CJKL-FM, Kirkland Lake

Connelly Communications Ltd.

CJKL-FM1999101.523,000Connelly Communications Ltd.
CJKL-AM19855605,000Connelly Communications Ltd.
CJKL-AM19835605,000Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Ltd. (Ancell-Connelly)
CJKL-AM19725605,000KLBL (Schoone buys Northern from Thomson)
CJKL-AM1946560500Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Thomson)
CJKL-AM1934n/a100Northern Broadcasting Co. Ld. Roy Thomson


CJKL was licenced October 31 to O. J. Thorpe, the mayor of Kirkland Lake. 


CJKL signed on the air on March 30 at 6:30 p.m. It was now licenced to Roy H. Thomson’s Northern Broadcasting and Publishing Ltd. CJKL broadcast on a frequency of 1310 kHz with 100 watts of power. Studios were in the R & A Trussler Building, also known as the Ramsbottom & Edwards Building, at Duncan Avenue and Government Road. The “KL” in the call letters: Kirkland Lake. 


CJKL received permission to move from 1310 to 560 kHz and to increase power from 100 watts to 1,000 watts. A new RCA transmitter was ordered and a new technical plant would be built. It was hoped the changes would be in place for May 1. 


Northern Broadcasting purchased two Lingo vertical radiators – one each for CJKL and CKGB.


Ham-licensed Leonard Bates joined CJKL as assistant engineer. Fin Hollinger, sports announcer and program producer, left for CJLS Yarmouth. Bill Marks was appointed chief engineer. He had been working on the west coast. Paul Vatcher (new to radio) became an operator at CJKL. Jack Davidson started at CJKL as a junior announcer, salesman, librarian and copywriter.

On May 1, CJKL moved from 1310 kHz to 560 kHz.
An ad for CJKL and CKGB promoted the fact the stations would increase power from 100 to 1,000 watts on September 1. There were delays and CJKL was now to open its new transmitting facility on October 1. Some say the power increased to 1,000 watts in April of 1936.

Roy Thomson combined his newspaper and radio interests into one company – Northern Broadcasting and Publishing Ltd. Jack Cooke, Northern Broadcasting’s sales manager for three years, was appointed general manager of the broadcasting division.


CJKL had its new Lingo guyed tubular steel vertical radiator in place and operational. It was 294 feet high. It was guyed at five elevations in four directions, spaced 90 degrees.

Doug Marshall joined the CJKL announcing staff. 


Under the Havana Treaty, CJKL was one of the few stations allowed to hold on to its frequency. On March 29, hundreds of other stations across North America had to move to other spots on the dial. CJKL remained on 560 kHz (Class III-B) with power of 1,000 watts.
Norman Micklewright left CJKL to join the announcing staff of CKX Brandon.
Brian G. Shellon, manager of CJKL, a lieutenant, joined his regiment on active service. He had been manager of CJKL for seven years.


Tom Watson joined CJKL as chief engineer. He had been with CKVD in Val-D’Or. Jack Davidson was CJKL’s manager. Al Rogerson was commercial manager.


Roy H. Thomson & Jack K. Cooke formed National Broadcast Sales to represent CKGB, CJKL, CFCH, CKRN, CKVD, CHAD, CHEX and CKWS.

Herb Arlow of Toronto joined the announce staff of CJKL. 


Clair Chambers was appointed manager of CJKL. He succeeded Dan carr who was transferred to Toronto. Ken Campbell (special features) left CJKL for National Broadcast Sales. 


Jack Davidson, manager of CKWS, was appointed supervisor of stations operated by Northern Broadcasting & Publishing (CKGB, CJKL, CFCH, CHEX and CKWS). 

Studios moved to the Woolworth Building in February. 

Clair Chambers was manager. Former CJKL manager Captain Brian Shellon was overseas. Jim Kirkpatrick joined CJKL as program director. He had been with the British Army. He had worked in the past for CKWS and CKSO. Bill Croone joined CJKL’s announce staff from CHEX Peterborough.

Roy H. Thomson was president of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Ltd. S.F. Chapman was secretary treasurer. Clair Chambers was CJKL’s manager, Jas. Kirkpatrick was program director, and Chet Sutherland was commercial manager. Jack Davidson was supervisor of the Northern stations.

Major Brian G. Shellon returned as CJKL’s manager after five years of service with the Algonquin Regiment. After V-J Day, Shellon was placed in charge of Allied forces programs on Radio Hilversum in Holland. Clair Chambers, CJKL’s manager for the past two years, joined National Broadcast Sales in Toronto. 


