CHTZ-FM, 97.7 HTZ-FM, St. Catharines

Bell Media Inc.

CHTZ-FM201397.750,000Bell Media
CHTZ-FM200797.750,000Astral Media Inc
CHTZ-FM200297.750,000Standard Radio Inc.
CHTZ-FM199097.750,000Affinity Radio Group Inc.
CHTZ-FM198697.750,000Standard Radio Inc.
CJQR-FM198597.750,000Standard purchased by Slaight Communications
CJQR-FM198097.750,000Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.
CJQR-FM197997.750,000Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CKTB-FM197597.750,000Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CKTB-FM194997.7250Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CKTB-FM began broadcasting on February 1. It operated on a frequency of 97.7 MHz with 250 watts of power, and simulcast CKTB-AM. The stations were owned by the Burgoyne family who also owned the St Catharines Standard newspaper. Studios and transmitter were at Yates and St. Paul Streets. 


Mary Burgoyne became managing director of Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CKTB-AM-FM was affiliated with the CBC Dominion network. Ownership of Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: W. B. C. Burgoyne 54.30%, Mary C. Burgoyne 18.30%, Susette Anne Reid 15.00%, Harriet L. Burgoyne 0.10%, Dorothy Burgoyne 0.10%, Estate of H. B. Burgoyne 12.20%.


Ad: CKTB St. Catharines AM & FM – The Niagara District Station.


CKTB-FM had applied to increase its power. The application was denied because the BBG had recently approved an application for a new FM station in St. Catharines, to be owned by Robert E. Redmond.

CKTB-FM 97.7 offered two hours of programming each day that was separate from what was offered by CKTB-AM. 


Mary Burgoyne became president of the company.


On February 3, CKTB-FM was authorized to increase power from 250 watts to 50,000 watts and to move the transmitter from within the St. Catharines city limits (at the studios on Yates Street) to Cataract Road in Thorald.

The power increase took place later in the year. Antenna height increased to 392 feet or 119.5 metres. A non-directional pattern was used. The station now broadcast in stereo. Chief engineer for CKTB-AM and FM was Warren Parker.


April 30 – CKTB-FM became CJQR-FM with a country format.


Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd. received approval to merge with sister company St. Catharines Standard Ltd.

On October 14, Mary C. Burgoyne, Susette A. Reid and Dorothy F. Burgoyne agreed to sell Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CKTB-AM/CJQR-FM) to Standard Broadcasting’s CFRB Limited.


The sale of CKTB and CJQR to Standard Broadcasting was completed early in the year. Standard undertook to upgrade facilities, particularly for CKTB, production and news, and add a mobile stereo studio. News staff would be increased by three full-time, as well as freelance personnel. 


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CJQR-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.

Marlene Vanderveen-Tersigni left CJQR where she had hosted “Niagara Magazine”.

Mike Page was promoted from promotion director to program director at CJQR/CKTB. Heather Hall added promotions to her sales responsibilities. Cairine Coulis-Brown was promoted from copywriter to creative services director.


Slaight Communications (J. Allan Slaight) purchased Standard Broadcasting from Argus Corp. (Montague & Conrad Black).


On June 27, CJQR-FM with a country music format became CHTZ-FM with a contemporary format. HTZ-FM or Hits FM was hoping to capture 80% of Niagara’s 18-34 age group that had been tuning in to Buffalo and Toronto rock stations. Standard Broadcasting president Peter Shurman said the company ascertained two years ago that the country format on FM was futile and duplicative. Announcers included Tim McLoud, Dave Wilkie, and Don Jackson. Tim McLarty joined for AM drive. Eric Samuels was program director, joining from CFPL-FM in London. Paul Morris joined from CHUM-FM as music director.


Tim McLarty did morning drive until the fall. He was replaced by Jack Peets for three months, then Scruff took over. McLarty then moved to CILQ in Toronto. Other announcers included Captain Byrd and Darryl Henry. 

