CKUL-FM, The Breeze 96.5, Halifax

Stingray Group Inc.

CKUL-FM201896.5100,000Stingray Group Inc.
CKUL-FM200896.5100,000Newcap Inc.
CKUL-FM200796.5100,000Newcap Inc. and CTVglobemedia
CKUL-FM200496.5100,000Newcap Inc. & CHUM Ltd.
CIEZ-FM199096.5100,000Sun Radio Ltd.


On March 5, Arthur J. Hustins, Jr., representing a company to be incorporated (would be known as Sun Radio Limited) was awarded a licence for a new Halifax FM station. It would broadcast with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts, on a frequency of 96.5 MHz. An easy listening format (50% instrumental) aimed at the 35+ audience was proposed. Programming would be similar to what was offered by CFDR-AM before it changed to a contemporary hits format without notice in 1987. A competing application by Finlay MacDonald for a similar format was denied. Hustins, a local businessman, would own 66.6% of the shares of Sun Radio Ltd. Yarmouth broadcaster Michael J. Trask would hold 22.2%. Businessman Ronald T. Martin would hold the remaining 11.2%. The new station would occupy the 8th floor of an office building owned by Hustins at 1550 Bedford Highway. General manager Stu Strathdee was hoping to have the new station on the air by September 1. CIEZ “Sun FM” officially began broadcasting at 8:00 a.m. on August 30. About 700 invited guests were on hand for the launch of the station, held at the Sheraton Halifax Hotel. Art Hustins, Jr. introduced his staff, the crowd did a countdown and station supporter Marie Smith pushed the switch that put Sun-FM on the air.


Jane Hustins was operations manager at CIEZ-FM.


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


Lisa Akizuki was program director at SUN FM.


In February, NewCap, CHUM 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).


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/!94-FM in Winnipeg. Scott succeeded his brother, Bill, who moved to CHUM-AM-FM, Toronto. On December 17, Arthur J. Hustins Jr. was given approval to sell Sun Radio Limited (CIEZ) to CHUM Limited (50%) and NewCap Inc. (50%). 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 30, CIEZ “Sun FM” with a soft rock format became “FM 96.5”, playing classic hits.


At 7:35 a.m., November 1, CIEZ-FM became CKUL-FM…”Kool 96 dot 5 FM” with a Classic Hits format.


On October 14, CKUL was given approval to decrease antenna height and relocate the transmitter.


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 50% of CKUL-FM. On November 30, CTV Limited received approval to convert CJCH-AM to the FM band, subject to CTV’s sale of its voting interest in Metro Radio Group Inc., the licensee of CKUL-FM. CTV owns CJCH and CIOO-FM Halifax and also holds a 50% voting interest in Metro Radio Group. Newcap Inc. holds the remaining 50% voting interest in Metro. Pursuant to a management agreement between the shareholders, Newcap manages and controls the station. Under the CRTC’s Common Ownership Policy, a person may 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. Earlier in the year, the CRTC denied Newcap’s request for an exemption to the Common Ownership Policy and directed Newcap to file an application, on behalf of Metro, to transfer 50% of Newcap’s voting interest in Metro within six months of the date of the decision. In August, Newcap filed an application indicating that it was negotiating with CTV and requesting an extension to the time limit to dispose of its interest in Metro.


The CRTC approved a change in effective control of Metro Radio Group Inc. (CKUL-FM) from a joint control by Newcap Inc. and CTV Limited to an effective control by Newcap.


Dwayne Sawchyn was promoted to Regional Sales Manager, Newcap Maritimes (six markets with 10 stations in NS, NB and PEI), and was based in Halifax. He had been Retail Sales Supervisor at CFRQ-FM/CKUL-FM Darmouth/Halifax. Ken Geddes, the former General Manager at K-Rock (CIJK-FM) Kentville, was now General Sales Manager at the two Newcap Halifax/Dartmouth stations. Rob Johnson, Program Director of Newcap’s KOOL 96.5 Halifax, left that position to join Evanov’s Z103.5 Halifax as PD. He begins April 5, succeeding Dan Barton who left to put more emphasis on his radio consulting business. Trevor Wallworth, Director of Production for Newcap Radio Halifax and a 20-year employee, was promoted to Program Director for KOOL 96.5. After five years at Newcap Halifax and Fredericton, Jason “JD” Desrosiers joined the Evanov Radio Group in Halifax. He succeeded Angela Kelly as Promotions and Marketing Director and then became Assistant Program Director at ERG’s second Halifax station, expected to launch in the fall.


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKUL-FM until March 31, 2012. 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. Stephanie Wall left Newcap Halifax (CFRQ-CKUL) as promotions assistant. She moved to Lite 92.9 Halifax as promotions director.


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKUL-FM to August 31, 2012. Steve Lunn, director of engineering at Newcap Halifax, retired. He spent the last 12 years with the company. On August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed CKUL-FM’s licence to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2019.


Jordan Rycroft left KOOL 96.5 to become promotions director at CFXL Calgary. On August 26 at noon, 96.5 KOOL FM became Radio 96.5 – Music First. The format changed from Classic Hits to Triple A. Ken Geddes was promoted to General Manager at Q104 and Radio 965 FM. He retained his role as General Sales Manager. Ken Geddes was promoted to director of Newcap Maritime operations while continuing as General Manager of Radio 965 FM/Q104.


In late February, CKUL flipped format from Triple A (Radio 96.5) to Hot Adult Contemporary (Mix 96.5 – The 90’s to Now). The Triple A format was launched in August of 2013 when CKUL dropped Classic Hits as KOOL 96.5.


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.


On January 17, CKUL Mix 96.5 with a Hot Adult Contemporary format became The Breeze 96.5 and Soft AC.

The story continues elsewhere…
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