CFPW-FM, Coast FM, Powell River

Vista Broadcast Group Inc.

CFPW-FM200895.71200Vista Broadcast Group Inc.
CHQB-AM200512801,000Vista Broadcast Group Inc.
CHQB-AM199712801,000CFCP Radio Ltd.
CHQB-AM196712801,000Sunshine Coast Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CHQB signed on the air on March 21. The station operated on 1280 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts (DA-1). The station was owned by Sunshine Coast Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


On November 19, the CRTC approved transfer of 11 class A common, 5,100 class B common and 10,000 preferred shares from Robert Cartmell to George Edwin Profitt, Donald U. Cartmell, George E. Profitt and Donald V. Cartmell.


On May 22, the CRTC approved transfer of shares from G.E. Profitt, W.G. Tetzel, R.P. Dini, Rev. J.J. Clement, H.W. and M.M. Gallagher, R.J. Jolin, Alio Mantoani and B.K. Cutler to Fraser Valley Broadcast Holdings Ltd. and D.V. Cartmell.


On January 15, the CRTC approved transfer of 50% Class A and 40% Class B shares and 50% Preferred Shares from Donald V. Cartmell to CFCP Radio Ltd. (W.G. Browne, 60%), licensee of CFCP Courtenay and CFWB Campbell River, and to transfer 50% Class A, 50% Class B and 50% Preferred Shares from Fraser Valley Broadcasting Ltd. to CFCP Radio.


William George Browne passed away in April. He was 63. Known as Billy Browne, he was the founder of CFCP Courtenay, and also owned CFWB Campbell River, CFNI Port Hardy and CHQB Powell River. Browne was first heard on the radio 51 years earlier (age 12) – on CJOR Vancouver – as a guest on his father’s radio program. Billy carried on the morning show when he opened CFCP in 1959.

Norma E. Browne took over management of CFCP Radio Ltd. following the death of her husband. The CRTC approved the transfer of control on December 21.


CHQB was given permission to disaffiliate from the CBC.

CFCP Radio Ltd. acquired CHQB from Sunshine Coast Broadcasting Co. Ltd. This was the result of an intra-corporate reorganization where Sunshine Coast was wound up into CFCP Radio Ltd.  


CHQB reduced the hours of local programming from 12 to six (6 a.m. to noon). All other programming originated from CFCP Courtenay.


In late July, it was announced that CFCP Radio Ltd., owners of CFCP-FM Courtenay, CFWB-AM Campbell River, CFNI-AM Port Hardy and CHQB-AM Powell River had been purchased by a Calgary group, headed by Margot Micallef.  On September 1, The CRTC announced approval of the sale to 1126144 Alberta Ltd., a company affiliated with Vista Broadcast Group Inc.


On March 15, the CRTC received an application by Vista to convert CHQB to the FM band with the same Adult Contemporary format as that currently offered, targeting listeners between 25 and 54 years of age.  It was to operate at 94.1 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 8,600 watts, with the transmitter site located across the Strait of Georgia, on Vancouver Island at Mount Washington, the current site of sister station CFCP-FM Courtenay.    On May 18, the Commission approved the application but denied the use of the proposed frequency, noting that it was technically mutually exclusive with the CBC’s Long Range Radio Plan to implement Radio One service in Powell River and Port Renfrew, and Radio Two in Campbell River.  It also noted that the proposed technical parameters would significantly expand CHQB’s coverage beyond its existing AM licensed service area. 

On November 1, following Vista’s application for a new frequency, the Commission approved operation of its new FM station at 95.7 MHz with an average ERP of 1200 watts (directional maximum power 5798 watts).


After running a countdown clock in its website for several weeks, CFPW-FM signed on August 27 at 9:57 a.m. (to coincide with its frequency), identifying as “Sun FM – The Energy of Powell River”. The initial on-air lineup included Bobby Fields as morning host/Assistant PD, John Stevenson middays, Knight Starr evenings and Chad Vigen as news reporter/reader. Program Director Joel Lamoureux was quoted as saying, “This is one of the most exciting radio projects I’ve ever been involved in. 95.7 FM is going to bring a new energy to the community and our local focus is going to ensure that Powell River and area residents have a true voice and active role in 95.7 FM.” The CRTC authorized simulcasting on the old AM 1280 frequency for a period of three months.

In October Vista Radio laid off Chad Vigen as a cost cutting measure. CFPW returned to importing news from head office at Jet FM.


Brittany King left Sun FM. Mark Nicholls was named assistant program director and morning host. Jason Hatton joined the station.


Randy Kilburn became News Director. Patti Mertz was Operations Manager and Dave Reynolds was Program Director.


Jason Hatton left Sun FM for Vista’s Jet FM in Courtenay. He had been doing afternoon drive and music and would now be a producer/announcer. Justin ( Drex ) Wilcomes left his role as program director and afternoon drive announcer at 103.9 The Juice in Kelowna, to take on the role of PD for Vista’s Coast Group (98.9 Jet FM Courtenay / Comox, 99.7 The River in Campbell River, 1240AM The Port in Port Hardy, and 95.7 Sun FM in Powell River). Drex also assumed the role of morning man for Jet FM in Courtenay. The new general manager of Vista’s Coast Group was Pete Montana, the Group program director. In the near term, he’d continue to hold down the PD gig as well as hosting the morning show on Jet FM (CFCP) Courtenay.

Pete Montana, who became General Manager of Vista’s Coast Group on Vancouver Island February 23, left to become GM of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. Montana was also the group Program Director and morning host at Jet FM (CFCP) Courtenay.

It was announced that Vista President Terry Coles would move into retirement at the end of 2012 and immediately into a consulting role with the company. His successor would be CEO Margot Micallef who would handle the dual roles of President/CEO. Bryan Edwards moves to Senior VP of Business Development. Vista Kelowna General Manager/General Sales Manager Ross Hawse would become the Director Western Operations. Gary Russell, Vista’s Director of Systems and GM of Vista Prince George, would integrate Haliburton and Vista in Ontario as the Director of Integration and Operations, Vista East. Co-Founder/ Executive VP Paul Mann would add Senior VP of Sales and Training and Development to his duties. Assisting him would be Tracey Gard, the GM/GSM of the Cariboo Group of Vista stations, as Director Vista Sales, West and based in Courtenay. The former finance executive at Corus and Telemedia, Chris Lecomte joined Vista as Senior VP/CFO, based in Toronto.

The CRTC approved a change to the effective control of Vista Radio Ltd. from a control exercised by its board of directors to a control exercised by Westerkirk Capital Inc., a corporation controlled by Thomson Investments Limited. Vista Radio Ltd. was the licensee of radio programming undertakings located in British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.


Andrew “Rock Dawg” Davis was promoted to Program Director at Vista Radio’s Coast Group stations (98.9 Jet FM Courtenay, 99.7 The River Campbell River, 95.7 Sun FM Powell River and 1240 AM The Port Port Hardy). He continued doing afternoon drive.


CFPW changed branding from Hot Adult Contemporary (SUN FM) to Classic Hits (COAST FM).

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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