CFOS-AM , 560 CFOS, Owen Sound

Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation

CFOS-AM19925607,500/1,000Bayshore Broadcasting Corp.
CFOS-AM19865605,000/1,000Bayshore Broadcasting Corp.
CFOS-AM19845605,000/1,000Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Ltd.
CFOS-AM19815605,000/250Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Ltd.
CFOS-AM19705601,000Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Ltd. (Hawkins)
CFOS-AM19585601,000Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Co.
CFOS-AM194714701,000Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Co. (Fleming)
CFOS-AM19411470250Howard Fleming
CFOS-AM19401370100Howard Fleming


Construction of CFOS was underway early in the year. Northern Electric Co. of Toronto (subsidiary of Western Electric in the U.S.) was installing the complete transmitter and studio equipment. The station was to be owned by the Owen Sound Sun Times newspaper (Howard Fleming and family).  

Ralph Snelgrove, formerly with Metropolitan Broadcasting Services (Toronto), was appointed manager of CFOS. Snelgrove would go on to found CKBB-AM and CKVR-TV in Barrie as well as CKCB-AM in Collingwood. Stewart Kenney, Toronto free-lance announcer, and Norm Childs, formerly with CJIC Sault Ste. Marie were on board as announcers. John Hawken joined CFOS as chief engineer. He had been chief studio operator at Hamilton’s CHML.

CFOS opened on March 1. It broadcast on a frequency of 1370 kHz with 100 watts of power. Makeshift studios were in the basement of the Kilbourn Building at 2nd Avenue and 9th Street in downtown Owen Sound. The transmitter and antenna (a copper wire strung between two cedar poles attached to the roof of the building) were also at the studio location. CFOS was on the air for much of the day, except during the overnights and between 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The “OS” in the call sign represented Owen Sound. Charlie McTavish , manager of the newspaper organized the start-up of CFOS. He would eventually become president of the company. W.N. (Bill) Hawkins who would eventually become the manager and then owner of CFOS, was hired just before the station went on the air. He was one of seven employees at the start.


Under the Havana Treaty, CFOS moved from 1370 to 1400 kHz (Class IV) on March 29. Power was 100 watts.

Later in the year, power was increased to 250 watts, from a new transmitter site along Highway 6 just south of the city – in Sydenham Township. 


Frank Radcliffe succeeded Ralph Snelgrove as manager of CFOS. Snelgrove was now a Warrant Officer in a special branch of the R.C.N.V.R. Radcliffe had been chief announcer and assistant manager at CFOS.


Nat Holmes, former manager of CFOS, left the station to work for Vickers & Benson in Toronto.


Bill Hawkins

Wm. N. Hawkins was acting manager of CFOS. Announcer Harry Witton left CFOS for CKSO in Sudbury.


CBC Dominion Supplementary Stations: CKCV, CKTB, CHML, CKLW, CKPC, CKCR, CKNX, CJCS, CFOS.

Lt. Ralph Snelgrove returned to manage CFOS after being discharged from the R.C.N.V.R. Bill   Hawkins, who had been acting manager for the past two years, returned to his former position of assistant manager.


Bill Dane covered special events and sports for CFOS.


CFOS increased power to 1,000 watts on March 1 and moved from 1400 to 1470 kHz. 


W.N. Hawkins became manager of CFOS. 

CFOS applied for an FM licence – 340 watts with effective antenna height above average terrain of 170 feet. The CBC recommended this application for approval.

Approval was granted for the transfer of licence from Howard Fleming to Grey and Bruce Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Fleming would still be in control of the licence.

In the spring, CFOS moved to new studios at 270 Ninth Street East (in 2005, CFOS still operates from this location).

Bill Hawkins

CFOS was given authority to operate an emergency transmitter.

Bill Hewitt (Foster’s son), 19, was spending his summer at CFOS, assisting sportscaster Bill Dane.

CFOS began construction of new studios and offices half a block from the main street. It would be a one storey structure, with radiant heating and air conditioning. The building would house three studios (one of them being 18 feet by 25 feet) and two control rooms. Manager Ralph Snelgrove hoped the move would be completed in early 1949.


