William (Bill) Evanov started in Radio as a salesman for a new radio station in Toronto, CHIN-FM, and quickly rose to Sales Manager. He stayed with the station for 13 years, during which time he learned all facets of the business, which gave him ambitions for the future.
In 1980 he moved over to become Station Manager at CING-FM in Burlington ON, but he soon realized that running the station wasn’t enough ? he had the urge to own one.
With his friend Patrick Hurley, and while still manager of CING-FM, Bill bought his first radio station, CKMW-AM Brampton, on the outskirts of Toronto, from Mutual Broadcasting Canada. Mutual was headed by Michel Arpin, who years later would become Vice-President for Broadcasting for the CRTC. The station had been plagued with a poor frequency (790) for years, a problem that took almost 7 years to resolve. In the meantime the station would change completely, with a new sound and direction.
Bill Evanov and two colleagues from CIAO, Angelo Cremisio and John Dukelow, who had left CING-FM in 1986-87 but remained major shareholders, went back to Burlington to help the station launch a new dance music format targeted to an under-35 audience. They continued to manage the station for some time.
By now, the Brampton station, with call letters changed to CIAO and on 530 on the AM dial, was a multilingual station both in program producers and on-air personnel, serving the local community.
Bill Evanov’s next move was the purchase from Dufferin Communications of CIDC-FM at 103.5 in Orangeville ON, which could be heard in Toronto, but was very much an Orangeville area station as that was their avowed prime target audience. The station would eventually become the flagship station for the Evanov group.
With his first two stations comfortably established and returning a respectable profit, Bill decided to go back into the broadcasting market, and his next venture was the purchase in the spring of the Newmarket station CKDX ?FM 88.5 from Anthony Panza. The station was branded as The Jewel, and adopted the “Today’s New Easy Listening” format that the Evanov Radio Group had developed.
On November 26th, the CRTC licensed CMKW Ltd, an Evanov-controlled company, to operate a new FM radio station in Halifax, N.S., to operate on 103.5 MHz with a Youth Contemporary format.
On June 23rd, Evanov’s CKMW Radio Ltd. received approval from the CRTC to launch a new CM station in Ottawa, to operate on 98.5 MHz and provide a musical format targeted to older listeners.
On March 20th, Ottawa Media Ltd., an Evanov company, launched CJWL-FM in Ottawa on 98.5 MHz. The new station was branded as “The Jewel”.
On April 6th, after close scrutiny of the application, given the proposed program format, the CRTC granted its approval for the Evanov Group and the Rainbow Media Group Inc. to establish an FM station in Toronto to serve the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered community in Toronto and area. It would have the call letters CIRR-FM, and would broadcast on 103.9 MHz.
On August 14th the Evanov group put CKHZ-FM Halifax on the air. The station was branded as “Z103 ? The Beat of Halifax”. The station was patterned after sister station CIDC-FM (also Z103.5) in the Orangeville/Toronto market.
On April 16, at 6:00 am CIRR-FM (“103.9 Proud FM”) was launched. It claimed to be “the only commercial terrestrial radio station whose mandate is to serve the LGBT population”.
On June 27th, Evanov’s Ottawa Media Ltd. was advised that it had been successful in its application to operate a new FM radio station in Hawkesbury, Ontario, on 107.7 MHz.
On April 14th, Evanov Radio Group’s Ottawa Media subsidiary launched CKHK-FM 107.7 in Hawkesbury, Ontario, with an Easy Listening format.
On August 21st, Evanov Communications received approval from the Commission to launch a new FM radio station in Winnipeg. However, the approval was conditional on Evanov being able to propose an alternative frequency to 104.7 MHz, within 90 days. Subsequently, the CRTC approved Evanov’s proposal to locate the new station, to be identified as CFJL-FM (The Jewel) at 106.1 on the FM dial. Evanov was required to have the new station on the air within 24 months.
In a letter dated April 25, the CRTC approved an application whereby Evanov Communications Inc. became the majority shareholder of Rainbow Media Group. Following an amalgamation between Rainbow and Dufferin Communications Inc. on May 1, 2009, the latter became the licensee of CIRR-FM.
In September, the CRTC approved the change of effective control of Telephone City Broadcast Limited from the Estate of R.D. Buchanan to the Evanov Radio Group (ERG), through the transfer of all issued and outstanding shares of Telephone City to Evanov Communications Inc. Telephone City was the licensee of CKPC-AM and CKPC-FM in Brantford ON.
On October 7th, HFX Broadcasting, another division of ERG, received CRTC approval to operate a second FM radio station in Halifax, NS. HFX had been competing with two other applicants for the new Halifax licence, and the Commission stated that it felt that HFX’s proposed Adult Contemporary format would best meet the needs of the Halifax radio market by “addressing an underserved demographic in the market.”
On February 11th, Dufferin Communications Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evanov, filed an application for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio station in Hudson/St-Lazare, Quebec. The station would operate at 106.7 MHz (channel 294A) with an effective radiated power of 500 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 94 metres).
