CJAT-FM, EZ Rock, Trail

Bell Media Inc.

CJAT-FM201395.713,500Bell Media
CJAT-FM200795.713,500Astral Media Inc.
CJAT-FM200295.713,500Standard Radio Inc.
CJAT-AM199995.713,500Telemedia Radio (West) Ltd.
CJAT-FM197761010,000/1,000Walter Gray
CJAT-AM1931120050 wattsGroup of citizens


Trail is in a “bowl” in the mountains of the interior of B.C . and reception of distant signals, particularly in the daytime, was almost non-existent. A group of radio buffs working for COMINCO (Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company), the town’s main industry, were exposed to short-wave radio as the company used this means to contact their mining operations in the far north. Seeking entertainment, they got together and bought a transmitter, received a license and put 10AT on the air on December 25, 1931.  


After a few months, they decided to go “commercial”, bought a 100 watt transmitter and a license, and put CJAT on the air at 1200 kHzc. with authorized power of 50 watts. In the beginning, programming was mostly gramophone music, later adding a piano to make use of local talent. 


CJAT moved to 910 kHz and power increased to 250 watts.  


Engineer Earle Connor joined CJAT from CKWX in Vancouver.


Power increased to 1,000 watts.


The volunteer group found they just didn’t have time so Taylor, Pearson & Carson of Calgary was hired to manage the station.   


Fred McDowell, announcer and publicity director of CFAC Calgary, took up a similar job at CJAT. Earle C. Connor left CJAT to become technical supervisor at CFAC. 


Art Balfour joined CJAT as manager (effective November 1). He had been with CKCK in Regina. B. A. Stimmel was president of CJAT.


Under the Havana Treaty, CJAT moved from 910 to 610 kHz (Class III-A) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.


Margaret Jestley left CJAT for CJOC Lethbridge. 


Walter Dales became CJAT’s manager. He had been assistant manager at CJCA Edmonton.


Eric C. Aylen took over as CJAT’s manager in September. He had been with the station since July of 1934 and worked at CKOV Kelowna before that.



Gordon Bennett left CJAT’s engineering staff to work at the CBC Vancouver studios. E.E. Aylen was manager. N. Harrod was commercial manager. Bill Hughes left CJAT after two years, for CKWX in Vancouver. Frank Mead left CJAT as production manager to join the CKWX (Vancouver) news department. 


CJAT was listed as being owned by Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Studios were at 815 Victoria Street and the transmitter was at Warfield.  

Eric Aylen was CJAT’s manager. Engineer Gordon Benett left CJAT for CBR Vancouver. Bill Cruickshank joined CJAT. He had worked in the past at CBR and CJOR in Vancouver. 


Slogan: Voice of The Kootenays.

E. Aylen was manager and N. Harrod was commercial manager.


Norman Harrod left CJAT to become manager of CJIB in Vernon.

CJAT received approval to operate an emergency transmitter.

Slogans: CJAT is Right on Top of a Goldmine. A kilowatt covering the Kootenays.

CJAT manager Eric Claude Aylen died December 27. He broke in to radio in 1931 at CKOV Kelowna as announcer-engineer, becoming chief engineer in 1934. In 1944 he succeeded Walter Dales as manager.


John Loder became CJAT’s manager, replacing the late Eric Aylen (effective February 12). He had been in the sales department at CKWX Vancouver. 


CJAT installed new equipment including a $40,000 transmitter and new 275 foot tower. $16,000 was spent on groundwork and a building at the transmitter site.

John Hepburn was chief engineer. Transmitter operators were David Glover and Phillip Hutton. Don Marshall was commercial manager.


The CBC Board approved the recapitalization of Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. from 20,000 common shares to 20,000 common and 60,000 preferred shares with the issuance of 37,200 preferred shares to common shareholders on a pro-rata basis. Later in the year, the transfer of one common share in Kootenay was approved.


Joe Kubluk was production manager.


Approval was given for the transfer of 1,575 common and 4,725 preferred shares in Kootenay Broadcasting Co.


Bill McLoughlin did news and sports. 


The largest shareholder of Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was listed as the Estate of B.A. Stimmel 63.9%.  


ACMO – the All-Canada Mutually Operated stations set up a radio news bureau in August. The bureau channelled news from Ottawa by telegraph, telephone and tape recorder. Stations using the service: CJVI, CKWX, CJAT, CJCA, CFAC, CFGP, CJOC, CKCK, CKRC and CKOC.

According to Elliott-Haynes CJAT reached a total of 36,027 adult listeners every day. 


Joseph P. Kubbuk was appointed manager. He had been with the station since 1942 when he started out as an announcer. He succeeded John Loader who had been manager since 1949 and had now retired. 


A.S. Mawdsley, President of Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd., appointed Robert W. Meneer to the position of CJAT General Sales Manager. Meneer joined CJAT in 1954 and had been Retail Sales Manager since January of 1962.


On May 16 approval was given for Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to establish a new FM transmitter at Trail on 106.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 12,600 watts and antenna height of 1,485 feet. 

CJAT announced FM stereo broadcasting – 50 hours weekly. The Kooteny District’s first private AM station (since 1931) now introduced FM stereo music to Southeastern British Columbia. “Great Radio for Kootenay Country”. This was the introduction of CJAT-FM. 


Joe Kobluk was manager. 


