CKBX-AM, Country 840, 100 Mile House

Vista Broadcast Group Inc.

CKBX-AM20058401,000/500Vista Broadcast Group Inc.
CKBX-AM19858401,000/500Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc.
CKBX-AM197512401,000/250Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc.
CKBX-AM19711240250Cariboo Broadcasters Ltd.


Cariboo Broadcasters Ltd. (CKCQ Quesnel and CKWL Williams Lake) was granted a licence for a new AM station at 100 Mile House on December 15. The new station would operate on 1240 kHz with power of 1,000 watts day and 500 watts night.


CKBX 100 Mile House signed on the air. To increase Cariboo’s coverage to the south.

On October 7, original founder, Dennis Reid was given permission to sell Cariboo Broadcasters Ltd. (Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House) to Cariboo Broadcast Holdings Ltd. (John Boates, Bob Leckie, Gil McCall, Ken Wilson, his son Pat Reid and local businessmen).


CKBX was given approval to increase its daytime power from 250 to 1,000 watts.


Stan Davis and Ron East purchased Cariboo Broadcasters. It was renamed Cariboo Central Interior Radio Ltd. (CCI), which now included CJCI Prince George, B.C.


The CRTC approved application to change the frequency from 1240 kHz to 840 kHz and increase the night-time power from 250 watts to 500 watts. The Commission noted that the proposed change should result in improved day-time and night-time service as well as a slight increase in the station’s coverage area.


On Mar 28 the CRTC approved application by Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc. to allow part time program origination from CJCI Prince George as well as from Quesnel and Williams Lake.


The CRTC approved application by Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of CFFM-FM Williams Lake and its transmitter CFFM-FM-1 100 Mile House and the assets of CFFM-FM-2 Quesnel from Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. 


Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc. (CKCQ Quesnel, CKWL Williams Lake and CKBX 100 Mile House) agreed to purchase CFFM-FM Williams Lake and its rebroadcasters from Jim Pattison Industries. CFFM would change format from country to pop/rock/dance, with an overnight feed from Cariboo’s CIRX-FM Prince George. The AM stations would pick up the country format with an overnight feed from CJCI Prince George.


Original Cariboo Broadcasters founder Dennis Reid passed away July 7 in Prince George, B.C.


On May 7, Fred Weber, the other original founder of Cariboo Broadcasters passed away.


On October 4 at 8 a.m., CKBX changed from “Wild Country” to “The Wolf” – playing 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 September 1, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union representing announcers, news reporters, creative and clerical workers, went on strike to back wage and job security demands at Vista’s stations CKCQ-FM Quesnel, CKWL and CFFM-FM Williams Lake and CKBX 100 Mile House.  The stations remained on the air with programming fed from Prince George and local content provided by management personnel.  On October 5, the CEP announced that it had ratified a new contract, providing for wage increases totaling 8.25% over three years, plus improvements in layoff severance pay and guarantees concerning job security.  Staff members returned to their jobs at the stations on October 9. 


CKBX became a stand-alone station with the branding of Country 840.


On August 24, the CRTC renewed the licence for CKBX from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2014. The short-term licence renewal would enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and its conditions of licence. 


Edwin Dewaal left the news department for a similar position at CKBL Saskatoon.


Gary Long, who had previously been program director at 94X in Prince George and assistant PD / mornings at 103.9 The Juice in Kelowna, headed to the Cariboo region of BC to take on the role of General Manager for The Rush and The Wolf in Quesnel, Williams Lake, and 100 Mile House. 

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.


Pete Montana was promoted at Vista Radio to General Manager/Program Director of the five station Cariboo Group, based at Williams Lake. He had been PD/morning host at 91.7 Coast FM Sechelt/Nanaimo. Former Cariboo GM Gary Long left the business. 

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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