Canadian Media Remembers CHUM, MuchMusic’s Switzer


TORONTO — For a generation of Canadians, MuchMusic is perhaps far more important than globally known brand MTV. He was associated with CHUM and with City TV.

These brands are legendary thanks in large part to Jay Switzer.

Switzer passed away Monday after a brief battle with brain cancer. He was 61.

Switzer’s resume of media projects in Ontario includes Canadian movie channel Hollywood Suite, founded in 2010. His mother Phyllis Switzer founded City TV in Toronto, where he began his meteoric rise in media.

In 2002, Switzer would be named CEO of Chum Channels, which included Much Music and Fashion Television.

While CHUM-AM 1050 was a Toronto Top 40 radio station as legendary as WABC-AM in New York throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Switzer “was instrumental in expanding CHUM into other markets and launching various services, platforms, productions and specialty channels,” the CBC reports.

Perhaps his biggest effort was co-authoring the licence application that would bring MuchMusic to fruition.

On Twitter, Moses Znaimer, who owns Zoomer Media, commented, “R.I.P. … We worked together a long time and achieved many great things. In our different ways, we both loved TV.”

CHUM Ltd. was sold to CTVglobemedia in 2006. At the time, its assets included 12 local TV stations, 23 cable networks and 34 radio stations.