CJOC-FM, 94.1 Juice FM, Lethbridge
Clear Sky Radio Inc.
|Clear Sky Radio Inc.
On August 2, Paul Larsen, a career Canadian broadcaster and Norscot Holdings Ltd., the family company of the McKinnon family (controlled by Mary McKinnon Mills), long time owners and contributors to the Canadian broadcasting system, were granted a licence to operate a new FM station at Lethbridge. Ownership was shared equally between the two shareholders. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 94.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The proposed station would offer an Adult Standards and Modern Nostalgia music format, appealing to listeners aged 35 to 64, with a core audience of adults over the age of 45.
Clear Sky Radio Inc. received approval to make technical changes. CJOC-FM had originally planned to use the CBC tower but because of technical and cost issues, they decided to use CHUM’s A Channel TV tower. Effective radiated power would now be 100,000 watts horizontal and 43,000 watts vertical. Antenna height would decrease from 175.8 metres to 150.8 metres.
Construction of the tower began April 1 and was completed on May 15. The studios were installed during May and June. The studio and office facility was located at the corner of Third Avenue South and Scenic Drive South, downtown – 220 Third Avenue South, Suite 400.
After a month of testing its signal, Clear Sky Radio Inc. launched CJOC-FM “94.1 The Lounge” on July 3 at 9:41 a.m. The CJOC call letters were not new to Lethbridge. They had been used on the AM band between 1926 and 2000 by what is now CJRX-FM. CJOC-FM had an adult standards format.
Paul Larsen was President of Clear Sky Radio.
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.
Erin Lucas passed up a morning show opportunity in Saskatchewan in order to take the position of assistant program director / midday host at CJOC-FM, 94.1 The Lounge. Jordan Karst became afternoon drive host / music director, while Angela Bruce moved to the position of producer. These changes were effective March 1.
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. Jeff Michaels became afternoon drive host, while Corinne Bolt remained music director / midday host. The changes were effective March 1.
CJOC morning news anchor Veryl Todd retired though he would continue his daily commentary. Succeeding him was Esther Madziya, formerly of Global Saskatoon. Bruce Andrei stepped down from Program Director/Afternoon Drive to focus on IT/Technical Support. Erin Lucas moved from Music Director to Assistant Program Director.
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.”
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.
The new morning team at 94.1 The Lounge Lethbridge was Dave Tymo, formerly of REWIND 103.9 Sudbury, and Jessica Jackson from Country 95 Lethbridge.
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.
In June, CJOC was rebranded as 94.1 Juice FM with a Classic Hits/Variety Hits format.
Vista dropped the JUICE FM branding in Lethbridge at 94.1 returning the station to its heritage call letters of CJOC (Classic Hits 94.1 CJOC).
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.