CHML-AM , Global News Radio 900 CHML, Hamilton
|Corus Entertainment Inc.
|WIC Radio Ltd. (Western Broadcasting)
|Westcom Radio Group Ltd. (Western Broadcasting)
|Radio ML Ltd. (Western Broadcasting)
|Radio ML Ltd. (Western Broadcasting)
|Maple Leaf Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (Ken Soble)
|Maple Leaf Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (Ken Soble)
|Maple Leaf Radio Co. Ltd.
|Maple Leaf Radio Co. Ltd.
|Maple Leaf Radio Co. Ltd.
|Maple Leaf Radio Company
|Maple Leaf Radio Company
Censorship by Hamilton’s first radio station – CKOC – sparked the formation of CHML. It was ten years after the passage of the Ontario Temperance Act. The province was now debating whether to make the sale of liquor legal again. The possible repeal of the law set off great public debate, even from church pulpits. Herbert Haslam Slack, owner of CKOC, wanted to keep his station out of the debate. He imposed a policy that there was to be no mention of the issue over his station. Rev. James Edward Hughson made the prohibition debate the backbone of one of his Sunday morning sermons. Slack was listening to the church broadcast over CKOC. He called the operator on duty and ordered the plug be pulled immediately on the broadcast.
This censorship outraged George Lees and other members of the First United Church congregation. On April 28, 1927, Lees and the elders of the church, formed a company so they could set up their own radio station. The company was called Maple Leaf Radio Co. Ltd. and the call letters for the radio station were CFML. Studios and offices were set up at 222 King Street East (at Wellington). CFML began operations on a frequency of 880 kHz with a power of 50 watts, and had to share time with CKOC and CHCS. Before the end of the year, CFML had become CHML with the call letters standing for Canada, Hamilton & Maple Leaf.
A headline from the September 16 edition of the Hamilton Herald read: “Ex-Mayor George Lees, ex-president of the Hamilton Prohibition Union, has secured a licence from the Dominion Radio Bureau at Ottawa to operate a broadcasting station. It is to be known as Station CHML.”
In its early years, the station broadcast church services, pro-temperance speeches, bulletins from the police department, YMCA meetings, special programs for patients at the Mountain Sanatorium, the odd hockey game, and music. There was also free air time for fund-raising campaigns by worthy groups. Sixty per cent of the programming was commercial-free.
CKOC and CHCS moved to 1120 kHz, leaving CHML alone on 880 kHz.
Jim Hunter, who would go on to big things at CFRB in Toronto, was hired by CHML. He had been with WBBM in Chicago.
CHML moved its studios to the basement of the new Pigott building on James Street South.
The frequency was changed to 1010 kHz in September. Power remained 50 watts.
CHML was purchased by Senator A. C. Hardy of Brockville, Ontario.
Power increased to 100 watts.
Budd Lynch started his radio career at CHML.
Ken Soble joined CHML as manager.
CHML and Buffalo’s WBEN operated too close for comfort on the dial. Around “Amos ‘n’ Andy” time, CHML would receive complaints because avid fans of the program were getting CHML’s signal over top of WBEN’s. These listeners used to listen to the program over WBEN. The problem was eventually solved by a sponsor. At Amos ‘n’ Andy broadcast time, this announcement would air over CHML: Through the courtesy of the Norwood Lumber Co., station CHML now leaves the air for 15 minutes to enable you to hear this evening’s episode of Amos ‘n’ Andy without interruption.
Clarence Snelgrove was chief engineer. Announcer Robert Edmonds left for CBC Toronto.
A number of newspapers printed condemnatory editorials, articles and interviews about radio after the CBS Mercury Theatre “War of the Worlds” broadcast. CHML’s Ken Soble responded with four newscasts that featured statements of praise for radio by Hamilton’s mayor and other public officials.
Announcer Stephen Dale left CHML for CBC Toronto. Julian Garson, announcer at CHML joined the CKGB Timmins announce staff.
Ken Soble discovered Norm Marshall and hired him away from CKTB in St. Catharines where he had been an on-air singer. Chief studio operator John Hawken left CHML to become chief engineer at the new CFOS in Owen Sound. Stewart Miller left CHML to join the announce staff at CKCL Toronto. Hal Lawrence left CHML to be a news editor at CKGB Timmins. Arnold Stinson, formerly with CHML, was now on the announcing staff at CKLW Windsor.
CHML became a subscriber of the British United Press news service.
