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XWA redirects here. For the computer game, see X-Wing Alliance. For the professional wrestling promotion, see XWA (professional wrestling).
AM940 Logo.svg
City of license Montreal, Quebec
Branding AM 940
Slogan Montreal's Greatest Hits
Frequency 940 kHz (AM)
Translator(s) CFCX-SW 6005 kHz
First air date December 1, 1919
Format Classic hits / Oldies
Power 50,000 watts
'Class A
Transmitter coordinates 45°23′34.08″N 73°41′53.16″W / 45.3928°N 73.6981°W / 45.3928; -73.6981
Callsign meaning CI NeWs (former all-news format)
Former callsigns CIQC (1991-1999)
CFCF (1920-1991)
VE9AM (1920)
XWA (1919-1920)
Owner Corus Entertainment
(Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc.[1])
Sister stations CFQR-FM, CINF

CINW was an English language Canadian radio station located in Montreal, Quebec.

Owned and operated by Corus Entertainment, it broadcasted on 940 kHz with a power of 50,000 watts as a clear channel (class A) station, using a slightly directional antenna solely for the purpose of improving reception in downtown Montreal.

CINW was Canada's first regularly-operated commercial radio station, first signing on in 1919. However, along with longtime French-language sister station CINF, it ceased operations at 7:00 p.m. ET on January 29, 2010.[2][3]





The station that eventually become CINW started launched on December 1, 1919 under the call sign XWA (for "Experimental Wireless Apparatus").[4] Experimental broadcasts continued from that date until the station began regular programming on May 20, 1920. As such, it has a claim to being the first commercial broadcaster in the world, although other stations, most notably KDKA and WWJ, have made similar claims. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920. While the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest".

After numerous changes of frequency, and a three-year period in which it shared time with CKAC on 730 kHz from 1925 to 1928, CFCF landed on 600 kHz in 1933 and stayed on that frequency until 1999. The station was an affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Dominion Network from 1944 to 1962.

Some of the notable personalities from the CFCF era include newsman Gord Sinclair, morning hosts Ted Blackman, Al Boliska, sportscasters John Robertson and Dick Irvin, Jr. and 1960s Rock and Roll DJ, Dave Boxer.

CFCF changed its format from full service to Adult Standards in 1986. Call letters changed to CIQC in September 1991 as the station, and its FM sister CFQR-FM, were sold to Mount Royal Broadcasting (later Métromédia), with the TV station keeping the CFCF-TV callsign, and at the same time the station started an ill-fated country music format, which lasted only until March 1993, at which point the station switched to news/talk programming with on-air personalities such as Howard Galganov.

During the 1997-99 period, CIQC was the home station of The Travel World Radio Show, hosted by veteran travel broadcasters Stephen Pickford and Willem Bagchus, which became the first Montreal radio show to be carried in US syndication when it was picked up in simulcast by the Westminster,MD-based Liberty Works Radio Network in August 1999. The program was profiled in the October 15/2000 edition of L'Actualite magazine for its efforts in promoting Canadian and Quebec tourism to a US audience.

Move to 940-AM

The station's logo as 940 Montreal (September 2005 - June 2008).

CIQC received permission from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to switch to 940 kHz, on a signal vacated by CBC Radio One's CBM-AM (now known as CBME-FM). With this move, the station would technically increase power from 10,000 watts (daytime) and 5,000 watts (nighttime) to 50,000 watts full time by June 1999, even though CBM-AM had the current 50,000 watt signal in use since 1978. These technical changes were implemented on December 14, 1999, and call letters were changed at the same time to the current CINW, to match the new all-news format introduced that same day.

The station initially wanted to use calls CKNN for its new format and frequency but was denied permission after they illegally used these call letters during testing on 940 kHz in the weeks preceding the frequency change. The 600 kHz transmitter was shut down on Easter Sunday 2000 (April 23), after four months of simulcast. CINW News 940 had a sister station CINF Info 690, for french-language all-news in Montreal.

CINW ended its all-news format in September 2005 to pave the way for news/talk programming. The first day of the revamped format was September 14th, 2005. In a throwback to the CIQC days, the first live guest on CINW, at 06:47 EDT with morning man Barry Morgan, was Stephen Pickford, who had hosted Travel World on CIQC from 1997 to 1999. Their most popular broadcasters were Joe Cannon, Jim Duff and Charles Adler. One of 940's first announcers was Debbi Marsellos, a native Montrealer who was mainly a traffic reporter but also anchored the news and did some hosting. Debbi started working at 940 News from its inception, coming from CJAD.

AM940 Montreal’s Greatest Hits

On June 6, 2008, the station announced that it would drop its talk programming and move to a "greatest hits" format effective June 14, citing difficulties operating in the Montreal market.[5] Recent ratings had placed the station sixth among Montreal anglophones with a 3.8% share; nonetheless it was one of the lowest-ranked commercial English-language stations in the market (just ahead of CKGM (The Team 990)), and was well back of spoken-word rivals CJAD and CBC Radio One.[6]

The switch took place at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2008, marking the return of oldies to anglophone radio in Montreal since CKGM flipped to The Team in 2001.

In addition, CINW carried some non-music programming on occasion, such as the overnight Coast to Coast AM program; following CINW's closedown, the program would be picked up by Astral Media-owned CJAD in March 2010.


Corus announced on January 29, 2010, that CINW and sister station CINF would cease broadcasting as of 7:00pm local time that day, due to unsustainable ratings. Regular programming ceased at 10:00am and was replaced with a loop of an announcement of the closure of the station from general manager Mark Dickie. At 7:02pm eastern time, after 90 years on the air, broadcasting abruptly ceased. The pre-recorded loop announcement was cut off mid sentence, foregoing any official sign-off. The licenses for both stations will be returned to the CRTC for cancellation.


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