Goodbye 1050 CHUM

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aka Mycroft
Goodbye 1050 CHUM
Stargazer

Bye bye Chum. Didn't like you and can't say I'll miss you.

Cueball Cueball's picture

You know you are getting old when your favourite radio station starts running funeral home ads instead of condom ads.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Ha Cueball! Gotta play to the demographic! Yike.

I will now come out of the closet as a white-boy-classic-rock fan. And I will also admit that I've rarely listened to the radio in the past 3 decades.

Such are the ways of media conglomerates.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well, I was never a CHUM fan. Though since I spent some time in the Biz I am aware of the important place the CHUM stations had in founding the AOR format in this country. Dave Marsden who later came here to found CFNY, and then even later COAST 1040 in Vancouver (I swear he is following me) started spinning on the CHUM FM montreal station, and started playing the whole sides of record in one sitting, and basically started the white boy classic rock format in Canada.

That was when the DJ's could DJ.

I occassionally tune into Q-107, if I am near a radio and can't get anything else, simply because I know they will play a couple of classics that I can tollerate once every hour. But that is were I think I heard the funeral parlour ad, or perhaps that was CHUM FM.

But lately I have been grooving to thie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP2FOK31ZUk

"Young Fast Iranians" is near the end of that selection.

oldgoat

A sad and wistful passing for me, but clearly it's time had come.

I'm a bit on the tail end of the generation that really made the place.  I recall as a very little kid, being allowed to tag along with my older brothers and their friends as we'd walk up Yonge St. every week to pick up the new CHUM Chart.  On the way home they'd discuss the merits of who was up and who was down,  and I was hugely impressed with the breadth of their cultural wisdom, and general worldliness.  I still have a CHUM chart lying around somewhere.

We kids all woke up to Al Boliska every morning.  (CFRB came from the parents room..ugh) I recall how he lost a bet once, and had to eat kishka for breakfast every day for a week, in reference to the hit song "Someone Stole my Kishka" I was awestruck, when I could actually see these people live at the CHUM broadcast trailer every summer at the CNE.

Al Boliska moved on, and there was a contest (totally rigged) to find a replacement, which included Granny, from the Beverly Hillbillies.  When Jungle Jay Nelson won it, I was incredulous.  He hosted my favourite after school kids show on ABC out of Buffalo, showing Tarzan and Jungle Jim movies, while he hammed it up in a pith helmet.  I mean why would such a huge American TV personality come to Toronto to work on radio?  I listened to Brian Skinner and the groove yard as I drifted off at night where I first heard of this long haired sensation called The Beatles. 

Some people listened to CKEY, with Dave Mickey.  Briefly the competition, but a cool factor of zero, in my crowd.

But time passed, and I became a stoner, and turned my nose up at the unsophisticated pleasures of my childhood.  We discovered CHUM FM, as well as expensive audio equipment.  Now my vinyl would never touch anything less than a Dual turntable, and we'd stay up all night listening to umm..Brian Schultz I think, and David Prichard.

Now I listen to Toronto's two classical radio stations (or at least what's left of CBC).  But when their programmers get into their weird Karlheinz Stockhausen/R. Murray Schafer moods, it was nice to have CHUM to drop in on for a bit.

aka Mycroft

I've always been a bit of a radio keener but I've never really been a CHUM fan. When I was in high school my contemporaries were listening to CFNY mostly and AM had already become passe (CHUM AM consequently made the switch from Top 40 to Oldies) and earlier, in elementary school CFTR was preferred to CHUM in my school - though I was a bit of a geek since I liked CBC Radio and would listen to Metro Morning with Joe Cote before going to school- it paid off since they were the first North American broadcaster to play Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy in 5 to 10 minute segments every day on Metro Morning!

Still, it was kind of nice in more recent years to have an Oldies station on the dial but I admit I don't even remember the last time I listened to it.

Still, it is the end of an era. In particular, the transformation of CHUM into a zombie radio station - with apparently no original programming and acting as only a simulcaster for a TV station is a sad development though, given the economic crunch, it makes sense for owner CTVGlobemedia as a cost saving measure.

I don't know how successful it will be though. Radio is more than TV with the picuture turned off and even though CP24 is the most radio-like of our TV stations I don't think they'll be able to beat 680 News which has that etched in stone newswheel. Drivers like the fact that you can get traffic and weather "every 10 minutes on the 1" and the whole concept of only having to listen to the station for 15 minutes is appealing to a lot of drivers. Unless CP24 copies that (which would make for pretty boring television and seriously disrupt the tv channel's schedule) or actually hires broadcasters and goes the Talk Radio with News route I don't see the new CP 24 Radio 1050 being anything more than an alsoran. Of course, with no budget other than what it takes to keep the transmitter going, perhaps it doesn't really matter that much to CTV how it's new experiment does in the ratings.

