CHUM Ltd. (1944-2008)
York Broadcasters Limited, owned by entrepreneur Jack Q’Part, was licensed to launch Toronto AM radio station CHUM 1050.
On October 28, CHUM 1050 went on the air for the first time. It was the fifth radio station in the Toronto market and the first new Toronto station in a decade. It was operated from sunrise to sunset only.
On December 11 sole ownership of York Broadcasters Limited was purchased by Allan Waters, a leading salesperson in Jack Q’Part’s patent medicine company. It was the first step along a 53-year journey of broadcasting growth for the Waters family and the firm that later would become CHUM Limited.
In a daring move that would dramatically improve CHUM’s fortunes after many years of financial instability and change the face of Canadian broadcasting, on May 27 Allan Waters switched the station’s format to Top 50 (later Top 40). Now broadcasting around the clock, CHUM became the first radio station in Canada, and one of the first in the world, to play rock and roll 24 hours a day. On CHUM’s staff at the time was future CTV newscaster Harvey Kirck.
J. Allan Slaight joined the staff of CHUM as Program Director.
On April 17 the name York Broadcasters was changed to Radio CHUM 1050 Ltd.
The CHUM studios were moved from 250 Adelaide Street West to 1331 Yonge Street, Toronto, where their iconic neon sign was erected for the first time.
Allan Waters and Ralph Snelgrove (then owner of Barrie’s CKBB-AM and CKVR-TV), acquired majority ownership of CKPT Peterborough. Snelgrove became President; Waters became Vice-President; and Fred Sherratt was named General Manager. Sherratt would later become a key executive in the CHUM organization.
Alex Forbes, whose accounting firm Ewin & Forbes had been CHUM’s auditor since 1952, joined Radio CHUM 1050 Limited as Secretary-Treasurer. He would play a pivotal role in the company’s development.
CHUM made its first venture into FM radio with the launch of CHUM-FM 104.5, broadcasting in a Classical Music/Fine Arts format.
J. Allan Slaight was appointed Vice President of Radio CHUM-1050 Ltd. and elected to the board. He was in charge of programming and operations of CHUM-AM and Fine Arts sister, CHUM-FM. Slaight had joined CHUM in 1958. J. Wesley Armstrong was also appointed Vice President and elected to the board. He joined the company in 1957 as Sales Director. Allan Waters was President of the company and Manager of CHUM-AM and FM. Bill Drylie was News Director. Phil Stone was in charge of live talent and public service. Allen Farrell was promotions manager. Larry Solway was in charge of copy. George Jones was Chief Engineer.
In partnership with CJCH Limited, Radio CHUM 1050 Limited acquired a 50% interest in CJCH-AM Halifax. MacLean-Hunter President Donald Campbell became President of the new company – CJCH 920 Limited – with Fred Sherratt as Vice President and General Manager.
CHUM moved into television for the first time when it gained a one-third interest in CKVR-TV Barrie.
On May 12, under the corporate name CHUM Limited, Allan Waters took the rapidly expanding company public.
Alex Forbes was appointed to the Board of Directors of CHUM Limited.
CHUM Limited received approval to acquire Ottawa’s Radio CFRA Limited and control of two key stations in the market: CFRA-AM and CFMO-FM.
1050 CHUM Toronto launched the CHUM Christmas Wish, evolving out of The CHUM Kids Crusade, and operating in conjunction with The CHUM Charitable Foundation. This would become an annual event for over forty years.
In July the format of CHUM-FM was changed from Classical Music to Underground Progressive Rock.
CHUM acquired a second one-third share of CKVR-TV Barrie.
Fred Sherratt was named Vice President of Programming and Operations of CHUM Limited. He was also elected to the Board of Directors.
J. Robert Wood was appointed Program Director of CHUM-AM.
CHUM Limited became Canadian rights holder for Muzak (Associated Broadcasting Corporation Inc.)
After acquiring all outstanding shares of Radio CJCH Limited at the end of 1969, CHUM took full control of the Halifax station.
In December CHUM Limited acquired the final one-third share of CKVR-TV Barrie, giving the company 100% ownership.
CHUM Limited began its expansion into television in the Maritimes with the acquisition of CJCH Limited (CJCH-TV) Halifax.
CJCB-TV Sydney was acquired from Cape Breton Broadcasters.
CHUM Limited formed HUCHM, a television production facility that operated initially out of CKVR-TV Barrie.
Early in the year CJCH Limited acquired CKCW-TV Moncton. In September it was re-named Atlantic Television System Limited (ATV) with its Halifax, Sydney and Moncton stations linked by microwave.
Fred Sherratt became a partner and President of ATV while maintaining his position as Vice President of Programming and Operations, CHUM Limited.
CHUM Limited acquired CKVN-AM Vancouver and restored the station’s original call letters: CFUN.
CKCW-TV2 Charlottetown was launched and joined the Atlantic Television System.
CHUM Limited acquired CFRW-AM and CHIQ-FM in Winnipeg, and acquired an additional 30% share of CKPT Peterborough.
