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|Broadcast area||Greater Toronto Area|
|Branding||Sportsnet 590 The Fan|
|Slogan||Toronto's Sports Radio|
|Frequency||590 kHz (AM)|
|First air date||1951|
|Former callsigns||CKFH (1951-1981)|
|Former frequencies||1400 AM (1951-1960)|
1430 AM (1960-1995)
|Affiliations||Buffalo Bills Radio Network|
|Owner||Rogers Media |
(Rogers Media, Inc.)
|Sister stations||Radio: CFTR, CHFI-FM, CKIS-FM|
TV: CFMT-DT, CITY-DT, CJMT-DT, Sportsnet Ontario
CJCL (590 AM, Sportsnet 590 The Fan) is a Canadian sports radio station in Toronto, Ontario. Owned and operated by Rogers Media since 2002, CJCL's studios are located at the Rogers Building at Bloor and Jarvis in downtown Toronto, while its transmitters are located near Grimsby atop the Niagara Escarpment. Programming on the station includes local sports talk radio shows during the day; CBS Sports Radio overnight; and live broadcasts of Toronto Blue Jays baseball, Toronto Raptors basketball, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, Toronto Marlies hockey, Toronto FC soccer, Buffalo Bisons baseball and Buffalo Bills football.
Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, as well as its transmitter power and height, CJCL covers most of southern Ontario during the day. The station's signal is directional from north to south to protect various lower-powered radio stations east and west of the station; the station, despite not having clear-channel status, can be heard through a stretch of eastern Appalachia at night under ideal conditions.
The station first aired on February 21, 1951 as AM 1400 CKFH, a news and sports station owned by legendary Canadian broadcaster Foster Hewitt (the "FH" of the call sign). The station moved to the 1430 AM frequency in 1960, increasing power first to 5,000, then 10,000 and finally 50,000 watts. CKFH would begin playing Top 40 music in 1966, then move to a country music format in 1975.
The station was subsequently sold to Telemedia in 1981, when it adopted its current CJCL call sign and switched to an adult contemporary format. In 1983, the station briefly adopted talk radio programming, but returned to its music format within a few months, with increased emphasis on oldies. CJCL was flagship of the Telemedia network, and as such broadcast Toronto Blue Jays baseball games (with Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth calling the action) followed by hours of talk after the game. The station has been flagship radio station of the Blue Jays for most of their history (with exception of a hiatus when CHUM (AM) was the flagship from 1998 to 2002). As the 1980s progressed and the winning Blue Jays became more popular, the sports features became CJCL's profit centre. Encouraged by the newfound success of sports radio in the United States, in 1992, the year the Blue Jays won their first World Series, CJCL would drop non-sports programming altogether on September 4, and became "The Fan 1430", the first all-sports station in Canada. The station's nickname may have been inspired by WFAN in New York City, the first sports radio station in the world that led to the creation of sports radio stations everywhere.
In 1994, Telemedia acquired CKYC from Rogers, and on February 6, 1995, at noon, the two stations switched frequencies, with "The Fan" moving to 590 AM (subsequently becoming "The Fan 590") and CKYC moving to 1430 AM (where it operates today as multilingual station CHKT). CJCL was itself acquired by Rogers Media in 2002.
In January 2011, CJCL became known as "Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590", the move coming as part of a co-branding initiative with its television counterpart Rogers Sportsnet, amid indications that rival TSN was preparing to launch a competing sports radio station, TSN Radio 1050. The station's on air identity was then changed to "Sportsnet 590 The Fan" in October 2011.
The station also supports sports news updates for all-news radio CFTR.
The Fan 590 is the flagship station for the following teams' radio broadcasts:
- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB baseball)
- Toronto Raptors (NBA basketball)♠
- Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL hockey)♠
- Toronto FC (MLS soccer)♠
♠-In case of conflicts with other sports broadcasts, one of the games will air on another station in the Toronto area. As Rogers owns the Blue Jays outright but only shares ownership (through Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment) of the Raptors, Maple Leafs and TFC, the Blue Jays games have first priority on CJCL. TSN Radio 1050 shares rights to the other three teams, including all games that are played at the same time as the Blue Jays. In contrast, because of an exclusive CFL-wide multimedia deal with TSN that ensures all Toronto Argonauts games air on TSN 1050, any Raptors, TFC or Maple Leaf games that conflict with the Argonauts will air on CJCL. The two stations split the broadcasts of games that do not conflict with each other.
