CHUC-FM, Classic Rock 107.9, Cobourg
|CHUC-FM||2015||107.9||1,030||My Broadcasting Corp.|
|CHUC-AM||1992||1450||8,000/1,000||Pineridge Broadcasting (Don & Donna Conway)|
|CHUC-AM||1983||1450||1,000||Pineridge Broadcasting (John Radford)|
|CHUC-AM||1963||1450||1,000||Radio CHUC Ltd.|
|CHUC-AM||1959||1500||1,000 day||Radio CHUC Ltd.|
|CHUC-AM||1957||1500||1,000 day||United Counties Broadcasting Co. Ltd.|
On August 28, at 2:00 p.m., United Counties Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (newspaper publisher Foster M. Russell and broadcast engineer Donald B. Williamson) opened CHUC on 1500 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts (directional). The station was assigned to daytime operation only. Studios were at Hatfield Hall, 202 Greene Street in Cobourg. The transmitter and two 170-foot towers occupied part of Lot 27, Concession A, Hamilton Township, along Lake Ontario, between Cobourg and Port Hope. The “UC” in the calls: United Counties Broadcasting (United Counties of Northumberland and Durham).
Around this time, CHUC opened a studio on the top floor of the Budge Building in Port Hope.
A. L. D’Eon had joined CHUC as commercial manager, from CKOC Hamilton. Later in the year, he was promoted to general manager at CHUC.
CHUC Ltd. (D.B. Williamson) purchased CHUC from United Counties Broadcasting (Russell and Williamson).
Former CHUC general manager Al D’eon was now with Trans Ocean Radio & TV in Toronto. Louise Guy was women’s editor.
CHUC moved from 1500 to 1450 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts on November 14. This change allowed the station to operate during the day as well as at night. The existing transmitter site was used.
D. B. Williamson was president of Radio CHUC Ltd. and manager of CHUC. Don Fox was assistant manager, commercial manager and promotions manager. Doug Whelan was morning man. Louise Guy was women’s director and librarian. Gordon Skinner was chief engineer.
Radio CHUC Ltd. received approval for an FM station at Cobourg but only if it was on-air by May 1/68. CHUC had previous approval for FM but ran into difficulties in obtaining a transmitter site, forcing a delay and now, requiring this new bid.
“Let’s Talk Guidance”, heard on CHUC for the past two years was now being distributed to eleven other Canadian stations. The five minute talk by Terry Hawkins, guidance co-ordinator of the Cobourg high schools, was sponsored by General Foods, whose main Canadian plant was in Cobourg.
Donald Fox was station manager.
CHUC began delivering a new newscast at 8:45 a.m. – “The Good News” – a program devoted entirely to the good, happy and funny items gleaned from a number of news sources.
Among the on-air names at CHUC at this time: Doug Whalen, Larry Hall, Don Grimshaw, and Charles Lester.
Studios and offices moved from Hatfield Hall, Cobourg to The Budge Building, Port Hope. The station already had a satellite studio at this location. This move was made while new studios were being built in Hamilton Township, and because the station had been evicted from Hatfield Hall.
The CRTC approved the move of CHUC’s studios from 202 Green Street in Cobourg to Lot 26, Concession 1, Hamilton Township, on July 26.
Bill Sabo was at CHUC.
The new Hamilton Township studios opened. The facility was located midway between Cobourg and Port Hope, on Telephone Road, along Highway 401, on Lot 26, Concession 1. The broadcast regulator always insisted CHUC have studios in both towns because it was licenced to serve both. This relocation to a site midway between the two seemed to be an ideal solution.
On-air: Rick Kevan (6-11), Randy Henderson (11-1), Louise Guy (1-2:30), Randy Henderson (Terry Novak on Fridays) (2:30-6), Terry Novak (6-midnight sign-off).
Weekends: Joe Walters and Bob Spooner. Larry Hall was news director.
