CHAS-FM , KISS FM, Sault Ste. Marie

Rogers Media

CHAS-FM2002100.530,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CHAS-FM1985100.530,000Pelmorex Broadcasting Ltd.
CHAS-FM1977100.530,000Huron Broadcasting Ltd.
CJIC-FM1964100.53,600Highland Radio & TV Ltd.


An FM licence for CJIC was recommended for approval by the CBC in December.


CJIC-FM would use an RCA transmitter.


CJIC-FM went on the air for the first time (it may have been on the air in 1948). CJIC-FM and AM were owned by Grant Hyland. CJIC-AM had been on the air since 1934. Studios and offices for both stations were located in the Windsor Hotel at 678 Queen Street East. CJIC-FM operated on a frequency of 100.5 MHz and had a power of 250 watts.


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.


Hyland Radio-TV Ltd. re-opened CJIC-FM on May 5. The station operated on a frequency of 100.5 Mhz with an effective radiated power of 3,600 watts. Hyland also owned CJIC-AM and CJIC Television. Mrs. J. G. (Eileen) Hyland was President of the company. Russell Ramsay was General Manager of CJIC Radio while Paul Fockler was Manager. (Start date may have been May 15).


Sports director John Rhodes was elected mayor of the city on December 2. He had served as an alderman for the past five years. Rhodes joined the CJIC stations eleven years prior. In addition to being AM-FM-TV sports director, Rhodes was also CJIC-AM morning man and host of that station’s popular “Hot Line” program.


Huron Broadcasting Ltd. was incorporated in June 1976, headed by Carmen Greco. This new company proceeded to purchase Greco’s Algonquin Radio/TV. Ltd, (CKCY-AM-FM), and Hyland Radio/TV. Ltd. (CJIC-AM-FM). To adhere to CRTC regulations, Huron would transfer ownership of the operating assets of Hyland’s AM and FM stations to Russ Hilderley and Bruce Pickersgill (Gilder Broadcasting Ltd.). Hilderley was a prominent CKCY-AM personality, former city alderman, and past president of Kiwanis, and Pickersgill was a real estate developer.


Gilder Broadcasting Ltd. was authorized by the CRTC to purchase CJIC-AM and FM from Huron Broadcasting Ltd.

On February 1, Gilder Broadcasting re-launched CJIC-AM-FM – as CFYN-AM and CHAS-FM.


On April 12, Gilder Broadcasting received approval to increase effective radiated power for CHAS 100.5 from 3,600 watts to 6,700 watts.

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%.

On February 1, CFYN’s studios and offices moved from 254 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 and adopted the slogan “Sunshine Radio”.

Among the more prominent show hosts for CFYN was Bob Wood, formerly of North Bay radio and one time city alderman there.


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.


Telemedia Communications Inc. agreed to buy the operating assets of CFYN/CHAS-FM from Gilder Broadcasting Ltd. Gilder had 27 full-time and 6 part time employees. The announcement came only weeks after the sale of CKCY/CJQM-FM to Paul Fockler & group. The CRTC approved the purchase on June 18 with formal transfer July 1. Telemedia was then the licensee of 19 radio stations located in both small and large markets across Quebec and Ontario.

Gilder retained ownership of the studios at 426 Bruce Street, and the transmitter site at 926 Black Road. Gerry Penny, Vice President of Gilder, and Sales Manager, remained with the radio station management team. Hilderley continued on as a freelance host for Telemedia’s talk show “Reaching Out” for the balance of that year. He eventually returned to his first love – news – as a weekend reporter on 100.5.


On February 16, the CRTC approved the transfer of Telemedia’s Ontario stations from Telemedia Communications Inc. to Telemedia Communications Ontario Inc. This was an intercorporate reorganization.


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, CKCY-AM and CFYN-AM had become unprofitable (a combined loss of a million dollars in 1991). A severe recession was also underway. As a result, Pelmorex (CKCY) and Telemedia (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.

Following the AM closure, the two FM stations were operating out of 642 Great Northern Road. Staff for both stations included Tracey Gard (manager), Ray Rylatt (engineer), Paul Hayes (production), Elizabeth Kimber (traffic), James Warner-Smith (CHAS program director), and Bruce Krause (CJQM program director).


A tragic accident near Blind River saw 37-year old Q104/Mix 100 host and production manager Michel Droulet killed in a highway collision. Droulet was in a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Tracey Gard, the stations’ general manager. The Michigan driver of a van that collided with Gard’s vehicle was charged with careless driving.


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.


On April 19, approval was given for Standard Radio Inc. to purchase several radio and television stations from Telemedia Radio Inc. In turn, Standard sold some of these properties to other companies, including Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. Among the stations acquired by Rogers: CHAS-FM and CJQM-FM in Sault Ste. Marie.


Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CHAS-FM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.


Russ Hilderley left CHAS EZ Rock.


Rick Doughty, Rogers Radio vice president and general manager for the company’s Northern Ontario stations (North Bay, Sault Ste Marie and Timmins), and GM at Rogers Sudbury, retired March 31. Doughty was with Telemedia and Rogers for a combined 22.5 years, 12 and a-half of them with Telemedia before it was purchased. He divided his time between, first, North Bay and then Sudbury.

Peter McKeown was named vice president & general manager Ontario North Radio & GM Sudbury Radio. He would oversee operations of Rogers Radio stations in the Northern Ontario. McKeown had been general manager for North Bay Radio (102 The Fox, 600 CKAT, and 100.5 EZ Rock). He assumed the responsibilities previously held by Rick Doughty, who retired.

On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHAS-FM to August 31, 2012. On August 28, the licence was administratively renewed to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the CRTC renewed CHAS-FM’s licence to August 31, 2019.


On August 29, CHAS was rebranded from EZ ROCK to KISS FM. The format remained Hot Adult Contemporary.


Peter McKeown became VP & General Manager for Rogers Radio Northern Ontario.


Scott Turnbull retired in the summer after 43 years on-air. His career started in 1975 in Dryden. He went on to work in Sudbury, Leamington, North Bay and Thunder Bay before landing in The Soo in 1988. In addition to doing the morning show, he was also the broadcast voice of the Soo Greyhounds for a decade. Turnbull had been absent from the KiSS morning show since November after developing heart problems.


John Wishart (75) passed away on August 10. Wishart hosted programs on CJIC Radio and TV in the 1960s and early 1970s, in addition to time with local stations CHAS-FM and WYSS-FM. He ended his career at CBC Radio.


Jeff McNeice retired and signed off at CHAS. He became the last local radio show host on the Canadian side of the St.Mary’s River. All local programming had been phased out earlier, including locally produced news and sports, in favour of amalgamating the stations formats from Sudbury and Toronto.

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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