Last updated
CHOM 2010.png
City Montreal, Quebec
Broadcast area Greater Montreal
BrandingCHOM 97-7
Slogan The Spirit of Rock
Frequency 97.7 MHz
First air dateJuly 16, 1963 (as CKGM-FM)
October 19, 1971 (as CHOM-FM)
Format Mainstream rock
ERP 41,200 watts
HAAT 297.4 meters (976 ft)
Class C1
Transmitter coordinates 45°30′20.16″N73°35′30.12″W / 45.5056000°N 73.5917000°W / 45.5056000; -73.5917000
Callsign meaning Arbitrary coinage
Owner Bell Media
(Bell Media Radio)
Webcast Listen Live

CHOM-FM is an English language radio station located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Owned and operated by Bell Media, it broadcasts on 97.7 MHz from the Mount Royal candelabra tower, with an effective radiated power of 41,200 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna, while its studios are located at the Bell Media Building at 1717 René Lévesque Boulevard East in Downtown Montreal.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.


The station has a mainstream rock format since the station started using the brand name CHOM, and is sometimes pronounced /ˈʃm/ SHOHM as if it were a French word, but other Bell Media Radio personalities have also pronounced it as /ˈɒm/ CHOM.

Mainstream rock is a radio format used by many commercial radio stations in the United States and Canada.

A radio format or programming format describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. In countries where radio spectrum use is legally regulated, formats may have a legal status where stations are licensed to transmit only specific formats.


Early years (1963-1974)

CKGM-FM, as the station was originally known, was founded by Geoff Stirling as a sister station to AM station CKGM, and opened on July 16, 1963. After a few weeks as a simulcast of CKGM, CKGM-FM launched a beautiful music format on September 1, 1963.

Geoffrey William Stirling was a Canadian-American businessman and media magnate, best known for his work in his home city of St. John's, Newfoundland.

AM broadcasting radio broadcasting using amplitude modulation

AM broadcasting is a radio broadcasting technology, which employs amplitude modulation (AM) transmissions. It was the first method developed for making audio radio transmissions, and is still used worldwide, primarily for medium wave transmissions, but also on the longwave and shortwave radio bands.

CKGM Radio station in Montreal

CKGM is an English language AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, owned by Bell Media Radio. Formerly an affiliate of sports radio network "The Team," it was one of three stations to retain the sports radio format after the network folded in 2002 until it switched to the TSN Radio branding as in October 2011. CKGM has been an all-sports station since May 2001. Its studios and offices are located on René Lévesque Boulevard East in Downtown Montreal.

On October 28, 1969 CKGM-FM changed its format to album-oriented rock. On-air advertising was kept at a minimum. The first song played by Doug Pringle after the format switch was Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra", followed by The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun". [1] The station would change its call sign to CHOM-FM almost two years later, on October 19, 1971. [1]

Album-oriented rock (AOR) is an American FM radio format focusing on album tracks by rock artists. AOR evolved from progressive rock radio in the mid-1970s, using research and formal programming to create an album rock format with greater commercial appeal.

Richard Strauss German composer

Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; his tone poems, including Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony; and other instrumental works such as Metamorphosen and his Oboe Concerto. Strauss was also a prominent conductor in Western Europe and the Americas, enjoying quasi-celebrity status as his compositions became standards of orchestral and operatic repertoire.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most influential band of all time. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and they experimented with a number of musical styles in later years, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

Going bilingual (1974-1977)

In 1974, CHOM-FM proposed to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission a plan in which the station would become bilingual (English/French). The CRTC accepted this plan but only on an experimental basis that would last three years; it also blocked a plan to implement quadraphonic broadcasting. In 1977, the station was forced by the CRTC to opt between the two languages, and after considering becoming a French-language station, it finally reverted to English full-time. On-air advertising steadily increased during the late 1970s. Furthermore, CHOM's original format of AOR and "underground" rock tunes (many of which were longer than the average 3 minutes in length) changed to include the playing of more top 40-type hits. Undoubtedly, record companies also began to complain that the playing of entire albums on air cut into their revenue as more and more listeners had access to cassette recorders.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is a public organization in Canada with mandate as a regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications. It was created in 1976 when it took over responsibility for regulating telecommunication carriers. Prior to 1976, it was known as the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, which was established in 1968 by the Parliament of Canada to replace the Board of Broadcast Governors. Its headquarters is located in the Central Building of Les Terrasses de la Chaudière in Gatineau, Quebec.

