CJCH-FM, Virgin Radio, Halifax

Bell Media Inc.

CJCH-FM2010101.3100,000Bell Media
CJCH-AM198492025,000CHUM Ltd.
CJCH-AM197092010,000/5,000CJCH 920 Ltd. (CHUM Ltd. 100%)
CJCH-AM196592010,000/5,000CJCH 920 Ltd. (CHUM Ltd. 50%)
CJCH-AM19449205,000The Chronicle Co. Ltd.


Chronicle Co. Ltd. was granted a licence for 1,000 watts on 1290 kHz.


Chronicle Co. Ltd. was authorized to use CJCH call sign.


CJCH began broadcasting on November 14. It was owned and operated by The Chronicle Co., owner of the Halifax Chronicle & Daily Star. The “CH” in the call letters represented Chronicle-Halifax. CJCH broadcast on a frequency of 1320 kHz with 100 watts of power (temporary power). Studios and offices were in the Lord Nelson Hotel. The transmitter was situated along St. Margaret’s Bay Road in Halifax (Kings College). Station Slogan: The Persuasive Voice of Halifax.


M.J. Humphreys was manager. Ron Morrier became CJCH program director from CBC Winnipeg where he had been music producer since 1934. His appointment was effective September 1. Pearson McCurdy, vice-president of the Chronicle Co. Ltd., operator of CJCH, announced that the station had received approval to boost power to 5,000 watts and move to a lower dial position. In September, he said installation of the new transmitter and towers would commence soon – once all of the equipment was available. The transmitter and other equipment would be from Northern Electric.


Late in the year, CJCH – “The Friendly Voice of Halifax” – increased day and night power to 5,000 watts, using a new Northern Electric transmitter. A single directional antenna pattern was used for both day and night operation. Future “voice” of the Montreal Canadiens Danny Gallivan joined CJCH radio from CJFX in Antigonish. Abbie Lane was CJCH’s women’s commentator. M.J. Humphreys was manager. Slogan: Your Good Neighbour Station. Seven veterans returned to work at CJCH: Mary West, Sheridan Nelson, Finlay MacDonald, Art Holley, Earl Ross, Don Delaney, Dave Mooney, Vern Hazebrook, Wilbur MacWilliams and Lew Hill.


Robert T. Bowman, former Washington correspondent for the Southam newspapers, took over supervision of CJCH. He had been a commentator at different times for the BBC and CBC. R.T. Bowman was manager. Towards the end of the year, Robert T. Bowman left CJCH to become manager of CKMO in Vancouver. Slogan: Centre of the Province. Centre of the Dial. Centre of Attraction. CJCH’s application to operate an emergency transmitter was approved in December.


Ross Sangster left CJCH to work as an announcer and librarian at CKMO Vancouver. E.F. (Finlay) MacDonald was manager of CJCH. Announcer Norman Riley and newsman Grant Patrick joined the CJCH staff. Some on-air names: Harry Norris (Yawn Patrol, 7:05 to 8:30 a.m.), Don Loughnane (chief announcer), Danny Gallivan (sports), Abbie Lane (women’s editor). CJCH introduced a singing call sign and sign-off – the first for a Maritime station – recorded by local talent.


The Halifax Chronicle & Star merged with the Halifax Herald & Mail. Slogan: Number one station in the Maritimes’ number one market. Don Loughnane, Goerge Rich, Abbie Lane, Bill Hawes, Norm Riley, Baz Russel, Harry Norris, Bill Hattie, Cy Lynch and Danny Gallivan were on the air at CJCH. E.F. MacDonald was manager and Clair Chambers was commercial manager.


Slogan: Dawn to Dawn – The Maritime’s No. 1 Independent. On-air: Danny Gallivan, Norm Riley (evening show), Harry Norris, George Rich, Don Loughnane, Baz Russell and Bill Hawes.


The Association of Canadian Radio Artists (actor and announcer union) secured renewals of contracts with both CJCH and CHNS. The contracts affecting announcers, writers and librarians, called for a starting minimum salary of about $150.00 a month for announcers and writers and called for annual increases over a four year period. The scale of librarians was somewhat lower.


On-air: Danny Gallivan, Robin McNeil, Clint Godwin, Cy Lynch, Bernie Curran, J.L. Robertson, Bill Hawes, Joe McSween, Maurice Foisy and Abbie Lane. Bill Fulton was program director. Reg McWilliams was chief engineer. Howard Gerrard was traffic manager. Al Campbell was chief operator. Syd Pilkington was continuity manager. Pat Connolley did sports. Jo Robertson was assistant to the traffic manager. Fred Hearn hosted The Sandman Serenade.


