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101.3 Virgin Radio Logo.svg
CityHalifax, Nova Scotia
Broadcast areaHalifax Regional Municipality
Branding101.3 Virgin Radio
SloganHalifax's #1 Hit Music Station
Frequency101.3 MHz
First air dateNovember 14, 1944 (AM)
May 30, 2008 (FM)
FormatTop 40 (CHR)
ERP43,000 watts vertical polarization:
100,000 watts horizontal polarization
HAAT160.1 meters (525 ft)
Call sign meaningCJ Chronicle-Herald (Newspaper)
Former call signsCJCH (1944-2008)
Former frequencies920 kHz (AM) (1944-2008)
OwnerBell Media
(Bell Media Radio)
Sister stationsCIOO-FM, CJCH-DT

CJCH-FM (101.3 MHz) is a commercial radio station in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The station broadcasts a Top 40/CHR radio format branded on-air as "101.3 Virgin Radio," and is owned by Bell Media. CJCH's studios and offices are located at the intersection of Russell and Agricola Streets in Halifax (behind TV sister station CJCH). The transmitter is located on Washmill Lake Drive in Clayton Park.

CJCH-FM is currently the only Top 40 outlet in the Halifax market, as Energy 103.5, which it competed with, flipped to Country in September 2015.

Station history

AM 920 Early Years

The station was established on November 14, 1944 by The Halifax Chronicle at 920 AM.[1] It was the second radio station to sign on in Halifax, after CHNS, founded in 1926. By the 1960s, CJCH was broadcasting with 10,000 watts by day and 5,000 watts at night. In 1961, it put a TV station on the air, CJCH-TV, which later that year became a CTV Network affiliate.

CJCH-AM-TV were acquired in 1970 by Toronto-based CHUM Limited, which owned stations across Canada. In 1997, CHUM Ltd. sold the television station to CTV. (On June 22, 2007, the approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) of the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia has again brought the stations under common ownership.)

Top 40 and Classic Rock

Through the 1960s and 70s, CJCH was a popular Top 40 station, the first to play all contemporary hits in the Halifax area. In 1983, it began broadcasting in AM Stereo, the first in Atlantic Canada. In the 1970s, it had a rivalry with AM 960 CHNS in the Top 40 format. But in the 1980s, listening to contemporary music shifted to the FM dial. In 1986, CJCH flipped to an oldies-based adult contemporary format, as it focused on listeners who had grown up with the station but were now over 40. In August, 1993, the station switched to a Classic Rock format as "Arrow 92" (with Arrow standing for All Rock and Roll Oldies). In January 1994, CJCH switched its moniker to "All Rock and Roll Oldies 92/CJCH." In May 1995, it flipped to a hybrid talk and oldies format. By the end of that year, the talk programming took over the entire schedule. The station was known as "News/Talk Radio 920/CJCH". In 1978, CJCH got a boost to 25,000 watts around the clock, making it Halifax's second highest powered AM station after CFDR radio which was at 50,000 watts.[2]

Sports and Oldies

In 2001, CHUM Ltd. started a sports radio network known as "The Team." CJCH joined this network and became "The Team 920" on May 7. On August 27, 2002, The Team network was shut down and CJCH flipped to an oldies format, becoming "AM 920/CJCH - Yesterday's Favourites."

In July 2006, 960 CHNS, an oldies station since February 1992, switched to the FM band and adopted a classic rock format (now airing classic hits). As a result, CJCH became the only oldies station in Halifax. Its oldies format was unique in that it ran a mid-morning call-in program called "The Hotline" with host Rick Howe (now with CJNI-FM).

Moving to FM

In 2007, CTVglobemedia acquired CJCH and CIOO. On August 31, CTVglobemedia applied to the CRTC to move CJCH from AM 920 to FM 101.3. The CRTC approval was given on November 30, 2007.[3] The application originally indicated that CJCH would retain its oldies format. Industry Canada required a three-week test on 101.3 FM, which began on May 8, 2008.

former CJCH logo as a news/talk station
"101.3 The Bounce" logo (2008-2016)

On May 30, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., the last oldies song finished playing on 920 CJCH as the station went silent on AM. The new station launched on 101.3 FM with a CHR format, branded as "101.3 The Bounce." The first song aired was Kanye West's "Stronger". The station did not take advantage of its right to simulcast on both frequencies for three months as is customary in such cases.

The new FM station was in direct competition with CKHZ-FM, which had a musical direction leaning to Rhythmic and Dance product, targeted towards young adults. CJCH-FM's "Bounce" logo and fonts were patterned after CHBN in Edmonton, which, until 2010, was under the same ownership as CJCH. With CKHZ adopting an Adult Top 40 direction in March 2013 (which lasted until it flipped to Country music in September 2015), CJCH moved towards a Rhythmic-leaning direction, but remained within the Mainstream CHR realm. The move was also in part to avoid overlapping with co-owned CIOO, though the two stations share some titles.

On April 1, 2011, Bell Canada completed its acquisition of 100% of the shares in CTVglobemedia it didn't already own and named the new division Bell Media.

Virgin Radio

First Virgin Radio logo (2016-2019)

On July 26, 2016, CJCH-FM began promoting a "major change" to the station to take place on July 29th at 1:00 p.m.. At that time, after playing "Sorry" by Justin Bieber, CJCH-FM rebranded as "101.3 Virgin Radio", becoming the ninth station in Canada to use the "Virgin" branding, after sister stations in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Kitchener, and Victoria. (The Kitchener station, CFCA, rebranded as "Virgin" at the same time as CJCH.) The first song on "Virgin" was "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris.[4][5][6]


External links