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Coordinates: 43°09′14″N 79°14′49″W / 43.15392°N 79.24698°W / 43.15392; -79.24698
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Broadcast areaNiagara Region
Frequency97.7 MHz (FM)
Branding97.7 HTZ-FM
FormatActive rock
First air date
February 1, 1949
Call sign meaning
Canada's HiTs(Z) (branding)
Technical information
ERP50,000 watts
HAAT119.5 meters (392 ft)
WebcastListen Live

CHTZ-FM (97.7 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, serving the Niagara Region. It is owned by Bell Media and it broadcasts an active rock format, branded as 97.7 HTZ-FM (pronounced "Hits FM"). CHTZ shares studios with its sister stations, CKTB and CHRE-FM, in "Oak Hill Mansion", the former home of William Hamilton Merritt, at 12 Yates Street in downtown St. Catharines.

CHTZ-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 50,000 watts. The transmitter is on Cataract Road in Thorold, sharing its tower with CHRE-FM.[1]


The station launched on February 1, 1949 as an FM simulcast of the city's CKTB. The station later launched distinct programming, and adopted a country format with the new callsign CJQR-FM on April 30, 1979. Niagara District Broadcasting, the owner of CKTB and CJQR-FM, was acquired by Standard Broadcasting in 1980.[2]

The station subsequently adopted its current callsign and a CHR format on June 27, 1986, which would later morph into its current rock format in 1989. In 1998, the station was sold to Affinity Radio Group. In 2000, Affinity was acquired by Telemedia, which was in turn acquired by Standard in 2002. Standard retained ownership of CHTZ after the reacquisition.[2]

On October 26, 2007, Astral Media bought the station, as it acquired all of Standard's radio stations.[2] The following year, along with sister station CFBR-FM in Edmonton, Alberta, Astral shifted the stations to active rock from mainstream rock. Astral's sister rockers CKQB-FMOttawa (which has since been sold to Corus and flipped to Top 40/CHR) and CJAY-FMCalgary followed suit by 2010.

Astral Media merged with Bell Media on June 27, 2013, CHTZ-FM is now officially owned by Bell Media. The change also brought in more accountability with the affiliation to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters to ensure proper codes of conduct.[3] Three years later on January 6, 2016, iHeartRadio announced that Bell Media would enter into a licensing deal to launch a Canadian version of its radio streaming service iHeartRadio. Bell Media will handle Canadian licensing, marketing, and distribution of the service, contribute its content to the venture, and also gain rights to produce iHeartRadio-branded events. The service launched in October 2016 and has significantly overhauled the old CHTZ-FM website with the iHeartRadio branding display.[4]

On June 3, 2016, the station's early afternoon host Jesse Modz attracted national press attention when he pranked a scalper who was reselling tickets to The Tragically Hip's Man Machine Poem Tour.[5] Modz talked the scalper into driving from Mississauga to St. Catharines by offering a $300 premium on top of the asking price; when the scalper arrived, Modz did not purchase the tickets, but rather confronted him about the ethics of scalping.[5]

On February 8, 2024, Bell announced a restructuring that included the sale of 45 of its 103 radio stations to seven buyers, subject to approval by the CRTC, including CHTZ, which is to be sold to Whiteoaks Communications Group.[6]


  1. ^ FCCdata.org
  2. ^ a b c The Canadian Communications Foundation. "History of CHTZ-FM." History of Canadian Broadcasting. http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listing_and_histories/radio/chtz-fm Archived 2017-10-03 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Venta, Lance. "CRTC Approves Bell/Astral merger." Radio Insight. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Bradshaw, James. "iHeartRadio joins Canada’s streaming market through partnership with Bell". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Radio DJ Lures Scalper With Tragically Hip Tickets Prank". ET Canada, June 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Hudes, Sammy (8 February 2024). "'Not a viable business anymore': Bell Media selling 45 radio stations amid layoffs". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 8 February 2024.

External links[edit]

43°09′14″N 79°14′49″W / 43.15392°N 79.24698°W / 43.15392; -79.24698