CJSS-FM, Boom 101.9, Cornwall

CJSS-FM1999101.91,420Corus Entertainment Inc.
CJSS-AM19451220250Standard Freeholder Ltd.


CKSF was scheduled to open on February 1. It was owned by the city’s daily newspaper – The Standard Freeholder. H.D. Wightman, manager of the newspaper would also act as general manager of the radio station. H. Harrison Flint left CKGB Timmins to become CKSF’s station manager. Local resident Mahlon Clark would be the station’s chief engineer. CKSF would operate on a frequency of 1230 kHz and have a power of 250 watts. 


CKSF was now sheduled to sign on the air on February 15. The big event did happen on that date. Studios and offices were in the newspaper’s building at 36 Pitt Street and the transmitter was on Toll Gate Road in Cornwall Township. The “SF” in the call sign: Standard Freeholder. The station was known as “The Radio Voice of Cornwall”. 

Bert Cullen joined CKSF’s announce staff from Peterborough’s CHEX. Bernard Filliol was new to radio and joined the station’s French air staff. Alan Cauley, formerly of Ferry Command, joined CKSF from CHEX.

On June 4 Press News inaugurated a radio news service in French to stations in Quebec and Ontario (including CKSF). The service was based on the regular PN English service, translated and then transmitted from the Canadian Press bureau in Montreal. 

H.H. Flint was manager. Bud Hall joined the staff of CKSF. Howard Bailey was added the CKSF announce staff.


Norman Bailey became CKSF’s new program director. He had worked in production at WTAG in Worcester, MA.


CKSF began using “singing” station breaks, intended to liven up the routine of the inevitable pause for station identification. They were recorded by Cornwall singers and musicians.

Lee Fortune joined the CKSF announce staff, fresh out of the air force. Glenda Edwards (new to radio) became the station’s book keeper. Allan Cauley left CKSF to handle the night shift at Montreal’s CJAD. Bill Taylor joined the CKSF announcing staff. Des Kearney joined the announce staff after working with CJFX Antigonish and CJLS Yarmouth. Lee Fortune left for CJAD Montreal.


Des Kearney left CKSF for the announce staff at CKEY Toronto. Carl C. Fisher, new to radio, joined the CKSF announce staff. Carl Fisher and Howard Bailey did sports at CKSF. Richard Haynes joined the CKSF announce staff.


Charles Doering joined the CKSF staff. This was his first radio job. 


CKSF-FM 104.5 signed on the air February 15. This also marked the 4th anniversary of CKSF-AM 1230. CKSF-FM simulcast the full schedule of CKSF-AM. 

Ruth Welsh, Madeline Paradis and Yalonde Chevrier were all on the air at CKSF. Bob Stewart was an announcer. Howard Bailey was chief announcer. Ron Levy was acting manager. 


Fred Pemberton, former sports and special events commentator for the BBC, joined the CKSF commercial department. Jens Gotthardt, new to radio, became the station’s record librarian. 


Charles Doering left for CHOK in Sarnia. CJSS had a staff of 25. Bill Roberts was an announcer. Ruth Welsh hosted “Women’s Digest”. 


Fred Pemberton was appointed manager of CKSF, succeeding Harry Flint. Pemberton had been program director. Flint was named vice president and general manager of WOSC Radio in Fulton, N.Y.


CKSF’s 7th anniversary celebrations were put off for a week (from February 15) due to the funeral of the late King George VI. Staff on hand for the birthday event included Carl Cogan (announcer), Fern Moquin (traffic superintendent), Marilyn Morin (librarian), Alma Larocque (secretary), Mrs. Douglas Appleton (accountant), Fred Pemberton (manager), Carl Fisher (production director), Tony Miseferi (control operator), Bob Eadie (continuity editor), Jack Reid (chief announcer), Mahlon Clark (chief engineer), Roland Forget (French announcer), and Andy Walsh (announcer). 

CKSF received approval for the operation of a 100 watt emergency transmitter.


Slogan: For outstanding results: CKSF Cornwall – The Seaway City. / Canada’s biggest little station.


Slogans: When in Rome…do as the Romans do – when in Cornwall…listen to CKSF, of course. They all do! / CKSF – The Seaway Station.

Announcer Bob Walters left for CHLO St. Thomas.


CKSF 1230 is operating with a non-directional power of 250 watts and is a Supplementary B CBC Dominion affiliate. CKSF-FM was the main Dominion affiliate in the market. The stations is owned by The Standard Freeholder Ltd. (aka Daily Standard-Freeholder Ltd.), which was owned by Howard Fleming 33.1%, G. D. Fleming 40.9%, C. J. McTavish 16.2%, Frances Fleming 2.3% and four other shareholders 7.5%). These owners were also involved in the ownership of The Owen Sound Sun-Times and CFOS-AM in Owen Sound.

George Fleming was president of the company. Fred H. Pemberton was CKSF’s manager. 


