City Toronto, Ontario
Branding Newstalk 1010
Slogan Toronto's breaking news, traffic, and weather.
Frequency 1010 kHz (AM)
6.07 MHz (Shortwave)
First air date February 19, 1927
Format News, Talk
Power 50,000 watts
Class A
Transmitter coordinates 43°30′39.67″N 79°37′48.07″W / 43.5110194°N 79.6300194°W / 43.5110194; -79.6300194
Callsign meaning Canada's First Rogers Batteryless
Owner Bell Media
(Bell Media Radio G.P.)
Sister stations TV: CFTO-DT, CP24, CKVR-DT (Barrie)

CFRB, branded as In-Depth Radio Newstalk 1010, is an AM radio clear-channel station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, broadcasting a news/talk format on 1010 kHz, with a shortwave radio simulcast on CFRX on 6.07 MHz on the 49m band. CFRB's studios are located in the Entertainment District at 250 Richmond Street West, a building which is adjacent to 299 Queen Street West, while its 4-tower transmitter array is located in the Clarkson neighbourhood of Mississauga.


Founded in 1927, CFRB was not Toronto's very first broadcaster, but it is the city's oldest broadcaster still operating today. It has also retained its original call letters from 1927 to the present. (CKYC was on the air from to 1925 to 1996, but only adopted these call letters in 1991 having previously used CKCL and CKEY; its frequency is now occupied by a completely different station, CHKT.)

CFRB was founded by the Rogers Vacuum Tube Company (the precursor of Rogers Communications) to promote Edward S. Rogers, Sr.'s invention of a batteryless radio receiver that could be operated using alternating current and therefore did not need the cumbersome battery that had previously been required. The station itself was a demonstration of Rogers' application of his invention to radio transmitters as well as receivers, a development that allowed for a signal that reproduced voices and music more clearly. The new type of transmitter also made CFRB the world's first all-electric radio station.[1] The letters "RB" in the station's callsign stand for "Rogers' Batteryless" (the letters "CF" form one of Canada's ITU prefixes). The station began transmitting on an experimental basis in January 1927 as 9RB, before being converted to commercial operation a few weeks later, on February 19, with the transmission of a live symphony orchestra concert conducted by Jack Arthur.[2]

During its first years, CFRB leased time to two phantom stations: CNRX, owned by Canadian National Railways and providing programs of Canada's first radio network, and CPRY, owned by the CNR's rival, the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CNR's network was discontinued in 1933 (many of its assets eventually passing to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), and the CPR's in 1935.[3]

CFRB's first studios were in a mansion on Jarvis Street north of Wellesley, built by the family of Hart Massey. In 1929, the station moved to purpose-built studios at 37 Bloor Street West. In the same year, the station became an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System.[3]

In 1932, CFRB began airing the General Motors Hockey Broadcast, which had originated on the CNR's network. This program eventually became Hockey Night in Canada, and continued to be aired by CFRB for many years, despite also airing on CBC's flagship station CBL.[3]

From the 1930s to the 1950s, CFRB was the radio broadcaster for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

CFRB has been broadcast at 1010 kHz on AM radio since 1947. Since 1937, the station has been simulcast on shortwave on CFRX at 6070 kHz.[3]

Following the sudden death of Edward S. Rogers, Sr. in 1939, Rogers Majestic Corporation Limited was sold in 1941 and became Standard Radio Limited. In turn, the company was acquired by Argus Corporation in 1946.[3]

On November 1, 1946, Wally Crouter joined CFRB. He eventually became its morning man, a position he would hold until his retirement on November 1, 1996, after exactly fifty years at the station.[3]

Another long-lasting show was Calling All Britons featuring news, sports scores and music from Britain. It was hosted by Ray Sonin from 1965 until his death in 1991.

In 1965, CFRB moved its studios from 37 Bloor Street West to 2 St. Clair Avenue West (at Yonge Street). At around the same time, Standard Radio Limited was renamed Standard Broadcasting.[3]

The station's former downtown Toronto studios, shared with CHBM-FM (now owned by Newcap) and CKFM-FM.

In 1978, Argus Corporation was acquired by Conrad Black and his brother Montegu, thus also giving them ownership of Standard Broadcasting. In November 1985, Slaight Broadcasting acquired Standard from the Blacks.[3] In October 2007, Slaight sold Standard to Astral Media.[4]

CFRB was the number one station in the Toronto market for many decades according to the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement's ratings. However, it has declined in recent years and in 2006 was rated fifth.[5]

Ted Rogers, the communications mogul and son of CFRB's founder, had vowed to re-acquire the station that his family had lost after his father's death, and considered his failure to do so his greatest disappointment. Reports indicate that he continued to attempt to re-acquire CFRB right up until his death in December 2008.[6]

In July 2013, CFRB was acquired by Bell Media, a subsidiary of Bell Canada (the company which already owns CTV) as a result of a buyout of Astral Media.[7] Shortly after the purchase, Bell announced that it would move the studios and offices of Newstalk 1010 and sister station 99.9 Virgin Radio from their long-time headquarters at St. Clair and Yonge, to 250 Richmond Street West at Richmond and Duncan (which already houses the operations of sister radio stations, TSN Radio 1050 and 104.5 CHUM-FM) a building which is adjacent to 299 Queen Street West located at Queen and John streets (which already houses the operations of several Bell Media specialty television channels including CP24 and MuchMusic).[8] The move took place on May 10, 2014.[9]


The transmitting antennas for CFRB are a prominent landmark along Toronto's waterfront and are visible from over 100 km away. They are used as a landmark for navigation by pilots, on approach to Toronto Pearson International Airport, or to Toronto Island Airport. The antenna array consists of 4 vertical masts, 550 feet in height.[10] Shortwave radio station CFRX, which is affiliated with CFRB, broadcasts at a frequency of 6.07 MHz and is operated on the north end of the same site beside the main building.

