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Hits 93 Toronto

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Hits 93 Toronto
Hits 93 Toronto logo.png
CityToronto, Ontario
FormatTop 40 (CHR)
OwnerViktor Elias[1]

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Hits 93 Toronto — branded Hits 93 — is an independent Top 40 (CHR) radio station streaming from Toronto, Ontario and serving the Greater Toronto metropolitan area. Owned by Viktor Elias,[2] Hits serves as a flagship station for On Air with Viktor. The Hits studios are located in the Midtown Toronto neighbourhood of Toronto, while the station streams online through Radio King.

Besides streaming online, through its website, Hits broadcasts through TuneIn and Radio King's apps, and is available on iTunes Radio. The station also simulcasts over Apple TV.

History[edit]

109.5 Today's Music Toronto[edit]

Hits began as 109.5 Today's Music Toronto — branded 109.5 Toronto — in 2012, broadcasting online through Listen2MyRadio, which played easy listening music similar in style to the adult contemporary genre.[3]

After 109.5 Toronto rebranded itself in 2013, by this time, broadcasting strictly Top 40 (CHR) music, it switched to a music-based playlist — with no interruptions.

Hits – "Hits 93 Toronto"[edit]

Early years[edit]

The station, which didn't have an official slogan, went on the air at 12:01 a.m. on February 1, 2013, with a new program director. At the time, the program directors — Viktor Elias and Matt Latreille — had been credited for bringing Hits into the modern era.[4] Viktor was the person who changed the station's genre from easy listening to a new, more pop-oriented format. The first song ever played by the station was "Secrets" by OneRepublic. Initially, the station called itself by its new name, but by late August, they called themselves "Hits." The station signed on from its new studios in Downtown Toronto and transmitted online through its servers across the world.

Hits was the third radio station, at the time, to stream the Top 40 (CHR) format in Toronto, with rhythmic CHR station CFXJ-FM having begun the transition into a more Top 40 (CHR) format in late 2012.

Within 90 days of signing on in Winter of 2013, Hits climbed from last place to third place in Twitter follower metrics from Twitter Counter.[5] Over the years, Hits stayed with a Top 40 (CHR) format, with competitor CKIS-FM behind them in total Twitter followers. Matt Latreille left Hits in 2013 to study at Humber College in Toronto. Viktor Elias assumed programming and operations manager duties at Hits. Latreille would later rejoin the Hits staff.

2014: Changes[edit]

By 2014, the Top 40 (CHR) format in Canada was in a crisis due to the rise of alternative rock, hip-hop and country music. A major sign of this crisis came from CFXJ-FM, when it reverted its format to include classic hip-hop, R&B and reggae tracks.[6] Hits responded to this by adding older tracks and introducing a lunch-time show called, "Throwback Tracks," which officially began airing in Spring of 2014. Hits' ratings dropped afterwards. That same year, Hits dropped older tracks and began mixing-in alternative rock music, which wasn't typically heard of on Top 40 (CHR) stations in Toronto. By summer 2014, the majority of the station's music was considered alternative and indie rock, with only a few exceptions.

Ratings wise, Hits was performed well, and remained steady for much of the year, but by late 2014, especially in December, the station started losing listeners to its competitions — CKIS-FM and CKFM-FM. Listeners complained to Hits of a lack of newer Top 40 (CHR) tracks, and as a result, Hits undertook a major transformative shift: It started to introduce more hip-hop tracks into its playlist and allowed artist's to submit their music through the Hits website.

2015: Decline[edit]

In April 2015, Hits brought in the help of Matt Latreille who urged the program director, Viktor Elias at the time, to drop all non-modern rock and hip-hop tracks and began to play strictly Top 40 (CHR) and alternative rock. By early 2015, Hits replaced its staff due to budgetary constraints, and many of its alternative rock tracks were phased out. At the time, it seemed as though the station was shifting to a more hip-hop format, it wasn't until summer 2015 that the station gradually began to move back to a more mainstream Top 40 (CHR) format with additions of pop music from various formats such as R&B, rap, and adult contemporary. One of the station's biggest moves was to remove all its hosts and instead, program music to play all day, every day — with no interruptions. Despite this, the station's ratings continued to slowly decline. And by late 2015, Hits switched its format to strictly play Top 40 (CHR) tracks, with a few exceptions.

