CKFX-FM, 101.9 Rock, North Bay
|Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
|Telemedia Communications Inc.
CKAT-FM signed on the air January 19. The station operated on 93.7 MHz with effective radiated power of 5,860 watts. Studios and offices were located on Main Street. CKAT was owned and operated by local businessman Gerry Alger and broadcaster Bruce McLeod.
Bruce Macleod eventually sold his interest in CKAT. The Alger family obtained 100% ownership.
Northern Broadcasting, Ltd., recently sold by Roy Thomson to Jack Schoone and J. Irving Zucker, purchased CKAT-FM from CKAT Broadcasters Ltd. (Alger). Northern already owned the city’s AM station, CFCH 600.
Northern Broadcasting and the CBC met with the CRTC to attempt to correct technical factors which had resulted in the degradation of CKAT’s signal since two CBC FM stations went on the air in the city. Interference from the CBC stations could be heard all over the FM band.
On March 27, CKAT-FM was given permission to change its format from Contemporary MOR to Country & Western.
On June 8, Northern Broadcasting Ltd. received approval to change CKAT’s frequency from 93.7 MHz to 101.9 MHz, increase effective radiated power from 5,860 watts to 68,000 watts, and move the transmitter site from the Ontario Northland Railway tower to the CBC tower. The station had originally applied for a power of 72,000 watts but was advised to reduce it to 68,000 watts.
The technical changes approved by the CRTC on June 8 went into operation in September. CKAT was now using a McMartin BF-10K 15,000 watt transmitter and a Shiveley 10-bay antenna. Chie engineer Wally Lennox reported that the interfernece problems were cured and CKAT was now being heard clearly as far away as Orillia and Subury.
On February 28, approval was given for the transfer of CJCS Ltd. (CJCS Stratford), Midland-Penetang Broadcasting Ltd. (CKMP Midland), and Orillia Broadcasting Ltd. (CFOR Orillia) by Ranger Communications Ltd., and for the transfer of CKGB/CFTI-FM (Timmins Broadcasting Ltd.) Timmins and CFCH/CKAT-FM (Northern Ontario Broadcasting Ltd.) North Bay by Northern Broadcast Management Ltd. (owned by Eastern Broadcasting), to 93238 Canada Inc. 93238 was indirectly controlled by Philippe de Gaspe Beaubien. He controlled Telemedia Communications. Other shareholders in 93238 Canada Inc. were Ralph Burford (20%) and Keith Campbell (15%). Five per-cent of the shares were issued to senior officers. Keith Campbell was president of the new company, which promised to upgrade news service on the stations and make use of a Telemedia mobile unit to record local talent. Ranger also sold CKDK Woodstock to Gordon V. Marratto.
Following the purchase by Telemedia of Foster Hewitt’s CKFH, and its renaming to CJCL, the Toronto station began feeding newscasts four times a day to the other Telemedia Ontario stations, while exchanging news with the company’s Quebec network.
With the addition of the Ontario stations, Telemedia claimed to be the world’s largest privately-owned broadcast group. President of the Ontario group of stations was John Van de Kamer. Leslie Sole was vice president of programming (Ontario), and Gary Hooper was in charge of engineering for Telemedia Ontario.
On January 11, the CRTC renewed CKAT-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.
Tobin Lambie was the new news director at CKAT-FM.
The corporate name changed to Telemedia Communications Ontario Inc.
Mary Stillar was CKAT-FM’s manager.
Jim Hamm was named program manager of CKAT-FM and CFCH.
CKAT’s application to switch from Country to a pop/soft rock format was denied by the CRTC. Telemedia had proposed moving the country format to CFCH-AM. The Commission said Telemedia had not provided a firm commitment to maintain the country format on CFCH and that North Bay already had a soft rock station.
On March 30, the CRTC denied the application to amend the licence for CKAT-FM North Bay, by changing the music format from Group II (Country) to Group I (Pop, Rock and Dance). The Commission took into account the licensee’s argument that the change in music format would attract listeners from the audience under 35 years of age in North Bay. However, the Commission was concerned with the documented and repeated instances of non-compliance by the licensee with respect to the requirement of the FM policy which limited the weekly level of hits to less than 50%.
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 (CKAT-CFCH). In Sudbury, the programming staff at the five stations would now work at one facility while the administrative/support staff worked from another building.
Former CKAT-CFCH General Manager George Ferguson was now running Fundy Broadcasting’s CFBC/CJYC in Saint John.
The local marketing agreement with Pelmorex was dissolved in the spring and CHUR moved back to its old Oak Street facility.
On August 12, CFCH-AM became CKAT while CKAT-FM became CKFX “102 FM The Fox”.
The corporate name changed to Telemedia Radio Inc.
Telemedia purchased CHUR-FM in North Bay. The company now owned all three commercial stations in the city.
Clancy MacDonald left The FOX FM (CKFX), CKAT-AM and EZ Rock (CHUR) in December. He had been news director and left to work for local MP Bob Wood. On November 15, he had just celebrated his 35th anniversary in North Bay radio.
Long-time CKAT morning man Peter McKeown became operations manager at Telemedia North Bay (The Fox, EZ Rock, 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.
Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CKKFX-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.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKFX-FM until March 31, 2012.
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).
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKFX-FM to August 31, 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.
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.
On August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed the CKFX licence until December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2019.
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).
CKFX changed its branding from The Fox to 101.9 Rock.
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.