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City St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Branding OZFM
Slogan Newfoundland's Best Music
We Play More Music!
Frequency 94.7 MHz (FM)
First air date June 15, 1977
Format Hot adult contemporary
ERP 100 kilowatts
HAAT 226 meters (741 ft)
Class C
Callsign meaning OZ for "OZFM"
Owner Stirling Communications International
(Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd.)
Sister stations CJON-DT
Webcast Listen live

CHOZ-FM is a Canadian radio station based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Its main St. John's transmitter broadcasts on FM on 94.7 MHz, but additional transmitters are located throughout the province. The station, known as "OZFM", is one of the various media properties of the Stirling family; this includes local television station CJON-DT.


CHOZ-FM launched on June 15, 1977, on 93.9 FM, soon after Geoff Stirling sold his interest in what is now CJYQ. It was originally a full-time rock station known as Radio OZ, The Rock Of The Rock; it is perhaps[according to whom?] intended to be the Newfoundland equivalent of other stations then owned by Stirling such as CHOM-FM in Montreal. It eventually transitioned to a combination CHR/Classic rock format under the "OZFM" brand; nonetheless it kept the The Rock Of The Rock slogan.

On August 1, 1984, CHOZ was granted to change frequencies from 93.9 FM to 94.7 FM.[1]

Logo used from 2007-2009.

During most of the 1990s it was the most popular FM radio station[citation needed], both in the province and in the core St. John's market. The channel's success was driven largely by the strength of its eclectic morning show, "The Dawn Patrol".

Yet by the early 2000s its newly strengthened competitor Newcap Broadcasting had begun to cause a significant effect[citation needed], particularly in St. John's. Already the owner of the city's dominant radio station, AM station VOCM, Newcap effectively split CHOZ's market by converting VOCM-FM (and several other stations across the province) to classic rock, and soon after CKIX-FM to contemporary hits. Another strong contender[citation needed], Coast Broadcasting's adult contemporary station CKSJ-FM, launched in 2004.

But since CKSJ and CKIX only operated in the St. John's area, OZFM was now in the problematic situation of competing primarily with female-skewing FM stations in its largest market, and with a single male-skewing FM competitor in the rest of the province.

On January 2, 2012, OZFM's website consisted of this lone image. It depicts the current logo in the foreground, with the one used from 2009-2012 in the background

OZFM can still boast having the largest audience of any FM radio station in the province[citation needed], largely because it is the only station with a province-wide network of transmitters, all carrying identical programming, which can therefore be accumulated for ratings purposes as a single station. In contrast, other provincial radio services such as CBC Radio One, VOCM, CFCB and K-Rock are made up of separate local stations with some unique programming, while several stations operate only in the immediate St. John's area.

In 2003, Randy Snow left the Dawn Patrol to join CKIX-FM to host his own morning show. His replacement was Brian O'Connell, who left the VOCM Morning Show to join OZFM.

In April 2007, O'Connell took over as station manager for the OZFM Network and host of the daily Electric Lunch program. Then, O'Connell left OZFM and now works with Newcap Broadcasting hosting The VOCM Irish Newfoundland Show and The VOCM Morning Show. OZFM staff announcer Paul Kinsman was O'Connell's on air replacement, joining long time Dawn Patrol veterans Deborah Birmingham and Larry Jay.

Logo used during its active rock years, 2009-2012

On August 17, 2009, OZFM changed its format to mainstream rock/Classic rock from hot adult contemporary, forcing rival CKIX-FM taking the hot adult contemporary format, but continue to report on the Mediabase/Nielsen BDS Canadian top 40 panel.

On January 2, 2012, OZFM flipped back to hot adult contemporary, with a new slogan Today's Best Music. This ended the use of their longtime slogan "The Rock of the Rock". The station also resurrected their longtime heart-rainbow logo, that the station used from the late 1980s to 2007. The following month, the station surfaced on the Mediabase Canadian hot AC panel.

In August 2012, Kinsman and Jay left the Dawn Patrol, which was renamed "The Morning Rush" and featured a new host, Robert Shawn, alongside the only remaining original host Birmingham. In January 2013, the pair were joined by their former behind the scenes producer, Laura Woodworth. Birmingham took a leave of absence from OZFM in January 2014 and her place on the Morning Rush was filled by Stephanie O'Brien, who left K-Rock's All Request Nooner to join OZFM.

