CJDR-FM, The Drive, Fernie

Pattison Media Ltd.

CHDR-FM200299.11,600Jim Pattison Group
CFEK-AM200012401,000Jim Pattison Industries Ltd.
CFEK-AM199112401,000CKEK Cranbrook
CFEK-AM19711240500CKEK Cranbrook


On December 15, East Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was awarded a licence for a new AM station at Fernie, operating on 1240 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts day and 250 watts at night, non-directional. The new station would rebroadcast the programming of East Kootenay’s CKEK Cranbrook


CFEK Fernie signed on the air in May.


On July 24, EK Radio Ltd. was given approval to acquire CFEK and CKEK 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.


CFEK was authorized to increase its night-time power from 250 to 500 watts, July 27.  Daytime 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 increased from CKIQ / CHNL / CJCI, to add CKEK Cranbrook, CJAT Trail and CFEK Fernie.


Columbia Kootenay Broadcasting Co. Ltd. opened rebroadcaster CJEK in Sparwood. The station operated on 1400 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts day and 250 watts at night.


By this time, CFEK had increased night-time power to 1,000 watts.


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


CFEK (and CJEK) 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/CFEK Fernie died. 


Monarch Broadcasting Limited (division of Jim Pattison Industries Ltd.) purchased CFEK.


On October 3, CFEK was given approval to convert to the FM band, operating on 99.1 MHz with effective radiated power of 470 watts. The new FM station would also replace CJEK Sparwood.


CFEK made the move to FM as CJDR “The Drive”.

CKEK Cranbrook also moved to FM as CHDR.


On November 12, CJDR was given permission to add a transmitter at Sparwood, operating on  93.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 23.9 watts. 


Jim Pattison, Managing Director and CEO, the Jim Pattison Group announced the promotion of two key executives of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP, effective July 1. Rick Arnish was promoted to Chairman of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP, following a very successful 14 years as President. Rod Schween was promoted to assume the role of President of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP. He had been general manager/general sales manager for the Pattison Lethbridge/Cranbrook division with 6 stations in 3 different communities. He would move to the Kamloops, B.C. Head Office of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, where he would be responsible as General Manager of Broadcast Centre – CFJC TV, CIFM FM & CKBZ FM.

It was announced at the end of August that effective October 1, the new General Manager of the Cranbrook/Fernie division that would oversee CHBZ-FM, CHDR-FM & CJDR-FM would be Leo Baggio. In addition to his GM’s role, Leo would also serve as Program Director of CHDR / CJDR. Leo had 28 years experience in the broadcast industry, having worked in Edson, AB and Smithers, BC prior to coming to Kamloops, BC. He had been an integral part of the senior management team at the Kamloops division with responsibilities as the Director of Radio Programming & Operations the last 2 years. Previous to this, he was on-air as an afternoon drive host and assistant operations manager.

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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