|City||Richmond Hill, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Greater Toronto Area|
|Branding||Global News Radio 640 Toronto|
|Slogan||It's time to talk about it.|
|Frequency||640 kHz (AM)|
|First air date||1957|
|Callsign meaning||C F MoJo (former station name)|
|Former callsigns||CJRH, CFGM, CHOG, CFYI|
|Former frequencies||1300 AM (1957-1959)
1310 AM (1959-1978)
1320 AM (1978-1988)
|Affiliations||Global News Radio|
(Corus Premium Television Ltd.)
|Sister stations||Radio: CFNY-FM, CILQ-FM, CING-FM
|Website||Global News Radio 640 Toronto|
CFMJ, branded as Global News Radio 640 Toronto, is a Canadian radio station, broadcasting at 640 kHz on the AM dial. It is licensed to Richmond Hill, Ontario, but the studio is in the Corus Quay building at 25 Dockside Drive in Toronto. The station airs a talk radio format targeted to the entire Greater Toronto Area.
CFMJ transmits with an eight-tower directional antenna; although it is a Toronto market station that is licensed to a suburb to the north of the city, its transmitter is in the town of Lincoln, in Niagara Region, near the southeast corner of Greenlane and Merritt Road. This location allows the station's 50,000–watt signal to cover a large part of Southern Ontario beyond Greater Toronto, as well as western New York state during the day and at night.
- 1 History
- 2 Programs
- 3 Defunct Programs
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The station began in 1957 under the callsign CJRH, at AM 1300. It moved to 1310 in 1959, and changed its call letters to CFGM in 1961. The station adopted a country music format in 1964; a few years later, they became Canada's first 24-hour country station. Don Daynard was a notable host with the station in the 1960s.
On June 29, 1990, at 5 PM, the station changed its format and call letters, broadcasting a rock-leaning CHR/Top 40 format as 640 The Hog, CHOG (which would later shift towards a more mainstream direction in September 1991). In June 1992, the station rebranded as AM 640: The Beat Of Toronto, and adjusted its playlist to a more rhythmic lean. Several notable radio personalities were associated with the station during this era, including John Gallagher, Tarzan Dan, Pat Cochrane, Kenny 'The Hitman' Caughlin, Roger Kelly and the Toronto radio team of Jesse and Gene. After CFTR moved from contemporary hits to all-news in 1993, AM 640 (still with the calls CHOG) was the last Top 40 station in Toronto proper (and the very last AM station in the area to broadcast Top 40 hits) until CISS adopted the format in February 1999. Talk shows came to take up a substantial part of the station's schedule, particularly during midday periods when many of the station's hit music listeners might normally be in school.
Shift to Talk
On October 10, 1995, at 10 p.m., the station changed to a full-time talk radio format. As Talk 640, the station aired syndicated programming such as the Joy Browne, Rhona Raskin, Dr. Laura and Live Audio Wrestling, along with local programming hosted by personalities such as Gene Valaitis, Jane Hawtin, Bill Carroll, Shelley Klinck, Marsha Lederman, Karen Horsman, Michael Coren, Dave Chalk, Spaceman Gary Bell and Roger Kelly. Despite regular adjustments, the station received low ratings. During this period, the station adopted the call letters CFYI. The weekend programming was a hit with "The Touch of Health" a show that started with just a half hour in 1997 to a two-hour nationally syndicated show airing coast to coast 2-4 Saturdays. Hosted, produced and managed by Christine McPhee, her other collection of weekend shows were the "Pet Show" with Mitch Levitsky, a "Cruise Show", a "Law Show", a "Beauty Show", and the "Small Canada Business Show".
On April 23, 2001, at 6:40 a.m., the station re-launched as Mojo Radio, a hot talk radio format aimed at the male demographic. The station also changed its call letters the same day to the current CFMJ. The new format featured programs hosted by Humble and Fred, John Derringer, Phil Hendrie, Mike Stafford, Andrew Krystal, Spider Jones, and the syndicated Coast to Coast AM; later on, John Oakley replaced Scruff Connors who had taken over from Humble and Fred; the latter pair left for hot adult contemporary station Mix 99.9 in July 2003. Krystal moved to part-time work at CFRB and CKTB before moving to Halifax. Derringer's Mojo show was later discontinued as he concentrated on his marquee morning show on "brother station" Q107.
AM640 Toronto Radio
In 2004, due to low ratings (MOJO was typically hovering around a 1.4 share), the station moved away from the male-oriented imaging to a more general news and talk format as AM640 Toronto Radio. Oakley and Stafford continued to host the major morning and afternoon drive programs. Craig Bromell joined the station as co-host of a new late morning program, The Beat (later rebranded as Bromell! in 2006), and in 2005, Charles Adler's nationally syndicated radio show was added to mid-afternoons. Award-winning journalist Arlene Bynon was added to the ranks in 2006 to host the Saturday afternoon Toronto Weekend program, which has expanded to include a Sunday edition as well.