Under the Havana Treaty, CHML was to move from 1010 to 1310 kHz (Class IV) with 100 watts of power. The treaty was revised and the station would instead operate on 900 kHz (Class II) with power of 1,000 watts – directional. The change came on February 5 – permission to use 1,000 watts instead of 100 watts. A new RCA transmitter was ordered and a new transmitter site of 30 acres was purchased near Hamilton, just off the Queen Elizabeth highway. A new transmitter house would be built and a directional antenna would be used. CHML would also order new speech input equipment. About $50,000 would be spent on the upgrades. Frequency shifts across North America took place on March 29. At that time, CHML moved from 1010 to 900 kHz.
Ken Soble’s Amateur Hour which first went on the air in 1936, returned to a network of Ontario and Quebec stations on February 8 (12:30 to 1:00 p.m.).
What was claimed to be the first program to be sponsored by a trade union in Canada – The Voice of Labour – was airing on CHML, Sundays from 4:45 to 5:00 p.m. It was sponsored by The Steel Workers Organizing Committee of Hamilton.
During the entire day on June 29, all of the radio duties at CHML were carried out by men of the Canadian Active Army.
Announcers included: Vern Hill and George Bouck. Eddie Blaney was an operator. Earl Allen was farm director. Norm Marshall offered sports scores.
CHML was airing a lot of sports programming…OHA Hockey, Pony League Baseball, World’s Championship Boxing, World Series Baseball, reconstructed NHL Hockey, Buck Dryden’s decription of races direct from Dufferin and Long Branch, and many other features.
In January, Ken Soble became president of Maple Leaf Broadcasting, after purchasing the company from Senator Hardy. In order to buy the station, Soble mortgaged everything he could to come up with the money. He had joined CHML in 1936 as manager. He was only 25 at the time. Soble was already well known in the radio business. In 1931 he created the first coast to coast amateur show – The Ken Soble Amateur Hour.
The Department of Transport confirmed that Kenneth D. Soble had purchased CHML. At age 32, it was said he was Canada’s youngest radio station owner. President of Metropolitan Broadcasting Service Ltd. of Toronto, his radio experience dated back to 1928, serving as announcer-operator-salesman. Soble purchased CHML from Senator A.C. Hardy for a reported $200,000.00. CHML began operations nearly 20 years earlier with the formation of the Maple Leaf Radio Co. Ltd., under the presidency of George H. Lees. In the early going, CHML shared its frequency with CKOC and was sold to Senator Hardy in 1936.
Reg Beattie joined CHML as commercial manager. He left All Canada Radio Facilities effective April 1.
Norm Marshall was a sportscaster. Stu Kenny and Doris Wright were also at CHML.
As of May 25, CHML began airing a newscast at 7:45 a.m. six days a week originating in the Toronto wire room of Press News Ltd. The special newscast supplemented the station’s regular on the hour schedule was was delivered by Lorne Green, former chief announcer at CBL. Also as of this date, CHML began leasing 24 hours a day, the facilities of Press News. CHML was now operating with a continuous schedule and would not sign off the air until Victory.
Logan Stewart was appointed CHML’s news editor.
CHML began airing “singing” station breaks instead of the standard spoken announcements.
Beginning September 18, Toronto Evening Telegram reporter Jim Hunter, began delivering a daily noon newscast on CHML. Lorne Green had been airing a 7:45 a.m. newscast with the ame sponsor on the station since May.
Logan Stewart was news editor. Claude Cain, who left CHML some four years ago for British United Press, was now back at the station. He would be station director.
CBC Dominion Supplementary Stations: CKCV, CKTB, CHML, CKLW, CKPC, CKCR, CKNX, CJCS, CFOS.
Ken Ardill joined CHML’s announce staff from CKSO in Sudbury. Gordon Thompson took over CHML’s morning show. He had worked in the past at CKCK Regina.
CHML announced it would soon broadcast city council meetings.
Howie (Gordon) Thompson left CHML’s morning show late in the year. He returned to Regina.
Don Ramsay joined CHML from CJIC in Sault Ste. Marie and Richard Campbell came to the station from the air force. Both were announcers. Logan Stewart was special events director. Ted Murphy, formerly with CKEY and CKOC, joined the CHML announce staff. Bill McKenzie joined CHML’s control room staff. At some point Norman Marshall left CHML for CKLW Windsor and was now at CJAD in Montreal.
With CHML’s power increase to 5,000 watts day and night coming, and the potential increase in audience size, the station was seeking to increase its staff number from 39 to around 50.
CHML increased power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts (directional at night). The transmitter was in Vinemount Township. The station was on the air daily, from 5:55 a.m. to 1:05 a.m.
