CHUM Limited

CHUM Limited
Public (TSX: CHM)
Industry Media
Fate Media assets sold to CTVglobemedia in 2007 (subsequently sold to Bell Canada in 2011 under Bell Media) with Citytv assets going to Rogers Media
Founded 1945
Defunct 2007 (as corporate)
2011 (CHUM name ceased)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Key people
Jay Switzer, President and CEO
Products Media, Broadcasting
Website CHUM Limited

CHUM Limited was a media company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from 1945 to 2007. Immediately prior to its acquisition, it held full or joint control of two Canadian television systems—Citytv and A-Channel (formerly NewNet, now CTV Two)—comprising 11 local stations, and one CBC Television (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) affiliate, one provincial educational channel, and 20 branded specialty television channels, most notably MuchMusic and its various spinoffs. In addition, CHUM controlled 33 radio stations across Canada. At various points in its history, CHUM owned other radio stations and ATV/Atlantic Satellite Network in Atlantic Canada.

CHUM was taken over by Bell Globemedia (now Bell Media), owner of the CTV Television Network in July 2006. Regulatory approval was made conditional on the sale of CHUM's five Citytv stations to Rogers Communications. CTVglobemedia took control of CHUM's other assets effective June 22, 2007. The company itself has since been renamed CTV Limited (now CTV Inc.) and continues operation as a subsidiary of Bell Media. Its radio broadcasting division, CHUM Radio has since became Bell Media Radio after Bell Canada took control of CTV's assets, thus becoming Bell Media. Its Toronto radio stations TSN RADIO 1050 and 104.5 CHUM-FM continues use "CHUM" as their station's call sign. However, CHUM no longer operates as a broadcasting company separate from its new parent. The headquarters were located at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto, the famous CHUM-City Building, Today it is used by Bell Media.

With the sale of CTVglobemedia to Bell Canada as announced in September 2010 (pending CRTC and Competition Bureau approval), Bell would (if approved) take control of most of CHUM's former assets for the first time.[1] And CTVglobemedia became known as Bell Media in April 1, 2011, after the deal to purchase the stations was finalized and the CHUM name was completely phased out from its new entity.



CHUM-City Building

CHUM Limited began its operations when CHUM-AM was founded in 1945 by four Toronto businessmen, including Al Leary, a former sportscaster, who had been the station manager at CKCL for 14 years.[2] CHUM received its licence in late November 1944 to operate a station with 1000 watts.[3] CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station under York Broadcasters Limited on 28 October 1945,[4] 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.[5]

Allan Waters, a salesman from Part's patent medicine business took control of CHUM-AM in 1954. 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. On April 17, 1959, 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. CHUM-FM 104.5, however, began broadcasting in 1963 under the Classical Music/Fine Arts format. 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.

Entering into the television world

The company expanded into television holdings for the first time when it gained a one-third interest in CBC affiliate CKVR-TV, a station was founded by Ralph Snelgrove, whose first initial and that of his wife, Valerie, form part of the station's callsign in Barrie. (It acquired a second one-third share in 1968, eventually gained control in 1970).

On May 12, 1967, under the corporate name CHUM Limited, Allan Waters took the rapidly expanding company public. At the same time, Alex Forbes was appointed to the Board of Directors of CHUM Limited, while it received approval to acquire Ottawa’s Radio CFRA Limited and control of two key stations in the market: CFRA-AM and CFMO-FM. CHUM-AM 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 under the CHUM-City Christmas Wish and currently, CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish.

CITY-TV – the Toronto UHF station launched with great flair and style in 1972 by Moses Znaimer – ran into financial debt by 1975. Multiple Access Ltd. (the owners of CFCF in Montreal) purchased 45% of the station in 1977, and sold its stake to CHUM Limited three years later. CITY was purchased outright by CHUM in 1981 with the sale of Moses Znaimer's interest in the station.[6] CITY and the other CHUM-owned television stations moved to the headquarters at 299 Queen Street West, which became one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. The CHUM Radio Building at 1331 Yonge Street remained CHUM Limited corporate headquarters.

