CKYL-FM, River Country, Peace River

Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. (Terrence & Cynthia Babiy)

CKYL-FM201894.9100,000Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.
CKYL-AM20076102,900Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. (Terrence & Cynthia Babiy)
CKYL-AM20016101,000Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. (Terrence & Cynthia Babiy)
CKYL-AM19546101,000Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.


CKYL signed on the air November 1, operating on 630 kHz with 1,000 watts of power (directional at night). The station was owned by Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. CKYL was an independent station with no network affiliation. W.P. Dunbeck was manager.


John Barron was production manager at CKYL.


Ownership of Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.: W. Chubb 1.4%, T. Forseth 2.1%, O. Lawrence 7.1%, L. A. Leveseque 12.3%, O. Moro 6.4%, J. J. Rousseau 2.9%, H. B. Urqhart 0.7%, 28 other shareholders 67.1%. CKYL was an independent station with no network affiliation.


According to Elliott-Haynes CKYL reached a total of 38,501 adult listeners every day.


CKYL moved from 630 kHz to 610 kHz. Power remained 1,000 watts day and night.


CKYL increased datytime power to 10,000 watts. Night-time power remained at 1,000 watts.


On November 13, Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. was given permission to increase night-time power for CKYL to 10,000 watts.


George Cambridge was president and station manager. 


Peter Hall joined CKYL.


Peter Hall left CKYL for CFGP Grande Prairie.


Marilyn Maki left CKYL’s news department for Toronto. Joan Corcoran was her replacement.


Peace River Broadcasting Ltd. received approval on August 29 to operate a transmitter at High Level, using frequency 530 kHz, with a transmitter power of 400 watts day-time and 250 watts night-time to rebroadcast the programs of CKYL Peace River. Some local news, sports and community announcements particular to High Level would be included in CKYL’s regular programming.

Wendy Machan became news director at CKYL, replacing Dan Greenberg, who went back to school.


CKYL received a five year licence renewal and the OK to cut news almost in half – to eight hours and 22 minutes a week.


On October 6, CKHL High Level (transmitter of CKYL) received approval to increase daytime power from 400 watts to 1,000 watts.


On May 19, Peace River Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. was granted a licence for a new transmitter at La Crete, operating on frequency 92.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 27 watts. The transmitter would receive its programming from CKHL High Level which was also a transmitter of CKYL.


A new FM transmitter was approved for CKYL at Fox Creek on July 31. It would operate on 92.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 44 watts.  

Peter Scott left CKYL to become news director at CIBW-FM in Drayton Valley.


On August 28, CKYL received permission to add a low-power transmitter at Rainbow Lake, operating on frequency 93.1 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 29 watts.


Peace River Broadcasting received approval on October 5 for a new FM station at High Level, using the frequency 102.1 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 8,765 watts. The station would broadcast 25 hours a week of local programming consisting of a live weekday morning show from 6:00 a.m. to 11 a.m., with the remainder of the programming originating from CKYL. The licence for CKYL includes authorization for an AM transmitter at High Level (CKHL) and an FM transmitter at La Crete (CKLA-FM). The signal of the new station would serve La Crete as well as High Level. Peace River would surrender the licences for the transmitters CKHL and CKLA-FM.

Cara Thayer became promotions manager at CKYL. Bruce MacDonald, CKYL’s program director, left for Edmonton to become Nornet Broadcasting’s new music director/afternoon drive announcer. He was succeeded at YL Country by Brad Edwards.


On December 3, CKYL was authorzied to delete its transmitter, CKHL High Level. In October, 1998, the CRTC approved Peace River’s application for a new FM station at High Level. Peace River intended to surrender its authority for CKHL once the new FM station went on air.


On July 4, Peace River Broadcasting received approval for the addition of transmitters for CKKX-FM and CKYL at Valleyview. The CKKX-FM transmitter would operate on frequency 106.9 MHz and CKYL’s transmitter, on 105.7 MHz. The transmitters would share a broadband directional antenna and operate with an effective radiated power of 75,000 watts. Valleyview is located within the Peace River radio market. That market is widely dispersed and stations within it reach only a small portion of the market. There are no local radio stations operating in Valleyview. Most of the stations received there offer country music. Many community organizations and individuals sent petitions and letters to the applicant requesting the extension of CKKX-FM to Valleyview because they wanted to receive its pop/rock music format and local content.


On June 20, the transfer of control and shares of Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., (CKHL-FM High Level, CKKX-FM and CKYL Peace River, and CKLM-FM Lloydminster) was approved. The transfer was of the voting shares held by J. Stewart Dent and Anita Dent in Peace Radio Network Ltd., a company holding all the issued and outstanding shares of Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., to 937593 Alberta Ltd., a company jointly owned by Terrence Babiy and Cynthia Babiy. Following the transaction, 937593 Alberta Ltd. would amalgamate with Peace Radio Network Ltd. This would be the first step of a multi- step transaction. Mr. and Mrs. Dent would subsequently, acquire the assets of CKLM-FM Lloydminster, through 912038 Alberta Ltd., their personal holding company.

