CIQB-FM, Big 101.1, Barrie

CIQB-FM2000101.11,500Corus Entertainment Inc.
CIQB-FM1994101.11,500Power Broadcasting Inc.
CKBB-AM198995010,000/2,500Power Broadcasting Inc.
CKBB-AM198395010,000/2,500Kawartha Broadcasting Ltd. (Power Corp.)
CKBB-AM196095010,000/2,500Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CKBB-AM19589505,000/2,500Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd
CKBB-AM19521230250Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Snelgrove)
CKBB-AM19491230250Ralph Snelgrove


Ralph Snelgrove, manager of CFOS in Owen Sound, applied for an AM licence at Barrie. The CBC board approved the proposal. The new station would operate on 1230 kHz with a power of 250 watts.

In April, Ralph Snelgrove performed his last official duty as manager of CFOS – the official opening of the station’s 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 (call letters expected to be CKBB) which he hoped to have on the air August 1, even though he has yet to secure a transmitter site. Snelgrove was born in Newfoundland and got the Barrie licence during Confederation Week.

CKBB became a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

CKBB officially signed on the air August 31. Rain moved the outdoor ceremony inside to the studio. Mayor Grant Mayor (yes, Mayor Mayor) welcomed the station to the airwaves. Foster Hewitt spoke to the gathering. His son (Bill) was on the CKBB staff. A thunderstorm knocked the station off the air briefly. CHML’s Ken Soble also spoke to the listeners. The entire Snelgrove family was on hand – Ralph and Evelyn, eight year old Lyn, and Mrs. C.F. Snelgrove (grandma). Dean J.M. Clair, Catholic pastor, told the gathering of his life-long interest in radio. Studios and offices were above the HFC office on Dunlop Street. The “BB” in the call sign: Barrie Broadcasting.

Slogan: Serving Simcoe County’s 100,000 people!

Jack Mattenly was chief engineer. Bobby Robinson was the sign-off shift announcer. 


Bill Hewitt was on the announce staff.

Slogan: CKBB reaches a hundred thousand listeners including the Armed Forces at Camp Borden.


Bert Snelgrove was named assistant manager and Arthur C. Harris was made advertising manager at CKBB. Snelgrove had been office manager while Harris was a sales representative with the station. Dan Connell joined CKBB as a district sales rep.

CKBB was using the character, “Miss Beautiful Barrie” in its print advertising.


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.

The CBC Board approved the transfer of CKBB from Ralph Snelgrove to Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd. There was no change in control.

Dave Wright was a sportscaster at CKBB.

Slogan: You can’t cover Simcoe County without CKBB. 

Paul Friesen was on the air. Ralph Snelgrove’s wife Evelyn passed away November 21. 


The studios moved to 26 Elizabeth Street. The transmitter was located on part of Lot 25, Concession 6, Vespra Township, Simcoe County.

The CBC approved the transfer of 100 common and 190 preferred shares in Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd. 

Former advertising manager Art Harrison was now with Horace N. Stovin & Co. He had been with CKBB since it first went on the air.


Studios and offices moved to Highway 27, south of Barrie, where a new building was being constructed to house CKBB and the soon to open and co-owned CKVR-TV.

Ted Delaney joined CKBB’s sales department.

Ralph Snelgrave became 1954 president of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce.

Bert Snelgrove was in the news department. Dave Wright left CKBB for CHCH-TV in Hamilton.


With CKVR-TV soon to launch, Ralph Snelgrove decided he would personally manage the new TV station. His brother – Bert – would run CKBB Radio. 

Ralph Snelgrove opened CKVR-TV, channel 3 on September 28. 

Slogan: 94% of Barrie radio homes are tuned to CKBB during any given week. 


Sales manager Robert Hunter was appointed manager of CKBB.

Ralph Snelgrove was elected chairman of the Barrie Public School Board.


CKBB was an independent station with no network affiliation. Ownership of Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: R. T. Snelgrove 96.7%, H. J. Snelgrove 3.2% and H. A. Van Wyck 0.1%. Ralph Snelgrove was president of the company. Robert Hunter was CKBB’s manager. Leon Mangoff was program director. Bill Harrington was news director. 

