Rogers Media

CHUR-FM2002100.5100,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CHUR-FM1999100.5100,000Telemedia Communications Inc.
CHUR-FM1997100.5100,000Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc.
CHUR-AM199084010,000Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc.
CHUR-AM198584010,000Gateway City Broadcasters Ltd.
CHUR-AM198484010,000Gateway City Broadcasters (Mid-Canada bought 45%)


A North Bay group announced it would apply for a second commercial AM station for the city. President of the company, Gateway City Broadcasters Ltd., Sid Tomkins, was active in local politics and broadcasting for some 25 years. He started out at the city’s CKGN-TV when it went on the air. Most recently, he was director of the broadcasting course at Canadore College. Other shareholders in Gateway were Ed Vitunski, Sergio Perut and Jack Ralph.

On July 10, Gateway City Broadcasters Ltd. was given approval to operate a new AM station at North Bay. It would broadcast on a frequency of 1110 kHz and have a full-time power of 10,000 watts. The station would have a traditional Middle of the Road format, with an emphasis on community programming. A half hour news magazine would air three times a day. Special interest shows would include educational and ethnic programs, and a history of broadcasting produced by Canadore students. The target to for the start of operations was September 1, 1982.


On March 27, Gateway was authorized to change the frequency for its proposed North Bay station, from 1110 to 840 kHz. The 840 frequency was made available earlier in the year thanks to a new AM agreement concluded with the United States. The frequency change would significantly improve CHUR’s signal to the east, west and south.

On the same date, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of Gateway City Broadcasters Limited through the issue of shares from Treasury, representing 75% of the resultant total voting shares, to Mid-Canada Communications (45%) and Richard Donnelly (30%). As a result of this transaction, the shares of Gateway held by Harvey Ellis (Sid) Tomkins representing 100% of the total vote would be diluted to 25% of that total, and the ownership structure of Gateway would be such that no single shareholder would have clear-cut control. Tomkins would continue as Chairman and President of Gateway. This application was sparked by the urgent need for financial restructuring and additional shareholder investment in order to establish CHUR. Since the licence was first granted, Gateway experienced a series of financial setbacks, including the withdrawal of participation by all but one of its original shareholders.

CHUR 840 finally made it to air in August with the official launch on September 30. The station broadcast in stereo and power was 10,000 watts. Studios and offices were located above the MCTV (Mid-Canada) television studios at 215 Oak Street East.


On April 21, the CRTC issued a licence to CHUR-AM Radio North Bay, a general partnership. All investors previously holding shares in Gateway continued to own shares as three equal partners. 

Larry Johnson was CHUR’s news director. 


Len Robinson became CHUR’s program director and morning man. He had been with CKBY Ottawa.


Gary Duguay was general manager. 

On March 2, the CRTC renewed CHUR’s licence to August 31, 1990. This term would enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of other radio stations in the region. CHUR was originally licensed in 1981 but did not commence operation until September 30, 1985, following two extensions of the deadline for implementation of service and changes in its ownership structure which provided much-needed financial stability. At the public hearing regarding this licence renewal, the licensee acknowledged that it had been necessary to make program scheduling changes in order to maintain a competitive position in the marketplace. It assured the Commission, however, that the local orientation of the station, as envisaged in the initial licensing decision was being maintained. In reviewing specific programming commitments, the licensee stated that its talk program, now entitled “The Atkins File”, was still being produced with the help of a local advisory committee but that it had been shortened and rescheduled. Moreover, the range of subjects with which it dealt had been expanded beyond the field of education. The licensee also maintained its commitment to broadcast a historical feature on Canadian radio, produced weekly in conjunction with students from Canadore College, as well as programming for the francophone and ethnic communities through such presentations as “Les Compagnons”, “Off The Bookshelf” and “Continental Medley”. The Commission expressed some concern over the fact that Sturgeon Falls, the largest community in the station’s coverage area outside of North Bay, did not have its own news stringer. The licensee explained that various attempts to secure a news stringer in Sturgeon Falls had proven unsuccessful and that the area was being covered by the licensee’s own news staff. It also expressed a willingness to address Sturgeon Falls interests through its talk show.


James Tuckett joined Mid-Canada’s CHUR-AM, CKNY-TV and CHNB-TV as news director. He had held the same post at CKPC-AM-FM in Brantford. Former CHUR news director Barry Johnson moved to morning news at CJMX in Sudbury.

Peter McKeown joined CHUR as morning man. He had been at CFGM in Toronto.


Ron Smith became CHUR’s general manager. He had been with Canadore College. He replaced Gary Duguay.


On January 3, approval was given for the transfer of all of the radio assets held by Mid-Canada and all the shares of its wholly-owned subsidiary CKCY 920 Limited, to Ottawa Valley Broadcasting along with the 45% partnership interest of CHUR-AM Radio General Partnership of North Bay now held by Mid-Canada. OVB would then amalgamate with CKCY 920 Limited, under the name Ottawa Valley Broadcasting Company Ltd.

On June 26, Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. was given permission to acquire CHUR from CHUR-AM Radio General Partnership. Mid-Canada was a shareholder in the partnership.

On July 26, approval was granted for the sale of Mid-Canada Radio Inc. from Northern Cable Holdings Limited to Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc.

