Rawlco Radio Inc.

1925

What was eventually to become Rawlco Radio Inc. began when a group of residents who called themselves the Prince Albert Radio Club applied for a licence for a radio station in 1925.

 

1930

Two members of the citizens' group that owned the station, Lloyd Moffat and R.E. Price, purchased some badly-needed new equipment which improved both the station's signal and its program content, which now included remotes.

 

1931

The Club's station 10BI was broadcasting on 250 metres with 25 watts power, from the Orpheum Theatre Building in Prince Albert.

 

1933

After ten years of on again off again efforts, a commercial licence was granted to the station, which became CKBI-AM, broadcasting on 1210 kHz. New Northern Electric equipment was used to increase the power from 25 watts to 100 watts. The station was operated by Peter and Walter Dales.

 

1937

Lloyd Moffat bought CKBI-AM, and introduced a further increase in power, from 100 to 250 watts.

 

1941

CKBI changed frequency from 1210 kHz to 930 kHz. In July, power increased from 250 to 1000 watts.

 

1946

Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd., led by Ed Rawlinson, purchased CKBI and moved the station into a new $ 80,000 studio and offices, and again increased the power, from 1000 watts to 5000 watts.

Ed Rawlinson established Rawlco Communications.

1954

In 1954 Harry Dekker was appointed station manager of CJNB North Battleford, which launched on January 27th. Many years later, the Dekker family would become partnered with the Rawlinson family.

 

1958

Through Central Broadcasting, Rawlinson acquired a TV licence for Prince Albert, and launched CKBI-TV on January 27th. While a CBC affiliate, the station originated much of its own local and syndicated programming.

 

1961

CKBI-TV launched a rebroadcaster at North Battleford.

 

1963

The Rawlinson family bought CJNB-AM, North Battleford.

 

1975

In 1975, Rawlinson's two sons, Gordon and Doug, both from Prince Albert, entered the business. The Rawlinson brothers formed Rawlco Radio, a Saskatchewan-based radio broadcasting company.

 

1976

Central Broadcasters Co. Ltd. moved into a larger market with the purchase of CJME-AM Regina from Midwest Broadcasters Ltd., whose President was J. Marsh Ellis. Douglas Rawlinson took over as Manager.

 

1977

Northwestern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. received CRTC approval to operate an AM station at Meadow Lake, Sask., operating on 1240 kHz with a daytime power of 1,000 watts and night-time power of 250 watts. The new station, whose call letters would be CJNS, would originate some programming, with the remainder coming from Northwestern's CJNB in North Battleford.

CJNS-AM 1240 signed on, on November 1st.

1981

Calgary Family Radio received a CRTC licence in November 24th for a new Calgary AM station. The call-sign would be CFFR. Gord Rawlinson, president of CJME in Regina, would be the principal shareholder, and would move to Calgary to manage the station.

1982

In 1981, Rawlco subsidiary Midwest Broadcasters had secured a licence for an FM station in Regina. CIZL-FM went on the air in June 1982 at 98.9 with 100,000 watts, with Douglas Rawlinson as Manager.

A licence having been granted the previous year, on January 31st FM service came to Prince Albert via Rawlco subsidiary Central Broadcasting CFFM-FM 99.1 with 100,000 watts, as a companion station to CKBI-AM.

1984

On January 10th, CFFR AM radio signed on in Calgary, on 660 kHz, broadcasting in stereo.

On November 29, the CRTC approved the sale of Prince Albert Television Inc. (CKBI-TV Prince Albert, CKBI-TV-1 Alticane, CKBI-TV-2 North Battleford, CKBI-TV-3 Greenwater Lake, CKBI-TV-5 Big River, CKBI-TV-6 Spiritwood and CKBI-TV-7 Tisdale), from E.A. Rawlinson, F.F. Rawlinson and Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Yorkton Television Co. Ltd. (Skinner Holdings Ltd.). Central retained CKBI-AM and CFMM-FM. Yorkton Broadcasting already owned CKOS-TV in Yorkton.

1985

Rawlco Radio Ltd. bought CKOM Saskatoon from Robert Hosie (Saskatoon Community Broadcasting Co.) Hosie, owner and manager since the station began in 1951, was now retired. CKOM was given approval to change frequency, from 1250 kHz to 650 kHz. Power on 650 kHz remained at 10,000 watts.

The CRTC approved Rawlco Communications Ltd's purchase of CFMC-FM Saskatoon from General Broadcasting Ltd., as well as a change of frequency from 103.9 MHz to 95.1 MHz. Effective Radiated Power would increase from 6,020 watts to 100,000 watts.

In May, Rawlco consolidated all its Saskatoon stations in one new state of the art studio building overlooking the South Saskatchewan River.

