|Haliburton Broadcasting Group
|Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc.
|Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp.
|Huron Broadcasting Ltd.
|Algonquin Radio-TV Co. Ltd.
On February 6, Algonquin Radio-TV Co. Ltd. was given approval to operate a new AM station at Espanola. It would broadcast on 930 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts. In the early going, the station would offer 20 hours of local programming each week. It would also be a CBC affiliate.
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.
CKNS began broadcasting on October 2. It operated non-directionally during the day and had a directional pattern at night, using four 225 foot towers. CKNS was a semi-satellite of CKNR in Elliot Lake. The “NS” in the call sign: North Shore.
On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CJNR, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League.
On March 21, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of Huron Broadcasting Limited (CJIC-TV, CKCY-TV, CJQM-FM, CKCY Sault Ste. Marie, CKNR Elliot Lake, CKNS Espanola, CJNR Blind River, CJWA Wawa), 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 would 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.
On March 27, Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. received approval to acquire CHNO, CFBR and CJMX-FM Sudbury from Sudbury Broadcasting (1977) Ltd. and CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake and CKNS Espanola from Huron Broadcasting Limited. Mid-Canada is owned 95.8% by Northern Cable Services. The largest shareholder of Northern is CUC Limited with 48.3% of the outstanding voting shares. CUC is deemed to be controlled by G.R. Conway and its other founding shareholders. The remaining 51.7% of Northern’s voting shares are owned by Northern Ontario investors who also form a majority on Northern’s Board of Directors. The largest of these is The Sudbury Broadcasting Company Limited, which owns 20.1% of Northern’s voting shares and is controlled by F. Baxter Ricard.
Huron decided to sell its radio stations (the Sault Ste. Marie radio stations were sold earlier to another company) in order to concentrate on its television and cable operations in Sault Ste. Marie. Mid-Canada stated that the existing arrangement where the programming on CJNR was received from CKNR would continue. It also noted that the operation of a separate studio at Blind River would not be possible at this time. Mid-Canada also said it would undertake a study on the feasibility of producing more local programming for CKNS. CKNS was not to solicit advertising in the Sudbury market.
On March 11, the CRTC approved the applications to amend the licences for CJNR Blind River and CKNS Espanola, by deleting the condition of licence which required each of these stations to operate as an affiliate of the CBC English-language AM Radio Network service. This disaffiliation would result in a decrease in programming from the News and Back-grounding categories broadcast on CJNR and CKNS. This should be offset by an increase in the amount of Music-General. The Commission noted that the CBC English-language radio network service would continue to be available to Blind River and Espanola residents through CBCE-FM Little Current, on frequency 97.5 MHz (channel 248).
CKNS had its licence renewed on September 29. The CRTC noted that it is a partial rebroadcaster of programming originating from the studios of co-owned CKNR Elliot Lake. CKNS has eliminated all programming received from CKNR between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. CKNS broadcasts 60 hours of locally-produced programming per week, including local newscasts during the day and increased local coverage.
On January 3, the CRTC approved a corporate reorganization of the group of companies owned and controlled by Northern Cable Services Limited. The purpose of the reorganization is to segregate the radio operations of Northern Services’ subsidiary company, Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. and its subsidiary company CKCY 920 Limited, into Ottawa Valley Broadcasting Company Limited in order to facilitate the sale of Mid-Canada’s television operations and OVB’s radio stations through separate transfers which will be subject to prior approval by the Commission. This would result in the transfer of all of the radio assets held by Mid-Canada (CHNO, CFBR and CJMX-FM Sudbury, CKNS Espanola, CKNR Elliot Lake, CFCL Timmins, CFLH Hearst, CFLK Kapuskasing, CJNR Blind River and CKAP Kapuskasing) and of its wholly-owned subsidiary CKCY 920 Limited (CKCY and CJQM-FM Sault Ste. Marie and CJWA Wawa) to Ottawa Valley.
On July 26, the transfer of 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 to Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc. was approved. Mid-Canada is a company formed from the amalgamation of CKCY 920 Ltd. with The Ottawa Valley Broadcasting Company Limited in January 1990. It is licensee of the 14 following radio stations in northeastern Ontario: CHRO Pembroke, CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake, CKNS Espanola, CKAP and CFLK Kapuskasing, CHNO, CFBR and CJMX-FM Sudbury, CFCL Timmins, CFLH Hearst, CKCY and CJQM-FM Sault Ste. Marie and CJWA Wawa. Mid-Canada is also a 45% shareholder in a proposed new company that, once incorporated, will become the licensee of CHUR North Bay. Mid-Canada’s television stations were sold to Baton Broadcasting Incorporated.
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.
On August 13, the purchase of CKNR Elliot Lake and its transmitter CJNR Blind River, and of CKNS Espanola from Pelmorex Radio Ltd. by Walter Hulme, on behalf of North Channel Broadcasters was approved. Conversion of the three AM stations into a single FM signal, operating on 94.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 90,000 watts at Elliot Lake was also given the go ahead. Antenna height would be 192.9 metres. The coverage area of CKNS and CJNR would also be served by the new FM station. Hulme proposed to broadcast 25 hours weekly of local programming, including 9 hours and 30 minutes each week of news and community programming on the new FM. Principle shareholders of North Channel were Walter Hulme (General Manager) and Rocco Frangione (News Director).
On March 3 at noon, CKNR 1340 kHz with 1,000 watts (non-directional) Elliot Lake, CKNS 930 kHz with 10,000 watts (directional at night) Espanola, and CJNR 730 kHz with 1,000 watts (directional at night) Blind River, were replaced by CKNR-FM 94.1 Elliot Lake. CJNR, CKNR and CKNS went off the air when CKNR-FM signed on.
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.