The new CFOS studios and offices opened on February 20.

In April, Ralph Snelgrove performed his last official duty as manager of CFOS – the official opening of the station’s $65,000 new studio facility. Snelgrove, 35, started in radio as a Toronto repair man in 1930. In 1932 he established the Truestone Recording Studio. He sold that company to Ken Soble, then of Metropolitan Broadcasting Service, for whom he went to work as a recording technician. On February 4, 1940, Ralph moved to Owen Sound to take charge of Howard Fleming’s station – then just a licence – put it on the air with 100 watts on March 1. He managed the station through two power increases (now 1,000 watts). Snelgrove spent three years with the RCNVR and was discharged as a lieutenant. He was now off to Barrie to open his own station which he hoped to have on the air August 1. With the departure of Snelgrove, Bill Hawkins became manager of CFOS.

Denys Ferry was production supervisor.


The CBC approved the transfer of 50 common shares of Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CJOY Guelph was added to the Community Broadcast Services group which also included CKNX Wingham, CFOS Owen Sound, CKBB Barrie, and CFOR Orillia. The 14 month old group produced and promoted live talent programs, and had been working on a schedule of some three shows originated by each member station weekly. Each show was taped and circulated to the other member stations. CJOY had already been contributing programs for a few months. 

Ron Turnpenny was in the engineering department.


Denys Ferry left CFOS to become program director of VOCM in St. John’s. Lawrence Phillips was farm editor. Don Daynard joined the staff of CFOS. 


CFOS increased power to 1,000 watts.


CFOS was a CBC Dominion Supplementary B affiliate. It operated on 1470 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts (directional at night). Ownership of Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: Howard Fleming 36.7%, G. D. Fleming 20.1%, J. S. Fleming 20.1%, Frances W. Fleming 6.6%, Ralph T. Snelgrove 3.3%, C. J. McTavish 3.3%, Howard Fleming (in trust) 6.6% and Donald T. Fleming 3.3%.

C. J. McTavish was president of the company. William N. Hawkins was manager of CFOS.


On October 14, CFOS moved to 560 kHz with 1,000 watts of power, from a new transmitter site located on part of Lot 13, Concession 11, Sydenham Township, Grey County. Three 300 foot top loaded towers were used.


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks consolidated into a single service. CFOS had been a Supplementary B Dominion station. After the merger, it remained as a CBC affiliate.


C. J. McTavish was President of Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Co. Ltd. W. N. Hawkins was General Manager of CFOS.


Bill Hawkins became president of the company.


The Sun Times was sold to Southam Press.


On February 4, approval came for the sale of 80% of Grey and Bruce Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to a group headed by CFOS general manager Bill Hawkins (William Hawkins Ltd.). Other shareholders were Donald T. Fleming, Charles J. McTavish, Ralph T. Snelgrove and Harold Van Wyck, Q.C. Bill Hawkins became President of the company.


CHYM in Kitchener had been searching for a new frequency for a long time. They had approached CFOS about using 560 kHz and then finding another channel for the Owen Sound station to use. In the end, they came up with a plan that would allow CHYM to move from 1490 kHz to 570 kHz and allow CFOS to remain at 560, but increase daytime power to help fend off interference from CHYM on 570. It would also enable CFOS to open a rebroadcast station at Port Elgin, using CHYM’s old 1490 frequency. CFOS would have to add two towers to the existing array and acquired six acres of land for the Port Elgin station. The latest state of the art equipment would be provided to CFOS at CHYM’s expense.


On March 25, CFOS increased daytime power to 2,500 watts. Night power remained at 1,000 watts. Two top loaded towers were added to the existing three towers. A new transmitter was also in operation – the first AM AEL transmitter to be used in Ontario.
On June 21, CFOS opened semi-satellite CFPS at Port Elgin. CFPS operated on 1490 kHz with 1,000 watts day and 250 watts night (omnidirectional). One 75 foot top loaded tower was used. Studios were located in Maple Leaf Square Mall, Port Elgin. 


On May 16, CFOS was granted a further increase in daytime power…from 2,500 watts to 5,000 watts.

