CKOC-AM, TSN 1150, Hamilton
Bell Media Inc.
|CKOC-AM||2007||1150||50,000||Astral Media Inc|
|CKOC-AM||2002||1150||50,000||Standard Radio Inc.|
|CKOC-AM||1999||1150||50,000||Telemedia Radio Inc.|
|CKOC-AM||1992||1150||50,000||Armadale Communications Ltd.|
|CKOC-AM||1979||1150||50,000||Armadale Communications Ltd.|
|CKOC-AM||1970||1150||10,000||Wentworth becomes Armadale Communications|
|CKOC-AM||1969||1150||10,000||Sifton family buys Wentworth Radio shares|
|CKOC-AM||1967||1150||10,000||Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.|
|CKOC-AM||1956||1150||5,000||Sifton family gains control of Wentworth Radio|
|CKOC-AM||1946||1150||5,000||Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.|
|CKOC-AM||1945||1150||5,000||Wentworth Radio (TP&C / Sifton Family)|
|CKOC-AM||1941||1150||1,000/500||TP&C sells 20% of Wentworth to the Sifton family|
|CKOC-AM||1939||1120||1,000/500||Taylor, Pearson & Carson buys 40% of Wentworth|
|CKOC-AM||1938||1120||1,000/500||CKOC – managed by All-Canada Mutually Operated Stns.|
|CKOC-AM||1936||1120||1,000/500||Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1933||1120||500||Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1931||630||500||Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1930||1120||500||Wentworth Radio Supply Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1927||880||100||Wentworth Radio Supply Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1925||880||50||Wentworth Radio Supply Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1924||410 metres||20||Wentworth Radio Supply Co.|
|CKOC-AM||1922||410 metres||20||Ontario Cycle / Wentworth Radio & Auto Supply Co.|
Hamiltonians had a choice of two radio stations in 1922 – CFCA Toronto and KDKA Pittsburgh. Herb Slack wanted to change that, and for $500, he received a licence on April 26 to operate a radio station at Hamilton. Slack and partner George Crawford operated Wentworth Auto Supplies Ltd. They purchased the needed equipment to put a five watt station on the air.
CKOC radio hit the airwaves on May 1. A speech broadcast by Mayor Coppley officially launched the station a week later. Studios were set up in the Windsor Hotel on the north-west corner of King William and John Streets…across the street from Wentworth Auto.
In the early going, CKOC was on the air daily from noon to 1:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Programming consisted of news, community events, pre-recorded music and a weekly church broadcast. Later in the year, Billy Stewart and his Melody Boys entertained listeners between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
CKOC was launched principally to offer a radio program service which, together with other stations would help to provide an incentive for people to buy radio receivers from Wentworth stock. This was a very common reason for the establishment of many radio stations across Canada in the 1920’s.
Power was increased from five to 10 watts and by the end of the year CKOC was on 410 meters with 20 watts of power, and sharing air-time and frequency with CFCU and CHCS.
Pioneering radio engineer Les Horton joined the staff of CKOC shortly after it opened. He mentioned years later that when a customer came in to Ontario Cycle (Wentworth Radio & Supply) for a demonstration of radio, Les would often have to go upstairs, turn on the transmitter and play the piano! The “OC” in the call letters actually represented Ontario Cycle.
The corporate name was changed to Wentworth Radio & Supply Co., and CKOC shared time on 410 metres (20 watts) with CHCS only. CFCU had moved to 880 kHz.
CKOC moved to 880 kHz with 50 watts of power.
A group from First United Church, angered at CKOC’s censoring of their pastor’s political comments, obtained a licence for their own station. CFML went on the air and became CHML before the end of the year.
CKOC increased power on 880 kHz to 100 watts, sharing time with CHML, and leasing time to CHCS.
CKOC reduced power to 50 watts.
CKOC and CHCS moved to 1120 kHz. CHML remained on 880 kHz.
CKTB St. Catharines opened as a phantom station, using CKOC’s facilities.
CKOC moved to 630 kHz. Power was 500 watts.
Bill Guild started in radio as a continuity writer at CKOC. Steve Douglas joined CKOC from WSYR in Syracuse.
CKOC switched back to 1120 kHz.
CKOC purchased room in the Wentworth Building (above Wentworth Radio) at 32 John Street North (north-east corner of King William and John).
Steve Douglas left CKOC for CKLW in Windsor.
CKOC increased power on 1120 kHz to 1,000 watts day and 500 watts night.
The corporate name changed to Wentworth Broadcasting Co.
CKOC became an affiliate of the new CBC network.
Jack Thompson started his radio career at CKOC.
