CFLT-FM, Lite 92.9., Halifax/Dartmouth

Rogers Media

CFLT-FM200997.950,000/15,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CFLT-FM200992.950,000/15,000NewCap Broadcasting Ltd.
CFDR-AM198778050,000/15,000NewCap Broadcasting Ltd.
CFDR-AM198668050,000/15,000Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd.
CFDR-AM197868050,000/15,000Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd.
CFDR-AM19737905,000Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd.
CFDR-AM19627905,000Radio Dartmouth Ltd.


CFDR was officially opened on December 5 by Premier Robert L. Stanfield. There were good wishes from the mayors of Dartmouth and Halifax as well as other dignitaries. CFDR operated with 5,000 watts on 790 kHz. A single directional pattern was used. CFDR was owned by Radio Dartmouth Ltd. Charles Arnold Patterson was president. The “DR” in the call sign: Dartmouth Radio. The station was an independent with no network affiliation. CFDR planned to stress quality music and place special emphasis on local news and sports. The directors of the station – known as Big D Radio – were C. Arnold Patterson (director of public relations for Dominion Steel and Coal Corp. Ltd.), president of CFDR; John F. Cruickshank, vice president; and Vincent Currie, secretary-treasurer. Syd Pilkington was manager and Cy Lynch was program director. Ben Dalfen was news director and Clary Fleming headed the sports department.


Print Ad: Big D has the brightest approach to the biggest market in Nova Scotia. The Price is Right at “Big D” 790.


Charles Arnold Patterson was president of Radio Dartmouth Ltd. and Clary J. Flemming was CFDR’s manager.


On May 28, Radio Dartmouth Ltd. was given approval to change CFDR’s antenna site. CFDR would remain on 790 kHz with power of 5,000 watts, DA-1. John Cruickshank was president and C.J. Fleming was station manager. The Board of Broadcast Governors noted that there was a mutual agreement between CFDR and CJCH on ad sales where the two offered a special rate for advertisers who purchased time on both stations. CJCH played popular music while CFDR avoided Country & Western and Top 40. The stations offered different formats but had the same coverage area.


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. CFDR was one of those stations.


On October 20, William Leonard Patterson, Laurie Robert Patterson and Charles Arnold Patterson were authorized to increase their ownership in Radio Dartmouth Ltd.


CFDR was given permission on March 29 to move its studios and offices from 66 Octherloney Street to 12 Queen Strett.


On July 18, Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd. was allowed to acquire Radio Dartmouth Ltd. This was not a major change of ownership. It was a transfer that allowed for the purchase of shares of RDL owned by J. Cruickshank by other shareholders of that company. Control of both DBL and RDL rested with C.A. Patterson.


On October 16, Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd. was authorized to change CFDR’s frequency from 790 to 680 kHz, and to increase power from 5,000 watts (single directional pattern for day and night) to 50,000 watts day and 10,000 watts night (different day and night directional patterns).


CFDR moved from 790 to 680 kHz.


CFDR began broadcasting from new studios and offices – it’s third location since signing on the air 20 years earlier. The new operation was located on the penthouse floor of a high-rise building, overlooking Halifax harbour on one side and Dartmouth and the lakes on the other side.


On April 20, C. A. Patterson’s (owner of CFDR) application for a new television station at Halifax was denied. Competing applications by New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and CHUM’s Atlantic Television System Ltd. (CJCH-TV) were also denied. A similar application by Patterson in 1980 was also turned down.


CFRQ-FM was founded by Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd.


Newfoundland Capital Corp. Ltd. agreed to purchase CFDR and CFRQ-FM from Patterson Broadcasters Ltd. Newfoundland Capital had only recently purchased the Halifax Daily News.


On June 10, the sale of CFDR and CFRQ-FM to Newfoundland Capital Corp. Ltd. by Patterson Broadcasters Ltd. was approved by the CRTC. Former owner C.A. (Arnie) Patterson would continue as a commentator and advisor for the stations. The new owner would increase the budget for news, and make other programming improvements. There would also be improvements to CFDR’s night-time directional pattern. Pat Kiely, former general manager of CKTB and CHTZ-FM in St. Catharines, was named manager of CFDR and CFRQ-FM. CFDR ended its long-time easy-listening format. It made the change to contemporary hits without notice. The station is a parallel to Toronto’s CFTR. Rick Halsson was program director. Bob McKay was news director. Steve Feswick left CFDR/CFRQ-FM to head up the Halifax office of Paul Mulvihill Ltd.


Bruce Morel became vice president of programming for CFDR and Rock 104. He had been with CHOZ-FM in St. John’s.


William I. (Bill) Patterson died January 1 at the age of 65. A native of Dartmouth, he was senior vice-president of CFDR and Q104 until his retirement in 1987. He had joined his brothers and others in launching CFDR in 1962. CFDR received permission to change frequency from 680 kHz to 780 kHz and to increase night-time power to 15,000 watts from 10,000 watts, and to relocate the transmitter site. The changes would allow CFDR to provide a stronger night-time signal to the Bedford-Sackville-Waverley area.


CFDR acquired a new Arrakis 10,000 studio console.


CFDR moved from 680 to 780 kHz. Jack Hutchison retired as chief engineer from CFDR and CFRQ. He had been with the company since 1961. Ken Conden returned to Halifax from CJYQ/CKIX-FM St. John’s to take over as chief engineer of CFDR/CFRQ.


CFDR became “KIX Country” in December (no change in call sign).


CFDR and CFRQ-FM (NewCap) and CIEZ-FM (Art Hustins, Jr.) entered into a local marketing agreement (joint administration and some operational crossover). The NewCap stations moved into the CIEZ facility in Bedford.