And just on another note - interesting how we're back to the great CFTR-CHUM rivalry of the 1970s and early 1980s except now the format is all-news rather than Top 40.

WillC

As I recall from the dim memories of fifty years ago, we had a hard time finding rock and roll on local radio until CHUM started its format in 1957. Before then, we had to listen to WKBW in Buffalo, where the most famous personality was George Lorenz, the "Hound dog."  "(Allegedly Presley dedicated  his song of the same name to him.)

When CHUM started broadcasting "Rock" it  seemed to us simple teenagers  to legitimize it, but really what it was was the further corporatization of the R&B.  Until the coming baby boomers freed it up for a little while.

 

remind remind's picture

An aside about music comebacks, apparently Vanilla Ice is going on tour.

Bookish Agrarian

When I was a kid CHUM was the only station that played anything close to youth music I could get in the truck or my transistor radio when working in the field.  I didn't like it much, but it was a damn site better than the country and pop stations that could be found two or three other places on the dial.

oldgoat

George Lorenz, the 'Hound Dog'.  Boy there's something on the distant edges of my memory, at least to the extent to recalling older sibs refer to the guy.

 

Mycroft et al...*taps foot and raises eyebrow*  They weren't alway's "oldies" you know.

aka Mycroft

Moses Zniamer has bought the "good time oldies" station at 740 AM that took over CBC's old frequency a few years ago. 

WillC

oldgoat wrote:

George Lorenz, the 'Hound Dog'.  Boy there's something on the distant edges of my memory, at least to the extent to recalling older sibs refer to the guy.

Sorry for walking going down memory lane with a pre-CHUM golden oldie, but this is the last I'll do;

Quote:
Known by many as "The Man Who Created Rock 'N Roll" George "Hound Dog" Lorenz helped kick start the careers for many of the biggest names in rock music from the 1950’s and 60’s. When no one else would play them, George Lorenz took chances with artists like Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Clyde Mcfatter, Fats Domino and many, others.

George Lorenz's persistence and commitment to introducing the world to great music and not the status quo, helped him to become one of the most influential figures in the music world and in doing so, George accomplished something that no one else was able to do…. he brought Rock N’ Roll to the mainstream.

 http://www.hounddoglorenz.com/

lanceoak

For those still wishing to hear the classic rock, you can go to 1150 CKOC on the AM or, 91.7 on the FM.... Some still like to understand what they are singing about instead of just loud screaming.  Smile

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Growing up in Ottawa the cool station was CKOY. Back then, CFRA (dial 580) was a Top 40 format, long before Lowell Green and his insane conservative ranting came on the scene. A few years before I quit the feds and left for good (1973) a new hard rock station started up - I can't remember the station's letters. It was a sad day when we lost CFRA to an all-yak format, but at least it was replaced by another station with far better taste in music.

Skinny Dipper

CP24 television doesn't work well on radio.  It's about as exciting as listening to the Pearson Airport radio station telling at which terminal the airlines land.

"Look at the floods in North Dakota!"

Television is visual; radio is descriptive.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

lanceoak wrote:
For those still wishing to hear the classic rock, you can go to 1150 CKOC on the AM or, 91.7 on the FM....

Reception is poor in most parts of Toronto for 1150 CKOC. And isn't 91.7 a country music station? 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I think you mean Willie Mae Thornton.

And the song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

martin dufresne

Banjo wrote: "...George Lorenz, the "Hound dog."  "(Allegedly Presley dedicated  his song of the same name to him.)" 

Groan...! Hound Dog is a 1953 Willa Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton song. Credit where credit is due, please!

(the original recording)

Tommy_Paine

I'd say I was a classic rock kinda guy, and the proof is in the fact that I detest all classic rock radio formats.Wink

The guys at work have radios going.  We rotate our jobs,  and I will re-tune away from the classic rock to CBC.  Increasingly, I find it left on CBC when I rotate back to that job hours later.  

But then, sometimes even I will turn off the CBC.

It's funny.  Radio stations used to boast being "The voice of Toronto" or "The voice of London", for example, and it wasn't an empty boast.

Now, our communities are voiceless.

I never listened to CHUM, being out of the broadcast range.  But I remember when it was the deffinition of cool.

In London, W4 out of Cleveland was where the cool, in the know kids turned to, until it adopted a disco format. 

There's still a scar on my heart from that.

