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CHKT is a
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of ...

Canadian
radio station, airing at 1430 AM in
Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population, most populous cit ...
,
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. The station, owned by the Fairchild Radio service, airs Chinese language programming. CHKT's studios are located on East Beaver Creek Road in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Richmond Hill, while its transmitters are located on the Toronto Islands. It was best known under the call letters CKEY from 1945 to 1991.


History

The station that was the indirect forerunner of CHKT first aired in 1925 as AM 840 CKCL, owned by the Dominion Battery Company. As with many radio stations in the early years of radio broadcasting, the station changed frequencies a number of times in its first years of operation. It settled on the permanent 580 kilohertz (then kilocycles) frequency in 1931. In 1945, the station was sold to Jack Kent Cooke's Jack Kent Cooke#Early foray in media and sports ownership, Toronto Broadcasting Co., and adopted the callsign CKEY. It was subsequently acquired by Shoreacres Broadcasting, a consortium that included Westinghouse Electric (1886), Westinghouse and ''The Globe and Mail'', in 1961, and changed its frequency to 590 in 1964 as CKWW signed on at 580 that year in Windsor, Ontario, Windsor and CKAR, (known today as CFBK-FM), in Huntsville, Ontario, Huntsville had to change its frequency from 590 to 630 kHz. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, CKEY was the leading Top 40 music competitor to 1050 CHUM (AM), CHUM; one of its DJs was later CFNY-FM, CFNY staple David Marsden, known as Dave Mickie at CKEY (and later at CHUM as well). Another notable broadcaster was Bryan Fustukian, broadcasting as Vik Armen. The station dropped its Top 40 format for "middle of the road (music), middle of the road" music in 1965, now going up against CFRB, and was successful in that arena for a time. Shoreacres, in turn, was acquired by Maclean-Hunter in 1966. A transmitter for CKEY was once located on Midland Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough, Toronto, Scarborough. This site was sold to the Scarborough Board of Education in 1964 to build Tabor Park Vocational School for the area's redevelopment. From 1970 to 1984, CKEY featured Charles Templeton and Pierre Berton on the commentary show ''Dialogue'' with Templeton also reading the morning news for several years. The station also had Stephen Lewis as a commentator in the late 1970s and early 1980s. On January 1, 1984, CKEY flipped from its long running MOR format to soft rock/oldies as "Solid Gold CKEY", and on June 20, 1988, the station became "Key 590" with a full-blown oldies format, once again competing directly with a re-formatted CHUM. At 7 p.m. on March 14, 1991, CKEY signed off and began stunting with a heartbeat; the following morning at 9, the station adopted a country music format, changing its callsign to CKYC. The CFLZ-FM, CKEY callsign was subsequently picked up by a station in Fort Erie, Ontario, Fort Erie. After Rogers Communications acquired Maclean-Hunter in 1994, CKYC was sold to Telemedia. Telemedia subsequently swapped CKYC's frequency with that of its sports outlet CJCL (AM), CJCL. On February 6, 1995, at 10 AM, CKYC ceased airing country music, and after stunting with a ticking clock for two hours, CJCL and CKYC swapped frequencies. CKYC subsequently aired only radio syndication, syndicated programming until it went off the air permanently in late 1996. CHKT was launched by Fairchild Group in 1997, over the 1430 AM frequency that had been occupied by CKYC immediately prior to its signing off for the last time. The CKYC-FM, CKYC callsign was subsequently picked up by a station in Owen Sound, Ontario in 2001. Image:Fairchild Radio.png, left, Original Fairchild Radio logo, used until 2012. In October 2019, Fairchild Radio gained public attention when it fired a Toronto radio talk-show host allegedly because of his questions during an interview perceived as critical of the Chinese government's stance on the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests.


Programming

CHKT airs mainly Chinese (Guangzhou dialect, Cantonese and Standard Mandarin, Mandarin) language programming as well as programming in the following languages: Khmer language, Cambodian, Tagalog language, Filipino, German language, German, Hindi language, Hindi, Hungarian language, Hungarian, Irish language, Irish, Italian language, Italian, Lao language, Laotian, Macedonian language, Macedonian, Punjabi language, Punjabi, Russian language, Russian, Thai language, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese language, Vietnamese.


References


External links


Fairchild Radio

Remembering CKEY Radio Toronto - 580 - 590

CHKT history
- Canadian Communications Foundation * {{coord, 43, 37, 03, N, 79, 22, 46, W, type:landmark_region:CA, display=title Radio stations in Toronto, HKT Chinese-language mass media in Canada, CHKT Radio stations established in 1925, CHKT Multicultural and ethnic radio stations in Canada, HKT 1925 establishments in Ontario