CJYC-FM, Kool 98, Saint John
|Maritime Broadcasting Ltd.
|Fundy Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
Fundy Broadcasting Co. Ltd., owner of CFBC-AM, launched CFBC-FM on March 12, operating on 98.9 MHz with 5,500 watts.
Slogan: CFBC-FM Stereo – good music, independent news – CFBC – one of the family.
On July 20, the CRTC revoked CFBC-FM’s licence effective September 30. The station had not satisfied the Commission that it would provide an adequate minimum standard in the public interest. The CRTC called for new applications for CFBC-FM’s frequency and CFBC was invited to re-apply for a licence. The frequency was eventually re-awarded to CFBC as there were no competing applicants. In order to ensure continuity of service, the licence was extended to March 31, 1978, by which time a decision is to be reached on the station’s future.
The station became known as “FM 98”.
Fundy Broadcasting’s application to continue CFBC-FM’s operation was approved. Fundy was the only applicant, and the CRTC now seemed satisfied CFBC intended to meet programming requirements.
On October 3, the CRTC gave CFBC-FM permission to change its format from Easy Listening to Middle of the Road.
On August 6, CFBC-FM was authorized to increase effective radiated power from 5,600 watts to 30,000 watts.
CFBC-FM changed its call letters to CJYC-FM.
On April 21, approval was granted for the sale of Fundy Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to CFBC Holdings Ltd. Fundy was controlled by Bevco Holdings Ltd. (James A. MacMurray) 37.5%, J. H. Turnbull 37.5% and A. R. W. Lockhart 24.7%. CFBC Holdings was controlled by C. William Stanley 76.9%.
Dennis O’Neill was vice president and general manager of CJYC / CFBC. Ralph McLenaghan was vice president of radio development for CJYC’s owner Fundy Broadcasting.
On June 21, CJYC was granted a power increase from 30,000 watts to 50,000 watts. The station said the increase in power would provide improved service in the Saint John area, particularly in Hampton and Quispamsis.
On April 10, CJYC-FM had its licence renewed to August 31, 1998. At the same time Fundy II Limited’s request to move CJYC from 98.9 MHz to 94.1 MHz, increase effective radiated power from 50,000 watts to 100,000 watts, and move the antenna site, was denied. The company said the purpose in requesting the amendments was solely to enable CJYC to fill out the pockets within its market area where the signal was deficient, to the point that listeners were poorly served, or completely lost to the station through no signal at all. The Commission said it was clear that one unavoidable effect of the proposed technical amendments would be to extend the CJYC-FM signal into the Fredericton radio market. Given the present economic circumstances of that market, in particular the poor financial performance of CFNB-AM in recent years, the Commission is concerned that approval of the proposed changes could result in an unacceptable erosion of that station’s audience and revenues. (CJYC had also applied for a power increase from 50,000 to 100,000 watts and a change of antenna site to Mount Champlain).
George Ferguson who had been General Manager at CFCH/CKAT North Bay a few months back was now Fundy Broadcasting’s GM at CFBC/CJYC (“C98”).
After months of rumours, Fundy Cable announced it would concentrate on cable. The company reached an agreement in principle to sell CJYC/CFBC (Saint John) to Newcap and CJCB/CKPE-FM (Sydney) to Maritime Broadcasting, which had a minority interest in CHER Sydney.
The deal to purchase CJCB/CKPE-FM Sydney and C98 (CJYC)/CFBC Saint John from Fundy Communications closed May 1. Maritime’s Merv Russell said the environmental issue at Sydney had been satisfied to all parties. Fundy would retain ownership of the building housing the two radio stations at Sydney. Donnie Brown would stay in his general manager’s position at Sydney and George Ferguson would retain his GM’s role at the stations in Saint John.
Maritime Broadcasting closed its deal for the purchase of Neil MacMullen’s Annapolis Valley Radio on April 30, then did the same thing all over again on May 1 for the purchase of Fundy Broadcasting’s CJCB/CKPE-FM Sydney and CFBC/C98-FM Saint John.
In June, CFBC/C98-FM moved into new quarters, sharing the 226 Union Street address with CIOK-FM. CFBC/C98 were still being operated under the guidance of a trustee but Maritime Broadcasting had reapplied to buy the stations and that application was posted by the CRTC for a non-appearing hearing August 11. Meantime, 11 CFBC/CJYC employees — including news director/talk show host Gary MacDonald – were laid off. David Doyle, the trustee, said it was “obvious there’d have to be a restructuring if these radio stations were to become viable”. General manager George Ferguson was also among those laid off.
On February 7, CJYC was granted a power decrease from 50,000 to 12,000 watts, and an increase in antenna height from a new transmitter site. The transmitter and antenna would move from Sandy Point to Mount Champlain. For the record CJYC submitted an application for a similar relocation of the transmitter to Mount Champlain and a decrease of power to 8,200 watts in 1997. The change was never implemented.
On August 30, C98 CJYC became Classic Rock 98.9 Big John FM.
News Director Brian McLain, after 21 years with MBS/Maclean Hunter Saint John, moved across the street. McLain joined Acadia Broadcasting’s Country 94/97.3 The Wave as Assistant ND.
Geoff Walsh, Music Director/announcer at Maritimes Broadcasting System Halifax the last three years, was promoted to Operations Manager at MBS Saint John. Hugh Morrisson returned to Astral Atlantic Fredericton October 3 as head of technical services after a decade at MBS Saint John.
The strike at Maritime Broadcasting System’s three stations in Saint John entered its ninth month. Seven employees at CFBC/K-100/Big John FM walked off the job in June (2012) seeking higher wages and paid overtime.
In August, CJYC changed format from Classic Rock (as Big John FM) to Classic Hits (as Kool 98).
In February, MBS Radio laid off all of the air staff at CIOK, CJYC and CFBC. The stations were now being voice-tracked from out of market. The stations were unionized in 2012 and this resulted in a nearly 2-year lockout by management.
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.