CKIS-FM, KiSS FM, Toronto

Rogers Media

CKIS-FM200992.59,100Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CJAQ-FM200492.59,100Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CISS-FM199992.59,100Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CISS-FM199392.54,700RAWLCO Communications Ltd.


On August 8, Rawlco Communications Ltd. was granted a licence for a new FM station at Toronto, operating on 92.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 4,700. Rawlco proposed to provide a country format with an emphasis on “New Country”, targeted to listeners between 25 and 54 years of age.


On August 6, Rawlco was one of three applicatnts to go after the former CKO-FM frequency of 99.1 MHz. The other applicants were CFMX-FM and CJEZ-FM. The CRTC denied all three applications. It decided to study the Toronto market in preparation for a future hearing. The Commission said Rawlco and CJEZ had not substantiated their need for a better frequency. CFMX was advised to consider moving its transmitter from Mississauga to downtown Toronto.


After a few weeks of test broadcasting, CISS-FM officially signed on at 1:00 p.m. on January 26. Anne Murray pressed the button that launched the station. The opening of “92.5 Kiss FM” was delayed by technical problems and an unsuccessful bid to move to 99.1 MHz. CISS was the only country station on the FM dial in the Toronto area. Studios and offices were on the 4th floor of 49 Ontario Street and the transmitter was atop First Canadian Place.

Management included Keith James (general manager, formerly with CHAM), Mark Rogers (sales manager), Rick Dal Farra (chief engineer), Sharon Taylor (program director), Janet Trecarten (music director), Tom Otto (news director), J.R. (John) Rodenburg (sports director), and Trisha Hosking (promotions manager). The on-air team included Cliff Dumas and Jane Brown with Kim Carrothers on traffic (mornings), Scott Taylor (mid-days), John Donabie (afternoons), and Darren Robson (evenings). 

Elsie Xynos became assistant program director at CISS-FM. She had been PD at CHOG-AM. 


Elsie Xynos resigned as Program Director. CFTR morning show co-host Jacquie Donaldson moved to CISS-FM in mid-August to take up similar duties with morning man Cliff Dumas. Sharon Taylor became CISS-FM’s General Manager. She was PD at the station when it went on the air in 1993. Dave Hughes was a CISS sales rep.


The corporate name changed to Rawlco (Toronto) Ltd. 

Doug Pringle was director of programming.


On May 26, CISS was granted a licence to for a transitional digital radio undertaking to serve Toronto. The transmitter of the new undertaking was installed at the CN Tower and employed the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. The station operated on 1465.024 MHz with effective isotropic radiated power of  5084 watts. 

After three years with CISS-FM, morning man Cliff Dumas returned to 820 CHAM in Hamilton. Larry Fedoruk and Jacquie Donaldson took over the CISS morning show. Later in the year, Fedoruk left the station. Jeff Lumby and Mike Richards from CJXY-FM Hamilton took over the morning show on September 8.


Just after 7:00 p.m. on February 5, CISS dropped New Country for Contemporary Hits, becoming “Power 92”. The station simply went from a country song by Garth Brooks to a hip-hop tune by Lauryn Hill. Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was now operating CISS through a local management agreement. Even though the LMA still required CRTC approval, Rogers took over day-to-day operations of CISS right away. Rogers vice president Chuck McCoy said Power92 was Toronto’s first-ever FM top 40 outlet and it would program 40% CanCon. The Country to Top 40 format change was already in the cards before Rogers entered into the LMA with Rawlco, according to Rogers president Tony Viner. Rawlco was still in charge of programming at CISS. The change at CISS-FM prompted rumours about more possible changes or sales of other Rawlco stations. Rawlco president Gord Rawlinson said such speculation was in error. In fact, he said, “the only market where we felt we had no chance of doubling-up was Toronto.” With the change, the entire air staff (country) was let go (about 8 people). 

Later in February, Power 92 reverted to the old CISS-FM name. This was the result of a threat of legal action from Power 88.5 (CKDX) in Newmarket. 