Announcer Rod Dewar left CJKL for CHEX in Peterborough.


Don Lawrie joined the staff of CJKL. Announcers included: Jack Weatherwax, Al Pronman and Jim Hornick. Tom Warner was program director. Bill Piekerski returned to CJKL as an operator, from the air force. Bob Redmond was an operator at CJKL. 

On October 23 CJKL 560 increased power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts with the completion of the installation of the new RCA transmitter and two 293 foot towers at Dane. New equipment was also installed at the studios in the Woolworth Building. CJKL went on the air in 1934 with 100 watts. Power increased in 1939 to 1,000 watts. CJKL was a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate.


Don Lawrie moved to CJKL’s sales department. He had been a sports-caster at the station.

Stations of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Co. of Timmins were granted licenses to operate FM stations. All would have a power of 250 watts: CHNB North Bay (CFCH-AM), CHKL (or CFKL) Kirkland Lake (CJKL-AM), CKRT Timmins (CKGB-AM) and CKEX Peterborough (CHEX-AM). CHNB and CHKL would use RCA equipment. CKRT and CKEX would use GE equipment. 

Former CJKL announcer Russell K. Nickle, was posthumously awarded an operational wing for gallantry against the enemy. He and six others from a Lancaster crew failed to return from a mission on December 28, 1944. 
Brian Shellon was manager and Tom Warner was commercial manager. 


Commercial manager Tom Warner left CJKL to become general manager of the soon to open CHLO St. Thomas. Harry M. Edgar was named station manager. He had been with CKWS Kingston and CKGB Timmins, but came to CJKL from CHOK in Sarnia. He replaced Brian Shellon who was now manager of the Timmins Daily Press.

CJKL-FM went on the air August 11. It simulcast the programs of CJKL-AM. It did not use the CHKL call sign that was mentioned in 1947.

Don Lawrie was commercial manager. Tom Daley joined CJKL as studio control operator.


Harry Edgar was manager.


Approval was granted for the transfer of 1,530 shares of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFCH, CJKL and CKGB) with no change of control.


Don Lawrie became CJKL’s station manager and was then transferred to CHEX in Peterborough.

The recapitalization of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFCH, CJKL and CKGB) with 4,500 preferred and 100,000 common shares was approved by the CBC Board.

Manager Don Lawrie was transferred from CJKL to CHEX in Peterborough. He had been with CJKL for seven years and was succeeded by Doug Scanlan who had been the station’s commercial manager. Former program director Jack Weatherwax returned to the station as commercial manager. He had been in the commercial department at CFCH North Bay.
The CBC approved the issuance of 1,000 preferred shares and the transfer of 642 35/50 preferred shares in Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. 


Fred Oliver started in radio at CJKL.


Roy H. Thomson, president of Canadian Press and owner of CKGB, CJKL and CFCH, was elected president of the newly formed CP subsidiary, Broadcast News Ltd. The new company specialized in news for Canadian radio and TV stations.

Harvey C. Freeman was appointed station supervisor of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. For the past 11 years he had been manager of CKGB Timmins. Succeeding him as CKGB’s manager was Jack Pollie, program director and recently promotion manager of CKWS Kingston. Pollie had started in radio in Ottawa and returned home to Kingston 8 years ago and had been associated with CKWS over the time. Northern’s general manager, Jack Davidson, would continue in that position along with his duties as executive assistant to the president of the Thomson Co. Ltd., which controlled by Roy Thomson’s publishing interests.

Approval was given to change the licensee name for CJKL from Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Ltd., with no change of control.


Manager Jack Weatherwax left for CHEX Radio in Peterborough to become manager. Gordon Burnett was now manager at CJKL.

The CBC Board of Governors approved the transfer of control of Roy Thomson’s northern Ontario stations as follows: CJKL from Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Ltd. to Mrs. Irma Jacqueline Elliott (Roy’s daughter); CFCH from Northern Broadcasting Ltd. to Mrs. Phyllis Audrey Campbell (Roy’s daughter); and CKGB from Timmins Broadcasting Ltd. to Kenneth Roy Thomson (Roy’s son).

Slogans: If your sales need HELP in the North – try RADIO – it sells – CKGB Timmins, CJKL Kirkland Lake, CFCH North Bay. / Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Timmins, Cochrane, Rouyn-Noranda, North Bay. Sell the NORTH with RADIO! CKGB Timmins, CJKL Kirkland Lake, CFCH North Bay.


CJKL-FM left the air around this time.


J. M. Davidson, general manager of Northern Broadcasting Ltd. announced the appointment of Ken Billings to the position of manager of CJKL, replacing Gordon Burnett who accepted the position as manager of a new station being built in Trinidad. Billings had been CJKL’s commercial manager.

