CKCE-FM, 101.5 Kool FM, Calgary
|Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
On August 2, CHUM Ltd. was one of four (out of 10) applicants that received authority to operate new FM stations in Calgary. CHUM’s new station would offer a Hot Adult Contemporary format designed to appeal to listeners between 25 and 44 years of age, with a core audience of women between 25 and 34. CHUM had proposed to operate the station on frequency 90.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (average of 45,000 watts). 90.3 MHz was licensed to another applicant so CHUM was advised to apply for a new frequency. CHUM had originally applied for 104.5 MHz (ERP of 100,000 watts / average of 45,000 watts) but Nav Canada raised concerns about possible interference with Aeronautical Nav/Com services in the city. Proposed call sign: CICR-FM. The new CHUM station would broadcast from the Rogers/CTV (CFCN-TV) tower.
CHUM applied for a new frequency and on January 22, received approval for the use of 101.5 MHz. Average effective radiated power would be 48,000 watts (98,000 watts maximum). On the same date, CKUA-FM Edmontonreceived permission to change the frequency of its Red Deer transmitter from 101.3 MHz to 107.7 MHz. CKUA filed the application in response to a request from CHUM Ltd. which had contacted CKUA in order to determine whether CKUA would be prepared to change the frequency of its Red Deer transmitter to an alternate one in order to permit CHUM to use 101.5 MHz for its new Calgary station. CKUA agreed to this request.
CKCE began testing (as “Calgary 101.5”) on March 12th.
At 1:01 p.m., March 22, CKCE-FM signed on the air (“Today’s Best Music…Calgary’s New Energy 101.5!”). During the station’s test period, listeners were asked to submit suggestions and feedback on what they wanted to hear in the Calgary Radio Market. The final result: a HOT Adult Contemporary station, playing “Today’s Best Music” showcasing musical artists like Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, John Mayer, U2 and more! The primary demographic is females 25-44.
Energy 101.5! would be interactive with street-level studios in the city’s downtown core, located at 535 7th Avenue S.W.
CKCE-FM was scheduled to publicly launch on April 12th with a VIP party at the station’s studios, showcasing it’s on air line up (Freeway and Meg in The Morning, Erin Wilde, Zack Hewitt and Tripp West). All personalities were scheduled to hit the air on April 10th.
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30. On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CKCE-FM.
Eric Stafford, who was caught on “Black Monday” (Jan. 19/09) as one of those let go by Astral Media Radio, landed as General Manager at CHUM’s Energy 101.5. Stafford had been GM at The Bear Ottawa for 13 years.
Chris Shine was the new morning host at 101.5 ENERGY FM. Shine, who moved north January 4 from mornings at MOVIN’ 107.5 Dallas, was paired with Meg Tucker. Shine had also worked in the past at 98 PXY in Rochester.
The new Promotion and Marketing Director at ENERGY 101.5 Calgary was Sonya Koson, an industry newbie. She succeeded Khazma Tichon who was now Promotions Director at 92.5 JOE FM Edmonton.
The new Program Director at Energy 101.5 was Mike Shannon, who had been the General Manager at Astral Media Radio’s Big Dog FM Regina. Rob Mise, who’d held the position since January, 2007, was no longer with the CHUM station.
Zack Hewitt, carrying the duties of Assistant Program Director for some time but without the title, now had it. He was now – officially – Assistant Program Director at 101.5 ENERGY FM. Hewitt continued as Music Director with an on-air shift.
In August, CHUM Radio, a division of CTVglobemedia, launched Calgary’s newest radio station, KooL 101.5. Playing “Hits From Today & Back In The Day”. The station’s existing personalities would be welcomed back after a period of non-stop music. Eric Stafford was general manager. Mike Shannon was program director.
On August 17 at 1:01 p.m., CHUM Radio Calgary modified CKCE’s format, playing “Hits From Today & Back In The Day” and rebranded as KooL 101.5. It had been ENERGY 101.5 FM with a Hot Adult Contemporary format targeting females 25-44. Station personalities and the target audience remained unchanged.
Ian MacKinnon left CKCE for CHSU-FM in Kelowna.
On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control.
On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.
BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the Sympatico.ca portal.
The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.
On August 22, the CRTC approved the applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., carrying on business as Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CKCE-FM Calgary. Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE. 7550413, the other partner holding the remaining 0.01% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Media and is also controlled by BCE. BCE submitted that the purpose of this corporate reorganization was to realize tax efficiencies. The Commission noted that this transaction would not affect the effective control of the undertakings which would continue to be exercised by BCE.
Freeway Frank (Frank Depalo) left KooL 101.5 (CKCE)’s morning show to move to Virgin Radio 96 Montreal. Megan Gough was the new KooL 101.5 Marketing and Promotions Director, succeeding Sonya Koson. Gough had been with CJAY 9.
Morning host Chris Shine and KOOL FM parted ways.
Gavin Mortimer became general sales manager at CHUM FM and FLOW 93-5 on March 7. Mortimer moved from Toronto to KOOL 101.5 Calgary five years ago, leaving his national account manager position to assist in the launch of that new station.
In July, Tarzan Dan returned to Calgary as the host of KOOL Breakfast with Tarzan Dan & Niki Reitmayer. Pietra Turpin, Senior Sales Rep at KooL 101.5, was promoted to Retail Sales Manager.
On May 6th the CRTC began what would be a week-long hearing of a revised application by BCE Inc to acquire Astral, their first application having been turned down. On May 16th, the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group announced that it had committed to the acquisition of three broadcast properties, two from Bell Media and one from Astral, subject to CRTC approval. Pattison had made a deal with Bell Media to acquire Kool FM 101.5, CKCE-FM Calgary and FAB 94.3,CHIQ-FM Winnipeg, and with Astral to acquire QX 104, CFQX-FM Winnipeg/Selkirk. The CRTC’s decision was awaited regarding the BCE application to acquire Astral, and it was anticipated that, if approved, BCE would be required to divest itself of several properties, including these three stations. On June 27, the CRTC approved the application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc, subject to certain conditions, including the divestiture of ownership of the three stations Pattison had agreed to buy, including CKCE-FM.
In December, the CRTC approved the change in effective control of 8384835 Canada Inc., wholly owned by Bell Media Inc. and under the control of the Trustee, Pierre Boivin, to Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership.
In March, CKCE Kool FM dropped its Rhythmic Adult Contemporary lean, reducing its focus on 1980’s and 1990’s hits, and added more pop-rock currents and re-currents to become a more mainstream sounding Hot AC station.
On May 16, the CRTC approved the application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership, for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization involving the assets of CKCE-FM Calgary, Alberta, CHIQ-FM Winnipeg and CFQX-FM Selkirk, Manitoba. Following the close of these transactions, Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership would become the licensee of the stations.
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.