CKGY-FM, Real Country 95.5, Red Deer

Stingray Group Inc.

CKGY-FM201895.5100,000Stingray Group Inc.
CKGY-FM200595.5100,000NewCap Inc
CKGY-FM199995.5100,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CKGY-AM1989117050,000/14,000Shaw Cable
CKGY-AM1987117010,000/5,000Shaw Cable Ltd.
CKGY-AM1973117010,000/5,000Park Country Broadcasting Ltd.


On October 26, Park Country Broadcasting Ltd. received a licence for a new AM station at Red Deer. The station would operate on a frequency of 1170 kHz, and have a power of 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts at night (directional). Park Country was locally owned and operated, and headed by Rod Stephens. 


CKGY 1170 signed on the air on August 1.


Kris Burkholder resigned as news director. His successor was Al Redel. 


Sue Stevenson, formerly with CHLW St. Paul, joined CKGY as news director.

On August 8, CISN-FM Edmonton received a network licence for the purpose of broadcasting the program “Alberta Tonight”, from midnight to 5:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday over CKGY. “Alberta Tonight” consists primarily of country and country-oriented music featuring hourly news and sports updates with weather information relevant to each market. The Commission notes the licensee’s commitment to identify the call letters of CISN-FM and CKGY at least 3 times every hour and to insert public service announcements relevant to Red Deer listeners during this broadcast.


On August 27, Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. was given approval to purchase Park Country Broadcasting Ltd. through the transfer of 16,825 common shares from Mr. R. D. Stephen (7,500) and BGM Systems Ltd. (9,325). Park Country is controlled by R.D. Stephen (55.4%) through BGM Systems Ltd. The remaining shares (44.6%) are held by Mr. Stephen directly. Mr. Stephen indicated that factors contributing to the decision to sell Park Country included the financial resources available to Shaw and its ability to provide for the growth of CKGY, particularly through the financing of a planned power increase, his continued association with the station and the development of new careers for the station’s staff within the Shaw organization.  

Based in Edmonton, Shaw is the fourth largest cable company in Canada, with participation in fifteen systems in eastern and western regions of the country, including the Red Deer cable undertaking. For the past seventeen years, Shaw has focused exclusively on cable television and has now reached a stage where diversification is both possible and desirable. 


Brent Fitzpatrick joined CKGY. He had been general manager of CKNL Fort St. John and CFNL Fort Nelson. Ken Kilcullen became CKGY’s new morning man. He had been program director at CKTA in Taber.


On August 22, CKGY was given approval to increase power from 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night to 50,000 watts day and 14,000 watts night. The transmitter site would also be relocated approximately five kilometers due east of the existing location. The changes would increase the service area and provide listeners with a better signal without causing significant financial harm to other radio stations in central Alberta.


CKGY purchased a new Arrakis 10,000 studio console.


On October 7, the CRTC approved the application by Shaw Radio Limited to amend the licence for CKGY by changing the program source from studios located at Red Deer to studios located at Red Deer and Edmonton. The licensee proposed to replace CKGY’s programming with the signal of Shaw-owned CISN-FM Edmonton on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.


Ron Thompson was General Manager of CKGY.


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 February 9, CKGY’s conversion to the FM band was approved. The new station operated on 95.5 MHz with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The station continued to offer a country music format.

On May 1, CKGY made the switch to the FM dial as “KG Country 95-5 FM”.


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


The CRTC renewed CKGY-FM’s licence on August 17.


Abbey White became program director for Red Deer’s Country Music leader KG Country 95.5 FM, replacing Brent Young who had been PD for both CKGY and CIZZ.

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.

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.

CHNK Winnipeg Program Director Abbey White left that position to become PD at sister Newcap stations KG Country Red Deer and the Newcap stations in Brooks, Drumheller, Stettler and Blairmore. Also at Newcap’s Southern Alberta Group, Al Tompson, Music Director and Morning Show Host at Zed 99 Red Deer added PD to his responsibilities. Former PD Brent Young was no longer with the organization.

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.


Suzy Burge returned to KG Country 95-5 on March 21 as midday host. She had been with RDTV and, before that, with KG co-hosting mornings.

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.


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.


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.

Newcap rebranded eight of its Alberta country music stations to the Real Country Network. CKGY Red Deer was the flagship (rebranded from KG Country to Real Country 95.5). All stations would still air local programming but off-peak shows would be centralized from Red Deer. Seven on-air jobs were lost as a result of the change.


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 morning show across its Real Country and boom-branded radio stations in rural Alberta, leading to the elimination of 14 on-air positions. Local news, as well as local breaks, would still being done by an announcer in each market, who would then host from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additionally, the stations would have local voice tracking on the weekends.

The story continues elsewhere…
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