CJQM-FM, Country 104.3, Sault Ste. Marie

Rogers Media

CJQM-FM2002104.3100,000Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CJQM-FM1999104.3100,000Telemedia Communications Inc.
CJQM-FM1985104.3100,000Pelmorex Radio Inc.
CKCY-FM1964104.36,760C. P. Greco group


Algonquin Radio &TV Co. Ltd. opened CKCY-FM on May 13. The station operated on a frequency of 104.3 Mhz with an effective radiated power of 6,760 watts. Algonquin was owned by a group headed by Carmen P. Greco. He was President of the company. Algonquin also owned CKCY-AM. (CKCY-FM may have launched on May 23, 1965)


Applications were submitted to the CRTC by Huron Broadcasting Ltd., a new syndicate headed by Carmen Greco, owner of CKCY, to acquire all of the broadcast facilities in the Sault Ste. Marie area. The new company would purchase Hyland Radio-TV (CJIC-AM-FM-TV and CJWA Wawa) and Algonquin Radio-TV (CKCY-AM-FM, CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake and CKNS Espanola). Huron would then sell CJIC-AM-FM to a group headed by Russ Hilderly, the present program director of CKCY. CJIC-AM-FM would assume new call letters while CJWA would become part of the CKCY network. CJIC-TV would continue as a CBC affiliate and Huron would seek a twin stick operation with a new station to be known as CKCY-TV to bring CTV service to the area.

The CRTC approved the applications by Huron for changes in broadcast facilities in the Soo. The approval was conditional on Huron agreeing to provide CTV service no later than September 1, 1978. Huron was warned it must meet its commitments to provide better TV news and public affairs programming. CJWA was to become a full CBC affiliate with separate programming from Wawa.


Gilder Broadcasting Ltd. was authorized to purchase CFYN-AM and FM from Huron Broadcasting. Gilder was headed by longtime CKCY personality (and most recently, program director) Russ Hilderly. CJIC-AM became CFYN, CJIC-FM changed to CHAS-FM, and CKCY-FM became CJQM-FM. Huron Broadcasting launched CKCY-TV (channel 2), a CTV affiliate. The CBC affiliate, CJIC-TV, moved from channel 2 to channel 5.


CJQM-FM was given approval to increase effective radiated power from 6,760 to 100,000 watts and to change the transmitter site location.

Work was underway on new combined TV-FM site for CJIC-TV, CKCY-TV and CKCY-FM. A 400 foot tower and 100 foot antenna mount were completed. A specially built EMI antenna was being designed to transmit both channels 2 and 5. The transmitter building was now completed and ready for the new CCA TV and FM transmitters. It was hoped CKCY-FM would be ready in March with TV to follow in the late spring or early summer.


CKCY-FM became CJQM-FM. 


Huron Broadcasting employees became unionized in June.


Bill Schofield became director of engineering. He had been with the CKSO stations in Sudbury. Schofield replaced Stan Corbett who had retired.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CJQM-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.

On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CJQM-FM, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League. The Commission reminded the licensees of the FM radio stations affiliated with this network that no more than 50% of the station’s foreground programming should consist of play-by-play coverage of sporting events. 

On March 21, the CRTC approved the transfer effective control of Huron Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CJIC-TV, CKCY-TV, CJQM-FM, CKCY Sault Ste. Marie, CKNR Elliot Lake, CKNS Espanola, CJNR Blind River, CJWA Wawa, and its Sault Ste. Marie cable operation, through the transfer of 1,000 common shares (16.7%) from each of J.S. Hinds, J.O. Hinds and P.D. Edwards to Soo Mill Holdings Limited, the transfer of 1,000 common shares from C.P. Greco and 400 common shares from G.E. Nori (16.7% and 6.7% respectively) to James R. McAuley Investments Inc. and the transfer of 600 common shares (10.0%) from G.E. Nori to James F. Kelleher (in trust for a company to be incorporated), Patrick J. Mahon and Joseph Anthony Martella. As a result of these proposed share transfers, Huron will be owned as follows: Soo Mill Holdings Limited 50.0%, James R. McAuley Investments Inc. 23.3%, W.A. Elgie 16.7%, F. KelLeher, OBCI 5.8%, Patrick J. Mahon 2.1% and Anthony Martella 2.1%. Soo Mill Holdings Limited is owned by three trusts, each having an equal interest and having as its beneficiary one of three brothers, Fremlin Simpson Hollingsworth, Edward Hollingsworth and Ian Woolner Hollingsworth, all of whom are residents of Sault Ste. Marie. James R. McAuley Investments Inc. is effectively controlled by James R. McAuley of Sault Ste. Marie. The Commission considers that approval of these applications will result in a substantial increase in the amount of local ownership in Huron from 50 to 100 per cent.

On January 30, CKCY 920 Ltd. was authorized to purchase CKCY-AM, CJQM-FM and Wawa’s CJWA-AM from Huron Broadcasting Ltd. CKCY 920 Ltd. was equally owned by four Sault Ste. Marie residents – Paul Fockler, John Meadows, Basil Carruthers and John Dacey. Fockler and Meadows were Huron employees. CKCY 920 Ltd. had applied in 1984 to purchase these stations. That application was denied July 19, 1984. 

Also approved on January 30, CJQM’s application to add SCMO service in order to transmit the signal of sister station CKCY-AM to CJWA-AM in Wawa. CJQM was also granted a change of format from contemporary middle of the road to country. 


On August 31, the CRTC approved the sale of CKCY 920 Ltd. through the transfer of all of the outstanding shares of the licensee company from the existing shareholders (Paul Fockler, John Meadows, Jack Dacey and Basil Carruthers) to Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. Mid-Canada proposed to purchase 100% of the outstanding shares of CKCY. Mid-Canada was a subsidiary of Northern Cable Services Ltd. 

John Campbell became news director at Q104/CKCY. He had been with CHNO Sudbury.


On July 26, Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc. was given approval to acquire effective control of Mid-Canada Radio Inc. through the transfer of 100% of that company’s issued and outstanding common voting shares from Northern Cable Holdings Limited. Mid-Canada was a company formed from the amalgamation of CKCY 920 Ltd. with The Ottawa Valley Broadcasting Company Limited in January 1990. It was licensee of 14 radio stations in northeastern Ontario. Northern was also the 100% shareholder of Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. the licensee of 7 television stations and their rebroadcasters in northeastern Ontario, including CBC and CTV twin-stick operations at Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins. 


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 – CJQM (Pelmorex) and CHAS (Telemedia). 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).


Carmen P. Greco died on August 2. He founded CKCY-AM in 1955 and CJQM (CKCY-FM) in 1964.


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 intracorporate reorganization without any change occurring in the control, programming or management of the licensee. 


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. 

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, the purchase by Telemedia Communications Inc. of CHUR-FM North Bay, CHVR-FM Pembroke, CJQM-FM Sault Ste. Marie and CJMX-FM Sudbury from Pelmorex Radio Inc. was approved. With the purchase, Telemedia 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. 


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 CJQM-FM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time. 


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


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJQM-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.  

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 August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CJQM-FM to December 31, 2012.  On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2019.


In July, CJQM changed its imaging from Q104 to Country 104.3.


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

The story continues elsewhere…
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