|City||St. Catharines, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Niagara Region|
Buffalo, New York
|Branding||105.7 EZ Rock|
|First air date||1967|
|HAAT||119.5 meters (392 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||CH REdmond (former owner) or St. CatHaRinEs|
|Former callsigns||CHSC-FM (1967-1979)|
|Owner||Bell Media |
(Bell Media Radio)
CHRE-FM is a radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Airing at 105.7 FM, the station broadcasts an adult contemporary format for the Niagara region, as well as Buffalo, New York (since 2010, CHRE's signal in Western New York has been diminished due to adjacent-channel interference from WGWE/Little Valley, New York) with the brand name 105.7 EZ Rock. CHRE's studios are located on Yates Street in downtown St. Catharines, while its transmitter is located near Thorold.
CHRE was launched in 1967 as CHSC-FM by Radio Station CHSC Ltd., the licensee of the city's CHSC AM 1220.
As CHSC-FM it simulcast much of its programming on CHSC AM. By 1970 the two stations were doing their own programming with CHSC-FM adopting the "Beautiful Music" format by 1978. During this time the station had a number of popular specialty programs. "A Starlight Concert" heard weeknights from 10 to 11pm features light classical music introduced by Francis Kirton who became the station's fine arts director. Kirton also hosted the Sunday morning programs "Variety Theatre" featuring condensations of popular operettas recorded by the Readers Digest Association, "Concert in the Park" featuring marches and brass band music, "Waltz Time", a half-hour of familiar music in 3/4 time and "At the Console" showcasing the world's great theatre organs.
Other specialty programs included "Ray Wickens' Broadway" hosted by British theatre aficionado Ray Wickens and featuring full original cast recordings; and "The Golden Age of Comedy" hosted by Armand Romagnoli and Mark Lawrence presenting classic comedy routines and old-time radio comedies. For a time in the late 1970s the station also carried the syndicated version of "The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre". The station's most popular program was "Howard Cable Presents" hosted by Howard Cable who was, at the time, the music director for the Imperial Room at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto. The program showcased many of the performers appearing at the Imperial Room as well as popular songs from shows and movies, Big Band favorites and Classical music.
On July 1, 1979, the callsign was changed to CHRE for station owner R.E. (Robert) Redmond. By 1985, Redmond determined that the "beautiful Music" audience was rapidly aging and opted to switch to a soft rock/adult contemporary format geared to a younger crowd. At this time, all of the specialty programs were dropped.
The parent company became known as Redmond Communications in 1985 and was granted a license to open CJEZ-FM (now CHBM-FM) in Toronto. The station was subsequently sold to Affinity Radio Group in 1999.
In September 2010, CHRE-FM underwent several changes including a change in direction, a new logo and new on-air staff. The station tweaked its adult contemporary format featuring current pop hits mixed with retro hits (80s & 90s), a change similarly done at sister station CKLH-FM. CHRE-FM partially reaches the city of Toronto, although its signal is sometimes blocked by CHRY-FM. In addition, sister station CIQM-FM moved to hot adult contemporary, but CHRE-FM and CKLH-FM did not change their actual formats due to existing hot adult contemporary stations in those areas.
On July 5, 2013, Bell Media officially took ownership of Astral Media, and as a result, CHRE-FM became a part of Bell Media's radio station group.
In January 2015, CHRE-FM's first home, the former CHSC studios at 36 Queenston Street in St. Catharines, was demolished; its land will be used for a four-storey apartment building.
- CHSC's fortunes face final crumble, St. Catharines Standard, January 14, 2015
- 105.7 EZ Rock
- CHRE-FM history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHRE-FM