In August, the first appearance of the name Rogers on the Canadian broadcasting scene came with the introduction of the Rogers Batteryless Radio at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. The break-through invention was powered by alternating current (A.C.), thanks to the new tubes that Edward S. (Ted) Rogers had invented, which did not need batteries, and which eliminated the severe hum that had previously been triggered by the use of alternating current. The development of the new receiver had been financed by Edward’s father Albert’s holding company, Standard Radio Manufacturing Corporation Ltd. (Standard).
Standard obtained an experimental license for “9RB”. Using the tubes that he had developed, Ted Rogers built the world’s first radio broadcasting transmitter operating from power lines, without batteries and motorized D.C. converters. On February 19, 1927, 9RB became CFRB (“RB” for Rogers Batteryless), broadcasting on 1030 kHz with 1,000 watts. It was operated by Rogers Radio Broadcasting Company.
When Ted Rogers died in 1939, his son Ted Jnr. was not yet six years old. The early involvement of the Rogers family in Canadian broadcasting, and specifically CFRB, would however continue until 1946, when Ted Rogers Snr.’s widow Velma sold her shares in Standard Radio Limited, by then the parent company of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. It would be another sixteen years before a Rogers would re-emerge as the owner of a Canadian broadcasting station, though he was never to be successful in regaining ownership of the station his father had founded.
After graduating from Upper Canada College, Ted Rogers Jnr. earned a B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1956. He then began studying for a law degree at Osgoode Hall, but broadcasting was obviously in his blood and, while still a student, he and partner Joel Aldred raised an $85,000 loan to buy radio station CHFI-FM Toronto from James Piggott. Also during the year, Aldred and Rogers together acquired a 30% position in Baton-Aldred-Rogers Broadcasting Ltd., the company that competed for and was granted the licence for Toronto’s first private television station CFTO-TV.
In October, CHFI-FM began broadcasting in stereo, the first Canadian FM radio station to do so. In the same month, the CTV Network began providing a national service to its affiliates, which included CFTO-TV.
Early in the year, Ted Rogers bought out his partner Joel Aldred and the corporate name of the company became CHFI-FM Limited. On August 8th, CHFI-FM launched an AM partner station, CHFI-AM, which simulcast the programming of its FM associate, initially only during daylight hours.
Ted Rogers changed the company’s corporate name to Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. In October, approval was received for CHFI-AM to expand its broadcasting to include night-time hours.
While he would go on to make more radio and television station acquisitions down the road, Ted Rogers was once again quick off the mark in recognizing the enormous potential for cable television in Canada. He founded Rogers Cable TV, and his first acquisition was a system of 300 subscribers in the Greater Toronto area, Bramalea Telecable. The same year, he acquired cable licences for Brampton, Leamington and part of Toronto.
Later, Rogers got back into the radio business again by buying CHIQ-AM Hamilton from CHIQ Ltd.( J. Irving Zucker and Jack Schoone). The call letters were changed to CHAM-AM.
Rogers added to his Leamington holdings by acquiring radio stations CHRY-AM and CHIR-AM from Sun Parlor Broadcasting.
Rogers Cable launched its first Community Channel.
On June 21st, which would have been Ted Rogers Senior’s 71st birthday, CHFI-AM’s call letters were changed to CFTR-AM in his honour.
The call letters for CHAM-AM Hamilton were changed in October from CHAM to CJJD, as plans were in the works for the station to be acquired by Keith J. Dancy, President of Rogers Radio Ltd.
Keith Dancy became a director of Rogers Radio and general manager of CJJD. He had joined Rogers Broadcasting in 1970 and was appointed president of Rogers Radio in 1975.
A numbered company formed by Keith J. Dancy received approval to acquire CJJD Hamilton from Rogers Radio Ltd. Rogers Management Services Ltd. received permission to purchase CKJD Sarnia and CHYR Leamington from Dancy Broadcasting Ltd. Dancy established the Sarnia station in 1968 and tried to buy the Hamilton station in 1970 but the CRTC said no. With the purchase of CJJD, Dancy left Rogers Radio Ltd. He was replaced by Jim Sward. Dancy took ownership of CJJD on September 1.
Rogers became a public company, and the biggest cable company in Canada, with the acquisition of Canadian Cable Systems Ltd.
Keith Dancy, president of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Ltd. announced the appointment of Jim Sward as executive VP as of March.
Sarnia’s first commercial FM station was licensed to Rogers Radio Broadcasting Ltd., owner of CKJD-AM. It would have the callsign CJFI-FM.
CJFI-FM Sarnia began broadcasting on September 14. Studios and offices were co-located with CKJD-AM at 546 North Christina Street.