Daryl Wells joined the CHML staff. Tod Graham left CHML for CJAD Montreal’s writing staff. Ed Blaney was on CHML’s engineering staff.
CHML’s power increased to 5,000 watts, day and night. In August, RCA engineers were conducting field strength measurements on the new power output. The measurements would conclusively prove CHML’s coverage at the new power. To tie in with this, the station decided to hold a “coverage” contest. From the information supplied by RCA, Elliott-Haynes would tabulate the population and retail sales within the primary coverage area (both directional and non-directional). The contestant whose estimate most closely matched the Elliott-Haynes findings would win a new car or the cash equivalent.
CHML was making plans to carry all home games of the Hamilton Tigers of the Inter-provincial Rugby Football Union, as well as all away games, except for those played in Toronto’s Varsity stadium. CHML sports editor Vic Copps would handle the play-by-play accounts, aided by guest commentator Tommy Finch, Hamilton football coach.
Ken Soble’s “Amateur Hour” returned to the air after a lapse of three years. The program had been on the air for seven years, starting on the regional networks in 1935. The program was now running on Soble’s CHML with hopes it would overflow to an Ontario network, with an eventual outgoing, coast to coast on the Dominion network.
Wally Ford hosted “Farm Family Hour” on CHML.
Brigadier W.D. Whitaker D.S.O. was appointed commercial manager at CHML.
Paul Hanover was an announcer at CHML. Vern Hill left CHML after four and a half years, to join the announce staff at CHUM in Toronto. W.L. (Len) Smith resigned as Toronto national sales rep for CHML to move to KGIL radio in California. Before joining CHML, Smith worked at CKEY for two and a half years.
CHML was issued an FM licence.
CHML applied to increase power to 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night, both directional. In December, the application was recommended for denial, and was opposed by CKNX Wingham and CHLT Sherbrooke.
On December 7, Ken Soble’s amateur show aired on CJAD Montreal, as well as on stations in Ottawa and Toronto.
After two years of broadcasting city council meetings on a delayed basis, one alderman was ready to recommend to council that the broadcasts come to an end. Ken Soble charged that prohibition of the broadcasts constituted an infringement of free speech. In the end, the alderman lost and the broadcasts were expected to continue.
CHML-FM signed on the air.
Denny Whitaker was sales manager. Wally Ford was farm director.
Ken Soble announced that construction work would soon begin on CHML’s Radio Centre in Hamilton. The two storey building, with an overall floor plan of 10,000 feet, would contain offices and facilities for all departments and provisions were being made for the addition of a large auditorium and television studio.
The first Canadian applications for television stations were filed with the CBC and were scheduled to be heard at hearings in May. The applicants were: Jack Kent Cooke (CKEY), Kenneth D. Soble (CHML) and Al Leary (formerly with CKCL Toronto and one of the original owners of CHUM). At its May meeting, the CBC board deferred until October, the TV applications by CKEY and Al Leary. The board said Toronto only had three TV channels and felt one of them should be held for the National System. The application by Ken Soble was denied as only one channel was available at Hamilton and again, the board felt that channel should be held for the National System.
Ken Soble erected a new building for studios and offices at 848 Main Street. When the new state of the art facility went into operation, Soble described it as the most modern in North America.
CHML employee Bob Hendry was electrocuted at the station’s transmitter building. E.S. Stock, audience promotion director was moved up to the post of assistant manager. He had been with the station for five years. D.W. Whitaker was sales manager. Jane Gray was heard on CHML. Tom Darling was manager and Denny Whitaker was commercial manager.
Norm Marshall handled the Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL) broadcasts for CHML.
Rus Eastcott was program director.
CHML was on the air 21 hours a day.
CHML, CKOC and CJSH-FM (Hamilton Spectator) participated in the formation of Niagara Television Ltd. The company filed an application for the operation of a TV station at Hamilton, operating on channel 13. CHML President Ken Soble, appeared at the CBC board meeting and said that he would manage the television station if it were approved. The TV application was approved.
Niagara Television Ltd., a consortium consisting of Maple Leaf Broadcasting Ltd. (CHML), Wentworth Broadcasting Ltd. (CKOC) and Southam Press (Hamilton Spectator) opened CHCH-TV channel 11. Ken Soble was the first manager of the new television station. Daryl Wells left for CHCH-TV. Norm Marshall was in the news department. CHML became one of the first – if not the first – to offer open-line programming in Canada.
Gordie Tapp, Paul Hanover, Sue Delorme, Staff Habbefield, Vic Copps, Roy Milne, George Goodrow…were on-air at CHML. Rod Dent was in the news department. Agnes Anderson was production manager at CHML. Denny Whitaker was commercial manager.
