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CP24 Radio 1050.png
City of license Toronto, Ontario
Branding CP24 Radio 1050
Slogan Toronto's Breaking News
Frequency 1050 kHz (AM)
First air date 1944
Format All-news radio
Power 50 KW
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 43°29′14.00″N 79°37′15.00″W / 43.48722°N 79.62083°W / 43.48722; -79.62083
Owner CTVglobemedia
(CHUM Radio Network)
Sister stations CHUM-FM, CFTO-TV, CKVR-TV
Website CP24 Radio 1050

CHUM, known as CP24 Radio 1050, broadcasting at 1050 kHz in the AM band, is a Canadian radio station licensed to Toronto, Ontario. The station is owned and operated by CTVglobemedia. Long known as 1050 CHUM, the station played Top 40 hits from the late 1950s to early 1980s. CHUM then carried an oldies format featuring music from that period between 1989 to 2009, except for a brief stint as a sports radio outlet in 2001-02.

Since March 26, 2009, CHUM has been broadcasting an all-news format as "CP24 Radio 1050" which operates primarily as a simulcast of CTVglobemedia's local all-news cable channel CablePulse24, with separate advertising and a few hours of radio-only programming on the weekend.[1][2]


Station history

Early history and Top 40 format

The Chum Radio Building at 1331 Yonge Street was the home of 1050 CHUM from 1959 until 2009

CHUM AM was founded by four Toronto businessmen, including Al Leary, a former sportscaster, who had been the station manager at CKCL for 14 years.[3] CHUM received its licence in late November 1944 to operate a station with 1000 watts.[4] CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station on 28 October 1945,[5] with John H.Q. "Jack" Part, an entrepreneur in the business of patent medicines, as its president. The station, then operating from studios in the Mutual Street Arena, broadcast a format typical of the late 1940s, with a combination of information, music, and sports. When CHUM was about to debut, Leary told the press that the new station would be known for community service and in-depth news, in addition to live talent and the most popular phonograph records.[6]

CHUM was taken over in December 1954 by Allan Waters, a salesman from Part's patent medicine business. Waters' first major move was to secure a licence for 24-hour-a-day broadcasting for CHUM, along with a power increase to 5,000 watts. Less than three years after Waters acquired the station, and soonafter bringing the new full-time transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On 27 May 1957, Waters switched to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built yet another new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power once again to its current 50,000 watts around the clock.

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario.[7] By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes".[8] Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored.[9] Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY. He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came over from CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele and Roger Ashby. Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM in 1977, co-hosted CTV's Canada AM in the early 1990s, and eventually became known across North America as White House correspondent for CBS-TV and today hosts CNN's morning program American Morning.

CHUM was also well known for its contests, like the 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion, in which DJs dialled phone numbers at random and awarded $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase.

The CHUM Chart was, for many years, the most influential weekly Top 40 chart in Canada and has been hailed as the longest-running continuously-published radio station record survey in North America.[10] The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.

From gold-based to oldies

By the mid-1980s, CHUM had lost ground in the Toronto ratings to competitor Top 40 station CFTR and FM-based music stations. On June 6, 1986, CHUM dropped its Top 40 format for a gold-based adult contemporary format ("Favourites of Yesterday and Today"). The CHUM Chart ended the week of June 14, 1986 with Madonna's "Live to Tell" as the final Number 1 song.

By 1989, CHUM adopted an oldies format, drawing heavily on its previous Top 40 reputation to cater to the fans of that era's music.

During the 1990s the on-air lineup included Daryl B, Bob Magee, Kory Skinner, Andy K, Russ McLeod, Roger Kelly, Marc Chambers and Dan Michaels. In 1991 the station acquired the broadcast rights for the Toronto Argonauts, and helped to celebrate the team's Grey Cup victory in 1991.

In 1998, CHUM obtained the radio broadcast rights to Toronto Blue Jays baseball, resulting in a shift towards sports programming on the station.

The Team 1050

In 2001, CHUM's owners launched a national sports radio network, The Team, with CHUM serving as the network's flagship (to be called "Team 1050"). As part of the synergy, Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts were available nationwide on the Team Radio Network. That meant the end of music on 1050 CHUM, which occurred on May 7, 2001. Duff Roman and Bob Laine hosted a farewell party, ending with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" and an audio montage of CHUM memories. Then at 3 p.m., "The Team Radio Network" was launched on CHUM and CHUM-owned stations across Canada. Noted Canadian sportscaster Jim Van Horne, who had recently left TSN, was the network's marquee host. In the 1970s, before he turned to sports broadcasting, Van Horne had been a rock jock on 1050 CHUM. While the station retained the CHUM call letters, on air the station was not referred to as 1050 CHUM, but rather by its Team 1050 name. Nevertheless, "1050 CHUM" wasn't entirely put to rest, as the oldies format continued on a 24-hour webcast at the website.

The Team network did not prove successful, especially in Toronto, where CHUM struggled against long-time sports station The Fan 590. On August 27, 2002, the network was closed down, and while a few affiliates nationwide retained the sports format, most reverted to their pre-Team formats — including CHUM, which reverted to oldies.

