|Broadcast area||Greater Toronto Area|
|Slogan||The Way We Groove|
|Frequency||98.7 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||October 3, 2011|
|ERP||446 watts average|
1,000 watts peak
|Owner||Fitzroy Gordon |
CKFG-FM is a Canadian radio station which broadcasts an urban adult contemporary format at 98.7 FM in Toronto, Ontario. CKFG's studios are located on Kern Road in the Don Mills neighbourhood of North York, while its transmitter is located at the top of First Canadian Place in Downtown Toronto.
The station is targeted to the local Black Canadian community and began broadcasting on October 3, 2011. The station airs a mix of R&B, soul music, reggae, soca, hip hop, world beat, gospel, and smooth jazz that targets the 25-54 age demographic within the Caribbean and African communities.
The station was founded by Fitzroy Gordon, a Jamaican-Canadian who immigrated to Canada in 1979 who became a late night disc jockey on CHIN Radio in the 1990s hosting a programme aimed at the Caribbean community. The station was originally licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in 2006, but as the proposed 98.7 frequency was second adjacent to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's CBLA-FM, the approval was made conditional on the new station's owner, Fitzroy Gordon, submitting a revised application for a different frequency. Milestone Radio also filed an intervention, stating that the station's proposed format duplicated that company's Flow 93.5.
The station did not file a revised application, however, and the initial authorization lapsed; instead, Gordon subsequently reapplied for the same 98.7 frequency. Accordingly, Industry Canada allowed the station to broadcast a test signal for three weeks in 2010 to determine whether the frequency could be used without impacting CBLA. The test signal, a mix of reggae, rhythm and blues, hip hop, gospel and soca music, was branded as Caribbean African Radio Network, or CARN.
The test found no significant interference, and on June 9, 2011, Gordon's Intercity Broadcasting Network received CRTC approval to use the 98.7 frequency. The CBC again noted its objection to the licensing of a second-adjacent frequency; four commercial broadcast groups — Rogers Media, Astral Media, Bell Media and Durham Radio — also filed comments in support of the CBC's position.
The station's call sign CKFG is named after the founder Fitzroy Gordon.
Gordon stated that the station's goal was to have at least a temporary signal on air in time for the 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, but did not immediately confirm a permanent launch date. RadioInsight revealed on October 1 that the station would begin airing on October 3. On that day, the station officially signed on the air and changed monikers to "G 98.7".
On November 28, 2011, at 6 AM, the station aired its first live broadcast with the song "I Can See Clearly Now" by Jimmy Cliff, then founder Fitzroy Gordon said a prayer, before handing it over to morning hosts Mark Strong and Jemeni, both formerly of Flow 93.5. The station is also slated to air local news and sports programming, as well as talk shows relating to the African and Caribbean communities. Virtually during the same time CKFG-FM signed on the air, its rival CFXJ-FM flipped from rhythmic contemporary back to urban contemporary (that station has eventually switched back to Rhythmic CHR as of 2017-18). Ironically, because there are no other R&B/Hip-Hop or Adult R&B outlets in Canada, the only major music chart CKFG reports to is the BDS Canadian Top 40 chart panel.
The station's signal covers most of the city of Toronto, and extends towards Milton, Oakville, Brampton, Aurora, and Pickering. However, in the northeastern part of the GTA, particularly in the Scarborough area, reception of CKFG is often impacted by CBLA-FM's repeater in Peterborough. To try and remedy this interference in Scarborough and in Durham Region, Intercity applied for a re-broadcaster on 102.7 mHz as part of the CRTC's call for applications of new radio stations in May 2014. The CRTC declined the request on November 5, 2014, and instead awarded a new license to East FM, who will launch CJRK-FM on that frequency.
In 2012, Intercity Broadcasting was one of 27 applicants for the 88.1 frequency vacated by the revocation in early 2011 of CKLN-FM's license, applying to move CKFG-FM to the 88.1 frequency. The bid was unsuccessful and the CRTC awarded the frequency to CIND-FM.
On October 21, 2014, it was announced that Gordon was granted a licence by the CRTC to launch a national Black/Caribbean television station. It will be the second Black Canadian television service after FEVA TV, which launched in August 2014 and targets African-Canadians.
The station's CEO and founder Fitzroy Gordon died on April 30, 2019 at the age of 65. Soon after his death, shareholder and former chief financial officer Delford Blythe initiated court proceedings in an attempt to take financial control of the station, alleging significant mismanagement by Gordon which was threatening the station's survival.
- Lorinc, Jacob (May 1, 2019). "Fitzroy Gordon, who launched Black-owned radio station G98.7 FM, dies at age 65d". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Caribbean radio station set for Toronto at 98.7 FM". Toronto Star, February 2, 2011.
- Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) (September 20, 2007). "ARCHIVED - English-language FM radio station in Toronto". crtc.gc.ca.
- Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) (June 9, 2011). "ARCHIVED - English-language FM radio station in Toronto". crtc.gc.ca.
- "BDS monitored radio panel update" (PDF).
- Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) (November 5, 2014). "ARCHIVED - Licensing of new radio stations to serve Scarborough and technical changes for existing radio stations serving Scarborough, Toronto and Whitchurch-Stouffville". crtc.gc.ca.
- "Stations vie for vacant radio licence" The Globe and Mail, 18 December 2012.
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-126. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, March 2, 2012.
- CRTC GRANTS APPROVAL FOR CANADA’S FIRST NATIONAL BLACK AND CARIBBEAN TELEVISION STATION, October 21, 2014
- G98.7 FOUNDER PLANNING TO EXPAND INTO NATIONAL TELEVISION, Now Toronto, 21 OCTOBER 2014
- BLACK TELEVISION TIFF, Now Toronto, 10 NOVEMBER 2014
- "R.I.P. Toronto Broadcaster and G98.7 Founder Fitzroy Gordon". Exclaim!. May 1, 2019.
- "Toronto's G98.7-FM in financial peril, according to court records". The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2019.
- CKFG-FM history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKFG-FM