CHML 900 operated with a power of 5,000 watts full-time using a single directional pattern. It was a CBC Dominion affiliate. Ownership of Maple Leaf Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: K. D. Soble 93.4%, Mrs. Frances Soble 3.3% and Miss. Thalia Davis 3.3%.
Kenneth D. Soble was president of the company. Tom Darling (photo: left) was CHML’s manager. Don Johnston was news director. Norm Marshall was sports director. Bill Hall was promotions manager. Agnes Anderson was program director. Announcers included Bud Hall and Bill McVean.
CHML started flying a traffic chopper.
Bud Hall was heard on CHML. He started his career at CKSF Cornwall, moved on to CKGB Timmins, CFPL London, CKEY Toronto, CKOY and CFRA Ottawa, and CFCF Montreal. Tony Luciani was chief librarian.
CHML-FM left the air.
Fred Napoli and Tony Parsons joined CHML from Guelph’s CJOY. Fred joined in the middle of the year.
The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks of the CBC were consolidated in to a single network. Because of this and the fact that Toronto’s CBL 740 could be heard in Hamilton with no problem, CHML was no longer required to be a network affiliate. CHML installed weather radar.
Fred Napoli left CHML for Toronto’s CKFM (CFRB-FM) . When he joined the station, he became the overnight weekend Nightcap host and later became the full-time Nightcap host when George Morrison left. Also at CHML during the time Fred Napoli was there (1961-63): Gordie Tapp, Paul Hanover, Baden Langdon, Lloyd Dafoe, Joe Mariash, Paul Reid, Joe Van Poppel, Alex Reynolds, Perc Allan, and Jane Gray. Ed Preston was music librarian. Bill Hall was program manager. CHML used a snowmobile to cover a major snowstorm.
CHML-FM returned to the air.
Kenneth D. Soble was President of Maple Leaf Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Ted Darling was Vice President and General Manager of CHML while William E. Hall was Station Manager. Paul Hanover was morning man. Don Johnston was news director. Norm Marshall was sports director. Ed Victor was chief engineer.
Kenneth David Soble passed away on December 16.
Following the death of Mr. Soble, the company was transferred to the executors of his estate. CHML-FM became CKDS-FM in honour of Kenneth D. Soble. Dick Drew left CHML to become sales manager at CHAM.
Bill Anderson joined CHML from CFOX in Montreal. Other announcers included Paul Hanover (mornings), Lee Dunbar (middays) and Phil Hitchcock. Bob Hooper was program director. W.E. (Bill) Hall was named vice president and general manager. He had been station manager. Some Toronto stations claimed to be the first with airborne traffic reports but CHML says it was the first station in Canada to inaugurate regular broadcasts of this nature. The first venture was broadcasting from a fixed-wing aircraft in the summer of 1954, when licensed pilot Bill McVean reported road conditions for summer programs. The station’s regular helicopter reports started in the summer of 1957 (and continues today) between May and September – every year. Over the years, CHML personalities Perc Allen, Stu Daly, Bill Sturrop and others had flown in just about every type of helicopter. CHML began broadcasting city council meetings around 1945 and continued to do so today. In 1954, the station orginated an open line program and that also continues today. R.J. (Dick) Drew was appointed CHML/CKDS general sales manager. He first joined CHML in 1961 as a sales rep. Drew most recently served as general sales manager of another Hamilton station. His appointment was effective December 2.
Bill Anderson left for CJCB Sydney, N.S. Robert C. Sheppard was appointed promotion-publicity-merchandising manager. He joined the CHML promotion department in 1965 and was named traffic manager in 1967. His appointment was effective June 1. CHML subscribed to the Standard Broadcast News service. SBN received direct feeds from NBC New York by broadband. Don Johnston was news director.
Frank MacKay was appointed promotion-merchandising manager for CHML-CKDS.
Standard Broadcasting of Toronto (CFRB) announced plans to acquire CHML/CKDS subject to CRTC approval. If the sale was approved, Tom Darling, president, would stay on as CEO, and there would be no changes made to the stations. On December 17, CHML Radio Ltd. (Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.) had its application to purchase CHML and CKDS from Maple Leaf Broadcasting Co. Ltd. turned down. CHML already had the rights to broadcast Hamilton Tiger Cat games for 1970 when it was announced that there was an agreement with the team for the station to air the games for 1971 and 1972 as well. CHML’s association with CHCH-TV ended when the television station was purchased by Selkirk Communications. Bob Bratina joined CHML from CKOC.