Howard Caine joined CKOC in November with a temporary position which included duty staff announcing, and continuing roles as an actor in two network broadcasts (Black Horse Tavern and What Price Loyalty) which were produced in Hamilton.
Wentworth Broadcasting sold an interest in CKOC to principals of the All-Canada Mutually Operated Stations, and was then managed by that group.
Howard Caine became a full-time CKOC staffer in the summer. Jack Thompson left CKOC for the CKCL Toronto announce staff on March 1.
On March 1, the executors of the estate of Herbert Slack disposed of their 40% interest in Wentworth Broadcasting to Taylor, Pearson & Carson. (All-Canada Mutually Operated Stations) TP&C later acquired the remaining 60% in CKOC.
William Guild, who had been in charge of continuity at CKOC, was named production manager. Phil Clayton, formerly of CKCR Kitchener, joined the announce staff at CKOC. Dave Robbins, former newspaper man, joined CKOC as news editor and publicity director. T. O. Wiklund left CKOC for the CBC. Robert Morrison joined the announcing staff from CKY in Winnipeg. Frank (Bud) Lynch left CKOC for the announce staff at CKLW Windsor. Fenwick Job joined CKOC’s production staff. He had been an announcer at WHLS in Port Huron, Michigan. Norman Choate joined CKOC’s announce staff.
J. Lyman Potts transferred to CKOC as program and production manager. He had been with CKCK in Regina.
New studios were opened November 15 by CKOC, with Mayor William Morrison officiating. Canadian Marconi and RCA equipment were installed. Manager M. V. Chestnut was host to about 500 guests in the new main studio during a 90 minute special program, aired over the CBC. Among those on hand were Harry Sedgwick and Lloyd Moore of CFRB, Joseph Sedwick and Arthur Evans of the C.A.B., Jack Radford and Dick Claringbull of the CBC.
CKOC became a subscriber of the British United Press news service.
Under the Havana Treaty CKOC moved from 1120 to 1150 kHz (Class III-B) on March 29. Authorized power was 1,000 watts day and 500 watts at night.
Gordon Anderson, formerly general manager of CKOC and the staff of CKLW, joined the executive staff of Vi-Tone Sales Ltd. in Hamilton. Manager M. V. Chestnut ws on loan to CKWX Vancouver.
The Sifton family acquired a 50% interest in CKOC.
To meet growing demands for network time during the evenings, largely due to the war, the CBC set up a second network for commercial sponsorship. The network’s first sponsor (on an experimental basis) was the Gillette Safety Razor Co. The Mutual Broadcasting System originated boxing events for 26 Canadian stations through the CBC, plus the MBS affiliate – CKLW Windsor. The second newtwork had 23 Canadian stations with alternative stations in Montreal to meet local conditions there. The new network would operate only after 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Over the past year, private stations had been anxious to have such a network – outside of CBC control. However, under the Radio Act, the CBC had full control over all networks in the country. It was felt that a full second network with full day and night programming was not feasible or economically possible at this time. CBC-owned stations affiliated with the new network: CBK Watrous, CBA Sackville and CBY Toronto. Privately-owned stations affiliated with the new network were: CJOR Vancouver, CHWK Chilliwack, CFCN Calgary, CFRN Edmonton, CJRM Regina, CJGX Yorkton, CJRC Winnipeg, CKCA Kenora, CJIC Sault Ste Marie, CKOC Hamilton, CKTB St. Catherines, CFPL Londun, CFCO Chatham, CKLW Windsor, CKCR Kitchener, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF or CHLP Montreal, CHLT Sherbooke, CKNB Campbellton, and CJLS Yarmouth.
W.T. Cranston, sales manager of CKOC, was named manager of the station, succeeding M.V. Chestnut, who took a position with All-Canada Radio Facilities Ltd. in Toronto. W.M. Guild of the sales staff became sales manager while W.A. Speers, assistant manager with CKCK Regina, moved east to take a similar position with CKOC. All changes were effective August 1.
On Fridays from 8 to 8:30 p.m., CKOC turned the station over to students from the city’s high schools. Not only did the students provide varied programming, but they staffed the entire station for the 30 minute period. The promotion was part of the station’s War Savings campaign.
Les Donaldson was moved from CKOC’s transmitter to the operator’s desk. Don MacMillan was hired to look after the transmitter. Former news editor and publicity man, Dave Robbins, was now with RCA. Sports writer and commentator Perce LeSueur was no doing news. Lloyd Westmoreland was now handling publicity and merchandising.
Lou Dixon of All Canada’s transcription department was moved from Toronto to Hamilton, to work in CKOC’s merchandising department. M.V. Chestnut, CKOC’s former manager, and latterly in All Canada’s Toronto office, left March 31 to manage CJVI in Victoria.