Before the LMA with Rogers, Danny Kingsbury had been program director at CISS. Brad Kelly joined CISS from Power 107 Calgary where he had been evening announcer. David Wannan joined Kiss 92 as promotion director. He had been with Z95.3 Vancouver. Melanie Curtis and Drew Keith also joined CISS.

Some changes took place at Rogers Broadcasting in the early part of the year. Executive vice president, programming, Sandy Sanderson, would focus on his role as national program director, relinquishing his operating responsibilities at the Toronto cluster (CFTR/CHFI); Chuck McCoy, formerly of CKWX/CKKS Vancouver, became vice president, Toronto Radio Operations, reporting to Gary Miles, and responsible for CHFI, CFTR and management of CISS-FM Toronto (throughout the LMA period and after, if approved, Rogers’ acquisition of CISS); general sales manager Derek Berghuis took on the added role of general manager at CFTR; CHFI-FM program director Paul Fisher took on added responsibility of general manager/vice president of programming, CHFI; John Hinnen, vice president, Radio News Programming, for Rogers took up new responsibilities as acting GM at CKWX Vancouver, also continuing his role as executive editor at CFTR Toronto; Dale Buote became general manager/program director at CKKS-FM Vancouver. Buote was most recently GM at CKWX; and, Victor Dann, general sales manager at CHFI-FM also became Toronto Market sales manager.

In August, Rogers Broadcasting Limited purchased CISS from Rawlco (Toronto) Ltd.  Rogers owned CFTR-AM, CHFI-FM and CFMT-TV in Toronto. 

Under Rawlco, Sharon Taylor had been general manager and Danny Kingsbury was program director. Janet Trecarten left CISS-FM as Music Director to become Operations Manager at CFOS/Mix 106 in Owen Sound.


In September, CISS, CHFI, CFTR and the Rogers Media corporate offices moved to new facilities at the head office tower of Rogers Communications, 777 Jarvis Street (at Bloor) in downtown Toronto. It is a 10-storey structure (45,000 square feet) that was built in the 1950’s. 

Julie Adam was CISS-FM’s program director.


On-air team: Mad-Dog & Billie (5:30-9:00), Taylor Kaye (9-2), Tarzan Dan (2-7), Cory Kimm (7-12). Others: Mocha, Kid Carson and Mo-D.

Drew Keith left Kiss92 and CHFI-FM where he had been music director.


On February 28, Rogers (Toronto) Limited received approval to increase the effective radiated power of CISS-FM, from 4,700 to 9,870 watts. The increase would minimize the level of co-channel interference caused by WBEE Rochester, and would improve the quality of the station’s local signal east and west of Toronto.

On August 23, CISS was granted a power decrease, from 9,870 to 9,100 watts.

CHEZ-FM Inc., Rogers (Toronto) Ltd. and Rogers Radio (British Columbia) Ltd. amalgamated with Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. These operations would continue under the RBL name.

In April, CJCL 590 became a Rogers station when it was purchased from Standard Radio Inc. who acquired it from Telemedia Communications Inc. CJCL joined the other Rogers radio stations (CISS, CFTR and CHFI) at 777 Jarvis in June.

Rogers Toronto launched CJMT-TV (Omni 2) in September.


On June 4, at 4 p.m., “Kiss 92.5, Toronto’s No. 1 hit music station” became “92.5 Jack-FM”. The format changed from Top 40 to classic hits.


In February, CISS 92.5 became CJAQ (for “Jack”). The CISS call letters moved to co-owned 105.3 Ottawa (formerly CKBY).

On May 5, Rogers Broadcasting was authorized to change the frequency for CJAQ-DR-1 (digital radio) from 1465.024 MHz (channel 8) (ON115) to 1456.304 MHz (channel 3) (ON113).


Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CJAQ-FM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some. time.         


