CJCY-FM, The Lounge, Medicine Hat
|Clear Sky Radio Inc.
On May 28, the CRTC awarded two new FM licenses for Medicine Hat. Applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited and Clear Sky Radio Inc. were approved. A number of other applications were denied. At the time, there was only one commercial licensee serving the Medicine Hat radio market, namely the partners of Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership1, which operated two FM stations. CHAT-FM offered a New Country format that served females and males in the 25 to 54 demographic and CFMY-FM offered a Hot Adult Contemporary format targeted to females between the ages of 18 and 44. Pattison also operated CHAT-TV. Clear Sky Radio Inc. (formerly known as 1182743 Alberta Ltd.) proposed to establish an English-language commercial FM radio station that would operate at 102.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. It would offer an Adult Standards/Modern Nostalgia music format appealing to those between the ages of 35 to 64 with the core audience of those over 45.
The CRTC approved a change in the authorized contours of CJCY-FM. The station originally proposed to use the CKUA tower, south of Medicine Hat. It would now use the CBC tower in Medicine Hat. Effective radiated power would be decreased from 100,000 watts to 40,000 watts. Antenna height would be reduced from 208.5 metres to 77.5 metres. CJCY would still be non-directional.
CJCY-FM 102.1 began on-air testing at 9:15 a.m. on April 29. Paul Larsen, president of Clear Sky Radio, said the station would be in a mandatory 3-week test period to fine tune the signal and audio quality.
CJCY-FM “102.1 FM The Lounge” signed on the air May 23 at 10:21 a.m. With music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, CJCY-FM described itself as Medicine Hat’s full service radio station with local news and information hourly between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Studios and offices were located at 1865 Dunmore Road S.E. (Suite 104). Paul Larsen was president and general manager, Jason Todd was retail sales manager, Greg Shannon was program director and morning show host, and Joe McFarland was news director. The CJCY call letters had been used in the market in the past by an AM station now operating as CFMY-FM.
Casey Wilson was appointed general manager of Clear Sky Radio. He would oversee all day-to-day aspects of both CJOC-FM Lethbridge and CJCY-FM Medicine Hat. Casey was one of the founding staff of Clear Sky. Casey started out as local sales manager for CJOC-FM. In December 2007, he added responsibilities for national sales and was promoted to general sales manager and, in June 2008, he was again promoted, this time to general manager/general sales manager of CJOC-FM. This fills the CJCY-FM general manager role which was vacated by Jason Todd at the end of August.
Casey Wilson was the new General Manager for Clear Sky Radio’s two stations (CJOC-FM Lethbridge and CJCY-FM Medicine Hat). He had been GM/General Sales Manager of CJOC after a series of promotions that began after he started as CJOC’s Local Sales Manager.
Jordan Hennessey, formerly of Newcap Calgary, became Sales/Operations Manager at CJCY Medicine Hat January 4.
Andy Carlson moved from sister station CJOC-FM 94.1 The Lounge in Lethbridge, in order to take the position of program director / morning host at CJCY-FM 102.1 The Lounge in Medicine Hat. The change was effective March 1.
Joe McFarland, News Director at 102.1 FM The Lounge Medicine Hat since its launch in 2008, left at the end of July to join Corus Radio Calgary as a reporter.
In September, Clear Sky Radio unveiled a fresh new look for 94.1 CJOC Lethbridge and 102.1 CJCY Medicine Hat. General manager Casey Wilson said, “Over the past few years, our music format has become more up-tempo featuring artists like The Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, CCR, The Doobie Brothers and other ‘Classic Hits’ artists and our softer ‘Lounge’ branding really no longer fit with the overall sound of the stations”. He went on to say that both stations had historic local call letters that would now be prominently featured as the primary station brands. The stations would continue to serve the adult 35+ audience in Southern Alberta. Clear Sky president Paul Larsen said, “This is truly just an evolution of our station branding”. He added, “We really felt we had a wonderful opportunity to bring these call letters back to the forefront in our presentation. The music format, strong commitment to local news, information and community involvement and focus on the 35+ demographic is exactly the same as it was prior to this change.”
Morning Host/Program Director Jeff Michaels moved to Afternoon Drive. Succeeding him in mornings and as PD was Andy Carlson, transferring in from sister station CJOC Lethbridge.
Christy Mitchell was been promoted to News Director at 102.1 The Lounge. She had been an Anchor/Reporter.
Dave Hanni was the new Retail Sales Manager at 102.1 CJCY. He had been a Senior Account Manager with Newcap Red Deer.
Clear Sky Radio promoted Corinne Bolt to Assistant Program Director of CJCY Medicine Hat and hired Brent Young as the new Program Director for CJOC Lethbridge and CJCY Medicine Hat. Brent had worked in the Red Deer market. He would be based in Lethbridge, starting April 4.
The CRTC approved the change to the ownership of Clear Sky Radio Inc. through the transfer of Clear Sky shares, from Paul Larsen and Norscot Investments Ltd. (Mary McKinnon Mills) to their respective family trusts. This transaction did not affect the effective control of Clear Sky, which continued to be exercised by Larsen and McKinnon Mills. Clear Sky was the licensee of CJOC-FM Lethbridge and CJCY-FM Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Jeff Michaels left 102.1 The Lounge for 93-7 Praise FM (Medicine Hat). He had been hosting afternoons.
Clear Sky Radio welcomed “The Davies and Amirault Show” to the afternoon drive slot at 102.1 CJCY. Courtney Amirault transitioned from the CJCY newsroom into this new role, joining long-time radio personality, Renn Davies. Other shows on the station at this time – “Mornings with John & Steve”, featuring John Carter and Steve Krysak, and Erin Lucas in mid-days.
Steve Krysak was promoted to News Director at 102.1 CJCY. Krysak began with Clear Sky Radio in November, 2008, as weekend news reporter/anchor. He succeeded Greg Garbutt and remained as morning news anchor.
Casey Wilson, General Manager at Alberta’s Clear Sky Radio, was no longer with the station cluster. Wilson joined The Lounge Lethbridge just prior to its launch in May, 2007 as general sales manager. He was promoted to GM in June, 2008 shortly after the launch of Clear Sky’s second station, 102.1 The Lounge Medicine Hat. President Paul Larsen was now handling GM duties.
On July 5, the CRTC approved an application by Rogers Media Inc. for authority to acquire from Clear Sky Radio Inc. the assets of CJCY-FM.
Rogers took ownership of CJCY on August 1. The station was co-located with the existing Rogers station in the city, CKMH, at 7 Strachan Bay S.E.
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.