Some of the CJCH staff: Bill Fulton (program director), Cy Lynch (chief announcer), Abbie Lane (women’s commentator), Pat Connolley (sports commentator), Baz Russell (disc jockey), Fred Hearn (announcer), Lorna O’Brien (traffic assistant), Howard Gerard (traffic manager), Syd Pilkington (continuity editor), Marg Doggett (continuity assistant), Reg MacWilliams (chief engineer), Al Campbell (chief operator), Cecile Emberley (secretary to the manager), Russ Bailley (account service) and Claire Chambers (sales manager). News editor Edmund Morris was nominated as a Progressive-Conservative candidate for the August federal election (Halifax riding). He had been with CJCH since 1951. CJCH had new studios and offices.


Bob McCleave was news editor.


Slogan: A super salesman in a super market…CJCH – Halifax! Ron Roberts was emcee of the Cloud Club program.


Hon. Finlay MacDonald
Finlay MacDonald

B. Pearson McCurdy was president of the company, Finlay MacDonald was CJCH’s manager and Clair Chambers was commercial manager.

CJCH Limited purchased CJCH from Chronicle Co. Ltd. CJCH Ltd. was owned by a group of Nova Scotians headed by Finlay Macdonald.

Ron Roberts, formerly with CJCH, was now a representative for the Decca-Coral-Apex record group.


920 CJCH received approval to increase power from 5,000 watts day and night to 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts at night. Ad slogan: Buy CJCH for complete coverage of the Halifax market – soon 10,000 watts.


Bill Ozard joined CJCH. Gerry Parsons was at CJCH. CHNS dropped plans for a Halifax TV station. CJCH was still moving ahead with its plans for TV though. Slogan: CJCH – The dominating voice in Halifax. CJCH Ltd. was successful in its bid for a second television station for Halifax. Finlay MacDonald, manager of CJCH Radio, represented CJCH Ltd. at the hearings. He said CJCH-TV would aim at capturing at least 40% of the Halifax and area TV viewing audience in competition with CBHT. Television staff would total 62. Of these, 45 would be in the charge of the TV supervisor and the rest would be involved in the integrated radio-TV operation. In addition to applying for TV licence, CJCH also sought approval for the transfer of 400 shares to Canastel Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. of Toronto, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated Television (ATV) of the U.K. Under the proposed ownership structure Canastel would hold 22.45% of CJCH Ltd. Major shareholder under the corporate revision would be 62 year old Gerald E. Martin, a Halifax chartered accountant, with 44.96%. MacDonald would hold 22.51%. Other shareholders: Harry M. Standish, William Jones and members of the CJCH staff.


Daytime power increased from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts. Night-time power remained 5,000 watts. CJCH Television signed on the air.


Studios and offices were at 741 Robie Street.


E. Finlay MacDonald, president of CJCH Ltd. announced a 50-50 partnership was in the works to purchase CJCH-AM. The partners were CJCH Ltd. and Radio CHUM 1050 Ltd. of Toronto. Allan F. Waters (CHUM) would be president of the new company. The chairman would be Donald Campbell who was vice president of finance at Maclean-Hunter Publishing Co. Ltd. Vice President and general manager would be Fred G. Sherratt who had been manager at CKPT in Peterborough. The board of directors would be appointed by CJCH Ltd. and Radio CHUM 1050 Ltd. The ownership transfer was approved later in the year. Bob McGuigan was manager of CJCH at this time.


Studios and offices moved to 2885 Robie St.


Radio CHUM-1050 Ltd. became publicly traded CHUM Limited on May 12.  Bill Ozard was named program director of CJCH.


Bill Ozard was PD and host of Phone Forum. 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. Former news director R.J. (Bob) McCleave was now a conservative M.P. for Halifax.


After serving as general manager of CJCH, Fred Sherratt was named vice president of CHUM Ltd. CJCH was affiliated with CHUM Limited’s new Canadian Contemporary News System. Fred G. Sherratt, vice president and general manager of CJCH was named vice president of programming & operations for the CHUM Group. Sherratt would remain as vice president and director of Radio CJCH 920 Ltd. and was succeeded as vice president and general manager of CJCH by Bill Ozard, program director and host of “Open Line”. Sherratt joined CHUM in 1960 to manage the newly acquired CKPT in Peterborough. In 1965 he was named VP and GM of CJCH. His latest appointment was effective June 16. Ozard took up his new post on May 26. He had been with the station since 1960 and was named program director in 1967.


On December 11, 1969, CHUM Ltd. was given approval to acquire the remaining 50% of Radio CJCH 920 Ltd. that it didn’t already own, from CJCH Ltd. CHUM took full control of CJCH-AM in early 1970.


