CHYC-FM, French, Sudbury

LE5 Communications Inc.

CHYC-FM200898.91,000LE5 Communications Inc.
CHYC-FM200098.91,000Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.
CHYC-AM199990010,000/1,000Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.
CHYC-AM199090010,000/1,000Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc.
CFBR-AM198590010,000/1,000Mid Canada Communications Ltd.
CFBR-AM195790010,000/1,000Sudbury Broadcasting Ltd. (Ricard)


The Sudbury Broadcasting Co. Ltd. received a licence for a French-language AM station at Sudbury. From a technical standpoint, the new station would operate in an unusual manner as it would transmit from the existing and co-owned CHNO antenna array. It was proposed that the new station – CFBR – would only broadcast during daytime hours at first – with 1,000 watts of power. Until such time as the new station added night-time service, CHNO would broadcast after sunset with 30% of its programming in French.

CFBR 550 began broadcasting on December 8. It operated on a frequency of 550 kHz and was authorized to transmit with a power of 1,000 watts (directional at night). CHNO 900 had been broadcasting in English and French. With the launch of CFBR, CHNO switched to full-time English programming. CHNO remained an affiliate of the CBC Dominion network while CFBR took up the French Radio-Canada affiliation. Canadian General Electric supplied the 1,000 watt transmitter as well as the specially designed phasing and tuning equipment. The “FBR” in the call sign: F. Baxter Ricard.

Ownership of The Sudbury Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was as follows: F. B. Ricard 97.3%, A. V. Ricard 2.0% and J. R. Hurtubise 0.7%. F. B. Ricard was president of the company. 


Ad slogan: Nous Parlons Francais and we sell goods – CFBR Sudbury, Ontario. 


Ad: Radio 55 brings in 36,390 letters in 16 weeks. CFBR – Sudbury. “Covering the largest French speaking market in Ontario”.

CFBR reached 89,514 French listeners from North Bay to Elliot Lake.


F. B. Ricard was president of the company and Rene Riel was manager and commercial manager.


On December 31, CFBR swapped frequencies with CHNO. CFBR was now on 900 kHz with 10,000 watts day and a thousand watts at night, operating from the same antenna site, using three towers. CHNO moved to 550 kHz. The change allowed CFBR to go to full-time operation and increase its power.


Sudbury Broadcasting (1977) Ltd. was given approval to purchase CFBR and CHNO from The Sudbury Broadcasting Co. Ltd.

On June 19, CFBR was authorized to drop its affiliation with Radio-Canada. The network’s own CBON-FM signed on the air this date.


The CRTC approved a corporate reorganization of Sudbury Broadcasting.

In November, CHNO and CFBR moved to new studios and offices in the former King George School on Victoria Avenue. The new facility would have plenty of room to accommodate a new FM station.


Sudbury Broadcasting launched CJMX-FM (English) in Sudbury.

Technical director Henry Albert noted at this time that CHNO and CFBR shared the same antenna array in 1957 and still did today, despite the complexity of their directional patterns. They were believed to be the first AM directional stations in Canada to be co-sited.


On March 27, Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. received approval for the purchase of CHNO, CFBR and CJMX-FM from Sudbury Broadcasting (1977) Ltd.  Mid-Canada was 95.8% owned by Northern Cable Services Ltd. CUC Ltd. was the largest shareholder in Northern, with a 48.3% interest.  G. R. Conway controlled CUC. The remaining 51.7% of Northern’s shares were held by Northern Ontario investors. The largest of these was The Sudbury Broadcasting Co. Ltd., which held 20.1%. It owned Sudbury Broadcasting (1977) Ltd. and was controlled by F. Baxter Ricard.

Mr. Ricard chose to sell his stations for estate planning purposes. As a major shareholder in Mid-Canada, President and Chairman, he would continue to play an active role in CHNO, CFBR and CJMX-FM. At the CRTC hearing on the sale application, it was noted that Mr. Ricard had continued to operate French-language CFBR despite accumulated losses approaching $1 million.

The CRTC expressed concern with the amount of automated programming airing on CFBR during night-time and weekend hours. Mid-Canada was required to make every effort to reduce this automated programming as financial resources permitted.

On the same date, Mid-Canada was also authorized to purchase CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake and CKNS Espanola from Huron Broadcasting Ltd. of Sault Ste. Marie.


On July 26, approval came for the sale of Mid-Canada Radio Inc. by Northern Cable Holdings Limited to Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc. 14 radio stations in North-Eastern Ontario, including CHNO, CFBR and CJMX-FM (all Sudbury), were part of the deal. CFBR changed call letters to CHYC.


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. 


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 August 31, the sale of CHNO and CHYC by Pelmorex Radio Inc. to Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. was approved. Permission was also given for the conversion of  CHYC to the FM band, operating on a frequency of 98.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 1,000 watts.


CHYC moved to the FM band. AM 900 left the air March 31.


Standard Radio Inc. acquired a 29.9% interest in Haliburton Broadcasting Group.


On October 31, the CRTC approved the application by LE5 Communications Inc. to acquire CHYC-FM Sudbury and CHYK-FM Timmins as well as its transmitters CHYX-FM Kapuskasing and CHYK-FM-3 Hearst, from The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. LE5 was a corporation owned and controlled by Mr. Paul Lefebvre.       


In March CHYC 98.9 changed format from Adult Contemporary to Contemporary Hits, known as Le Loup FM (The Wolf).


On September 28, the CRTC approved the application by Le5 Communications Inc. to change the authorized contours of CHYC-FM by increasing the effective radiated power from 1,400 to 4,620 watts and the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 165.3 to 181.9 metres, as well as by changing the class of the transmitter from that of a Class A to Class B1 station. According to the licensee, the amendment was necessary to solve signal reception problems. It indicated that the signal was not strong enough to penetrate buildings, homes and sometimes vehicles, even within the municipality of Sudbury. In support of its application, the licensee provided about 30 letters from listeners reporting signal reception problems in buildings such as schools and houses.


On August 17, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CHYC-FM to August 31, 2013.


On July 9, the CRTC gave CHYC a short-term licence renewal to August 31, 2023 due to issues of non-compliance.

The story continues elsewhere…
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