CFRB was one of few to broadcast in AM stereo, starting in 1984. However, since AM stereo never achieved wide acceptance, the station deactivated its stereo broadcasting system in the mid-1990s.

The transmitter is located on Royal Windsor Drive, formerly King's Highway 122, 200 meters west of the intersection of Lakeshore Road West (former King's Highway 2) and Southdown Road, in the Clarkson area of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada at the coordinates 43°30′21″N 79°37′54″W / 43.505748°N 79.631786°W / 43.505748; -79.631786.


In early 2007, CFRB reported an increase in ratings since programming changes such as Bill Carroll's assumption of morning show duties from Ted Woloshyn.

However, CFRB's morning show has trailed CBC Radio One's Metro Morning since 2003.[12][13]

In August 2009, CFRB announced it was laying off a number of its well known personalities including Michael Coren, Paul and Carol Mott, Christina Cherneskey, Jacqui Delaney and newscaster Kris McCusker as part of a move to open a "new chapter" at the station.[14]

The second phase of the shake up was announced in the fall with John Moore moving from afternoon drive to morning, replacing Bill Carroll, who moved to the 9 am to 1 pm slot. Jim Richards took over the 1pm to 4pm slot formerly held by The Motts and Michael Coren and former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory (later mayor of Toronto) took over the late afternoon slot vacated by Moore.[15] In 2010, Carroll left CFRB to take a job in Los Angeles and was replaced by Jerry Agar.

Prior to July 2010, CFRB's talk schedule was unlike most private talk radio stations in Canada, in that even in overnights and weekends, it was entirely Canadian, and had no American syndicated programming on its schedule at all. That changed when CFRB added the American-based comedy-talk show The Phil Hendrie Show for overnights.

On the weekend of October 2–3, 2010, a new weekend schedule was revealed which included The Morning Show with Ben Mercer, Saturdays with Ted Woloshyn, Sports Talk with Mike Toth and Sundays with John Downs. As a result, many long running shows were cut, including Tech Talk with Marc Saltzman, Car Talk with Alan Gelman, The Dr. Joe Show, The Spider Jones Show, The Dr. Micky Lester Show and The Morning Show with John Donabie.

In early 2013, the station added Astral's new late night Humble & Fred show.[16]

From February 2012 until November 2013, CFRB aired The City, a Sunday afternoon talk show featuring Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother and city councillor Doug Ford. The show was often controversial and was allegedly used by the Fords as a platform to attack their political enemies, prompting various complaints. The show was cancelled in November 2013 after Mayor Ford admitted using crack cocaine after several months of denials. The Fords were replaced in their time slot by Mark Towhey [17] who had previously been Mayor Ford's Chief of Staff until he was fired by Ford on May 23, 2013[18] at the height of Ford's crack video scandal.[19][20]

Current hosts

Newstalk 1010's Justine Lewkowicz at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Seven Psychopaths





Newscasters & Reporters



  1. "Rogers - Canadian Enterprises". Canadian Heritage Gallery. 1960-01-01. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  2. Paul Cassel VE3SY (2004-02-10). "Toronto Radio Station 9RB - CFRB". Hammond Museum of Radio. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Canadian Communications Foundation - Fondation Des Communications Canadiennes". Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  4. "Astral Media announces signature of letter of intent to acquire Standard Radio". CNW. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  5. Quill, Greg, "CHFI-FM tops on local radio", Toronto Star, December 5, 2006
  6. Pitts, Gordon Ted Rogers dies at 75, The Globe and Mail, December 2, 2008
  7. "CRTC approves Bell-Astral merger". CBC News. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  8. "CFRB to leave landmark St. Clair offices for Queen West". Toronto Star. July 30, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  9. LISTEN: It's our last day at Yonge & St. Clair!, published May 9, 2014
  11. Archived April 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. Renhart, Anthony, "Andy Barrie battles Parkinson's; Popular CBC radio host comes out ‘as a guy with a disability'", Globe and Mail, June 29, 2007
  13. "Metro Morning rated top morning show", Globe and Mail, December 11, 2003
  14. "The Motts, Michael Coren out as CFRB retools - Posted Toronto". Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  15. Granatstein, Rob. "Say goodbye to CFRB as you know it | Comment". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  16. "Humble And Fred Return To Radio Via Astral Media, CFRB". Mediabase, January 14, 2013.
  17. 1 2
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  21. Hammerston, Claude (March 1, 1950). "Drama And Music On CBS". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  22. "Larry Thor, Theater Arts: Los Angeles". calisphere. University of California. Retrieved 30 January 2015.

External links

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