|City of license||Montreal, Quebec|
|Slogan||Montreal's Greatest Hits|
|Frequency||940 kHz (AM)|
|Translator(s)||CFCX-SW 6005 kHz|
|First air date||December 1, 1919|
|Callsign meaning||Canada's Information and NeWs station (former all-news format)|
|Former callsigns||CIQC (1991-1999)
(Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc.)
|Sister stations||CFQR-FM, CINF|
Owned and operated by Corus Quebec, it broadcast on 940 kHz with a power of 50 000 watts as a clear channel (class A) station, using a slightly directional antenna solely for the purpose of improving reception in downtown Montreal. CINW's original incarnation, XWA, was Canada's first regularly operated commercial radio station, first signing on in 1919.
XWA, CFCF, CIQC
The station that eventually become CINW started out on December 1, 1919 under the call sign XWA (for "Experimental Wireless Apparatus"). Experimental broadcasts continued from that date from the Marconi Wireless Company at 173 William Street (later re-numbered as 1017) after such time as the station began regular programming on May 20, 1920. As such, it has a claim to being the first commercial broadcaster in the world, although other stations, most notably KDKA and WWJ, have made similar claims. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920. While the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest".
After numerous changes of frequency, and a three-year period in which it shared time with CKAC on 730 kHz from 1925 to 1928, CFCF landed on 600 kHz in 1933 and stayed on that frequency until 1999. The station was an affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Dominion Network from 1944 to 1962; the station also carried some programs from the Blue Network in the United States, at least as of 1939.
Some of the notable personalities from the CFCF era include newsman Gord Sinclair, morning hosts Ted Blackman and Al Boliska, sportscasters John Robertson and Dick Irvin, Jr., and 1960s Rock and Roll DJ Dave Boxer.
CFCF changed its format from full service to adult standards in 1986. Call letters changed to CIQC in September 1991 as the station, and its FM sister CFQR-FM (now CKBE-FM), were sold to Mount Royal Broadcasting (later Métromédia), with the TV station keeping the CFCF-TV callsign, and at the same time, CIQC started an ill-fated country music format as "Country 600", which lasted only until March 1993, at which point the station switched to news/talk programming with on-air personalities such as Howard Galganov.
During the 1997-99 period, CIQC was the home station of The Travel World Radio Show, hosted by veteran travel broadcasters Stephen Pickford and Willem Bagchus, which became the first Montreal radio show to be carried in US syndication when it was picked up in simulcast by the Westminster, MD-based Liberty Works Radio Network in August 1999. The program was profiled in the October 15, 2000 edition of L'Actualite magazine for its efforts in promoting Canadian and Quebec tourism to a US audience.
Move to 940 kHz
CIQC received permission from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to switch to 940 kHz, on a signal vacated by CBC Radio One's CBM-AM (now known as CBME-FM). With this move, the station would technically increase power from 10,000 watts (daytime) and 5,000 watts (nighttime) to 50,000 watts full-time by June 1999, even though CBM-AM had the current 50,000 watt signal in use since 1978. These technical changes were implemented on December 14, 1999, and call letters were changed at the same time to CINW, to match the new all-news format introduced that same day.
The station initially wanted to use the call letters CKNN for its new format and frequency. It was denied permission after they illegally used these call letters during testing on 940 kHz in the weeks preceding the frequency change. The 600 kHz transmitter was shut down on Easter Sunday 2000 (April 23), after four months of simulcast. CINW had a sister station, CINF "Info 690", for French-language all-news programming.
CINW ended its all-news format in September 2005 for news/talk programming. The first day of the revamped format was September 14, 2005. In a throwback to the CIQC days, the first live guest on CINW, at 06:47 EDT with morning man Barry Morgan, was Stephen Pickford, who had hosted Travel World on CIQC from 1997 to 1999. Their most popular broadcasters were Joe Cannon, Jim Duff and Charles Adler. One of 940's first announcers was Debbi Marsellos, a native Montrealer who was mainly a traffic reporter but also anchored the news and did some hosting. Debbi started working at 940 News from its inception, coming from CJAD. Patrick Letang was the 940 News Business Editor until he died on December 6, 2006.
