CHBE-FM, KOOL 107.3, Victoria

Bell Media Inc.

CHBE-FM2011107.320Bell Media
CHBE-FM2004107.320CHUM Ltd
CHBE-FM2002107.320Seacoast Communications
CFEX-FM2000107.320Seacoast Communications


On October 29 the CRTC announced approval of an application by Seacoast Communications to open a new FM station CFEX-FM to serve Victoria. It was licensed to operate a modern rock and alternative music format on a frequency 107.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 20,000 watts. Seacoast already owned top-rated News/Talk AM station CFAX, which signed on in 1963.


CFEX-FM “Extreme 107.3” signed on at 3 p.m. May 26 from a transmitter located about 10 km west of Victoria. The station had been available through streamed audio on the Internet since January and on FM Cable in the Victoria area since May 1.


On August 23 at 1:03 p.m., after 13 hours of “stunting” with rotating formats, the station became CHBE-FM, “All Hits B107.3 a high-energy mix of adult top 40 hits from the 80’s, 90’s and today”. Owner Mel Cooper announced that a change of focus was necessary for the station after it was relegated to fighting other local stations for a small piece of the local listening audience. Changes had begun to take shape in February when the station hired a new manager of operations, Brad Edwards, to help resuscitate the flagging station.


In January CHUM Ltd announced that it had acquired CHBE-FM and its sister station CFAX-AM from Seacoast Communications, subject to regulatory approval. 

On September 3, CHUM Limited was authorized to purchase CHBE and CFAX-AM from Seacoast Communications Group Inc.


Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CHBE-FM, passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.


On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval.  On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM.  The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC.

On December 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.


A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007.  On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver.   Rogers Communications announced on June 25ththat a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CHBE-FM.   


In August Scott McGregor joined KOOL FM as afternoon drive announcer and Andrea Collins came to the station as midday host. Program director Robin Haggar announced both announcers would start on-air work on August 31. Jim Blundell joined CHUM Victoria as Vice President and General Manager. He had held the same position at CHUM London.


107.3 KOOL FM welcomed Brittany King as host of the mid-day slot from 10am-3pm. She had been with Sun FM in Powel River and prior to that called KG Country in Red Deer her home. 

Ceara Kavanagh, Program Director at Virgin Radio 98-5 Calgary left the station at the end of July to return to 107.3 KOOL FM Victoria where she become afternoon drive host August 11.


On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control.

On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.

BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the portal.

Midday host Brittany King was now also KOOL FM’s Web and Social Media Administrator. Afternoon host Ceara Kavanagh was now the station’s Music Director.

The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.

On August 22, the CRTC approved the applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., carrying on business as Bell Media British Columbia Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CFTE, CKST, CFBT-FM and CHQM-FM Vancouver, and CFAX and CHBE-FM Victoria. Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE. 7550413, the other partner holding the remaining 0.01% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Media and is also controlled by BCE. BCE submitted that the purpose of this corporate reorganization was to realize tax efficiencies. The Commission noted that this transaction would not affect the effective control of the undertakings which would continue to be exercised by BCE. 

Jim Blundell, the Vice President and General Manager at Bell Media Victoria (CFAX/ CHBE/CTV2), left the company September 2. He took up the position in 2009. General Sales Manager Kevin Bell took over on an interim basis. 

Kevin Bell was appointed General Manager at CTV Two Victoria and of CFAX 1070/107.3 KOOL FM. He remained General Sales Manager at the radio stations and became GSM at CTV Two as well. Bell had been the interim GM at both TV and radio since Jim Blundell left.


107.3 KOOL FM announced Ceara K’s maternity leave fill in: Paul Allen. Paul had been hosting mornings at 92.7 Lake FM in Slave Lake, Alberta. Roy McKenzie was the new Retail Sales Manager at CFAX/ KOOL FM. McKenzie, with 20 years experience at Silk FM Kelowna and Astral Media Kelowna, began his new job May 22.

In August, 107.3 KOOL FM announced Ceara K’s maternity leave fill in would be Paul Allen! Paul had been hosting mornings on the HOT AC station 92.7 Lake FM in Slave Lake.


Bud Goes retired in January from his chief engineer’s role at C-FAX/CHBE. Goes, who helped build CHBE and was instrumental in designing and building the new studios on Broad Street in 2007, was with the operation for 22 years.


In May, CHBE was broadcasting in HD, offering its own Virgin Radio programming on HD channel 1, CFAX 1070 on HD2 and CKST 1040 (Vancouver) on HD3.

The story continues elsewhere…
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