At long last Radio CHUC Ltd. launched an FM station – CFMX. It had been licenced around 1976. CHUC had toyed with the idea of an FM station as early as the mid 60’s but was never successful in getting a station on the air until now. (But even this was a shaky start – see CFMX for more.)
Don Vernon was now the afternoon host and Alex Baran hosted the evening shift. The news department included Larry Hall, Randy Henderson, Ian Caldwell and Fred Long.
Brian Treadwell joined CHUC as morning host.
1450 CHUC was given approval to increase power from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts full-time. In view of the deterioration of the present facilities, the new plant was expected to be in operation by October of 1982. CHUC also promised to improve its farm and regional news services. For whatever reason, the power increase was never implemented.
Dave MacLachlan was now doing afternoon drive. Mike Anton was a swing announcer.
On April 15, Radio CHUC Ltd. and CFMX Communications Ltd. (both owned by D. B. Williamson) went into receivership. Coopers & Lybrand, the receiver appointed by the Bank of Montreal, took over operation of the two stations until a new owner could be found.
On May 26, the night before CHUC and CFMX were scheduled to leave the air forever, because a new owner hadn’t been found, John Radford, President of Jedcom Investments Ltd. (owner of CFJR Brockville), offered to purchase the stations. CHUC and CFMX would have signed-off for good at 6:00 p.m. on May 27. Recorded sign-off tapes were even prepared for the possible and sad ending.
John Radford took over operating management of both stations from Coopers & Lybrand on June 1, while waiting for CRTC approval of the sale of the stations.
Martin Rosenthal offered to purchase CFMX-FM from Radford on June 24.
On November 30, approval was given for the transfer of CHUC to Jedcom Investments Ltd. (Jedcom would own CHUC through a numbered company and then through a company to be incorporated – Pineridge Broadcasting). John Radford controlled Jedcom. CFMX-FM was sold to M.R. Investments (Martin Rosenthal). As part of the purchase, Jedcom committed to study the feasibility of an increase in power from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts, as previously authorized.
John Radford officially took ownership of CHUC on or about December 22.
CHUC on-air staff as of December: Brian Treadwell (mornings), Louse Guy (middays), Dave MacLachlan (afternoon drive). Others: Mike Anton, Gerry Freymann, Don Grimshaw, and Stew Kernan. The news team included Jim Guy, Don Small, Steve Diamond, and Bob Spooner (sports).
On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CHUC, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League.
Brian Treadwell was on the air from 6-11 a.m. Dave MacLachlan followed from 11-3 with a break for Louise Guy from 1-2. Gerry Freymann hosted the evening show. Mike Anton, Don Grimshaw and Stew Kernan were also on the air at CHUC. News personnel included Don Small and Jim Guy.
In September, Treadwell (program director) & MacLachlan (music director) left and were replaced by Wayne Matthews (program director) from CFGM Toronto and Bill Dulmage (music director) from CJBQ in Belleville. The new on-air line-up: Wayne Matthews 6-10, Mike Anton 10-1, Louise Guy 1-2, Mike Anton 2-3, Bill Dulmage 3-7 and Gerry Freyman in evenings.
Louise Guy left CHUC on January 25 and moved over full-time to CFMX-FM. She was already doing some work for CFMX. Don Vernon returned to CHUC to host afternoon drive. Bill Dulmage moved to mid-days. Bob Spooner returned to the station too. He did sports and co-hosted the morning show. PD and morning man Wayne Matthews left. He returned to CFGM (he had continued to work part-time at ‘GM while at CHUC). Matthews was replaced as PD and AM Driver by Dave Sawyer. Scott Hunter also returned to CHUC. Other voices heard on the station: Don Grimshaw, Kevin Wilson and Pete Campbell.
On December 1, CHUC began airing satellite-fed programming from Broadcast News (network newscasts and news audio material) and Telemedia (Blue Jays baseball and Maple Leafs hockey).
