After a 16-year absence, Country music has returned to the radio airwaves in Timmins, ON.
At 8 a.m. Friday morning, 93.1 The Moose (CHMT-FM) officially became Country 93.1, Timmins’ Best Country. The format debuted with “Play Something Country” by Brooks & Dunn, chosen as a nod to all the listeners over the last 16 years who have asked the station to “play something country.”
CHMT-FM was first launched in 2001 by Haliburton Broadcasting with an Adult Contemporary format as Mix 93. Around the same time, local country station CKGB transitioned to FM and also flipped from Country to AC. CHMT-FM initially played one country song an hour to appease listeners, and within the year was playing all-country. The station dropped the format in 2006 when The Moose FM format was born, playing “Timmins’ Biggest Variety.”
Vista Radio acquired 93.1 The Moose in 2012 and in 2020 tweaked the format again, evolving into a Classic Hits station. Vista says however, that the demand for Country music never really left the northeastern Ontario city. With Timmins the home of country music icon Shania Twain, the broadcaster says the question of why there was no Country station in the market endured.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Country music back to Timmins, after being absent for far too many years,” said General Manager Peter Hobbs, in a company announcement. “This change has been a long time in coming and with plenty of hard work from the entire team at Vista Radio, Country 93.1’s well-crafted mix of new Country and some familiar favourites has been proven to draw the biggest audiences in markets like Timmins. Today’s Country music simply represents all that is great about our amazing Northern Ontario lifestyle.”
The new format will include coverage by live weekday announcers from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., with a focus on local news and weather. JJ Murray will take on morning show duties with the “JJ Murray Show.”
Shane Button, who has been heard on CHMT since 2013, helms midday show, “At Work with Shane Button”, while Tyler Cropley hosts “Drivin’ Home with Tyler Cropley.” Local news coverage will be spearheaded by News Director Bob McIntyre. Weekends will feature the Bob Kingsley Country Top 40, hosted by Fitz, heard Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Sundays 6-10 p.m. The Legendary Breakfast, hosted by Drew Ferris, will run Sunday mornings 8-10 a.m.
“The Country lifestyle and Northern Ontario go hand in hand; blue collar, outdoors, and hardworking residents. The music hits home, and with the voices of listeners growing every year asking for country music, it was the perfect time,” said Button, Regional Cluster Program Director for Ontario North.
Subscribe Now – Free!
Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 30 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.
The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.
Let’s get started right now.