Former CHTZ/CKTB general manager Pat Kiely was now GM at CFDR/Rock 104 in Dartmouth.

The Byrd joined HTZ-FM from Q107 in Toronto.

Gene Stevens was named general manager of CHTZ/CKTB.


Kristy Knight replaced Marg Coffey who went into sales in May. Chris Lucas joined from CHML Hamilton. Jon “Gonzo” Mark joined from CKOM Saskatoon and replaced Byrd in July.


Mary Burgoyne, chairman of the board of the St. Catharines Standard and former president of CKTB and CHTZ, died at the age of 69. She served in World War II as a Red Cross ambulance driver. Burgoyne was elected director of Niagara District Broadcasting Co. Ltd. on her return to St. Catharines. She became managing director in 1951 and president in 1970. Burgoyne was president and publisher of the St. Catharines Standard Ltd., owner of the Standard, the Cobourg Star and the Port Hope Guide, from 1970 to 1977 and was active in the corporation as chairman until her death.

Ray Plourde was appointed production director for CHTZ and CKTB. 

Joe Cahill became sports director, joining from the Winnipeg market.


Jon Gonzo Mark left and was replaced by L.J. Vonn from CIDC in Orangeville.


Marla West replaced Chris Lukas in AM Drive, Lukas moved back to swing. Darryl Henry departed for CJFM Montreal, Jack Peets took over the mid-day shift full-time. Jon Gonzo Mark returned, replacing Norm Murray in swing. Kevin Kline did PM Drive for three months until Derrick Botten was hired from the London market.


Eric Samuels, Scruff Connors and Batty all departed for CFBR Edmonton on August 14. Randy Taylor arrived from CHOG Toronto for mornings. Chris Lukas left for the afternoon shift at CKLH Hamilton, Kevin Barteaux replaced her. Derrick Botten left Q107 Toronto.


L.J. Vonn departed for CJAY Calgary. Kevin Barteaux left and was replaced by Mike Tyler. 


On January 31, for administrative reasons, the CRTC renewed CHTZ’s licence to August 31, 1996, subject to the terms and conditions in effect under the existing licence.

Randy Taylor was program director and Kneale Mann was music director.

CHTZ was known as: 97.7 HTZ-FM is Southern Ontario’s Best Rock.


Standard Broadcasting sold CHTZ-FM to Affinity Radio Group, Inc. Affinity had earlier purchased CKTB-AM from Standard. 


Affinity Radio Group Inc., owner of CHTZ-FM and CKTB, purchased CHRE-FM in St. Catharines. 

Bruce Gilbert left HTZ-FM for Burlington’s CING-FM as assistant promotions director. Paul Morris returned to HTZ-FM as music director. Bruce Gilbert left for CING Burlington to be promotions director.


Telemedia Radio Group Inc. purchased CHTZ-FM, CHRE-FM and CKTB from Radio Group Inc. (Affinity).


Telemedia Radio VP Braden Doerr, most recently vice president of the Ontario regional group, assumed responsibility for the Southern Ontario cluster (London, Hamilton and St. Catharines). Rick Doughty, VP of Telemedia Northern Ontario (Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Pembroke and Orillia) would continue in that assignment but also added responsibilities as a member of the executive committee of the Ontario division, reporting to Claude Beaudoin, Telemedia executive VP for Ontario region.

In October, CHTZ-FM began transmitting from the CHRE-FM 105.7 tower.


On April 19, the purchase of several Telemedia radio and television stations by Standard Radio Inc. was approved. Standard in turn sold off some stations to other companies, but kept CKTB, CHRE-FM and CHTZ-FM St. Catharines.


On September 27, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions.  The purchase includedCHTZ-FM, CKTB-AM and CHRE-FM. 


It was announced that Kim Rossi would joined Iron Mike on the HTZ FM morning show in January of 2010. Kim had been morning co-host at CHOM-FM in Montreal. 

