CHOZ-FM, OZ-FM, St. John’s

Newfoundland Broadcasting Co Ltd.

CHOZ-FM198494.7100,000Newfoundland Broadcasting Co Ltd.
CHOZ-FM197793.9100,000Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was split up by its two owners, Geoffrey W. Stirling and Donald C. Jamieson. Jamieson purchased CJON 930 (became CJYQ) and its network of AM stations across the province. Stirling purchased CJON-TV and its network of stations across Newfoundland. Stirling also retained the Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. name.

Stirling also applied for and received approval for a new FM station at St. John’s with a network of transmitters to cover the province. The transmitters would be located at the following communities: St. John’s (93.9 MHz, effective radiated power of 100,000 watts), Argentia (100.3 MHz, ERP of 3,650 watts), Marystown (96.3 MHz, ERP of 31,330 watts), Bonavista (92.1 MHz, ERP of 28,580 watts), Gander (99.9 MHz, ERP of 4,000 watts), Rattling Brook (95.9 MHz, ERP of 3,430 watts), Corner Brook (92.3 MHz, ERP of 30,600 watts), Stephenville (98.5 MHz, ERP of 4,270 watts) and Red Rocks (96.9 MHz, ERP of 1,120 watts).

The Corner Brook licence included a condition that no advertising be solicited in that area. The network was to provide high quality mosaic and foreground programming, with music substantially different from contemporary or “Top 40” AM formats.

CHOZ-FM signed on the air June 15. It was Newfoundland’s first private FM stereo station. It was also the first of a network of nine transmitters that will cover the province. The St. John’s facility used a Harris/Gates 20 kw transmitter and antenna at the 100 foot mark on the CJON-TV tower. Programming from the studios to transmitter was provided by STL. Separate FM studios were installed in the existing CJON Television building. 

Colin C. Jamieson, brother of the federal cabinet minister and one-time CAB chair Don Jamieson, applied for an AM station in St. John’s – 850 kHz with full-time power of 25,000 watts. Colin was formerly the president of Newfoundland Broadcasting. His application was turned down by the federal regulator. The CRTC noted that two new FM stations (CHOZ and CKO) were going on the air and that further competition would weaken the ability of CJON and VOCM to provide province-wide-services.


The application by CHOZ-FM to reduce country music and increase rock music was approved by the CRTC.


The CRTC approved the deletion of a ban on soliciting local advertising for CKOZ-FM Corner Brook. The licensee was to maintain a full-time reporter in Corner Brook and provide programming of interest to the area from the originating station – CHOZ-FM.


OZ FM was the most powerful commercial province-wide radio network in Canada with a combined transmitter power of over 275,000 watts in full stereo, covering Newfoundland from coast to coast. The station reached 95% of the population. It had 30,000 contemporary musical albums. OZ offered Newfoundland, Canadian and world news, information, community events, mini-concerts and key interviews.


On July 23, the CRTC denied NBC’s application to add an additional transmitter for CHOZ-FM at St. John’s, broadcasting on 95.7 MHz with ERP of 88.5 watts. CHOZ-FM wanted the additional signal due to concerns about signal quality in certain areas of the downtown. The Department of Communications investigated and found CHOZ-FM adequately serves the city.


Bruce Morel was appointed station manager of the OZ FM Network.

CHOZ-FM was given permission to move its antenna to a site 8 km east of the existing one. 


On January 11, the CRTC renewed the licence for CFOZ-FM Argentia, CIOZ-FM Mayrstown, CHOZ-FM St. John’s, CJOZ-FM Bonavista, CHOS-FM Rattling Brook, CKOZ-FM Corner Brook, CKSS-FM Red Rocks and CIOS-FM Stephenville, until September 30, 1985.

On February 2, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKOZ-FM Corner Brook, by changing the antenna site and by increasing the effective radiated power from 30,620 watts to 50,000 watts. The Commission noted that to date no Technical Construction and Operating Certificate had been issued by the Department of Communications. In response to its enquiries, the DOC advised that the licensee had yet to submit the appropriate documentation for the technical certification of the proposed change in parameters. Accordingly, this approval was conditional upon the licensee submitting to the DOC, within three months, the appropriate technical documentation in support of these proposed changes.

