CFYN-AM, Sault Ste. Marie

CFYN-AM1992105010,000Left the Air
CFYN-AM1992105010,000Telemedia Radio Inc.
CFYN-AM1977105010,000Gilder Broadcasting Inc.
CJIC-AM193412401,000Grant Hyland/Jack Whitby


CJIC began operations on October 25th, owned by Grant Hyland and Jack Whitby from studios in the Windsor Hotel. By 1935 programming had been expanded with such notable announcers as Bruce Smith and Don Sims (later to have lengthy careers at CBC) and Mac McCurdy (later to have a senior post at CFRB Toronto) heard daily on CJIC. Sims was the staff soloist.


Grant Hyland bought out his partner to take total control of the station. 


Mac McCurdy joined CJIC from Windsor’s CKLW. 


Don Sims left CJIC for CKLW Windsor. Announcer Jack Starke left for CBL Toronto.


Competition arrived in the form of  WSOO across the river in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Fierce competitors for both audience and advertisers dollars, meant that listeners actually had improved service, with more news and sports  as both stations tried to serve both cities. CJIC had become an affiliate of the CBC network and WSOO was an affiliate of ABC, so both stations became much more cosmopolitan. 

CJIC increased power to 250 watts.

CJIC was now available through CBC as a supplementary station for acceptance of commercial programs.

Mac McCurdy left CJIC for Brantford’s CKPC.


Norm Childs (announcer) left CJIC for the soon to open CFOS in Owen Sound. 


Under the Havana Treaty, CJIC moved from 1500 to 1490 kHz (Class IV) on March 29. Power was 100 watts Fred Darling joined CJIC’s sales department. He had been program director at CKGB Timmins. 

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 network 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 London, CFCO Chatham, CKLW Windsor, CKCR Kitchener, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF or CHLP Montreal, CHLT Sherbrooke, CKNB Campbellton, and CJLS Yarmouth. 


J.C. Whitby left CJIC to take over CFLC in Prescott. 


Don Ramsay left CJIC to join the announce staff of CHEX Peterborough.


CBC Trans-Canada Supplementary stations: CKCV, CKOC, CKLW, CJIC, CKCK, CFAR, CFGP, CKLN Nelson.

Dave Lillwall left CJIC’s announce staff for CKSO in Sudbury.


Basil Scully was now working at CJIC. He had been manager at CKPR in Fort William. 


CJIC applied for an emergency transmitter licence. 

An FM licence was recommended for approval in December.


Basil Scully was commercial manager.


CJIC-FM went on the air for the first time. 


Slogan: Sell Algoma with CJIC. 


CJIC installed a new RCA BTA-250M AM transmitter and BA-6A limiting amplifier. In a note to RCA, manager J.G. Hyland, stated the quality of the signal improved so much, that Bruce Mines, 45 miles away, was now adequately served in daytime hours.

Dave Irwin was chief engineer.


CJIC joined the RTNDA. Lionel McAuley was news director.


The corporate name was changed to Hyland Radio TV Ltd. as the company had received a television licence (CJIC-TV).

CJIC-FM left the air around this time. 

E.G. Vance, commercial manager, was appointed station manager but would also keep his old role. He joined the station in 1946.

Slogan: Serving prosperous Algoma County. 


Was a big year for broadcasting in the Sault.   CKCY-AM, a Canadian station owned by a group of businessmen headed by Carmen Greco, started broadcasting from studios across the street from the Memorial Gardens.  The year before, Grant Hyland introduced television to the Sault, with CJIC-TV. 

Babs Corbett was program director of CJIC.


Grant Hyland passed away leaving the stations to his family.

Mrs. J. G. Hyland bcame president of the company. E. G. Vance was CJIC’s manager. George Jonescu was program director. Lionel McCauley was news director. Russ Ramsay was sports director. Donald Ramsay was farm director. 


Ad: CJIC Radio – for over 23 years / CJIC-TV – now in its 3rd year / synonymous with service and entertainment in Canada’s fastest growing industrial and mining area. 


Ad slogan: The man said don’t bore people with statistics. Use CJIC Sault Ste. Marie. There is nobody listening but people.


CJIC was authorized to increase power from 250 watts to 10,000 watts during the day and 2,500 watts at night. CKCY had asked for deferment of this application until it had time to complete its own power increase application. Both stations were now operating at 250 watts and CKCY argued that allowing CJIC to increase power first would give that station a competitive advantage. 

Print Ad: CJIC – Algoma’s pioneer station boosts power with RCA Victor. CJIC…first in ratings. First with radio in Sault Ste. Marie 26 years ago…first with television 6 years ago…first with a mobile unit…an now, first with 10,000 watts, AM.

Eileen Hyland was president of Hyland Radio-TV Ltd. Col. Eb Vance was CJIC Radio’s manager. David Irwin was chief engineer.


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks of the CBC were consolidated in to a single service. CJIC had been a Trans-Canada station. Following the merger, CJIC remained a CBC network station.


CJIC-FM returned to the air.