While expanding in the radio field, Rogers continued to get involved in new cable ventures. During the year, the company acquired U.S. cable franchises in Orange County, Calif., Minneapolis, Portland and San Antonio.
On June 19th, the CRTC approved Rogers’ application to acquire Multilingual Television (Toronto) Limited (MTV), licensee of CFMT-TV Toronto, the only full-time ethnic television station in Canada. It was a condition of approval that the status of CFMT-TV as an ethnic television station be maintained.
Ted Rogers formed Rogers Communications Ltd. as the parent company for his various operating divisions.
Approval was granted July 16 for Rogers to sell CJFI / CKJD Sarnia, along with CHYR / CHYR-7 Leamington to Blue Water Broadcasting Ltd. (67% owned by Eastern Broadcasting, 24% by Don Chamberlain and 9% by Gerald Kennedy). Eastern was 90% owned by Maritime Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Maclean-Hunter Limited.
On September 28th, the CRTC approved Rogers’ application to acquire several former Selkirk stations that had earlier in the year been sold to Maclean Hunter. These were CFAC Calgary, and CFHC Canmore/CFHC-1 Banff, Alberta; CJOC and CILA-FM Lethbridge and CJPR Blairmore, Alberta, plus its rebroadcaster CJEV Elkford, British Columbia; CJIB Vernon, British Columbia; CFGP Grande Prairie, Alberta; and CJVI (later CHTT) Victoria, CKWX and its rebroadcaster CKFX-SW, and CKKS-FM and CKWX-FM Vancouver. In addition, Rogers acquired several Mountain FM Radio properties that had also gone the Selkirk/Maclean Hunter route, namely CISQ-FM Squamish and its rebroadcasting stations CISW-FM Whistler, CISP-FM Pemberton, CISC-FM Gibsons, CISE-FM Sechelt, CIPN-FM Pender Harbour and CIEG-FM Egmont, British Columbia.
In the television field, Rogers acquired ownership of The Canadian Home Shopping Network, and renamed it The Shopping Channel.
On August 20th, Rogers received CRTC approval for them to acquire radio stations CHFM-FM Calgary and its rebroadcaster CHFM-FM-1 Banff, and CKY-AM and CITI-FM Winnipeg, all from Moffat Communications.
On February 10, CFMT-TV was given permission to add a transmitter, CFTM-TV-1, at London, operating on channel 69.
On December 19th, Rogers Communications Limited received CRTC approval to acquire effective control of Maclean Hunter Limited. In addition to M-H’s substantial Ontario publishing and cable holdings, Rogers acquired several broadcasting assets to be controlled by Rogers Broadcasting Limited, including 21 radio stations in Ontario and the Maritimes, plus CFCN-TV Calgary and CFCN-TV-5 Lethbridge. It was a condition of the Commission’s approval that Rogers would within twelve months apply to transfer effective control of the Calgary and Lethbridge television stations to a third party, and would likewise divest itself of MHL’s indirect 14.3% shareholding in the CTV network.
In separate decisions of the same date, the CRTC approved the resale by Rogers of several of the radio properties to Telemedia (CKYC Toronto), Bluewater Broadcasting (CKTY and CFGX-FM Sarnia, CHYR-FM Leamington and CFCO Chatham), Shaw Communications (CFNY-FM Brampton), and Maritime Broadcasting System Limited (Maritime), (CKDH Amherst, CHFX-FM and CHNS/CHNX Halifax, Nova Scotia; CKNB Campbellton, CKCW and CFQM-FM Moncton, CFAN Newcastle, CIOK-FM Saint John, and CJCW Sussex, New Brunswick); and CFCY and CHLQ-FM Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Rogers retained ownership of CKBY-FM and CIWW-AM Ottawa, and CKGL-FM and CHYM-FM Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as a 60% interest in the Country Network specialty channel.
On August 21, the CRTC approved a two-stage intra-corporate re-organization of Capital Broadcasting, owner of CFMS and CKDA, Victoria B.C. Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. would own CFMS-FM while O.K. Radio Group Ltd. would own CKDA-AM. Rogers already owned CJVI-AM while O.K. owned CKKQ-FM. These sales were completed September 1. CFMS left the air, returning on December 11 as CIOC-FM – “The Ocean”.
On September 4th, 1996, the CRTC granted a specialty channel licence for Outdoor Life Canada to a group formed by Baton Broadcasting, Ralph Ellis, Rogers Broadcasting and Outdoor Life USA. The channel began broadcasting on October 9th 1997. Rogers held a 29.9% position in the consortium.
