CKEA-FM, 95.7 Cruz FM, Edmonton

Harvard Broadcasting Inc.

CKEA-FM201095.747,000Harvard Broadcasting Inc.


On October 17, the CRTC approved in part the applications by CTV Ltd. and Harvard Broadcasting Inc. for licences to operate new English-language commercial FM radio stations to serve Edmonton. Within 90 days of the date of this decision, each of these applicants would have to submit an amendment to their respective applications proposing the use of an FM frequency other than 107.1 MHz (channel 296C1) that was acceptable to both the Commission and the Department of Industry. Both CTV and Harvard proposed the use of 107.1 MHz but that channel was awarded to John Charles Yerxa for his new station. Harvard proposed an effective radiated power of 40,000 watts on this frequency. Harvard proposed an Adult Album Alternative (Triple A) format targeting listeners from 25 to 64 years of age (core audience of 35 to 54 years of age), strongly skewed towards women (70%). A total of 126 hours per broadcast week would be live-to-air local programming. Of this amount, 22 hours and 25 minutes would be spoken word programming, with seven hours and 29 minutes of “pure” news (80% of which would be local). Further, Harvard proposed to devote, by condition of licence, 40% of all Category 2 music broadcast each week and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, as well as 20% of all subcategory 34 (Jazz and Blues) music broadcast each broadcast week to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety. The licence would expire August 31, 2015.


On July 23, the CRTC approved the application by Harvard Broadcasting Inc. to operate its new English-language commercial FM radio station in Edmonton at 95.7 MHz (channel 239C1) with an average effective radiated power of 47,000 watts. The Commission denied the application by CTV to operate its new English-language commercial FM radio station in Edmonton under the same technical parameters.


CKEA-FM began on-air testing on August 31 and officially signed on the air as “The Sound” at 9:57 a.m., September 6. Studios and offices were located at 5241 Calgary Trail in Edmonton. The Harvard-owned station had a ‘90s Gold-based Triple A-format, aimed at 25-44 year olds and favouring women. CKEA’s frequency was the last one available in Edmonton, where there were more radio stations per capita than in any other Canadian city.

Tamara Konrad became General Manager/General Sales Manager at CKEA 95.7. She had been Operations Manager at Corus Edmonton.

Broadcast Engineer Chris Terpsma, the Chief Engineer at Vista Broadcasting, move to become responsible for technical operations at Harvard’s new stations in Edmonton and Red Deer.

Christian Hall, in addition to his responsibilities as Program Director/Operations Manager at X92.9, became Program Manager for the Harvard Alberta Radio cluster.


In March, Harvard Broadcasting introduced Edmonton’s newest FM radio station – Lite 95.7, Edmonton’s Lite Favourites! The new Adult Contemporary format (from 90’s based Triple A to Soft AC) debuted with a weekend of Christmas music. The husband and wife team of Jamie O’Connell and Dan Hunt hosted the morning show (6-10 a.m.). They had been with Rawlco’s up! 99.3 in Edmonton. Long time Edmonton personality Ryann Bradley hosted Lite afternoons from 3-7 p.m. He had been CKEA’s morning man. Lite 95.7’s format shift was a strategic move in light of CFMG-FM having switched to Virgin Radio 104.9.

The CRTC approved the change to the effective control of Harvard Broadcasting Inc. from Frederick W. Hill to Paul J. Hill following the death of Frederick W. Hill in July 2008. Harvard was the licensee of radio stations and the parent company of two other licensees of radio stations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Lite 95.7’s new midday show host was Shirley McQueen, most recently the morning co-host at Jack FM in Regina.

Sarah Gardener was now the Promotions & Marketing Director at Harvard Lite 95.7 CKEA-FM. While she worked for a non-profit organization immediately prior to this new position, she worked in a similar capacity at The Bounce Edmonton in the past.


Kim Fjellner became the new General Sales Manager at Lite 95.7/Hot 107 July 1. She moved from her GSM position at sister Harvard station 100.7 fm The River Red Deer.


On December 27 at 9 a.m., CKEA flipped from Adult Contemporary “LITE 95.7” to Classic Hits “95.7 Cruz FM”.


Sean Westphal (42) passed away suddenly on June 24. He was creative director at Harvard Broadcasting Edmonton (Hot 107 and 95.7 CRUZ FM), from CKEA-FM’s launch in 2010.

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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