|Branding||TSN Radio 1050|
|Slogan||The Evolution of Sports Radio
Home of the Hockey Experts
|Frequency||1050 kHz (AM)|
|First air date||1945|
|Callsign meaning||CHUM Limited (former owner)|
|Sister stations||Radio: CFRB, CHUM-FM, CKFM-FM
TV: TSN, TSN2, CP24, CFTO-DT, CKVR-DT
|Website||TSN Radio 1050|
CHUM, branded as TSN Radio 1050, broadcasting at 1050 kHz in the AM band, is a Canadian radio station licensed to Toronto, Ontario. The station is owned and operated by Bell Media. CHUM's studios are co-located with TSN at 9 Channel Nine Court in the Agincourt neighbourhood of Scarborough (with auxiliary studios located at 250 Richmond Street West in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto), with its transmitter array located in the Clarkson neighbourhood of Mississauga (near CFRB's own transmitter array).
Long known as 1050 CHUM, the station played Top 40 hits from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. CHUM then carried an oldies format featuring music from that period between 1989 and 2009, except for a brief stint as a sports radio station, The Team 1050, from 2001-2002.
In April 2011, CHUM reverted to a sports format as TSN Radio 1050.
CHUM AM has been broadcasting continuously since 1945, through a variety of format changes. The station's history can be broken into eight distinct eras, as follows:
|Era||Start date||Format||Brand and/or slogan|
|1||28 October 1945||"Full service"—music, news, sports. Station only on air from sun-up to sundown through most of this era.||1050 CHUM|
|2||27 May 1957||Top 50 hits. (Later reduced to Top 40 as of August 1968)||1050 CHUM|
|3||6 June 1986||Adult Contemporary||1050 CHUM-AM: Favourites Of Yesterday and Today|
|4||1 Sep 1989||Oldies. Some sports coverage, including broadcasts of Toronto Argonauts games, and from 1998 on, Toronto Blue Jays games.||1050 CHUM: Good Times and Great Oldies|
|5||7 May 2001||Sports and sports talk.||The Team 1050|
|6||27 August 2002||Oldies.||1050 CHUM: Toronto's Greatest Hits|
|7||26 March 2009||News talk radio (straight rebroadcast of audio feed of all-news TV station CP24).||CP24 Radio 1050|
|8||13 April 2011||Sports and sports talk.||TSN Radio 1050|
CHUM AM was founded by four Toronto businessmen, including Al Leary, a former sportscaster, who had been the station manager at CKCL for 14 years. CHUM received its licence in late November 1944 to operate a station with 1000 watts. CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station on October 28, 1945, with John H.Q. "Jack" Part, an entrepreneur in the business of patent medicines, as its president. The station, then operating from studios in the Mutual Street Arena, broadcast a format typical of the late 1940s, with a combination of information, music, and sports. When CHUM was about to debut, Leary told the press that the new station would be known for community service and in-depth news, in addition to live talent and the most popular phonograph records.
CHUM was taken over in December 1954 by Allan Waters, a salesman from Part's patent medicine business. Waters' first major move was to secure a licence 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 full-time transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, Waters switched the station 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, 1965, and 1966).
The station rose in popularity in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s; though it never supplanted perennial Toronto ratings champ CFRB at the top of the ratings chart, it was still a major broadcasting powerhouse with a particular appeal to the teen market. As the station became more successful, 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.
In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario. By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes". Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored. Boliska left CHUM 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 Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came from rival Toronto rocker CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs 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, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele, Mike Holland and current CHUM-FM morning man Roger Ashby. Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM for a time in 1977, eventually becoming known across North America as White House correspondent for CBS News, then the co-anchor of CNN's morning program American Morning. Rick Moranis, later famous for his work on SCTV and Ghostbusters, was briefly a late-night CHUM DJ in the mid-seventies under the name "Rick Allan".
CHUM became well known[who?] for its zany contests. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.
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. (This claim is disputed by Hamilton's CKOC, which published weekly charts from 1962-1992.) The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.
By the mid-1980s, CHUM had lost ground in the Toronto ratings to competing Top 40 station CFTR and FM-based music stations. On June 6, 1986, at 3 p.m., after playing Starship's "We Built This City", CHUM dropped its Top 40 format for a gold-based adult contemporary format ("Favourites of Yesterday and Today"). The first song after the relaunch was "Beginnings" by Chicago. The change also discontinued the CHUM Chart, which ended the week of June 14, 1986, with Madonna's "Live to Tell" as the final Number 1 song. By 1988, the station had evolved into a brighter AC format ("Toronto's Soft Rock"), focusing on pop hits from the past decade and dropping much of the older music. While starting off with modest ratings, CHUM began to slip further over the next few years; in the last book as an AC, CHUM was ranked 11th and held a 2.9 share of the Toronto market as of September 1989.