Ron Pumphrey joined CJCH from VOCM St. John’s. Jim Keith was at CJCH.


Chief engineer Walter Labouki and his team remodelled the CJCH newsroom.


CJCH received approval to increase power to 25,000 watts day and night.


CHUM Limited launched C-IOO FM (CIOO) at Halifax. Paul Ski was manager of CJCH and CIOO-FM. Walter Labucki was chief engineer.


CJCH 920 increased power to 25,000 watts full-time, directional at night. CJCH upgraded its main on-air control room with a new McCurdy stereo console and turntables.


Bruce Tinkham became CJCH/C-100 sales manager. Rick Hamilton joined CJCH as Mike Richards, from CHAM Hamilton. Blanchard Pearson McCurdy died at age 76. He founded CJCH and was former Managing Director of CJCH-TV and was a senior executive with the Halifax Chronicle & Star prior to its merger with the Herald & Mail in 1949.


Dartmouth Broadcasting Ltd. applied for an FM station, operating on a frequency of 104.3 MHz with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The application was denied. 


CJCH began broadcasting in stereo, using the Kahn system on October 11. It was the first AM station in Atlantic Canada to go stereo. Chief engineer Walter Labucki said CJCH chose the Kahn/Hazeltine independent sideband system after in-depth testing and research. Even in mono, CJCH’s sound was said to be brighter, with greater fidelity and dynamic range.


CJCH 920 Ltd. and all of the other CHUM Group subsidiaries merged into CHUM Ltd. CJCH became a direct division of CHUM Ltd.


Former CJCH owner Finlay MacDonald was appointed to the Senate of Canada.


Barrie Hussey was now the morning newsman at CJCH.


CFUN Vancouver general manager Paul Ski added responsibilities for program development at CJCH / CIOO-FM. Former CJCH host Basil St. Clair (Baz) Russell passed away. Chuck Bridges was news director.


Bill Bodnarchuck was general manager and Chuck Langdon was sales manager.


Murray Brookshaw was named program manager for 92/CJCH and C-100 FM.


CHUM Limited decided its Halifax stations should have a new home, and on October 16, CRTC commissioner David Colville cut the ribbon to officially open the brand new CJCH/CIOO-FM three-level 21,000 square foot studio facility at 2900 Agricola Street. Others on hand for the opening: Premier Don Cameron, dignitaries from the Federal and Provincial governments, the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, CRTC, Department of Communications, and many advertisers. The main level (ground) of the new facility housed administration, sales, traffic/ accounting, promotions and meeting areas. The top floor was home to the AM and FM studios, news department, libraries, offices for program directors, creative writing, engineering offices, shop and central wiring. Both control rooms featured custom designed Studer 970 consoles.


Mike Richards (Rick Hamilton) left CJCH.


In May, CJCH switched from oldies to a mix of news-talk and oldies. Six announcers were laid off as a result of the format change.


CJCH went to full-time talk.


In February, NewCap, CHUM and Sun Radio agreed to enter a Local Marketing Agreement. 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).


On May 7, CJCH became The Team 920, an all-sports radio station, part of CHUM Radio’s TEAM all sports network. Among the people let go from CJCH as a result of the switch to sports – morning phone-in host Rick Howe. Bill Bodnarchuck left CJCH/CIOO-FM for co-owned CHUM-AM-FM in Toronto. He was succeeded in Halifax (Metro Radio Group – CJCH/CIOO-FM/CIEZ-FM/CFDR/CFRQ-FM) by his brother, Scott Bodnarchuck. He had been general sales manager at CHUM’s CFST/Q94-FM in Winnipeg. On December 17, approval was given to CHUM Ltd. (50%) and NewCap Inc. (50%) to purchase Sun Radio Ltd. from Arthur J. Hustin, Jr. 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.


On August 27, The Team network closed and CJCH adopted a format of oldies music and news-talk.


Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CJCH,  passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.


In July, CJCH adopted the oldies format dropped by CHNS when it moved to the FM band. CJCH had a standards format and CHNS-FM now had a classic rock format. On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval.  On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM.  The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC. On December 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.


A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007.  On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver.   Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CJCH-AM.  On November 30, CTV Limited received approval to convert CJCH to the FM band, subject to CTV’s sale of its voting interest in Metro Radio Group Inc., the licensee of CKUL-FM Halifax. The new FM station would operate on a frequency of 101.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The new station would continue to operate within an oldies musical format targeted to adults between the ages of 35 and 64. CTV currently owned CJCH and CIOO-FM Halifax. CTV also held a 50% voting interest in Metro Radio Group Inc. (CKUL-FM). Newcap Inc. held the remaining 50% voting interest in Metro. Pursuant to a management agreement between the shareholders, Newcap managed and controlled the station. Under the CRTC’s Common Ownership Policy, a person could own or control up to two FM stations in the same language in a radio market, such as Halifax, with eight commercial stations operating in a given language. Because CJCH’s conversion to FM would see CTV exceed the limit of two FM stations in the same language, CTV indicated its willingness to divest its voting interest in Metro. 


