CKLH-FM, 102.9 K-Lite, Hamilton

Bell Media Inc.

CKLH-FM2013102.940,300Bell Media
CKLH-FM2007102.940,300Astral Media Inc
CKLH-FM2002102.940,300Standard Radio Inc.
CKLH-FM1999102.940,300Telemedia Radio Inc.
CKLH-FM1993102.940,300Radiocorp Inc.
CKLH-FM1986102.940,300Armadale Communications Ltd.


Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. applied for an FM licence (102.9 MHz with ERP of 47,500 watts and EHAAT of 498 feet omni-directional). The application was denied. A competing bid from CHAM-AM was also turned down. 


Armadale Communications Ltd. (CKOC) had a long struggle to obtain an FM license. A 1968 application was rejected when the Board of Broadcast Governors was replaced by a new governing body, the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, which called an embargo on FM licences. This was to allow for the development of an FM policy, and the embargo lasted for almost ten years.

Another complication was the fact the CBC wanted the scarce frequencies for its plan to vacate the AM band and serve its audience with FM stations only. The CRTC did not approve of the CBC’s proposal.


There were three applicants in 1978 for a new FM station at Hamilton: Armadale Communications Ltd. (CKOC), CJJD Radio Ltd. and Patrick J. Hurley. All three applications were denied on June 18, 1979. The CRTC ruled that all three failed to offer the quality and diversity of programming required to broaden the choice for listeners. Armadale proposed a country format but did not show how it would develop local musical talent. CJJD proposed to serve 18-34 year olds, which already has an abundance of signals catering its musical tastes. Hurley proposed a pop/rock format but relied on a level of syndication which the Commission considered unlikely to be viable. Hurley had been with Standard Broadcasting and left last fall to set up his own syndication company. All three applicants proposed to use a frequency of 102.9 MHz. Effective radiated power would have been 40,000 watts for Armadale, 8,500 watts for CJJD and 14,000 watts for Hurley.


On May 8, approval was given to Armadale to establish a new FM station at Hamilton, operating on 102.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 40,300 watts. Armadale proposed a Group 1 format (pop and soft rock) targeted to the 35 plus audience. Robert Redmond’s application for use of the frequency was denied. Burlington’s CING-FM lost its bid to move from 107.9 MHz to 102.9 MHz. Armadale would allocated substantial funding for local production and planned to syndicate performances of Hamilton’s Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Leslie "Les" Horton
Les Horton

CKLH-FM began broadcasting October 2, with the official sign-on October 7 at 6:00 a.m. The “LH” in the call letters were for Les Horton, who for more than 50 years supervised engineering operations at CKOC-AM. Studios and offices were co-located with CKOC at 73 Garfield Avenue South.

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 the new CKLH. Bob MacDonald ran CKOC-CKLH. Gary Summers was CKLH program director. 


Peter Jaycock was swing announcer.


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.


CKLH was now doing news updates on Maclean-Hunter Cable 14 at 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m.

R.K. (Bob) MacDonald was vice president and general manager of CKLH/CKOC. He was also vice president of radio development for Armadale Communications. Wolf von Raesfeld was now general manager. He had been sales manager at CFRB in Toronto.


Willard Cowan was appointed general sales manager for CKLH-CKOC and Christopher Randall was named marketing and promotions manager for both stations.


On April 28, CKLH and CKOC moved to new studios and offices at 883 Upper Wentworth Street, on Hamilton Mountain – near Lime Ridge Mall. Management, sales, traffic, accounting and the music computer were on the ground floor. Studios, the newsroom, copy, and the library were on the top floor. Final design through construction to moving day: November 1, 1989 to April 28, 1990.

Wolf Von Raesfeld was general manager. He joined CKLH / CKOC in August of 1988. He commented on the old and new buildings by saying the old Garfield location was great but when FM was added in 1986, there simply wasn’t enough room anymore. It was only 6,000 square feet on two floors, plus part of the basement which was used for the engineering department.

Western World Communications announced that it would purchase CKCK / CKIT-FM Regina and CKRC / CHZZ-FM Winnipeg from Michael Sifton’s Armadale Communications of Markham. Sifton said Armadale planned to retain CKOC / CKLH-FM but would focus more strongly on newspaper publishing.

Announcers included Bob Sherwin, Paul Hanover, Peter Jaycock, and Ray Girard. The news department included Kathy Hyde and Dave Trafford. Nevin Grant was program director.


Gary Summers, Dale Parker, Teddy Forman, Jim Carriere, Mark Jones and John Novak were now announcers at CKLH. 


On June 1, CKLH became known as “102.9 K-Lite FM” with a lite rock format. The station had been known as “K103 FM”.