George Blanchette and Les Donaldson left CKOC. They were replaced by Roy Sharpe and Roy Shantz. Francis Kirton and Wes Cox joined the production department. Dave Davis joined the promotions department. Bill Guild was commercial manager. Jean Gillard was women’s editor (on air with Women in the News at 10 a.m. and with Community Service at 4 p.m.).
W.A. “Bill” Cranston was CKOC’s manager.
Power increased to 1,000 watts full-time.
Promotion director Lloyd Westmoreland joined the RCAF at the end of July.
Former CKOC manager Gordon Anderson was now with the Ontario region of Selective Service.
Former program director Howard Caine was now a Sub-Lieutenant and Art Todd (formerly of the technical department) was now a Petty Officer, with the armed forces.
Harold “Hal” Francis, formerly of CFQC Saskatoon and CKRM Regina, took over the desk left vacant by the naval enlistment of writer-announcer Aubrey Wice (who left January 15). Norris Mackenzie, formerly of CJCA Edmonton and CKWX Vancouver, joined the CKOC sales staff. Archie Slater was now a studio engineer at CKOC. He had been an engineer at CKRC Winnipeg.
CKOC announced plans to increase power to 5,000 watts in 1945.
In January, G. Norris MacKenzie joined the CKOC sales staff from CKWX Vancouver where he had been continuity editor. Roly Koster joined CKOC.
CBC Trans-Canada Supplementary stations: CKCV, CKOC, CKLW, CJIC, CKCK, CFAR, CFGP, CKLN Nelson.
Bob Amos was continuity editor. W.T. Cranston was manager and W.M. Guild was commercial manager. Lloyd Westmoreland returned to CKOC as promotion manager. He had been serving with the RCAF. G. Norris MacKenzie left CKOC for All-Canada Radio Facilities. Late in the year, A.N. Todd, former chief operator of CKOC, returned to the station after three years in the navy. He would now be chief production engineer. Frank Kirton also returned to CKOC. He had been with the RCAF. Kirton took over the transcription and record library.
Late in the year, the sod was turned for CKOC’s new 5,000 watt transmitter site. On hand for the event: Les Horton (chief engineer), Bill Cranston (manager), Lyman Potts (production manager), Starfleet Township Reeve Millmine and Hamilton Mayor Sam Lawrence.
William Guild left CKOC where he had been commercial manager for four years, to become manager of CJOC in Lethbridge. Tyler Spafford joined the CKOC announce staff, fresh from the air force. Announcer Jim Ward joined the CKOC staff from Regina’s CKCK.
At this time, CKOC called itself “The All Canada Station”. Dave Robbins was a news editor. A.O. (Orrin) Botsford took over as CKOC’s commercial sales manager after spending four years on the sales staff of CKRC Winnipeg. Bud Debow was an announcer at CKOC. Ron Cook was sports editor. CKOC was expecting to increase power to 5,000 watts on January 1, 1947. In December of ’46, the new transmitter was complete and chief engineer Les Horton was now working on installing the new Marconi equipment. J. Lyman Potts was named assistant manager.
The switch to 5,000 watts, set for January 1, was delayed until engineers in charge of the testing were fully satisfied with all phases of the installation, especially the design and operation of the new four masted directional antenna array. There had also been delays due mainly to power failures caused by heavy ice and sleet storms in January. Engineers expected completion for final check-up very soon. J. Lyman Potts, former production manager, was appointed assistant manager. Bob Amos switched titles from program director to production manager. Former commercial manager Orrin Botsford left the station for CKMO in Vancouver. Francis Kirton left CKOC to become program director at CFOR Orillia. Bud deBow hosted “Rise and Shine” on CKOC. According to an ad from the month of April, CKOC was now finally operating at 5,000 watts, day and night. The station was on the air 18 hours a day. On May 7, CKOC broadcast a special program to mark its 25th anniversary and power boost to 5,000 watts. The transmitter site was at Elfrida.
Lloyd Westmoreland was promoted to sales manager. He had been promotions manager. He came to CKOC in 1941 from CKCK Regina (1937-41), joined the RCAF in 1943 and returned to ‘OC in 1945. Robert D. Amos left CKOC where he had been production chief. Ron Cook opened his own business. He would continue to do two sports shows daily over CKOC.
W.T. Cranston was manager and Lloyd Westmoreland was commercial manager.
Slogan: When CKOC speaks – the people act. In Hamilton, Ontario, CKOC Sells! CKOC received permission to use an emergency transmitter. Steve Rowan left CKOC September 3 to become special events announcer at CKY Winnipeg. Lyman Potts was assistant manager. Neil Copeland was appointed program director late in the year. He had been continuity editor. Harold Gibson was transferred from CJOC Lethbridge to CKOC earlier in the year and he succeeded Copeland as continuity editor.