Roughly 11 Buffalo Bisons games (as of 2018) air on evening dates between June and August that do not conflict with Blue Jays games. The Bisons are the Triple-A International League affiliate of the Blue Jays, and broadcasts originate from Buffalo-based WWKB.
The Fan 590 also features live coverage of the following:
- Buffalo Bills (NFL football)
- BCS National Championship Game (NCAA college football)
- NBA All-Star Game
- Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio (Sunday nights, All-Star Game & postseason; when not conflicting with Blue Jays games & weekday afternoon sports talk radio programming)
- Memorial Cup hockey (Championship game)
- NFL Football (Sunday afternoons)
Previous live sports events on CJCL included:
- Toronto Argonauts (CFL football) (2000-2001, 2007-2010)
- Ice Hockey World Championships (Team Canada games)
- IIHF World U20 Championship (Team Canada games)
- Toronto Rock (NLL lacrosse) (2006)
- OHL All-Star Classic (OHL hockey) (2007)
- International Bowl (NCAA college football) (2007-2010)
- Premier League (soccer) (Saturday mornings, 2007-2010)
- Grey Cup (CFL football) (2007-2009)
- Toronto Marlies (AHL hockey) (2008-2010)
- 2009 World Baseball Classic (All Canada national baseball team games and the final four)
- Ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Men's tournament (All Team Canada games, plus the quarter-final game determining Team Canada's semi-final opponent, both semi-finals, and both the bronze medal and gold medal games)
- Ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Women's tournament (Gold medal game)
Notable on-air staff
- Kevin Barker
- Jeff Blair
- Joe Bowen (Maple Leafs)
- Greg Brady
- Stephen Brunt
- Hugh Burrill
- Don Cherry
- Sam Cosentino
- Damien Cox
- Ben Ennis
- Rob Faulds
- Elliotte Friedman
- Rob Iarusci
- Paul Jones (Raptors)
- Nick Kypreos
- Ian Leggatt
- Doug MacLean
- Jeff Marek
- Bob McCown
- Scott Metcalfe
- Ric Nattress
- Mark Osborne
- Dan Riccio
- Elliott Price
- Rohan Ricketts
- Gord Stellick
- John Shannon
- Dan Shulman (Blue Jays)
- James Sharman
- Eric Smith
- Bob Weeks
- Brian Williams
- Mike Wilner (Blue Jays)
- Ben Wagner (Blue Jays)
- Rob Wong
- Angelo Viola (Fish'n Canada Show)
- Sandy Annunziata
- Jack Armstrong
- Alan Ashby (Blue Jays)
- Bill Berg
- Howard Berger
- Dean Blundell
- Tom Cheek
- Ken Daniels
- John Derringer
- Dirk Hayhurst
- Mike Hogan
- Jerry Howarth (Blue Jays)
- Jim Hunt
- Mike Inglis
- Peter Irvine
- Spider Jones
- Jim Kelley
- Andrew Krystal
- Don Landry
- Jim Lang
- Jeff Lumby
- Pat Marsden
- Pete Martin
- Daren Millard
- Jack Morris (Blue Jays)
- Steve Paikin
- Dan Pollard
- Rick Ralph
- Paul Rimstead
- Jim Richards
- Mike Richards
- Greg Sansone
- Chris Schultz
- Joe Siddall (Blue Jays; moved to Sportsnet television coverage)
- Steve Simmons
- Chuck Swirsky
- Mike Toth
- Andrew Walker
- John Wells
- "Only the best for CKFH (ad.)". The Globe and Mail. February 21, 1951. p. 5.
- "Change is the operative word in sports radio". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "TSN Radio a reality". The Globe and Mail, January 21, 2011.
- "Sportsnet 590 To Air Eight Bisons Games". Sportsnet.ca. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Buffalo Bisons | Buffalo Bisons News". Milb.com. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Rock games return to radio with The Fan 590 – Toronto Rock". Torontorock.com. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "OHL News". Canoe.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "The Fan 590 turns 15 today". Slam.canoe.ca. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Spider Jones | Speaker | National Speakers Bureau". Nsb.com. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- Official website
- CJCL AM history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CJCL
- "FAN 590 an experiment gone right" (Toronto Star article)
- Fan 590 Toronto's YouTube channel
- Radio-Locator Information on CJCL