On July 2, the sale of Ottawa station CHEZ-FM Inc. and CJET / CFMO-FM Smith’s Falls by Harvey Glatt to Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was approved by the CRTC.
On September 10th, the CRTC announced that it had approved a transfer of the ownership and control of 578223 British Columbia Ltd. (Fraser Newco) to Rogers Broadcasting Limited. Fraser Newco was the licensee of CHWK-AM Chilliwack, CKGO-AM Hope and its transmitter CKGO-FM-1 Boston Bar, CKMA Abbotsford, CKSR-FM Chilliwack and its transmitters CFSR-FM Mount Seymour and CFSR-FM-1 Abbotsford.
At the same time, the Commission announced that it had approved the transfer to Rogers of control of Rawlco (Alberta) Ltd., licensee of radio programming undertakings CFFR and CKIS-FM Calgary and its transmitters CKIS-FM-1 Banff, CKIS-FM-2 Lake Louise and CKIS-FM-3 Invermere, and of Rawlco (Toronto) Ltd., licensee of radio programming undertaking CISS-FM Toronto.
On December 14th, a company formed jointly by Rogers Broadcasting, Shaw Communications and A & E Canada received approval from the CRTC for a new specialty channel, to be named The Biography Channel.
Rogers Broadcasting was granted a specialty licence in November 2000 for a channel to be called Tech TV Canada, which would “provide lifestyle information for the ‘e generation’, with programming devoted to computers, technology and the Internet.” It launched under that name in September 2001; Rogers were partnered in the venture by Shaw Communications and the U.S. Tech TV Channel.
On October 1st, Rogers received CRTC approval for the company to acquire ownership of what at the time was CTVSportsnet, which CTV had launched in 1998. On acquiring Netstar in 2000, CTV was required by the CRTC to divest itself of either Netstar’s TSN or their own Sportsnet, and they elected to sell the latter to Rogers.
On April 8th, Rogers received approval to launch a second ethnic Toronto station, which at the time was described as CFTM TOO. Rogers later renamed the new station CJMT-TV OMNI 2, which signed on the air September 16. A short time later, CFMT-TV channel 47 became known as OMNI 1.
On April 19th, the CRTC announced that it had approved an application by Rogers to acquire 14 radio stations from Standard Radio, plus the radio Prime Time Sports Network.
The radio stations were CKAT-AM, CKFX-FM and CHUR-FM North Bay, CICX-FM Orillia, CHAS-FM, CJQM-FM and CIRS-AM Sault St. Marie, CIGM-AM, CJRQ-FM and CJMX-FM Sudbury, CKGB-FM and CJQQ-FM Timmins, and CJCL-AM and CJCL-DR-2 (digital) Toronto.
On January 9, at 12 noon, Rogers station CKBY-FM Ottawa 105.3 (Y105) moved its country format to 101.1 Smiths Falls, as Y101. The station’s former105.3 frequency in Ottawa became CISS-FM (Kiss 105.3).
In May, Rogers’ specialty channel Tech TV was rebranded as G4TechTV.
On November 26, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was awarded licences for new FM News/Talk stations at Halifax, Moncton and Saint John. The Halifax transmitter would operate on 95.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 22,100 watts. All three stations would share live broadcasts.
On May 19, CFMT was authorized to add a transitional digital television programming undertaking in Ottawa, CFMT-TV-2, operating on channel 27C. On October 11 at 5:30 a.m., the new Rogers FM News/Talk stations CJNI-FM Halifax, CKNI-FM Moncton and CHNI-FM Saint John officially signed on the air.
On June 1st, Rogers Broadcasting Limited received CRTC approval to acquire all the shares of Biography Inc., held directly and indirectly by Shaw Communications Inc. and A&E Canada. Rogers thereby became the sole owner of the Biography Channel.
On November 29, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. received approval to acquire the Alberta stations owned by O.K. Radio Group Ltd. The stations were CHDI-FM and CKER-FM Edmonton, CJOK-FM and CKYX-FM Fort McMurray (and CJOK-FM-1 Tar Island), and CFGP-FM Grande Prairie (with CFGP-FM-1 Peace River and CFGP-FM-2 Tumbler Ridge).
On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval.
On September 28th, the CRTC approved Rogers’ acquisition of the five CITY-TV stations.
On December 24, the CRTC approved applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited, on behalf of itself and Larche Communications (Kitchener) Inc., for authority to exchange the assets of CICX-FM Orillia and CIKZ-FM Kitchener. Rogers was the current licensee of CICX-FM Orillia and a minority shareholder of Larche. Larche was the current licensee of CIKZ-FM Kitchener.