Rebirth of 1050 CHUM

Former logo of 1050 CHUM

At 2 p.m. on August 27, 2002, the montage that closed down "1050 CHUM" reintroduced the oldies format, followed by the Elvis vs. JXL Remix of "A Little Less Conversation" and Presley's "All Shook Up". The station reverted to a playlist of music (along with occasional liners and identifications) that were popular in CHUM's 50s-to-80s Top 40 heyday. The station also featured the The Morning Show with Gord James and the James Gang, as well as call-in lifestyle programmes during weekend mornings.

In 2007, CHUM and the rest of the CHUM Limited stations (with the exception of Citytv) were sold to CTVglobemedia. That same year, CHUM commemorated the 50th anniversary of the launch of its rock and roll format, the highlights of which included vignettes and specials throughout the year,[11] as well as anniversary celebrations on May 26, 2007 that included an open house at CHUM's studios at 1331 Yonge Street, in conjunction with Doors Open Toronto, and a concert at Nathan Phillips Square.

In 2008, CTVglobemedia announced they had sold 1331 Yonge Street to a condominium developer and had acquired a new property, 250 Richmond Street West, to serve as the new home of CHUM and CHUM-FM.[12]

Conversion to all-news

Almost seven years after the demise of The Team, and amidst other cost-cutting measures at CTVglobemedia and other Canadian broadcasters due to the global economic crisis, CTV announced on March 25, 2009 that CHUM would again drop its oldies format. The station was converted to all-news as "CP24 Radio 1050" effective 5:00 a.m. the following day. The move coincided with the launch of CP24's new morning program, CP24 Breakfast.[13] [14] Unlike the sendoff the station received upon its switch to The Team, the switch occurred without ceremony[15] and with minimal publicity. Moreover, there will be no webcast of the former oldies format this time, as now redirects to the CP24 website.[16]

The change came a few weeks after the CRTC revised its formatting regulations to permit oldies music on FM radio for the first time,[17] although at the time of the change no Toronto-area FM station had performed such a flip (CHBM-FM and Hamilton's CING-FM both adopted a classic hits format later in the year). CKOC in Hamilton retains a more traditional AM oldies format, while pop standards station CFZM is now marketing itself as an alternative as well.[2]

A number of media critics, including Toronto Sun columnist and former radio personality Ted Woloshyn, have criticized the CP24 simulcast as being a poor substitute for a true news radio format. In his column on the format change, Woloshyn noted a number of instances where he could tell he was listening to content that had been prepared for television, not radio, presentation:

On Thursday morning I listened to a sportscaster tell me to "watch this great pass," but all I saw was my clock radio, and I have no idea what took place. On that same day, host Ann Rohmer (a fine broadcaster, by the way) had to apologize to her viewers because they were having technical difficulties with their picture. The irony nearly drove me off the road. That was followed by the weather person proclaiming, "as you can see there's a cold front coming in from Wisconsin," or something equally as exclusionary. What really irks me is they're breaking the cardinal rule of radio: No dead air.[18]


  1. ^ CTV Launches New Morning News Show "CP24 BREAKFAST" Tomorrow, CTVglobemedia press release, 2009-03-25
  2. ^ a b Rob Roberts and Adam McDowell, CHUM AM dies again, is reborn as CP24 Radio 1050, Posted Toronto (National Post blog), March 25, 2009
  3. ^ "Leary to Manage New Radio Station," Toronto Globe & Mail,18 November 1944, p. 25
  4. ^ "Announcing a New Radio Station in Toronto", Toronto Globe & Mail, 20 November 1944, p. 2
  5. ^ Frank Chamberlain, "Radio Column", Toronto Globe & Mail, 27 October 1945, p. 13
  6. ^ Frank Chamberlain, "Radio Column," Toronto Globe & Mail, 30 August 1945, p. 11
  7. ^ ["Gordon Sinclair's Radio, TV", Toronto Star, 29 October 1957, p. 22
  8. ^ "Radio and TV Personality Al Boliska Dead at 39", Toronto Star, 8 April 1972, p. 2
  9. ^ Dennis Braithwaite, "Here's What Makes CHUM Hum", Toronto Star, 26 December 1959, p. 24
  10. ^ "Happy 50th birthday old CHUM". Toronto Star, May 26, 2007.
  11. ^ "It was only rock 'n roll, but CHUM liked it". The Globe and Mail, 26 May 2007
  12. ^ Theresa Boyle, "CHUM site slated for luxury condos", Toronto Star, 29 July 2008.
  13. ^ Scott Fybush, "1050 CHUM, Larry Glick Both Gone". North East Radio Watch, 30 March 2009.
  14. ^ "CP24 starts breakfast war with Citytv", Toronto Star, March 27, 2009.
  15. ^ Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum post
  16. ^ CHUM's rock 'n roll shuffles off dial. Toronto Star, April 15, 2009.
  17. ^ Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-61
  18. ^ Ted Woloshyn, "CP24 Radio is a disaster". Toronto Sun, March 28, 2009.

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