CIZZ-FM, Zed 99, Red Deer

Stingray Group Inc.

CIZZ-FM2018100.5100,000Stingray Group Inc.
CIZZ-FM2005100.5100,000NewCap Inc
CIZZ-FM1999100.5100,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CKRD-FM1965100.51,240Central Alberta Broadcasters Ltd.


CKRD-FM began broadcasting. The station operated on 100.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 1,240 watts. The station was owned by CKRD-FM Ltd. and was sister station to CKRD-AM and CKRD Television.


Early in the year, CKRD-FM was given approval to affiliate with the CBC-FM network.


Approval was given for the purchase of CKRD, CKRD-FM and CHCA-TV by Monarch Broadcasting of Medicine Hat.


CKRD (FM) Ltd. was granted a power increase for CKRD-FM, from 1,200 to 69,000 watts from a new transmitter site.


CKRD-FM was given approval to disaffiliate from the CBC (FM) network as the CBC now operated its own transmitter in the region. CKRD-FM was authorized to change to a Country music format. As a condition, the station was to develop local talent and make a recording studio available to Canadian artists.

Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. (1961) Ltd. was given approval to acquire CKRD-FM from CKRD (FM) Ltd. This put CKRD-FM under the same corporate banner as CKRD-AM and CKRD-TV.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CFCR-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.


CFCR/CKRD-AM news director Bernie Wolfe left for CFSK-TV in Saskatoon.

On August 27 Park Country Broadcasting Ltd. received permission to acquire CFCR-FM from Central Alberta Broadcasting Ltd. Park Country was controlled by R.D. Stephen (55.4%), through BGM Systems Ltd. The remaining shares (44.6%) were held by Mr. Stephen directly. Park Country was an established broadcasting company in the Red Deer market, as licensee of the country music radio station CKGY. In addition to being the licensee of CFCR-FM, Central was the licensee of CKRD Red Deer and CJXX Grande Prairie. Central was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monarch Broadcasting Ltd., which was ultimately owned and effectively controlled by Mr. W.H. Yuill. Merv Phillips, executive vice president of Monarch, said his company would concentrate its efforts on providing third television service to the area. Monarch joined up with Allarcom for a TV licence at Red Deer to rebroadcast Allarcom’s CITV-TV Edmonton.

While Central had maintained its position in the central Alberta market as a viable broadcasting company, CFCR-FM, operating competitively with CKGY for the past few years in a country format, had never been profitable. In an effort to improve CFCR-FM’s revenues, Central submitted an application to the CRTC over a year ago to change the station’s format. Following a call for applications to establish a new FM station for Red Deer, Park Country submitted an application and Central reconsidered its proposed format change and decided to sell CFCR-FM to Park Country.

Contending that there was strong listener demand for a rock oriented station in Red Deer, as evidenced by extensive research undertaken by it, Park Country proposed to change the existing country format of CFCR-FM to that of a Group II (Pop and Rock-Harder) station. As advanced by the applicant, such a change would add programming diversity in the market.

On the same date, Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. was authorized to purchase CFCR-FM and CKGY-AM from Park Country Broadcasting Ltd.

CFCR-FM became CIZZ-FM on November 2 at 9:00 a.m. The new station was launched by Rod Stephens (president of Shaw Radio), Fred Trainor (general manager) and Bob Mills (program director). Stephens founded CKGY in 1973 and would remain as president of Park Country and head Shaw’s new radio division (Shaw had agreed to purchase CHEC Lethbridge and CKTA Taber). With the call sign change, the station went from country to rock.


On March 28, CIZZ-FM was given approval to increase effective radiated power from 69,000 watts to 100,000 watts. CIZZ management told the CRTC that the changes would benefit the community through improved coverage, reliability and technical performance. Program director Bob Mills said the additional power was to provide listeners outside of Red Deer with a better sound. He added that they wanted to provide a really clean, static-free signal to their entire listening area.

A new HT-25FM transmitter from Harris Allied Broadcast Equipment was installed at the existing transmitter site, five miles east of town. It was tested on-air for three weeks to allow the public and air traffic services an opportunity to make any complaints about interference. The improved signal covered a large area of central Alberta, from just south of Edmonton (100 miles north of Red Deer) to Calgary (100 miles south of Red Deer), and west to the Rocky Mountains. 


Corus Entertainment Inc. was formed September 1, from the media assets of Shaw Communications Inc. Corus became a separate and distinct, publicly traded corporation. The Shaw family continued to hold the majority of voting shares in Corus.


