Infobox Radio station
name = CHFI-FM

city = Toronto, Ontario
branding = 98.1 CHFI
slogan = Toronto's Lite Favourites
airdate = 1957
frequency = 98.1 kHz (FM)
format = adult contemporary
power = 44 KW
callsign_meaning = C H i-F I delity
owner = Rogers Communications
website = [ 98.1 CHFI]

CHFI is a Canadian radio station, which broadcasts an adult contemporary format at 98.1 on the FM dial in Toronto, Ontario.

The station was launched in 1957, and was the first FM outlet in Toronto to provide its own distinct programming rather than simulcasting an AM station. CHFI also initially provided a special muzak-like background music service for offices and retail outlets in the city.

The station was acquired in 1960 by Aldred-Rogers Broadcasting Ltd., the company now known as Rogers Communications. In 1962, an AM counterpart, CHFI-AM, which later became highly successful Top 40 music station CFTR, was added.

CHFI-FM pioneered the "beautiful music" format. The main programming heard from dawn until midnight was traditional easy listening fare. Music director Michael Compeau created a number of the station's much-imitated programs. The most famous was the popular and long running "Candlelight and Wine" heard evenings from 6 to 11 pm. The program, hosted by Don Parish, mixed soothing instrumentals, soft vocals and occasional light classical pieces in "pop" arrangements. The program spun off a series of best-selling record albums, many of which are now highly prized collectors' items.

Compeau also created the popular "Classics 'til Dawn" - an overnight program of popular classical music. (In 1984 Compeau would become program director of CFMX-FM and use this same format for their overnight program.)

Another of Compeau's innovations was "Front Row Centre" - heard Sunday afternoons at 2 PM. This one-hour program featured full original cast recordings of popular Broadway musicals, with host Don Parish explaining the story between the songs.

In the 1970s Todd Russell began hosting a late evening program called "Reminiscing" featuring modern recordings of popular songs from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. In 1973, Compeau decided to add some spice to the program by sprinkling in a few original period recordings. Since very few had been reissued on Lp at this time, a call went out to collectors who loaned their original 78-rpm records to the radio station. The records were cleaned, repaired and brushed with distilled water before being transcribed to tape. Dubbed the "new library of old 78's" these antique rarities were showcased each weeknight. (In 1974 host Todd Russell died and was replaced by Sandy Hoyt.) CHFI soon amassed a collection of over 3,500 period recordings and the reminiscing program became one of the station's biggest successes. As time went on the modern recordings were phased out and the program featured mainly the period recordings.

A format change in the late 1970s led to the elimination of these programs, and CHFI began moving towards a soft-rock/adult contemporary sound.

In 2003, CHFI, competing closely with fellow Toronto adult contemporary station CJEZ, attempted to popularize a younger morning show. Firing longtime CHFI morning show personality Erin Davis and moving her on-air partner Bob Magee to afternoons, the station named Mad Dog and Billie, later known as Jay and Billie, to host the morning show. These younger broadcasters had hosted mornings on co-owned Toronto station KISS 92 FM when it previously broadcast a contemporary hit, then Hip-hop and R&B format.

Shortly after being fired from CHFI, Erin Davis was hired by CJEZ as a fill-in co-host, working alongside Mike Cooper. In 2005, the CHFI management removed the Jay and Billie duo, rehired Davis for mornings, and also hired Mike Cooper as her co-host.

Morning show hosts

* Sandy Hoyt - 1978-1985
* Jay Nelson - 1986
* Don Daynard - 1987-1999 and thereafter host of Saturday Night Oldies
* Erin Davis and Don Daynard - 1988-1999
* Erin Davis and Bob Magee - 1999-2003 - Magee is current host of the afternoon drive show and former CHUM AM host
* Mad Dog and Billie - 2003-2005
* Erin Davis and Darren Osborne (fill-in host) 2005
* Erin Davis and Mike Cooper (former CJEZ morning show host) 2005-

Other personalities

* Gene Taylor - late host of Taylor's Trivia from Detroit, Michigan
* Don Jackson - host of "Lovers and Other Strangers"
* Ken Shaw - now with CFTO

ee also

* CFTR (AM), originally CHFI-AM

External links

* [ 98.1 CHFI]
* [ CHFI Morning Show]
* [ CHFI history at Canadian Communications Foundation]

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