CJCI-FM, Country 97, Prince George

Vista Broadcast Group Inc.

CJCI-FM200597.312,000Vista Broadcast Group Inc.
CJCI-FM200397.312,000Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc.
CJCI-AM197062010,000Cariboo Central Interior Radio Ltd.


Prince George Broadcasting Ltd. was awarded a licence November 19 for a new AM station at Prince George, operating on 620 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts (directional at night).


CJCI 620 signed on the air on August 5, operating with 10,000 watts. The staton was owned by Central Interior Radio Inc. The “CI” in the calls: Central Interior


Prince George Broadcasting opened an AM station at Vanderhoof. 


On September 27, CJCI was authorized to operate a rebroadcast transmitter at Fraser Lake on 1450 kHz with power of 50 watts (non-directional).


The corporate name changed to Central Interior Radio Inc.


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


CJCI launched an FM sister station in Prince George, on 94.3 MHz. 


On February 13, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for the AM radio network consisting of CJCI Prince George, CIVH Vanderhoof, CFLD Burns Lake, CFBV Smithers, CIFJ Fort St. James, CIFL Fraser Lake, CHBV Houston, CHLD Granisle and CKBV New Hazelton, by increasing the amount of network service originating at Prince George, within the 6:00 AM to midnight period, from 10.5 hours per week to a maximum of 75 hours per week. As a result of this approval, the new hours of network operation during the 6:00 AM to midnight period would be: – from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM daily, – from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and from 6:00 PM to midnight Monday through Friday, – from 1:00 PM to midnight on Saturdays, and from noon to midnight on Sundays. The licensee based its proposal on the need for greater economies and operational efficiencies in order to improve the quality of its regional service. 


Central Interior Radio Inc. became Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc.

Sister station CIBC-FM became CIRX-FM.


By this time, much of CJCI’s programming is rebroadcast over sister station CIVH Vanderhoof and its transmitters CIFL Fraser Lake and CIFJ Fort St. James.


Ross Hawse left CJCI to become program director at CKOR/CJMG-FM in Penticton.


Sean Leslie was news director at CJCI-CIRX.


Craig Ellis, after ten years as morning host at CJCI moved to Telemedia (West) in Terrace as program director.


On December 10, CJCI was given approval to move to FM, operating on 97.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 12,000 watts.

At 12 p.m., August 5, “Wild Country 620 CJCI” officially moved to FM as “The Wolf @ 97FM – Modern Country and the Best Southern Rock”.


In early August it was announced that Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc., owners of CKBX 100 Mile House, CFLD Burns Lake, CJCI-FM and CIRX-FM Prince George, CKCQ-FM Quesnel, CFBV Smithers, CIVH Vanderhoof, CKWL and CFFM-FM Williams Lake and numerous re-broadcast stations in northern B.C. 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 June 30, the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio station CJCI-FM Prince George from 1 July 2010 to 31 August 2013. This short-term licence renewal would enable the Commission to review the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 at an earlier date. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2009-786, the Commission noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with section 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, which relates to the provision of annual returns, for broadcast years 2006, 2007 and 2008.


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.

News Director Christina Doll left Vista Radio Prince George on October 31. She had been with the company for five years, the last year and a-half as News Director.


On February 17 at 6:00 a.m., The Wolf 97fm rebranded as Country 97, moving to Today’s Best Country from Modern Country & the Best Southern Rock.

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.

Contact this station