On July 8, Radio ML Ltd. was granted permission to acquire CHML and CKDS from Maple Leaf Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHML received authority to increase power from 5,000 watts to 50,000 watts and to move the antenna site to a location 12 miles northwest of Hamilton. Ken Packham joined CHML from CHAM, to co-ordinate the CB Base 900 traffic info system to work with the chopper reports.
Bob Bratina left for CKKW Kitchener. Ken Packham left in the fall for CJJD. Paul Hanover was morning man. Don Luzi was promoted from general sales manager to vice president and general manager.
Both CHML and CKOC worked all summer to hopefully have their 50,000 watt upgrades operational for the autumn. As of October 1, CHML had their new site on the air for test purposes, and array tuning was under way. A break was taken from the work during BBM fall ratings. CKOC had received its new 50 kw Continental transmitter and installation was almost complete. All array work was done and testing and tuning was expected to commence shortly. CHML began broadcasting with 50,000 watts (different day and night directional patterns) from a new transmitter site at Westover, using eight 275 foot towers. The official power increase took place in early 1979. George Stanley Adams died. He was one of founders of CHML and was the station’s first manager when it opened in 1927. Adams left CHML in 1937. Tom Cherington was heard on CHML.
On October 22, the CRTC turned down an application that would have seen the transfer of effective control of Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd., owner of Radio ML Ltd., thru the transfer of 55.8% of the common shares of WBC from companies controlled individually or jointly by F. A. Griffiths, D. S. Owen and J. R. Peters – North Continent Communications Ltd. (26.3%), Doncaster Investments Ltd. (19.5%), Atlin Investments Ltd. (1.9%) and Peters Management Ltd. (0.3%) to J. Raymond Peters, on behalf of a company to be incorporated; and the entry into a voting trust agreement by the proposed shareholders of the company to be incorporated. This deal was tied in with a similar proposed transfer of Premier Cablevision Ltd. of which WBC held 26.1%. Paul Hanover was morning man and R.O. Horning, Jr. Handled afternoons. The news department included Bob Hooper, Tom Cherington (also did a talk show), Ed Wilmott, Al Craig (sports), and Phil Hitchcock (traffic).
“Lonesome John” Holmes returned to CHML to take over the station’s talk show from Tom Cherington. Ed Victor retired as chief engineer of CHML and CKDS. He was replaced by Bob Burger. Lloyd Dafoe retired from CHML’s news department after 33 years of service. Former CHML music director Tony Luciani wins a court case against the station. Luciani sued the station for wrongful dismissal after they replaced his position with a computer and he felt the five months’ salary he had received was not satisfactory enough. The Court ruled that Luciani, who now was working for CKKW and CFCA-FM in Kitchener, was owed an additional $16,353 in salary and benefits by CHML. On June 21, ML Radio Ltd. was given permission to acquire CHML and CKDS from Radio ML Ltd. There was no change in ownership. These companies were wholly owned by WIC Western International Communications Ltd. which was controlled by Frank A. Griffiths thru his ownership of Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Announcers included John Hardy, Roy Green and Sandy Bishop. Hal Gibson did news and Ed Hulcurra handled entertainment.
In February, CHML started operating in stereo, using the Motorola C-Quam system. On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CHML, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League. After six years on CHAM, Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL) football returned to CHML. Perce Allen replaced Norm Marshall on play-by-play and John Milcahaluk took over from Bobby Dawson as analyst. Tedd Colbear joined CHML news from CKTB in St. Catharines. CHML / CKDS announced plans for new studio facilities in the west end of the city. Completion was slated for September of 1985. Employees participated in the ground-breaking in September of 1984.
Warren Beck left CHML after 20 years. John Burns took over as news director.
CHML/CKDS president Don Luzzi appointed Ted Townsend as chief engineer. Townsend had been part of the engineering department since joining the company in 1969. At this point in time, he was coordinating the design and construction of the studios and equipment of the new CHML/CKDS radio centre scheduled to open in October. ML Radio Ltd. and Western’s other radio properties were merged into Westcom Radio Group Ltd.
CHML began broadcasting from new studios at 875 Main Street West on June 23 at 7:45 a.m., coinciding with the gathering of broadcasters in Hamilton for the 1986 CCBA convention. The new facility was a commercial complex, located opposite Westdale Secondary School. It replaced another local landmark, Paddy Greene’s pub. CHML and CKDS have the entire second floor of the building – 18,000 square feet. This includes a well-equipped lunchroom and exercise room for staff. Restaurants, stores and other services are located on the main floor. The old building was sold to the Canadian Bible Society, and the ‘Dial 900′ sign from the outside of that building was now in the visitor’s lounge of the new facility. New studio to transmitter link facilities required expansion of the AM STL to a two hop system, also higher antennas at both the AM tower site and the CHCH-TV tower which housed the FM antenna and AM STL relay. New McCurdy boards were used in the studios. Ted Townsend was director of engineering.