Sarah Cummings was appointed the program director for Astral’s new FM station in Ottawa. Sarah would head to Ottawa in November to take on this exciting new project. During November she would be in-between the markets – going from Ottawa back to St. Catharines to wind up her role as the PD of 105.7 EZ Rock and Newstalk 610 CKTB. In announcing Sarah’s departure, general manager Madelyn Hamilton announced Sarah’s replacement and the replacement for the recently departed HTZ-FM PD Bruce Gilbert. Moving into the HTZ-FM programming chair was Mike Tyler. Taking on the responsibility of programming of CHRE and CKTB was Gina Lorentz. Currently she is programming 101.7 CKNX-FM in Wingham. Both Mike and Gina would start in their new roles November 23rd. 

Michelle Armstrong was promoted to Retail Sales Manager at Astral Media Radio Niagara.


Southern Ontario’s Best Rock, 97.7 HTZ-FM announced the newest personality to join the White House of Rock team…bass guitarist from Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx. Beginning February 22, Sixx would be heard six nights a week, including weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight, hosting ‘Sixx Sense’ (teamed with Kerri Kasem, daughter of legendary radio host, Casey Kasem). It’s weekend companion, ‘The Side Show with Nikki Sixx’ would be heard Sunday nights from 6-8 p.m. beginning February 28.
Mike Tyler was program director.

In September Wendy Wolfe joined HTZ FM and EZ Rock to handle weekend announce shifts.


Southern Ontario’s Best Rock, 97.7 HTZ-FM announced the newest personalities to join the White House of Rock’s on-air team: Biggs & Barr (Chris Biggs and Jason Barr). The two took over the morning show (6-10 a.m.) on January 17. Iron Mike Bensson returned to his previous time slot, 3-7 p.m. With the move of Bensson back to afternoons, HTZ-FM brand director Mike Tyler stepped down to focus on programming. Kim Rossi left HTZ FM. Madelyn Hamilton was general manager of the Astral Radio Niagara Cluster.

97.7 HTZ-FM Program Director and afternoon drive announcer Mike Tyler left the station due to management re-structuring. Tyler joined the morning show team of Brian Salmon and Peter Morena at Giant FM 91.7 Welland. Before HTZ, Tyler was with Jack FM Toronto, Y108 Hamilton, The Hawk London and CFNY Toronto.

In May, a general manager shuffle took place. Bob Harris moved to St. Catharines to oversee News Talk 610 CKTB, 105.7 EZ Rock and 97.7 HTZ FM while Madeline Hamilton moved to Hamilton to take over 102.9 k-lite, Today’s Country 820 CHAM and Oldies 1150 CKOC.

On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHTZ-FM until March 31, 2012.

Southern Ontario’s heritage rock station, 97.7 HTZ-FM announced that Alan Cross would be joining the on-air team with The Secret History of Rock beginning November 5. The Secret History of Rock with Alan Cross, would offer the perfect combination of music and story-telling. Written and hosted by Cross, the 2-hour weekly feature focuses on the roots of the hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s. 


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHTZ-FM to August 31, 2012.

On July 10, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHTZ-FM to March 31, 2013.

Gina Lorentz, Brand Director at Astral Radio St. Catharines, was no longer with the cluster. She joined Astral at the end of 2009, moving from CKNX-FM Wingham where she had been Program Director/Morning Show co-host.

Bruce Gilbert, the Brand Director at 106.9 THE BEAR Ottawa, made a return to HTZ-FM St. Catharines January 3 as Brand Director. It was his third time at HTZ. In April, 1999, he moved from HTZ to CING-FM Burlington as Assistant Promotions Director. In July, 2004, he moved from Promotions Manager at EZ Rock Toronto to become Program Director at HTZ-FM and, in September, 2009, Gilbert moved from HTZ-FM to 106.9 THE BEAR Ottawa.


On February 6, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CHTZ-FM to August 31, 2013.

On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including CHTZ-FM.


Former program director Kerry Gray died at age 50 in March. He later worked at Dave FM Cambridge, JACK FM Toronto and Y108 Burlington.

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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