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CISL 650amsmoothandeasy logo.png
City Richmond, BC
Broadcast area Metro Vancouver
Branding CISL 650 AM
Slogan Smooth & Easy
Frequency 650 kHz (AM)
First air date May 1, 1980
Format Easy listening/Adult standards
Power 10,000 watts (day)
9,000 watts (night)
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 49°08′39″N 123°03′37″W / 49.144261°N 123.060318°W / 49.144261; -123.060318 (CISL Tower)Coordinates: 49°08′39″N 123°03′37″W / 49.144261°N 123.060318°W / 49.144261; -123.060318 (CISL Tower)
Callsign meaning C ISL (reference to Lulu Island)
Former frequencies 940 kHz (1980-1985)
Owner Newcap Radio
(Sale pending to Rogers Media)
Sister stations CHLG-FM, CKZZ-FM
Webcast Listen live

CISL is a Canadian radio station, in Vancouver, British Columbia, owned by Newcap Radio. The station currently offers an easy listening/adult standards format branded as "CISL 650 AM Smooth & Easy" broadcasting at 650 AM. It is one of Canada's few remaining successful music stations on the AM dial. The calls in its moniker are generally pronounced "C-Isle".

CISL's studios are located in Richmond, while its transmitters are located on Lulu Island.


CISL originally signed on on May 1, 1980, at a frequency of 940 kHz and a power of 2500 watts. The licence was granted to South Fraser Broadcasting, a group controlled by Michael Dickinson,[1] whose previous broadcast experience included a stint at Vancouver radio stations CHQM AM/FM. While the original music content was primarily contemporary easy listening (and branded as "AM Gold Music Radio"), with its playlist consisting of music released from 1955 to the-then present, overall content placed an emphasis on the community of Richmond (the ISLand in CISL).

About 1985, the frequency was changed to 650 kHz (CFML's former frequency) and the daytime power increased to 10,000 watts, still at the same Richmond transmitter site (the antenna array was changed from four to three towers).[2][3] On December 27, 1988, CISL shifted to a full-time oldies format (with its playlist now featuring music from 1955-1975), and CISL 650 became a major player in the Vancouver radio scene. The original Richmond community programming expanded to include all of the lower mainland. CISL enjoyed its greatest ratings and sales success from 1986 to 1989. In 1990, South Fraser Broadcasting was issued an FM license, which went on the air as CKZZ-FM the following year. CISL and CKZZ were sold by South Fraser Broadcasting to Standard Broadcasting in May 1996.

Today, CISL broadcasts out of Richmond, British Columbia.

In September 2007, CISL stopped using the "Oldies 650 CISL" name and became "SuperHits 650 CISL". The format remained very similar.

On October 29, 2007, CISL along with the rest of the Standard Broadcasting stations were sold to Astral Media.

On November 10, 2008, at 9 a.m., after playing "Kiss and Say Goodbye" by The Manhattans, CISL flipped from oldies to soft AC/easy listening. The classic hits/oldies format moved to Rogers-owned CFUN-FM in September (that station has since moved to a CHR format). The move was a result of Jim Pattison Group flipping CKBD from its adult standards format to an adult album alternative format and switching to FM on November 13. The first song on "All Time Favourites" was "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters.

On December 23, 2009, CISL filed an application with the CRTC, requesting permission to broadcast up to 20% of its programming in Russian during the 2010 Winter Olympics,[4] which is to be supplied by Moscow radio station AvtoRadio.[5] This application received approval on January 26, 2010.[6]

In March 2013, the Competition Bureau approved a proposal by Bell Media to acquire Astral Media, under the condition that it divest itself of several television services and radio stations. Following the closure of the merger in July 2013, CISL was placed in a blind trust pending its eventual sale.[7][8][9]

On August 26, 2013, Newcap Radio announced it would acquire CISL along with four other former Astral Media radio stations held under blind trust by Bell Media for $112 million.[10] The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 19, 2014 and the sale closed on March 31, 2014.[11][12]

On April 8, 2014, Newcap applied to move the CISL transmitter site to the former CKBD 600 AM site, due to the imminent expiry of the lease on the transmitter site in August, and the unstable ground at the site.[13] The application was approved on August 14.[14]

On August 25, 2014, CISL changed their branding to Smooth & Easy, CISL 650 AM.

Rogers acquisition, planned flip to sports[edit]

On April 25, 2017, Rogers Media announced that it would acquire CISL, and switch the station to a sports radio format branded as Sportsnet 650 later in the year. The move comes as Rogers had acquired the radio rights to the Vancouver Canucks beginning in the 2017–18 season. The station will also assume the Toronto Blue Jays radio rights in 2018. Both teams were previously broadcast by Bell Media's TSN Radio stations CFTE and CKST.[15]


Oldies 650 CISL.jpg SuperHits.png Cisl.svg
–2007 2007–2008 2008–2014


External links[edit]