On June 5 at 3:00 p.m. KISS92.5 FM returned to Toronto. It became the only “All Hits” radio station in the city. Rogers Radio said research found there was a huge unfulfilled demand for a station that would play All Hits and nothing but today’s Hits. Kiss kicked off the new sound with a promise to play 10,000 songs in a row with no commercial interruption. The launch was simulcast on Rogers All-News outlet, 680News. On-air talent for KISS92.5 would be announced in the coming weeks.

CJAQ-FM became CKIS-FM. The call letters were swapped with Rogers-owned CKIS-FM Calgary which now becomes CJAQ-FM. 

Summer announcements: Mocha joined KISS 92.5 as afternoon drive host and assistant music director. He joins from The Beat in Kitchener. Mike Religa returns to KISS as music director and web programmer. He had been music director for KISS for the five years it had previously used that name. He returns to KISS from the programming department at Family Channel/Playhouse Disney.

Roz Weston was hired as KISS 92.5 morning show co-host. He had been senior entertainment reporter for Entertainment Tonight Canada. Program director Julie Adam said the station was still in the auditioning process for Roz’s morning co-host.

Toronto’s #1 Hit Music Station KISS 92.5 announced The Roz & Mocha Show for mornings. Mocha had been cast for afternoon drive but would now be teamed up for mornings. Cash Conners would be the new PM Drive host as of August 7.

It was announced that as of September 1, Rob Daniels would be part of the KISS announce staff. He had been with Virgin Radio in Montreal. Rob completes the KISS on-air line up and will be the station’s swing announcer.

Karen Steele was named promotion director at KISS 92.5 and CHFI-FM. She had been with Warner Pictures Canada. Adam H. And Randi Chase Joined the KISS announce staff. Adam had been doing evenings and weekends at the Bounce in Halifax while Chase had been the midday host at the Bounce in Edmonton.

On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CKIS-DR-1.

With the departure of Toronto cluster manager Sandy Sanderson, Derek Berghuis became AM market manager (680News, THE FAN590) and Chuck McCoy became FM market manager (98.1 CHFI, KiSS 92.5). Julie Adam has officially assumed the role of program director for KiSS 92.5 along with her responsibilities to CHFI as general manager and PD. Julie would also continue to assist in the national programming area as assistant national program director for Rogers Radio stations.


Ruth Winker was the new Promotions Manager at JAZZ.FM91. She had been with Fan 590/Jack FM Toronto.


On January 11, KISS 92.5’s Roz and Mocha announced “Commercial Free Mondays” starting this date. Listeners could now hear even more hit music all day every Monday on Commercial Free Mondays. 

Chuck McCoy became VP/Cluster Manager for Toronto/Kitchener Radio and Julie Adam was now VP Programming & National Program Director for the Rogers Radio Division. As well, she would retain duties as Program Director at either CHFI or KISS 92 Toronto, depending on the results of a PD search. Most recently, McCoy was the Rogers’ National Program Director. Adam was GM/PD of CHFI and added Assistant National Program Director duties in 2008. The changes were announced in March by Paul Ski, chief executive officer, Rogers Radio.

Rogers Broadcasting announced the appointment of Karen Steele to the position of program director for KiSS-92.5, replacing Julie Adam. Adam had been PD of the station as well as CHFI since the KiSS-92.5 launch in June 2009. Steele joined Rogers Broadcasting in July, 2009, as promotion director for CHFI and KiSS-92.5. 

David Magro was now responsible for imaging and commercial production within the Rogers Radio Toronto cluster production department. His 20-year career included stops at Virgin Radio 999 Toronto, Corus Toronto, New Flow 93.5 Toronto and Z103 Toronto.

JJ joined Kiss 92.5 as afternoon drive announcer as of June 17. In June, announcer Adam Wylde left for CKFM.

Rogers Communications Inc. announced the appointment of Keith Pelley as the President of Rogers Media effective September 7. Pelley succeeded Tony Viner who announced his plan to retire in May 2010. Keith Pelley, 46, would report to Nadir Mohamed and would have overall responsibility for Rogers Media properties including Rogers Broadcasting, Rogers Publishing, Rogers Digital Media, Rogers Sportsnet, the Shopping Channel, the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre. Pelley was most recently Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning at CTV and President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. He succeeds Tony Viner, 63, as President and CEO of Rogers Media. Viner joined Rogers in 1982 and has grown Rogers Media from three radio stations when he started, to a diversified media company today comprised of radio, over-the-air and specialty television services, publishing, digital media, and sports entertainment. 