1987

Rawlco moved into eastern Canada with the purchase of CFGO-AM Ottawa. It was a news station and Rawlco promised to spend heavily to upgrade the technical part of the operation.

 

1989

CJNB-AM North Battleford was owned by Northwestern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. at 1460 with 10,000 watts. RAWLCO bought the station where Harry Dekker had been Manager/Morning man for 47 years. Gordon Rawlinson invited the Dekker Family to become owner/partners of the two stations, and together they formed North-Western Radio Partnership.

CJNS-FM 102.3 North Battleford also owned by Northwestern Broadcasting Co, Ltd. was included with the CJNB acquisition.

On November 9, Rawlco Communications Ltd. was granted a licence for a new FM station at Ottawa. Rawlco proposed to use the frequency 92.1 MHz but it conflicted with the 91.5 MHz frequency awarded to the CBC for the conversion of CBO-AM to the FM band. Rawlco would have to apply for an alternate frequency. Competing applications by Standard Radio, Robert Redmond and Robert Whyte were denied. CRTC chairman Keith Spicer said Rawlco's proposal for a new pop and soft rock station was superior to the others considered at the June hearing. The commission was impressed by Rawlco's strong local programming proposals. It would however be two years before the station began broadcasting.

1991

On August 30th, the CRTC approved a restructuring which transferred ownership of CJME & CIZL-FM Regina, and CKOM and CFMC-FM Saskatoon, from Rawlco Communications Ltd. to Rawlco Communications (Sask) Ltd.

On April 5, Rawlco's application to use the 100.3 MHz frequency with an effective radiated power of 80,000 watts for its proposed Ottawa station was approved.

Rawlco's newly licensed Ottawa FM station, CJMJ "Majic 100" signed on, on August 12. Studios were located at 1575 Carling Avenue. The station officially launched at 6 a.m., August 13. The station's morning man was Kevin Nelson, son of the long-time Toronto radio personality, Jay Nelson.

1992

Ed Rawlinson died, as did Marsh Ellis, founder of CJME.

 

1994

On August 16, approval was given for the acquisition of CFFR-AM Calgary by a numbered company that was jointly owned by existing owner Rawlco Communications Ltd. (82.5%), and Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. (17.5%). Golden West owned CFXL-AM in Calgary and on the same date received permission to convert that station to the FM band (96.9 MHz). The numbered company also acquired the licence for CFXL-AM (to convert to the FM band).

CFXL moved its studios and offices to the CFFR Building.

1996

The new CKIS-FM or "KISS-FM" 96.9 began broadcasting on June 3. It was Calgary's first new FM station in 15 years. Doug Pringle, director of programming for Rawlco, said CKIS would play only mass appeal music of the '90s.

The old CFXL-AM transmitter was shut down on October 1. Golden West Broadcasting's CHRB in High River took over the 1140 kHz frequency, moving from 1280 kHz.

1997

Elmer Hildebrand, owner of CHSN-FM, Saskatoon, entered into a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) with Rawlco Radio, owner of CKOM-AM and CFMC-FM. Rawlco ran the Hildebrand station as part of the agreement.

On October 27, CKIS-FM was given approval to add a lower power transmitter at Banff, operating on 94.3 MHz. The transmitter signed on the air later in the year. Effective radiated power was 420 watts maximum and 200 watts average. The antenna was located on the rooftop of a hotel alongside the highway near the base of Mt. Norquay. (The CRTC decision lists an ERP of 9.2 watts). The corporate name is now listed as Rawlco (Alberta) Ltd.

1998

On October 20, CKIS-FM was authorized to add transmitters at Invermere and Lake Louise. The Invermere transmitter would operate on frequency 97.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50 watts and the Lake Louise transmitter would broadcast on 93.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 30 watts.

Vinnie Taylor and Patti McNeil were the new co-hosts of KISS-FM's morning show. Gone were Tim Kilpatrick, Jerry Steen and Karen Daniels. Rick Sadler, who had been part-time at Power 107 Calgary, was now doing afternoon drive at KISS-FM.

Elmer Hildebrand's CHSN-FM became CFOM-FM on September 8th. The LMA between Hildebrand and Rawlco was ended shortly thereafter.

Rawlco Inc. sold 87.5% of Rawlco (Ottawa) Ltd., owner of CFGO and CJMJ, to CHUM Limited. Rawlco retained the remaining 12.5% interest.

On September 10, the CRTC approved the sale of Rawlco (Alberta) Ltd., licensee of CFFR and CKIS-FM Calgary (and its transmitters) and of Rawlco (Toronto) Ltd., licensee of CISS-FM Toronto, to Rogers (Alberta) Ltd. (division of Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. ). Rogers already owned CFAC-AM and CHFM-FM in Calgary.

2000

On April 28th, Northwestern Radio Partnership were granted a licence for a new FM station in North Battleford. The call-sign would be CJCQ-FM.

