Radio Nord (RNC Media Inc.)
With the acquisition from Roy (later Lord) Thomson of Abitibi Témiscamingue AM radio stations CKRN Rouyn, CHAD Amos and CKVD Val d’Or, brothers Jean-Joffre and David Armand Gourd, together with Roger Charbonneau, became owners of what was to become a major Quebec radio and television station group, Radio Nord (which would later become RNC Media). The stations were supplementary affiliates of CBC Quebec.
The partners created a wholly-owned subsidiary, Radio LaSarre Inc., and applied for a licence for a new radio station in La Sarre, Quebec. The CBC deferred the application.
Radio La Sarre received approval for their new station, which was launched on September 1st as CKLS-AM.
Early in the year, Radio Nord Inc. was successful in securing a television licence for Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. The station would be a CBC affiliate, and when it went on the air on December 25th, CKRN-TV carried a mix of CBC programs in both French and English. David Gourd was President and General Manager.
CKRN-TV joined the CBC and Radio-Canada microwave networks.
A year previously, the CBC had begun using its own rebroadcaster in the region to carry English and French programming. In 1962 it switched the rebroadcaster to all-English programming, at which time CKRN-TV became a full Radio Canada affiliate, broadcasting solely in French.
By now, CKRN-TV Rouyn-Noranda had expanded its coverage significantly, through the addition of transmitters in Val d’Or, Senneterre, Matagami and Ville-Marie. Jean-Joffre Gourd was elected Chairman of the Board of Radio Nord Inc., and assumed the duties of Managing Director.
After a year as a lawyer in private practice, Alain Gourd became President of Radio Nord. In later years he would go on to serve in many key positions in the Canadian government.
Radio Nord was licensed to operate a new FM radio station at Rouyn-Noranda. CHLM-FM was launched later in the year, with a rebroadcaster at Lithium Mines.
Radio Nord was one of two applicants who came forward offering to replace CFVO-TV Hull, a co-op-owned station, which had gone into receivership on February 24th after four troubled years. The existing station’s facilities were sold to Radio-Quebec, who received a licence to rebroadcast educational programming.
Radio Nord was granted the licence to operate a new TVA network affiliate to replace CFVO-TV Hull. The station was launched on Monday October 30th by Radio Nord subsidiary Tele-Outaouais, as CHOT-TV, and broadcast from a studio whose transmitter and associated equipment had only been delivered sixteen days prior to going to air.
In 1979 Radio Nord launched another new TVA affiliate, CFEM-TV, to serve the Rouyn-Noranda market. Radio Nord also owned the Radio Canada affiliate in the market, CKRN-TV.
On February 13th Radio Nord received approval from the CRTC for them to form a French-language AM radio network, to allow CKLS La Sarre to carry CKRN Rouyn-Noranda programming.
On April 11, Radio Nord Inc. was authorized to operate television stations at Val d'Or, on channel 25 and at Rouyn, on channel 20. The Val d'Or station would rebroadcast the programs of CFJP-TV Montreal and certain local programs, whereas the Rouyn station would rebroadcast in its entirety the programming of the Val d'Or station.
On Sunday, September 7, at 17:25, a new French-language television network, TQS, was launched. One of the first TQS affiliates was a new Radio Nord television station, CFGS-TV Hull, Quebec.
On January 19th, Radio Nord launched its second TQS affiliate station, with the debut of CFVS-TV, Val d’Or.
On August 21st, the CRTC approved the sale of Radio Fusion Inc., owners of CJLA-FM Lachute, PQ, and CHPR-FM Hawkesbury, Ont., to Radio Nord. The purchase of CHPR-FM was Radio Nord’s first acquisition outside Quebec.
On September 21st, Radio Nord went on the air with their newly licensed radio station, CHOA-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, with a rebroadcaster at Amos/Val d’Or, CHOA-FM-1.
During the year, Radio Nord had tried a second attempt (the first having been unsuccessful in 1980) to persuade the non-profit organization Radio-Temiscamingue Inc to allow RNC Inc to acquire a majority ownership position in CKVM-FM Ville-Marie, but the remaining shareholders elected to retain control of the station’s non-profit status, with Radio-Nord retaining their 17.85% shareholding.
Radio Nord was granted a licence for a new FM station at Val d’Or. There would also be a transmitter at Rouyn-Noranda. These new FM transmitters would replace AM stations CKVD Val d’Or, CHAD Amos and CKRN Rouyn-Noranda.
CKRN, CKVD and CHAD were replaced by the new FM transmitters in the fall. They were known as “Go-FM” CHGO 104.3 Val d’Or and CHGO-FM-1 95.7 Rouyn-Noranda. CHGO-FM-2 102.1 would replace CKLS-AM La Sarre.
Radio Nord’s application to the CRTC for a licence for a French language classical and jazz FM radio station in Gatineau was approved by the CRTC on October 4th. Jean-Joffre Gourd died in February at the age of 84.
The new Gatineau classical/jazz FM station CHLX-FM was launched on September 23rd. However, this original format was not to prove as popular as had been hoped, and the format would change to Adult Contemporary a few years later.
After a hearing in February, the CRTC on July 2nd approved an application by Radio Nord (75%) and La Société Spectra-Scène (25%) for a new French-language specialty FM radio station in Montreal, to be operated by Radio Couleur Jazz inc., which would broadcast a jazz and blues format targeting an adult audience in the 35-64 age group.
On August 11th, Radio Nord acquired control of Groupe Antenne Radio 6, through the acquisition by Radio Nord Communications inc. of 75% of the voting rights of the licensee held directly or indirectly by Gestion Malev inc. (25%) and Rosaire Leclerc, André Tremblay, Stéphane Tremblay, Alain Tremblay and Sonia Tremblay. Through this transaction Radio Nord became controlling shareholders in five more Quebec stations, CFGT-AM and CKYK-FM Alma, CHRL-FM-Roberval, CHVD-FM -Dolbeau and CKXO-AM Chibougamau.
On September 1st, the CBC received approval to acquire CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda, and its rebroadcaster serving Amos/Val d’Or, from Radio Nord.
After signal testing in September, the new Montreal jazz and blues station, CKLX-FM, was launched in December.
Radio Nord added another Quebec station to its portfolio with the acquisition of CKNU-FM Donnacona and its rebroadcaster CKNU-FM-1 Sainte Croix-de-Lotbinière from Genex Communications.
On June 25th, Radio Nord was granted yet another licence for the Gatineau region, to serve the Ottawa/Gatineau market, with a Pop/Rock and urban music format aimed at an audience aged 18-34.
On July 28th, approval was given for Radio Nord’s Chibougamau station CJMD to become an FM, station. At this time, the station’s call letters were changed to CKXO-FM.
Radio Nord’s new Gatineau station, CFTX-FM, was launched on April 13th.
Radio Nord became known as RNC Media. CKNU-FM Donnacona was given a new call-sign, CHXX-FM, and reformatted to Modern Rock.
RNC Media received approval to acquire 100% ownership of CKLX-FM Montreal.
After having made every effort to give their unusual classical/jazz format a chance to establish itself, CHLX-FM changed its format to Adult Contemporary.
On August 20th, an application by RNC Media subsidiary Groupe Radio Antenne 6 was approved, whereby a new French-language FM station would replace CFGT-AM Alma, Quebec.
On October 13th, the new Alma station, CFGT-FM, signed on, and on October 14th the AM transmitter was shut down.
Radio Nord (RNC Media Inc.) Radio Stations
(Click on the call letters to view individual station histories)
Radio Nord (RNC Media Inc.) Television Stations
(Click on the call letters to view individual station histories)