-FM|
CHEZ-FM is a Canadian radio station, which broadcasts World Class Rock at 106.1 FM in Ottawa. The station uses the brand name 106.1 CHEZ ("chez" is pronounced "shay", like the French word). CHEZ's studios are located at 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.
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. Radio personalities developed at the station included Ken Rockburn, Brian Murphy and Darren Stevens.
During the first few years on air, CHEZ-FM competed with AM station CFRA, then a pop-leaning music station, and after less than 10 years on the air, CHEZ attained the number one position in the Ottawa market 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 currents to its playlist, shifting towards a mainstream rock format. In March 2014, their slogan was changed again to "Ottawa's Rock Station" reflecting their competitor CKQB switching from active rock to Top 40/CHR format.
On June 6, 2016, CHEZ 106 was rebranded as 106.1 CHEZ where a new logo and website was launched reflecting the change.