On May 1st, Central Broadcasting received a licence for a new FM station in Prince Albert. It was destined to have the call-sign CHQX-FM.

On December 21, Rawlco was authorized to purchase CKOM-FM from Elmer Hildebrand.

2001

Rawlco subsidiary Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd. launched FM station CHQX-FM 101.5 in Prince Albert, with 100,000 watts of power.

Meanwhile, Central received approval for a re-broadcaster at Waskesiu Lake at 92.1 with 58 watts, which would later be raised to 2,600 watts.

CJCQ-FM 97.9 North Battleford was launched on September 26th.

2002

On July 26 the CRTC approved applications by Rawlco Capital Ltd., submitted on behalf of 614546 Saskatchewan Ltd., Central Broadcasting Company Limited and Rawlco Radio Ltd., to effect an intracorporate reorganization within the Rawlco Group of corporations. The corporate reorganization involved: a) the transfer of 100% of the Common A voting shares of 614546 from Rawlco Inc. to Lobstick Investments Inc., a corporation ultimately owned and controlled by Gordon S. Rawlinson; b) the transfer of 100% of the Common A voting shares of CBCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of G. Rawlinson, to Lobstick; and c) the transfer of 100% of the Class B voting shares of RRL from G. Rawlinson to Lobstick. RRL was owned equally by G. Rawlinson and Lobstick, each holding a 50% interest. Following these transactions, the applicant proposed to amalgamate the licensee corporations 614546, CBCL and RRL under a new licensee corporation, Rawlco Radio Ltd.; and to wind up Rawlco Inc. into Rawlco Capital Ltd., which owned 89.18% of Lobstick. These two transactions did not require CRTC approval. 614546 was the licensee of CJDJ-FM Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. CBCL was the licensee of CKBI (AM), CFMM-FM and CHQX-FM Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. RRL was the licensee of CFMC-FM, CKOM (AM) Saskatoon; CIZL-FM, CJME (AM) and CKCK-FM Regina, Saskatchewan. In approving the transactions, the Commission noted that they would result in a transfer of effective control of 614546, CBCL and RRL to Lobstick. However, ultimate control would remain in the hands of Gordon S. Rawlinson.

CKCK-FM 94.5 Regina with 100,000 watts was launched by Rawlco on August 12th.

CKOM-FM Saskatoon became CJDJ-FM 102.1, while CINT-AM returned to its original CKOM call-sign.

2003

On January 7, the CRTC approved applications by Rawlco Radio Ltd., on behalf of Northwestern Radio Partnership for authority to acquire the 51% interest held by 587680 Saskatchewan Ltd., in the Partnership. The Partnership operated CJNB and CJCQ-FM North Battleford and CJNS Meadow Lake. The members of the partnership, 587680, Dekkerco Holdings Ltd. and 587681 Saskatchewan Ltd., held respectively 51%, 31%, and 18% of the partnership's voting interests. The effective control of the undertakings would not change as a result of this transaction. Since Rawlco and 587680 were both wholly-owned subsidiaries of Rawlco Enterprises Ltd., control of the partnership would remain with Mr. Gordon S. Rawlinson.

 

2004

On November 30, Northwestern Radio Partnership (587681 Saskatchewan Ltd., Dekkerco Holdings Limited and Rawlco Radio Ltd.) was authorized to convert CJNS-AM Meadow Lake to the FM band. The station would operate on 102.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 45,000 watts.

 

2005

Having been licensed to Rawlco (Edmonton) in April 2004, CHMC-FM 99.3 (100,000 watts) Edmonton signed on on Dec.8th, Rawlco's first venture into Alberta.

On November 3, a corporate reorganization transferring the effective control of Rawlco Edmonton (CHMC-FM Edmonton) from Rawlco Capital Ltd. to Rawlco Inc. was approved. Following the transfer, Rawlco Edmonton and Rawlco Radio Ltd. amalgamated to continue the operation of CHMC-FM under the name of Rawlco Radio Ltd

2006

On August 2nd, Rawlco received CRTC approval to operate a new English-language commercial radio FM station in Calgary. The station would later be assigned the call-sign CIGY-FM.

 

2007

On January 4 CJNB's application to move to the FM band (102.9 MHz with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts) was denied by the CRTC. In its evaluation of this application, the Commission took into consideration the fact that Northwestern Radio already owned two FM stations that were authorized to serve North Battleford.

 

2008

CIGY-FM 97.7 Calgary was launched on March 6th. On October 17th, Rawlco Radio received CRTC approval for a new FM station in Edmonton.

 

2009

In November Rawlco began on-air testing of its new Edmonton FM station under the call-sign CIAB-FM.

 

2010

On February 23rd, Rawlco's new Edmonton FM station was launched, but with the call-sign changed from CIAB-FM to CKNO-FM.

