CFOX-FM, The World Famous CFOX, Vancouver

Corus Entertainment Inc.

CFOX-FM201199.351,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CFOX-FM199999.375,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CFOX-FM199299.375,000Shaw Radio Ltd
CFOX-FM198599.375,000Moffat Communications
CFOX-FM197999.3100,000Moffat Communications
CKLG-FM196499.3100,000Moffat Communications


The Board of Broadcast Governors recommended for approval, an application by CKLG-AM under general manager Don Hamilton for a new FM station, operating on 99.3 MHz.  Hamilton later also launched Vancouverstation CIOF in 1986. 


CKLG-FM signed on October 15 with easy listening, orchestra concerts along with movie and Broadway soundtrack recordings.  It was the city’s second commercial FM station after CHQM-FM in 1960. CBC’s Vancouver FM went on air in 1947.  At this same time in late 1964, sister station CKLG-AM began moving toward a Top 40 format.


In the fall, CKLG-FM started experimenting with rock music at night.  In October, Bill Reiter, the young co-owner of Bill and Bob’s Record Shop in Vancouver’s Chinatown, was hired by program director Frank Callaghan to host a new jazz/blues show.  Generally recognized as the first all-genres Black Music radio show in Canada, “Groovin’ Blue” started airing on Saturday evenings.


CKLG began airing “a brand new sound in Canadian radio” on March 16, according to Don M.E. Hamilton, CKLG-AM-FM station manager. There would be a complete commitment to “The New Music”, giving the existing FM listener an alternative sound to other stations. The FM move was a further expansion to the AM’s total policy of total youth involvement in the market (under 24 years of age). CKLG-AM took the top rock spot in Vancouver about a year ago. The New Music was described as not something merely to dance or listen to – it was an expression of a way of life … a combination of the surfing sound, Motown, new folk, the blues bands and the West Coast Sound. CKLG-FM would operate uninterrupted with two commercial breaks on the quarter hour with a maximum of 8 spots per hour. talk would be at an absolute minimum, with virtually nothing more than the title or artist being mentioned on the quarter hour breaks. BBG regulations required 20% of air time be devoted to the classics. For The New Music, there was only a limited audience available before 10:00 a.m. and this is where the station chose to play the classics.

Allan Anaka was named general sales manager. He had been retail sales manager since 1964 and with Moffat Broadcasting since 1963.


More on the 1968 FM programming changes…CKLG-FM’s programming policy generally revolved around three categories and allowed for a freedom for experimental approahces. The three general groups of music: electric (progressive rock groups), folk and a combination of soul and R&B. Heavy emphasis was placed on experimental jazz. The approach also allowed for music from East India, Japan, Spain and even classical. CKLG-FM broadcast in full Stereo and was programmed 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. Music was set up in 15 minute blocks. Selections were introduced quickly at the start and extroed at the end of the 15 minute block. Ads were limited to 8 per hour and news was 5 minutes, on the hour. 

James M. Pryor was named chairman of the board of Moffat Broadcasting Ltd. 


Myles Murchison was appointed director of public affairs for CKLG-AM and FM. This was a newly created position.


In an unusual move for FM radio, CKLG-FM added a daily talk show hosted by Allen Garr, which lasted until 1975.  Garr moved on to other Vancouver stations and wrote for local newspapers before becoming an instructor at Langara College.


The station described itself as programming a flow-through system of new, current and old records in 15 minute sets, with a pool of 3000 records, compared to 40 on the parent AM station.  All programming was live except for Sunday mornings.  Special programming included a two-hour daily talk show, a Saturday “sock hop” of nostalgia and concerts.  Commercials filled five to six minutes an hour with a maximum of eight minutes.  Kerry Marshall started in the newsroom of both CKLG AM & FM, later becoming news director, staying with the stations until 2002.


Roy Hennessy, who had been hosting mornings on CKLG-AM, took over the reins as program director.  Don Shafer was hired from CHUM Toronto and John Donabie from CJFM Montreal to assist in moving the station’s format to be more like CHUM-FM Toronto and CHOM-FM Montreal.  CKLG-FM progressively moved away from its “Underground” format to a “Progressive Rock” FM station.


John Donabie left to help launch CILQ-FM Toronto, moving to other Toronto stations before settling in as a talk show host at CFRB in 1995.