On August 10, Newcap Inc. was given approval to purchase CIZZ-FM and CKGY-FM from Corus Radio Company.


Al Tompson was appointed to program director for Red Deer’s Home of Rock and Roll ZED99, replacing Brent Young who had been PD for both CKGY and CIZZ.

Sue Stevenson resigned as News Director at Newcap’s Central Alberta stations. Her last day was May 26. She had been with ZED and KG Country Red Deer for 24 years.

33-year industry veteran Al Redel was promoted from Assistant News Director to News Director for the Newcap Radio Stations in Red Deer and the ARG South. He succeeded former Red Deer/ARG South News Director Sue Stevenson. Redel promoted Sheldon Spackman as his successor to the position of Assistant News Director for the Newcap Radio Stations in Red Deer and the ARG South. He had been a newsman in Red Deer at KG and Z-99 for almost 5 years.

In August, Zed 99’s new morning show featuring Jack Hammer, Zap David’s and Christine Curtis signed on. Al Tompson, who was recently named program director moved from mornings to mid-days. Darin “D-Rock” Clark would hold down 2-6pm and would be joined by evening host Chad Daniels from 4-6pm for the “Drive Home with D-Rock & Daniels. JD Lewis took over weekends.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed CIZZ’s licence until August 31, 2017.

Newcap New Brunswick General Manager Hilary Montbourquette, who ran FRED-FM Fredericton and CJMO-FM/CJXL-FM Moncton, became General Manager/General Sales Manager at Newcap’s Alberta Radio South Group of stations (CKGY-FM and CIZZ-FM Red Deer, CIBQ and CIXF-FM Brooks, CJPR-FM Blairmore, CKDQ Drumheller and CKSQ Stettler), based at Z99/KG Country Red Deer. He succeeded Ron Thompson who retired September 30 (2009). As a result of Montbourquette’s move, completed mid-January (2010), Dan Fagan was promoted to GM/GSM of the Moncton stations and Dan Gallant was promoted to GM/GSM of the Fredericton station. Brad Muir was promoted to Operations Manager of Moncton and would continue to program FREDFM.

Al Tompson became Program Director at XL 103 Calgary in March. Tompson was the Program Director/Music Director/morning show host at ZED 99.

Chad Tabish moved from General Sales Manager at Newcap’s Alberta North East Hub to become GSM at Newcap Radio Red Deer and the Alberta South Radio Group (Stettler, Drumheller, Brooks and Blairmore). He had also been Station Manager at Lloyd FM Lloydminster. He began December 15.


Newcap Red Deer’s new Promotions Director was Natasha Eddy. Eddy, who began at Newcap on Halloween, had been an instructor at MC College for Aesthetics.

Andrew Loughrin was named as the new host of Zed Mornings. He joined Zap Davids and Christine Curtis as part of Red Deer and Central Alberta’s newest morning show. Andrew joined the station on January 31.


Newcap Alberta South general sales manager Rick Colliou was no longer with the company. He had been based at KG Country/ZED 99 Red Deer and was responsible for sales there and at Q91 Drumheller, Q14 Stettler and Mountain Radio Blairmore/Crowsnest Pass.

Al Lucas was promoted to General Sales Manager for Newcap’s Alberta Radio Group (South): KG Country/ZED 99 Red Deer, Q91Drumheller, Q14 Stettler, Mountain Radio Blairmore/Crowsnest Pass and Q105/The One Brooks. He moved up from Retail Sales Manager and Sales Manager at the Red Deer stations.


New Program Director at ZED98.9 was Jeff Murray, promoted from PD at Newcap’s seven station network (95.9 Lloyd FM, 93.7 Wayne FM, KEY 83 Wainwright, 101.1 KOOL FM Bonnyville, 97.7 The Spur St Paul, 103.5 Big Dog Lac La Biche and 95.3 FM K-Rock Cold Lake) in northeast Alberta. He began in Red Deer the first week of April.

It was announced that Hilary Montbourquette, who became Newcap director regional Alberta would maintain the Red Deer/Alberta Radio Group roles for the time being.


After 26 years with Newcap, Hilary Montbourquette left the company on May 31. He had been director, western regional operations and as GM of KG Country/Z98.9.


On October 23, the CRTC approved an application by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, on behalf of Newcap Inc. and its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, for authorization to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of various radio and television broadcasting undertakings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, so that effective control of the undertakings would be exercised by Eric Boyko (Stingray Digital Group Inc.). Stingray took ownership of the stations just a few days later.

The story continues elsewhere…
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