Rogers having received approval from the CRTC in 2007 for a new FM station in Medicine Hat, CKMH-FM (Rock 105.3) signed on the air at 1:05:30 p.m. on February 25.
On July 7th, the CRTC approved an application by Rogers that would allow them to acquire 100% ownership of the Outdoor Life Network specialty channel, by buying out all the outstanding shares held by CTVglobemedia (formerly Baton Broadcasting) and Versus, the then current owners of the Outdoor Life Channel US.
Rogers received CRTC approval for a new specialty channel to be called Baseball-TV. Rogers undertook that not more than 10% of its schedule would consist of live major league baseball coverage.
On December 10th the CRTC approved Rogers’ application for a new specialty channel, CITY News (Toronto), which would serve the Greater Toronto area.
On May 4th, the Commission approved an application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited for authority to acquire from K-Rock 1057 Inc. the assets of the FM radio stations CIKR-FM and CKXC-FM Kingston.
On June 5 at 3:00 p.m. CJAQ-FM Toronto became CKIS-FM (Kiss 92.5). The call letters were swapped with Rogers-owned CKIS-FM Calgary which now became CJAQ-FM.
On January 19th, Rogers announced that there would be substantial CITY-TV staff cuts in Toronto and several other markets, with the noon and 5pm newscasts being dropped.
In announcing the cuts. Rogers Media Television CEO Leslie Sole said:”Today’s changes, although difficult, are necessary to align our operations with the economic and regulatory realities of our industry”.
On March 22nd, the CRTC published its Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-167, being its decisions regarding a group-based approach to the licensing of private television services, following the receipt of input from all interested parties.
On August 9th, the CRTC announced administrative renewals of all the broadcasting licences held by CTVglobemedia, CanWest and Rogers, which would now expire at various dates in 2011 and 2012.
In making the announcement, the Commission said that this would enable them to consider the renewal of the major large English-language private conventional television ownership groups by taking into account the determinations in the aforesaid Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167.
It would also permit the Commission to consider the further renewal of community-based television programming undertakings by taking into account the determinations resulting from the review of the community television policy framework announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2009-661.
On July 27th, the CRTC announced the renewal of the broadcasting licences for the various television services affiliated with the Rogers Media Inc. (Rogers Media) ownership group from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2014. In so doing, the Commission said that this short-term renewal would permit the Commission to reassess the applicability of the group-based policy and Rogers Media’s commitments to spending on Canadian programming and programs of national interest.
In announcing this decision, the Commission said that it was implementing its new group-based licensing policy for large private English-language ownership groups. This policy was developed to prepare both the broadcasting industry and the Commission for the new reality of large, integrated broadcasting ownership groups. Under this policy, the Commission would reduce its focus on Canadian exhibition and concentrate to a greater extent on ensuring stable funding to Canadian production through programming expenditure requirements, particularly in regard to programming that continued to be under-represented in the Canadian broadcasting system. In addition, the Commission said it had also introduced a much greater level of flexibility in the manner in which television services would make and account for Canadian programming expenditures.
Citytv rebranded as City (dropped the “tv”).
In Decision 2014-399 dated July 31st 2014, the CRTC announced that it had determined that Rogers Media Inc. (Rogers) had met the requirements to be considered a designated group for the purposes of the group-based approach set out in “A group-based approach to the licensing of private television services”, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-167, 22 March 2010.
With respect to the “City” television stations, the Commission renewed, under its group-based approach, the broadcasting licences for the English-language conventional television stations CJNT-DT Montréal; CITY-DT Toronto and its transmitters CITY-DT-2 Woodstock and CITY-DT-3 Ottawa; CHMI-DT Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg; CKAL-DT Calgary and its transmitter CKAL-DT-1 Lethbridge; CKEM-DT Edmonton and its transmitter CKEM-TV-1 Red Deer; and CKVU-DT Vancouver and its transmitters CKVU-TV-1 Courtenay and CKVU-DT-2 Victoria, from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2016.
The Commission also renewed, under its group-based approach, the broadcasting licences for the national, English-language specialty Category A services The Biography Channel, G4TechTV, Outdoor Life Network and Sportsnet 360, from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2016.
In addition, the Commission renewed the broadcasting licences for the national, English-language specialty Category B service Sportsnet World and the national, English-language specialty Category C service Sportsnet, from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2016.