CKSF applied to the CBC Board of Governors for a change of frequency and power increase – 1230 to 1220 kHz and 250 to 1,000 watts. The changes were approved and were put into operation later in the year. CKSF now used two 200 foot towers at a site on part of Lot 7, Concession 4 in the Township of Cornwall. In approving the technical change application, F.H. Pemberton was questioned by the CBC Board about his station’s scanty educational programming. 

The Cornwall Standard-Freeholder (CKSF) announced it would seek a television licence. An application would be filed in association with Horace N. Stovin, Toronto Radio-TV executive. The Department of Transport had recently announced that channel 8 had been allocated to Cornwall subject to certain technical conditions. 

Fred Ellis left CKSF as sales manager, for Radio & Television Sales Inc. in Toronto.


Stanley Shankman purchased CKSF-AM and FM from the Standard-Freeholder. He changed the call letters to CJSS-AM and FM with the “SS” in the calls representing his name. The call letters changed on June 1.

Studios and offices moved to 237 Water Street which was also home to CJSS-TV Channel 8, which signed on the air in 1958.


Roger Des Loges joined CJSS Radio-TV from North Bay.

The sale of CJSS Radio and Television by Cornwall Broadcasting Ltd., controlled by Stanley R. Shenkman, was announced. It still required BBG approval. The company won the television licence about 18 months earlier, after purchasing CJSS from the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder. The purchaser was Bushnell Broadcasting Associates Ltd. with Granada TV Network Ltd. (UK), Beaver Film Productions and Canadian Marconi Ltd. Marconi owned CFCF Radio-TV in Montreal. Bushnell was recently awarded an Ottawa TV licence and held an interest in the Pembroke TV station (CHOV).


Shankman sold CJSS-AM and FM to the Emard Family (CJSS-TV was sold to CJOH-TV in Ottawa). 


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks consolidated into a single CBC radio service. CJSS ended its affiliation with the CBC at this time.

The corporate name was now Tri-Co Broadcasting Ltd. Elzear Emard, M. D. was President.


G. F. Grady was the manager (and promotions manager) of CJSS. Joe Cannon was production manager. John Edgar was program director and chief announcer. Betty Kennedy was copy chief. Reg McCausland was chief engineer. 


Don Biefer joined CJSS for the evening shift. He had been with CKLB in Oshawa.


Don Biefer left in February. 


Luc Racine was an announcer at CJSS.


Keith Clingen was general manager at CJSS.


Al Bojarski became news director at CJSS. He had been news director (as Al Bailey) at CHNO Sudbury. Keith Clingen was general manager of CJSS. 


Gus Gilmore and Jay Hunter were among the CJSS on-air staff. 


Former CJSS/CFLG General Manager Keith Clingen was now with the Ontario government.


Steve Wanderville was on-air at CJSS. 


John Divinki joined CJSS/CFLG as Operations Manager. He had been General Manager at CKTY/CFGX in Sarnia.


On January 9, CJSS was knocked off the air due to the ice storm of ‘98. Until it returned to the air on January 15, CJSS it leased program time on Ottawa’s CFRA-AM to reach Cornwall-area listeners with emergency information.


On April 1, the CRTC approved the conversion of CJSS to the FM band. Tri-Co Broadcasting told the Commission that CJSS faced strong competition from numerous U.S. radio stations, and was unprofitable. They further stated that moving CJSS to the FM band would enable it to provide a better quality signal and maintain this local radio service. The new station would operate on 101.9 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts. 

Following approval for a flip of CJSS to FM, operations manager John Divinski said the new station ID would be THE BLAZE, programming “the valley’s hottest Country Music at 101.9 on the dial.” A former Cornwall radio personality, Wayne Thompson, would step into morning host duties as of April 19.

In May, CJSS started promoting the imminent arrival of “Blaze 101.9 FM, the Valley’s hottest country.”

In June, CJSS-AM left the air.

On November 24, Tri-Co launched CJUL “The Jewel Memories 1220” on the former CJSS-AM frequency. 


On May 23, Tri-Co Broadcasting was given approval by the CRTC to reduce the power for CJSS-FM from 3,000 watts to 1,420 watts and to reduce the power of CFLG-FM from 30,000 watts to 15,000 watts.

On November 19, the CRTC approved the application by Corus Entertainment Inc.to purchase Tri-Co Broadcasting Ltd. from the Emard family. Tri-Co was owner of CJUL-AM, CFLG-FM and CJSS-FM. 


On August 8, at 4:00 p.m., Blaze 101.9 FM (country) was replaced by Rock 101.9 (rock).


In the fall, Corus Radio Cornwall (CJUL-AM, CJSS-FM and CFLG-FM) moved to new studios and offices at 709 Cotton Mill Street on the city’s waterfront. The building was in the Weave Shed section of the Cotton Mill, which had been a loft space. The new facility – in a 150 year old heritage building – featured all-new state-of-the-art broadcast equipment. The first broadcasts came from the new facility at 6:00 p.m., November 27.

In the fall, Corus Radio Cornwall (CJUL-AM, CJSS-FM and CFLG-FM) moved to new studios and offices at 709 Cotton Mill Street on the city’s waterfront. The building was in the Weave Shed section of the Cotton Mill, which had been a loft space. The new facility – in a heritage building – featured all-new state-of-the-art broadcast equipment.