During the 1990s, the on-air lineup included Daryl B, Bob Magee, Kori Skinner, Andy K, Russ McLeod, Roger Kelly, Marc Chambers and Dan Michaels. In 1989, the station acquired the broadcast rights for the Toronto Argonauts. Led by play-by-play man Marc Charbonneau and colour commentator Peter Martin, the CHUM broadcast team helped to celebrate the team's Grey Cup victory in 1991 in Winnipeg. By 1997, much of the airstaff was replaced with voicetracking. Only the morning show was live.
In 1998, CHUM obtained the radio broadcast rights to Toronto Blue Jays baseball, resulting in a shift towards sports programming on the station.
On January 23, 2001, CHUM's owners announced the launch of a national sports radio network, titled "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. This also 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" (the station's first song as a Top 40 station in 1957) 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.) The Team 1050 morning show was made up of former TSN host Paul Romanuk, longtime CHUM sportscaster Brian 'Henny' Henderson and Mike Richards (now back as morning host of TSN 1050). While the station retained the CHUM call letters, on air the station was not referred to as 1050 CHUM, but rather as Team 1050. 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 The Fan 590 (CJCL). On August 27, 2002, the network was closed down, and while a few affiliates nationwide retained the sports format, most reverted to their pre-Team formats — including CHUM, which reverted to oldies.
At 3 p.m. on August 27, 2002, 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 reverted to 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 featured The Morning Show with Gord James and the James Gang, as well as call-in lifestyle programs during weekend mornings. Like the first incarnation of the oldies format, the morning show was live while other air shifts were voicetracked. In addition, the station also lost rights to broadcast Blue Jays games after the 2002 season, where they moved back to The Fan 590.
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 studios at 1331 Yonge Street, in conjunction with Doors Open Toronto, and a concert at Nathan Phillips Square.
In 2008, CTVglobemedia announced they had sold 1331 Yonge Street to a condominium developer and had acquired a new property, 250 Richmond Street West, to serve as the new home of CHUM and CHUM-FM. On August 18, 2009, CHUM left 1331 Yonge Street, ending 50 years at its historic home. 1331 Yonge was demolished in September 2016, in order for a condominium complex to be built on the site. The new building is adjacent (and connected) to Bell Media's Headquarters at 299 Queen Street West.
A similar move was made in May 2014, when CFRB left their longtime location at Yonge and St. Clair for 250 Richmond Street West after Bell's acquisition of Astral Media, which brought CFRB and CHUM under the same ownership.
Almost seven years after the demise of The Team, and amidst other cost-cutting measures at CTVglobemedia and other Canadian broadcasters due to the global economic crisis and the 2007 Canada broadcast TV realignment, CTV announced on March 25, 2009 that CHUM would again drop its oldies format. The station was converted to an all-news radio format as "CP24 Radio 1050" effective at 5:00 a.m. the following day, after playing "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck and the first minute of "Black Magic Woman" by Santana. Unlike other CHUM Radio news talk radio stations in Canada such as CFRA Ottawa and CFAX Victoria, 1050 AM was the only radio station in Toronto and in the CTVglobemedia family which acted as an audio simulcast of its co-owned 24-hour television all-news channel, CP24. The move coincided with the launch of CP24's new morning program, CP24 Breakfast (which was launching due to the realignment, as CP24 was no longer simulcasting Citytv's Breakfast Television). Unlike the sendoff the station received upon its switch to The Team, the switch occurred without ceremony and with minimal publicity. Moreover, no webcast of the former oldies format was offered on this occasion, as 1050chum.com redirected to the CP24 website. Although CP24 television's operations remained housed at 299 Queen Street West where many of CTVglobemedia's other speciality television channels such as MuchMusic are located, technical operations and studios for the minimally unique radio-only weekend talk shows on CP24 Radio 1050 continued, first at 1331 Yonge Street, and then at 250 Richmond Street West.
