The End of an Era: The CFTR Story, Part 1 | June 4, 1993

680 Toronto CFTR

680 Toronto CFTR

For more than two decades, CFTR had been known for being one of TWO contemporary hit music stations in Toronto. The other was the legendary 1050 CHUM. CHUM moved away from Top 40 in 1986 in favor of an Adult Contemporary format, leaving CFTR alone as Toronto’s Top 40 station.

It all came to an end on Monday, June 6, 1993 when CFTR became 680 News. Leading into the change, was a weekend countdown of the Top 500 songs of the past 25 years. There was a conspicuous lack of jocks this particular weekend. The countdown was simply voiced by someone unnamed, and there were promos running all weekend long for listeners to tune in Monday morning for the new News format. One promo even suggested listeners tune down the dial to AM 640, which by then, was doing a Rhythmic leaning CHR format!

The CFTR ‘Story’ isn’t much of a story, at least on air. It was simply a music countdown. No celebrations marking the event, no old airchecks, no personalities to look back at CFTR’s storied history. In all, this was simply for the music, and apparently something just to mark time between when the jocks were let go (presumably that previous Friday) and when the News anchors began.

Still, if you want to re-live the Summer of 1993, or for that matter, the 1980s – since much of the music in this countdown is 80s-based, this is definitely worth your time.


  1. Alex

    Wow. This started exactly a week after I was born (May 28th). Incredible!

  2. Aardvark

    While I had a sister living in Toronto just about a year when this was recorded, I did not travel up to Toronto for the first time until November 1995 and CFTR was already all news. However, I do remember listening to 1050 CHUM in April 1996, when it was still a music station, in a rental car that had an AM stereo receiver. I was very impressed with the quality of the audio. But this is no different than the demise of stations WABC and WNBC in New York. Music on AM just could not compete with the fidelity of FM. And even now some of the all talk AM in New York is moving to FM because of the better propagation in many areas such as in tunnels where FM is rebroadcast (WEPN-FM 98.7 and WFAN-FM 101.9). WFAN-FM 101.9 ditched the HD encoder and stereo from the days when it was WQCD and WRXP, and is strictly a mono broadcast now. Definitely a better signal-to-noise ratio in fringe areas but it seems such a waste of good FM broadcast spectrum.

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