Slogan: Selling one of Canada’s great metropolitan markets! Bob Leitch became CKOC’s morning man. Ron Kelly was named librarian. He had been with the station four years.
Lyman Potts was assistant manager, William Edge was promotion manager and Lloyd Westmoreland was sales manager. Perc Allen did sports. Gordon Anderson died in January at the age of 51. At one time he was managing director of CKOC. He also worked for a time at NBC in New York. More recently, Anderson was the originator and producer of the weekly labour department broadcast, “Canada at Work”. The station was now known as the “New CKOC”. Allan Brooks and Bill Knapp joined the CKOC announce staff.
Allan Brooks was appointed night news editor at CKOC. He joined the station’s announcing division in 1952 and had since specialized in the preparation and editing of news. He was heard nightly on four CKOC news broadcasts. Bill Knapp was promoted to night supervisor. He joined the CKOC announce staff in August of 1952. In addition to his supervisory duties, he would also announce feature programs including “Westinghouse Newsreel”. Jackson’s “Starlight Concert” – four hours per week, 52 weeks a year, was now in its 14th consecutive year on CKOC. The Jackson in the the program name – Jackson Bakeries Ltd. – the president of this company was the city’s mayor – Lloyd D. Jackson. Lyman Potts was program director. Slogan: CKOC 1150 Station of the Stars. CKOC, CHML 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. The application was approved.
Hamilton got its own television station with the launch of CHCH-TV Channel 11. Wentworth Broadcasting Ltd. (CKOC) was a part-owner of the new station. Approval was given for the transfer of 5,000 common and 1,500 preferred shares in Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Slogan: Where you’ll always find radio’s greatest shows. Sales manager Lloyd Westmoreland left CKOC after 12 years. He joined the station in 1941 to head production and later promotions. After serving in the RCAF, he returned to CKOC as sales manager. Joan Pritchard was appointed women’s commentator at CFPL-AM. She had been director of women’s activities for CKOC. Graham Emslie was news director. CKOC vice president W.T. “Bill” Cranston marked 20 years with the Taylor-Pearson-Carson organization and 25 years in radio. CKOC director of women’s activities, Joan Pritchard, was named women’s commentator for CFPL-AM London.
J. Lyman Potts resigned from CKOC to become general manager of the soon to open CKSL in London. Norman Inkster was appointed general sales manager. Perc Allen did sports. Graham Emslie did news and sports.
The Sifton family of Toronto, headed by Clifford Sifton (Transcanada Communications) took control of CKOC. Clifford Sifton was appointed honorary lieutenant-colonel of the Governor-General’s Horse Guards, Toronto regiment.
CKOC was listed on 1150 kHz with power of 5,000 watts day and night (two different directional patterns) and was a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate. Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was owned by Phoenix Management Ltd. 49.9%, H. R. Carson 1.2%, H. E. Pearson 2.4%, S. Rogers 0.05%, Clifford Sifton 0.05%, Vivian McClennon 0.05%, R. S. Carson 15.0%, Taylor, Pearson Broadcasting Co. Ltd. 27.6% and four other shareholders 3.75%. Clifford Sifton was president of the company. Some of the staff: William T. Cranston (manager), Terry J. Garner (program director), Graham Emslie (news director), Perc Allen (sports director), Al Jordan did the morning show – Rise ‘n’ Shine. He also hosted Homemaker’s Holiday at 10 a.m. Baden Langdon did feature newscasts and hosted Hamilton Album. Hal Wagoner did the 4-6 p.m. show (country music). CKOC was known at this time as “Radio Hamilton”. Leslie Horton was chief engineer. Jack Hill joined CKOC as production manager. He had been with sales rep firm, All-Canada.
A. L. D’Eon left CKOC as sales manager to be commercial manager at CHUC Cobourg. He was now promoted to general manager at CHUC. ACMO – the All-Canada Mutually Operated stations set up a radio news bureau in August. The bureau channeled news from Ottawa by telegraph, telephone and tape recorder. Stations using the service: CJVI, CKWX, CJAT, CJCA, CFAC, CFGP, CJOC, CKCK, CKRC and CKOC.
Hamilton’s third AM station went on the air – CHIQ.