On December 6, Mrs. Catherine Lee Hall was given permission to acquire 64.4% of the common shares and 63.98% of the preferred shares of Kootenay Broadcasting Co Ltd. from the Estate of B.A. Stimmel.


East Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given approval to purchase Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. on July 24.


On July 18, Kootenay Broadcasting was authorized to increase CJAT’s daytime power from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts and go from an omni-directional to a directional pattern. Night power would remain 1,000 watts non-directional.


On May 16, Kootenay Broadcasting was allowed to operate a network during overnight hours, linking CJAT-AM-FM with CKEK and CFEK.


On November 25, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. was given permission to acquire CJAT-FM from Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. It would become a rebroadcaster of CBU-AM Vancouver.


The CJOR network for Jack Webster’s daily talk show was increased from CKIQ / CHNL / CJCI, to add CKEK Cranbrook, CJAT Trail and CFEK Fernie.


CJAT was granted complete disaffiliation from the CBC now that the service was being provided by CBTA-FM.

Walter Gray of Four Seasons Radio Ltd. purchased the station. 


By this time, CJAT 610 was operating with 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night. 


The corporate name changed from Four Seasons Radio (Trail) Ltd. to Four Seasons Radio Ltd.  


On August 30, Four Seasons Radio Ltd. (owner of CJAT Trail) was given approval to acquire CKKC and  CFKC Creston from K.C. Broadcasting Ltd. Most programming for CKKC and CFKC would now originate from CJAT and the group would be known as theKootenay Broadcasting System.  


CFKC Creston was now simulcasting CJAT full-time.  


On May 30, CJAT was given approval to convert to FM, operating on 95.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 13,500 watts. The change was needed as CJAT was required to vacate its AM transmitter site.  CJAT-AM became CJAT-FM.  


Dennis Gerein, General Manager of the KBS stations at Trail, Nelson and Creston left to take up the GM job at CKIQ/The Bullet in Kelowna. 


73.2% of West Global Broadcast Holding Ltd. was sold by Walter Gray (19.91%), Doreen Gray (2.17%), 479229 B.C. Ltd. (4.86%), C.W. Gray (3.18%), Robert J. Hall (18.10%), Hall-Gray Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (13.88%), Jeanne Hall (3.66%), Phyllis Tostenson (4.24%) and Roger Cottle (3.2%) to Okanagan Skeena Group Limited. OSGL already owned 26.8% of West Global. West Global in turn owned 100% of Four SeasonsRadio Ltd.  


Telemedia Radio Inc. purchased Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd.   


Alex White, program director at CJAT/CKKC, left March 16 to become PD at the new CFGW-FM Yorkton, SK. 


Standard Radio Inc. purchased Telemedia’s Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia stations. Some of these stations were sold to other companies but Standard chose to retain the Okanagan Skeena group. 


On June 30, CJAT-FM was given permission to add new transmitters at Castlegar (90.3 MHz with ERP of 230 watts) and Grand Forks (103.3 MHz with ERP of 460 watts). The Castlegar transmitter would operate at CJAT-1 while Grand Forks would be CJAT-2.


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 CJAT-FM. 


Carissa Donaldson, General Manager/General Sales Manager at CJAT-FM/ CKKC/CFKC left in February to take a sales job with Rawlco Radio Saskatoon as of March 1. Succeeding her in Trail was Ernie Blumke, who had been with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Donaldson, who moved to then-Standard owned station in September of 2007, had been Operations Manager at CJYM/ CFYM Rosetown. 

The new Broadcast Technician at Astral Media Radio Penticton was David Ford. He had been at sister station KBS Trail before making the move in May. Ford succeeded John Boles who went to another Astral station, Big Dog 92.7 Regina, as its Engineer.

Nicole Beetstra was the new General Manager/General Sales Manager at Astral Radio Trail, as of August. She had been with Vista Radio Castlegar.


Don Kalmokoff died at age 79. The former CKNW Chief Engineer invented the Aristocart in the early 1970’s to provide stereo cartridge players for FM stations. His creativity became the industry standard well into the 1990s. Kalmokoff began his broadcast career as an announcer at CJAT Trail.

On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJAT-FM and its transmitters CFKC Creston, CJAT-FM-1 Castlegar and CJAT-FM-2 Grand Forks until March 31, 2012.

CJAT-FM (including CJAT-FM-1 Castlegar, CFKC Creston, & CJAT-FM-2 Grand Forks) rebranded from All Hits KBS to EZ Rock.

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 CJAT-FM and its transmitters CFKC Creston, CJAT-FM-1 Castlegar and CJAT-FM-2 Grand Forks to August 31, 2012.

On July 10, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJAT-FM Trail and its transmitters CKFC Creston, CJAT-FM-1 Castlegar and CJAT-FM-2 Grand Forks to March 31, 2013.

Ernie Blumke became Station Manager of Newcap’s Giant FM. He had been with Astral Radio Nelson/Trail. 

Dave Glover, who began his radio career in 1949 as an engineer at CJAT, passed away. He spent 44 years with the station in an on-air capacity that most remember him by. Glover retired in 1993.


On February 6, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CJAT-FM Trail and its transmitters CKFC Creston, CJAT-FM-1 Castlegar and CJAT-FM-2 Grand Forks to August 31, 2013.

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 CJAT-FM.


CJAT received CRTC approval to increase ERP from 13,500 to 14,000 watts, raise antenna height and relocate the transmitter.

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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