CJKL was a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate, operating on 560 kHz with a full-time power of 5,000 watts (directional at night). Ownership of Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Limited: Mrs. I. J. Brydson 91.48%, C. N. Thomson 8.3%, S. F. Chapman 0.2%, J. M. Davidson 0.01% and H. C. Freeman 0.01%.

Mrs. I. J. Elliott (Brydson) was president of the company while Ken C. Billings was manager of CJKL. 

Slogan for CKGB-CJKL-CFCH: From Huntsville to Hearst…There are 307,000 people. CKGB Timmins, CJKL Kirkland Lake, CFCH North Bay, reaches ’em all!


Announcer Chuck Davis left CJKL for Kingston’s CKWS.


The CBC Trans-Canada and Dominion networks were consolidated into a single service. CJKL remained a CBC affiliate after the merger.


Mrs. Irma J. Brydson was President of Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Ltd. William King was manager of CJKL.


Don Lawrie was director of broadcast operations for Northern Broadcasting.


David Shulman was appointed promotion manager at CFCH-AM-TV. He had been with CKKW Kitchener. Shulman would be responsible for promotions CFCH-TV and Trinor Radio (CFCH, CKGB, CJKL and CJTT). Reg Carne was manager of Northern Broadcasting Ltd. and CFCH-AM-TV.


CJKL, CFCH and CKGB were known as Trinor Radio.

It was announced that the broadcast interests of Lord Roy Thomson and the late Senator Rupert Davies’ families would be sold to Bushnell TV Co. Ltd. of Ottawa (CJOH-TV). The plan was subject to CRTC approval. The sale would include CKWS-AM-FM-TV Kingston, CHEX-AM-FM-TV Peterborough, CFCH-AM-TV North Bay, CKGB-AM-FM Timmins and CJKL Kirkland Lake.


On July 6, the Thomson and Davies families were given permission to sell their stations to Bushnell Communications Ltd. of Ottawa. The sale included stations in Timmins, Peterborough, Kingston, and North Bay. Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CJKL and CJTT in New Liskeard) was part of the deal. The sale was conditional on the transfer of CFCH-AM-TV North Bay & Cablevue to another party. The sale to Bushnell was never completed.


On December 28, the sale of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (including Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Co. Ltd.) to J. Irving Zucker and Jack Schoone (Eastern Broadcasting) was approved.


On August 1, Robert Ancell received approval to purchase Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Co. Ltd. from Northern Broadcasting Management Ltd. (owned by Eastern Broadcasting). Ancell was a minority shareholder in Northern.

Ancell took ownership of CJKL and CJTT in September. 


Linda Lahan was CJKL’s news director. She had been with Ottawa’s CKOY.


Cliff Connelly became a shareholder of Kirkland Lake Broadcasting in July and manager in December.


On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CJKL, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League. 

In April, the CJKL studios and offices moved from 6 Hudson Bay Ave. to the Teck News Building at 5 Kirkland Street.


On June 19, the CRTC approved the transfer of 50.1% of Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Ltd. (CJKL and CJTT) from Ancell Communications Management Ltd. to Goldburst Investments Ltd., a company controlled by Clifford O. Connelly. Mr. Connelly already owned the other 49.9% and had been managing the stations since December of 1983. 


Pat O’Connor was CJKL/CJTT’s general manager.


Erin Mills left CJKL as news director to work for CBC Radio in Sudbury.


CJKL dropped its longtime CBC affiliation. The Kirkland Lake area was now receiving network service from CBC-owned CBCR-FM.


On July 16, approval was given for CJKL’s conversion to FM, operating on 101.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 23,000 watts. At this time, CJKL-AM was receiving the Pelmorex Radio Network’s “Good Time Oldies” service for more than 50 hours a week. During the remainder of the broadcast week, CJKL offered a variety of music, including many hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s. The new FM station would continue to offer an oldies format.

CJKL-FM began operations on August 17 and the old CJKL-AM went off the air exactly one month later.


After more than 40 years in the broadcast business, Don Elvidge, the long-time director of engineering at Connelly Communication’s 104.5 CJTT FM and 101.5 CJKL FM retired. While he looks forward to traveling, Elvidge has a deal with Connelly to mentor his successor and help out with any emergencies. 


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


Don Lawrie passed away at 92. He began his career at CJKL in 1946. In 1952 Lawrie moved to CHEX as GM. After Power Broadcasting took over, Lawrie became president and remained as such until his retirement in 1989.

The story continues elsewhere…
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