Finally, with respect to the “OMNI” stations, as agreed to by the applicant, effective 1 September 2014, the Commission revoked the broadcasting licences for the multi-ethnic and multilingual conventional OMNI television stations CFMT-DT Toronto (OMNI.1) and its transmitters CFMT-DT-1 London and CFMT-DT-2 Ottawa; CJMT-DT Toronto (OMNI.2) and its transmitters CJMT-DT-1 London and CJMT-DT-2 Ottawa; CJCO-DT Calgary (OMNI AB); CJEO-DT Edmonton (OMNI AB); and CHNM-DT Vancouver (OMNI BC) and its transmitter CHNM-DT-1 Victoria. The Commission said it would issue new broadcasting licences for these undertakings, which would take effect 1 September 2014 and expire 31 August 2016. This would have the effect of aligning the OMNI stations with a two-year renewal cycle along with other Rogers properties.
The two-year licence terms granted for each of the above-noted services would allow the Commission to carry out in 2016 a thorough review of the group-based approach, and to align the renewal of the broadcasting licences for Rogers’ television stations and services with those of the other large private English-language ownership groups
World 101.7 (CKER Edmonton) was now offering the audio portion of Hockey Night in Canada – the Punjabi Edition from OMNI Television.
CKY Winnipeg rebranded in February from 102.3 CLEAR FM to KiSS 102.3. The format remained an Adult contemporary mix.
Branding changed for three northern Ontario stations: CJQQ Timmins, from Q92 to 92.1 Rock, CJRQ Sudbury from Q92 to 92.7 Rock, and North Bay’s CKFX changed from The Fox to 101.9 Rock.
On July 6, CITI Winnipeg was rebranded 92.1 CITI. The on-air line-up and music stayed the same, but The World Class Rock slogan was now gone.
In August, CFRV Lethbridge changed branding from The River to Kiss 107.7. The format remained Hot AC. CKYX Fort McMurray rebranded as 97.9 Rock. There was no change in the music format.
In the summer, CFGP Grande Prairie rebranded from Rock 97.7 to 97.7 Rock. CHEZ Ottawa rebranded from CHEZ 106 to 106.1 CHEZ. CJRX Lethbridge rebranded to 106.7 Rock from Rock 106. CKMH Medicine Hat rebranded from Rock 105.3 to 105.3 Rock.
In February, CHBN Edmonton changed branding from The Bounce to KISS 91.7.
On March 1, the Radioplayer streaming app launched in Canada and featured more than 400 Canadian radio stations, including Rogers Media stations.
In May, Rogers received CRTC approval to acquire CISL Vancouver from Newcap Inc. In the fall, CISL would rebrand as Sportsnet 650.
By Decision 2017-151 dated May 15th 2017, the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licences for the currently licensed television stations and discretionary services that would form part of the Rogers Media Inc. Group in the new licence term, from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2022. Further, the Commission renewed the broadcasting licences for the mainstream sports services Sportsnet and Sportsnet One, and the on-demand service Rogers on Demand, from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2022. In addition, the Commission renewed the television network licence for the program Hockey Night in Canada, from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2022. To coincide with the expiry date of the broadcasting licence granted to Rogers Media Inc. in Broadcasting Decision 2017-152, also published on May 15th 2017, to operate the national, multilingual multi-ethnic discretionary service OMNI Regional, the Commission renewed the broadcasting licences for the OMNI television stations from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2020.
Rogers Media signed deals with Hearst, Graham, Raycom, and Weigel media groups to air Cityline in syndication in the U.S., starting in the fall. The long-running, weekday talk show, hosted by Tracy Moore and covering fashion, home decor, parenting, food and beauty, would be available to more than 10 million American households in Chicago, Kansas City, Jacksonville, and Birmingham, and others.
On July 13, the CRTC approved an application by Rogers Media Inc., on behalf of Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited, for authority to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of TBCL, licensee of CJDL-FM and CKOT-FM. TBCL was owned by Lamers Holdings Inc., which in turn was owned by John D. Lamers (78%), Carolyn Watts (11%) and Christine Lamers (11%) and effectively controlled by Mr. Lamers.
In a surprise move, on August 14th, the Governor in Council, on the advice of the Honorable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, with support of Cabinet, referred back for reconsideration and hearing the Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2017-143 to 2017-147 (renewing licenses for television services of major French-language ownership groups) and CRTC 2017-148 to 2017-151 (renewing licenses for television services of major English-language ownership groups) of May 15, 2017.
The Minister made this statement:
“Canadian broadcasters and creators are at the centre of the broadcasting system, and at a time when our competitive advantage rests on creativity, they must be positioned to succeed.
The Government of Canada recognizes the significant investments Canadian broadcasters make in Canadian content. At the same time, the entire industry is in transition and the next few years will be critical to establishing the conditions for Canadians to be able to compete with the best in the world.