The specialty additions

Over the years, CHUM Limited has expanded into many television holdings between 1984 and 1999 such as MuchMusic, Star!, Space!, Bravo!, CP24, SexTV: The Channel, FashionTelevisionChannel, Canadian Learning Television, and many others. However, in September 1995, CKVR was disaffiliated with the CBC after 30 years,[7] and re-launched it as an independent station[8] with a more youthful image in order to generate interest from viewers in the neighbouring Toronto market, where CKVR had long been available on basic cable. This included adopting a news format similar to the CityPulse newscasts on sister station CITY-TV, replacing its various classic TV shows with more contemporary series, and picking up a package of games for the Toronto Raptors, Toronto's then-new NBA franchise.[9] The resulting station became known as The New VR. The same year, the CHUM Radio Network was established to deliver syndicated radio programs across Canada.

The experiment was successful enough that CHUM replicated CKVR's format on several stations it had acquired from Baton Broadcasting in 1997, including CHRO in Pembroke, CFPL in London, CKNX in Wingham, and CHWI in Windsor. Most of these stations were also former CBC affiliates, and all were in markets where CKVR's sister station, CITY-TV, were already available on basic cable. CIVI in Victoria, British Columbia was added into the system by CHUM at its launch in October 2001. A month prior, CHUM bought CKVU from Canwest Global when it became Citytv Vancouver on July 22, 2002. Prior to CHUM's acquisition of CKVU, some Citytv programming was syndicated to KVOS in nearby Bellingham, Washington.


Moses Znaimer retired from active management at CHUM in April 2003, and briefly continued to work on projects with the company, before moving on to other ventures such as ZoomerMedia.

On December 1, 2004, CHUM purchased Craig Media Inc., which owned five local TV stations, mainly in the Prairies, and three digital specialty services, for $265 million CAD. While Craig's three largest stations were integrated into Citytv, Craig's Toronto station CKXT-TV (then branded "Toronto 1", now Sun TV) was sold to Quebecor. In addition to its own stations, CHUM was one of several sources (alongside CanWest's CH / E! and Global TV) providing syndicated programming to independently owned CBC and CTV affiliates.

As CHUM announced in February 2005 that the NewNet stations would be relaunched as A-Channel by that fall, the rebrand took place on August 2, 2005, the same date when the former A-Channel stations in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, recently acquired by CHUM from Craig Media, were relaunched as Citytv.[10] The change reflected a shift towards a more traditional broadcasting model at these stations. At the same time, CHUM announced plans to consolidate the master control departments for CKVR, CFPL, CHRO, CHWI and CKNX at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto, and to consolidate the traffic and programming departments at CFPL in London, resulting in the loss of approximately nine staff members from CKVR. The switch occurred on June 3, 2005.

Allan Waters stepped down from the CHUM Limited Board of Directors in October and became an honorary director. On December 3, 2005, Allan Waters died in Toronto at the age of 84. Following tributes from across Canada, more than 2,000 attended a celebration of his life at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre.

Sale to CTVglobemedia

Wikinews has related news: Canadian media company Bell Globemedia to acquire rival CHUM

On July 12, 2006, CHUM announced that it had agreed to a takeover by Bell Globemedia, renamed CTVglobemedia and now Bell Media, (herein abbreviated "CTV" or "CTVgm" for brevity), in a transaction valuing CHUM at $1.7 billion CAD. The takeover required approval from two regulatory bodies, the Competition Bureau, which approved the transaction on March 2,[11] and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which held a public hearing beginning April 30, 2007 in Gatineau.[12]

CTVgm's takeover bid was completed on October 30, although CHUM was immediately in a blind trust under lawyer John McKellar.[13]

Immediately following the announcement, CHUM separately announced 281 layoffs, primarily at its local stations in western Canada; local newscasts (other than Breakfast Television and the Noon News in Calgary and Edmonton) at all Citytv stations in the region were immediately pulled. CHUM claims the layoffs were part of an ongoing process to streamline its operations and not directly related to the takeover.