Taylor Kaye joined Kiss 92.5 to host the mid-day show from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

David Lindores became the Promotion Director at KiSS 92.5/98.1 CHFI on June 15, moving from Astral Media Radio Toronto after about three years there. Prior Astral, Lindores had been with Universal Music for 14 years, most of it overseeing the Marketing & Promotion Departments of Universal’s Central Region.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed CKIS-FM’s licence to August 31, 2017.

Kerry French was now the Director, Research at Rogers Radio in Toronto. French had been doing quite a bit of contract work of late (FACTOR, Rogers) but perhaps was best known for her years at CHUM Toronto.


Dave Blezard was the new evening show host (6-11 p.m.) on “Toronto’s # 1 Hit Music Station, KiSS 92.5”. He had been part of the Scott, Dave and Ashley Morning Show on Z 103.5. His first show on the station was February 28. Cash Conners became the new PM Drive (2-6 p.m.) host. 

Michael Religa added Assistant Program Director to his Music Director title. JJ, who worked mornings at The Flow Toronto for three years before moving to afternoon drive at Kiss FM last year, moved back to Flow. Maurie Sherman made the switch to CKIS-FM as senior morning show producer of the Roz and Mocha Show! Maurie had been with CKFM and his first day was March 21. Zack Taylor left 92.5 KISS FM (CKIS). 

Ron Combden, regional engineering manager for Rogers Broadcasting in the Toronto/ Kitchener markets, was no longer with the company. Rick Dal Farra, who had been appointed Rogers Radio director of engineering for BC Radio in April of 2006 (based in Vancouver), returned to Rogers in Toronto in June. He became regional engineering manager there, succeeding Ron Combden.

Scott Fox joined the on-air team on August 29. He had been with Z103.5 for the past ten years. Fox would fill in for Taylor Kaye (maternity leave) as of late August, in the 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. shift. Rob Daniels formerly of KiSS 92.5 in Toronto, is now working weekends/swing at 99.9 Virgin Radio Toronto.

On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKIS-DR-1 to April 30, 2012.


On April 23, the CRTC administratively renewed the broadcasting licence for digital radio programming undertaking CKIS-DR-1 until August 31, 2012.

Chris Watson was promoted to General Sales Manager at KiSS 92.5. He’d been an Account Manager at the Rogers station for over 10 years.


Adam Wylde, the former morning host at 98.5 Virgin Radio Calgary, began March 4 at KiSS 92.5 Toronto in afternoon drive partnered with Cash Conners (3-7 p.m.). Last June at the 2012 Western Association of Broadcasters convention in Banff, Wylde was a co-winner of the Leaders of Tomorrow award. He was the son of Bell Media’s Marilyn Denis (CTV and CHUM-FM Toronto) and Ken Lydford, sales manager at Bell Media News & Entertainment.

Paul Ski (Rogers Radio CEO) added responsibilities for day-to-day operations in the Toronto radio market as well as heading the integrated conventional TV and radio stations in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. 


In the spring, it was announced that CKIS would broadcast in HD. Programming details were not announced. CKIS-HD would operate with maximum ERP of 920 watts.

CKIS began broadcasting in HD with ERP of 920 watts. CKIS-FM-HD1 offered CKIS 92.5 while CKIS-FM-HD2 provided a simulcast of CFTR 680. A simulcast of CJCL 590 was offered on CKIS-FM-HD3.


In the fall, Rogers completed work on brand new studios at their Bloor & Jarvis location for 680 News, KiSS 92.5, and CHFI.

ISEDC approval was given for CKIS-HD to decrease power from 920 to 783 watts.

The story continues elsewhere…
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