CITY-TV – the Toronto UHF station launched with great flair and style in 1971 – ran into financial difficulty. Following an interim injection of funds from Multiple Access Limited, in which it had acquired a minority interest, the station’s owners Channel Seventy-Nine Limited reached an agreement to sell CHUM Limited majority control.
CHUM Limited was granted licences for radio stations CKQM-FM Peterborough and C100-FM Halifax.
CHUM Limited purchased the Ottawa Rough Riders football club of the Canadian Football League.
In July CHUM Limited gained effective control of CITY-TV. The Founders Group – Moses Znaimer, Jerry Grafstein, Phyllis Switzer and Edgar Cowan – retained minority ownership and Moses Znaimer remained President.
Allan Waters received the Ted Rogers Sr.-Velma Rogers Graham Award in recognition of his many contributions to the broadcasting industry.
CHUM Limited acquired Dinosaur Broadcasting in Drumheller, Alberta, which included radio stations CKDQ Drumheller, CIBQ Brooks, and CKSQ Stettler.
CHUM Limited received a licence to operate ASN – the Atlantic Satellite Network.
In share exchanges with minority shareholders, CHUM Limited acquired 100% of Atlantic Television System Limited and 100% of Channel Seventy-Nine Limited.
CHUM Limited acquired Radio CJYQ 930 Limited in Newfoundland.
CHUM Limited launched the Atlantic Satellite Network, believed to be the first satellite-delivered conventional TV service in the world.
CHUM Limited acquired the final 20% share of CKPT Peterborough.
CHUM Limited was among applicants before the CRTC for new specialty television licenses. These channels would be available to cable subscribers on a discretionary basis.
Following a CRTC hearing in January, CHUM Limited received approval in April to launch one of the first two specialty cable channels ever licensed in Canada. (The other was TSN). Named MuchMusic and programming primarily music videos, it became an instant success when it was launched in August.
Fred Sherratt was given the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Gold Ribbon Award.
On August 20 CHUM Limited added four more radio properties to its holdings, purchasing – from Geoff Stirling’s Apache Communications – CKGM-AM and CHOM-FM Montreal, and CKWW-AM and CJOM-FM Windsor.
After switching to an Adult Hits format, CHUM-FM became the #1-ranked radio station in Canada.
The Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) President’s Award was presented to Allan Waters in recognition of his contributions to Canadian broadcasting.
CITY-TV moved from its original home at 99 Queen Street East in Toronto to the former Ryerson Press Building at 299 Queen Street West. Re-named the CHUM-City Building, it was configured as a multimedia complex and became a nationally-recognized Toronto landmark. The CHUM Radio Building at 1331 Yonge Street remained CHUM Limited corporate headquarters.
Allan Waters, Chairman and President of CHUM Limited, was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Hall of Fame in recognition of his exceptional contributions to Canadian broadcasting.
Jim Waters and Ron Waters joined CHUM Limited’s Board of Directors.
In partnership with Radio-Mutual, CHUM Limited launched the Quebec music specialty service Musique Plus.
CHQM-FM Vancouver became the newest radio asset of CHUM Limited. The purchase included CHQM-AM but CHUM was required to sell the AM property because it already owned CFUN, another AM station in the same market, which at the time was against CRTC regulations.
CHUM Limited became the first Canadian broadcaster to receive permission to operate more than one AM and more than one FM station in the same market. Already the owner of CKWW-AM and CJOM-FM in Windsor, Ontario, CHUM Limited was given permission by the CRTC to purchase CKLW-AM and CKLW-FM.
CHUM Limited acquired CKKW-AM and CFCA-FM Kitchener-Waterloo from Electrohome.
In November Allan Waters was presented with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence.
The Ted Rogers Sr.-Velma Rogers Graham Award was given to Fred Sherratt for “his pioneering spirit and contribution to the broadcasting system.”
Jim Waters was appointed President of CHUM Group Radio.
Ron Waters was appointed President of CHUM Television.
Moses Znaimer was appointed Vice President of Corporate Development, CHUM Limited.
CHUM Limited re-branded CKVR-TV Barrie as The New VR, bringing to an end CKVR’s 40 years as a CBC affiliate.
CHUM Limited launched the Bravo! and ACCESS specialty channels.
CHUM Limited sold the Q Radio Network in Newfoundland to Newfoundland Capital Corporation.
The CHUM Radio Network was established to deliver syndicated radio programs across Canada.
Fred Sherratt was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Hall of Fame.
CHUM Limited received specialty licenses to operate MuchMoreMusic, CP24, MusiMax, Space: The Imagination Station, Star!, and Canadian Learning Television.
St. Lawrence Broadcasting – which owned CKLC-AM and CFLY-FM in Kingston and CFJR-AM and CHXL-FM in Brockville – was acquired by CHUM Limited.
CHUM Limited launched the MusiMax and Space specialty channels.
