CHNI-FM, Rock 88.9, Saint John

Stingray Group Inc.

CHNI-FM201888.979,000Stingray Group Inc.
CHNI-FM201488.979,000Newcap Inc.
CHNI-FM200588.979,000Rogers Broadcasting Limited


On November 26, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was awarded licences for new FM News/Talk stations at Saint John, Moncton and Halifax. The Saint John transmitter would operate on 88.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 79,000 watts. All three stations would share live broadcasts.


On October 11 at 5:30 a.m., CHNI-FM Saint John, CKNI-FM Moncton and CJNI-FM Halifax, officially signed on the air. “News 88.9 – News. Talk. Sports” had studios and offices at 55 Waterloo Street in Saint John.


Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CHNI-FM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.


Danny Kingsbury was named general manager – Atlantic Canada for Rogers. He would be based in Halifax and would be responsible for the Moncton and Saint John markets as well.


On July 9, the CRTC approved applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licences for CKNI-FM Moncton and CHNI-FM Saint John by changing the condition of licence that limits the amount of music they may broadcast. As a result of this amendment, the maximum proportion of all programming that may be devoted to musical selections increases from 10% to 25%. (Rogers also operates CJNI-FM, a news/talk station in Halifax, but has not applied for an amendment to the conditions of licence for that station.) Rogers submitted that this change is needed to permit the rationalization of costs by eliminating the news wheel approach to programming, and to reduce duplication in programming that currently exists between CKNI-FM and CHNI-FM. Rogers also indicated that the change would allow it to focus its resources on local and regional long-form talk programming.

Talk host Andrew Krystal left the Rogers group of talk stations in the Martimes in July to join CJCL-AM in Toronto.

Rick Howe launched a new afternoon talk show on News95.7 Halifax that also aired on News91.9 Moncton and News88.9 Saint John. He’d been with the Halifax station since August, 2008, doing an afternoon news wheel program. On November 1 the two New Brunswick stations added a provincial news/talk show from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. with host Dan Ahlstrand.

Three Saint John stations (News 88.9, CBC Radio One and CBC Radio Two) were knocked off the air in November when high winds interrupted power at the CBC transmission tower. Service for listeners was down for about three hours. Rogers’ Atlantic News Director Mark Campbell said CBC technicians were doing electrical upgrades to the transmitter and had disconnected the back-up generator.


On August 10, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences of CHNI-FM Saint John and CKNI-FM Moncton, to August 31, 2012. 

After 50 years on the air, Tom Young announced that he would retire on July 29. He had been doing an afternoon talk show since 2005, on News 95.7 Halifax, News 91.9 Moncton and News 88.9 Saint John and was based in Saint John.

Dan Ahlstrand, host of the New Brunswick Morning News on Rogers’ news stations in Saint John and Moncton, moved to Halifax to become morning news co-anchor on News95.7. He succeeded Doug Reynolds who moved to another Rogers property, 660News Calgary, as morning Anchor.


Tyler McLean succeeded Tom Young in doing morning talk at News 91.9 Moncton / News 88.9 Saint John. McLean became the longest tenured producer for Young and last year shared in a national RTNDA award with Young for producing and hosting the best information radio program in Canada.

Danny Kingsbury, the General Manager of the Rogers Atlantic radio properties (Moncton, Saint John and Halifax), added the Kingston, Ontario, stations (K-Rock, Kix 93.5 and The Lake) to his portfolio. He would now be based in Kingston. 

On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHNI-FM until August 31, 2013.


On June 21, the CRTC administratively renewed CHNI-FM’s licence to August 31, 2014.


On March 14, the CRTC approved the application by Newcap Inc. for authority to acquire from Rogers Broadcasting Limited the assets of CHNI-FM. The Commission also approved the applicant’s request to delete conditions of licence relating to the station’s programming, allowing CHNI-FM to move from News/Talk to a music format. 

On the same date the Commission approved Newcap’s application to change the authorized contours of CHNI-FM by decreasing the average ERP from 79,000 to 12,200 watts (max. from 79,000 to 25,000 watts), by increasing the EHAAT and by changing the antenna radiation pattern from non-directional to directional. 

In July, CHNI changed format from News-Talk to Active Rock as ROCK 88.9.


On October 23, the CRTC approved an application by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, on behalf of Newcap Inc. and its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, for authorization to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of various radio and television broadcasting undertakings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, so that effective control of the undertakings would be exercised by Eric Boyko (Stingray Digital Group Inc.). Stingray took ownership of the stations just a few days later.

The story continues elsewhere…
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