On February 1, CJSS changed format from Classic Rock (Rock 101.9) to Active Rock (The New Rock 101.9).


Andrew Ferreira left Rock 101.9. Jamie Carr returned as morning show host (The Early Show with Jamie and Holly). 


There were a number of changes at Corus Entertainment related to its organization review to streamline decision-making and clarify roles and mandates. Among the changes: Reporting to Hal Blackadar, Executive Vice President and interim President of Corus Radio was JJ Johnston, GM, Corus Radio Cornwall, Kingston and Peterborough (was GM at Corus Radio Vancouver). GM Scott Armstrong was no longer with the company.

On August 18, CJUL (AM 1220) left the air. Corus stated that more listeners across Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry would now get up-to-date local and regional information on local radio as Corus Radio redeployed news and community event information from AM 1220 (CJUL-AM) onto its two FM stations, Variety 104.5 (CFLG-FM) and Rock 101.9 (CJSS- FM). The decision to increase informational content on Corus Radio Cornwall’s FM stations came following two separate listener surveys. Over 8,000 loyal listeners were polled about their local radio needs and the respondents overwhelmingly favoured increased local content relevant to their communities. Hal Blackadar, executive VP and president of Radio, Corus Entertainment said, “While closing CJUL-AM will impact some listeners, we know that many also tune in to our FM stations which will now have increased local information and entertainment.” The immediate changes would include longer and more frequent news updates on Variety 104.5 and Rock 101.9, the new home of Ottawa Senators Hockey play-by-play coverage.” “Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry is a large area with strong local values and maintaining a voice in the larger community is key to Corus Radio Cornwall,” said J.J. Johnston, general manager, Corus Radio Cornwall, Kingston and Peterborough. “We know how important local information is to our listeners and we will continue to be a relevant and connected voice in the communities we serve.” 

Kapila (Kaps) Ratnayake was the new Chief Engineer at Corus Radio Cornwall. He had been with Rogers Radio Calgary.

Scott Armstrong, former General Manager at Corus Radio Cornwall, became the new GM at Rogers-owned 92 CITI-FM/102.3 Clear FM Winnipeg beginning October 6. 

A fire in October almost scorched the studios of Rock 101.9/Variety 104. But aside from a catwalk having to be opened between buildings, some minor water damage and the smell of smoke, the two stations sustained no damages. In 2006, Corus Cornwall moved to 709 Cotton Mill Street, a 150-year old historic building at the waterfront that used to be a cotton mill.

John Bolton was back at Corus Cornwall as the new host of the Rock 101.9 morning show. Jamie Carr moved to the mid-day position. Bolton had been the morning host at the now defunct AM 1220 Cornwall.


Corus Radio Cornwall brought back the heritage of CJSS-AM with Greatest Hits from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, changing CJSS-FM from Active Rock as “Rock 101.9” to Oldies-Classic Hits, as “CJSS-FM”. Veteran broadcaster and morning show host John Bolton, local comedian and mid-day host, Jamie Carr and afternoon host Matt Weaver remained with the new format.

Meghan “Kya” Kyer became interactive account manager for Variety 104, Rock 101.9 and TheCornwallDaily.com. She was succeeded as promotions director by Holly Wilson. 

Mai Habib became anchor/reporter at Corus Radio Cornwall. Habib had been Chase Producer with CTV News Channel.


Rob Seguin left CJSS as program and promotion director to become program director at CKWF and CKRU in Peterborough. Bill Kingston became news director at Corus Cornwall. He had been assistant news director and succeeded Lorne Wiebe who moved away from the industry. Darryl Adams, in addition to his role as Variety 104 Program Director, assumed those same duties with sister station 101.9 CJSS-FM. 

On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJSS-FM until August 31, 2013.

On June 18, Pat Baranowski officially announced her plans of retirement after over 23 years of service as receptionist with Corus Radio Cornwall. Pat’s last day was August 24 and she was succeeded by Rhonda Simpson.

As of June 25, Meghan “Kya” Kyer, Interactive Account Manager at Corus Radio Cornwall, added that responsibility at CHEX-TV, 100.5 Kruz-FM and The Wolf 101.5 FM Peterborough. She relocated to Peterborough.

Angie Baker, the General Sales Manager at Corus Cornwall, stepped back from that managerial role. Baker remained as an Account Executive.


The new general sales manager at Corus Cornwall was Peter Mayhew, the former head fundraiser at Gilda’s Club for Ontario East. Before that, he’d been a sales manager in the Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Halifax markets.


Mark Dickie was appointed General Manager of Corus radio stations 106.9 The Bear/boom 99.7 Ottawa and CJSS-FM/Variety 104 Cornwall. He had been GM/GSM of 92.5 The Beat Montreal.

Corus Radio Cornwall launched Top 40 104.5 Fresh FM (CFLG-FM) and Greatest Hits boom 101.9 (CJSS-FM). The new brands succeed Variety 104 and CJSS 101.9.

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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