On June 21, CFOS opened CFPS at Port Elgin. CFPS operated on a frequency of 1490 kHz and had a power of 1,000 watts day and 250 watts night (non-directional). One 75 foot top loaded tower was used. Studios were located in Maple Leaf Square Mall, Port Elgin. CFPS rebroadcast all and only the programming of CFOS at this time. CFPS extended the CFOS service to residents of the town of Port Elgin and Central Bruce County. Until now, these residents could only receive the night-time signal of CFOS. They could not hear the station during the day.

W.N. Hawkins was president of Grey & Bruce Broadcasting Ltd. and manager (for 30 years) of CFOS. Ralph Snelgrove (founder-owner of CKBB-CKCB and founder of CKVR-TV) was vice-president of the company. Donald T. Fleming was treasurer. He was the former president and circulation manager of the Owen Sound Daily Sun Times. Harold L. VanWyck was secretary of Grey & Bruce. He headed a local law firm. Miller Christie and Margaret L. Hawkins were G&B directors. Christie recently retired as general manager of a local printing & publishing firm. Grey & Bruce Broadcasting was controlled by William Hawkins Limited whose shareholders were RoyNat Ltd. 5%, Fleming Investments & Management Limited 41%, Ralph T. Snelgrove 4% and W. N. Hawkins 50%.


CFOS marked 40 years on the air on March 1. By this time, the station had 30 full-time and five part-time staff, plus ten district news correspondents.


In the spring, the daytime power increase to 5,000 watts took place. Night-time power was reduced to 250 watts. The existing site and towers were used. Proper three-phase power was installed which allowed for the retirement of the roto verter.

A second floor addition was added to the CFOS studio building. The station also added a three vehicle garage to accommodate the mobile studio and station vehicles. The renovations added 2500 square feet and included an area for announcers, new office space and a boardroom. Future plans include the construction of a new production studio.


Kevin Bernard succeeded John Waugh as news director. Waugh had left the radio business. David McCleary joined CFOS from Toronto’s CFRB to handle morning news.


Night power for CFOS increased from 250 to 1,000 watts on December 1. Day power remained 5,000 watts. The same towers and site were used.

CFPS 1490 Port Elgin was granted an increase in night-time power on December 13, from 250 to 1,000 watts.


On October 25, the sale of CFOS and CFPS by Grey and Bruce Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Bayshore Broadcasting Corp. was approved by the CRTC. Bayshore was controlled 100% by C. Douglas Caldwell, a management consultant with Caldwell Partners International. When the sale of the station was announced, there were 31 full-time staff members. Bill Hawkins said the new owner’s objective was to maintain the station’s high level of community service.


Bayshore took over operation of CFOS and CFPS. William N. Hawkins, President and General Manager of Grey and Bruce, became Chairman of Bayshore. Ralph Snelgrove returned as a board member. 


Kevin Bernard was news director.


Bayshore launched CIXK-FM in January. With the opening of the FM station, CFOS gained fully modern studios and equipment – undergoing a complete retrofit. Over $300,000 was invested in the Ninth Street East studio building. New facilities for CFOS included a new master control room, a large open line studio, news booth, its own news production studio, and a program and commercial production suite.


On November 13, CFOS was granted an increase in daytime power, from 5,000 to 7,500 watts.


The daytime power increase went into effect. The station’s sound and reliability was enhanced by a new solid state transmitter and state-of-the-art processing. The entire transmitter site was improved, including the building. The land was cleared beyond the existing parameters and the towers were painted.


CFOS now had three daily open-line programs including the long-running CFOS Open Line at 9:00 a.m. The other programs were Lunch Talk (12:30 p.m.) and Sports Ticker (6:00 p.m.). CFOS targeted the 35+ audience – the people that grew up listening to the station.


On March 8, the CRTC denied the application to amend the licence for CFOS by adding a rebroadcasting transmitter at Collingwood (1610 kHz with power of 1,000 watts). In assessing the application, the Commission took into consideration the state of the local market, the interventions submitted in support of the application as well as the five interventions received in opposition. In particular, the Commission noted the arguments set out in the intervention by Power Broadcasting Inc., licensee of CKCB Collingwood, the local station already serving the market. CKCB argued that, considering the small size of the market and CKCB’s negative operating position over the last four years, the addition of another local service at this time would have a significant negative financial impact on CKCB. 

