, broadcasting at 1050 kHz on the AM
dial, is a Canadian radio station
licensed to Toronto
. 1050 CHUM
was a legendary Top 40
powerhouse during the late 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s; it currently airs an oldies
format featuring music from those decades. The station is owned and operated by CTVglobemedia
, and is sister station to 104.5 CHUM FM
Early history and Top 40 format
CHUM AM was launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station on October 28
by Jack Q'Part, an entrepreneur in the business of patent medicines. The station, then operating from studios in the Mutual Street Arena
, was taken over in December 1954 by Allan Waters
, a salesman from Q'Parts' patent medicine business. Waters' first major move was to secure a license 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 soon after bringing the new fulltime transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On May 27 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 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.
CHUM DJs of the 1960s were zany morning man Al Boliska, who quit 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 witty Bob McAdorey; teen DJ Dave Johnson; and all night maven 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, early 1970s, CHUM DJ's 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, Terry Steele and Roger Ashby. Among their later mighttime hosts was John D. Roberts, who joined CHUM in 1977 and would eventually become 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 would dial phone numbers at random and award $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase.
From gold-based to oldies
By the mid-1980s, CHUM had lost ground in the Toronto ratings to competitor Top 40 station CFTR
music stations. On June 6
, CHUM dropped its Top 40 format for a heavily gold-based adult contemporary
format ("Favourites of Yesterday and Today"). 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.
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 refefred 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 1050chum.com website.
"The Team" network did not prove successful, especially in Toronto, where CHUM struggled against long-time sports station CJCL. On August 27, 2002, "The Team" network was closed down, and while a few affiliates nationwide retained the sports format, others reverted to their pre-Team format--including CHUM, which reverted back to oldies.
Rebirth of 1050 CHUM
At 2 p.m. on the 27th, 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 continues to feature 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 features 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, as well as anniversary celebrations on May 26, 2007 that included an open house at CHUM's famous studios at 1331 Yonge Street (in conjunction with Doors Open Toronto) and a concert at Nathan Phillips Square.
The CHUM Chart
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. The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27 1957
, with Elvis Presley's
"All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song. The CHUM Chart continued until the week of June 14
, when Madonna's
"Live to Tell" was the final Number 1 song.
- Roger Ashby
- Peter Nordheimer
- Al Boliska
- Scott Carpenter
- Mike Darow
- Sonny Fox (aka Johnny Mitchell)
- Brad Giffen
- Dave Johnson
- Roger Kelly
- Bob Laine
- Bob Magee
- Bob McAdorey
- Jay Nelson
- Don Reagan
- Tom Rivers
- Duke Roberts (aka Gary Duke)
- John Rode
- Duff Roman
- Brian Skinner
- John Spragge
- Terry Steele
- Jim Van Horne
- J. Michael Wilson
- Gord James
- Robbie Lane (from Robbie Lane and The Disciples)
- Regan Ashby (all nights and Saturday mornings as of 2007)