On August 25, CKBB started a new music and news format, similar to what was being used at WNEW in New York. Announcer talk was reduced to a minimum. Essentially, if you had nothing significant to say, then you were not to say anything. Music was chosen by the station’s program committee. 


On July 15, CKBB was to move from 1230 kHz with 250 watts to 950 kHz with 5,000 watts (2,500 watts at night). With the increase in signal, the station expected to serve approximately 250,000 residents plus the summer influx. The technical changes took place on August 1. The station used a single directional pattern from a transmitter site located on part of Lot 7, Concession 9, Innisfil Township, Simcoe County, using three 264 foot towers. 

Ad slogan: CKBB Barrie Ontario. Now 5,000 watts 950 kc – Top station in Barrie, Midland, Collingwood. A 300% increase in delivered audience (Elliott-Haynes, Sept/58).

CKBB marked its move to 5,000 watts with three parties over November 25-27.

Jack Ruttle was program director and a DJ. Other CKBB DJ’s: Jim Corey, Stan Taylor and Bob McLean. Ted Delaney became regional sales manager for CKBB and CKVR-TV. Eric Jackson was CKBB sales supervisor and Robert Hunter continued on as CKBB’s manager.


CKBB increased power to 10,000 watts day (night power remained 2,500 watts). Three 259 foot towers at the same site now put out separate patterns for day and night operation. 

Dick Cutler left CKBB/CKVR-TV sales after seven years, to be Canadian rep for Romper Room Inc. (producer of the children’s TV show). 

Ad: Two doors to … the heart of Ontario – CKVR TV channel 3 Barrie (100,000 watts) / CKBB Radio dial 950 (soon 10,000 watts). / CKBB Barrie 10,000 watts featuring Summer Patrol – the only weekend show directed to Canada’s Number One Vacation Land. 

H.J. Snelgrove was appointed assistant GM of CKVR-TV and VP of CKBB. Harold Atkinson, former technical supervisor, was named chief engineer for both stations. George Harper was named regional sales manager of CKVR. Atkinson would be responsible to operations manager Jack Mattenley while Harper would direct all sales activity in the station’s coverage area. CKVR general sales manager Charles Tierney took on expanded duties in the national field. Vern Furber was named local sales manager for CKBB and Donald MacDonald was named retail sales supervisor for CKVR-TV. All appointments were effective May 1. 

Allan F. Waters (president of CHUM Toronto) and Ralph Snelgrove (president of CKBB/CKVR-TV Barrie) signed a deal to purchase CKPT which only went on the air last November. The sale was subject to BBG approval. Waters and Snelgrove would take over as controlling managers until the regulatory approval. 

Grant Forsythe joined CKBB as morning man. He had worked in radio at Midland, Oshawa and Toronto. Forsythe replaced Bill Bennett who moved on to do news, sports and special events. 

The BBG recommended for approval the transfer of CKPT Peterborough to Watergrove Investments. The original application was withdrawn and an alternative one involving a larger local participation was submitted later. Watergrove was made up of Ralph Snelgrove (CKBB and CKVR-TV) and Alan Waters (CHUM Toronto). 


Print Ad: CKBB Barrie – The number one station in Simcoe-Dufferin counties (BBM Fall ’62).


In July, CKBB opened semi-satellite station CKCB in Collingwood.

Robert C. Hunter was CKBB’s manager. Ken Cassavoy was morning man. Wayne Bjorgan was news director. Bill Bennett was sports director. 

Ralph Snelgrove sold a controlling interest in CKVR-TV. 


Wayne Bjorgan was named general manager of CKBB-CKCB. He had been with CKBB for six years, the past four as news director of CKBB and CKVR-TV. John Henderson was named general sales manager for CKBB-CKCB. He had been with the company for 8 years, most recently as radio retail sales manager. Douglas Coulson, member of the sales staff for the last 5 years, became retail sales manager, replacing Henderson.


Barrie Broadcasting Co. Ltd. had its application for a new FM station denied on May 28. The station proposed to operate on 93.1 MHz with ERP of 100,000 watts from an antenna height of 135 feet. 