CHUC was now coming on the air at 4:00 a.m. rather than 6:00. Stew Kernan hosted the 4-6 shift. Dave Sawyer followed, from 6-10, then Bill Dulmage 10-3, Scott Hunter 3-7 and Gerry Freymann in the evening. Dave Rusk, Bob Graham and Don Grimshaw were heard on weekends. The news department included Steve Clelland, Jim Guy, Susan Milne, Lisa Hayes, Pete Campbell, and Stew Kernan. Freymann left for CFMX in August and was replaced by Gary Hadfield. Don Small left for CFMX. Dan Elliott joined for afternoon drive.
Dan Elliott moved to mornings and PD Sawyer went to PM drive. Janice McKay joined the news department from CKAN Newmarket. Elliott left September 25. Kernan moved back to news and sports – full-time. Glyn Perkins, Glen McLaren, and Jon Holland were now part of the weekend line-up. New names in the newsroom included Margaret Stalker and Karen Adams.
As of September 28, Dave Rusk was now heard 4-6, Gary Hadfield was doing mornings from 6-10, Karen Adams began doing a local talk show between 10 and 11, Bill Dulmage was on the air from 11-4, Dave Sawyer was on from 4-7 and Andy Mills hosted evenings.
John Radford announced he would sell CFJR-AM and its newly licensed FM station in Brockville to Kingston’s St. Lawrence Broadcasting. Radford’s family had owned CFJR for some 40 years. John Radford would retain CHUC and would remain with the Brockville stations as a director and consultant.
On September 13, CHUC was granted a daytime power increase from 1,000 to 8,000 watts. Night-time power would remain 1,000 watts. The aim was to improve the signal to the north and east of Cobourg and Port Hope. CHUC had always had trouble serving the entire county as it wanted to do.
In November, the station began broadcasting 24 hours a day with the addition of the satellite-fed “Coast to Coast” all-night service. For most of its history, CHUC had operated from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Glyn Perkins took over the evening shift. Jennifer West and Derek Fenton were new weekend names. Kevin Wilson was now in the news department. Also new to the newsroom: Denise Greer.
Scott Clark joined CHUC for afternoons. Music director and mid-day host Bill Dulmage, left August 12 for CFMX. He was replaced by Norm Murray. Dave Sawyer had left the air to concentrate full time on PD duties. He left the station before the end of the year. Dave Rusk left and was replaced in the 4-6 a.m. shift by Glen McLaren. Glyn Perkins left for CHEX-AM-TV in Peterborough. He was replaced by Brian Ellis.
The daytime power increase granted a year earlier went into effect. Separate radiation patterns were used for day and night operation. The same transmitter site was used, but a third tower was added.
On-Air: 6:00 Gary Hadfield, 10:00 Dave Owens, 3:00 Scott Clark, 7:00 Brian Ellis, 12:00 Coast to Coast. Weekends: Don Sheppard, Stew Kernan, Jon Holland. News: Stew Kernan, Don Grimshaw, Janice McKay, Jim Guy, Jody Lalonde. Notes: Norm Murray left for CFGM Toronto and was replaced by Dave Owens. Scott Clark left in March for CKNX-FM Wingham and was replaced by Tony Monaco. Terry Johnston joined for 7-midnight from CKAN Newmarket in July and left in September for CKPC Brantford.
Line-Up: Gary Hadfield (5:00), Paul Laing (9:00), Reg Green (11:00), Don Rickerby (3:00), Bill James (7:00), Coast to Coast (12:00). Weekends – Scott Hunter, Don Sheppard, Jon Holland, Craig Andrews (Hastings), Stew Kernan. News: Denise Greer, Janice McKay, Jim Guy, Stew Kernan (Sports). Notes: Bill James left was was replaced by Scott Hunter. Hunter then replaced Gary Hadfield who left in October. Jon Holland left in the summer for CFMX.