On August 1, CHOZ was granted a change of frequency, from 93.9 MHz to 94.7 MHz. This change was applied for at the request of the Department of Communications to resolve signal interference problems with CJON-TV in certain areas of St. John’s.


At this time, CHOZ operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CFOZ-FM Argentia, CHOS-FM Rattling Brook, CIOS-FM Stephenville, CIOZ-FM Marystown, CJOZ-FM Bonavista, CKOZ-FM Corner Brook and CKSS-FM Red Rocks.


CJOZ-FM Bonavista was granted an decrease in effective radiated power on March 11. Power would be reduced from 28,580 watts to 6,700 watts.

On September 4, Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. received approval to add a transmitter for CHOZ-FM at Clarenville. It would operate on a frequency of 105.3 MHz, and have an effective radiated power of 2,400 watts. 

Bruce Morel was named OZ-FM’s station manager. Keith Soper succeeded him as program director. 


Bruce Morel left CHOZ-FM for CFDR/Rock 104 in Halifax. He had been at the OZ network for eight years.


As part of the CHOZ-FM licence renewal application, NBC requested that the CRTC renew its authority for CKSS-FM. The Red Rocks transmitter was authorized in 1976 and had not yet become operational. The transmitting facilities were installed but the originally proposed method of signal delivery did not provide a satisfactory signal and there was no other “economically feasible method to deliver the signal”. In light of new technologies now available, NBC was evaluating alternative methods to deliver CHOZ-FM programming to Red Rocks. The CRTC advised the licensee that it expected CKSS-FM to be implemented within 24 months of the date of this decision.


NTV (CJON-TV) and OZ-FM began feeding their transmitters by satellite.


On April 13, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHOZ-FM St. John’s, by decreasing the effective radiated power of its Clarenville transmitter (CKCV-FM) from 2,400 watts to 2,070 watts. The licensee proposed to relocate CKCV-FM’s transmitter to a new site at a higher ground elevation and to increase the height of the transmitting antenna. 

OZ FM hired former CKIX-FM morning host Brian O’Conell on a part-time basis.

On July 31, NBC was authorized to decrease the effective radiated power of its transmitter CKSS-FM Red Rocks from 1,120 watts to 520 watts. The transmitter would change from an omni-directional to a directional pattern.


OZ-FM was now streaming live on the internet.


Brian Vallis left OZ-FM/NTV for Maxagrid International. Keith Soper picked up the slack and was now in charge of national sales fort NTV and general manager at OZ and NTV.


As of this time, CHOZ operated the following high powered rebroadcast transmitters: CFOZ-FM Argentia, CJOZ-FM Bonavista, CKCV-FM Clarenville, CKOZ-FM Corner Brook, CIOZ-FM Marystown, CHOS-FM Rattling Brook, CKSS-FM Red Rocks and CIOS-FM Stephenville. 


On September 9 the CRTC renewed CHOZ-FM’s network licence until August 31, 2009. The network included affiliate station CFZY-FM in Stockholm, Saskatchewan.


In August CHOZ changed format from Hot Adult Contemporary / Classic Hits to Active Rock. It was still known as OZ FM.


On June 30, the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio station CHOZ-FM St. John’s and its transmitters (CFOZ-FM Argentia, CKMY-FM Rattling Brook, CIOS-FM Stephenville, CIOZ-FM Marystown, CJOZ-FM Elliston, CKOZ-FM Corner Brook, CKSS-FM Red Rocks and CJMY-FM Clarenville), from 1 July 2010 to 31 August 2013. This short-term licence renewal would enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2009-786, the Commission stated that the licensee may have failed to comply with the Radio Regulations, 1986 as they related to devoting at least 35% or more of musical selections from content category 2 (Popular music) to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety for the week of 15 to 21 April 2007.