In late 2015, Hits moved its servers from Listen2MyRadio to Radio.co; allowing for more original programming and the addition of an HD stream — which was launched at a later date.

2016: Turnaround[edit]

Hits used to broadcast remixes conducted by various DJ's who created mash-up mixes of the day's top songs, playing them all together, mixing, for instance, the lyrics of one with the music of another. This typically lasted for about an hour and was played at ten o'clock daily, and midnight on Friday and Saturday. The mixes were part of a weekly tradition that celebrated the end of a long work week. This ended in early 2016.

In early 2016, Hits launched an HD stream of its station through Radio.co. This stream typically consisted of a simulcast of its SD stream.

Hits' slogan, "Canada's Most Followed Radio," was used in tandem on-air with '"Toronto's Hit Music Station." Previously, the slogan was "Toronto's #1 Hit Music Station," however, this was removed in early 2016, but brought back in mid-2017. Hits is considered the largest Top 40 (CHR) internet radio station in the world, pulling in an audience of at least a hundred thousand, weekly. According to Twitter Counter, Hits' Twitter page is the most followed in all of Canada, and in fact, one of the most followed internet radio stations on the platform, worldwide.

Hits Today[edit]

Today, Hits broadcasts a mainstream Top 40 (CHR) format; with a majority of the music played being pop, R&B, alternative rock, hip-hop, rock, EDM and dance. On Air with Viktor, the flagship show featuring station owner, VIktor Elias, is heard frequently.[7] Hits doesn't have many radio personnel due to current restructuring efforts conducted by its management.

Annual events[edit]

The station has, in the past, looked to host concerts featuring the world's top acts through its "Hits' Summer Jamz," however, the difficulty to schedule them in on one day has been deemed difficult. There hasn't been a "Hits' Summer Jamz," ever.

In 2018, the station announced its eagerness to launch an award show featuring top-name Canadian and International acts, such as Louis Tomlinson[8] and Kali Uchis.[9] The "2018 Internet Radio Awards" are scheduled for late August 2018.

Controversy[edit]

In April 2014, Alex, a Hits radio host, posted about Katy Perry's single, "Birthday," on Hits' official Twitter account, calling it a "flop," and accused Perry of using payola to increase spins.[10][11] This caused major backlash against the station. The host, Alex, had his contract with the station reviewed, and was fired shortly after.

In July 2016, the Hits Twitter account urged pop-star Dua Lipa to change her album cover by calling it "trash." She responded to the suggestion, telling Hits, "how do you have so many followers but no interaction on your posts?" She also added a suggestive image and the station apologized.[12] The album cover in question was replaced hours after Hits posted about it on Twitter.

In January 2018, Hits received major backlash for asking its Twitter followers to vote on a web-poll, asking "what would ya'll think of us dedicating one hour each day to K-pop tracks?"[13] This enraged the K-pop fans worldwide, many attacking the station for suggesting the idea. The K-pop special was later canceled following the backlash.

References[edit]

  1. https://hits-93-toronto.radio-site.com/team/viktor-7
  2. "Viktor". Hits 93 Toronto. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  3. "Viktor". Hits 93 Toronto. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  4. "Matt". Hits 93 Toronto. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  5. "Hits 93 Toronto (@Hits93Toronto) Twitter Stats". Twitter Counter. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  6. "Flow Toronto The Best Throwbacks and Hottest Hits – Airchecker". Airchecker. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  7. "The Oldies Show – 60s, 70s & 80s". Hits 93 Toronto. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  8. "Hits 93 Toronto on Twitter: '@Louis_Tomlinson, we'd love to have you perform at a special event we're hosting in the summer. What's the proper plug? X'". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  9. "Hits 93 Toronto on Twitter: '@KALIUCHIS, could you give us a follow? We'd love to DM you about a special event we're hosting later this year, which could feature a performance or two by yourself! Thanks in advance!'". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  10. "Hits 93 Toronto: Dark Horse being overplayed because of payola". FOTP. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  11. "Katy Perry Shaded By Radio Hits 93 Toronto?". Exhale. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. "Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa". The Popjustice Forum. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  13. "Toronto radio station sparks K-Pop Twitter feud". blogTO. Retrieved 2018-03-19.

External links[edit]


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