CJOK-FM , Country 93.3, Fort McMurray

Rogers Media

CJOK-AM200612301,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CJOK-AM197312301,000OK Radio Group Ltd.


Roger Charest and Stu Morton’s OK Radio Group opened CJOK 1230 on January 1 at 12:01 a.m. Power was 1,000 watts day and 250 watts at night.


On July 27, the CRTC approved the transfer of 50% of Charest Communications Ltd. from Roger Charest to Humford Developments Ltd., resulting in the indirect transfer of the 75% of Radio 1310 Ltd. held by Charest. A further transfer of 25% of Radio 1310 Ltd. from the present shareholders to Charest Communications was also approved. As a result, John M. Humphrey and Gordon H. Gifford, co-owners of Humford and existing shareholders (25% each) in Charest, acquired full beneficial ownership of Charest Communications and Radio 1310 Ltd.


Humford Developments Ltd. acquired a 90% interest in O.K. Radio Group Ltd. Stu Morton held the remaining 10%.


Roger Charest and Stu Morton purchased O.K. Radio Group Ltd. (50% each). Humford Developments Ltd. had held a 90% interest. Charest founded CJOK in 1973 and Morton was the station’s original manager. The new ownership interest brought Charest’s CKER Edmonton under the O.K. umbrella.


On April 20, approval was granted for the sale of OK Radio Group Ltd. by Humford Developments Ltd. and R. Stuart Morton to CKER Radio Ltd. OK owned CJOK, CFOK, CIOK and CIOK-1. Also approved: the conversion of 100% of the issued common shares of CKER Radio Ltd. to non-voting preferred shares for existing shareholders; the issuance of an additional 100 preferred shares to R. Stuart Morton; the issuance of 100 new common voting shares of CKER to Roger Charest (51), R. Stuart Morton (41), Frank Charest (3), Don Rollans (2), Ronald Clark (1), Larry Snelgrove (1) and Linda Charest (1). Control of CKER Radio Ltd. would remain with Roger Charest. CKER Radio Ltd. would have indirect control of CFOK a country station serving the rural area north and west of Edmonton, while maintaining direct control of CKER Edmonton. On the same date, approval was granted for the sale of CIOK and CIOK-1 to LW Broadcasting Ltd.


On April 4, CJOK was granted a change of frequency from 1230 kHz to 550 kHz, and an increase in daytime power from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts. Night-time power would increase from 500 watts to 5,000 watts. For a variety of reasons, these technical changes were never made.


Bruce Smith was named news director.


On January 7, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CJOK by changing the frequency from 550 kHz to 1230 kHz, and by decreasing the power from 10,000 watts to 1,000 watts (day-time) and from 5,000 watts to 1,000 watts (night-time). 

CJOK opted to remain at 1230 kHz with power of 1,000 watts. The authorized move to 550 kHz was never implemented.


On September 29, CJOK was granted a rebroadcast transmitter at the Suncor Oilsands Plant at Tar Island, operating on 95.7 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 44.3 watts. The transmitter was set up to serve the Suncor employees.


On December 10, the conversion of CJOK to the FM band was approved. The new station would operate on 93.3 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 10,700 watts. 


CJOK made the move from AM to FM.


CJOK/KYX 98 Program Director Russell Thomas left the stations. As of June 7, Mike Hardy became PD for the two stations. He had been Retail Promotions Coordinator at CJOB/Power97 Winnipeg.


Frank George Arthur Makepeace, 93, passed away. He entered the radio business in 1928, worked at Sunwapta Broadcasting for 30 years, retired, then helped to build CHQT. He was with that station for eight years. Makepeace then moved on to build the first studio for CJOK.


Tim Day left CJOK as morning man to become program director for both CJOK and KYX98.


On September 3, O.K. Radio Group Ltd. was given approval to change the operations of CJOK-FM-1 Tar Island, by relocating the transmitter to a location approximately 7 kilometres southeast of the existing site, and increasing the effective antenna height above average terrain from 56 to 59 metres.


On March 17, O.K. Radio Group was given permission to delete CJOK-FM-1 from the licence of CJOK-FM and add it to the licence of sister station CKYX-FM. CJOK-FM-1 was originally built to serve the employees of Suncor Energy. It was the Suncor employees and management that requested the change in programming from CJOK-FM to CKYX-FM.

At this time, studios and offices for CKYX and CJOK were located at 9912 Franklin Avenue in Fort McMurray.


