CKVH-FM , Real Country 93.5, High Prairie

Stingray Group Inc.

CKVH-FM201893.525,000Stingray Group Inc.
CKVH-FM201093.525,000Newcap Inc.
CKVH-AM200210201,000/400Newcap Inc.
CKVH-AM198910201,000/400Nor-Net Communicaions


On July 19, Nor-Net Communications Ltd.  (formerly 332540 British Columbia Ltd.) received approval to operate a new AM station at High Prairie, on the frequency 1020 kHz, with a transmitter power of 1,000 watts day-time and 400 watts night-time. It would rebroadcast the programs of CFOK Westlock as well as 24 hours per week of local programming from studios located at High Prairie.  


CKVH 1020 signed on the air.


On February 22, approval was given for the transfer of effective control of Nor-Net Communications Ltd., licensee of CFOK Westlock, CKWA Slave Lake, CKBA Athabasca, CHLW St. Paul and its rebroadcaster CHLW-1 Grand Centre, CILW Wainwright, CKVH High Prairie, CKNL Fort St. John and CFNL Fort Nelson, through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares of 362278 British Columbia Ltd., a company which owned 25% of Nor-Net, from Mr. Eugene Daniel to Marco Holdings Ltd. This intra-corporate transaction would result in an existing shareholder buying out another minority shareholder and thereby gaining effective control of the licensee company. Until now, Marco held 50% of Nor-Net. As a result of this transaction, the share structure would remain unchanged; however, Marco would effectively control Nor-Net by holding 75% of the voting shares, 50% directly and 25% indirectly through 362278 British Columbia Ltd.  


When CKVH had its licence renewed August 26, it was also authorized to change program source from CFOK Westlock to CKDQ Drumheller, in addition to local programming.


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


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.  

Changes at Nornet Alberta: Royal Watson moved from CKSQ Stettler to manage CKJR Wetaskiwin. Brian Hepp moved from Q-91 Drumheller to manage CKSQ. CKVH High Prairie manager Brian Stevenson gave up his morning show to concentrate on sales.


CKVH operations manager Brian Stephenson left for CJDC Dawson Creek, BC.


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%). CKVH was one of the 15 stations that would now be owned by Newcap.


CKVH 1020 changed September 15 at 7:15 a.m. from “Cat Country” to Classic Hits, “The Fox”.


On April 21 the CRTC announced it had approved an application by Newcap Inc. to convert CKVH to the FM band. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 93.5 MHz and have an effective radiated power of 25,000 watts. The station would keep CKVH’s Classic Hits music format targeting adults between the ages of 25 and 54.


At 6:00 a.m., October 15, Newcap Radio officially flipped CKVH-AM to FM. as 93.5 PRAIRIE-FM. Along with the conversion to FM, the studios were completely renovated which included state of the art AXIA equipment. The capital investment into the station was around $400,000.00. The station now could be heard from Valleyview to Swan Hills and just west of Slave Lake towards the east. The signal area covered a larger area than the AM signal and would super-serve those with FM Stereo in High Prairie and the surrounding rural area. 93.5 PRAIRIE-FM was “High Prairie’s GREATEST Hits!” playing the biggest hits from the 60’s to 2006. Local personality Doug Spurgeon would continue in the mornings. Local news and community information would continue to be the focus of PRAIRIE-FM. The station was also a part of the provincial government’s Emergency Public Warning System. The last song played on The FOX was Fox On The Run by Sweet, and the first song played on Prairie FM was New Sensation.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed CKVH’s licence to August 31, 2017.

1020 CKVH Signed off the air in early December. 


On February 24, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. to change the authorized contours of CKVH-FM, to increase ERP from 25,000 to 29,000 watts (non-directional), increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain, and to relocate the antenna site. 

CKVH changed format from Greatest Hits to Country (Big Lakes Country 93.5 Prairie FM) on May 2 at 9:35 a.m. 


Newcap rebranded eight of its Alberta country music stations to the Real Country Network. CKGY Red Deer was the flagship. CKVH rebranded from Prairie FM to Real Country 93.5. 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 93.5 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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