Being close to Toronto and Buffalo, there were a lot of loud and clear AM signals within CKOC’s coverage area. New FM stations were going on the air as well. CKOC decided to specialize its programming by adopting a format of contemporary popular music to attract a youth and young adult audience. It would retain some traditional program content such as news, sports, open line and comment. It was October 3 when CKOC adopted the Hit Parade (Top 50) music format. The station would be known as “The Busy Bee”. The new air staff: George Balcaen (6-9), Stu Daly (9-12), Gary Summers (12-1), George Davies (1-3), Randy Ferris (3-5), Don Webster (5-6), Ron Smith (6-8), Hi Fi Club (8-10:30), Moonglow (10:30-12). Bud Roberts (Bob Dearborn) joined the air staff. CKOC’s schedule before Top 50 was quite different. The following shows what the schedule looked like in March: Rise ‘n Shine (6-9:30), Morning Melodies (9:30-10), Country Music (10-11), Ladies Choice (11-12), Luncheon Club (12-1), George Dawes (1-3), Don Webster (3-6), Joe Carbury (6-7), Echoes of Italy (7-8:30), Early Date (8:30-9), Leicester Square (9-9:30), Music You Know (9:30-10), Starlight (10-10:30) and Moonglow (10:30-12). Studios and offices moved to 73 Garfield Street South. It was a 2 storey building originally built by Bell Telephone to house the Garfield Exchange. Geoff Lewis was appointed general sales manager. Later in the year, William E. Ballantyne was appointed general sales manager. Ad: Listener Expolosion! There’s been a real listener explosion in Hamilton – and it’s blown the audience right to CKOC. You’ll do yourself and your clients a favour by checking the latest Elliott-Haynes. You can’t get explosive coverage in Hamilton without CKOC! 1150 CKOC The Busy Bee. A honey of a station – in a honey of a home town.
The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks of the CBC were consolidated into a single service. With the powerful signal of Toronto’s CBL 740 covering the Hamilton market with no problem, CKOC was no longer required to be a CBC affiliated station.
George Balcaen was morning man (6-10). He was followed by Gary Summers (10-2), On Parade (2-3), Ron Smith (3-6), Mike Jaycock (6-7), Echoes of Italy (7-8), Mike Jaycock (Mon-Thur 8-12) or Bud Roberts (Fri-Sun 8-12). Bill Bright did overnights. Bud Roberts left late in the year. Michael C. Sifton, President of Transcanada Communications Ltd. announced the appointment of Harold A. Crittenden as Vice President and director of the company. H. A. Crittenden, Vice-President and General Manager of Transcanada Communications appointed R. A. Pitt as Executive Assistant of the company, with head office in Toronto.
John Laroque, Larry Gavin, and John Stoneham were now heard on CKOC. CKOC made application to increase its power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts. Production manager Jack Hill was named assistant manager.
Donald R. Dawson was named general manager of CKOC and vice president of Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd., effective January 1. He had been associated with Transcanada’s CKCK-AM (and later TV) since 1937. Clifford Sifton was president of the company. William E. Ballantyne was commercial manager. Gary Summers was sports director. Les Horton was chief engineer. Announcer line-up: Gary Calvert (6-9), Jack Stephens (Talk, 9-noon), Doug Alexander (12-1:30), Ron Smith (1:30-4:30), Mike Jaycock (4:30-8, including Hit Parade from 7-7:30), Record Battle with Jimmie Rodgers (8-midnight).
Gary Parkhill was now morning man. Bob Church did overnights. Bob Bratina joined CKOC. Nevin Grant joined the copy department.
On July 10, CKOC 1150 increased power to 10,000 watts (different directional patterns for day and night), using six 205 foot (overall height) towers at the existing transmitter site. To officially mark the increase, the switch was thrown by Hamilton Liberal MP John Munro and there were speeches by Michael Sifton, President of Transcanada Communications, and Don Dawson, CKOC’s manager. Dave Charles was now in PM Drive and John Mitter was doing the evening show. Paul Revere and Jim Blake were now heard on CKOC. Don Dawson left as president of Wentworth Radio and general manager of CKOC. Jim Grisenthwaite became CKOC’s general manager, succeeding Dawson. Grisenthwaite had been general manager at CKRC Winnipeg. Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. applied for an FM licence but it was denied, as was a competing application from CHAM.
The first CKOC Big 500 countdown aired. It was based on listener preferences and would become an annual event. Announcer line-up: Jack Stevens (6-8:30), Con Stevenson (Talk, 8:30 to noon), Bob Bratina (12-4), Hal Weaver (4-8), Mike Kramer (8-1). Jack Stephens had been doing the talk show. Nevin Grant was appointed Music Director. Jim Grisenthwaite, CKOC general manager, was elected a director and vice president of Transcanada Communications Ltd. Both CKOC and CHAM re-applied for FM licenses. Both had been turned down in the past because the BBG was not satisfied with the program proposals of each application. Dave Charles was on-air. J.R. Grisenthwaite was named vice president of Transcanada Communications and managing director of CKOC. R.A. Lamborn was named general manager of CKOC.