Mrs. E. Hyland was president of the company and Russell Ramsay was CJIC’s general manager and sports director. Bob Wood was production manager and George Jonescu was program director. John Rhodes was chief announcer and morning man. Lionel McAuley was news director.


CJIC morning man John Rhodes was elected mayor of the city on December 2. He had served as an alderman for the past five years. Rhodes joined CJIC eleven years ago. In addition to the morning show he also hosted the popular “Hot Line” program from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. and was AM-FM-TV sports director.


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. CJIC was one of those stations.


Lou Turco and Art Osborne were at CJIC.


Applications were submitted to the CRTC by Huron Broadcasting Ltd., a new syndicate headed by Carmen Greco, owner of CKCY, to acquire all of the broadcast facilities in the Sault Ste. Marie area. The new company would purchase Hyland Radio-TV (CJIC-AM-FM-TV and CJWA Wawa) and Algonquin Radio-TV (CKCY-AM-FM, CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake and CKNS Espanola). Huron would then sell CJIC-AM-FM to a group headed by Russ Hilderley, the present program director of CKCY. CJIC-AM-FM would assume new call letters while CJWA would become part of the CKCY network. CJIC-TV would continue as a CBC affiliate and Huron would seek a twin stick operation with a new station to be known as CKCY-TV to bring CTV service to the area. Russ Hilderley had been employed by CKCY Radio for a number of years.

The CRTC approved the applications by Huron for changes in broadcast facilities in the Soo. The approval was conditional on Huron agreeing to provide CTV service no later than September 1, 1978. Huron was warned it must meet its commitments to provide better TV news and public affairs programming. CJWA was to become a full CBC affiliate with separate programming from Wawa.


In January, Russ Hilderly, on behalf of a company to be incorporated (would be known as Gilder Broadcasting Ltd.) was authorized to purchase CJIC-AM and FM from Huron Broadcasting Ltd. Hilderly had been a longtime personality at CKCY.

On February 1, Russ Hilderley, President of Gilder Broadcasting, re-launched the former Hyland stations – CJIC-AM-FM – as CFYN-AM and CHAS-FM.  


On April 26, approval was given for the transfer of control of Gilder Broadcasting Ltd. with a 51% interest going from B. Pickersgill to Russ Hilderley and G. Penny. Following the transfer, Hilderley held 66% and Penny, 34%.


In February, CFYN’s studios and offices moved from 245 Queen Street East to 426 Bruce Street. The old facility was rented and was located above a furniture store in the downtown. The new facility was one level, on one acre of land in the geographical heart of Sault Ste. Marie. It was located on top of a hill, overlooking the city. Facing due south, the new building’s roof was at a 54 degree angle for adaptation to solar energy panels.


Huron Broadcasting sold off the remaining radio stations (CKCY-AM and FM and Wawa) to Paul Fockler who in turn, a few years later, sold the properties to Mid-Canada Broadcasting of Sudbury, who shortly thereafter, sold them, along with all their other radio holdings in Northern Ontario to Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario. 


Telemedia Communications Inc. agreed to buy CFYN/CHAS-FM from Gilder Broadcasting Ltd. Gilder, headed by Russ Hilderley, had 18 full-time employees. The announcement came only weeks after the sale of CKCY/CJQM-FM. The CRTC approved the purchase on June 18. Telemedia was the licensee of 19 radio stations located in both small and large markets across Quebec and Ontario. 

Ownership of CFYN/CHAS officially transferred on July 1. Hilderley retained ownership of the studios at 426 Bruce Street, and the transmitter site at 936 Black Road. Gerry Penny, Vice President of Gilder, and Sales Manager, remained with the radio station management team. 


Joe Leone was now programming CFYN after three years at CFCF in Montreal.


Program director Joe Leone returned to CFCF Montreal. CFYN’s new morning man was Lou Turco. He had worked in the Soo in the past – at CKCY. Jim Cronin was news director. 


After the former CJIC stations (CFYN & CHAS) had been sold to Telemedia, Inc.and the fact that there were now four stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and the CBC had added their own FM service on their own transmitter, it fragmented the audience so that the four Canadian stations became unprofitable.   Telemedia and Pelmorex Broadcasting appealed to the CRTC and were allowed  to shut down the AM stations and the two FMs’ were moved into shared space, thus eliminating unnecessary duplication of staff.  Local service to the community has suffered  to the chagrin of many listeners in the area, but some stability had to be developed through restructuring and downsizing.


There were now four radio stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and the CBC had added its own radio rebroadcasters in the area. Because of the fragmentation of the audience, CFYN-AM and CKCY-AM had become unprofitable (a combined loss of a million dollars in 1991). A severe recession was also underway. As a result, Telemedia (CFYN) and Pelmorex (CKCY) decided to pull the plug on their AM operations in the city. That happened on August 30. Both companies would concentrate on their FM operations – CHAS (Telemedia) and CJQM (Pelmorex). The two companies agreed to enter a service agreement that would merge their FM operations into the Pelmorex facilities. CHAS-FM would move to the Pelmorex premises and be managed by that company, on behalf of Telemedia.

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.

Contact this station