CHNL-AM, Radio NL, Kamloops

Stingray Group Inc.

CHNL-AM201861025,000/5,000Stingray Group Inc.
CHNL-AM201761025,000/5,000Newcap Inc.
CHNL-AM197961025,000/5,000NL Broadcasting Ltd.
CHNL-AM197361010,000/5,000NL Broadcasting Ltd.
CHNL-AM197161010,000/1,000NL Broadcasting Ltd.
CHNL-AM19706101,000NL Broadcasting Ltd.


On November 19, John Skelly on behalf of a company to be incorporated was awarded a licence for a new AM station at Kamloops, operating on 610 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts (single directional pattern for day and night).

On the same date, Skelly received a licence for a new AM station at Merritt which would receive some programming from the new Kamloops station.


CHNL and CJNL began operations on May 1. Owned by NL Broadcasting Ltd. and managed by president John Skelly, the two stations operated together for much of the time. Larry (Hap) Thiessen was production manager and Hal Murray was news director. 


On November 4, John Skelly was granted an AM licence for Princeton. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 1400 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts day / 250 watts night (non-directional) and would receive its programming from CHNL Kamloops.

On December 31, NL Broadcasting Ltd. was given approval to increase power for CHNL 610 from 1,000 watts day and night (single directional pattern) to to 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night (directional at night). 


Marty Forbes was at CHNL. 


On December 11, CHNL was authorized to increase night-time power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts.


On August 13, NL Broadcasting Ltd. was granted a licence for a new AM station at Clearwater, operating on 1400 kHz with 1,000 watts daytime and 250 watts night-time (non-direction) to rebroadcast the programming of CHNL Kamloops. 


CHNL’s application for a power increase to 50,000 watts was turned down by the CRTC. The Commission ruled the increase would adversely affect the marketing balance of Okanagan stations.

An AM network for CJOR’s Jack Webster open line show added CKIQ Kelowna, CHNL Kamloops and CJCI Prince George. 


On June 29 the CRTC approved application by NL Broadcasting Ltd. to increase day power from 10 to 25 kW.  Daytime power was increased the following year, with night power remaining at 5 kW. 


CHNL 610 increased daytime power from 5,000 watts to 25,000 watts. Night power remained 5,000 watts.


CHNL received approval to operate a rebroadcast transmitter at Sorrento.


On August 4 the CRTC approved transfer of control of NL Broadcasting Ltd. through transfer of 43 common shares in Skelly-Moen Holdings Ltd. from John Skelly and 132 common shares in 610 Holdings Ltd. from John Skelly Management Services Ltd. to Fraser Valley Broadcasters Ltd.  As a result, Fraser Valley then controlled Skelly-Moen (92%) and 610 Holdings Ltd. (76%), which together held 76% of the voting shares of NL. NL was listed as the licensee of CHNL, along with rebroadcasters CHNL-1 Clearwater, CHNL-2 Ashcroft, CHNL-3-FM Sorrento and CJNL Merritt, and owned 51% of Princeton Broadcasting Ltd. (CINL).


Okanagan Radio Ltd. purchased 51% interest in Princeton Broadcasting Ltd. from NL Broadcasting and semi-satellite CINL Princeton changed call letters to CKRP and became a semi-satellite of CKOK Penticton. 

CHNL’s FM station began broadcasting.

By this time, NL Broadcasting Ltd. operated the following rebroadcast transmitters for CHNL: CHNL-1 Clearwater, and CHNL-2 Ashcroft.


CHNL was now operating a transmitter at Sorrento – CHNL-3-FM. CHNL-2 Ashcroft had become CINL Ashcroft/Cache Creek. 


The CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of NL Broadcasting Ltd. from Fraser Valley Broadcasters Ltd. and Starcom Enterprises Inc. to NL Properties Ltd., a company controlled by Robert J. Dunn who was also the president and general manager of NL. 


On June 10, the CRTC approved transfer of CHRK-FM 97.5 Kamloops from Newcap Broadcasting Ltd. to NL Broadcasting.  Shortly after the acquisition, the call letters were changed to CKRV-FM.


Dave Hagerty was creative director at NL Broadcasting in Kamloops.


On July 21, the CRTC approved application by NL Broadcasting for a new English-language commercial FM station (the company’s second FM in Kamloops), to operate at 103.1 MHz.