On June 8, 2007, the CRTC approved the CTV takeover of CHUM. However, the CRTC made the deal conditional on CTV divesting itself of Citytv rather than A-Channel. This consequently voided the Rogers deal; on June 11, 2007, Rogers announced that it has agreed to buy the Citytv stations. CTV said it would keep all other assets, except CHUM's interest in MusiquePlus/MusiMax, and potentially CKX-TV and CLT.

The sale of the CHUM Limited properties to CTVglobemedia was completed on June 22, 2007 with CTVgm as the sole owner of CHUM. The Citytv stations remained under blind trust awaiting sale to Rogers Media (see below).

Following the takeover less than a month, Richard Gray was named head of news for the A-Channel stations and CKX-TV (another station in the CHUM acquisition). Gray reports directly to the CTVgm corporate group instead of CTV News to preserve independent news presentation and management. Gray now oversees CKVR and the other news departments; CHRO, CFPL, CKNX, CHWI, CIVI and CKX-TV.[14]

Additional developments

With CHUM Limited dissolved, there were a number of changes. Between 2008 and 2009, Corus Entertainment acquired SexTV: The Channel, CLT, and Drive-In Classics from CTV Ltd. for an estimated worth $73 million and $40 million each. However, it was announced that CTVglobemedia would be selling CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba to Bluepoint Investment Corporation for a dollar. But that station was closed down on October 2, 2009, after Bluepoint rejected the deal the day before. At the same time, they shut down CKNX-TV.

For Citytv, the transaction was worth of $375 million. Media analysts have suggested that with a more powerful media conglomerate such as Rogers behind them, that the Citytv stations will effectively become Canada's fourth full-fledged commercial television network, in effect if not immediately in name. The Citytv transaction was approved by the CRTC on September 28, 2007, and Rogers officially became Citytv's new owner on October 31. Rogers subsequently purchased 33 Dundas Street East, the former Olympic Spirit building, located at the edge of Dundas Square for the use of its Toronto television stations, and CITY-TV moved out from 299 Queen Street West into the new facility on September 8, 2009. In 2010, CP24 extended their 5:00pm newscast after the announcement regarding their massive firings taking place at Rogers Media's Citytv stations across Canada including the cancellation of Citytv Toronto's CityNews at Five. That same year, Corus relaunched CLT as "Viva", then OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on March 1, 2011. As well, Star! will be relaunched as E! on November 29, 2010 after CTV announced it had signed a multi-year deal with Comcast. CHUM eventually acquired CFXJ-FM from Milestone Radio that same year since the sale to CTVgm.

As Shaw Communications purchasing the Global Television Network and the Canwest television properties, Vidéotron launching its wireless telephone network with video content as a key selling point,[15] and the enormous popularity of wireless and Internet video and other media streams at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics,[16] Bell once again sought to bring a content provider into its portfolio. It was announced to re-acquire 100% of the company's broadcasting arm in September 2010, including CTV Limited. Under the deal, Woodbridge, Torstar, and Teachers' received $1.3 billion in either cash or equity in BCE, while BCE will also assume $1.7 billion in debt (BCE's existing equity interest is $200 million, for a total transaction value of $3.2 billion). Woodbridge will simultaneously regain majority control of The Globe and Mail, with Bell retaining a 15% interest. The deal is expected to close by mid-2011 pending CRTC approval. CTVglobemedia officially became Bell Media when the deal was finalized on April 1, 2011. At the same time, CHUM Limited / CTV Limited became CTV Inc. (now Bell Media Inc.). and CHUM Radio became Bell Media Radio.