In late August, the new Halifax station, now designated as CKHY-FM – Live 105 – began testing its signal. Rob Johnson left Z103.5 to join Live 105 in Halifax.
CKHY-FM “Live 105” signed on the air at 1:05 p.m. on October 1, kicking things off with a countdown of the Top 105 Modern Rock songs.
Regular programming got underway October 4 at 5:30 a.m. with The Morning Mob with Cub Carson and Floyd, Mid Day Meltdown with Christina (Fitzgerald), The Scotty Mars Show, and After Dark with AJ (Reynolds).
On December 1, the CRTC approved an application by HFX Broadcasting Inc. relating to CKHY-FM Halifax in order to change the authorized contours of its transmitter by increasing the average effective radiated power from 32,000 to 100,000 watts (maximum ERP from 45,000 to 100,000 watts), by changing the antenna radiation pattern from directional to non-directional, by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 224.5 to 185.1 meters, and by changing the antenna site. The Commission noted that CKHY-FM’s existing antenna site was owned by the CBC, and that the licensee wished to move the antenna to a site owned by CTVglobemedia Inc., from which it operated sister station CKHZ-FM.
In June, CFJL-FM began testing its signal by playing non-stop commercial free music. A new music genre was featured each week.
CFJL “Energy 106 – Winnipeg’s NEW #1 Hit Music Station” launched at noon, July 29, by playing 10,000 songs in a row. Energy 106 blended Contemporary Hit Radio and Top 40 music featuring such artists as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Pitbull, Britney Spears, Down With Webster, Simple Plan. CFJL-FM targeted a core audience of 18-34 year olds. The first song played was “Give Me Everything Tonight” by Pitbull. On September 1, Energy 106 was officially launched.
On October 24th, the CRTC approved an application by Dufferin Communications Inc. for authority to acquire from Newcap Inc. the assets of the English-language commercial radio stations CHNK-FM and CKJS Winnipeg, and for new broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these stations. On November 26, CHNK-FM became CFJL-FM and was rebranded as “The Lounge 100.7 FM. Sister station Energy 106 changed its call sign from CFJL-FM to CHWE-FM.
On October 19th, the CRTC announced the approval of the February 11th 2010 application by Dufferin for a licence for a new FM station in Hudson St. Lazaire, Quebec. The station would operate at 106.7 MHz (channel 294A) with an effective radiated power of 500 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 94 metres). The launch of the new station, which would have the call-letters CHSV-FM, was however delayed, as Evanov asked the CRTC to approve technical changes, which would involve a switch to 1,420 watts (maximum ERP 2,650 watts), on a directional antenna pattern with an EHAAT of 94.5 metres, from a new site 5.3 km southeast of the original location.
On February 25th, the CRTC approved Evanov’s application for a licence for a new English-language FM radio station to serve the Clarence-Rockland area of Ontario, on 92.5 MHz. The station would broadcast non-directionally at 300 watts, and would be owned by Evanov through licensee Dufferin Communications Inc. It was later announced that the station call letters would be CHRC-FM.
On July 12th, Evanov announced that Dufferin had applied to the CRTC for a licence for a new adult contemporary station in Meaford, Ontario.
If approved, the new station would operate at 99.3 MHz. with an effective radiated power of 100 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 177 metres). The applicant proposed an Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening music format. The hearing of the application was held on September 13th.
CHRC-FM was launched in Clarence-Rockland on October 15th as Jewel 925, the area’s first full service local radio station.
On January 22nd, the CRTC approved the application by Evanov subsidiary Dufferin Communications for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio station in Meaford, Ontario. The station would operate at 99.3 MHz (channel 257A) with an average effective radiated power of 100 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 177 metres.
The station, CJGB-FM Jewel 99.3 began testing in August, and launched on September 1st.
Evanov’s application for technical changes to the parameters for CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint Lazaire was approved on September 18, 2014.
Radio Fierté launched February 2 with a Hot Adult Contemporary format serving Montreal’s LGBT community.
On March 9th, the new Evanov station CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint Lazaire was launched as Jewel 106.7.
On February 29, the CRTC denied CIDC’s application to relocate its transmitter from Orangeville to Halton Hills, and to increase its average ERP and antenna height.
On April 21, the CRTC denied an application to change the authorized contours of CJGB-FM (Meaford) by changing the antenna radiation pattern, increasing the average ERP, and decreasing antenna height.
On August 12th, the CRTC approved an application by Evanov for authority to acquire, as a part of a corporate reorganization of Evanov Communications Inc., the assets of CHRF Montreal and CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint-Lazare from Dufferin Communication Inc. (an Evanov subsidiary), as well as the assets of CFMB Montréal from CFMB Limited. Upon surrender of the current licences issued to Dufferin and CFMB Limited for the undertakings, the Commission would issue new licences to Evanov.
Early in the year, CFJL Winnipeg changed from Soft Adult Contemporary Jewel 100.5 to 90’s Classic Hits Hot 100.5.
