CJYQ-AM, 930 Kixx Country, St. John’s

Stingray Group Inc.

CJYQ-AM201893050,000Stingray Group Inc.
CJYQ-AM198993050,000Newcap Broadcasting Ltd.
CJYQ-AM198393025,000CHUM Ltd.
CJYQ-AM197793025,000Nfld. Broadcasting Co Ltd.
CJYQ-AM197593025,000Nfld. Broadcasting Co Ltd.
CJYQ-AM196193010,000Nfld. Broadcasting Co Ltd.
CJYQ-AM19509305,000Nfld. Broadcasting Co Ltd.


Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited applied to the Newfoundland government for an AM licence at St. John’s. The application was denied because the Commission of Government did not have the right to grant a licence to a private station.


Newfoundland joined Canadian Confederation. 

Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. applied to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the broadcast regulator at the time, for permission to open a new AM station at St. John’s. The application was approved. NBC was owned equally by Geoffrey W. Stirling, Donakd C. Jamieson and G.S. Squires


CJON’s request for C.A.B. membership was approved.

Geoff Stirling was manager.

Newfoundland’s second privately-owned station was opened October 25 by Premier Joseph Smallwood. CJON 930 operated with 5,000 watts of power (directional at night) and was on the air 18 hours a day. Geoff Stirling was president and manager. He had been a newspaperman, working in both the U.S. and Newfoundland. At one time he was a foreign correspondent for a number of American papers, supplying material from South America, Europe and Africa. Don Jamieson was production manager. He had also worked in the newspaper business, did some writing, and had been a newscaster at CBN St. John’s. The opening ceremony included congratulatory recordings from a number of All-Canada Radio Facilities stations, including live talent shows from CKCK Regina and CKWX Vancouver. 


A print ad for the station showed the frequency at 920 kHz….slogan: The most powerful private station in the 10th province.

Approval was given for the transfer of 100 common shares in the company.


Proctor & Gamble switched all of their radio shows from the four station Newfoundland network to CJON (including: Road of Life, Perry Mason and Young Dr. Malone).


The proposed transfer of one common share in Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was deferred by the CBC. 


NBC opened CJON Television. CJON Radio moved to the new TV facility in the Prince of Wales Building, Buckmaster’s Circle.

CJON Radio’s Bob Lewis was named program producer for the Canada Packers daily hour show on CJON-TV. Bill Callahan did sports. Jack White was a newscaster. 


CJON was an independent station with no network affiliation. Ownership of Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: G. W. Stirling 50.3%, D. Jamieson 49.3% and F. Dawe 0.4%.

Geoffrey W. Stirling was president of the company, Don Jamieson was vice president and general manager, Colin Jamieson was production and program manager.


On March 1 a freezing rain storm hit St. John’s and toppled some of the antenna towers for both CBN and VOCM, knocking them off the air. CJON was the only commercial station left but it transmitted an intermittent signal and could only be heard on battery operated radios because hydro was knocked out across the city. CJON-TV and its repeater, CJOX-TV Argentia were also off the air. VOCM returned to the air the following day. CJON staff had to walk five miles to the transmitter site to broadcast because the power was out at the studios. 

Ad slogans: Radio Station CJON St. John’s not only covers the Avalon Peninsula, but reaches out to communities 200 miles away who come to St. John’s to do much of their shopping. You’ll find CJON a good buy in Newfoundland. / CJON Radio/TV – first in…public service, live programming, community service. 

George MacDonald was operations manager. Bill Callaghan was sports director. Wally Millman was news editor. Jim Thoms was news director. Ignatius Rumboldt was music director. Jerry Wiggins joined CJON-Radio Newfoundland as production manager.

CJON received approval to increase power from 5,000 to 10,000 watts.


CJON increased power to 10,000 watts full-time.


By this time, CJON had four relay stations across the province. 

Ad slogan: The Award Winning Stations – CJON Radio Television Newfoundland.

Colin Jamieson was operations manager. Jerry Wiggins was production manager for radio and television and was also a DJ on CJON-AM. Bob Lewis was chief announcer (mornings) but also did some TV work. Former Toronto Maple Leaf Howie Meeker did sports for both radio and TV. Premier Joey Smallwood was heard regularly on CJON-AM. Vice president Don Jamieson was a regular performer on radio and TV. Jack Baird was a vice president.


Geoff Stirling was president of Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Don Jamieson was vice president. Don’s brother, Colin, was CJON’s manager. Dave Maunder was program and production manager. Merv Russell was morning man. Howie Meeker was sports director.


Don Jamieson, liberal MP and president of CJON-AM-TV, became minister of defence production in the Trudeau government. The department was to be converted and as a result Jamieson would become minister of supply & services.

Geoff Stirling (chairman of the board) appointed Colin Jamieson as president of the company. He would also continue on as general manager of the company’s radio and television stations.


Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN’s voice (audio) service. CJON was one of those stations.


On July 27, Newfoundland Broadcasting was given approval to open an AM station at Gander on 1350 kHz (would be known as CJCR); to move CJOX Grand Bank from 710 kHz to 610 kHz, and increase its power to 10,000 watts (different day and night directional patterns); and to increase CJON’s power to 25,000 watts day and night from 10,000 watts full-time (with different day and night directional patterns).