CHML morning man Paul Hanover (the ole Mayor of the Morning) announced that after 41 years at ML, he would be returning to the air at CKOC’s newly licensed FM station (CKLH). Other on-air names at CHML: Don Murray, Bill Ochterloney, John Hardy, Lee Dunbar, Perc Allen, and Bill McNicholl. Mary Devorski joined CHML as a news anchor.
John Burns resigned as CHML/CKDS-FM news director to return to reporting. John Hardy took over as news director. John McCann left CHML/CKDS where he had been general sales manager. He was replaced by Ed Duarte from CHAM.
Sportscaster Perc Allen retired from CHML. Warren Beck was news director. Gardening expert Bill Hartnoll passed away at 77. He was most recently with CKOC/CKLH-FM but had also done features for CHML and CHFI-FM.
On August 10, an application by Hometown Radio Inc. to purchase CHML and CKDS-FM from Westcom Radio Group Ltd. was denied. Hometown’s prospective shareholders included the Dofasco Employees Savings and Profit Sharing Fund and the Dofasco Supplementary Retirement Income Plan, each with 12.5% of the voting shares. The remaining 75% was to be held indirectly by Don Luzzi, a Hamilton native with a lengthy career in broadcasting. Mr. Luzzi joined the staff of CHML and CKDS in 1976 and had served as General Manager since 1981. Vic Copps passed away October 15 at age 69. CHML general manager Tom Darling brought Copps to the station in the mid-1940’s. Over almost 20 years with the station, Copps worked as a sportscaster and salesman. He left CHML and entered politics in 1960, and went on to become the city’s longest serving mayor – from 1962-1976. John Keogh was program director. Bob Hooper was now hosting “Midday”, a magazine and music program (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Carla Segota was hosting “The Weekend’s Entertainment” on saturdays and Sundays. CHML was again awarded radio rights to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL).
Danny Kingsbury was named program director and Darren Waslyk, assistant program director and marketing director, for CHML and CKDS-FM. On the air: Bob Bratina (mornings), John Hardy (mid-days), Dave Taylor (mid-days), Bill Kelly (afternoons), Kent Chambers / Bob Wallace / Ted Michaels (evenings and overnights). Phil Hitchcock was still at CHML. News staff: Darryl Hartwick, Kevin Bechard, Ted Colbear, Dorie Cowling, Al Craig (sports), Anne Riches (traffic) and Tod Lewis (traffic). Notes: Roy Green replaced Dave Taylor. Bob Wallace joined the air staff.
CKDS-FM became CJXY-FM. Bob Bratina and Ted Michaels were hosting the morning show. Dave King was heard overnights. Mary Devorski, Bob Hooper, Gina Lorentz and Bill Sturrup were among those in the news department. Bob Wallace left CHML.
Bob Bratina and Ted Michaels hosted the morning show. John Hardy and Roy Green hosted back to back mid-day shows. Bill Kelly was on the air in the afternoons. Bill Osbourne hosted the evening show. Ron Funnell was on-air overnights. News names: Darryl Hartwick, Dorie Cowling, Bob Hooper, Mary Devorski, Gina Lorentz, Bill Sturrup, Al Craig (sports). Traffic: Ted Michaels, Anne Riches, Lee Dunbar. Other on-air names: Phil Hitchcock, Dave King.
CHML and CHCH-TV became family again when Westcom TV Group Ltd. (Western Broadcasting) took ownership of the television station.
Frank Griffiths, founder of Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (owner of Westcom Radio Group), passed away in April.
Lisa Brandt joined Bob Bratina on the morning show. Bratina then left and was replaced by John Hardy. Brandt remained as co-host.
Lisa Brandt took over the noon to 2:00 p.m. show.
Westcom Radio Group Ltd. became WIC Radio Ltd. Ted Michaels left CHML. Mary Divorski left CHML news for CKGL in Kitchener. Emily Griffiths, president of Western Broadcasting and controlling shareholder of WIC, retired on the third anniversary of her husband Frank’s death. She said she had always intended to leave at age 75. Mrs. Griffiths remained with the company as chairman emeritus. She was succeeded on the board of directors by Edmondo Giacomelli.