On July 20, the CRTC approved an application by Dufferin Communications Inc. for authority to acquire from 1486781 Ontario Limited the assets of CFWC-FM Brantford. 1486781 Ontario was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sound of Faith Broadcasting Inc.
In October, Bill Evanov was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Small Business Summit Awards Gala in Caledon, marking 50 years in broadcasting.
On December 4, the Evanov stations joined the Bell Media iHeart Radio Canada streaming service (mobile app).
In March, the CRTC rejected CIDC’s application to increase ERP from 30,700 to 100,000 watts and to relocate the transmitter. It also turned down CIRR’s application to change frequency from 103.9 to 103.7 MHz and increase ERP from 225 to 10,000 watts. Both applications were said to be technically unacceptable.
In August, CKHY-FM Halifax switched from Active Rock as Live 105 to Active Rock/Hard Rock Classics as Rock 105.1.
On January 31, the CRTC denied the application by Dufferin Communications Inc. to change the frequencies and authorized contours of CIRR-FM Toronto and CIDC-FM Orangeville. The change would have involved a frequency swap. The company had made similar requests to the commission in the past and each time the applications were turned down.
On February 17, the CRTC approved the application by Dufferin Communications Inc. to change the authorized contours of CFWC-FM Brantford by increasing the maximum ERP from 250 to 3,000 watts, increasing the average ERP from 250 to 1,700 watts, increasing the EHAAT from 23.9 to 34 metres, and relocating the transmitter. The commission also approved the company’s request to swap the program formats of CFWC and CKPC-AM. CKPC’s Country format would move to CFWC while CFWC’s Christian music format would move to CKPC-AM.
Bill Evanov, 77, President and CEO of Evanov Radio died on February 28. He started in the business at CHIN Toronto in 1967. He moved to CING Burlington in 1980, and convinced the station’s owners that he and John Dukelow (also from CHIN) could turn the financially troubled CING around in exchange for a 35% interest. Evanov, Pat Hurley, and partners acquired partial ownership of CKMW in Brampton (later CIAO and now CHLO) and turned it into a multicultural station. The company grew over the years to include CIRR Toronto (the first LGBTQ station in the world), CIDC Orangeville, CKDX Newmarket, and many others. Evanov received the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 at Canadian Music Week.
Ky Joseph, Evanov’s EVP of Sales left the company May 29. She had been with Evanov for 26 years and worked closely with company founder Bill Evanov.
In the summer, Evanov entered into an agreement to sell HFX Broadcasting Inc. (CKHZ-FM and CKHY-FM) of Halifax, to Acadia Broadcasting, subject to CRTC approval.
On August 31, Arise 93.9 (CFWC) officially moved from 93.9 MHz to 1380 kHz. Until the launch of Hot Country 93.9 on September 4 at 4:00 p.m., CFWC was simulcast on both frequencies. Before the FM country debut, the power of 93.9 was increased from 250 watts to 3,000 watts (average 1,700 watts). Because CKPC-FM already existed on 92.1 MHz, Arise Christian Radio AM 1380 retained the CKPC-AM call letters and the new country station at 93.9 held on to the CFWC call sign.
On October 5, Toronto’s Proud-FM 103.9 introduced a syndicated American morning show – Elvis Duran and the Proud Morning Show from 6 to 10 a.m.
In December, the CRTC announced it would hold a hearing on February 25, 2021 to consider an application for the ownership change of CKHZ-FM and CKHY-FM Halifax from Evanov Radio Group to Acadia Broadcasting.
Barry Stewart was named programming manager for Evanov, advising and assisting all stations, in cooperation with PDs and brand managers.
Danielle Cyr became Evanov’s new Regional Sales Manager for Ontario East and Quebec, effective March 22. With experience in both radio and TV, Cyr previously worked with Evanov Radio Group as a GSM in Montreal from 2015-19, before joining Bell Media and CTV Montreal.
In the spring, Evanov Radio Group rebranded to Evanov Communications.
On April 26, the CRTC approved an application by Acadia Broadcasting Limited to acquire CKHY-FM and CKHZ-FM Halifax from HFX Broadcasting Inc. (Evanov).
Evanov left its “The Jewel” easy-listening format behind in four markets, moving to rebrand CJWL-FM Ottawa-Gatineau, CHRC-FM Clarence-Rockland, CKHK-FM Hawkesbury, and CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint-Lazare. The stations in Clarence-Rockland and Hawkesbury moved to Hot Country while the Ottawa-Gatineau and Hudson/Saint-Lazare stations adopted a softer sound with the LITE branding.
Lee Rodgers re-joined Evanov as the production manager for their country format stations, including CFWC Brantford, CKHK Hawkesbury and CHRC Clarence-Rockland. Rodgers had been the production manager and a fill-in announcer with Evanov’s Halifax stations.
Evanov Communications Radio Stations
(Click on the call letters to view individual station histories)