Don Jamieson tried to sell his 49% interest in Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Geoff Stirling (who held 51%). The CRTC denied the application because Stirling was not a full-time resident of Newfoundland. The Commission wanted the shares to go to someone that was a full-time resident. Jamieson wanted to sell his shares because he had been a cabinet minister in the federal Liberal government since 1968.

By this time, CJON was operating with a power of 25,000 watts (full-time).


The trustees for the Hon. Donald C. Jamieson, the federal cabinet minister who is a 49% shareholder in Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd., applied to take over CJON-AM and its four sister radio stations. In a counter-application, Geoff W. Stirling, majority shareholder, with 51%, applied to take over 100% control of the entire company. In a CRTC statement, concern was expressed over recent changes which had occurred in the programming of the Grand Falls, Gander and Grand Bank radio stations and the Grand Falls television station. The company reportedly closed its studios at these locations in retaliation for what it considered unfair competition from the CBC for television advertising.

The above applications were approved by the CRTC. Jamieson sold his 49% interest in NBCL to Stirling (who went from 51% to 100% ownership). NBC retained CJON-TV and its rebroadcast transmitters and was given approval to launch a network of FM transmitters to serve the province – CHOZ-FM. Jamieson kept the AM operations across the province. Jamieson would keep the AM operations through a blind trust controlled by A. C. Lloyd Hudson and Allan F. Waters (CHUM Limited). Jamieson’s brother Colin, who was fired by NBC a year earlier, was hired to be a director and president of the newly formed Radio CJYQ-930 Ltd. The CRTC approved the applications on August 9.

Jamieson took full ownership of Radio CJYQ-930 Ltd. on September 1. CJYQ’s studios and offices moved from the NBC/CJON building to 221 Duckworth Street.

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 call letters for the AM stations were changed to reflect the separation from NBCL/CJON-TV. CJON 930 St. John’s became CJYQ, CJNW 670 Musgravetown became CHYQ, CJCR 1350 Gander became CFYQ, CJCN 680 Grand Falls became CIYQ, and CJOX 610 Grand Bank became CKYQ.

The Q radio licences were renewed for four years. The CRTC expressed satisfaction with the resumption of local programming at Grand Falls and Grand Bank, and Radio CJYQ had since resumed separate programming at Gander.


CJYQ’s application for an FM station at St. John’s was denied.


CHUM Limited agreed to buy Don Jamieson’s Radio CJYQ 930 Ltd. (CJYQ St. John’s and the Q group of stations across the province). Don’s brother Colin agreed to remain as president. The purchase was approved by the CRTC.


CHUM took ownership of Radio CJYQ 930 Ltd. on January 15.

The Q Radio Network added its first new station in years with the launch of CFIQ 970 Harbour Grace on April 25. The station officially launched on May 7.

CJYQ finally received approval to operate an FM station in St. John’s and CKIX-FM signed on the air on October 15.


Radio CJYQ 930 Ltd. and all CHUM Group radio and television companies were amalgamated into CHUM Limited. CJYQ became a direct division of CHUM Ltd.

Ken Coughlin left CJYQ for CHSC St. Catharines.


Employees at CHUM’s Newfoundland radio stations applied for union certification with NABET


Former politician and broadcaster Don Jamieson died at age 65 on November 19. In his early years he was an entertainer, and put on over a thousand shows for military personnel in Newfoundland during World War II. In 1950, he put CJON-AM on the air and became general manager in 1951. CJON-TV was opened in 1955. Jamieson was president of the CAB from 1961-64. He was elected a Liberal M.P. in 1966 and held three successive cabinet posts (Defence, Transport and External Affairs). Jamieson then turned to provincial politics. From 1982-85, Don Jamieson served as Canadian High Commissioner in London. Only a short time before his death, Jamieson had been inducted into the CAB’s Broadcast Hall of Fame. That was on November 3.

Tom Hann was General Manager. Roger Jamieson (Don’s son) was PD for CKIX while Robert Lannon was PD for CJYQ. Music Director at CKIX-FM was Brent Roy while Sam Whiffen held those duties at CJYQ. CKIX-FM line-up included David “Snuffy” Jackson on mornings, Brent Roy on mid-days Rich Flemming on afternoon drive. Brenda Silk and Bob Banfield and others covered swing shifts. Paul Bradbury did mornings on CJYQ.


News director Jim Goldrich left CJYQ to take up the same post at CIOK-FM Saint John. Goldrich was replaced at CJYQ by Keith Pittman. Goldrich had been at CJYQ for seven years. Morning man Snuffy Jackson left to return to Texas (KRVL in Kerrville) and was replaced by Dave Sturgeon (known on-air as Keith Davis). Michael McFadyen (known on-air as Michael Stuart) joined the news team from CIHI in Fredericton. Other news personalities included Rod Etheridge, Cecil Hare, Heidi O’Gunke (on-air her name was Chris ??), Brendan McCarthy. Sports was Craig Jackson. Bob Banfield was Production Manager.


Tom Hann was CJYQ’s general manager. Brent Roy left in January.