AM940 Montreal’s Greatest Hits
On June 6, 2008, the station announced that it would drop its talk programming and move to an oldies format effective June 14, citing difficulties operating in the Montreal market. The most recent ratings report prior to the change had placed the station sixth among Montreal anglophones with a 3.8% share; nonetheless it was one of the lowest-ranked commercial English-language stations in the market (just ahead of CKGM (The Team 990)), and was well back of spoken-word rivals CJAD and CBC Radio One. The switch took place at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2008 with new morningman Marc Denis, marking the return of oldies to anglophone radio in Montreal since CKGM flipped to "The Team" in 2001.
In addition, CINW carried some non-music programming on occasion, such as the overnight Coast to Coast AM program; following CINW's closedown, the program would be picked up by Astral Media-owned CJAD in March 2010.
Corus announced on January 29, 2010, that CINW and CINF would cease broadcasting as of 7:00pm local time that day, due to unsustainable ratings. Regular programming ceased at 10:00am and was replaced with a loop of an announcement of the closure of the station and an invitation to sister station CFQR-FM, from general manager Mark Dickie. At 7:02pm Eastern Time, after 90 years on the air through various callsigns and formats, broadcasting abruptly ceased. The pre-recorded loop announcement was cut off mid sentence, foregoing any official sign-off. The licenses for both stations have been returned to the CRTC for cancellation and approved the revocation of both licences on June 8, 2010.
Later that year, Cogeco acquired Corus' Quebec stations; the sale included the transmitter sites and equipment in Kahnawake used for CINF and CINW, but not the licenses, as they were submitted to the CRTC for cancellation.
Future of AM 940
In May 2011, Cogeco announced that they have planned to sign on two new AM traffic information radio stations for the Montreal area, in conjunction with Transports Québec. The English language service was to broadcast at 940 kHz, the former frequency for CINW. Both stations were expected to sign on in fall 2011, with broadcast hours from 4:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays, and from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends. Interestingly, while new licenses were to have been issued for both stations, the new licensee for the new station is "Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc.", which was the prior licensee for CINW. On July 8, 2011, these applications for 690 kHz and 940 kHz were withdrawn to a later date. On July 29, 2011, the CRTC began taking other applications for the two frequencies, leaving Cogeco's plans for the stations in doubt.
On September 7, 2011, the CRTC announced the applicants for the 940 frequency; competing against Cogeco is Paul Tietolman, the son of broadcaster Jack Tietolman, who planned to use 940 for an anglophone news-talk formatted station.
On November 21, 2011, Tietolman was awarded the frequency, but for the francophone news-talk format that he originally applied for 690. A year later, he and his 2 partners were granted a license for English talk to be broadcast on 600 AM in the spring of 2013. However, by that point, none of the stations that the TTP group applied for had signed on. On September 19, 2014, the CRTC had given the TTP group another year to commence broadcasting on 600 and 940. However, this extension was the second and final one allowed for 940; if that station does not commence broadcasting by November 21, 2015, the license will be cancelled.
- CRTC ownership chart of Corus corporate structure
- AM Info690 Montréal and AM940 Montreal's Greatest Hits to cease operation on January 29, 2010, Corus press release, 2010-01-29
- CTV Montreal -- Two stations in Montreal going off the air Friday -- CTV News, Shows & Sport -- CTV Montreal (Received January 29, 2010)
- "Corus pulls plug on radio stations," from Montreal Gazette January 30, 2010[dead link]
- "Stations That Make Up the Networks", The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland), March 11, 1939, p9
- "Changement de format à 940 Montreal" (in French). Corus Entertainment. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
- BBM Canada - Top-line Radio Statistics for S1 (Jan-Mar) 2008
- "The Marc Denis Collection". Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- 940 Montreal final transmission CINW AM, CIQC-AM, CFCF-AM, VE9AM, XWA - YouTube upload February 3, 2010
- AM 940 CINW Montreal final transmission January 29, 2010 YouTube upload March 3, 2011
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-354
- The Gazette (Montreal): "Radio: Not just the usual channels", October 29, 2011.
- "Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-336", May 19, 2011.
- "Montreal to get two all-traffic radio stations". The Gazette, May 16, 2011.
- Cogeco press release: "DEDICATED TRAFFIC RADIO IS IN THE WORKS FOR MONTRÉAL METROPOLITAN AND WILL BE ON THE AIR THIS FALL", May 16, 2011.
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-336-2, July 18, 2011.
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-453, July 29, 2011.
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-571, September 7, 2011.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-721, November 21, 2011.
- Fagstein: "TTP Media says news-talk stations are six to nine months until launch", October 4, 2014.
- Photo of DJ Dave Boxer with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (1965)
- CINW(CFCF)-AM history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for 940CINW