CKBB was affiliated with CHUM Limited’s new Canadian Contemporary News System. 

CKBB marked 20 years on the air. 

Bill McCutcheon was news director. The station offered about 170 minutes of news per day, had a news staff of six, and also had three mobile units. On Friday and Sunday evenings, two of the mobile units were sent to Highway 400 to cover weekend traffic conditions. 


Program line-up: Ken Trew (6-9), Stu Hilgrove (9-1, with Margaret Arthur talk show from 10-11), Jack Jacob (1-4 – country music), Brian Crawford (4-7), Dave Smith (7-11 – rock music), taped program (11-12). Dave Smith left for CKOC Hamilton. Ken Trew was program director.


CKBB moved to new studios and offices at 129 Ferris Lane in April.


Among the on-air names at CKBB at this time: Grant Forsythe (mornings), Bob Glover (middays), Gerry Samson (middays), Paul Lethbridge (afternoons), Jeff Walther (evenings), and Andy Pawelek (weekends). In the newsroom: Dick Hildebrand, Steve Douglas (sports), Walter Connell, Anne Marie King, and Wayne Bjorgan (noon news). Grant Forsythe was program director.


On-air: Peter Emerson, John Dale, Andy Pawelek, Jeff Walther, Don Gordon, Corey Skinner, Chris Russell, and Ken True. News: George Montgomery, Bob McIntyre, Steve Douglas, Donna Farrell, Don Lowe (reporter), Walter Connell, Earl Skye, Marla Lewis, Sheila Moore and Gord Bastien.


Ralph Snelgrove sold Four Seasons Radio Ltd. (Barrie Broadcasting & Collingwood Broadcasting) to Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Katenac Holdings) on December 13.

Rob Brown joined in March from CKAN Newmarket for weekends.


On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CKBB, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League. 

Rob Brown left in July for CKAP Kapuskasing. 


Martin Vanderwood returned to CKBB from CFTI Timmins to replace Cal Johnstone who had moved to CHUM news in Toronto.


Ralph T. Snelgrove was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

On May 31, over 400 homes and 8 lives were lost when Barrie was devastated by a tornado. CKBB was an integral part of the ‘Disaster Plan’ instituted immediately after the tornado, and was a key element in raising funds for the victims. On June 7 and 8, the station held a 32 hour radio-thon, and raised $125,000. That money was actually worth $500,000 to the relief fund once the province held up to its 3:1 commitment.


On July 31, the CRTC denied competing applications for a an English-language FM radio station to serve Barrie. Both applicants proposed to operate the station in the Group III format on the frequency 95.7 MHz (channel 239). Having received an application from Barrie Broadcasting Limited and in keeping with its usual procedures, the Commission issued a call for applications to carry on an FM undertaking to serve Barrie. In response, CHAY Limited filed a competing application. BBL held an AM licence for CKBB, one of two commercial radio stations in Barrie, and, accordingly, had applied for a joint licence. CHAY Limited is the licensee of Barrie’s other commercial station, CHAY-FM, and was seeking a second FM licence in this market. At the hearing, BBL submitted that its proposed new FM station would complement existing services in the region and outlined its programming proposals in the areas of enrichment, foreground and news, as well as its plans for the support and development of Canadian talent. CHAY Limited predicated its proposal on its need to expand in the face of increasing competition and submitted a program concept that “fills a void” in the region’s existing radio services. At the hearing, it also emphasized its local ownership and financing capability and discussed its programming proposals in the areas of news, sports and local talent. The related policy issue of a single licensee holding two FM licences in the market was also discussed. Although both of the applicants were experienced broadcasters and proposed music formats that would complement the range of existing radio music services, the Commission concluded, based on the information contained in both applications, that their budgetary and staffing commitments were inadequate to fulfill their programming plans. Further, the Commission was not persuaded that the proposals of either applicant in terms of local and regional news and information services would contribute to increased diversity in Simcoe County. The Commission was not convinced that BBL could achieve the ambitious commitments made in the area of Spoken Word programming or that it had fully taken into account the objectives and requirements of the FM policy. While the Spoken Word commitments were more conservative in the case of CHAY Limited, the applicant’s responses to questioning at the hearing did not persuade the Commission that its plans could be realized as proposed. The Commission considered that there was a demand among Barrie residents for greater diversity in local radio services and would be prepared to consider applications from interested parties for the provision of FM radio service to this area.

