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Broadcast area Hamilton, Ontario
Branding Talk 820
Slogan Hamilton's all new talk station.
Frequency 820 kHz (AM)
First air date 1959
Format talk radio
ERP 50 kW
Class B
Callsign meaning C HAMilton
Owner Astral Media
Website Talk 820

CHAM is a Canadian radio station, broadcasting at 820 AM on Upper Wentworth, in the tower next to Limeridge Mall in Hamilton, Ontario. Owned by Astral Media, the station airs a talk radio format branded as Talk 820. CHAM changed to its current format from its longtime country music format on September 2, 2008.


CHAM began in 1959 as a 5,000 watt station (information on early format needed) with the call letters CHIQ at 1280 AM. Its early format was standard rock and roll. One the first DJs was Canadian radio personality David Marsden. In 1965, the power was increased to 10,000 watts day / 5,000 watts night. The station was purchased from CHIQ, Ltd. in 1967 by (Ted) Rogers Broadcasting Ltd., which received approval from the CRTC to change the call letters to CHAM. In 1968, power was fixed at 10 kW full-time. During this period, the format was "beautiful music."

In 1970, they switched to Top 40 format, in direct competition with 1150 CKOC. While Top 40 stations played most of the same songs, CHAM played many records that didn't receive exposure elsewhere in the market. Some of the personalities who spent time at CHAM were Paul Godfrey, Dick Joseph (who worked there twice - the second time under their next call letters), Gil Harris, Rockin' Ron Baptist, Ravin' Dave Mitchell, Don Collins, Bob Wood, Ike Isaac, Ken Packham, Skip Dewling, Wayne Dion, J.J.Clarke, Don West, Len Robinson, Dave Fisher Ted Michaels, and newscaster Glen Darling (son of Canadian broadcaster Tom Darling). CHAM published a weekly Top 40 poster from (approx) 1971 to 1974.

In an unusual move, their broadcasting facilities were located inside a shopping mall called Terminal Towers. All the stores in the mall had glass for walls, which meant you could stand outside and look into the control room to watch the announcers work.

In 1976, CHAM was sold to Keith Dancy, and the call letters were changed to CJJD. Soon afterward, the facilities moved to Lloyd D. Jackson Square, a few blocks up the street, and this time, out of the public eye. The station was sold again in 1981 to Moffat Communications, Ltd., who changed the format to country music, and reverted to the old call letters. In 1985, the power was increased to 50 kW day / 10 kW night, and the frequency was moved to 820 AM. [1]

Logo as 820 CHAM.

820 CHAM was a pioneering country station, and had a good run for 20 years, under still more and different management by Golden West Broadcasting (1993) and Affinity Radio Group (1997). The station was acquired again by Standard Broadcasting, and in February 2005, changed its format to "All Time Country Favorites" under the brand of 820 CHAM - The Legend, the country equivalent of an oldies station. In addition, having once been the competition for CKOC, CHAM is now owned by the same corporation that owns CKOC, known as Oldies 1150, and is their sister station, located in the same building.

In October 2007, Astral Media acquired Standard Broadcasting's terrestrial radio and television assets, including CHAM. On August 29, 2008, the station began stunting in an all-Christmas format, teasing listeners that on September 2, 2008, there would be ten thousand reasons to tune in at 8:20am. It was revealed on September 2 that they had changed to a talk format and rebranded the station as Talk 820.

Much like sister station CKTB in St. Catharines, CHAM mixes local programs and American syndicated shows. Local hosts include Dave Shuttleworth, Jason and Jodi, John Biggs, and Mike Nabuurs. Syndicated programs include Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown and the American shows The Dennis Miller Show, Costas on the Radio, Coast to Coast AM, and The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte.


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