During this period of transition across the industry, original Canadian content and a dynamic creative sector are vital to the sector’s competitiveness, and its contribution to the Canadian economy.
We are asking the CRTC to reconsider these decisions in order to ensure that we achieve the right balance of investment in content and in the ability to compete.
In referring back these decisions, the Government wishes to affirm its support for great Canadian dramas, comedies, animation, films, documentaries — and other programs of national interest — that reflect our country and its diversity. It also recognizes the importance of original French-language content and support for the creators of music programming, short films and short-form documentaries.
As we look to the future of Canadian content, we must be bold. That’s why, this fall, I will present a vision that supports our cultural industries through this transformation and will bring us in line with the changing digital environment.”
In an interview, Madame Joly said that the Government had received 89 petitions asking that the CRTC decision, which was felt by many of those petitioning to have the potential for a negative effect on the amount of money to be spent by the licensees on Canadian programming, be referred back for…
In the fall, Rogers completed work on brand new studios at their Bloor & Jarvis location (Toronto) for 680 News, KiSS 92.5, and CHFI.
In the fall, CKKS-FM Vancouver proclaimed itself the first fully interactive radio station in the country, giving listeners the power to choose what songs go to air through a new online voting system via the station’s website and mobile app. Songs on the playlist could be pushed up and down in real time through user votes, with the most popular songs going to air.
It was announced in December that Alan Horn would step down as chair of the board of Rogers Communications Inc. effective January 1. He would remain on the RCI Board. Deputy chair Edward Rogers would become chair and Melinda Rogers would assume the role of deputy chair.
In July, Rogers acquired CJCY-FM Medicine Hat from Clear Sky Radio.
In August, CKOT-FM in Tillsonburg changed its branding from Easy 101 to Easy 101.3.
On August 30 the CRTC announced that it had responded to the government’s Order-in-Council to reconsider its decisions regarding large television groups by imposing conditions of licence on them to ensure the continued support of the Canadian creative sector. The government asked the CRTC to re-examine original Canadian French-language programs, programs of national interest in the English-language market and short-form programming, including music. These changes were made to preserve the viability, stability and competitiveness of the creative sector and the Canadian television market.
For the French-language market, the CRTC now required each group to make significant investments in the creation of French-language programs, representing 75% of its Canadian programming expenditures for original French-language programs starting in 2019-2020. The percentage in 2018-2019 would be 50%, which would enable the groups to adjust to the new requirements and ensure sufficient support for the production of original French-language content for the French-language market.
The CRTC also increased expenditure requirements for programs of national interest in the English-language market. The percentage would now be based on historical expenditures, to ensure sufficient investment in the production of these programs and financial contributions according to each group’s financial resources. Therefore, the requirements were increased from 5% to 7.5% of previous years’ revenues for Bell, and from 5% to 8.5% for Corus, while requirements for Rogers remained at 5%. The CRTC believed that this approach would ensure that the Canadian production sector continued to play an essential role in the Canadian economy and offer high-quality content to viewers in Canada and abroad.
The CRTC determined that the groups in both language markets would be required to allocate an average of $5.5 million per year to support the production of musical programs (FACTOR and MUSICACTION). These expenditures would be imposed from 2019 to 2022, and would ensure regulatory uniformity among the groups.
At the end of June, Bob McCown signed off for the last time as host of Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and its television simulcast Sportsnet 360. The program launched in 1989 and the 67 year old was the original host.
In August, CHTT Victoria returned to the branding it used between 2004 and 2015, as Kiss 103.1 was replaced by Jack 103.1 (Variety Hits).
On the November 9th edition of Hockey Night In Canada’s Coach’s Corner segment, commentator Don Cherry (85) made a comment about “you people” when referring to new Canadian immigrants who did not wear poppies for Remembrance Day. Many people found the comment to be racist. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council received so many complaints that its system was overwhelmed. Two days after the broadcast, Cherry was fired and Sportsnet issued the following statement: “Sports brings people together – it unites us, not divides us. Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for. Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank [him] for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.” In the end, Cherry refused to apologize, saying his comments were not racist and could be applied to any immigrants. Not long after, Cherry was again speaking to Canadian hockey fans via his own podcast.
In January, CHFI-FM Toronto celebrated 60 years under the ownership of Rogers. It was the first station to be owned by Edward S. Rogers, Jr.In February, Sevaun Palvetzian joined Rogers as Chief Communications Officer, leading communications and corporate social responsibility across wireless, cable, business services, TV, radio and sports.