On January 1, OZ-FM changed branding from “The Rock Of The Rock” to Hot Adult Contemporary, “Today’s Best Music.”

On March 1, the CRTC approved the application by Newfoundland Broadcasting Corporation for authority to multicast CHOZ-FM on a sub-channel of its conventional television station CJON-DT. The applicant explained that, following the set-up of the transmission facilities for CJON-DT, CHOZ-FM inadvertently appeared on a sub-channel of the television signal. Newfoundland Broadcasting indicated that it had determined how to remove the FM signal from the television channel but considered that having the signal of CHOZ-FM on the sub-channel was beneficial because it provided a further technical means to broadcast the radio signal. It would therefore like to continue to offer CHOZ-FM in this manner. The Commission considered that making the CHOZ-FM signal available on a sub-channel of CJON-DT would be of benefit to radio listeners in that they would be provided with an additional means to access the station. As well, no radio station or broadcasting distribution undertaking licensee that would be affected by the application intervened in this proceeding. In the Commission’s view, inclusion of CHOZ-FM as part of the CJON-DT signal was unlikely to have an appreciable impact on stations in the St. John’s market. 

In the fall, CKSS 96.9 Red Rocks and CIOS 98.5 Stephenville left the air (repeaters of CHOZ). Their towers had aged and were in a state of disrepair.

The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence of CHOZ-FM St. John’s to delete the transmitters CIOS-FM Stephenville and CKSS-FM Red Rocks.

CIOS 98.5 Stephenville did not leave the air December 1 as expected. It was decided to keep the 4,270 watt CHOZ rebroadcaster on the air after all.


On November 8, the CRTC approved the application by Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited to amend the licence for CHOZ-FM St. John’s in order to operate an FM transmitter in Stephenville. The new transmitter would operate at 98.5 MHz (channel 253A) with an average effective radiated power of 3,030 watts (non-directional).

Newfoundland Broadcasting owner Geoff Stirling died at age 92 on December 22. He partnered with Don Jameison to open CJON radio in 1950 and CJON-TV in 1955. On his own, Stirling launched CHOZ-FM in 1977.

On December 18, the CRTC renewed the licence of CHOZ to August 31, 2018. This short-term renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with its regulatory requirements. The Commission found the licensee in non-compliance relating to CCD contributions for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 broadcast years.


On January 9, the CRTC approved CHOZ’s application to change the authorized contours of CJMY-FM Clarenville…to change antenna’s radiation pattern from non-directional to directional, increase the average ERP from 2,070 to 2,813 watts, increase the antenna height and move the transmission site. 

As a result of the death of Geoffrey W. Stirling in December 2013 and following the grant of Probate of Mr. Stirling’s last will and testament, effective control of Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was transferred to Scott Stirling. (CRTC approved: September 30).


On April 20, the CRTC approved the application by CHOZ-FM to relocate the transmitter for CKOZ-FM Corner Brook, change the transmitter class from C to B1, decrease ERP from 50,000 to 7,665 watts and increase EHAAT from 63 to 141.2 metres.

On the same date, approval was granted for CKMY-FM Rattling Brook to relocate the transmitter site to Botwood, change the transmitter class from B to C1, decrease ERP from 50,000 to 47,000 watts and increase EHAAT from 151 to 210.1 metres.

On September 15, CHOZ-FM received CRTC approval to establish a rebroadcaster in Gander at 97.7 MHz. It would operate with 2,800 watts ERP. Antenna height would be 137.4 metres (EHAAT) with a non-directional radiation pattern.


Garfield Ogilvie died at age 61, on January 31. Ogilvie started his broadcast sales career at CHOZ St. John’s in 1980. He moved on to CJSB Ottawa in 1982 and then Urban Outdoor Trans Ad in Toronto. He got back into radio in 1995, becoming the general sales manager of CKKW and CFCA in Kitchener, and later spent several years with the Radio Marketing Bureau. In 2000, Ogilvie joined Clear Channel Outdoor and remained with the company for ten years.

The story continues elsewhere…
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