In February, NewCap, CHUM Ltd. and Sun Radio agreed to enter an LMA. It became effective in June. Under the arrangement, NewCap managed all stations in the group (CHUM’s CJCH-AM and CIOO-FM, NewCap’s CFDR-AM and CFRQ-FM and Sun’s CIEZ-FM).


Robert G. Steele became the president and COO of Newfoundland Capital Corp. Harry Steele continued on as chairman and CEO. Scott Bodnarchuck became head of Metro Radio Group (CJCH/CIOO-FM/CIEZ-FM/CFDR/CFRQ-FM). He had been general sales manager at CHUM’s CFST/Q94-FM in Winnipeg. Scott succeeded his brother Bill who moved to CHUM-AM-FM, Toronto. On December 17, the purchase of CIEZ-FM by CHUM (50%) and NewCap (50%) from Sun Radio Ltd. (Arthur J. Hustin, Jr.) was approved. The new ownwers took over on December 31 and the LMA between CHUM and NewCap ended. NewCap operated CIEZ on behalf of 50% owner, CHUM.


Newcap received approval on April 4 to convert CFDR to the FM band, operating on 88.9 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 21,000 watts. The new station would offer an Alternative Rock format. The CRTC denied Newcap’s request for an exemption to the Common ownership policy which would have allowed them to retain their 50% (CHUM Ltd. held the other 50%) voting interest in Metro Radio Group Inc., owner of CKUL-FM in Halifax. Newcap managed and controlled CKUL through a management agreement between the shareholders. Under the ownership policy, a person may own or control up to two FM stations in the same language in a market such as Halifax. As Newcap already owned CFRQ-FM and planned to convert CFDR to FM, the interest in CKUL would give them three FM’s in the Halifax market. Newcap would have to sell its 50% interest in CKUL-FM within six months of the date of this decision.


Newcap acquired CTV’s interest in CKUL-FM. Newcap now held 100% of the station. On November 24, the CRTC approved the applications by Newcap Inc. and Rogers Broadcasting Limited for authority to exchange the assets of CIGM Sudbury and CFDR Dartmouth. Newcap, a corporation controlled by Harold R. Steele, was the licensee of CFDR Dartmouth. Rogers, a corporation controlled by Edward S. Rogers, was the licensee of CIGM Sudbury. The Commission also approved the applications by Newcap and Rogers to convert both stations to the FM band. CFDR would operate at 92.9 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 63,000 watts.


CFLT (Lite 92.9) began on-air testing in mid-July. CFDR (780 Kixx) left the air, not taking advantage of the 90 day FM simulcast period allowed by the CRTC. Following “Happy Trails To You” by Roy Rogers CFDR was gone from the AM band…July 27 at 10:00 a.m. With CFDR gone, Halifax was now the largest Canadian city to not have an AM station. The Country music format died with CFDR, being replaced by Adult Contemporary on FM. On August 9 at noon, Lite 92.9 FM officially signed on the air. The only station in Metro Halifax, playing “Today’s Lite Rock”, CFLT offers the perfect blend of music for listening at work, at home, or in the car. Featured artists include Michael Buble, Elton John, Beyonce, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Madonna, Rod Stewart, John Mayer, and Sarah McLachlan. The station will remain commercial free until September 1, and on-air talent will be announced in the coming weeks. The launch of Lite 92.9 was simulcast on co-owned (Rogers) News 95.7. The original lineup was Jamie Paterson & Martha Coady (mornings) and Shelley Fraser (afternoons). Terry Williams was hired as Program Director of LITE 92.9 in December. Most recently he was PD at the local CHUM stations, CJCH and C-100. Lisa Blackburn joined Lite 92.9 in late November to co-host the morning show with her husband, Jamie Paterson. Blackburn had been at Q104. 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.


Natalie Fournier was the new Promotions Director at Lite 92.9. She had been with a public relations agency and, before that, did a four-year stint with Skywords Media in Halifax. Katey Day took over as PM drive host at LITE 92.9.


C.A. “Arnie” Patterson passed away March 8 at the age of 83. He founded CFDR-AM (now CFLT-FM) in 1962 and later added CFRQ-FM. Patterson would later serve as a press secretary for Prime Minister Trudeau. Newcap Halifax general manager Ted Hyland, after 14 years with the company, retired June 17. He was promoted from his sales rep position in 2000 to general sales manager and in 2005 to GM. Succeeding him was Ron Ryan, vice president of operations for Atlantic Canada. The new promotions director at Lite 92.9 Halifax was Stephanie Wall. Before moving to the Rogers station she was promotions assistant at Newcap Halifax. On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFLT-FM until March 31, 2012. Jack Cruikshank died at the age of 79. He was a co-founder of CFDR Dartmouth and best-known for operating Sackville Downs Raceway for over 30 years.


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFLT-FM to August 31, 2012. Three senior Rogers Radio managers at separate locations across Canada were released from service: Doug Elliott, Operations Manager at Rogers Radio Kingston joined the station cluster in August, 2007, from his Program Director post at then Newcap Radio Thunder Bay. Terry Voth, who joined Rogers Radio in 1999 and was General Manager at Rock 106/The River Lethbridge, had moved to Rogers after a 19-year career with Rawlco. Terry Williams, Program Director at Lite 92.9 Halifax, joined Rogers in October, 2009, after a long career as PD at C100/CJCH Halifax. On August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed CFLT’s licence until December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2019.


Danny Kingsbury became VP & General Manager for Rogers Radio in Ottawa, Kingston and Halifax. Light Rock LITE 92.9 became 92.9 JACK FM on February 28.

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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