The Sifton family’s Phoenix Management Ltd. acquired 100% of Transcanada Communications, including CKOC (Wentworth Broadcasting), when the few remaining minor shareholders were bought out. Dave Charles was back in PM Drive, Roger Ashby now handled evenings and Tom Iley was the overnight host. Jack Hill died at the age of 51. He was a station veteran of 12 years, joining CKOC in late 1957 as production manager. He was named assistant manager in 1964. Hill hosted the station’s “On The Line” opinion program for about a year. Hill started out at CJRM in Regina in 1938 as an announcer. He left for the RCAF from 1940-45, then returned to CJRM. He moved on to CKRC Winnipeg from 1946-56 as production manager, then went to All-Canada for just over a year, then it was on to CKOC. Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN’s voice (audio) service. CKOC was one of those stations.
Transcanada Communications Ltd. became Armadale Communications Ltd. on April 11. On September 1, the name Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was dropped. CKOC came directly under the Armadale name. Bob Bratina left for CHML. Con Stevenson did news. Nevin Grant became assistant program director.
On-air: Jason Roberts (6-8:30), Con Stevenson (talk, 8:30-11), John Novak (11-3), Gord James (3-7), Dave Smith (7-12 – joined from CKBB Barrie), Randy Duall (12-6). Ronald J. Morey was also heard on CKOC. Nevin Grant became program director.
Chief engineer Less Horton retired. Connie Smith joined the news department.
Connie Smith left for CFRB Toronto.
CKOC announced that it would apply to the CRTC for permission to move its transmitter site and increase power to 50,000 watts. In the 1940’s, the station established the existing transmitter site south of the city, well back from the mountainous ridge that circled the city. Over time, a residential district grew up north and east of the towers. It was expected the CKOC antenna site would be completely surrounded by housing by 1980 and a year later, the tower site property would actually become residential. For these reasons, CKOC management decided to seek a tower site 10 to 12 miles further south. Such a move clearly called for a power increase to maintain signal strength over the coverage area maintained by the station through the years. Dave Smith was now doing the 3-7 p.m. shift with Gord James on from 7-midnight.
During the winter, CKOC engineer Al Bennett renovated the station’s on-air control room. A stereo McCurdy 8600 series console and associated equipment (turntables and cart decks) were installed. Retired CKOC engineer Les Horton came in to assist with the changeover. CKOC was now set for AM Stereo. In fact, the studio was now programming stereo but feeding mono to the transmitter. Chief engineer Al Bennett received a severe electrical shock at the station’s transmitter site on March 24. CKTB St. Catharines eingineer Warren Parker was helping Bennett out at the time. Parker applied resucitation and summoned assistance, and Bennett made a full recovery. On May 16, CKOC 1150 was authorized to increase day and night power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts, and to move its transmitter from a site located about nine miles south of Hamilton to a property situated some 18 miles south of the city. The changes were needed because of increasing residential development around the existing tower site. Both CKOC and CHML 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. After he retired, Les Horton continued to act as a consultant to the station. He had earlier helped with the new studio work and was now assisting in the planning and design the new 50,000 watt installation.
After a period of testing, CKOC officially increased its power to 50,000 watts. CKOC increased its power to 50,000 watts. Separate directional patterns were used for day and night operation. The new transmitter site hosted ten 220 foot towers and was located just off Highway 56 at Blackheath. On June 18, applications for a new FM station (102.9 MHz) in Hamilton were denied. The applicants were Armadale Communications Ltd. (CKOC-AM), CJJD Radio Ltd. (CJJD-AM) and Patrick J. Hurley (on behalf of a company to be incorporated). If approved, Armadale would have used an effective radiated power of 40,000 watts. The retired Les Horton was named Engineer of the the Year for 1979. Franklyn Cooper also hosted the morning talk show. Pete Jaycock joined the announce team. Pauline Mitchell was now in the news department. Rebecca Johnstone did traffic.
In the Fall BBM rating survey, CKOC set an all-time record for audience reach by a Hamilton-Burlington station – 724,300 listeners a week. CKOC’s longtime chief engineer Les Horton passed away at age 77. He had been with the station since 1922 and retired in 1973. Horton continued his association with the station after retiring. He was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. On-air: Jason Roberts (6-8:30), Con Stevenson (talk, 8:30-11), John Novak (11-3), Dave Smith (3-6), Scott Harris (6-9), Dale Parker (9-1), Bob Steele (1-6). Pauline Mitchell hosted the talk show from time to time. Ray Girard was also on-air at CKOC.
Peter Jaycock left for CJBQ Belleville.