On August 11 sister station CJKC-FM officially signed on as “Country 103”. 


On August 22, the Jack Webster Foundation announced that CHNL’s news director Jim Harrison had been named the recipient of its 2007 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award.  Harrison joined the station as a reporter in 1973 and became news director in 1975.  Since being appointed news director, he researched, wrote and broadcast 8,000 daily news commentaries. 


On April 24 CHNL received approval to convert to operate a transmitter at Merrit. The transmitter would use the facilities of CJNL (1230 kHz with 1,000 watts) when that station moves to the FM band. NL Broadcasting Ltd. noted that CJNL had been broadcasting programming from CHNL. 

In August, CJNL 1230 Merritt switched from Adult Contemporary music during the day and News-Talk at night, to all News-Talk, as a rebroadcaster of CHNL 610 Kamloops. CJNL had simulcast CKMQ 101.1 for three months.

Andrew Hopkins, formerly of NL Broadcasting Kamloops, moved to the Peace Region as News Director at Astral Media Radio Fort St. John.


Peter Angle, the Sales Manager at NL Broadcasting’s three Kamloops radio stations (CHNL, CJKC and CKRV) moved to Astral Media Radio Kelowna (CHSU, CILK, CKFR) as General Sales Manager. Angle began his radio career at CKOV Kelowna 25 years earlier. He began with Astral on July 2.

Gerry Pigeon, who’d been with Corus Radio Calgary the past nine years, the last six as Retail Sales Manager, moved August 3 to NL Broadcasting in Kamloops to become General Sales Manager for NL’s three stations there – CHNL, CKRV-FM and CJKC-FM.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed the licence for CHNL Kamloops and its transmitters CINL Ashcroft, CHNL-1 Clearwater, CFNL-FM Sorrento and CJNL Merritt until August 31, 2017.


It was announced that Country 103 program director Kelly Moore would leave the station on August 26. As of September 1, Moore would begin as executive producer of NHL coverage at CJOB Winnipeg.


Dennon Stein joined Radio NL and 97.5 The River as swing announcer. 


Robbie Dunn, president/GM of NL Broadcasting stepped down from the operational role after 32 years as GM. Succeeding him as GM was Garth Buchko, who would take an ownership stake in NL and also be VP of the company. Dunn would retain the president’s mantle. 

After CHNL ended its affiliation with the Corus Radio Network on August 1, the station flipped from News-Talk to Classic Hits with some daytime talk and some sports at night. 

NL Broadcasting completely rebuilt its studios and offices. On September 22, a grand re-opening saw Premier Christy Clark, Mayor Peter Milobar, and others on hand for the ribbon-cutting.


It was announced in the spring that CKNW reporter Shane Woodford would return to CHNL in late August to become CHNL’s news director. He would succeed Jim Harrison who planned to retire in the fall after 43 years as news director. Harrison would continue with daily editorials and host the station’s talk show.


In the spring, Newcap Inc. received CRTC approval to acquire 100% of the shares of NL Broadcasting Limited, which owned and operated CHNL-AM, CJKC-FM, and CKRV-FM.

In the fall, six staffers were let go at NL Radio Kamloops (CHNL, CJKC and CKRV). This round of cuts included long-time sports director Rick “The Bear” Wile, senior copywriter Chris Doherty, on-air personality Matt Bellamy and two traffic department employees.


In May, Garth Buchko announced he would retire in July after 35 years in radio. He worked at stations in Rosetown, Toronto, Hamilton, and Winnipeg. In 2014, Buchko moved to Kamloops to be a partner and General Manager with NL Broadcasting which was sold to Newcap in 2017.

Peter Olsen, who had been with Radio NL for 37 years, hosted his last morning show for the station in May.

John Skelly (89) died June 8. Skelly joined CJCA Edmonton in 1957. In 1959 he bought CKYL Peace River, then CKNL Fort St. John. He went on to found CHNL-AM and served as its president and GM from 1970 to 1982. Before retirement in the late 90s, Skelly spent eight years in real estate sales and served as an alderman on Kamloops City Council from 1984-88.

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.

Angelo Iacobucci, 60, died on December 15. Iacobucci was a reporter for four decades at Radio NL.

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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