After station announcements that CKLG-FM would be a thing of the past, on January 6 the station became CFOX-FM, to distinguish itself from the AM side.  The change was voiced by Roy Hennessy with “The End” by The Doors followed by about 3 minutes of dead air, then “FM” by Steely Dan. The new call letters were picked up after CFOX-AM Montreal gave them up in late 1977 to become all-news CKO-FM.  Shafer acquired the PD duties from Hennessy, who moved on to manage several western Canadian stations before becoming President of Hennessy & Bray Communications in Toronto. 


Bill Sysak became vice president and general manager of CKLG/CFOX-FM. He had been at CHED Edmonton. Sysak replaced Vern Traill who was moved to CHED.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CFOX’s licence until September 30, 1985.


CFOX was granted a decrease in ERP from 41,000 watts (100,000 maximum) to 35,200 (75,000 watts maximum) and a change of transmitter location from above the top of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver to the Rogers tower on Mount Seymour.  The 600-plus metres height above average terrain (HAAT) of the new site offset the lower power.Don Shafer moved to program director at rival CFMI-FM where he stayed for two years before becoming President and GM of CILQ-FM Toronto.  After management positions at Pelmorex Communications and Torstar Media in Toronto, he headed back west as VP & GM of Standard Broadcasting’s B.C. Interior Group in Kelowna in 2003. 


Don Schaefer joined CFOX as program director. He had been with CFMI-FM.


Jim Johnston became program director at CFOX. He had held the same post at CHAM in Hamilton.

Willy Pearcy and Larry Hennessey were hired for mornings at CFOX. They had been doing the morning show at CKPR in Thunder Bay.


Jim (J.J.) Johnston, program director of CFOX-FM, was appointed PD of sister station CKLG as well. Johnston has won The Record’s PD of the year award for both country and album rock formats.


Jim (J.J.) Johnson, CFOX / CKLG program director was appointed national PD for Moffat Radio.


On August 20, the CRTC approved the sale of CKLG and CFOX-FM from Moffat Communications Ltd. to Shaw Radio Ltd.  This was part of Moffat’s sale of its radio division. Transfer of CKLG/CFOX-FM to Shaw was completed September 1.


Shaw Radio promoted Alden Diehl to industry relations and staff development manager at the company. He had been general manager of CFOX and CKLG. Chris Pandoff moved from the general sales manager position to general manager of the two stations. Gordon Forbes, 16 eyars with CFOX/CKLG, moved from sales supervisor to general sales manager. 

General manager Chris Pandoff named Bob Mills as CFOX program director. Mary Ann McKenzie remained as assistant program director. 


Rob Robson was named music director for CFOX and Bill Courage became afternoon host. He had been morning man at CFMI-FM. Erin Davis moved from CKLG-AM to handle afternoon news at the Fox.


Jeff O’Neil was evening announcer. Bill Courage and Erin Davis handled the afternoon drive show.

General manager Chris Pandoff announced new positions in the marketing and promotions department. Assistant program director Mary Ann McKenzie assumed the position of marketing director. She would also oversee the promotions department while promotions director Dayna Aysals enjoys an extended maternity leave. In addition to his on-air work, Steve Dunbar will be involved in programming department duties. Graham Scott would handle the maintenance and development of the station’s website. 

Bob Mills was program director. Larry Hennessey and Willie Percy (“Larry & Willie”) hosted the CFOX morning show.


On July 8, CFOX-FM was given approval to operate a rebroadcast transmitter operating on 92.3 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 47 watts at the ski resort of Whistler, 75 kilometres north of Vancouver. 

On November 3, Vancouver joined Toronto as the second Canadian city to offer digital radio broadcasting. CBU-AM and FM, along with CBUF-FM, CHUM Limited’s CFUN and CHQM-FM and Fraser Valley Radio’s STAR-FM began regular digital radio broadcasting. All six signals were broadcast from two pods located at the CBC’s Mount Seymour transmission facilities. Rogers Broadcasting, Shaw Radio and Westcom Radio were planning to file applications for six more digital services in the city (including CFMI-FM), to operate from the Rogers transmitter site, also on Mount Seymour.


Shaw Communications spun off the radio division to a new entity called Corus Radio Company.On October 18, CFOX was granted approval to operate a transitional digital radio undertaking. The transmitters would be installed on Mount Seymour and Metrotown – Cantel Building in Burnaby and would employ the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. The station would transmit on 1461.536 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 3,381 watts from Mt. Seymour and 2,774 watts from Burnaby. 