Chris Myers, part of the morning team at Kiss 92 Regina, moved on to Peace River to be program director for CKYL and Kix 106.


On December 11, approval was given for the transmitter CFFC-FM Fox Creek to be deleted from the licence of CKYL and added to the licence of CKKX-FM. This amendment would allow the listeners of Fox Creek to receive the programming service of CKKX-FM instead of CKYL. There would be no technical changes to the CFFC-FM Fox Creek transmitter.


On Febraury 19, CKYL was authorized to delete transmitters CJRA-FM Rainbow Lake and CKLA-FM La Crete. These transmitters would be added to the licence of CKHL-FM at High Level. The High River repeater signed on the air on August 10.


On July 24, Peace River Broadcasting received approval to operate new FM transmitters at Peace River, High Prairie, Fairview, Valleyview and Saddle Hills. The company stated that CKYL’s contours have eroded over the years and that the quality of the station’s signal has deteriorated as more power lines have been built in the area. The licensee stated that CKYL is subject to interference even in Peace River and that businesses using florescent lighting have particular difficulty in receiving a good quality signal of CKYL. The new transmitters would operate as follows: Peace River on 94.9 MHz with effective radiated power of 2,900 watts; High Prairie on 92.1 MHz with ERP of 1,400 watts; Fairview on 88.5 MHz with ERP of 850 watts; Valleyview on 88.7 MHz with ERP of 1,400 watts and Saddle Hills on 88.9 MHz with ERP of 2,500 watts.


In March, CKYL-1 Peace River 94.9, CKYL-2 92.1 High Prairie and CKYL-3 88.5 Fairview signed on the air. In May, CKYL-4 88.7 Valleyview and CKYL-5 88.9 Saddle Hills signed on the air. All of the transmitters simulcast the Country format of CKYL 610 Peace River. 


Kent Schumaker joined YL/KIX as program director.


In January, Kent Shumaker left CIKT-FM Grande Prairie for CKYL. He had been morning man at CIKT and was now operations manager at CKYL. Sales Manager Chris Black moved into the General Managers office. 

Q99 Grande Prairie morning host Kent Schumaker moved to become Program Director at YL/KIX Peace River. He departed Q99 January 15.

The CRTC approved the change to the ownership structure of Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. through the transfer of the shares of the parent corporation of Peace River to a new corporation owned by the initial shareholders of the parent corporation. This transaction does not affect the effecitve control of Peace River, which is exercised by Terrence and Cynthia Babiy. Peace River is the licensee of CKHL-FM High Level, CKKX-FM Peace River and its transmitters and CKYL Peace River and its transmitters, Alberta.


On October 17, the CRTC approved the application by Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. to amend the licence for CKYL Peace River in order to operate an FM transmitter in Manning. Peace River indicated that CKYL’s signal was experiencing significant deterioration due to low ground conductivity and an increase in electrical transmission lines. It submitted that the proposed technical amendment would enable the station to adequately serve the population of Manning and allow listeners of that community to receive programming originating from CKYL. The new transmitter would operate at 93.3 MHz (channel 227A) with an effective radiated power of 880 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of -10.4 metres).


John Edward Barron passed away. His broadcast career began in 1949 at CFGP Grande Prairie. He then moved on to CFAC Calgary, CKYL Peace River and to CFRN Edmonton. He was an announcer, writer, producer, interviewer, book reviewer, cooking show host and men’s fashion commentator.


On March 7, the CRTC approved the application by CKYL to change the authorized contours of CKYL-FM-1 by decreasing the average ERP from 2,800 to 2,500 watts (non-directional), increasing the EHAAT and by changing the antenna’s location on the transmission tower to reflect a correction of the existing coordinates. 


Dan Mody, the long-time morning host at YL Country officially retired in May. He began three separate tours of duty with CKYL 35 years earlier.


On June 20, the CRTC approved CKYL’s application to replace its AM operation and rebroadcast transmitter CKYL-FM-1 Peace River. The new station would operate at 94.9 MHz (the frequency used by CKYL-FM-1) with an average ERP of 62,000 watts (maximum ERP of 100,000 watts with EHAAT of 219.9 metres).

Thelma Chalifoux (88) died on September 22. She was the first full-time Métis woman staff announcer, producer and host of a weekly show on CKYL, and was co-producer of Our Native Heritage series on Allarcom’s ITV. Chalifoux was appointed to the Senate in 1997 and served until her retirement at age 75 in 2004.


In March, CKYL officially moved from AM 610 to its nested FM (CKYL-1-FM) frequency of 94.9 MHz.

In May, CKYL 610 left the air after its simulcast period with 94.9 FM came to an end.

In October, CKYL changed branding from YL Country to River Country.

The story continues elsewhere…
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