Corporate governance

The last board of directors of CHUM Limited were: Gordon Craig, Denise Donlon, Lawrence Lamb, John Mattenley, Fred Sherratt, Robert Sutherland, Jay Switzer, Catherine Tait, James Waters (chairman), Marjorie Waters, and Ron Waters. Allan Waters retired from the board on October 29, 2005.[17][18]

Radio stations at time of sale

City Call Sign Frequency Format
Brockville CJPT FM 103.7 "Bob FM" adult hits
CFJR FM 104.9 "JR FM" adult contemporary
Calgary CKCE FM 101.5 "Energy FM" hot adult contemporary
Edmonton CHBN FM 91.7 "The Bounce" rhythmic top 40 (Co-owned with Milestone Radio)
Halifax CJCH AM 920 oldies
CIOO FM 100.1 "C100" hot adult contemporary
Kingston CKLC AM 1380 oldies
CFLY FM 98.3 "FLY-FM" hot adult contemporary
Kawartha Lakes CKLY FM 91.9 "Bob FM" adult hits
London CHST FM 102.3 "Bob FM" adult hits
Montreal CKGM AM 990 "The Team 990" sports
Ottawa CFRA AM 580 news/talk
CFGO AM 1200 "The Team 1200" sports
CKKL FM 93.9 "Bob FM" adult hits
CJMJ FM 100.3 "Majic 100" adult contemporary
Peterborough CKPT AM 1420 "1420 Memories" oldies
CKQM FM 105.1 "Country 105"
Toronto CHUM AM 1050 oldies
CHUM-FM FM 104.5 "CHUM-FM" hot adult contemporary
Vancouver CKST AM 1040 "The Team 1040" sports
CFUN AM 1410 news/talk
CHQM FM 103.5 "QMFM" adult contemporary
Victoria CFAX AM 1070 news/talk
CHBE FM 107.3 "Kool FM" hot adult contemporary
Waterloo CKKW AM 1090 "Oldies 1090"
CFCA FM 105.3 "Kool FM" hot adult contemporary
Windsor CKWW AM 580 "Motor City Favorites" oldies
CKLW AM 800 news/talk
CIMX FM 88.7 "89X" modern rock
CIDR FM 93.9 "939 The River" adult album alternative
Winnipeg CFRW AM 1290 oldies
CHIQ FM 94.3 "CURVE 94.3" hot adult contemporary
CFWM FM 99.9 "Bob FM" adult hits

In November, 2004, CHUM and Astral Media filed an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for a subscription radio service in Canada. That application, along with two satellite radio services, were approved by the CRTC on June 16, 2005. While the two satellite services launched soon after the decision, CHUM did not implement its service, the authority for which expired on June 16, 2007 (two years after licensing).

Television stations at time of sale

Local stations



Following CHUM Limited's acquisition by CTVglobemedia, the A-Channel stations were rebranded as CTV Two.


Analogue specialty cable channels

Digital specialty cable channels


Television channels using CHUM trademarks or formats at time of sale


See also


  1. Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  2. "Leary to Manage New Radio Station," Toronto Globe & Mail, 18 November 1944, p. 25
  3. "Announcing a New Radio Station in Toronto", Toronto Globe & Mail, 20 November 1944, p. 2
  4. Frank Chamberlain, "Radio Column", Toronto Globe & Mail, 27 October 1945, p. 13
  5. Frank Chamberlain, "Radio Column," Toronto Globe & Mail, 30 August 1945, p. 11
  6. Znaimer steps down as president of CHUM TV, Broadcaster Magazine, April 27, 2003.
  7. "News Briefs: Rogers deal goes to CRTC". Playback Magazine. August 28, 1995. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  8. "Decision CRTC 94-745". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. September 14, 1994. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  9. "Network: A honey of a Raptor". =Playback Magazine. December 4, 1995. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  10. CHUM Announcement – Local Stations Being Renamed as A-Channel
  11. CTV press release, March 2, 2007
  12. Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2007-3, CRTC, March 1, 2007
  13. CHUM trustee to take on starring role in takeover, Grant Robertson and Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail, August 2, 2006; copy of article hosted by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
  14. CTVglobemedia
  15. Marlow, Iain (2010-09-10). "Bell's Big Bet". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on 13 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-11.
  16. McNish, Jacquie; Paul Waldie (2010-09-11). "Olympic moment turned Bell CEO into champion for mobile media". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on 13 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-11.

Coordinates: 43°38′59″N 79°23′25″W / 43.649701°N 79.390233°W / 43.649701; -79.390233

External links

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