Larry & Willy hosted the morning show.


After sale of CKNW and sister station CFMI-FM was announced two years earlier, and after considerable restructuring, on July 6 the CRTC approved application by Corus Entertainment Inc. to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of WIC Premium Corporation.  Corus now owned four stations in the Vancouver market, which included CKLG-AM and CFOX-FM. 

Alden Diehl, 68, died October 27. He had run CFOX-FM and CKLG for a number of years – until his retirement a few years back. Diehl had joined Moffat Vancouver from sister stations CKY / CITI-FM in Winnipeg. Before that, he had worked for CKLW Windsor and CFRA in Ottawa.


After leaving CFOX-FM, Erin Davis joined Z95 as morning news voice.


Corus announced the appointment of Ross Winters as Director of Programming Corus Radio across its 52 radio stations in Canada.  He had been PD of CFOX-FM and its Vancouver sister station CFMI-FM.


In late march, Rogers Radio acquired the historic CKLG call letters after Corus gave them up in February 2001, renaming its CKKS-FM Vancouver as CKLG-FM.  Then in a startling announcement in early May, it was revealed that long time morning team of Larry Hennessey and Willy Percy was moving to mornings at rival Rogers-owned CKLG-FM (JACK-FM) in Vancouver.  The two had hosted the very popular Larry & Willy morning show on CFOX-FM since 1988.


On April 21, Corus Radio announced that it had launched podcasting on several of its Vancouver stations including CFOX-FM.


In January, Corus Radio announced the appointment of Jim (JJ) Johnston as General Manager for Corus Radio Vancouver (CHMJ, CKNW, CFOX-FM, and CFMI-FM) effective February 28.  Johnston had been GM of Corus Radio Toronto 


Cole Alford, an 11-year broadcast veteran, left Corus Radio Vancouver to join Astral Radio Vancouver on May 4. He would be Business Manager at Astral.

Lou Del Gobbo, the former General Manager of Corus Radio Vancouver, was now Vice President/CFO at the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

There were a number of changes at Corus Entertainment related to its organization review to streamline decision-making and clarify roles and mandates. Among the changes: Reporting to Hal Blackadar, Executive Vice President and interim President of Corus Radio was Garry McKenzie, GM, Corus Radio Vancouver (was GM at Corus Radio Calgary) 


On July 14, the CRTC approved the application by Corus Radio Company to amend the licence for CFOX-FM to change the technical parameters by increasing the average effective radiated power from 35,200 to 51,000 watts (maximum ERP from 75,000 to 100,000 watts), by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 686 to 386.4 metres and by relocating its transmitter. The licensee requested this amendment as a result of ongoing technical problems and difficulties with the existing transmitter site.

In mid-August, 102.1 the Edge program director Ross Winters returned to the West Coast to become PD for Rock 101 Vancouver and Q107 Calgary. He would also assist Chris Duncombe as assistant program director at CFOX Vancouver.

Jennifer Pelat moved from Corus Radio Vancouver to become program director of the Corus Peterborough cluster, effective September 15.


Former Corus Radio Vancouver general manager Garry McKenzie, was named regional general manager for Corus Radio Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, effective April 2.

It was announced that Brad Phillips, Vice President of B.C. operations for Astral Media, would be the new General Manager of the Corus Entertainment Vancouver radio cluster, succeeding Garry McKenzie who was now heading prairie radio operations for Corus and based in Calgary.

Don Hamilton passed away. He was the General Manager of CKLG/CKLG-FM (CFOX) in the 1960s and 1970s. His broadcast career began in 1951 at CFCH North Bay. Hamilton was also a President of the BCAB and of the CAB, and a co-Founder BC Knowledge Network. 


In January, Justin “Drex” Wilcomes joined FOX FM. He had been with CFCP Courtenay.

Cory Price, Assistant Program Director/Music Director at 99.3 The Fox left the station, after nine years, to join Paul Mercs Concerts in Vancouver.

Brian “Buzz” LeBoe died at age 68. He was a C-FUN “Good Guy” in the early ‘60s, became CKIQ Kelowna’s first morning host in 1971, was with CKLG-FM and CKWX in the mid ‘70s, at CJAY-FM in the late ‘70s and back at CFUN in the early ‘80s.

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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