Martin Vanderwoude was news director at CKBB.


On January 29, the CRTC approved the applications for authority to transfer effective control of Frontenac Broadcasting Company Limited and Kawartha Broadcasting Company Limited through the transfer of 200 common voting shares (100%) of Katenac Holdings Limited from Paul G. Desmarais (90), Claude Pratte (90) and three minority shareholders (20) to Power Corporation of Canada, which was indirectly controlled by Mr. Desmarais. As a result of this transaction, Power Corporation would acquire 100% control of Katenac Holdings Limited which held effective control of Frontenac Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CKWS, CFMK-FM and CKWS-TV Kingston and Kawartha Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CHEX, CHEX-TV, CFMP-FM Peterborough and two rebroadcasting stations, and CKCB Collingwood and CKBB Barrie. 

Wayne Bjorgan was general manager for CKCB and CKBB.


Wayne Bjorgan was president of Barrie Broadcasting and Collingwood Broadcasting.


Power Corp. of Canada reorganized its radio and television assets. They would now be held in the new wholly-owned subsidiary, Power Broadcasting Inc. PBI would be based in Montreal. Andre Desmarais was named chairman and chief executive officer of the new unit. Peter Kruyt was president. Before now, Power’s seven AM, four FM and three TV stations were held by a number of subsidiaries in Ontario and Quebec.


Ralph T. Snelgrove, founder of CKBB-AM and CKVR-TV Barrie and CKCB-AM Collingwood passed away March 27 after a long illness. He was 75. Snelgrove had been a member of the board of the CAB in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1980s, he had been a member of Barrie city council.


On May 29, the CRTC approved a night-time power increase for CKBB. Power would go from 2,500 watts to 10,000 watts and a new antenna system would be used. Daytime power of 10,000 watts would be unchanged. 


Doug Coulson was appointed vice president and general manager for CKBB Barrie and CKCB Collingwood. Wayne Bjorgan was appointed co-op marketing services manager for Power Broadcasting’s radio division.


Jeff Walther was now operations manager in addition to being vice president of programming. Scott Snelgrove was retail sales manager.

Kevin Kelly joined from CFOS Owen Sound. He was also music director.


Power Broadcasting was given permission to convert CKBB Barrie and CKCB Collingwood to FM on August 15. The new Barrie FM would operate on a frequency of 101.1 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 1,500 watts. CKBB never implemented a power increase approved in 1991. It was decided that an FM plant would cost substantially less than increasing power on AM.

On November 12, CKBB-AM was replaced by CIQB-FM “B-101”. CKBB 950 ceased operations at 11 p.m. the same day. CIQB’s antenna was located at the 600′ mark on the CKVR-TV tower.


On April 5, B101 released five people – one announcer, one newscaster and three from administration. Jeff Walther was Program Director.

Kevin Kelly left for CKPC-FM Brantford. Jamie Hall & Tara Dawn took over the morning show.

On May 12, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CIQB-FM by decreasing the effective radiated power from 1,500 watts to 795 watts. The licensee indicated that this reduction in power was coupled with an increase in the effective height of the antenna system and as a result, there would be no significant change in the authorized coverage area of the station. In addition, the licensee explained that the change was necessary in order to eliminate interference being caused to studio equipment at the co-sited CKVR-TV facility.


Darren Stevens arrived in November as program director, music director and mid-day announcer (noon-3). 

Jeff Walther was program director. 


CIQB-FM general manager Tom Aikins, in failing health, took a medical leave. Theresa Edmonds became the station’s new GM.


Approval was granted for the sale of Power Broadcasting Inc. to Corus Entertainment Inc. by Power Corporation on March 24. Corus took control of the Power group of stations on April 13.

