CKXR-FM, EZ Rock, Salmon Arm

Bell Media Inc.

CKXR-FM201391.5810Bell Media
CKXR-FM200691.5810Astral Media Inc.
CKXR-FM200691.5810Standard Radio Inc.
CKXR-AM200258010,000Standard Radio Inc.
CKXR-AM199955010,000Telemedia Radio (West) Inc.
CKXR-AM197258010,000/1,000Copper Island Boadcasting Ltd.
CKXR-AM19655801,000 wattsCopper Island Broadcasting Ltd.


Bob Hall and Walter Gray (Hall-Gray Broadcasting) who had met at CKOV in Kelowna, opened CKXR on November 18. Satellite sister station CKCR Revelstoke began operations on November 21.

The two stations became known as “The Big R Network”. Salmon Arm and Revelstoke were small communities. Individually, neither one was really big enough for a radio station, but combined, they made a worthwhile radio market.

CKXR operated on 580 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts. CKCR broadcast at 1340 kHz with a power of 250 watts.


CKXR began using automation for part of the broadcast day.


On November 4, Hall-Gray Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was authorized to increase CKXR 580’s power from 1,000 watts (separate day and night patterns) to 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night (directional at night).


CKGR Golden signed on the air.

On December 18, Robert J. Hall and J. Jeanne Hall were given permission to acquire 64% of the shares of Hall-Gray Broadcasting Co. Ltd. from 14 shareholders.


By this time, CKXR 580 was operating with 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night.


CKXR signed on a rebroadcast transmitter (CKXR-FM-1 102.1 with 86 watts) at Sorrento on November 25.


CKGR AM 1400 Golden (1000 watts) and CKIR AM 870 (1000 watts) Invermere signed on the air at 7 a.m. December 31.


Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd. was given approval to purchase Copper Island Broadcasting Ltd., which was subsequently purchased by Telemedia Radio Inc. 


Paul Scott moved to CKWR Waterloo, Ontario. He had been general sales manager and operations manager at CKXR.

Veteran newsman Bob Livingston died. He had spent many years with CFUN and CKLG in Vancouver, and joined KBS Salmon Arm about a year ago.


Standard Radio Inc. purchased the Ontario and Western operations of Telemedia Radio Inc.  In turn, Standard sold a number of those stations to other companies.  CKXR and its affiliates were among the stations retained by SRI.


CKXR’s founder Bob Hall died on October 21.


On February 25, the CRTC approved the application by Standard Radio Inc. for a
licence to operate a new FM radio programming undertaking in Salmon Arm to replace its AM station CKXR, the only local commercial radio service in Salmon Arm. The new station would provide the adult contemporary music format offered by CKXR. The applicant stated that at least one-third of the programming would be locally produced and the remainder would originate with various Standard radio stations serving communities in the interior of British Columbia. The local programming would include hourly newscasts as well as regular reports on weather and road conditions. Standard indicated that it had hired a news reporter to enhance the station’s local programming. The station would operate at 99.7 MHz (channel 259B) with an average effective radiated power of 400 watts. The Commission noted that the transmitter CKXR-FM-1 Sorrento, authorized as a transmitter of CKXR Salmon Arm, would be part of the new FM licence. The frequency granted was too close to CHSU-FM in Kelowna on 99.9 and the two signals would impair each other as they met between the two cities. Standard was waiting approval for a new frequency from Industry Canada.


On February 6, the CRTC approved the application by Standard Radio Inc. to amend the licence for CKXR-FM, authorized in CKXR Salmon Arm – Conversion to FM band, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2005-77, 25 February 2005, in order to change the frequency from 99.7 MHz (channel 259B) to 91.5 MHz (channel 218B). The licensee stated that the proposed change would resolve the interference problem of its signal in the areas south of Salmon Arm near Kelowna, such as Enderby, with that of CHSU-FM Kelowna, which was owned by Standard and operated at 99.9 MHz. The Commission noted that the station’s authorized contours would not be affected by this change.

CKXR-FM began testing its new transmitter on April 11. The formal sign-on date was listed in CRTC records as November 27, with the station continuing with its adult contemporary “EZ Rock” format. However, listeners in several communities in the original AM coverage area, including Enderby and Sicamous experienced problems receiving the new FM signal.


Standard indicated that applications to add repeaters in the affected communities were forthcoming, and applied to the CRTC in March to continue simulcasting its programming on the AM band to maintain its original coverage area.  On May 2 the CRTC approved the simulcast extension until February 27, 2008, pending approval and installation of repeaters to rectify the coverage problems.  

On September 27, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions.  The purchase included CKXR-AM and CKXR-FM. 

On October 17 the CRTC approved rebroadcast transmitters to operate in Enderby at 104.3 MHz with an ERP of 210 watts and in Sicamous at 102.1 MHz with an ERP of 200 watts, to alleviate reception problems of the main CKXR-FM transmitter in Salmon Arm.  


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKXR-FM and its transmitters CKXR-FM-1 Sorrento, CKXR-FM-2 Enderby and CKXR-FM-3 Sicamous until March 31, 2012.

Roy McKenzie, the regional sales manager for Astral’s B.C. Interior stations, was no longer with the company. His position was eliminated.


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKXR-FM Salmon Arm and its transmitters CKXR-FM-1 Sorrento, CKXR-FM-2 Enderby and CKXR-FM-3 Sicamous to August 31, 2012.

On July 10, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKXR-FM Salmon Arm and its transmitters CKXR-FM-1 Sorrento, CKXR-FM-2 Enderby and CKXR-FM-3 Sicamous to March 31, 2013.


On February 6, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CKXR-FM Salmon Arm and its transmitters CKXR-FM-1 Sorrento, CKXR-FM-2 Enderby and CKXR-FM-3 Sicamous to August 31, 2013.

Robert ‘Bob’ Walter Crouse died at age 63. He was news director/anchor at CKXR and the Big R network for 30 years. Before moving west, Crouse worked radio in North Bay, Timmins, Kapuskasing and at CHML Hamilton. He also worked at the two Penticton radio stations. 

On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including CKXR-FM.

Ron Langridge, General Manager/General Sales Manager at EZ Rock Salmon Arm/ Revelstoke/Golden left the stations. Gord Leighton, GM/GSM at SUN FM Vernon added the responsibilities for the EZ Rock stations to his existing role.

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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