Announcers included Bob Sherwin, Dale Parker, John Novak, Ray Girard, and Craig Fox. The news department included Kathy Hyde, Dave Trafford, Doug Farraway, Marsha Lederman, Robyn Foley, and Doug Cameron. Peter Jaycock moved to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from swing, Chris Lukas joined for 2-7 p.m. Pat Cardinal became program director. Craig Fox joined from CKOC. Jason Roberts was morning man.


CKLH expanded its traffic coverage, using two planes in addition to land vehicles. 

On September 2, Armadale Communications Ltd. was given approval to sell CKOC and CKLH to London Communications Inc. (Radiocorp). 

On-Air: Bob Sherwin (5:30), Peter Jaycock (9:00), Chris Lukas (2:00), Ray Girard (8:00), Craig Fox (12:00). News: Doug Farraway, Marsha Lederman, Robyn Foley, Doug Cameron. Others: Jim Carriere, Mark Jones, Jason Roberts.


Sunni & Hayes were now doing the morning show. Brent Sleightholm was now doing news at CKLH. John Crawford joined the news department in September.


Jody Thornton was on-air at CKLH during the summer. Craig Fox left for CKSY Chatham.


Ian Wallace was doing the evening show and Ron Bruchal was heard on weekends. 


Jim MacLeod was president and general manager at CKLH/CKOC.


On July 14, approval for Telemedia Radio Inc. to purchase CKOC and CKLH from Radiocorp Inc. was granted. Telemedia took posession of the stations on September 1.


In January, new sister station CHAM moved its studios and offices to the CKOC / CKLH facility at 883 Upper Wentworth.

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.

Tom Cooke was named to succeed Jim MacLeod as GM of Telemedia’s three Hamilton stations. He had been Assistant GM at the company’s four London stations.

Wally Sollows left CKLH/CKOC as general sales manager. General Manager Tom Cooke took over the job until a replacement could be found.


On April 19, the purchase of several radio and television stations by Standard Radio Inc. from Telemedia Radio Inc. was approved. This transaction included CKOC, CHAM and CKLH-FM in Hamilton.


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 included CKLH-FM, CKOC-AM and CHAM-AM.    


It was announced that Bob Harris, currently vice-president, programming and operations manager of CJAD/CJFM/CHOM Montreal would move to the post of vice-president and general manager of Astral’s Hamilton stations K-Lite, Talk 820 and Oldies 1150 in January 2010. 

Jamie Petrie, Account Executive for the past five years at Astral Media Radio Hamilton, was promoted to Retail Sales Manager.


Randy Redden, General Sales Manager at Astral Media Radio Hamilton, was no longer with the station cluster.


James Robert Parker (known as Dale Parker) died at 61. Parker spent 32 years in broadcasting, 17 of them at CKOC/Klite Hamilton. He had at least two other stints in southern Ontario, CJOY Guelph and CKPC Brantford. At his passing, he was Program Director/Coordinator of Events for Brantford Minor Hockey.

Peter Hobbs resigned his Cluster Sales Manager position at Rogers Sudbury to take on General Sales Manager duties at Astral Media Radio Hamilton as of April 5. Meanwhile, in Sudbury, Rick Doughty, Vice President Ontario North for Rogers Radio, took over the GSM duties.


David “Rocky” DeRocco, who was promotions director at Corus Hamilton, moved to Astral Hamilton to become promotion/marketing director. He began March 14 and succeeded Tracey Fischer.

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.

Announcer Peter Jaycock left 102.9 K-LiteFM for sister station 820 CHAM. Mike Pongracz (aka Mike Wyman) left the afternoon drive slot on 102.9 K-Lite FM to focus on his voiceover career and spend more time with his family. 

Former CKLH announcer Dale Parker passed away November 11 in his 62nd year.

Paul Fisher succeeded Madelyn Hamilton as General Manager of Astral Radio Hamilton. Fisher’s background included being Program Director, then General Manager/Vice President of CHFI Toronto, VP/GM at Rogers Radio Vancouver-promoted to Executive VP BC, overseeing all Rogers BC stations. He joined Astral Hamilton September 12.


Drew Keith, the Brand Director/Operations Manager at Astral Radio Hamilton, and Michelle Quinn, Music Director/Talent, were no longer with the group. Keith had been with the operation since 2003. 

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

Sarah Cummings, Operations Manager at Astral Media Radio Ottawa, returned to Southern Ontario May 7 as Brand Director at 105.7 EZ Rock St. Catharines and 102.9K-LiteFM Hamilton. Cummings moved to Ottawa from St. Catharines in 2009 to launch the new boom 99.7 (CJOT-FM). Succeeding Cummings in Ottawa for boom 99.7 was Brand Director Morgan Prue. Returning to the Ottawa/Gatineau area from New York, she began in her new position in April.


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 CKLH-FM.

The story continues elsewhere…
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