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). Rogers was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rogers Media Inc., which, in turn, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc., a corporation ultimately controlled by Edward S. Rogers. O.K. was controlled by Roger Charest.


Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CJOK-AM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.


Kenny Jones, long time Country 93.3 morning host, left the station for Abbotsford BC. Ben McCully joined Country 93.3 as morning show host. He had been working at CHEZ-FM in Ottawa. The new general manager at Rogers Radio Victoria was Jim Schneider, who transferred from Country 93.3 /Rock 97.9 Fort McMurray.

The new General Manager at Rogers Radio Victoria was Jim Schneider, transferring to Vancouver Island from Country 93.3 (CJOK)/Rock 97.9 (CKYX) Fort McMurray. He succeeded Kim Hesketh in leading The Ocean and Jack FM. Schneider succeeded Kelly Boyd at Rogers Fort McMurray (CJOK/KYX 98)where he had been Assistant GM/General Sales Manager. Coincidental to Schneider’s promotion were the departures of Gorde Edlund and Dawn Kaysoe. Edlund was Program Director at Jack FM while Kaysoe was PD at The Ocean.

Stephen Peck, who once was with Newcap Calgary, became General Manager/General Sales Manager at CJOK/CKYX on March 15.


On March 11, the CRTC renewed the licence for CJOK-FM to August 31, 2017.

It was announced that Amanda Young would join Rogers Fort McMurray as the Country 93.3 program director and the promo director for Country 93.3 and ROCK 97.9. Amanda had been with Rogers Calgary. Mark Naskar was promoted to the position of program director for ROCK 97.9. He would also continue as music director for ROCK 97.9 FM. Andrew Adoku was the new engineer at Country 93.3/Rock 97.9 Fort McMurray. New to the broadcasting industry, Adoku moved from Montreal where he worked in the electronics industry.

Greg Johnson became Program Director at 92.5 JOE FM on August 2. He had been PD at Country 93.3/Rock 97.9 Fort McMurray, leaving there July 15. Amanda Young moved to Country 93.3 FM as Program Director and as Promotion Director for Country 93.3 and ROCK 97.9. She had been with sister Rogers Calgary where she was Promotions Director.


Jim Blundell succeeded Kevin McKanna and is the Acting General Manager of the 13 Rogers Radio stations in Alberta. Blundell had been the Vice President & GM at CTV Vancouver Island, C-FAX and KooL FM Victoria and left Bell Media in September of last year. Blundell’s background included being the Market Manager for the CHUM radio stations in Brockville, Kingston and Peterborough. In 2007, he was promoted to VP/GM of then Star-FM London and, in 2009, he was promoted again to take the lead at CHUM’s (now Bell Media’s) Victoria properties.


Program and Promotion Director Amanda Young left CJOK/CKYX to become Promotion Director and Assistant PD at BOB FM in London. She was to start her new job on July 1. After Amanda King left and Tyler King took over as PD of CKYX, John Knox became Program Director of CJOK and promotions director for both stations.


Jerry Neville left CJOK as morning host and was replaced by Pete Potipcoe on March 10. After Tyler King left in July, John Knox assumed the role of Director of Programming & Promotions for both stations with Chris Byrne as Music Director for CKYX and Mike Jones MD for CJOK. It was announced that Stephen Peck, GM/GSM at Rogers Radio Fort McMurray, would move to Ontario March 1 as the new GM/GSM at Rogers Radio Kingston.


In early May an out of control wildfire caused the evacuation of Fort McMurray’s 80,000 residents. Rogers-owned Country 93.3 and Rock 97.9 were forced to carry programming from out of market sister stations in the early going. Harvard stations Mix 103.7 and 100.5 Cruz FM were off the air for a time with staff providing updates on social media and out of market sister station programming. Rock 97.9 and Country 93.3 returned to the city in June, having been deemed by the Regional Municipality as an essential service. Since their evacuation May 4, the two stations had been airing programming from other Rogers stations – 660 News Calgary and then CFGP Grande Prairie on Rock 97.9 and Country 104.3 Sault Ste. Marie on Country 93.3. Broadcasting began from Rogers Fort McMurray May 30, with six hours of Country 93.3 simulcast on Rock 97.9 and then six hours of Rock 97.9 simulcast on Country 93.3. That was increased to 12 hours each on June 2.

Former and long-time CJOK/CKYX general manager Kelly Boyd passed away in November. Boyd retired in December of 2006 during the ownership transition from OK Radio to Rogers.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

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