News anchor Mary Devorski left the station for CKGL Kitchener.
The Griffiths family holdings in WIC Western International Communications Ltd. were sold, subject to CRTC approval, to Shaw Communications Inc. and CanWest Global Communications Corp. CHML’s News-Talk format was running just over 15 hours of news-talk daily. The station also had play by play for the Tiger Cats (CFL) and Maple Leafs (NHL). The mid-day program was altered a bit to become a magazine type show. Some music was added to compliment the interview segments. Lisa Brandt had hosted the mid-day show and left following the changes…in October. Bill Kelly also left CHML and was replaced by the returning Bob Bratina.
Following months of negotiation, agreements were filed with the CRTC on the split of WIC assets between CanWest Global, Corus Radio Company (formerly Shaw Radio), and Shaw Communications. Shaw Radio had become Corus Entertainment Corp. on September 1. On-air: John Hardy & Dorie Cowling (5-9), Roy Green (9-noon), Les Pelango (noon-3), Bob Bratina (3-6), Canada Business Report (6-7), Dr. Laura (7-9), Phil Hitchcock (9-midnight), Dr. Gabe Mirkin (midnight-1), Art Bell (1-3), Sterling Faux (3-5). Lee Dunbar and Bill Osborne hosted weekend shows. Bob Hooper, Al Craig and Paul Tipple were among those in the news department. John Hardy left in September. Bob Bratina and Shiona Thompson took over the morning show.
Les Palango left the business in May. He was replaced by Rick Malo (formerly of CKPC Brantford, who was also a part-timer at CHML). Program director Darryl Hartwick announced May 10 that he would leave CHML on June 2. He was PD for 20 years. Following an April hearing in Vancouver, in July, the CRTC announced the approval of the purchase of WIC Radio by Corus Radio Company, which included CHML Hamilton. CanWest took ownership of CHCH-TV. CHML and CJXY were now co-owned with CING-FM in nearby Burlington. In November, 21 people lost their jobs at Corus Radio in Hamilton. CHML mid-day announcer Rick Malo was among those let go.
In February, Corus Radio created a six station Ontario talk network consisting of CHML 900 Hamilton, CFPL 980 London, CKDO 1350 Oshawa, CKRU 980 Peterborough, CFFX 960 Kingston and CJOY 1460 Guelph. Talk shows from CHML and CFPL were simulcast on the network during certain day parts, seven days a week. The network began on CHML and CFPL, February 12 with the other stations joining the network later in the month. CHML’s schedule: 0530 – Bob Bratina & Shiona Thompson, 0900 – Roy Green (simulcast on CFPL), 1200 – Ontario Today, 1230 – Wayne MacLean (from CFPL), 0400 – Brian Wood & Mary Ellen Benninger, 0700 – Dr. Laura, 0900 – Dr. Gabe Mirkin, 1100 – Ontario Business Report, 1130 – Infomercials, 1200 – Art Bell. Weekends: Lee Dunbar, Shirley Solomon. News: Bob Spink, Paul Tipple, Jeff Storey, Bill Sturrup, Carolyn Tangney, Ken Mann, Rick Zamperin, Ted Colbear, Yvonne Van DeWeile, Aiko Iwashita, Bob Hooper. Notes: Mary Ellen Beninger joined to co-host afternoons in February. She had been with CING-FM. Art Bell returned to the air on February 5 after some time away. September program changes: 0500 – Bob Bratina and Shiona Thompson, 0900 – Roy Green, 1200 – Ontario Today, 0100 – Wayne McLean, 0400 – Mary Ellen Benninger, 0700 – Blue Jays / Dr. Laura / Dr. Gabe Mirkin, 1200 – Infomercials, 0100 – Art Bell. Notes: In September, Larry Silver replaced Shirley on weekends (network). Brian Wood joined for fill-in work.
Former CHML personality Daryl Wells (The Voice of Racing – aka Daryl Frederick Wille) died December 12. He was 81. Bill Sturrup retired. The Corus Ontario talk network disbanded some time ago, but the mini network of CHML and CFPL continued…until August 11, when CFPL went back to local programming during the mid-days. CFPL had carried the Roy Green and Larry Silver shows from CHML.
Former and long-time CHML sportscaster Norm Marshall died on November 5. He was 89. While working at CHML, Marshall joined CHCH-TV the year the station signed on and had been associated with it for over 30 years. Marshall had also done play-by-play for Tiger Cat games on both CHML and then CHCH.
