CHDR-FM, The Drive, Cranbrook

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group

CHDR-FM2002102.91,600Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
CKEK-AM19595701,000East Kootenay Broadcasting Ltd.


East Kootenay Broadcasting Ltd. (Robert A. Reagh) opened CKEK on October 19, operating on 570 kHz with 1,000 watts. 


Slogan: The Voice of the Rockies.


On July 24, EK Radio Ltd. was given approval to acquire CKEK and CFEK from East Kootenay Broadcasting Co Ltd.

East Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given approval to purchase Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CJAT Trail) on July 24.


CKEK was authorized to increase its daytime power from 1,000 to 10,000 watts, July 27. Night power would remain at 1,000 watts.


On May 16, CJAT-AM-FM Trail, CKEK and CFEK were allowed to form a network to offer programming during overnight hours.


The CJOR network for Jack Webster’s daily talk show was added the following stations: CKEK Cranbrook, CJAT Trail and CFEK Fernie. The network already included CKIQ, CHNL and CJCI.


By this time, CKEK was owned by Columbia Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. 


Cecile Hebert became CKEK’s news director.


On September 21, CKEK was given approval to add rebroadcast transmitters at Canal Flats (CFIW 1200) and Kimberley (CKKI 1460). Both would operate with a power of 50 watts.


CFEK Fernie (and its rebroadcaster CJEK Sparwood) ceased local programming and became full-time rebroadcasters of CKEK. 


Columbia Kootenay Broadcasting launched CKKR-FM in Cranbrook.


CFEK Fernie (and CJEK Sparwood) began offering three and a half hours of local programming, Monday through Friday. All other programming originated with CKEK.


Lloyd Hoole, former owner of CKEK Cranbrook and CFEK Fernie died. 


Jim Pattison Industries announced it had purchased 29.9% equity in Monarch Broadcasting. Monarch owned and operated nine radio stations and two TV stations in Alberta and B.C. Monarch had recently entered into a deal to buy three radio stations – CKKR-FM/CKEK Cranbrook and a repeater at Kimberly, B.C. Since the percentage purchased by Pattison was below the maximum allowed, no CRTC approval was necessary.


Monarch Broadcasting Limited (division of Jim Pattison Industries Ltd.) purchased  Columbia Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


On September 12, CKEK was given approval to move to the FM dial, operating on 102.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 1,600 watts. 


Sister station CKKR-FM became CHBZ

In September, CKEK became CHDR-FM “The Drive”.

CFEK Fernie moved to the FM dial.


On August 20, CHDR was authorized to operate an AM rebroadcaster at Canal Flats, operating on 1200 kHz with a power of 50 watts.

On December 23, the CRTC approved the application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner) carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership, owned by James A. Pattison (the Pattison Group), for the authority to acquire the assets of all of the radio television undertakings (and their respective transmitters) currently licensed to corporate entities owned by James A. Pattison. This transaction was part of a corporate reorganization that would not affect the ultimate control of the broadcasting undertakings. The ultimate control would continue to be exercised by James A. Pattison, the sole shareholder of Jim Pattison Ltd.


On November 5 the CRTC renewed the licence for Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership’s CHDR-FM (and rebroadcaster CFIW Canal Flats).


CHDR rebroadcast transmitter CFIW 1200 (50 watts) left the air. It was removed from the Industry Canada database in January.


Burt Decaire (76) died March 24. His radio career began at CJAT Trail in the 1960s. He joined the staff at EK Radio in Cranbrook in the early 1970s as sports director. Burt was best remembered as a long-time voice for the Western International Hockey League, doing play-by-play and colour for hundreds of games for the Cranbrook Royals and Kimberley Dynamiters, as well as the KIJHL’s Cranbrook Colts.

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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