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The demise of 1050 CHUM Radio

Here in Toronto, there has been a radio station that has historically been one of the most highly rated stations in Canada. Around the late 80s/early 90s, it changed format and severely lowered the power of the transmitter to the point where the reception remained poor, even in Toronto. Recently, there is no music anymore, not even the obscure oldies that I was accustomed to hearing. CHUM had been an all-music station for the almost all of the past 50 years (they were an all-sports station for less than a year in the early 2000s).

Instead, what I have been hearing in the past couple of weeks has consisted of nothing more than an on-air audio feed of City Pulse, the audio feed of our local cable all-news station.  How far we’ve fallen. From fast-talking DJs to fast-talking news reporters referring to imagery you can’t see without a television.

CTV-GlobeMedia, after purchasing CHUM Limited, probably nuked the old format because of licensing laws. They likely own just enough media (newspapers, radio, TV) in the Toronto market that won’t quite land them in jail, or in a lawsuit. The National Post assures us, however, that the advertising is different from CP24’s. And I think they have a radio-only weekend show.

Nowadays, a google search for CHUM AM or 1050 CHUM results in the website for CP24 occuring at the top. CTV GlobeMedia acquired CHUM and CP24, while the rest of CHUM Limited got sold to Rogers, including CITY-TV. Until the sale, CHUM Limited was the world’s largest privately-owned broadcaster. CHUM Limited used to also own several radio and TV stations across Canada.

Many people, including myself, will wonder what will happen to the weekly CHUM Charts, which were archived at CHUM’s website. It is an historical archive of what Canadians have been listening to since the 50s. In my opinion, an important bit of Canadiana. An attempt to follow a link set by another blogger resulted in a redirection to CP24. Entering “CHUM Chart” as a search string yielded nothing. In removing the archive, they are removing our collective memory of what made the charts over the past 50 years in the Toronto area.

Some sites that obtained chart info from the CHUM Top 30: Craig Smith (only lists #1 singles). The historical property at 1331 Yonge Street, home to 1050 CHUM since 1959, has now been sold to a condo developer, and the station facilities have now been moved to a new site to coexist with CHUM-FM, on 25o Richmond St W.

CHUM has existed as a radio station since 1944, and was the first radio station in Canada to run an all Top-40 format in the mid 1950s.

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