On December 21, approval was granted for the transfer of effective control of 909664 Ontario Limited, through the transfer of 25 common voting shares (25%) from Sid Tomkins and 30 common voting shares (30%) from Richard Donnelly to Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc., an existing shareholder. Pelmorex already held 45% of the common voting shares of 909664 and, as a result of this transaction, would effectively control the licensee company.


On september 29, Pelmorex Communications Inc. was given permission to convert CHUR to the FM band, operating on 100.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The new station would convert the existing AM oldies format Pop, Rock, and Dance format. CHUR would also broadcast 30 minutes per week of French-language programming.


Pelmorex and Telemedia entered into a management agreement for the operation of their stations in North Bay and Sudbury, effective September 1. In North Bay, Pelmorex’s CHUR moved in to the Telemedia broadcast facility (CFCH/CKAT-FM). In Sudbury, the programming staff at the five stations would now work at one facility while the administrative/support staff worked from another building.

On April 7, the CRTC approved the applications by Pelmorex Radio Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of CKNR Elliot Lake and its transmitter CJNR Blind River, CKNS Espanola, CHYK and CKAP Kapuskasing, CHUR North Bay, CHVR Pembroke, CHVR-1 Renfrew and its transmitter CHVR-2 Arnprior, CJQM Sault Ste. Marie, CHNO, CHYC and CJMX-FM Sudbury, CKOY Timmins and its transmitter CHOH Hearst, and CJWA Wawa, from Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc., and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these undertakings. In approving these applications, the Commission took into account the fact that Pelmorex Radio Inc. was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pelmorex Inc. which was controlled by Pelmorex Management Inc. and that the transaction thus represented an intra-corporate reorganization without any change occurring in the control, programming or management of the licensee. 


In January, CHUR moved back to its own building after the LMA with Telemedia was dissolved.


CHUR switched to the FM band at 100.5 MHz with 100,000 watts ERP. 

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters names Mix 100 (CHUR) radio station of the year. 


Pelmorex announced the sale of its AM stations to Christopher Grossman’s Haliburton Broadcasting and the FM stations to Telemedia Communications. Grossman would acquire AM’s at Sudbury (CHNO and CHYC), CKOY-AM Timmins, CKAP Kapuskasing, as well as Timmins repeater stations CHYK Kapuskasing and CHOH of Hearst. Grossman planned to flip the Sudbury and Timmins stations to FM. Telemedia would buy CHVR-FM Pembroke, CJQM-FM Sault Ste. Marie, CJMX-FM Sudbury and CHUR-FM North Bay. Pelmorex decided it wanted to get out of the radio business to focus on its multimedia weather-related information services and was still looking for a purchaser for its radio network.


On February 17,Telemedia Communications Inc. acquired four radio stations from Pelmorex Radio Inc., including CHUR-FM North Bay. CHUR moved into the CKAT-CKFX building at 743 Main Street. 

With Telemedia’s acquisition of CHUR-FM, CHVR-FM, CJQM-FM and CJMX-FM, it became the sole commercial radio licensee in both North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie by owning all three of each city’s commercial stations. In Sudbury, it would hold three of the five licences. 


Clancy MacDonald left EZ Rock (CHUR), The Fox FM (CKFX) and CKAT-AM in December. He had been news director and left to work for local MP Bob Wood.


Long-time CKAT morning man Peter McKeown became operations manager at Telemedia North Bay (EZ Rock, The Fox and CKAT). Clint Thomas became assistant news director following the departure of news director Clancy MacDonald.

Telemedia Radio vice president Braden Doerr most recently VP 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) continued 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 the Ontario region.


On April 19, the purchase of several Telemedia radio and television stations by Standard Radio Inc. and then the spin-off of some of these properties to NewCap and Rogers, was approved. Among the stations purchased by Rogers Broadcasting Limited: CKAT-AM, CKFX-FM and CHUR-FM North Bay.


On October 27, CHUR was given approval to decrease antenna height and relocate the transmitter. 


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


Chris McEwin, the former midday host on the Rogers Ontario North Rock network, moved across the hall to become Music Director at CHUR North Bay (though based in Sudbury) and midday host on the Ontario North EZ Rock network. Succeeding McEwin at the Rock net was Niall Knutson.


Peter Tensen (with Rogers North Bay since 2002) became promotions director. He succeeded Keven Oschefski who became morning co-host on EZ Rock 100.5 (North Bay). Program director Andy Wilson at EZ Rock 100.5 FM added PD duties at sister station AM 600 CKAT. He also now hosted CKAT mornings, moving from EZ Rock’s afternoon show.  


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. 

Rogers Ontario North announced that Holly Cangiano accepted the position of general manager/general sales manager for the North Bay radio group of stations – 102 FM The FOX, 100.5 EZ ROCK and AM 600 CKAT. Holly had 19 years of radio experience in this market, starting at CHUR. In 2002 Holly started her management career as a sales supervisor for EZROCK and CKAT and in 2008 began leading all three stations in the same role. 

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. 

After joining EZ Rock in 2010, Joël Lamoureux returned to Ottawa’s Y101. 

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


On August 29, CHUR 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.

Rogers Radio North Bay took possession of a new broadcast facility (Ted Rogers Broadcast Centre) closer to downtown (273 Main Street East).

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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