In June, Valerie Quinn joined the newsroom to do traffic reports, news and sports. On August 8, CKOC began broadcasting in stereo, using the Motorola C-Quam system. It was the first station in the country to operate in AM stereo on a fulltime basis.
John Crawford joined the news department in November.
Leslie Horton, former chief engineer of CKOC, was postumously inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame. CKOC news director Con Stevenson left to become manager of sister station CKCK in Regina.
CKOC had a long struggle to obtain an FM license. An 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 new FM licenses. This was to allow for the development of an FM policy, and the embargo lasted for almost ten years. A 1978 application was rejected because the CBC wanted the scarce frequencies for its own plan to vacate the AM band and serve its audience with FM stations only. The CRTC did not approve the CBC plan, and five years later CKOC applied for and obtained an FM counterpart which went on the air this year. It was known as CKLH-FM. The “LH” in the call-sign was a tribute to CKOC’s long-time engineer Les Horton. Ray Michaels joined the on-air staff at CKOC. On-air: Jason Roberts, Franklyn Cooper (Talk), John Novak, Paul Wainwright, Bob Sherwin, Dave King, Scott Harris, Pete Newman, Ian Maclean, Mike Delving, Guy James, Pat Baillie, Marsha McKinnon, Sean Vedell, Ray Girard, Dale Parker, Pete Jaycock, Dale Parker, Ray Girrard. Pauline Mitchell and Robyn Foley hosted the talk show from time to time. Notes: Sean Vedell joined from CHNR Simcoe. Jaycock returned for swing. He joined in the spring from CING Burlington and left in the fall for sister station CKLH-FM.
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.
R.K. (Bob) MacDonald was vice president and general manager of CKOC/CKLH-FM. He was also vice president of radio development for Armadale Communications. Nevin Grant was CKOC’s program director. Wolf von Raesfeld was now CKOC’s general manager. He had been sales manager at CFRB in Toronto. Bob Bratina returned to Hamilton from CFRB Toronto. He was now doing the 9-11 a.m. shift at CKOC. John Crawford (news) left in November for CKFM Toronto.
Willard Cowan was appointed general sales manager for CKOC-CKLH and Christopher Randall was named marketing and promotions manager for both stations. The news team included: Bob Young, Robyn Foley, Pauline Mitchell, Gerry Johnson (traffic), Franklyn Cooper. Bob Bratina returned to CKOC. He had been at CFRB Toronto. Bratina left later in the year for CHML. Sean Vedell left.
On April 28, CKOC and CKLH-FM 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 CKOC / CKLH 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. Pete Newman moved from evenings to mid-days. Peter Daly returned from CJLB Thunder Bay. Doug Farraway (news) also did the talkshow. Longtime program director Nevin Grant, turned that job over to John Novak. Grant would look after the programming of sister station CKLH. Bob Crabb died September 29 – he started his career at CKOC as an announcer. Brent Sleightholm and Gary Summers were among those in the news department.
On-Air: Pete Daly, Ray Michaels, Pete Newman, Chris Eagle, Craig Fox, Nevin Grant, Mike Nabuurs, Doug Farraway, Gary Summers, Robyn Foley, Brent Sleightholm, Franklyn Cooper. Notes: Chris Eagle left. Craig Fox joined for overnights then moved to evenings.
On Friday, February 14, a full-page ad appeared in the Hamilton Spectator. The headline: “As of noon today, CKOC will no longer be on the air.” From noon that day until the following Monday, CKOC ran the Top 500 hits of all time – commercial-free. The following Monday (February 17) at 6:00 a.m., CKOC officially became CKMO, but would go by the name “Oldies 1150″… with an oldies format. The “MO” in the new call sign stood for “More Oldies.” Frank-Lyn Cooper, 56, died December 6. He had worked in CKMO (CKOC)’s news department for more than 37 years, the last 20 as morning news anchor. Last March, he moved to Crossroads Communications as a producer. On-air: Bob Sherwin (6-10), Ray Michaels (10-3), John Novak (3-7), Craig Fox (7-1), Satellite Feed (overnight). Nevin Grant and Mike Nabuurs were also heard on-air. News: Gary Summers (sports), Doug Farraway, Brent Sleightholm, Caroline Innes, Robyn Foley, Franklyn Cooper, Kym Geddes, Marsha Lederman, Paul Green. Notes: Pete Daly had been doing AM Drive and Pete Newman PM Drive. Nevin Grant was program director once again, as of January. Over the last few years, he had been looking after sister station CKLH. Craig Fox left for CKLH.