B-101 moved studios and offices from 129 Ferris Lane to the home of co-owned CHAY-FM on Highway 26 in Midhurst, in November. The new address: 1125 Bayfield Street North.

On October 13, Darren Stevens added program director duties for CHAY-FM Barrie and CKCB-FM Collingwood. He was already CIQB-FM’s PD.


On February 20, approval was given to increase the effective radiated power of CIQB-FM from 795 watts to 2,600 watts. After CRTC approval, Industry Canada decided not to accept this change due to an intervention from CKUN-FM (Christian Island). CKUN later dropped its objection but the CIQB increase was again put on hold because a new station had been approved for Toronto (101.3 MHz) that a CIQB power increase could cause interference to.


On August 16, CIQB was authorized to increase effective radiated power from 795 watts to an average ERP of 4,300 (maximum of 7,500) watts and to increase antenna height from 193.5 to 303.5 metres. CIQB, sister station CHAY, and Rock 95 stations CFJB and CKMB would couple into a new master FM antenna on the CKVR-TV tower. These technical changes were completed in late September, eliminating previous tuning problems within the city of Barrie and providing service to new listeners outside the city. 


In January, Chris Liedtke took over the afternoon show. He had been the producer and evening/swing announcer since October 2002. 


CIQB changed format from Hot Adult Contemporary to Contemporary Hits, keeping the B101 name.


Mike Patterson, who’d been Retail Sales Manager at FM96/1039FM since March 3, 2008, become General Sales Manager at the sister Corus Radio Barrie cluster. He began October 12. Patterson was no stranger to the Barrie market. He was with CKVR-TV before being recruited by Rogers TV Barrie.


Former Barrie Flyers play-by-play (on CKBB) announcer Dave Wright died in February at the age of 82. 

Derrick Scott left Corus Barrie/Collingwood where he had been program director. He’d held the position since 2008. Dave Pinder, promotions director at Corus Radio Barrie, moved to become manager of the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce.

Corus Radio’s new B101/CHAY Barrie/The Peak Collingwood Program Director was Deb James. She had been with the city’s 107.5 KOOL FM where she’d been morning show host for the past five and a half years.

Paul Stoutenburg, most recently with the Evanov Radio Group in Toronto, was the new Promotions Director at Corus Radio Barrie.

In March, Chris Liedtke left B101 to help launch CHAY TODAY @ 93 1fm, handling the afternoon slot. John Facey, who was the afternoon announcer on the former FM 93, moved to B101 afternoons.


CORUS Radio Barrie announced a new on-air lineup for B101 and CHAY TODAY @ 93 1fm in February. The longest running morning team in Barrie (17 years), Jamie and Tara, joined CHAY from B101 as the new morning drive hosts, weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. With this move, B101’s afternoon driver John Facey and new host Lisa Paivel, took over the B101 morning show, weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jamie and Tara had anchored B101 mornings for the past 17 years. As of February 27, the B101 on-air lineup featured: John Facey and Lisa Paivel in morning drive, Robyn Gerson in middays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), long-time personality Chris Liedtke returned to the B101 airwaves in afternoon drive (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and Will Nash was in evenings, weekends from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.

John Evans, the Chief Engineer at Corus Radio Barrie, retired after more than 50 years of service. Evans began in 1961 with the then stand-alone CKBB 950 and hung on through various ownership changes.


Ian Brownlee died three days short of his 70th birthday. He began a long broadcasting career as a newsman at CKBB-AM/CKVR-TVBarrie, then in Toronto radio from the 1960s through the ‘80s at CHUM, CKEY, CKO and CFRB. He also taught broadcasting at Niagara College in the 1970s and was the narrator of TV’s Wild Animals of the World. 


John Evans died at age 70. The former chief engineer at Corus Radio Barrie retired December 12 after more than 50 years there.


Former CKBB-AM announcer Ken Trew passed away in February at the age of 68. He had been morning man and program director at the station in the 1970’s. Trew later worked at CHAY Barrie and CICX Orillia.

On July 29 at noon, CIQB changed its branding from B101 to 101.1 Big FM. The new format was 60% classic hits and 40% classic rock from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and aimed at 25-54s.

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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