On July 19, CHUM Limited sold the CJYQ stations to NewCap Broadcasting Limited. NewCap was a unit of Harry Steele’s Newfoundland Capital Corp. Steele had fought against CHUM for the purchase of these stations in 1982-83. 


On February 12, the following Q Radio stations changed their main program feed from CJYQ-AM to CKIX-FM and changed call letters: CKYQ 610 to CKXJ, CHYQ 670 to CKXB, CIYQ 680 to CKXG and CFYQ 1010 to CKXD. 

One June 1, CJYQ was granted approval to increase power from 25,000 watts to 50,000 watts (directional at night). VOCM’s opposition was discounted by the CRTC, which noted the power increase was one of the commitments made by NewCap on its purchase of CJYQ.


CFIQ and CKXJ dropped all local programming to simulcast CKIX full-time.

Randy Strilec became chief engineer at CJYQ / CKIX-FM after Ken Conden returned to Halifax to take the same position with CFDR / CFRQ-FM.

Hilary Montbourquette was appointed operations manager for CJYQ/CKIX-FM and Harbour Grace’s CFIQ. He retained his program director position as well. Hilary will now be responsible for news, creative and production at the stations.

Brian O’Connell was Q-93’s morning man.

Kathy Hicks returned from CHTN Charlottetown to be news director for CJYQ and CKIX-FM.


CFIQ and CKXJ were closed.


Hilary Montbourquette was general manager of CJYQ and CKIX-FM. Andy Newman is AM program director.

John Steele became general manager for Newcap’s five-station Newfoundland radio group.

Karen Parmeter returned to Q93/KIXX sales after seven years with CHIN in Toronto.


NewCap Broadcasting’s new vice president of Newfoundland sales was Ron Ryan. He had been with Cassidy’s Ltd.


NewCap announced plans to buy all VOCM Radio Newfoundland Ltd. radio stations (VOCM-AM/Magic 97 St. John’s, CKVO Clarenville, CHVO Carbonear, CHCM Marystown, CKGA Gander, CKCM Grand Falls/Windsor and CKIM Baie Verte). The deal would bring together two groups that had different audiences and mandates. 


On May 4,  approval came for NewCap Broadcasting to purchase VOCM-AM and FM St. John’s (and CKVO and VOCM-FM-1 Clarenville, CKCM Grand Falls, CKIM Baie Verte, CHVO Carbonear, CHCM Marystown and CKGA Gander) from the Colonial Broadcasting System Ltd. (Butler family). 

The CJYQ and VOCM stations competed strongly with each other in the same markets over the years – now they were all part of the same family.

At 12 noon, September 8, CJYQ dropped its classic rock music format to give way to “Radio Newfoundland”.  The new format featured 80 per cent Newfoundland music and content.


On April 2, The sale of Humber Valley Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFCB Corner Brook and its rebroadcast stations) to Newcap Inc. was approved. The Q and VOCM stations served Eastern Newfoundland while the Humber Valley stations served the Western part of the province. NewCap now had a network of stations covering all of Newfoundland.

Robert G. Steele was the new president and COO of Newfoundland Capital Corp. His father, Harry Steele, would continue on as chairman and CEO.

Jim Thoms died at the age of 72. He was a fixture in radio, print and TV journalism for nearly half a century. Thoms was a newsman at CJON Radio and TV and then editor-in-chief of The Daily News. He later returned to CJON as legislative reporter.


On May 7, the CRTC gave CJYQ permission to reduce its daytime power from 50,000 watts to 25,000 watts and to relocate the antenna site. Night-time power would remain at 25,000 watts. Newcap said it needed to relocate the antenna because of repeated vandalism of its transmitter facilities. The transmitter site would me moved to the site previously used by co-owned CHVO Carbonear.


Shawn Basha became Chief Engineer at Steele Communications in Newfoundland & Labrador on March 1. Basha was the Director of Engineering at CHUM Halifax. He stepped into his new job to succeed Harold Steele, who retired December 31 after 35 years with Steele Communications and the stations’ previous owners.

On October 13, the CRTC approved the application by Newcap Inc. relating to CJYQ St. John’s to change the authorized contours of its transmitter by decreasing the night time transmitter power from 25,000 watts to 3,500 watts, changing the antenna radiation pattern from directional to non-directional, and changing the antenna site. The daytime transmitter power would remain unchanged at 25,000 watts. Newcap stated that the current antenna site, approved May 7, 2009, was unusable as local weather conditions had resulted in the deterioration of the antenna.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed CJYQ’s licence to August 31, 2017.


Colin Jamieson died at age 86. The former broadcaster, publisher and journalist ran the former Q Radio Network which had stations in Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Grand Bank, Harbour Grace and St. John’s. 

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


Bas Jamieson passed away at age 85. He began his broadcast career in 1958 and hosted a variety of open line shows in St. John’s during his 40-year career. He was the brother of Don Jamieson, co-founder (with Geoff Stirling) of CJON-AM-TV.


CJYQ switched to a Country format after programming traditional Newfoundland music for the past 15 years. The station was now calling itself KIXX Country 930 (KIXX 930).


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…
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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