CHUM Radio welcomed 101.3 The Bounce to the airwaves at 10:00 a.m., May 30. Located at 101.3 MHz, The Bounce launched with three weeks of commercial-free music. The station would feature the best Top 40 artists from across Canada and around the world….today’s hottest hits. Trent McGrath was acting general manager for CHUM Radio Halifax and Rob Basile was program director. 920 CJCH went silent when t he flip to 101.3 occurred. The AM did not utilize the 3 month simulcast authorization. CTV sold its interest in CKUL-FM to Newcap Inc.


Terry Williams left CJCH and C100 as Program Director to take up the same post at the new Rogers Halifax station – Lite 92.9.


Earle Mader, the Program Director at C100 retired. He spent his 30-year broadcast career with the CHUM station, the last two and a-half years as PD. The BOUNCE Program Director Chris Duggan took over as PD for both stations. Mader won Music Director of the Year honours (secondary market) at the 2002 Canadian Music Week. Duggan, from Clear Channel’s Coast 93.3/B101 Providence RI, started his Halifax job on March 15. Randy Dewell died at 62. The former Halifax alderman, award-winning broadcaster – including the Ted Rogers Sr/Velma Rogers award – and civil servant, had had such stops in his on-air career as CFRA Ottawa, CHUM Toronto, CKGM Montreal and CJCH Halifax. “Special Ed” left 101.3 the Bounce (CJCH) for Virgin Radio 999 (CKFM) in Toronto. Rob Basile, who had been with 101.3 The Bounce Halifax since its re-launch in June 2008 and who had left to return to Toronto was now Assistant Brand Director/Music Director at Virgin Radio 999 Toronto.


On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control. On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc. BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the Sympatico.ca portal. The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services. On August 22, the CRTC approved the applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., carrying on business as Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CJCH-FM and CIOO-FM Halifax, CKGM Montréal, CKKW-FM and CFCA-FM Kitchener, CFRW, CFWM-FM and CHIQ-FM Winnipeg. Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnership, was wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE. 7550413, the other partner holding the remaining 0.01% of the voting interest in the general partnership, was wholly owned by Bell Media and was also controlled by BCE. BCE submitted that the purpose of this corporate reorganization was to realize tax efficiencies. The Commission noted that this transaction would not affect the effective control of the undertakings which would continue to be exercised by BCE. Tim Belanger became broadcast engineer for CHUM Halifax. Don Grose left CHUM Radio Halifax to become general manager/general sales manager at Mix 103.7 in Fort McMurray.


Bill Ozard died at 73. He had a long career as a broadcaster in Victoria and Halifax, first at hometown stations CJVI and CKDA in Victoria and later at CJCH Halifax in 1960. He left radio briefly in 1969 to become a publicist but soon returned to CJCH as station manager. Program director Chris Duggan was no longer at 101.3 The Bounce/C100 Halifax. He moved north from Coast 93.3/B101 Providence in the previous year. Jax joined 101.3 The Bounce as the new evening host and Tony Stark joined the station as afternoon drive host. Stark had been with Virgin FM in Montreal. Brad Muir, who had been Director of Programming for Newcap’s New Brunswick stations in Fredericton and Moncton, was now Program Director at C100/101.3 the BOUNCE. His first PD gig was at K97/96X Edmonton in 2001. Pat Connolly passed away at age 84. The longtime voice of the Halifax Mooseheads and member of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame began his career in broadcasting at CJCH and CBC-TV as their first sports host. After some other stops in his career, Connolly returned to Halifax in 1967, eventually becoming the voice of American Hockey League teams such as the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Cape Breton Oilers and Halifax Citadels.


Bill Hutchinson passed away at age 60. He began his radio career at CKDH Amherst, moving in 1977 to CJCH. 


In July, CJCH rebranded from The Bounce to Virgin Radio. The format remained CHR.


Bill Gibson died on March 16. He had worked in sales with the CHUM Group in Halifax in the 1970s. He went on to work in broadcasting in other Canadian markets, becoming a motivational speaker and trainer.


Ken Condon (61) passed away on December 30. Condon was a radio engineer, working for various stations throughout Atlantic Canada, including CJCH and C100 Halifax, and AVR in Kentville.

The story continues elsewhere…
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