Also in February, Rogers rebranded its Media division as Rogers Sports & Media.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Rogers launched Operation Support Local across its radio stations. The hub showcased local businesses on station websites. Listeners could see which local businesses were still serving customers and help them stay open by shopping online, ordering food delivery, or purchasing a gift card.
In the spring, News 1130 Vancouver and 680 News Toronto temporarily picked up All News Radio, a live news program produced and anchored out of 660 News Calgary that aired overnight on Rogers’ “green brand” stations 660 News, 570 News Kitchener, 1310 News Ottawa and News 95.7 Halifax. Rogers initially launched All News Radio in February. Vancouver aired the show from midnight to 5 a.m. daily, while Toronto only broadcast the program on weekend overnights.
On May 15, the CRTC denied the application by Toronto’s CKIS-FM to increase ERP to minimize co-channel interference from WBEE-FM Rochester, N.Y., and to improve the station’s local signal east and west of Toronto. The Commission considered that Rogers had not provided compelling evidence of signal interference within CKIS-FM’s primary service contour.
Julie Adam was named Senior Vice-President of Television & Broadcast Operations at Rogers Sports & Media, as Colette Watson vacated that role on June 15. Watson had spent three decades with Rogers, while Adam had been with the company 21 years and had been SVP of Radio & Audio since 2015.
To help celebrate the 60th anniversary of Rogers Communications, the Rogers family announced a $60-million community donation to various charities to help Canadians most affected by the financial impact of COVID-19. Among the charities to receive funding: Food Banks Canada, the Salvation Army, Women’s Shelters Canada, Children’s Aid Foundation, BOOST Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, Easter Seals Canada, as well as Ted Rogers Community Grants.
The Rogers application to change the originating station status from CKKS 107.5 Chilliwack to CKKS-FM-2 104.9 in Vancouver was turned down by the CRTC even though programming for the station had originated from Vancouver for years. At the time of the application hearing, the commission considered it as an application for a new station for Vancouver and not that of a rebroadcaster. The CRTC held a market capacity study and that produced a joint opposing intervention from Bell, Corus, and Stingray. The CRTC sided with the opposition. As a result Kiss Radio programming would continue to originate from the CKKS-FM-2 Vancouver transmitter.
Rogers Communications posted a total revenue decrease of 17% in Q2 and a 50% drop in Media revenue, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. Media revenue declines were primarily the result of lower advertising revenue due to softness in the market and the loss of sports revenue, including at the Toronto Blue Jays.
OMNI Television launched new Filipino and Arabic newscasts in the fall. The daily, 30-minute OMNI News: Arabic Edition and OMNI News: Filipino Edition featured local, national, and international news, and were produced in-house at OMNI studios in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton.
Rogers began airing the Roz & Mocha morning show from CKIS Toronto on CKY Winnipeg.
OMNI1 announced plans to debut late night talk show, Canadian Jewish TV (CJTV) on October 1 at 11:30 p.m. Hosted by Canadian poet Ieden Wall, the show would feature interviews and performances from notable Jewish figures, including Robert Lantos, Libby Znaimer, and Mark Breslin, among others.
Rogers Sports & Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, Bell Media and Corus Entertainment were the Foundational Partners of HireBIPOC, a new industry initiative aimed at changing hiring practices across television, film, and digital to ensure a more inclusive workforce. The goal was to increase representation on Canadian or shot-in-Canada productions in roles at all levels, from behind-the-scenes to executives, communications and marketing, and on-air.
Alfredo Tan joined Rogers Sports & Media as the new SVP of Strategy, Data & Partnerships on November 2. Tan had been Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Digital & Innovation Officer at WestJet since 2018.
In November, Rogers Sports & Media made staff cuts that included the cancellation of Breakfast Television in Calgary and Vancouver. Jobs were lost at a number of the company’s radio stations. The KiSS 92.5 Toronto morning show (Roz & Mocha) was extended to air on KiSS 100.5 North Bay, KiSS 99.3 Timmins, and KiSS 100.5 Sault Ste. Marie. It was believed there were around 100 layoffs in total across the country.
On December 2, the CRTC approved the application by Akash Broadcasting Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of the ethnic commercial specialty radio station CKER-FM Edmonton from Rogers Media Inc.
In January, Troy Scott moved out of his role as National Format Director of Rogers Sports & Media’s JACK FM brand to take up the position of National Format Director, Adult Contemporary & Content Director for CHFI-FM Toronto. Scott took over his new position from Wendy Duff, who was now National Content Director, Country and Content Director for Country 106.7 and CHYM 96.7 Kitchener. That role became vacant with the retirement of Peter McKeown in December.
