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City of license Toronto, Ontario
Branding 9-9-9 Virgin Radio
Slogan "Toronto's New #1 Hit Music Station!"
Frequency 99.9 MHz (FM)
First air date 1947
Format Hot adult contemporary
ERP 40,000 watts
Callsign meaning C K Frequency Modulation
Owner Astral Media
Webcast Listen Live
Website Virgin Radio 999

CKFM-FM, branded as Virgin Radio 999, is a Canadian radio station, broadcasting at 99.9 on the FM dial in Toronto, Ontario. The station is owned by Astral Media. Formerly branded as 99.9 Mix FM, it adopted its current brand on August 25, 2008, pursuant to a licence from the Virgin Group.[1]

The station airs a hot adult contemporary format, and is the flagship of Canada's Virgin Radio stations.



The station was originally launched in 1938 by the Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (operated by the father of the founder of Rogers Communications, Ted Rogers Sr.) as experimental FM station VE9AK. The station went off the air between 1942 and 1945 due to the war. It began broadcasting at 99.9 FM in 1947 as CFRB-FM, a simulcast of CFRB AM. Rogers Radio Broadcasting eventually became known as Standard Broadcasting which was acquired by Argus Corporation in 1948.

In 1960, the complete simulcast was dropped, in favour of some unique programming.

In 1963, the station changed its call letters to CKFM. All CFRB programming was discontinued.

Mix era

The station adopted the brand name, Mix 99.9, in 1991, and adopted its current hot AC format. The brand name was changed slightly to 99.9 Mix FM or simply Mix FM on August 8, 2006, and the branding was phased in throughout the day. This coincided with the return of former Kiss 92 morning show hosts Mad Dog and Billie.

A Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision from May 31, 2007, stated that the station's call sign was changed to CFMX-FM.[2] Within weeks, the station reverted back to CKFM, due to both potential confusion with CFMZ-FM as that station, licensed to Cobourg but also heard in Toronto thanks to a rebroadcaster, was previously known as CFMX-FM; as well as the fact that [3] as of November 14, 2007, according to Industry Canada databases, the Toronto rebroadcaster of CFMZ-FM was actually still known as CFMX-FM-1 (not CFMZ-FM-1).[4]

On October 28, 2007, CKFM was purchased by Astral Media as part of their purchase of Standard Broadcasting. Since its purchase by Astral Media, the hot AC format has gone more in a rhythmic-leaning direction, patterned after sister stations Mix 96 in Montreal and Crave 95 in Vancouver, which both carry rhythmic-leaning hot AC formats. It also airs the American Top 40, which usually airs on CHR stations across the United States and Canada.

Virgin Radio era

Astral announced a partnership with the Virgin Group to rebrand the station "Virgin Radio 999" on August 25, 2008, taking effect at 4:00 p.m. that day.[1] Ironically, the change came just before the original UK Virgin Radio station was slated to lose its licence to the Virgin name (it is now known as Absolute Radio).[5]

Astral officials indicated at the time that, if the rebranding was successful, the Virgin Radio brand would eventually be rolled out to other markets nationwide.[6] Barely three months later, on December 4, Astral deemed the new brand a success, and announced that stations in Montreal (CJFM-FM), Ottawa (CKQB-FM), and Vancouver (CKZZ-FM) will be rebranded as Virgin Radio stations effective early January 2009.[7] All three stations will retain essentially the same formats (rock at the Ottawa station, hot AC in Montreal and Vancouver).

CKFM's format is more rhythmic-leaning from the other Virgin stations, because both Virgin stations (formerly under Mix 96 & 95 Crave) kept their AC-leaning hot AC sounds with less rhythmic edge. However, due to the fact CKFM's sister station, CJEZ-FM switched to a classic hits format on Boxing Day 2009, it would be impossible for CKFM to lean in a soft rock/AC direction in the Toronto radio market, since stations in Newmarket (CKDX-FM), Hamilton (CKLH-FM), and St. Catharines (CHRE-FM) would be competitors to the lone station in Toronto playing that format, CHFI-FM, because of their strong signals. Also, CKFM's current slogan is "Toronto's New #1 Hit Music Station", more likely competing with pure Top 40 stations CKIS-FM, CIDC-FM and CFXJ-FM.

On the summer 2009 BBM book, CKFM began beating its sister AC station, CJEZ for the first time.

As of 2009, both CKFM's and CJEZ's jingles and IDs sound very similar, even after CJEZ adopted a new format and branding.

Most recently, the station was moved to the Canadian top 40 panel on Mediabase and BDS charts, although the station is still officially hot AC despite some 1980s songs (and fewer 1970s songs) still played there. CKFM eventually joins CKIX-FM in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador as the hot AC stations on the Canadian top 40 panel.

CKFM-FM had never changed its musical format since 1991, and CKFM-FM's hot AC format has had one of Astral Media's longest-running formats on its English-language FM radio stations.

Current personalities

Past personalities



Mix99.9 FM logo.PNG 99.9 Mix FM logo.PNG Virgin Radio 99.9.png
1992 - 2006 2006 - 2008 2008 - present


After Virgin Radio 999 posters featuring a kitchen radio poised at the edge of a TTC subway platform[8] had appeared in Toronto[9], Toronto Public Space Committee criticized poster ad was "in poor taste." The city's transportation department later ordered the removal of the posters. According to TTC chair Adam Giambrone, the TTC had allowed the photo for the poster to be taken at a subway station based on a request to photograph various radios on TTC platforms. Although a supervisor was on site, there was no indication on how the photos would be used in the ad.[10]


  1. ^ a b Astral Media and Virgin launch North America's first Virgin radio station in Toronto, Astral press release, August 25, 2008
  2. ^ Decision CRTC 2007-359
  3. ^ Fybush, Scott (2007-10-22). "NorthEast Radio Watch". Retrieved 2007-11-14.  
  4. ^ Call sign search and Broadcasting database (ZIP file) (using the file fmstatio.dbf) from Industry Canada. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.
  5. ^ SMG sells Virgin Radio for £53m, Kate Allen, The Guardian, May 31, 2008
  6. ^ Astral tests Virgin branding, Grant Robertson, The Globe and Mail, August 26, 2008
  7. ^ Astral press release, December 4, 2008
  8. ^ Virgin Radio: Subway
  9. ^ TTC Kills the Radio Star
  10. ^ City pulls ad posters with suicide theme

External links

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