On June 11, the CRTC approved the applications by Rawlco Radio Ltd., 587681 Saskatchewan Ltd. and 591666 Saskatchewan Ltd., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Northwestern Radio Partnership, and by Rawlco, 587681 Saskatchewan, 101155515 Saskatchewan Ltd. and 101155510 Saskatchewan Ltd., the subsequent partners in Northwestern Radio Partnership, for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization affecting the ownership of CJCQ-FM, CJHD-FM and CJNB North Battleford and CJNS-FM Meadow Lake.

In announcing its decision, the Commission further noted that this multi-step corporate reorganization would not affect the effective control of the broadcasting undertakings, which would continue to be exercised by Rawlco, a corporation ultimately controlled by Gordon S. Rawlinson.

CHMC-FM re-launched as "Edmonton's Feel Good Station" UP 99.3. The format changed from Smooth Jazz-Soft Adult Contemporary to Classic Hits-Oldies and the call sign became CIUP-FM.

CJME Regina received approval to add FM transmitters in Gravelbourg, Swift Current and Warmley.

2011

On November 9th, the CRTC announced that, at a hearing in Calgary on February 6th 2012, it would hear an application by Rawlco Radio Ltd., plus several competing applications, for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Calgary.

The new station would operate on frequency 100.3 MHz (channel 262C1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 27,000 watts (maximum ERP of 100,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 266 metres).

2012

On April 24th, the CRTC approved applications by Rawlco Radio Ltd. (Rawlco) on behalf of itself and two of its partners in the Northwestern Radio Partnership, namely 587681 Saskatchewan Ltd. (587681 Saskatchewan) and 101155515 Saskatchewan Ltd. (101155515 Saskatchewan), for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization involving the assets of the radio programming undertakings CJCQ-FM, CJHD-FM and CJNB North Battleford and CJNS-FM Meadow Lake. The Commission did not receive any interventions concerning these applications.

As part of the applications, Rawlco also requested that the Commission renew the broadcasting licences for CJHD-FM and CJNS-FM, which were administratively renewed from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012,[1] under the terms and conditions set out in its renewal applications submitted prior to the original expiry date. Upon examination of the stations’ performance during the current licence term, the Commission found that CJHD-FM and CJNS-FM were in full compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and their conditions of licence. Accordingly, the Commission renewed the broadcasting licences for the English-language commercial radio programming undertakings CJHD-FM and CJNS-FM from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2018.

On May 24th, Rawlco learned that its bid to acquire an FM licence for Calgary had been unsuccessful.

On June 29th, the Governor General announced that Gordon Rawlinson had been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, "... for his contributions in broadcasting and for his philanthropic engagement, notably in support of First Nations students."

2014

On July 10th the Jim Pattison Group announced that, subject to CRTC approval, they would be acquiring from Rawlco Radio nine radio stations in Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Gord Rawlinson stated:

"When we were approached by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, I was impressed with how their style of operating radio stations was very similar to ours. They have an outstanding reputation of providing excellent local radio with a keen focus on community service. I was also pleased with the Pattison commitment to provide opportunities for all of the current Rawlco employees to grow their careers with Pattison. I am confident that these stations will be in very good hands."

Pattison Group chairman and CEO Jim Pattison said:

"The Rawlinson family have built a great legacy in Canadian broadcasting with the first purchase of CKBI Radio in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1946. I thank Rawlco Radio CEO, Gordon Rawlinson, for allowing us the opportunity to continue building on his family’s history in the radio industry, especially in the province of Saskatchewan, with which we both have close ties."

The stations included in the proposed deal were:

Edmonton, Alberta
CKNO-FM 102.3 Now! 
CIUP-FM Up! 99.3 

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
CKBI 900
CFMM-FM Power 99 
CHQX-FM Mix 101 

North Battleford, Saskatchewan
CJCQ-FM Q98 
CJHD-FM 93.3 The Rock 
CJNB 1050 

Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan
CJNS-FM 102.3

2016

It was announced that Gord Rawlinson, CEO of Rawlco, was among the recipients of the 2016 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour. The Order of Merit recognized excellence, achievement and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the province and its people.

Rawlco Radio Inc. Radio Stations

(Click on the call letters to view individual station histories)

Station Freq. Location
CFFR-AM
660
Calgary, AB
CFGO-AM
1200
Ottawa, ON
CFMC-FM
95.1
Saskatoon, SK
CHUP-FM
97.7
Calgary, AB
CIUP-FM
99.3
Edmonton, AB
CIZL-FM
98.9
Regina, SK
CJAQ-FM
96.9
Calgary, AB
CJCQ-FM
97.9
North Battleford, SK
CJDJ-FM
102.1
Saskatoon, SK
CJHD-FM
93.3
North Battleford, SK

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