Hamilton’s news talk leader AM900 CHML announced its new on-air lineup in September. With the retirement of Bob Bratina, the programming changes would now focus on providing comprehensive and timely news coverage around the clock by offering continuous information packages featuring news, weather, traffic and sports. The morning show moved to a news wheel and would be led by senior news anchor Paul Tipple who would be joined by co-news anchor Shiona Thompson. Rounding out the morning team was sports director Rick Zamperin and Jay McQueen as weather specialist. Traffic and weather updates would be broadcast every 10 minutes on the 9’s. The Scott Thompson Show moved to middays in the 12 to 3 p.m. time slot followed by the afternoon drive led by news anchor Ted Michaels from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sports announcer Matt Holmes would join Michaels in the afternoons. The nationally syndicated program, Charles Adler, moved into the evening time slot from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by The Jim Rome Show from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Jeff Storey was program director. 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 – Chris Pandoff, VP/GM, Corus Radio Toronto and Hamilton (was VP/GM for Corus Radio Toronto only but now added Hamilton duties held by Suzanne Carpenter). The late Norm Marshall received posthumous honours at the Sports Media Canada Achievement Awards in October. Marshall was the voice of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and also worked as a sports Anchor on CHML and CHCH-TV. Marshall and Larry O’Brien served as commentators on the first TV telecast of the Grey Cup in 1952 where the Toronto Argonauts defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 22-11 at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. Marshall died in November of 2008 at the age of 89. Ted Townsend, the Director of Engineering at Corus Radio Hamilton, retired. Townsend began with CHML almost 40 years ago and had been with it and the acquired stations throughout his career. Chris Pandoff became Executive Vice President and President of Corus Radio effective December 1, responsible for the radio stations and the division’s interactive arm. He succeeded Hal Blackadar, the interim President of Corus Radio, who announced his retirement earlier this year after four decades in broadcasting. Pandoff was most recently Vice President/General Manager of Corus Radio Toronto and Hamilton. Bob Bratina, after 45 years at CHML, was now the Mayor-elect of Hamilton. Bratina had resigned from the station in September when he announced his candidacy. He’d had council experience as an alderman.
Dave DeRocco left Corus Hamilton as Promotion Marketing Director on March 14. He took up the same post at Astral Radio Hamilton. Suzanne Carpenter, vice president and general manager of Corus Radio Toronto also become responsible for Corus Radio Hamilton as of mid-August. Lars Wunsche, director of sales for Corus Radio Toronto, added the Corus Hamilton cluster to his sales responsibilities. Hamilton GSM Carolyn Thorn would report to Wunsche. Carolyn Thorn, general sales manager at Corus Radio Hamilton, was no longer with the cluster.
Michael Cassar was the new general sales manager for Corus Entertainment Hamilton, moving to radio from outside the industry. He’d been with Grand & Toy and Canon Canada as Sales Manager/Director. David Meikle, Retail Sales Supervisor/Manager of Interactive Sales at Corus Hamilton, was no longer with the cluster. He moved to CUE Digital Media in Toronto as the National Digital Account Manager.
Former CHML broadcaster Robert ‘Bob’ Walter Crouse passed away at age 63.
In January, CHML became available in HD via sister station CING 95.3. CING was already offering CING on HD-l and CFMJ 640 Toronto on HD-2. CHML was being offered on CING-FM-HD3.
Canadian entertainer Gordie Tapp passed away December 18 at age 84. He started in radio at CJOY Guelph and soon moved on to CHML where he hosted Main Street Jamboree. Tapp joined the CBC in the mid 1950’s to host the variety show, Country Hoedown, which ran until 1965. He was best known for his years on the U.S. television show, Hee Haw, which ran on CBS from 1969-1971 and then in syndication until it was cancelled in 1993.
In the fall, CHML was rebranded as Global News Radio 900 CHML.
In December, the rebranded Global News Radio network in Ontario (CFMJ, CHML and CFPL) added Alex Pierson to its schedule, weeknights from 7-10 p.m. Charles Adler would follow Pierson, starting in January (2018). He was already being heard on CJOB Winnipeg, CHED Edmonton, CHQR Calgary and CKNW Vancouver.
On January 22, Corus Radio launched a new overnight talk show, The Shift with Drex. The four-hour show aired on CKNW Vancouver, CHQR Calgary, CHED Edmonton, CJOB Winnipeg, CFMJ Toronto, CHML Hamilton, and CFPL London. The four hour show was based at CKNW.
Bob Hooper died at the age of 79 on October 17. He spent over 40 years at CHML, reading news, hosting talk shows, producing music shows and then became VP of the station.
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.