If you enjoy the articles in this web site, please consider supporting it by ordering the items you want by clicking on the recommended Amazon product links in the articles, which will just add those products to your Amazon shopping cart.

The product links contain a referral tag that allows me to earn a small commission on the sale of the products from Amazon.  This doesn't cost you anything extra but will help to offset the cost of running this web site and writing new articles.

Article Index

For most people, an enjoyable part of driving their cars is listening to their favourite music while on the road. For those of you still using your radio instead of your MP3 player, it is nice to be able to easily go directly to a good station without having to scan through the dial first.  If your car only has AM, there are still stations playing music but they're becoming scarcer every year. Another issue with AM stations is that many stations reduce power or go offline at night, which adds to the challenge.

 

Chryco AM Radio, 1965 Barracuda

 

The internet makes it easy to create a radio station playlist for the route we are taking.  This starts by going to Wikipedia and looking up radio stations in the jurisdiction you'll be driving.  In my case, I live in the Niagara Region and regularly drive to Kingston and Ottawa to visit my children.  I often take the 401 on my way out and the NY State Thruway on my way back so I therefore need to find Ontario and New York radio stations.  A search for Ontario radio stations and New York radio stations on Wikipedia yields:

Each of the above pages has a table that lists all of the radio stations in Ontario or New York state.  The table may be sorted by each column in ascending or descending order.  Since my preference is for certain formats, I need to extract information from the table and this is more easily done with a spreadsheet (these have data functions).  Most stations also broadcast over the internet, which allows you to test drive the stations before you add them to your own list.  Radio Station Classes give you more information about the broadcast signal.

I use desktop PC Microsoft Office Excel but this program is not free.  If you have an online Outlook or Gmail email account, you should be able to use their free online spreadsheets.  A free spreadsheet you can download to your PC is LibreOffice, which includes their Calc spreadsheet.

The first thing I do is copy the entire list of radio stations table in Wikipedia and paste it onto a sheet in a new workbook.  Ontario and New York each get their own workbooks.  To avoid messing up the original data, create a new sheet by copying the original sheet and give the new sheet a suitable name (eg, AM stations, FM Stations, Local Stations, Circle Route Stations, etc).

The Wikipedia radio station list includes the frequency but I like to separate the AM and FM stations.  To do this, add a new column to the spreadsheet (call it "Band") and use Excel's text function (eg, =RIGHT(B2,2)) to show whether the station is AM or FM.  This function extracts the rightmost 2 characters of the value in cell B2.  Since spreadsheets allow multiple levels of sorting, I can now sort first on BAND and then by CITY OF LICENSE.

You can print directly from the spreadsheet but I copy the data to my word processor (MS Word) to give me some additional formatting features.


Before I upgraded my AM radio with an FM tuner, I had the following presets in my radio in 2016. I only have 5 presets in one car and 10 in an other so the bolded stations show the 5 presets best suited for me in Fort Erie.

Call sign Frequency City of License Owner Format
CKTB 610 AM
Class A
St. Catharines
10 kW / 5 kW
Bell Media Radio News/Talk
CFZM 740 AM
Class B
Toronto
50 kW
ZoomerMedia Pop Standards
CHAM 820 AM
Class B
Hamilton
50 kW / 5 kW
Bell Media Radio Comedy
CFRB 1010 AM
Class A
Toronto
50 kW
Bell Media Radio News/Talk
WECK 1230 AM
Class C
Cheektowaga
1 kW
Culver Communications II Adult Standards
CKPC 1380 AM
Class B
Brantford
25 kW
Telephone City Broadcasting Oldies
WWWS 1400 AM
Class C
Buffalo
745 W
Entercom Buffalo License Soul And R&B, Blues
WJJL 1440 AM
Class D
Niagara Falls
1 kW / 55 W
M.J. Phillips Communications, Inc. 1950s Oldies
CJOY 1460 AM
Class B
Guelph
10 kW
Corus Entertainment Oldies
CKDO 1580 AM
Class A
Oshawa
10 kW
Durham Radio Oldies

 


These AM stations were what I would want to listen to on my drive from Fort Erie on the 401 to Ottawa and home again on I-95.  Some stations broadcast at low power (and even lower at night) so there are some parts of the drive have no local reception.  CFZM can potentially broadcast out to a radius of several hundred miles at night so look for a 50 kW clear station if no local stations come in.

Call sign Frequency City of License Owner Format
CHAM 820 AM
Class B
Hamilton
50 kW / 5 kW
Bell Media Radio Comedy
CKPC 1380 AM
Class B
Brantford
25 kW
Telephone City Broadcasting Oldies
CJOY 1460 AM
Class B
Guelph
10 kW
Corus Entertainment Oldies
CFZM 740 AM
Class B
Toronto
50 kW
ZoomerMedia Pop Standards
CKDO 1580 AM
Class A
Oshawa
10 kW
Durham Radio Oldies
CJBQ 800 AM
Class B
Belleville
10 kW
Quinte Broadcasting Country
CFRA 580 AM
Class B
Ottawa
50 kW / 30 kW
Bell Media Radio News/Talk
CIWW 1310 AM
Class B
Ottawa
50 kW
Rogers Communications News
WMSA 1340 AM
Class C
Massena
910 W
Stephens Media Group Oldies
WEBO 1330 AM
Class D
Owego
5 kW / 36 W
Radigan Broadcasting Adult Contemporary
WSCP 1070 AM
Class D
Sandy Creek-Pulaski
2.5 kW / 0 kW
Galaxy Syracuse Licensee Classic Rock
WSEN 1050 AM
Class D
Baldwinsville
2.5 kW / 19 W
Leatherstocking Media Oldies
WHEN 620 AM
Class B
Syracuse
5 kW / 1 kW
CC Licenses, LLC Urban Adult Contemporary
WCGR 1550 AM
Class D
Canandaigua
200 W
The Fingerlakes Radio Country Music
WHAM 1180 AM
Class A
Rochester
50 kW
Citicasters Licenses, Inc. News/Talk
WXXI 1370 AM
Class B
Rochester
5 kW
WXXI Public Broadcasting Council News/Talk/Public Radio
WBTA 1490 AM
Class C
Batavia
1 kW / 710 W
HPL Communications Adult Contemporary , Easy Listening
WJJL 1440 AM
Class D
Niagara Falls
1 kW / 55 W
MJ Phillips 1950s Oldies