Louise Guy passed away March 13 at the age of 67. She was associated with CHUC from day one until moving to CFMX-FM in 1985. Over the years, Louise wore many hats at CHUC but was best known as the host of the long-running mid-day music and interview program, Luncheon Date. She was also copy director. At the time of her death, Mrs. Guy was assistant manager of CFMX-FM’s Cobourg operation, copy chief, interviewer and program host. Louise made her radio debut on Windsor’s CKLW as a singer at the age of 11. During World War II she was a radio transmitter operator for the RCAF. She joined CHUC when it opened in 1957. When co-owned CFMX-FM came along, she was associated with both stations. When the two stations were sold to different owners, Louise remained with CHUC. When the plug was pulled on Luncheon Date, Louise moved over to CFMX-FM.
Announcers included Scott Hunter, Paul Laing, Reg Green, Don Sheppard, Matt Simmons, Valerie Hunter, and Craig Andrews.
On July 31, approval was given for the sale of CHUC by John Radford (54.5%) and his wife, Elizabeth (41.5%) to CHUC’s General Manager, Donald Conway (70%), and his wife, Donna (30%). Conway had long been associated with Radford and became GM of the station when Radford purchased it in 1983.
Rob Mendelsohn was now doing afternoons. Tim Jackson was also at the station. The news team included Jim Guy, Karen Westeby, Janice McKay, Don Small, Stew Kernan, Pete Campbell, John Russell, and Denise Green (Greer). Notes – Janice McKay left for CKDK Woodstock, Don Small returned.
Mike Huffman was doing weekends. Notes: Scott Hunter left in July and returned in the fall for weekends. Paul Laing moved to mornings. Rob Mendelsohn left. Norm (Edwards) Taylor joined.
CHUC’s former owner John Radford died August 13 at age 69.
In October, a new transmitter was installed, with no change in authorized operation. General manager Don Conway said the new transmitter increased the signal strength and provided a crisper, cleaner sound, while reducing power consumption.
On-Air: Paul Laing (mornings), Norm Taylor (mid-days) and Don Martin (afternoons). Weekends: Dan Carter, Wes Nickerson, Mike Cutting, Don Sheppard. News: Jim Guy, John Russell, Pete Campbell, Don Small, Stew Kernan (Sports), Denise Greer, Margaret Smida. Notes: Don Martin joined from Guelph. Norm Taylor left in September. Jim Guy left December 9.
Paul Ferguson, Wes Nickerson, and Mike Cuttington were at CHUC. Notes: Paul Laing (mornings and PD) left in April. Don Martin moved to mornings and became program director. Evening sports talk from Telemedia added in the fall.
Kevin Stewart was now announcing at CHUC.
On-air voices included Don Martin, Kevin Stewart, John Russell, Stew Kernan, Pete Campbell, Jennifer May, Jason Coleman, and Greg Conway.
CHUC marked its 40th birthday in August.
CHUC began computerizing its operations in 1995…with the production and on-air studios. The newsroom followed in 1996. By 1998, all areas of the CHUC building were networked.
Gord Norris. Alana Cameron, Bill Kingston, and Suzanne Mollette were now heard on the station.
Don Martin was at CHUC.
In January, Durham Radio Inc. (CJKX-FM Ajax) completed the purchase of a 25% equity interest in Pineridge Broadcasting. Don Conway continued to be the largest shareholder, and President of the company.
On July 10, CHUC’s new FM station, CKSG went on the air. CHUC had been out of the FM business since 1983 when CFMX was sold to Martin Rosenthal. As a result of the FM launch, CHUC adjusted its adult contemporary format slightly to target a 35-64 year old audience. It was now a softer AC. The CHUC building (7805 Telephone Rd.) was expanded in size over the past year to make room for CKSG.
On December 9, approval was given to change CHUC’s frequency from 1450 to 1580 KHz and to increase power from 8,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night to 10,000 watts day and night. Two towers at the existing site would be used. The 1450 operation had four towers, one of which was a slant wire.