Rise and fall and CHUM takeover (1979-2002)

CHOM-FM became increasingly popular, and in 1979 surpassed sister station CKGM in Bureau of Broadcast Measurement ratings. Both stations were sold to CHUM Limited on August 20, 1985.

CHUM Limited was a Canadian media company based in Toronto, Ontario in operation from 1945 to 2007. It held full or joint control of two Canadian television systems—Citytv and A-Channel —comprising 11 local stations, one CBC Television affiliate, one provincial educational channel, and 20 branded specialty television channels, most notably MuchMusic and its various spinoffs. In addition, CHUM owned 33 radio stations across Canada under its CHUM Radio Network division. At various points in its history, CHUM also owned other radio stations as well as ATV and the Atlantic Satellite Network in Atlantic Canada.

Promotional bumper sticker distributed in the 1990s by CHOM-FM with its 1990s logo (an updated version of the 1980s cursive logo). Logo facelifts were made in the 1990s until its retirement in 2002. Chom.jpg
Promotional bumper sticker distributed in the 1990s by CHOM-FM with its 1990s logo (an updated version of the 1980s cursive logo). Logo facelifts were made in the 1990s until its retirement in 2002.

The station acquired the rights to the syndicated show by Howard Stern which made its debut on CHOM-FM on September 2, 1997 amid much controversy as he launched himself on his very first show heard in Montreal in an anti-Francophone/anti-French tirade. His show was cancelled a year later, on August 27, 1998, after numerous complaints to the CRTC about politically incorrect remarks interpreted by complainants as sexist and homophobic.

Return to their classic rock direction and Standard Radio takeover (2002-2007)

2002 - 2010 CHOM.png
2002 - 2010

Effective in January 2002, the station was sold to Standard Broadcasting, which already owned CJAD and CJFM-FM in Montreal, in exchange for Standard's CFWM-FM in Winnipeg.

Astral takeover and new direction (2007-2013)

Ownership changed hands again when on October 29, 2007, Astral Media took control of Standard Broadcasting and its assets.

On October 19, 2010, CHOM-FM celebrated its 40th anniversary as a radio station.

On June 22, 2011, it was announced that Terry DiMonte will be making a return to the station, however it is unlikely that he and Ted Bird will reunite on air. [2]

Bell Media

On July 2013, Astral Media was acquired and dissolved by Bell Media. [3] CHOM-FM has been reunited with its original AM station CKGM which CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media) acquired from CHUM in 2007.

On September 22, 2017, longtime radio personality TooTall (Robert Wagenaar) retired from his mid-day show after over 40 years at CHOM-FM. [4] His replacement is Randy Renaud, a 30 year veteran of the radio station. [5]

Branding history

1963-1971: CKGM-FM
1971-1980s: CHOM-FM MONTREAL (with logo having a heart in a circle)
1980s: chom 98 ROCK
1990s-2002: Montreal's Home for Classic Rock: CHOM 97.7 fm
2002–Present: CHOM 97-7 (even since logo change in 2010, the branding is unchanged from 2002.)


When first launched in 1963, CHOM-FM (then known as CKGM-FM) was originally based at 1455 Drummond Street in Montreal, along with the AM CKGM. Like CKGM, it moved to 1310 Greene Avenue in Westmount in the late 1960s.

In 1972, CHOM relocated across the street to 1355 Greene Avenue, while CKGM opted to stay at 1310 Greene. CHOM eventually returned to the CKGM building a few years later and remained located there until its acquisition by Standard Broadcasting in 2002. At this point, CHOM-FM was moved to 1411 Fort Street in Montreal (the building that housed Standard's other two existing Montreal radio stations, CJFM-FM and CJAD).

In September 2012, Astral Media relocated its local English-language radio stations (including CHOM-FM) to its French-language radio studios at 1717 René Lévesque Boulevard East in Montreal.

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  1. 1 2
  3. "CRTC approves Bell-Astral merger". CBC. Retrieved 5 July 2013.