CKPR-FM, 91.5 CKPR, Thunder Bay

H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd.

CKPR-FM200791.5100,000H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd.
CKPR-AM19605805,000/1,000C.J.S.D. Inc. (H. F. Dougall)
CKPR-AM19415801,000Dougall Motor Car Co.
CKPR-AM1938730100Dougall Motor Car Co.
CKPR-AM1935930100Dougall Motor Car Co.
CKPR-AM193193050Patterson Steamships


Ernie Swan got his first operator’s ticket in Midland at age 14.  He established amateur station 3HU in Fort William. 

3HU went unofficially commercial, using the call sign CKPR. The station carried the first network series, The Maple Leaf Milling Hour.


The station was owned by a group of local businessmen, and studios were located in the King Hotel, Fort William. Ernie Swan was manager of CKPR; Ralph H. Parker and Tom Ross also worked for the station. 

The station broadcast on a frequency of 890 kHz and had a power of 50 watts. Studios and offices were in Fort William’s Royal Edward Hotel.


Ralph Parker became Manager and made the move from Fort William to Port Arthur.

Dougall Motor Car Company purchased CKPR. 


CKPR increased power to 100 watts.

On April 16, the frequency changed from 890 to 780 kHz. Power remained 100 watts.


CKPR moved to 930 kHz with 100 watts power.


CKPR became a CBC affiliate.


CKPR moved from 930 kHz to 730 kHz with 100 watts of power.

CKPR received approval to increase power from 100 to 1,000 watts. It expected to go on the air with a new Canadian Marconi 1,000 watt transmitter on October 1. A new transmitter building was built and a 300 foot Blaw-Knox tower was installed. In the fall, CKPR started operation of its new transmitter on 580 kHz. It had been on 730 kHz. 


Lt. Gordon McLain, former engineer of CKPR, CKTB St. Catharines and CFCA Toronto, was now with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals at Camp Borden.


Under the Havana Treaty CKPR was able to hold on to its 580 kHz (Class III-B) frequency when hundreds of other stations across North America shifted dial position on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.


Pauline Spooner graduated from the reception desk and was now doing announcing and production.



Hector Dougall was manager and Basil Scully was commercial manager. Scully resigned later in the year. In a few months, he would wind up at CJIC in Sault Ste. Marie. 


Owner: Dougall Motor Car Co. (H. F. Dougall), 106 South Mary Street, Fort William. Transmitter: Memorial Avenue, Port Arthur. Schedule: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sundays. CKPR was a CBC affiliate. 

Porth Arthur’s civic finance committee voted to sell 187 city-owned lots to CKPR Fort William. The area was already occupied by the station’s transmitter site and leased under option to purchase until July, 1948. H.F. Dougall planned to erect new transmission equipment on the site.

G.D. Jeffrey was commercial manager.


CKPR-FM began broadcasting. 

George Hellman broke in to radio at CKPR.


Hector Dougall was manager and G.D. Jaffray was commercial manager.


Announcer George Hellman left for CKY Winnipeg.

The CBC approved the transfer of CKPR from Dougall Motor Car Co. Ltd. to H.F. Dougall Co. Ltd. (no change of control).


CKPR 580 applied for permission to increase its daytime power to 5,000 watts. Night-time power would remain 1,000 watts. 


CKPR 580 Fort William was operating with a power of 1,000 watts and was a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate. Ownership of H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd.: H. F. Dougall 74.0%, Mrs. Clara H. Dougall 0.5%, Ross W. Thomson 0.5%, W. C. Dougall 12.5% and H. F. Dougall, Jr. 12.5%.

Hector F. Dougall was president of the company and CKPR’s manager. George D. Jeffrey was CKPR’s assistant manager and commercial manager. 

CKPR’s application for a power increase was deferred by the CBC so that a study of the station’s performance could be conducted. The application was later approved and a new Gates BC-5P 5,000 watt transmitter was ordered from Canadian Marconi.


Fraser Dougall joined his father’s company.


Around 1960, CKPR increased power from 1,000 watts day and night to 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night (non-directional). The single 300’ tower was located at the existing transmitter site. 

Hector Dougall passed away and son Fraser took over as head of the company. Hector had been a decorated First World War vet and was responsible for bringing local TV and Radio to the Lakehead.


CKPR increased power to 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night, with studios at 414 Victoria Avenue.


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks consolidated into a single CBC radio service. CKPR had been the Trans-Canada affiliate while CFPA in Port Arthur was the Dominion station. Following consolidation, CKPR’s affiliation with the network ended while CFPA continued on as a CBC affiliate.

At age 21, Fraser Dougall became president of CKPR Radio and Television. (1962-63)


Studios moved to 87 North Hill Street, Port Arthur.


Hector Fraser Dougall was president of the company. George D. Jeffrey was CKPR’s manager and commercial manager. Johnny Murphy was morning man and music director. Ron Knight was news director. 


23 year old Boris Brott, director of music at Lakehead University, was also a classical music host on CKPR. John Murphy was program director. Later in the year, Ray Dee was PD.  


When CKPR had its licence renewed on March 21, H. F. Dougall, Elizabeth C. Dougall and C. D. Jeffrey were advised to sell their minority ownership interest in CJLX Fort William. 


Mrs. Hector F. Dougall died on July 2. She was president of CKPR Radio-TV from 1960 to 1963.

