CKFR-AM, AM 1150, Kelowna

Bell Media Inc.

CKFR-AM2013115010,000Bell Media
CKFR-AM2007115010,000Astral Media Inc.
CKFR-AM2004115010,000Standard Radio Inc.
CKBL-AM2002115010,000Standard Radio Inc.
CKBL-AM1999115010,000Telemedia Radio Inc.
CKIQ-AM1996115010,000Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd.
CKIQ-AM1981115010,000Four Seasons Radio Ltd.
CKIQ-AM1973115010,000/1,000Four Seasons Radio Ltd.
CKIQ-AM1971115010,000/1,000Four Seasons Radio Ltd.


On July 22, Four Seasons Radio Ltd. was granted a licence for a new AM station to serve Kelowna-Rutland. It would broadcast on 1150 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts (single directional pattern for day and night operation). A competing application by J. B. Cooper for 730 kHz was denied.

CKIQ 1150 signed on the air on November 8. The station was owned and operated by Bob Hall and Walter Gray (Four Seasons), owners of stations in Salmon Arm, Revelstoke and Golden.


Fire destroyed the CKIQ building in July. The station was back on the air the next day, using borrowed equipment and operating from motel rooms! Operations then moved to a warehouse for six months while the CKIQ building was rebuilt at the original site.

Nick Frost was CKIQ’s evening announcer. He would eventually go on to launch SILK FM in the city.


On December 11, Four Seasons was authorized to increase CKIQ’s daytime power to 10,000 watts. Night power would remain 1,000 watts. 


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


Seabrook Broadcasting Ltd. was given approval to add FM rebroadcasters at Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp.  CKIQ’s nighttime power increased from 1,000 to 10,000 watts with a three-tower directional antenna at night only.


CKIQ received approval for a rebroadcaster at Big White Ski Village


Around this time, Four Seasons Radio Ltd. opened a rebroadcaster for CKIQ at Big White Ski Village (known as CKIQ-FM). 


Construction was underway at The Bullet 99.9. B.C.’s newest country station – in the same building as CKIQ – was targeting for a September debut. 

CKIQ launched CKBL-FM.


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 Seasons Radio Ltd. 


CKIQ became CKBL while CKBL-FM became CHSU-FM. 

Tamara Joel left CKBL (The Bullet) to become news director at CILK-FM.


CKBL-FM-1 at Big White Ski Village (98.1 MHz with ERP of 18 watts) ceased to be a rebroadcaster for CKBL-AM. It was now a retransmitter for CHSU-FM.

Telemedia Radio Inc. purchased Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd.

On October 28, Okanagan Radio’s application to convert CKBL to the FM band was denied. 


Jason Mann was appointed director of programming, B.C. for Telemedia Radio (West). He would continue as program director of The Bullet (CKBL)/SUN/FM (CHSU). Under the new posting, he would also oversee the programming at the 20 Telemedia stations in B.C.


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 August 1, CKBL switched from Country to Oldies as Oldies 1150.


CKBL Oldies 1150 became CKFR in May.


At 10 a.m. on August 29, CKFR’s oldies format came to an end with Don McLean’s “American Pie”, as it switched to AM 1150 News/Talk/Sports.  The morning show remained local with host Phil Johnson, but most of the remainder of the broadcast day included programs such as the Bill Good Show, Christy Clark and Sportstalk with Dan Russell, syndicated from CKNW in Vancouver.  The change to talk programming filled the gap in Kelowna after the move of rival CKOV from AM to FM on August 17, and its subsequent switch to country music.

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 CKFR-AM.    


Rob Leighton became Astral Radio’s new Digital Account Manager for the BC Interior, based in Kelowna. Leighton had been with Telus with an Internet/interactive sales and development background. After 38 years Ron Wittenberg retired from broadcasting. He began at CKNW New Westminster, then migrated to the Okanagan some 30 years ago. Since then, he’d been with the Kelowna stations under numerous ownership changes.


News Talk Sports AM 1150 (CKFR) added The Jim Rome Show to its schedule. The host of North America’s premier sports radio talk show program aired from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. 

On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKFR until March 31, 2012.

Roy McKenzie, the regional sales manager for Astral’s B.C. Interior stations, was no longer with the company. His position was eliminated. Dustin Collins returned to Astral Kelowna as assistant brand director of the Astral B.C. Interior stations. Collins, who moved to sister AM 1060 Calgary in 2005, had been the brand director/afternoon drive host at the Classic Country station. He began in Kelowna August 2.

Eight people were released by Astral in the B.C. Interior – three broadcast journalists and six in accounting, engineering and support. Among them were Astral Kelowna News Director Howard Alexander and Sun FM Vernon’s Kate Bouey (formerly with ABC London and BN Toronto). Regional News Director Betty Selin’s job was discontinued though she had an offer for employment within the company.


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKFR to August 31, 2012. On July 10, the licence was administratively renewed to March 31, 2013.

Peter Angle, the Sales Manager at NL Broadcasting’s three Kamloops radio stations (CHNL, CJKC and CKRV) moved to Astral Media Radio Kelowna (CHSU, CILK, CKFR) as General Sales Manager. Angle began his radio career at CKOV Kelowna 25 years earlier. He began with Astral on July 2.


On February 6, the CRTC administratively renewed CKFR’s licence 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 CKFR.

It was announced that Ken Kilcullen, with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group stations in Prince George since Sept/98, and GM/GSM for the last 11 years, would become the new GM for the Bell Media B.C. Interior stations as of January 6, 2014. Based in Kelowna, he would also have day-to-day responsibility for the three stations there, succeeding Don Shafer. 


In September it was announced that Ted Farr would come out of semi-retirement to join AM1150. He would be reading news for the first time in 37 years. Farr’s resume included time at CKWX-CKKS Vancouver, CJOB Winnipeg, CFGQ-CHQR Calgary, in addition to senior programming roles at WIC and Rawlco.

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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