On April 2 at 5:30 a.m., the CKOC call letters returned to Hamilton’s 1150 kHz dial position. The listeners wanted the original call letters back, and the station admitted it was a mistake to drop the CKOC call sign. The oldies format and “Oldies 1150” name remained. On September 2, Armadale Communications Ltd. was given approval to sell CKOC and CKLH-FM to London Communications Inc. (Radiocorp). London Communications was owned by Jack W. Schoone and Irving Zucker. Zucker had founded CHIQ Radio (now CHAM) in the city in 1959. On-air: Dave Smith (6-10), John Novak (10-3), Bob Sherwin (3-7), Ray Michaels (7-10), satellite (10-6). Bob Wallace joined and left (PM Drive & assistant music director).
Michael Clifford Sifton, former owner of CKOC, passed away in January. He was 64. Doug Cameron was now in the news department.
On April 15, the CRTC approved the applications by Radiocorp Inc., on behalf of its holding company Radiocorp Management Inc. for authority to transfer effective control of RMI and Radiocorp Inc. from Mr. Jack Schoone to RMI’s shareholders by virtue of their ability to elect the Board of Directors. In addition to program director duties at CKOC, Nevin Grant was now also programming co-owned talk station CJBK, in London. On-air: Bob Sherwin (5:30-9), John Novak (9-2), Jason Farr (2-6), automation/satellite the rest of the time. Ray Michaels was heard on weekends.
Jim MacLeod was president/general manager at CKOC/CKLH.
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. General sales manager Wally Sollows left CKOC/CKLH-FM. General Manager Tom Cooke took over the job until a replacement could be found. On-air: Jason farr (mornings), John Novak, Ray Michaels, Paul Wainwright, Nevin Grant, Doug Cameron, Brent Sleightholm, Mike Nabuurs (traffic). Notes: Bob Sherwin was replaced in mornings by Farr in January. Nevin Grant was PD.
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. To mark its 80th anniversary, CKOC played the top 80 songs of 1954 to 1974, and was honoured for its years of service by Mayor Bob Wade. On December 22, J. Irving Zucker died at age 82. He founded CHAM-AM Hamilton as CHIQ and was part-owner of CKOC/CKLH in the 1990’s.
Nevin Grant retired November 1, after a 37 year association with CKOC.
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. The purchase included CKOC-AM, CKLH-FM, and CHAM-AM. Astral took ownership of the stations on October 29.
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.
Rock “N” Ray Michaels (hired by Nevin Grant in 1986) was still on-air at CKOC, doing the afternoon drive show, co-hosted by Michelle Quinn. 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. Ted Yates, the morning host at CKOC, was now also the interim Program Director. As of March 29, Yates was the official PD. Ted began his radio career at CHOO in Ajax. Then after almost 20 years as program/music director and midday announcer at CHSC in St Catharines, Ted’s career took him from Orillia to Peterborough and then to Brantford, where he was also PD/MD for CKPC-AM-FM. Ted had been with CKOC for five years, and now added interim PD to his morning show responsibilities. Bob (Robert Charles) Wood died at age 72. He had been an announcer at CKCK Regina before moving into sales. Later, in a move from the then Armadale-owned station to another in the company, CKOC Hamilton, he became the General Sales Manager. He retired from that position. Former CKOC salesman Fred Ursel died at age 76. Wendy Rose, the Promotions Director at Astral Media Radio Hamilton’s CHAM & CKOC, left after 11 years. She joined Evanov’s FM92 The Jewel/AM 1380 Brantford as its Promotions Director.
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. Former CKOC broadcaster (1930’s) Lamont Tilden passed away August 8. James Robert Parker (known as Dale Parker) died at 61 on November 11. 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. 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 CKOC until August 31, 2013. Frank (Budd) Lynch died at age 95. He got his start in radio at CKOC in 1936, right after high school graduation. He left for Windsor’s CKLW in 1938.
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 CKOC.
On November 4, the CRTC approved CKOC’s application to modify its facilities from a five-tower day pattern and a ten-tower night pattern with a transmitter power of 50,000 watts to a six-tower operation with a daytime transmitter power of 50,000 watts and a night-time transmitter power of 20,000 watts.
It was announced in the spring that CKOC would drop its long-time oldies format (Oldies 1150) to become TSN 1150 with an all sports format. The new format would be phased in over the summer of 2015.
It was announced that CKOC would make the change to TSN 1150 (Classic Hits to Sports) on September 7.
September 3 marked the beginning of the end of the music on Classic Hits CKOC. The last CKOC BIG 500 Countdown went to air at Noon with Ted Yates and former morning co-host Shelly Marriage for the first two hours. Guests included former Program Director Nevin Grant and CKOC alumnus Roger Ashby (CHUM-FM’s morning co-host). The music continued through Labour Day when the long-time rocker became TSN 1150, all sports all the time.
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.