Near the end of July, 2007 the programming line-up was shuffled in response to the departure of Craig Bromell, whose show ran until the end of August 2007. Afternoon host Mike Stafford replaced Bromell. The Bill Watters Show was added to the afternoon lineup. Just as the new show with co-host Jeff Marek expanded, Marek moved on to Sirius Satellite Radio. Greg Brady replaced Marek as Bill's co-host. Brady left AM640 in late June 2010 to host a Noon - 3pm program on The FAN 590. Bill Hayes, formerly of Q107, replaced Greg Brady as Watters' co-host. Hayes was fired in January 2011. Co-hosting duties then fell to his son, Brian Hayes. Hayes left AM640 on Friday, April 8 to host his own mid-morning program on TSN Radio 1050. AM640's Leafs play-by-play colour analyst Jim Ralph became co-host of The Bill Watters Show, which ran from 4pm – 7pm covering hockey issues and other major sports news as well, up until Friday July 15, 2011.
Veteran host and reporter John Downs was let go in early August, 2010. His 7pm - 9pm slot was then hosted by Bryan Hayes, whose program was primarily sports-talk, until April 12, 2011 when Bryan took the mid-day host slot at TSN Radio 1050. Charles Adler's 2pm - 4pm program was moved to the 7pm - 9pm slot at the end of August, 2012.
Charles Adler hosted a Toronto-based hour from 1pm - 2pm during the summer of 2010. On Monday, August 30 Arlene Bynon took over hosting duties for the 1pm - 2pm hour, with news anchor Tina Trigiani guest-hosting Friday afternoons. On Monday July 18, 2011 The Bill Watters Show was canceled and Arlene Bynon took over the 4-7pm time slot. Tina Trigiani was the host of the 1-2p slot Monday to Friday. On July 2, 2014 Trijiani's hour was taken over by host Jeff McArthur.
Jeff McArthur, former morning show host for both CFPL-FM and CFPL (AM) in London, Ontario, joined AM640 in late August 2012 to host weekdays 2pm - 4pm. On July 2, 2014 his show expanded to add the 1-2pm time slot.
On January 7, 2013, Arlene Bynon's afternoon program was replaced by Bill Carroll. Arlene stayed on as cohost for the following three weeks. Her last day was Tuesday, January 29, 2013. Bill Carroll hosted the 4-7pm weekday slot in Toronto in addition to his Noon-3pm weekday slot on talk radio station KFI in Los Angeles, California (which is also at 640 on the AM dial)
One of the station's biggest draws was that it was the radio broadcaster of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which it networked into other markets. Its play-by-play announcers were Joe Bowen, Dennis Beyak, Jim Ralph and Dan Dunleavy. Dennis Beyak left in the fall of 2011 to do the play-by-play for the Winnipeg Jets on TSN regional television and on TSN Radio 1290 (CFRW). AM640's 7-year contract for the rights to Toronto Maple Leafs radio broadcasts concluded before the start of the 2012-13 NHL season—Leafs broadcasts are now split between CHUM and CJCL.
CFMJ's studios were in Suite 1600 at 1 Dundas Street West in Toronto, Ontario until Corus moved all of its Toronto-based radio, television and other assets into Corus Quay upon its completion in the summer of 2010.
Global News Radio 640
CFMJ, along with several other Corus's news/talk radio stations across Canada was relaunched under the new national Global News Radio brand between November and December 2017, (named after the Global News brand which is already used for the newscasts on Global Television's owned-and-operated stations, including its sister station, CIII, which was acquired by Corus Entertainment as part of its acquisition of the Shaw Communications media unit, Shaw Media in 2016, which acquired those from Canwest back in 2010), as such CFMJ was relaunched as Global News Radio 640 Toronto on December 1, 2017, while maintaining its news and talk format and on-air roster.
The Morning Show with Matt Gurney and Supriya Dwivedi
Airing weekdays from 5:30am–9:00am, replaced the John Oakley show in November 2016. Segments include features with former afternoon host Jeff McArthur.
The Stafford Show
Airing weekdays from 9am - 12pm, The Stafford Show offers opinion and listener response to the issues of the day and various topics of interest. Host Mike Stafford often discusses topics that relate to "The Greatest Generation", covering the generation who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Stafford's program does not feature guests, but instead relies on input from listeners. Each Friday at 11am, Stafford hosts "Fast & Furious Fridays" which discusses automotive related topics.