CHUM Limited turned over its four Maritime stations that made up the Atlantic Television System (ATV), and the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN), to Baton-Electrohome in exchange for cash and Baton-Electrohome’s independent television stations: CFPL London, CKNX Wingham, CHWI Wheatley/Windsor and CHRO-TV Pembroke. This deal gave Baton effective control of the CTV Network, and Baton was renamed CTV Inc.
CHUM Limited, NewCap and Sun Radio agreed to enter into a Local Management Agreement (LMA) for their Halifax radio stations. Under the arrangement NewCap would manage all stations in the group: CHUM Limited’s CJCH-AM and C100-FM, NewCap’s CFDR-AM and CFRQ-FM, and Sun Radio’s CIEZ-FM.
The CablePulse24 (CP24) and MuchMoreMusic cable specialty channels were launched.
CHUM Limited launched the cable specialty channels Star! and Canadian Learning Television.
CHUM Limited acquired Rawlco (Ottawa) Limited, whose assets included CFGO-AM and CJCM-FM Ottawa.
At the Juno Awards, Allan Waters was presented with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his contribution to the Canadian music industry.
Allan Waters was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Jim Waters and Ron Waters were appointed Executive Vice Presidents of CHUM Limited.
Fred Sherratt retired as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CHUM Limited and was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Jay Switzer became President of CHUM Television.
CHUM Limited received a new radio licence in London, Ontario and CHST London joined the CHUM radio family.
CHUM and seven sister stations joined with two non-owned affiliates in forming The Team, a 24-hour national sports radio network.
CHUM Limited concluded a deal to buy CKVU-TV in Vancouver from CanWest Global.
In September CHUM Limited launched several new cable specialty channels including Court TV, Drive-In Classics, FashionTelevision, MuchLOUD, MuchVibe and Sex-TV.
In October CHUM Limited launched CIVI-TV, a new UHF station in Victoria B.C. It was branded as The New VI.
CHUM Limited acquired CKLY-FM Lindsay, Ontario and CFWM-FM Winnipeg.
CHXL-FM Brockville, Ontario (acquired in 1996) was renamed CJPT-FM.
CHUM Limited Vice President Duff Roman was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Hall of Fame.
On August 27th, CHUM-AM Toronto and the other Team Sports stations dropped the sports format and CHUM went back to programming oldies music.
CHUM Limited acquired 50% of CIEZ-FM in Halifax from Sun Radio. (The call letters would be changed to CKUL in 2004.)
On December 5, Allan Waters, controlling shareholder of CHUM Limited, stepped down as Chairman and President, having built CHUM Limited into a major broadcasting power in Canada. He remained on the Board of Directors.
Jim Waters became Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Fred Sherratt stepped down as Vice Chairman and remained on the Board.
Ron Waters became Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Jay Switzer moved over from CHUM Television to become President and CEO of CHUM Limited.
CKST-AM Vancouver was acquired by CHUM Limited from Grand Slam Radio.
30 year CHUM Limited radio veteran Paul Ski was appointed Executive Vice President Radio.
CHUM Limited received approval to acquire the assets of Brandon-based Craig Media. Included were A-Channel stations in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, CKX in Brandon, and CKXT (Toronto One) in Toronto.
Because of its ownership of Toronto’s CITY-TV, CHUM Limited was required to sell CKXT Toronto, which was purchased by TVA Group Inc. (75%) and Sun Media Corp. (25%). The Craig deal also included the acquisition by CHUM Limited of MTV, MTV2 and TV Land. MTV and MTV2 were re-launched as Razer & PunchMuch.
CHUM Limited acquired the remaining interest in Learning Television Alberta (LTA).
CHUM Limited acquired CFAX-AM and CHBE-FM Victoria from Seacoast Communications and re-launched CHBE-FM as KOOL-FM.
In August CHUM Limited re-launched its former A-Channel stations in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton as City-TV stations, and CHUM Limited independent stations in Barrie, Ottawa/Pembroke, London, Windsor, Wingham and Victoria were re-branded as A-Channel stations.
A new urban FM station was launched by CHUM Limited in Edmonton as CHBN-FM (91.7 The Bounce) in partnership with Milestone Media Broadcasting Limited.
Allan Waters stepped down from the CHUM Limited Board of Directors in October and became an Honorary Director.
On December 3, 2005 Allan Waters passed away peacefully in Toronto at the age of 84. Following tributes from across Canada, over 2000 attended a celebration of his life at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre.
CHUM Limited was granted a licence to launch CKCE-FM (Energy 101.5) in Calgary.
In March Duff Roman was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.
After widespread speculation that several major broadcast groups were eyeing CHUM Limited as a possible takeover target, CHUM Limited announced on July 12th that – subject to CRTC approval – it had accepted a purchase offer from CTVglobemedia.
In November Paul Ski was appointed President CHUM Radio.
Jim Waters was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.
In June CTVglobemedia received CRTC approval to purchase CHUM Limited, on the condition that it sold its CITY-TV stations in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Later the same month a deal was reached for the purchase of these stations by Rogers Communications.
The sale of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia was completed on August 31, 2007.
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