CKBA-FM, Boom 94.1, Athabasca

Stingray Group Inc.

CKBA-FM201894.19,000Stingray Group Inc.
CKBA-FM200994.19,000Newcap Inc.
CKBA-AM20028501,000Newcap Inc.
CKBA-AM19918501,000Nor Net Inc.
CKBA-AM19898501,000CFOK Broadcasting Ltd.


On November 24th, 332540 British Columbia Ltd. received permission to operate a new AM station at Athabasca, on the frequency 850 kHz, with a transmitter power of 1,000 watts. The station would produce 24 hours of local programming each week, including 2 hours and 18 minutes of local news. The remaining programming would be provided by CFOK Westlock.


On August 1, CFOK launched semi-satellite CKBA.

332540 British Columbia Ltd. was now known as Nor-Net Communications Ltd.


On Febraury 22, approval was given for the transfer effective control of Nor-Net Communications Ltd., licensee of CFOK Westlock, CKWA Slave Lake, CKBA Athabasca, CHLW St. Paul and its rebroadcaster CHLW-1 Grand Centre, CILW Wainwright, CKVH High Prairie, CKNL Fort St. John and CFNL Fort Nelson, through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares of 362278 British Columbia Ltd., a company which owned 25% of Nor-Net, from Eugene Daniel to Marco Holdings Ltd. This intra-corporate transaction would result in an existing shareholder buying out another minority shareholder and thereby gaining effective control of the licensee company. Until now, Marco held 50% of Nor-Net. As a result of this transaction, the share structure would remain unchanged; however, Marco would effectively control Nor-Net by holding 75% of the voting shares, 50% directly and 25% indirectly through 362278 British Columbia Ltd.

When CKBA’s licence was renewed August 26, the CRTC noted the fact the station had decreased the amount of news programming broadcast each week from 2 hours, 18 minutes to 1 hour, 45 minutes. The licensee was reminded of its obligation to provide a complete and satisfactory local news service to its


When CKBA had its licence renewed on August 26th, it was also authorized to change the program source to broadcast, in addition to local programming, programs received from CFOK Westlock.


On November 18, Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd. received approval to acquire Nornet Broadcasting Ltd. (including CKBA).


On October 7, approval was given for Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd. to effect an intra-corporate reorganization. OKS would transfer the assets of its television and radio stations in British Columbia and Alberta to 3537412 Canada Ltd., one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

On October 18, approval was granted for the transfer of ownership and control of Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd. through the transfer of all of its issued and outstanding shares to Telemedia Radio Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telemedia Communications Inc. Initially, Okanagan had applied for the transfer of its shares to TCI Acquisition Corporation. However, on August 31, by letter of authority, the CRTC approved the merger of Okanagan with TCI. The resulting company kept Okanagan’s name. Also, Telemedia advised the Commission that, effective September 1, 3581713 Canada Inc. amalgamated with Telemedia Radio. As a result of these mergers, Telemedia Radio was now the company that acquired the shares of Okanagan.


On April 19, the CRTC approved the sale of a number of radio and television stations in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia by Telemedia Radio Inc. and Telemedia Radio (West) Inc. to Standard Radio Inc. Standard was then allowed to sell certain of these stations to Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. and to a Newcap Inc.
subsidiary (3937844 Canada Inc.). Newcap acquired 15 Alberta radio stations and related transmitters (Newcap 76.34%, Standard 23.66%). CKBA was one of the 15 stations that would now be owned by Newcap.


On September 29 at 7:15 a.m., CKBA 850 Athabaska switched formats from country (“Cat Country”) to Classic Hits (“The Fox”). CFOK had made the switch on September 22nd.


On December 23 the CRTC approved the conversion of CKBA to the FM band. The new FM station would maintain the current Classic Hits music format targeted to adults between the ages of 25 and 54 with a particular focus on the 35 to 44 demographic. A minimum of 6 hours 48 minutes of the broadcast week will be devoted to spoken word programming including 3 hours of news content in addition to information on community events and charities as well as weather and surveillance. The applicant made a commitment to offer 126 hours of local programming in each broadcast week. The new FM station would operate on a frequency of 94.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 9,000 watts.


CKBA began on-air testing of its new FM frequency on July 14. 

On August 17 at 6:00 a.m. Newcap Radio Alberta Northwest signed 94.1 The River on the air. Athabasca’s Greatest Hits! station served the communities of Athabasca, Boyle, Colinton, Perryvale, Amber Valley, Island Lake, Forfar, Baptiste Lake, Mehnook, Caslan, Grassland and Donatville. 94.1 The River plays everything from Elton John, The Beatles, The Eagles and The Rolling Stones to U2, No Doubt, Katie Perry and everything in between. The station was named “The River” because of the mighty Athabasca which runs right by the town.Mark Cappis and Chris Byrne host “The Morning Current” weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and an all request show, “River Requests” will run weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to Noon.

CKBA turned off the 850 AM transmitter on September 17. 


Mark Cappis was now Assistant Program Director/afternoon show host at 97.9 The Range, having moved from sister Newcap station 94.1 The River Athabasca where he’d been since 2006.


On April 29, the CRTC approved CKBA’s application to relocate the transmitter site, decrease ERP from 9,000 to 7,200 watts, and increase EHAAT from 54.0 to 126.5 metres.


In July, CKBA rebranded from The River to Boom 94.1.


In February, CKBA received CRTC approval to increase ERP from 7,200 to 9,000 watts.

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.


In January, Stingray began syndicating the Real Country 95.5 Red Deer morning show across its Real Country and boom-branded radio stations in rural Alberta, leading to the elimination of 14 on-air positions. Boom 94.1 was among the stations to add the show.

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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