Rogers launched inclusion and diversity program All IN to support equity-seeking communities by amplifying stories on a national stage that hadn’t always been heard with equal measure. The initiative would offer Big Brothers Big Sisters, Blacbiblio.com, Canadian Women & Sport, Friends of Ruby, and Spirit North free advertising and creative services to support their efforts in uplifting underserved communities. Because of the overwhelming response, an additional ten organizations that supported the Black community would be profiled across the company’s assets.
The Toronto Blue Jays became the first Major League Baseball team in decades without a dedicated radio broadcast. Sportsnet Media announced that games would be simulcast on the radio for the 2021 season. Sportsnet claimed that the simulcast was being done to streamline production and minimize travel. The network also said that Ben Wagner, who previously handled radio play-by-play duties for the organization, would remain part of the broadcast team.
Rick Matthews joined Rogers S&M as Director of Content Strategy in March. He was previously the VP of Kin Community Canada, through its acquisition by Corus Entertainment. Prior to joining Kin in 2014, Matthews was the Executive Producer of Steven and Chris on CBC.
Rogers and Shaw announced in March that they would combine in a $26 billion transaction, subject to regulatory approvals. The combined company would create a headquarters for all Western operations at Shaw Court in downtown Calgary where the President of Western operations and other senior roles would be based. Brad Shaw, Executive Chair & CEO of Shaw, and another Director to be nominated by the Shaw family, would be named to the Rogers Board.
Colin Watson (79) passed away in the spring. After Ted Rogers acquired Canadian Cablesystems in 1979, Watson was appointed President of Rogers Cable and went on to lead the division for nearly 20 years, working closely with Phil Lind to expand the cable business into the U.S. Watson left Rogers in 1996 but remained a Company Director for several years.
Lisa Damiani became Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer of Rogers Communications. She took over from the retiring Graeme McPhail, who had been with Rogers since 1991.
In April, Chris MacDonald was hired by Rogers as Senior Manager of Regional Delivery, Atlantic Canada. He had just completed a 5 year term as a CRTC Commissioner, and before that he spent 10 years in various sales positions with Rogers.
Scott Metcalfe officially retired April 30 as National Format Director of News and News Director at CFTR Toronto. His career started in 1976 at CHAB Moose Jaw, followed by a stint at CHED Edmonton. He joined CJCL Toronto in 1981, starting as Queen’s Park reporter and was made news director two years later. In 1992, the station rebranded an all sports format and Metcalfe was appointed Sports Director and Executive Producer. Rogers acquired CJCL in 2003 and Metcalfe was subsequently named news director at CFTR and promoted in 2018 to National Format Director, overseeing the Rogers’ “Green Brand” news stations across the country.
Christian Hall joined Rogers as National Content Director, JACK and Content Director for Vancouver stations CJAX and CKKS. Hall was VP, Brands & Content for Harvard Broadcasting’s 13 stations across Alberta and Saskatchewan. He would be responsible for leading the company’s portfolio of JACK stations, including CJAQ Calgary, CHST London, CFLT Halifax, CHTT Victoria, CJCY Medicine Hat, and CJAX Vancouver.
Jeremy Vianna joined Rogers as the head of Digital Products, responsible for product strategy and user experience across news, entertainment and sports. Vianna had been with Twitter.
Rogers Sports & Media announced in June that its news radio stations would be rebranded under CityNews. Only the station names would change as listeners would continue to receive the same content from 680 NEWS Toronto, NEWS 1130 Vancouver, 660 NEWS Calgary, NEWS 95.7 Halifax, and 570 NEWS Kitchener. In December 2020, Rogers announced a similar rebrand of 1310 NEWS in Ottawa, which became CityNews Ottawa & The Valley, as two local news websites merged into one.
Rogers Media Radio Stations
(Click on the call letters to view individual station histories)
|CFGP-FM||97.7||Grande Prairie, AB|
|CHAS-FM||100.5||Sault Ste. Marie, ON|
|CHNI-FM||88.9||Saint John, NB|
|CHUR-FM||100.5||North Bay, ON|
|CJET-FM||92.3||Smiths Falls, ON|
|CJOK-FM||1230||Fort McMurray, AB|
|CJQM-FM||104.3||Sault Ste. Marie, ON|
|CKAT-AM||600||North Bay, ON|
|CKBY-FM||101.1||Smiths Falls, ON|
|CKFX-FM||101.9||North Bay, ON|
|CKMH-FM||105.3||Medicine Hat, AB|
|CKYX-FM||97.9||Fort McMurray, AB|
Rogers Media Television Stations
(Click on the call letters to view individual station histories)