The change came a few weeks after the CRTC revised its formatting regulations to permit oldies music on FM radio for the first time, although at the time of the change no Toronto-area FM station had performed such a flip (CHBM-FM and Hamilton's CING-FM both adopted a classic hits format later in the year). CKOC in Hamilton retained a more traditional AM oldies format, while pop standards station CFZM marketed itself as an alternative as well.
A number of media critics, including Toronto Sun columnist and former radio personality Ted Woloshyn, criticized CP24 Radio 1050 as a poor substitute for a true news radio format. In his column on the format change, Woloshyn noted a number of instances where he could tell he was listening to content that had been prepared for television, not radio, presentation:
|“||On Thursday morning I listened to a sportscaster tell me to "watch this great pass," but all I saw was my clock radio, and I have no idea what took place. On that same day, host Ann Rohmer (a fine broadcaster, by the way) had to apologize to her viewers because they were having technical difficulties with their picture. The irony nearly drove me off the road. That was followed by the weather man proclaiming, "as you can see there's a cold front coming in from Wisconsin," or something equally as exclusionary. What really irks me is they're breaking the cardinal rule of radio: No dead air.||”|
According to quarterly BBM surveys of Toronto radio, in 2010 the station's audience share never rose above 0.1% of radio listeners, and CP24 Radio 1050 consistently placed dead last in the ratings in the Toronto radio market.
Shortly after the re-acquisition of CTVglobemedia by Bell Canada was announced in the fall of 2010, and with CP24 Radio 1050 not proving to be successful, media analysts began to speculate that CTV would be converting many of its existing AM radio stations including CP24 Radio 1050 into a national sports radio network co-branded with its sports television channel TSN sometime in 2011, which would compete against rival Rogers-owned Toronto radio station, The Fan 590, as the two stations previously did from 2001 to 2002.
The plans were unveiled on February 17, 2011, when CTV announced that CHUM would drop its CP24 simulcast and flip to sports radio as TSN Radio 1050 on April 13, 2011, the first station under the newly formed brand; its launch programming included a morning show hosted by former The Fan 590 personality Mike Richards. TSN considered the flip to be a "soft launch" for the TSN Radio brand, expecting a full launch with more local programming by September. This change comes just weeks after Bell Canada completed its acquisition of 100% of the shares in CTVglobemedia it didn't already own. It renamed the company Bell Media and likewise renamed the radio division CHUM Radio to Bell Media Radio.
Ratings in the initial weeks of broadcasting showed that CHUM's new TSN Radio sports format was capturing 1.0% of the target male audience, while rival sports station The Fan 590 was capturing 5.8% of the same demographic. Subsequent quarterly BBM ratings reports have consistently placed CHUM's overall market share between 0.5% and 1.3% of the total radio listening audience, generally receiving less than a third of The Fan 590's audience numbers. For the quarterly ratings periods in 2015 and 2016, CHUM has consistently placed next-to-last in overall share amongst Toronto-based radio stations, beating only foreign-language station CINA.
Studios for TSN Radio 1050 are located at 9 Channel Nine Court in Scarborough, Ontario where TSN's television operations are based. This allows for programs broadcast on TSN Radio 1050 to simultaneously air on TSN or TSN2. TSN Radio 1050's secondary studios are located at Bell Media Radio Toronto's studios located at 250 Richmond Street West in Downtown Toronto (which also houses sister radio stations, 104.5 CHUM-FM, Virgin 99.9 and CFRB Newstalk 1010) which is adjacent to 299 Queen Street West (where Bell Media's specialty channels such as MuchMusic and CP24 are based, as well as CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show, etalk and The Social).
Weekday programming begins with Mike Richards hosting The Mike Richards Show from 5:30am-9am (ET). The Mike Richards Show along with Cybulski & Company were expected to be simulcast on TSN2 starting in the fall of 2011, although this has been delayed due to construction for TSN Radio 1050's auxiliary studios at Bell Media's 9 Channel Nine Court headquarters in Agincourt, home of several Bell Media channels including, CFTO-DT and TSN. The Dan Patrick Show was initially announced to follow Mike Richards from 10am-noon and was to be joined in progress, although as of September 2011, this program follows the Mike Richards Show and airs from 9am - 12noon, however Bryan Hayes departed Talk 640 Toronto to host a show at the aforementioned time, displacing Dan Patrick from the time-slot, although this program currently airs from 12-noon-4pm From noon-1pm Steve Kouleas hosts That's Hockey 2Day. During the NHL off-season, Bryan Hayes' show fills its time slot. The Jim Rome Show was initially scheduled to air from 1pm-4pm, however Dan Patrick instead aired on tape delay in that time slot.
