CKSQ-FM, Real Country 93.3, Stettler

Stingray Group Inc.

CKSQ-FM201893.311,000Stingray Group Inc.
CKSQ-FM201293.311,000Newcap Inc.
CKSQ-AM200214001,000Newcap Inc.
CKSQ-AM199914001,000Telemedia (West) Inc
CKSQ-AM199814001,000Okanagan Skeena Group
CKSQ-AM198514001,000Nor-Net Communications Ltd.
CKSQ-AM198114001,000CHUM Ltd.
CHAD-AM197614001,000Dinosaur Broadcasters (1957 Ltd.)


Dinosaur Broadcasting (1957) Ltd., owner of CJDV Drumheller and CHOA Brooks, was authorized to operate an AM station at Stettler. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 1400 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts day and 250 watts at night (non-directional).

On December 15, CHOA Stettler began broadcasting. CJDV had operated an auxiliary studio in Stettler at 4904 – 50th Street, since 1972.


On May 16, the CRTC deferred a decision on the transfer of 99.1% of Dinosaur Broadcasting (1957) Ltd. (CJDV, CKBR and CHOA) from Anthony and Alice Mayer to Stanley J. Solberg and Eneas A. Toshach. Solberg, owner of Goose Lake Broadcasting Ltd. (CKKR Rosetown, SK) planned to finance the purchase by the sale of Goose Lake to John P. Hamilton which was granted in 1977. The Goose Lake sale to Hamilton did not move forward. Solberg would now file an application with the CRTC to sell CKKR to Ronald Hykaway and Dennis W. Williams. Until the Commission had an opportunity to review that application, the sale of Dinosaur was on hold.


On February 24, CHUM Limited was given approval to purchase a 69.3% interest in Dinosaur Broadcasting (CJDV Drumheller, CHOA Stettler and CKBR Brooks). S. J. Solberg would retain a 29.8% interest for at least two years. CHUM allocated $350,000 for new equipment, studio renovations, and a power increase for CJDV, which already put a receivable signal into Calgary. CHUM also promised an emphasis on production of local country music shows and an expansion of regional news services.

The stations became Q Country stations and the call letters were changed as follow: Drumheller – CJDV to CKDQ; Brooks – CKBR to CIBQ; and Stettler – CHOA to CKSQ.


On January 17, CKSQ was authorized to increase night-time power from 500 watts to 1,000 watts.

On January 25, CKSQ lost out to CHQT Edmonton in a bid to use the 880 kHz frequency. CKSQ would have moved from 1400 kHz to 880 kHz, and increase power from 1,000 watts day and 250 watts night to 10,000 watts day and night. CHUM indicated that the current technical parameters for CKSQ are inadequate for the provision of “a reliable, interference-free, full-time signal to the residents of Stettler and, more importantly, the immediate surrounding rural area.” CKSQ’s problems are particularly acute at night, when interference affects the signal in Stettler, and prevents it from reaching other neighbouring communities such as Bashaw, Donalda, Alix, Mirror and Erskine with listenable quality. CHUM stated that it would be able to provide all of the communities within the county of Stettler with a quality signal, and virtually double the audience that can receive the signal on a reliable basis from approximately 5,600 to 11,900. In the end, the CRTC determined that the CHQT proposal, with a power of 50,000 watts, will make better use of the 880 kHz frequency, and enable the licensee to overcome significant technical problems in the Edmonton area.


Brian Carnwath became operations manager at CKSQ while manager Marvin Seibel moved to CKRD Red Deer.


John Turner was operations manager.


Jim Blundell moved from managing CHUM’s Alberta stations (recently sold to Nor-Net) – CKDQ-CKSQ-CIBQ to management of CHUM’s CKPT/CKQM Peterborough as of April 17.

On November 1, Nor-Net Communications Ltd. received permission to acquire CIBQ Brooks, CKDQ Drumheller and CKSQ Stettler from CHUM Limited.


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


Nornet Alberta changes: Royal Watson moved from CKSQ Stettler to manage CKJR Wetaskiwin. Brian Hepp went from CKDQ Drumheller to manage CKSQ. CKVH High Prairie manager Brian Stevenson gave up his morning show to concentrate on sales.

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 3937844 Canada Inc. (subsidary of Newcap Inc.). Newcap acquired 15 Alberta radio stations and related transmitters (Newcap 76.34%, Standard 23.66%). CKSQ was one of the 15 stations that would now be owned by Newcap.


On July 18 the licence of Newcap’s CKSQ was renewed by the CRTC.


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.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed CKSQ’s licence to 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.

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.


On February 22, the CRTC approved the application by Newcap Inc. for a licence to operate a new English-language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Stettler, to replace its AM station CKSQ. The new station would operate at 93.3 MHz (channel 227B1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 11,000 watts (maximum ERP of 23,000 watts, directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 88.6 metres). It would maintain CKSQ’s country music format targeting adults between the ages of 25 and 54. Local programming would include 3 hours and 10 minutes of pure news during each broadcast week. The station would operate in a single-station market, so was not subject to the requirement that, in order to solicit or accept local advertising, one-third of its programming must be local. The Commission noted, however, that the applicant committed to offer 126 hours of local programming in each broadcast week.

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. 

CKSQ moved from 1400 kHz AM to 93.3 MHz FM and began testing in September. The official launch on FM was set for October 15.


Following the move to FM, CKSQ 1400 left the air as its simulcast period had expired.


Newcap rebranded eight of its Alberta country music stations to the Real Country Network. CKGY Red Deer was the flagship. CKSQ rebranded from Q93.3 to Real Country 93.3. 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 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. Real Country 93.3 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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