Dave Middleton moved from K106.5 to the morning show at CFOS on June 5. Former morning host Andy Rogers left the station. CFOS morning news anchor Jon Hamilton left for the Ontario government. Ross Kentner was general manager at CFOS/CIXK-FM.


Andrea Howell left CFOS/CIXK-FM where she had been news director.

Jim Birchard became news director at CFOS. He had been with CJSD-FM in Thunder Bay.


Danny Kingsbury joined CFOS/Mix 106 on a 6-month contract – temporarily filling the hole left by former operations manager Madelyn Hamilton. Kingsbury had been with CISS-FM Toronto.

Lawrence Phillips, who worked at CFOS for 44 years, died at age 80. He retired in 1985 after a career as an operator, announcer, farm editor and, finally, station accountant. 

Janet Trecarten became operations manager at CFOS/Mix 106. She had been music director at Toronto’s CISS-FM.


Mark LaPointe left CFOS news for CKTB in St. Catharines.

In September, Bayshore launched a second FM signal – CKYC-FM.


CFOS celebrated 65 years as the voice of Grey & Bruce counties.


In May, General Manager Ross Kentner marked 45 years with the company.


On Frebruary 6, Bayshore Broadcasting’s application to add an FM transmitter at Owen Sound to rebroadcast CFOS was denied. The transmitter would have operated at 96.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 5,450 watts. It would have addressed certain signal deficiencies encountered in its main market of Owen Sound from October to March. The transmitter would also fill in coverage gaps in the Grey Bruce Region. 


After 11 years as marketing director for Bayshore Broadcasting, Rob Brignell left to become general manager and general sales manager of CJOS in Owen Sound. He had also been station manager of 98 & 104.9 The Beach on Ontario’s West Coast. Brignell joined Bayshore after 10 years as promotion and public relations manager for CHCH TV in Hamilton. 

On August 31, the CRTC renewed the licence for CFOS Owen Sound from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2014. This short-term licence renewal would enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986. The Commission directed the licensee to fulfill the shortfall in its basic Canadian content development contributions for the 2009 broadcast year by no later than 60 days from the date of this decision. 

Former CFOS employee Fred Ursel died at 76.


William N. ‘Bill’ Hawkins died at age 93. Hawkins, the former owner of CFOS, began at the station as an Operator/Announcer/Commercial Writer/Salesman at the starting rate of $9.00 weekly. In 1949, the then-owners made him the General Manager and he held that spot for 36 years. Twenty years later (1969), he formed Grey and Bruce Broadcasting Limited and bought the station. Outside CFOS, Hawkins served on the BBM and the CAB Boards. He retired in 1985, selling CFOS to Doug Caldwell of Caldwell Partners International. Hawkins then served for five years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the licensee, Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation.


Bob Durant retired from the CFOS show after a long career in broadcasting, most of it in Toronto where he was in news at CFTR/CHFI and, before that, CKFH. He also worked at CJAD and CKGM Montreal, and CFRA Ottawa. Durant and his family opted to live in Collingwood in the mid-2000s and joined Bayshore Broadcasting in 2005. Durant remained with Bayshore for his daily Durant’s World editorial feature, as host of the nostalgia show and as a host/interviewer. Succeeding Durant in CFOS mornings was Paul Hill, the morning host at Bayshore’s 98 The Beach Port Elgin. 


It was announced that Lois Reid, Bayshore Broadcasting’s business manager, would retire in the summer. She began in the CFOS traffic department in 1970. She had been controller and HR manager since 2001.


Ron Wray (80) died on December 17. Wray joined CFOS in January of 1957, and remained there for 42 years in a variety of roles, from on-air work to running the station’s creative department.


Ross Kentner, president and General Manager of Bayshore Broadcasting retired in April after 57 years with the company. He began his career as an operator at CFOS, moving into the newsroom and eventually becoming news director before his appointment as GM in 1985. Kentner was a past chair of the Ontario Association of Broadcasters, received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for community service, and a Central Region RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award.

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