From 2011-2013, James Cybulski hosted the afternoon program Cybulski and Company from 4pm-7pm. with Bruce Arthur co-hosting the show on Mondays. On February 13, 2013, the station revamped its lineup, replacing Cybulski with Dave Naylor, who hosted the newly-introduced TSN Drive. After 7pm, TSN Radio 1050 features a combination of live sports offering, and post-game shows Scott Macarthur, formerly of The Team 1200, and Jim Tatti co-hosts a Canadian version of GameNight, which airs from 7pm-11pm. 11pm onward TSN Radio 1050 airs ESPN Radio's AllNight with Jason Smith. while on Friday nights TSN Radio 1050 would air a one-hour program called Sports Beats from 11pm-midnight, followed by various ESPN Radio programming thereafter until 9 AM Saturday.
On February 22, 2016, CHUM introduced a revamped weekday lineup; Dave Naylor was moved to mornings alongside Michael Landsberg, with Mike Richards moved to afternoons. Andi Petrillo became host of Leafs Lunch, while Bryan Hayes, Jamie McLennan, and Jeff O'Neil became hosts of the new drive-time program Overdrive.
Weekend programming primarily consists of programming from ESPN Radio. On Saturday's a one-hour program called Golf Talk Canada airs from 9:00am – 10:00am, On Sunday's TSN Radio 1050 airs a one-hour program called Fast Talk which airs from 7am-8am followed by The International Sports Report which airs from 8am-10am and a live weekend program called TSN 1050 Gameday, hosted by Mike Hogan and Matt Cauz, airs from 10am-7pm. As of October 9, 2011, Live Audio Wrestling began to air Monday mornings from 12:00am–2:00am.
Additionally, TSN Radio 1050 is the official local radio broadcaster for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League during the 2011 and 2012 seasons as well as golf's The British Open, The U.S. Open, EURO 2012 and EURO 2016 as part of TSN's broadcasting rights for the events. TSN Radio 1050 has simulcasted ESPN Radio's broadcast of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. For the 2011 NFL season, TSN Radio 1050 has secured the broadcast rights of NFL on Westwood One. In 2012, TSN Radio 1050 also secured the broadcast rights for Premier League soccer.
Beginning in the 2012-13 season, the station also shares rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs with The Fan 590. Since the beginning of the 2012–13 AHL season, the station has also broadcast Toronto Marlies hockey games.
After the format shift, reception to TSN Radio 1050 was generally positive. Toronto Sports Media wrote:
|“||"I think all and all it was a solid start. It seemed to prove to me that there is a lot more talent in this city than I originally thought."||”|
|“||"Basically, after day two I can say so far so good. It’s nice having listening options the same way we have paper and television options.."||”|
Corey Longo of SportsHaze wrote:
|“||"If (Cybulski and Company) is TSN’s answer to Prime Time Sports, then Prime Time better start to go Big Time. The Cybulski show is good, it has a cool concept and a unique take, with some great guests. It will take a while for sure, but I do think that Bob will eventually have some competition."||”|
Meanwhile, Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun positively opined that:
|“||"Now that there are two full-time sports radio networks, I'm confused. Not sure who to listen to anymore."||”|
However Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star was more melancholy:
|“||"As for their tagline, “The evolution of sports radio,” it really is more of the same. So far, there’s very little to distinguish it from the competition. The most “next gen” thing I’ve seen is that because the signal is so weak, I’ve been mostly listening on the computer or through TSN’s new iPad app, which launched five days before their radio station did, and is pretty great."||”|
In addition, Bruce Dowbiggin of The Globe and Mail suggested that the on-air talent was simply a rehash of past and failed hosts:
|“||"We’ve been listening to the evolution of sports radio on TSN Radio 1050. Mike Richards. Mike Hogan. Jim Tatti. Steve Kouleas. Hmm. If that’s evolution then Usual Suspects is a creationist. What it does indicate, however, is the lack of new sports broadcasting talent in the land. Outside of Bryan Hayes, it’s otherwise been a green launch for TSN Radio: recycle, recycle, recycle. No wonder every print guy without a speech impediment is being thrust into the breach. Proving it’s one thing to want to change the same old-same-old on your TV or radio show, it’s another thing to find someone new and worth hearing."||”|
CHUM-AM has had several homes since 1945: