CIGM-FM, Hot 93.5, Sudbury

Stingray Group Inc.

CIGM-FM201893.5100,000Stingray Group Inc.
CIGM-FM200993.5100,000Newcap inc.
CIGM-AM200279050,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CIGM-AM198679050,000Telemedia Communications Inc.
CIGM-AM197979050,000United Broadcasting Ltd.
CKSO-AM196679050,000Cambrian Broadcasting Ltd.
CKSO-AM19497905,000/500CKSO Radio Ltd.
CKSO-AM19457905,000/500W. E. Mason
CKSO-AM19417901,000W. E. Mason
CKSO-AM19357801,000W. E. Mason


W.E. Mason opened CKSO on 780 kHz with 1,000 watts power, August 23. Studios were in the Grand Theatre building. The “SO” in the calls: Sudbury, Ontario. 

Engineer Fred Eaton assisted in the installation of CKSO’s transmitter. 


John Farrell was named manager of CKSO. Colman Wilson joined the announce staff. 


Jack Kemp left CKSO to join the commercial department of CJRC Winnipeg. W. J. Woodill, formerly with a number of western stations, was appointed manager of CKSO.


Clair Chambers, former sports and specialty announcer for CJRC Winnipeg and CJRM Regina, joined CKSO on September 1 to do sales and announcing/production production work. Fred Haywood and W. Valentine joined the CKSO production staff.

CKSO installed a 325 foot tower from Canadian Marconi of Montreal. The new radiator was the tallest in Northern Ontario, according to manager W. J. Woodill.


CKSO began subscribing to the Transradio Press news service.

Flying officer J. F. Dow, formerly transmitter engineer with CKSO and CKCL Toronto, was now an instructor at No. 1 Wireless School of the Royal Canadian Air Force in Montreal.


Under the Havana Treaty, CKSO changed frequency from 780 to 790 kHz (Class III-B) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts. 

William Stovin (son of Horace) joined CKSO as publicity manager. Jim Book joined the CKSO engineering staff from CKGB Timmins. Former CKSO (and CJRM Regina) engineer Tom Holup was now with CKGB Timmins.


Clair Chambers returned to CKSO as manager. He had been at CKCW in Moncton.


Wilf Woodill, Toronto manager for CKSO, was accepted for overseas service with the United States Office of War Information.

Announcer Harry Witton joined CKSO from CFOS in Owen Sound. New to radio, Romaine LeClair also joined CKSO as an announcer and continuity writer.

Don McGill was appointed executive director and station manager of CKSO, effective June 30. He had been at CKSO for the past year and worked at CFCO Chatham prior to that. McGill succeeds Clair Chambers who moved to Toronto.

Newcomers to radio, Ken Ardill and Judy Brainard, joined CKSO’s announcing staff. 



Announcer Ken Ardill left CKSO for CHML in Hamilton. Dave Lillwall joined the CKSO announce staff from CJIC in Sault Ste. Marie. Harry B. Witton, program and production manager at CKSO, resigned. W.E. Mason was manager and Don McGill was commercial manager.

Late in the year, W.E. Mason announced that the contract for CKSO’s new 5,000 watt transmitter had been let and that the ground system was now in. Construction was to proceed through the winter and the three towers were expected to be completed by January 1 (1946). He said the new system would be operational before the snow was off the ground.

CKSO was in the process of building its new 5,000 watt transmitter building. Mayor Beaton was on hand for the official sod-turning ceremony on December 12. When completed, CKSO would be the first station in Northern Ontario to operate a 5 kW transmitter. The building would house a Marconi 5 kW transmitter and three new 325 foot towers and ground system were now in place. Transmitter delivery was expected in January or early February (1946) with late spring on-air service.

Slogan: The Sudbury Daily Star Station.


W.J. (Wilf) Woodill returned to CKSO as general manager. He had been overseas with the OWI and the U.S. Information Service. Woodill had been in radio since 1929 and with CKSO wince 1936, when he joined the staff as a studio operator. He became studio director in 1938 and a year later took over as station manager. Don McGill was appointed program director. 

Studios were at 21 Elgin Street and the transmitter was on McFarlane Lake, six miles from Sudbury. CKSO’s schedule: 7 a.m. to 12:05 a.m., 9 a.m. to 12:05 a.m. Sundays. 

In advance of its power increase to 5,000 watts, CKSO revamped its program setup and carried several new features. The Sudbury Music Festival was fully covered and a hockey game from Stanley Stadium was described by Dave Lilwall.

CKSO’s new 5,000 watt transmitter was officially dedicated on August 19 after the completion of the installation and the proof of performance. Owner W.E. Mason spoke over the Trans-Canada network following the power increase. The new transmitter building housed a five room apartment, bachelor quarters, a two car garage and repair shop, control room, offices, tube storage room, transmitter room and a totally isolated transformer room. 

CKSO continuity writer Doreen Brown was struck and killed by a passenger train on December 26.


The second commercial FM licence (Canadian Marconi received the first – in Montreal) was issued to CKSO. Early in the year, engineers were completing plans for erection of the station on the Grand Theatre Building.

Co-workers (at CKSO) Bill Deegan and Leila Saganiewicz got married. 

In addition to operating CKSO, W.E. Mason was also publisher of The Sudbury Daily Star and The North Bay Nuggett.

CKSO applied for an emergency transmitter licence. This was approved in December. 

Bob Pugh began his radio career at CKSO.


W.E. Mason died. The will for the owner of CKSO and the Sudbury Daily Star was filed for probate on August 24. The bulk of the estate was to be left to the W.E. Mason Charitable Foundation. It would place the radio station in a unique position in Canada, for the will stated that all of the profits for CKSO were to be distributed each year to charitable organizations. CKSO according to the will was to be completely free of the Sudbury Daily Star. The station would now be licensed to CKSO Radio Ltd with G.M. Miller, K.C., as president, and W.J. Woodill as secretary-general manager. Woodill had already held this post for a number of years.

A special Christmas Day broadcast was beamed from nine different stations across Canada without the use of network facilities. The participating stations were CKWX Vancouver, CFCN Calgary, CKCK Regina, CJOB Winnipeg, CKSO Sudbury, CFPL London, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF Montreal and CFCY Charlottetown.


CKSO Radio Ltd. (George M. Miller, J.M. Cooper, W.B. Plaunt Sr., and W.J. Woodill) purchased CKSO from the estate of W.E. Mason). 

Slogan: Northern Ontario’s High-Powered Station. 


Slogan: Northern Ontario’s greatest advertising medium.

CKSO became the C.A.B.’s 101st member. 

Vaughn Bjerre became program director of CKSO. Carl Erlewyn left CKSO for Interprovincial Broadcast Sales Ltd. 


The CBC approved a transfer of licence for CKSO from CKSO Sudbury Ltd. to CKSO Radio Ltd., with control being held by any two of three principal shareholders, G.M. Miller, K.C., W.B. Plaunt, Jr., and J.M. Cooper.


Approval was given for the transfer of 32 common and 17,168 preferred shares in CKSO Radio Ltd. 

CKSO filed an application for the operation of a television station at Sudbury and it was approved by the CBC Board of Governors. CKSO-TV signed on the air later in the year.


Bruce Anderson joined CKSO as a technical operator.


Studios and offices moved to 336 Ash Street on October 26.

Bruce Anderson left CKSO for North Bay’s CFCH.

Construction started on an addition to the TV building and on a new radio building. The work was expected to be completed by September. 

Cam Church was a sportscaster. Bob Evans did news. 


CKSO 790 had a power of 5,000 watts (directional at night). Ownership of CKSO Radio Ltd.: G. M. Miller 29.8%, W. B. Plaunt, Sr. 27.0%, J. M. Cooper 30.0%, W. J. Woodill 10.0%, W. B. Plaunt, Jr. 30.0%, 2 other shareholders 0.2%.

George M. Miller was president of the company. W. J. Woodill was manager and commercial manager of CKSO. Ken Dobson was assistant manager. Bob Alexander was program and production manager. Robert Evans was news director.

Ad slogan of the day for CKSO Radio & Television – Twin Airpowers of the North.


CKSO increased power to10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night (full-time), using three 325 foot towers at the same site.

Bruce Anderson returned to CKSO from CFCH in North Bay. 


Bruce Anderson left CKSO to take a management course during the day while working at CHNO Radio at night. When he left CKSO he had been afternoon drive announcer and promotion manager. Stan Williams left CKSO news for CKGM Montreal.

Jim McRae, one of the original builders of CKSO, died August 28. He was 53. McRae was chief engineer of the station he helped to establish. When the station went on the air 25 years earlier, he was a transmitter operator. 

After 14 years with CKSO, Kenneth D. Dobson left the station to become retail sales manager at CFCF Radio in Montreal. 


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks were consolidated into a single service. CKSO was the Trans-Canada station while CHNO was the Dominion affiliate. After the network merger, CHNO went independent and CKSO remained the CBC station in Sudbury.

Don Mackintosh became CKSO Radio sales manager. He had been news director for CKSO Radio & TV. Don Hogle took over as news director for the stations. He had held the same post at CKRM Regina. Jack Boitson was now promotion and public relations director.


The corporate name was now known as Cambrian Broadcasting Ltd. W.B. Plaunt was president of the company. Ralph Connor was CKSO’s manager. Bob Alexander was production and program director as well as chief announcer. Reg Madison was morning man and Roy Harnish was news director. 


Garnet Behnke was named chief accountant. Herb Ashley was named production manager for TV. Alec Bridge was appointed promotion director. Behnke had worked outside the business. Ashley was production manager at CFQC-TV in Saskatoon. Bridge had been with the Montreal Star.

Ralph Connor was general manager. Vern Paul was named local sales manager. He had joined the station 7 years earlier, from CKFH Toronto. W.L. Smith was news director. Alec Bridge, former CKSO Radio-TV promotion director was named TV program director. He would continue to supervise on-air and off-air promotions for radio and television.


George Johns joined CKSO as program director. He had been PD at CKOM in Saskatoon. Before the end of the year Johns was on his way to CFRA Ottawa. Reg Madison became program director.


Paul Ski joined CKSO-AM-FM as program director. He had held the same post at CHLO in St. Thomas. 


CKSO received approval to increase power from 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night to 50,000 watts, full-time. A change of antenna site was also approved.

The power increase went into operation later in the year or in 1977. Six towers were used at the new transmitter site, located four miles south of Sudbury.

Station manager was George Lund. At this time CKSO was carrying 12 hours of CBC network programming per week, while CKSO-FM was carrying 25 hours a week. Lund said he was “anxious to disaffiliate” as his station’s formats were incompatible with the CBC programming.


Eckard Dell left CKSO Radio’s engineering department for the new CBC stations in Sudbury. Helmet Frauscher would continue to look after AM and FM operations and reported that the 50,000 watt AM operation was working tremendously well.

On June 19, CKSO received permission to disaffiliate from the CBC. The network’s own station (CBCS-FM) signed on the air this date.


Cambrian’s applications for new AM stations at North Bay and Timmins were turned down. 

Cambrian Broadcasting sold CKSO-AM and CIGM-FM to United Broadcasting Ltd.


On February 28, W. B. Plaunt on behalf of a company to be incorporated (would be known as United Broadcasting Ltd.) was given approval to acquire Cambrian Broadcasting Ltd. (CKSO-AM and CIGM-FM). There was no change in ownership. This change related to the sale of Cambrian’s television operations (including CKSO-TV).

Bill Schofield was now chief engineer at CKSO and CIGM.


Bill Schofield left CKSO-CIGM as chief engineer to take up the same position at Huron Broadcasting in Sault Ste. Marie. 


Jim Hamm joined CKSO. He had worked in Toronto radio.


United sold the stations to Telemedia Communications Ontario Inc. on October 6. 


G. Michael Cranston was CKSO’s new morning man. He had been program director at CHNS in Halifax. Ralph Murray was CKSO’s news director.


Morningman J. Michael Cranston left CKSO for Canadore College. Phil Pocock of London joined CKSO’s sales staff. 


Studios moved to 880 LaSalle Blvd. 

In May, CKSO and CIGM-FM picked up new formats. FM adopted a soft rock format while AM took the FM’s country format. CKSO also grabbed the CIGM call sign that had been used by the FM. CIGM-FM became CJRQ-FM.


William Plaunt, 78, died November 6. His business interests over the years included the Sudbury Star and CKSO Radio and Television. 


Pelmorex and Telemedia created a management agreement for the operation of their stations in North Bay and Sudbury, effective September 1. In North Bay, Pelmorex’s CHUR would move in to the Telemedia home of CFCH/CKAT-FM. In Sudbury the programming staff at the five stations would work at one facility while the administrative/support staff would work from another. 


The corporate name changed from Telemedia Communications Inc. to Telemedia Radio Inc. 


Michael Prud’homme left CIGM-CJMX where he was general manager.

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.

Jim Hamm became GM at Telemedia’s four Sudbury stations. He continued to hold on to his director of programming duties for Ontario north and remained a member of Telemedia Ontario North’s management team.


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: CIGM-AM, CJRQ-FM and CJMX-FM Sudbury. 


On November 24, the CRTC approved the applications by Newcap Inc. and Rogers Broadcasting Limited for authority to exchange the assets of CIGM Sudbury and CFDR Dartmouth. Newcap, a corporation controlled by Harold R. Steele, was the licensee of CFDR Dartmouth. Rogers, a corporation controlled by Edward S. Rogers, was the licensee of CIGM Sudbury. The Commission also approved the applications by Newcap and Rogers to convert both stations to the FM band. CIGM would operate at 93.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.

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


On August 17, Newcap began on-air tests at 93.5 FM with classic rock.

On August 20 CIGM-FM began stunting as “Kung Pao 93.5 FM”, playing “Classic Chinese Hits”.

On August 24, at midnight AM 790 CIGM finished its last song “There She Goes” by Sudbury native Gil Grand, following a farewell message to the station’s loyal country listeners for 32 years (“It’s been 32 years since CIGM was born. Since 1977, we’ve been proudly playing country music for Greater Sudbury. On behalf to everyone who has worked here over these many years, we’d like to say thanks to the loyal country fans who have shared a great journey, but the memories will last forever.”) Later that morning, simulcasting of the new 93.5 FM began on AM 790. Transfer of ownership of CIGM changed from Rogers to Newcap.

On August 25, Hot 93.5 – Sudbury’s #1 Hit Music Station debuted at 12:00 p.m., replacing the Kung Pao hoax. The station’s morning team was Matt Sampaio and Sherri K. 

The CRTC approved some technical changes for CIGM-FM 93.5: average effective radiated power would change from 100,000 watts horizontal and vertical to 100,000 watts horizontal and 43,000 watts vertical. The antenna pattern would remain non-directional. Antenna height would decrease from 203.5 to 150.2 metres. When the move to FM was first approved, CIGM had planned to use the existing CTV tower. It was found that the tower was now at its load limit and would require major reinforcing before there would be even a possibility of supporting an added antenna. Newcap then found an alternate site for its transmitter facility – the existing TVO tower, located on the edge of the city, about 8 km from the CTV tower.

On September 30 at 5:00 p.m., CIGM-AM 790 left the air forever. It brought to an end more than 70 years of AM radio in Sudbury. CIGM was the city’s last AM outlet. Programming continued on Hot 93.5 FM. 

Peter Hobbs resigned his Cluster Sales Manager position at Rogers Sudbury to take on General Sales Manager duties at Astral Media Radio Hamilton as of April 5. Meanwhile, in Sudbury, Rick Doughty, Vice President Ontario North for Rogers Radio, took over the GSM duties.


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CIGM-FM until March 31, 2012.

Rick Doughty, vice president for Rogers Ontario North’s radio cluster and general manager of Sudbury Radio, announced his retirement. Doughty, who joined Telemedia 22 years ago and carried on when Rogers purchased the stations, set his departure date for March of 2012.


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 CIGM-FM to August 31, 2012. 

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.

On August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed CIGM-FM’s licence to December 31, 2012. On December 20, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2017. This short-term renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with its conditions of licence and with the Radio Regulations, 1986.


Ralph Connor passed away. He began his career in 1950 as a late night announcer on CKSO Sudbury, working his way up in five short years to become Genera Manager of the company’s TV and radio properties. In 1975 he worked as a broadcast consultant, establishing CJAX Edmonton and CJAY Calgary. 


Gerry Currie died at age 64. He spent his last years in broadcasting as GM/GSM at Newcap Sudbury. He joined CKSO-TV Sudbury in 1978 as an account executive then moved to CKSO Radio in 1985 in a similar capacity. In 2009 he joined Newcap as its sales manager. One year later the company added GM duties. 


Eileen Olive Forbom died in December at age 86. She joined CKSO-AM in 1948, worked there for 38 years, and retired as the station’s first female general manager. She also helped launch Canadore College.


On October 23, the CRTC approved an application by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, on behalf of Newcap Inc. and its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, for authorization to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of various radio and television broadcasting undertakings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, so that effective control of the undertakings would be exercised by Eric Boyko (Stingray Digital Group Inc.). Stingray took ownership of the stations just a few days later.

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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