Fort William and Port Arthur amalagamted into “Thunder Bay”.

Slogan: CKPR-TV-AM-FM Serving Canada’s newest city – 6th largest in Ontario – Thunder Bay, Ontario – in the heart of the nation.


On March 9, approval was given for the transfer of 50 common shares of H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd. (CKPR-AM-FM) from W. C. Dougall to H. F. Dougall. 


Slogan: 580/CKPR Solid Gold in Thunder Bay.


CKPR installed a new solid state Nautel transmitter and planned to go stereo later in the year.

Broadcast News launched its service on satellite. CKPR and CJSD-FM were the first stations to receive the BN audio service via satellite – on October 15.


The province appointed Fraser Dougall (president of CKPR/CJSD-FM) to be chairman of the board of the debt-plagued Minaki Lodge in northwestern Ontario.


Brand new studios were completed in the existing building for CKPR/CJSD-FM.


Ray Dee was CKPR’s program director.

Willy Pearcy and Larry Hennessey left CKPR to take over the morning show at CFOX in Vancouver. They had been doing mornings at CKPR for three years.

CKPR was given approval to move to a new transmitter site on John Street, Thunder Bay.


Jerry Cox was general manger of CKPR and FM94 CJSD.


The corporate name changed from H. F. Dougall Company Limited to C.J.S.D. Inc.


On January 6, Dougall Media took over the operation of Newcap’s CJLB-FM, through a local marketing agreement. CJLB’s studios and offices moved to the Dougall facility on Hill Street. 


Robert Watson was named promotions/marketing Manager. Rick Smith hosted the station’s Open Line program.


Newsman Randy Pike left CKPR.


Randy Pike left CKPR to become news director at CJUK-FM.


In October, Newcap ended its local marketing agreement with Dougall Media. CJLB immediately left the Dougall building.


On February 2, CKPR was given permission to move to the FM band. The new station would broadcast over 91.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The music format would be Adult Contemporary.

On June 4 at 12:00 p.m., CKPR made the move to the FM band as CKPR Newsradio 91.5 FM with a full service Adult Contemporary format. H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd. President Fraser Dougall powered up the new FM transmitter. 

CKPR-AM signed off the air forever on August 3, after the morning drive show that featured former host Ron Smith, owner Fraser Dougall, and Bud Brotherton, a listener who, at the age of 10, appeared on the very first day of broadcasting and made his second CKPR appearance on the final AM show.


On April 21 at midnight, CKPR-FM was rebranded as “The New 91.5 CKPR – Your At Work Station”. The station now had a mainstream Adult Contemporary music format, targeting adults in the 25-54 age group. 


Fraser Dougall was presented with an Order of Ontario. Dougall, the owner of Dougall Media, was the first Canadian to create a TV operation that held two licences in the same market. Thunder Bay Television carried CTV on one station and CBC on the other. The media owner and philanthropist actively promoted community interests and supported local projects through his radio stations’ and TV programming.


The CRTC approved a change to the ownership structure of the licensees listed below, for estate planning purposes, through the transfer of the Class A Voting Preferred shares held by Mr. H.F. Dougall in H.F. Dougall Company, Limited, the parent corporation of the licensees, to a joint ownership of these shares by Mr. Dougall and Ms. E.C. Dougall. The transaction would not affect the effective control of the broadcasting undertakings as it continued to be exercised by Mr. H.F.Dougall. North Superior Broadcasting Ltd., Northwest Broadcasting Inc., 1333598 Ontario Limited and C.J.S.D. Incorporated were the licensees of FM radio programming undertakings in Northwestern Ontario.


On September 30, the CRTC approved the application by C.J.S.D. Inc. to amend the licence for CKPR-FM in order to add an FM transmitter in Atikokan. The transmitter would operate at 93.5 MHz (channel 228A1) with an effective radiated power of 180 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 3.7 metres). C.J.S.D. requested this technical change in response to requests for the service to be available to the residents of Atikokan.

Pennti Junni, 83, announced he would do his last CKPR show due to failing health. He had been delivering a weekly Finnish language show in Thunder Bay for 48 years. 84 year old Mario Caccamo had been broadcasting the sounds and stories of Italy for 50 years in Thunder Bay. On December 22, 1961, he spoke his first words on-air at CFPA. All these years later, he was still doing The Italian Musical Panorama on CKPR – every Sunday morning. Caccamo said he’ll keep on doing it for as long as he can. 

CKPR-2 Atikokan began broadcasting. 


After 52 years of bringing music and news of Italy to CKPR listeners, Mario Caccamo (86) retired December 22.


In August, Fraser Dougall passed away at age 73. He was president of Dougall Media and joined the company in 1958.

Rick Smith died at age 77. The long-time CKPR radio and TV personality spent over four decades of his 46-year broadcast career with Dougall Media, retiring in September of 2006.


William (Bill) Malcolm died at age 60 in March. His radio career began in Southern Ontario before moving to CJLB Thunder Bay. In 1995, he moved to Dougall Media as program director and on-air personality at CKTG, CKPR (where he oversaw the switch
from AM to FM), CKED/CFQK and Marathon’s CFNO.


Bob MacDonald, 69, passed away on November 4. MacDonald’s on-air career began at CJIC Sault Ste. Marie, and in 1977 he moved to CKPR. He also spent several years doing the local TV weather in Thunder Bay.

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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