About that time, Fanshaw college (6X FM ) started broadcasting as part of the broadcasting course they have.  THAT became a really cool, the ultimate cool radio station in London,  and I would have put it up against any radio station in Canada on a coolness test.

However, they did serious damage to the market share of FM 96 and others, so they had the corporate rubber stamps at the CRTC change it's format  to Gregorian Chants, and readings from the Millwakee phone directory.

If one wanted to point to a single moment when radio in London died, that was surely it.

 

 

martin dufresne

Much obliged, but there are over 7,000 websites calling her Willa Mae, e.g. http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/bigmama.html 

And even if it was penned by Leiber & Stoller, she created Hound Dog.

The major hit she wrote herself was Ball 'n Chain.

Tommy_Paine

 Maysie:

"I will now come out of the closet as a white-boy-classic-rock fan."

(chuckles)  Between watching Micheal Franti videos on youtube,  I'm listening to a mix CD of old Motown hits right now.

Unfortunately, my dancing does not challenge any racial stereotypes.

Wink

martin dufresne

Give me Clyde McPhatter any old day!

Sharon

How interesting to think of you Toronto kids listening to WKBW from Buffalo.  I grew up in Chatham, New Brunswick -- now known as Miramichi -- and I used to lie in bed at night, listening to WKBW on my first transistor radio.  That must have been one strong signal.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Bounce.

WillC

martin dufresne wrote:

Banjo wrote: "...George Lorenz, the "Hound dog."  "(Allegedly Presley dedicated  his song of the same name to him.)" 

Groan...! Hound Dog is a 1953 Willa Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton song. Credit where credit is due, please!

(the original recording)

As I said in an earlier post: "When CHUM started broadcasting "Rock" it  seemed to us simple teenagers  to legitimize it, but really what it was was the further corporatization of the R&B."

It was Presley's song only in that he had the million selling hit.

 

Interesting that people in New Brunswick were listening to WKBW. Their R&R format must have influenced much of eastern North America.  "A 50,000 megawatt clear channel station" is a claim I think I remember.  

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I just watched The Blues Brothers for about the one hundredth time - I love that music, man. Cool

Maysie Maysie's picture

Tommy, I think we're going to need to see some video footage. Tongue out

kvkv

For those still wishing to hear the oldies, you can go to 1580 am.

 

Tommy_Paine

Maysie wrote:
Tommy, I think we're going to need to see some video footage. Tongue out

If it got posted on YouTube, whoever posted it would have thier account suspended, I'm sure.

Last night,  my wife, who some might remember here as "Rebecca West", said "how can you not move your body to this?"  when I was watching Micheal Franti and Spearhead's  "Say Hey" video.   Funny, that's exactly what one side of my brain was saying to the other, which replied "shut up, numbnuts, you'll embarass us." 

I saw an interview years ago with John Cleese from "Monty Python"-- a serious interview about his humour, and his life long struggle with depression.   Cleese identified a certain trait amoung Englishmen, in that their only care in life was to get through it without being embarassed.

Even though I really don't like identifying much with the English, I have to admit this cultural trait is at least a part of my makeup.  

(certain posts here notwithstanding)

I make fun of myself, but it's really kinda sad.  I enjoy music to no small degree, and not dancing puts a limit on a fuller appreciation of it.

 

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

Skinny Dipper wrote:

CP24 television doesn't work well on radio.  It's about as exciting as listening to the Pearson Airport radio station telling at which terminal the airlines land.

"Look at the floods in North Dakota!"

Television is visual; radio is descriptive.

I agree. I listened to it today and boy was it horrible. The announcer would say on the DVP the traffic is slow as you can see. Comparitively 680 was talking about where it was slow. And when they did sports they talked about one goalie doing well and then said Cujo didn't do so well and then there was 10 seconds of hockey sounds which was presumably when the audience watched why. The announcer also talked about weather and where 680 would say Edmonton 1 degree the announcer said it's one degree all the way over down in Edmonton presumably with map picture up to keep audiences on the point but on the radio I found it to much of a lag time between the information. Also I never realized how much background sound effects or video playing there was on tv until it started interfering with the understandability of the announcer when it was purely auditory. Interesting to note at least the advertising realizes how poorly tv translates to radio as all the ads were radio ads not tv ads.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Double post or triple post or quadrpal post - when will it ever end?

Refuge Refuge's picture

Double double post

Refuge Refuge's picture

God I hate my new ISP .........

Refuge Refuge's picture

And for anyone not sick of my postings already!