In November 2014, Woodworth left OZFM and now lives in Prince Edward Island. Shawn and O'Brien continued to host the Morning Rush until Shawn switched places with Stephen Lethbridge in July 2015. The Morning Rush was then renamed "The OZFM Rush". Lethbridge and O'Brien hosted without a second co-host until Hugh Campbell joined them in December 2015.


In January 2011, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council admonished CHOZ for playing the unedited version of Dire Straits' Money for Nothing, following a complaint from a listener that stated that the song contained the word "faggot", a slur for a homosexual person. Even though the song has won numerous awards and has been played countless times on Canadian radio, the CBSC felt that the unedited version has become unacceptable for airplay, as the term "faggot", which was once an acceptable term, has since become an unacceptable slur.[2][3] In response to the ruling, at least two stations, CIRK-FM in Edmonton[4] and CFRQ-FM in Halifax,[5] played the unedited version of Money for Nothing repeatedly for one hour out of protest. On January 21, 2011, the CRTC asked the CBSC for a review on the ban, in response to the public outcry against the CBSC's actions; the regulator requested the CBSC to appoint a nationwide panel to review the case, as the decision on the ban was reviewed by a regional panel for the Maritimes and Newfoundland.[6]

On August 31, the CBSC found the slur to be inappropriate; however, due to considerations in regard to its use in context, the CBSC has left it up to the stations to decide whether or not to censor the song. Most of the CBSC panelists thought the slur was inappropriate, but it was used only in a satirical, non-hateful manner.[7]


Rebroadcasters of CHOZ-FM
City of license Identifier Frequency RECNet CRTC Decision
Placentia CFOZ-FM 100.3 FM Query
Bonavista CJOZ-FM 92.1 FM Query
Clarenville CJMY-FM 105.3 FM Query CRTC 87-702
Corner Brook CKOZ-FM 92.3 FM Query
Grand Falls-Windsor CKMY-FM 95.9 FM Query
Marystown CIOZ-FM 96.3 FM Query
Stephenville CIOS-FM 98.5 FM Query
Gander CFAZ-FM 97.7 FM Query

CJMY and CKMY were previously known as CKCV and CHOS respectively, up to at least 2002.[8] The changes were apparently made to reserve appropriate call signs for "My FM", Newfoundland Broadcasting's proposal for a second FM service, which went before the CRTC later that same year.[9] (The licence in question eventually went to a different company as Coast 101.1.)

In 1997, CHOZ added a rebroadcaster at Stockholm, Saskatchewan with the callsign CFZY-FM; the low-powered repeater is locally owned by Jody Herperger.[10][11] The station was decommissioned in 2007.

In 1998, CHOZ added a rebroadcaster at Kuujjuaq, Quebec with the callsign VF2321, owned by Société Kuujjuamiut.[12][13]

On November 30, 2012, its transmitter at Red Rocks, CKSS-FM 96.9, had closed; the station has cited the age of the tower and the costs of the upkeep. OZFM, however, announced plans to reactivate it from another location, pending approval from the CRTC.[14] OZFM also originally planned to also temporarily close CIOS in Stephenville on the same day, but had second thoughts in doing so, and opted to keep it open from the same location instead.[15] The application to move the Stephenville transmitter to a new location has been approved on November 8, 2013.[16]

On September 15, 2015, the CRTC approved a new transmitter for a new CHOZ rebroadcaster in Gander, CFAZ-FM 97.7, with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 2,800 watts (effective height of antenna above average terrain of 137.4 metres). The new transmitter would resolve coverage problems within the Gander area from its Grand Falls-Windsor outlet CKMY, which offered fringe reception in Gander.[17] CFAZ went on the air on August 9, 2016.

OZFM is also available across Canada on Bell TV on channel 951, on Rogers Cable on channel 925 and in the St. John's area on an audio subchannel of CJON-DT.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°31′32″N 52°42′48″W / 47.52556°N 52.71333°W / 47.52556; -52.71333