The logo for Newstalk 1290 CJBKThe logo for Newstalk 1290 CJBK

After more than 50 years, Bell pulls the plug on 1290 CJBK

One of London's longest standing broadcasters has gone dark.

1290 CJBK, which launched in 1967 and was most recently owned by Bell went off the air at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

"As of 11:00 AM EST on June 14th, 1290 CJBK is off the air. The Realities of AM Radio in the broadcast media landscape have made this change unavoidable," read a statement on the station's website. "We want to thank our advertising partners, sponsors and everyone who has contributed to this station over the years."

"But, we especially want to thank you – our listeners," the statement said. "Thank you, for welcoming NewsTalk 1290 CJBK into your homes, cars and lives for so many years."

The station's Twitter account has been deleted.

CJBK was one of six stations nationwide that Bell shuttered on Wednesday - all with the same statement being released online.

"Very sad," former CJBK morning host Steve Garrison told London News Today. "This was a heritage radio station. This was a radio station that had a lot of history. It's sad to see it go dark with no warning. I feel badly for the staff."

Garrison worked at CJBK for most of the station's run, until he left in 2015 as part of a Bell restructuring.

He noted that the station has been a professional stop for many top Canadian journalists.

"JD Roberts, who you watch on Fox, worked at CJBK. Heather Hiscox, who I did the morning show with, worked at CJBK," said Garrison. "It's certainly sad to see a heritage radio station like CJBK close its doors."

The station's shuttering was part of a company wide shake up for Bell, which included 1,300 people being let go.

"A very important part of this shift is aligning our cost structures to the revenue potential of each business segment we operate in. Doing so will lower our overall costs and give us the room to fund new growth opportunities to better serve our customers and ensure our future success," Bell President and CEO Mirko Bibic wrote in an open letter.

Bibic's letter claimed that the company's news operation "will incur $40 million and growing in annual operating losses, and the profitability of our radio business has been cut in half since the onset of COVID."

"The broadcasting business has changed," Garrison said. "It is no longer run by people who are in the entertainment business or broadcasters. It's run by accountants."

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