Gerry Forbes, 1050 CHUM Toronto | October 18-19, 1988

Russ HortonDate of Recording: October 18-19, 1988
Contributor: Russ Horton
Station: 1050 CHUM Toronto
Featured Air Talent: Gerry Forbes, Greg Lee (Jocks), Paul Cross (News), Mary Garafallo (Traffic), Robby Evans (Weather)
Aircheck Entry: 1,402


If there was any doubt that AM radio was still vibrant and strong in 1988, at least in Canada, this should remove all of it.

For any who may not be familiar with 1050 CHUM, this was one of two very successful Top 40 stations in the city of Toronto on the AM dial. Primarily in the 1960s and 1970s, CHUM and 680 CFTR duked it out for ratings superiority as both churned out the hit songs every hour for many decades. By the 1980s, music on AM was on the decline, eclipsed by the success of FM CHR formats in the United States. But in Canada, AM hung on, in part, because Canadian Radio’s regulatory body, the CTRC, stubbornly refused to allow stations to change to talk oriented formats until later in the 1990s. Americans might not understand this at all, but its important to understand that in Canada, government regulators don’t just license radio stations to a community, they also license FORMATS to a community. I know, I don’t completely understand it either. But Canadian radio stations also have other legal issues to deal with, such as being required to play a certain percentage of what they call “Canadian Content” – rules which seem petty in America but by the rule’s proponents, is essential (or was, as the internet has done much to undermine the intent of this law) for the success of Canadian artists who might not otherwise get a shot at success if they were to rely on the American music industry alone.

We’re off subject.

In 1988, this sample of CHUM sounds as good as any FM music station in the States… or Canada. Perhaps even better, given that by this time in history, American FM stations largely were giving up on the full-service aspects of the format outside of morning drive. 1050 CHUM was holding on and would for a bit longer. Today it is All-Sports TSN – which is essentially Canada’s version of ESPN.

This aircheck is courtesy of new Contributor Russ Horton (in the photo above). Russ is a veteran broadcaster who has an enormous number of original recordings which he wishes to share via our website. Horton founded many years ago after a successful over-the-air broadcasting career and is currently heard on a new station.