Don Martin left CHUC.
On May 19, CHUC was given approval to convert to the FM band, operating on 107.9 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 1,030 watts (1,450 watts maximum). The new station would offer the existing Adult Contemporary format. The antenna would be 203 metres (EHAAT) in height, and located on the Global television tower (also home to CKSG and CFMX) located on Alwnwick Hill, north of Cobourg.
The earlier plan to move from 1450 to 1580 kHz was dropped because that change would have only improved night-time service when radio tuning was low. Since the 1580 approval, Industry Canada revised its spectrum guidelines, making an FM frequency available for use in Cobourg – Port Hope.
On August 11 at 1:07 p.m., CHUC moved to the FM band as “107.9 FM The Breeze, Favourites of Yesterday and Today”. Northumberland County resident and Canadian Idol judge Zack Werner was on hand to push the switch for the move to FM.
On May 18, Pineridge Broadcasting Inc. received authorization to increase the average effective radiated power of CHUC-FM from 1,030 watts to 6,300 watts, and to increase the antenna height. Pineridge indicated that the purpose of the proposed changes was to resolve reception deficiencies in CHUC-FM’s primary service area of Northumberland County.
After 50 years of service, CHUC-AM (1450 kHz) signed off the air forever at 5:00 p.m., November 7. The last day featured memories from former employees and a historical tribute, just before the AM transmitter was shut down. Programming continued on CHUC-FM “107.9 The Breeze”.
Former CHUC and CFMX owner Donald B. Williamson passed away on January 12. As a broadcast consulting engineer, Williamson was responsible for the design of many of Canada’s transmission towers still in use today.
In February Mike Cutting was named program director for 107.9 The Breeze (CHUC).
The new Program Director at 107.9 The Breeze was morning show host Mike Cutting. He succeeded Dave Devine, who moved across the hall to become Star 93.3’s afternoon host.
Trevor Joice, a long-time member of the Applied Electronics sales team in Toronto, retired following the 2010 NAB Show in Las Vegas. He began his 40-year broadcast career as a technician at CHUC Cobourg, then moved to CHIN Toronto where, in the course of 18 years with the operation, he became Chief Engineer. Joice then spent some time at CJRT Toronto before moving to Applied.
Changes at Pineridge Broadcasting stations: Deb Crossen was now with Magic 96.7 Peterborough in mornings as News Anchor, joining Dan Duran and Linda Kash; Charlie Toner, who began with Pineridge as a cruiser driver but whose training and background was in technical and engineering, was now Director of Engineering; and York Bell-Smith added more programming duties and an on-air shift to his Promotions Director/Assistant Program Director role at STAR 93.3 Cobourg. He now oversaw programming on a day-to-day basis at both STAR 93.3 and 107.9 The BREEZE. He was also doing middays at The Breeze.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHUC-FM until March 31, 2012.
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHUC-FM to August 31, 2012. On August 28, the licence was administratively renewed to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2016.
Pineridge Broadcasting announced the hiring of Robin MacKenzie to its Creative Department.
On June 16, a deal was announced that would see the sale of Pineridge Broadcasting Inc. (CHUC/CKSG Cobourg and CJWV Peterborough) to My Broadcasting Corp.
On July 16, the CRTC administratively approved the change to the ownership and effective control of Pineridge Broadcasting Inc., from Donald T. Conway to My Broadcasting Corporation, a corporation jointly controlled by Jon Pole and Andrew Dickson through their respective family trusts. For the record, Dave Hughes (was the general sales manager) and Douglas Kirk (Durham Radio) were also involved in the ownership of Pineridge Broadcasting while Blackburn Radio of London had an ownership interest in My Broadcasting.
My Broadcasting took control of Pineridge on September 1.
CHUC flipped from Classic Hits as 107.9 The Breeze to Classic Rock as Classic Rock 107.9.
Former CHUC News Director Jim Guy (65) passed away on March 16.
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.