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

There is another aspect to this and that is the CRTC and licensing. When the license was issued it was issued for a radio format. If the format is to change, then the license to operate ought to be ceded and the public once more be invited to offer alternative formats for the station location. In other words. why does CP24 retain license in the event of a format change? That sucks. Even if it is to become another news station, perhaps it could be a good one and not just anoter revenue generator for City.

aka Mycroft

Radio formats change all the time. I don't believe CRTC approval is required or if it is it's pro forma. Certainly, it's not necessary for a station to cede it's licence when it changes format.

As for City it hasn't owned CP24 for a year or so - when the Waters family sold their broadcasting assets City went to Rogers and CP24, Much Music, the A channels and all the other specialty channels went to CTV as did the radio stations. 

adma

What hasn't really been properly addressed in this thread is how this purely utilitarian excuse for keeping the 1050 transmitter running reflects the fact that AM radio's days are, in effect, numbered--and some might say, the same goes for FM, too.  Victims of changing technology, changing tastes and consumption habits, and a little bit of defective corporate thinking over the years (in CHUM's case, placing its bets on DAB's orphan technology).

Even CHUM-FM's advertising seems scaled-back relative to a couple of years ago.  They know they're on the wrong side of history.

aka Mycroft

Unfortunately conventional terrestrial radio is dying and it remains to be seen whether the medium of radio can adapt to satellite and internet platforms. BTW, what ever happened to digital radio in Canada? I remember 10 years ago or so there was a lot of talk that Canada would convert to digital radio by such and such a date and it would be way cool and allow for a vast expansion of available formats and such.

Back on the topic of conventional radio - the most recent BBM ratings from Fall 2008 are interesting (click here)

Looking at the ratings for Toronto, CBC Radio One is the most listened too in terms of overall hours with a 9.4% share which means that 9.4% of all hours spent listening to all radio stations were spent listening to Radio One. In terms of shares the top 6 in the Toronto market were:

Quote:

9.4% CBLA (Radio One)

8.8% CHUM FM

8.4% CHFI

7.3% CILQ (Q107)

5.4% CFTR (680 News)

5.3% CFRB

5.0% CFMZ-F (Classical 96)

CHUM AM was at 1.2%, lower that CJRT (Jazz FM) at 2.2% and lower even than Talk 640's 1.8%. In fact, the only stations that rated lower than CHUM AM were Country 95.3 with 1.1%, and the two Radio Canada stations which have 0.2 and 0.1%. (Campus radio stations such as CKLN, CIUT and CFRY can't afford to subscribe to BBM so their ratings aren't recorded and it appears that multilingual and non-English stations other than Radio Canada don't subscribe either)

Incidentally, there is another index used to measure radio ratings which is called reach ie the number of individuals who listen to the radio station for at least 15 minutes a weak. By this measure 680 News is the leader with 1,062,100 individual listeners followed by CHUM FM with 1,033,700 listeners Q107 with 749,200 is third and Radio One with 696,100 listeners is fourth.

What the two indeces used together tell us is while fewer individuals listen to Radio One than other stations they listen for a lot longer (several hours perhaps) and that, conversely, while 680 News has the most listeners, on average they only listen for a few minutes. CHUM AM does poorly on both measures - they only have 149,300 individual listeners a week - better only than someting called Jewel 88.5 and the two French stations. 

So I guess after CTV acquired CHUM they looked at the ratings and figured turning it into a zombie retransmitter of CP24 couldn't hurt them in the ratings and would save them money.

 

adma

aka Mycroft wrote:

So I guess after CTV acquired CHUM they looked at the ratings and figured turning it into a zombie retransmitter of CP24 couldn't hurt them in the ratings and would save them money.

More likely, with the "zombie retransmitter" tactic, ratings--at least, radio ratings--don't matter anymore.

asterix

A radio station doesn't require CRTC permission to change its format.

 CTVgm might face some questioning at the next license renewal for CHUM, if the CRTC has a strong opinion about the change, but it's unlikely to affect the station's relicensing -- I might be wrong, but I don't think the CRTC has ever yanked a station's license over a format change.

1weasel

You would have to file an intervention with the CRTC stating that the format change is not in the public interest ( CTVglobemedia is operating over publicly owned airwaves) and give some reasons to back up your case.  Also, the most recent conditions of license would need to be checked to see if CTVglobemedia is still in compliance for CHUM AM.

vness90210

This is such sad news to me. I've enjoyed listening to the oldies for over two decades now (i am 23).

and quite frankly, i am shocked and mildly appalled and everyone's reaction. 

I suppose, however, my tardiness to the news proves that i was not a frequent listener, only on work days (which is not Mon-Fri for most students)

I will miss hearing those songs, what other station plays oldies only?