|City||St. Catharines, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Niagara Region, Hamilton, Greater Toronto Area, Buffalo, New York|
|Branding||CHTZ - 97.7 HTZ-FM|
|Slogan||Southern Ontario's Best Rock|
|First air date||February 1, 1949|
|Callsign meaning||HTZ = Hits|
(Bell Media Radio)
CHTZ-FM is a radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The station airs at 97.7 MHz FM, and broadcasts an active rock format with the brand name HTZ (Hits) FM. CHTZ's studios are located on 12 Yates Street in downtown St. Catharines, while its transmitter is located near Thorold.
Because of its transmitter location, as well as its total power output, CHTZ is one of the more powerful stations in Southern Ontario, as it can be heard not only in the Niagara Region, but also in Hamilton, the portion of the Greater Toronto Area that includes Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga, in Buffalo, New York and as far south as the Pennsylvania border.
The station launched in 1949 as an FM simulcast of the city's CKTB. The station later launched distinct programming, and adopted a country music format with the new callsign CJQR on April 30, 1979. Niagara District Broadcasting, the owner of CKTB and CJQR, was acquired by Standard Broadcasting in 1980.
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 1995. 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.
On October 26, 2007, Astral Media bought the station, as it acquired all of Standard's radio stations. 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-FM/Ottawa (which has since been sold to Corus and flipped to Top 40/CHR) and CJAY-FM/Calgary 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. 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.
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. 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.
- The Canadian Communications Foundation. "History of CHTZ-FM." History of Canadian Broadcasting. http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listing_and_histories/radio/chtz-fm Retrieved October 4, 2017.
- Venta, Lance. "CRTC Approves Bell/Astral merger." Radio Insight. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- Bradshaw, James. "iHeartRadio joins Canada’s streaming market through partnership with Bell". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- "Radio DJ Lures Scalper With Tragically Hip Tickets Prank". ET Canada, June 3, 2016.
- Station's website
- CHTZ-FM history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHTZ-FM
- Merritt House (CHTZ-FM studio) Paranormal Investigation by Haunted Hamilton