Airing weekdays from 2:00pm–4:00pm. Cutrara joined AM640 in early 2016 as the host of the Afternoon Drive show following Bill Carroll's departure. In November 2016, Cutrara was given a permanent afternoon spot. Daily segments include Chreston's Cuts, a collection of popular audio clips from Cutrara's producer.
The John Oakley Show
Airing weekdays between 4:00pm to 7:00pm (formerly 5:30am and 10:00am), the John Oakley Show offers opinion and discussion of the issues of the day. Oakley also includes economic and investment news and advice from financial expert Lou Schizas, legal analysis from Lorne Honickman, dissection of stories in the news with Media & Message Panel members David Menzies, Susan G. Cole & Elissa Freeman, City Hall political discussion with guest Sue-Ann Levy of the Toronto Sun, chats with right-wing talking heads Conrad Black and Mark Steyn, and humour provided by "The Raging Redhead" Cam Stewart on Mondays and Fridays. Often radio callers will greet Oakley with the phrase 'it's a great day for talk radio'.
Defunct segments have included "Skinny on Shinny" hockey discussion with guest Bill Watters, "The Econo Clash", political commentary by Harry Kopyto, The City Confidential Panel, and many others. Prior to 2010, the show featured a weekly segment with then City Councillor, Rob Ford on issues in City Politics
Jeff Marek was offered a position with Sirius Satellite Radio and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada to host a new show. On September 7, 2007 Marek announced that he was leaving Leafs Lunch on AM 640 Toronto Radio to pursue a new route in radio broadcasting on the Hockey Night in Canada radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 122. Brian Duff from the NHL Network was the program's host for a period of time until he was replaced by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. On July 5, 2010, Leafs Lunch was canceled. Leafs Lunch returned to Talk Radio AM640's Saturday and Sunday lineups, filling the noon - 1pm timeslot until spring of 2011, when it was cancelled.
Trigiani's show aired weekdays between 1pm and 2pm, this show generally covered lighter news and popular interest topics. Like the Stafford Show, a main topic was introduced and then Tina took input from listeners via e-mail and phone calls. Adding occasional colour to the show was added by Trigiani's call screener, Ryan Bonnar and technical producer Patrick Malkin. AM640 Host Jeff McArthur's show absorbed the hour in the summer of 2014.
The Jeff McArthur Show filled the 1-4pm slot on AM640 before McArthur left the station to become host of the Global TV Morning Show. Until late 2013, McArthur would fill in during the afternoon drive slot if there were breaking news events, due to other work commitments by Afternoon Drive host Bill Carroll. The show generally begins with "Opening Shots", a series of brief news stories and quick witted commentary by Jeff McArthur. The last segment of the show includes "7 Calls Says it All" in which Jeff tries to take 7 Calls from listeners on a single topic with limited time remaining in the show. On Fridays McArthur hosted the "AM640 News Chain Game" in which listeners have to answer a series of questions about the week's news events in order to win a prize. Jeff added the 1-2pm slot that was formerly hosted by Tina Trigiani in July 2014.
Aired weekdays from 4pm - 7pm. Bill Carroll hosted the afternoon drive slot along with commentary from news anchor Sandy Salerno and producer Chris Chreston until early 2016. The opening segment of each show was known as "Carroll on the News" in which Salerno, Chreston and Carroll discussed the day's major news stories. This portion of the show was taped earlier in the day due to a conflict with Carroll's show on KFI 640 in Los Angeles. Carroll resigned from his position in Los Angeles, but soon after left AM640 in early 2016 for 580 CFRA in Ottawa
The Post Game Show with Andy Frost
Following each Toronto Maple Leafs game, radio host and Leafs PA announcer, Andy Frost discussed the ups and downs of the night's game. Much of the broadcast involves taking phone calls from the show's audience. This show was cancelled on the station, however Frost remained an evening and weekend host on AM640's sister station CILQ.
A View from Space
For over 15 years Gary Bell (nicknamed 'The Spaceman') hosted a show, broadcast on Saturday nights, that dealt with current events, numerology and conspiracy theories . The show was cancelled, following its November 11, 2017 broadcast, when parent company Corus fired the late-night host citing complaints of anti-Semitic content.
Bell also worked as a producer for various weekday shoes during his time at the station.
- CHMJ, a radio station in Vancouver that also used the Mojo format
- Decision CRTC 87-376
- CFGM sliding down the dial to reach millions of new listeners - Toronto Star, September 16, 1988
- Top hits AM 640 turning to talk radio
- CHOG Flips from Top 40 to Talk
- On MOJO, it's all guys, all the time - Toronto Star, April 20, 2001]
- Global News Radio 640 Toronto
- CFMJ AM history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFMJ