CFRW-AM, TSN 1290, Winnipeg

Bell Media Inc.

CFRW-AM2011129050,000Bell Media
CFRW-AM2003129050,000CHUM Ltd.
CIFX-AM1987129050,000CHUM Ltd.
CFRW-AM1974147050,000CHUM Ltd.
CFRW-AM1970147050,000CJOR Ltd. (Jim Pattison)
CJQM-AM1964147050,000Radio Winnipeg Ltd.
CJQM-AM1963147050,000Winnipeg Broadcast Associates Ltd.


CJQM began broadcasting on November 1. CJQM-FM signed on the air a short time later. CJQM-AM broadcast on a frequency of 1470 kHz with a full-time power of 5,000 watts. Studios and offices were on the ground floor of the Confederation Building at 457 Main Street. CJQM was an independent station with no network affiliation.

CJQM was licensed to Winnipeg Broadcast Associates Ltd. which had direct ties to Vancouver Broadcast Associates, owner of CHQM Radio. Musician and entertainment mogul Jack Shapira was key among those in the group that obtained the Winnipeg licences. CJQM-AM-FM was a clone of the Vancouver station, and had a good music format. All but morning and afternoon drive times were automated and voice-tracked by CHQM personalities. Almost all control for the CJQM stations rested with Vancouver management. The format and CHQM voice-tracked announcers would not be a success in the Winnipeg market.


Winnipeg Broadcasting Associates was given permission to sell CJQM-AM-FM to QM Winnipeg Ltd. Jack O. Blick, who sold CJOB Radio to Frank Griffiths in 1961, may have been involved in the new CJQM’s new ownership.

Don Croston was president of QM Winnipeg and H. Roy Priddle was named general manager of the stations.

At some point after the sale, the call letters were changed to CFRW-AM and FM. 


QM Winnipeg Ltd. was given approval for the operation of a 250 wat standby transmitter at the studio location.

New to CFRW: Bill Kincaid (formerly of CKRM Regina) who would do announcing and sales.

Slogan: Radio Winnipeg.


A group of Lakehead broadcasters headed by Fraser Dougall (president of CKPR-AM-FM, CKDR, CFOB and CJRL) announced they had bought CFRW-AM and FM from Radio Winnipeg Ltd., subject to CRTC approval. Dougall would be president of the newly acquired firm, succeeding J.O. Blick. John Murphy, who had been CKPR program director, would represent the new management in the Winnipeg office. 


Studios and offices moved from the Confederation Building to the former CKY-AM facility in the London Building at 432 Main Street.

QM Winnipeg Ltd. was purchased by Radio Winnipeg Ltd.


On March 21, Hector F. Dougall’s application to purchase shares in Radio Winnipeg Ltd. was denied. He had proposed to acquire 51,453 class A and 1,148,272 class B shares. Dougall owned stations in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

On October 31, Dougall had his application to acquire 100% of Radio Winnipeg Ltd. denied. Shareholders would have been Hector Fraser Dougall, Elizabeth Christine Dougall and Scott Burton Dougall.


On March 30, Jim Pattison’s CJOR Ltd. of Vancouver was allowed to purchase CFRW-AM-FM from C.H. Flintoft, trustee of the estate of Radio Winnipeg Ltd., a bankrupt. 

Jack R. Stewart, vice president of CJOR Ltd., announced the appointment of T.N. (Tiff) Trimble as general manager of CFRW-AM-FM, effective March 5, the date the CRTC approved the transfer of the Winnipeg stations to CJOR Ltd.


On December 15, Jim Pattison Broadcasting Ltd. (formerly CJOR Ltd.) was given approval to increase CFRW 1470’s power from 5,000 watts day and night (directional) to 10,000 watts day and night (directional). The existing RCA transmitter was rewired for 10 kW and the power increase was operational in 1973. Bill East, engineering assistant to chief engineer Bruce Edgar recalled that there were many late evenings at the transmitter site in preparations, with technical assistance by contracted engineer Niel East of Sound Broadcasting. Bill said the RCA transmitter actually made 10 KW but jut barely, and that it was latter reduced to 7 KW to be a more reliable standby with the installation of the Continental 316F 10 KW transmitter. 

Dick Wilson joined CFRW for weekends. He had been with CKRC. Chris James left CFRW for Montreal’s CKGM. Bob Gibbons was at CFRW.


In October, CHUM Limited agreed to purchase CFRW-AM and FM.


The sale of CFRW-AM and FM by Pattison Broadcasting Ltd. to CHUM Ltd. was approved July 5 and completed July 31.


CHUM (Manitoba) Ltd. announced plans to change CFRW’s frequency from 1470 kHz to 1290 kHz. Power would remain 10,000 watts. The change was approved by the CRTC in 1976.


On-air line-up: Ron Able (6-10 a.m.), John Laurance (10-2), Pat Holiday (2-6), Gary Christian (Gary Aube) (6-9), Bob Quinn (9-midnight) and Mark Elliot (overnights).


Brian Stone joined CFRW’s news department from CKLW in Windsor.


Studios moved from 432 Main St. to 1445 Pembina Highway.

In September, CFRW began broadcasting in stereo.


On February 15, the CRTC renewed CFRW’s licence to September 30, 1989.

CHUM (Manitoba) Ltd. and all of the other CHUM Group companies were amalgamated. CFRW became a division of CHUM Ltd. 


Jim Brady was doing the morning show at CFRW. He had worked in the Toronto market for several years.


CFRW hired Mike Inglis to be the voice of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL).


Kevin McGowan took over CFRW’s morning show. He had been working in Montreal radio.


On May 4, CFRW dropped its long-time contemporary music format and adopted an adult contemporary sound and a new call sign – CIFX (The Fox). 

Mark Maheu was program director of 1290 Fox. The station had a new format – favorites of the 60s, 70s and 80s, directed at 21 to 48 year olds.

The CHUM Winnipeg stations swapped some on-air people. Q94FM’s morning man, Mike O’Brien, moved over to CFOX (in a different time slot) and CFOX’s Geoff Franklin was now morning man at Q94. 


Robb Glazier was CIFX sports director.


CIFX went from lite rock to mostly talk on May 8. 


AM 1290 / Q94 promotions director J. Thomas left on May 1.


Ken Trimble left CIFX for BN Edmonton at a reporter/editor.


1290 Talk Radio’s afternoon talk host John Collison was fired after leading a campaign against a committee that would have examined ways to eliminate homophobia in the city’s high schools.


On September 17th, CIFX became CFST with an “Adult Pop Standard” format.


On May 7, CFST became part of CHUM’s Team all sports radio network, known as The Team 1290. 

Chris Brooke left CFST for co-owned CKGM/CHOM-FM in Montreal.

Team 1290/Q94 FM general sales manager Scott Bodnarchuck left for Halifax to head up the Metro Radio Group.


CFST switched from sports to oldies on August 27.


CFST returned to the old CFRW call letters in January.


Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CFRW,  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 25th that 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 CFRW-AM.   


Michelle Pereira, the Retail Sales Manager at HANK-FM/CKJS from 2007 to 2009 was now with CHUM Winnipeg as Agency Liaison. 


On September 27 at 10:57 a.m., CFRW returned to an all-sports format as “Sports Radio 1290”. The station would offer listeners compelling personalities and programming, 24 hours a day, with a wide appeal, especially among the target audience of males aged 25-54. The on-air line-up included: Mike and Mike in the Morning (5-9) featuring Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, The Herd with Colin Cowherd (9-11), The Jim Rome Show (11-2), The Scott Van Pelt Show (2-3), and The Doug Gottlieb Show (3-6). 

Chris Stevens was vice-president and general manager. Darrell Bezdietny left CHUM Radio Winnipeg where he had been assistant engineer since 2007. 


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.

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 Canada Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CJCH-FM and CIOO-FM Halifax, CKGM Montréal, CKKW-FM and CFCA-FM Kitchener, CFRW, CFWM-FM and CHIQ-FM Winnipeg. 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. 

Chris Stevens, who had been vice president and general manager at Bell Media Radio Winnipeg since October, 2007, was succeeded by Mark Maheu. 

Bell Media announced that as of October 5, CKGM (The Team 990 – Montreal) and CFRW (Sports Radio 1290 – Winnipeg) would rebrand as TSN Radio 990 and TSN 1290, respectively, joining CHUM (TSN Radio 1050 – Toronto) to form the TSN Radio network. Both stations would maintain local schedules, although TSN announced that there would be some talent exchange amongst the stations. TSN also said that CFGO (The Team 1200 – Ottawa), and CKST and CFTE (The Team 1040 and The Team 1410 – Vancouver) would work closely with the network. 

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

Shelley Smith-Hines became manager of promotions & marketing at CHUM Radio Winnipeg. 


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFRW to August 31, 2012.

Former broadcaster Kevin McGowan died August at the age of 58. McGowan joined CFRW Winnipeg in 1987, from CFCF Montreal. In 1992, CFMO-FM Ottawa became KOOL FM, and McGowan teamed up with Sandy Sharkey for the morning show. Kevin left the station (BOB FM by this time) in July of 2004. He worked at other stations before and after his stints in Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa.

On August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed CFRW’s licence to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2019.


Mark Maheu, who’d been running Bell Media Radio Winnipeg since August, 2011, added CTV Winnipeg to his responsibilities. Maheu was now Vice President/ General Manager of both. Before moving to Winnipeg, he was an acquisitions and regulatory consultant based in Ottawa, VP/COO of Newcap (also Ottawa-based) and, before that, VP/GM at CHUM Radio Ottawa. 


FAB 94.3 moved from the Bell Media building to join its new sister station, QX104, on Lombard Street in downtown Winnipeg – held in trust after the sale of Astral to BCE and now owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Virgin Radio Winnipeg, which had been located with QX104, joined new Bell Media sister stations BOB FM and TSN 1290 on Pembina Highway.


Bert Gordon died at age 70, on July 13. He worked at Vancouver’s CFOX in the early 80’s, then CFMI and CKNW. In the 2000s, he was the morning host at CFST (CFRW).

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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