CHST-FM, 102.3 JACK fm, London
|Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CHUM Limited was granted a licence by the CRTC for a new FM station in London on October 28. CHUM competed against Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. for the new station, as well as Affinity Radio Group (CKSL) and Tillsonburg Broadcasting Co. (CKOT). TBC wanted to convert their AM station to the FM dial. The station would operate on a frequency of 102.3 MHz with effective radiated power of 4,770 watts.
CHUM proposed a “hot adult contemporary” music format with a broad target of the 18 to 44 age group with particular emphasis on the 22 to 34 demographic. The new station would program contemporary songs of today from artists such as Bryan Adams, Alanis Morrisette, the Backstreet Boys, Brandy and Ricky Martin, as well as songs from past featuring artists such as the Human League, Simple Minds, Red Ryder and The Payolas.
The company had planned to name the station “V102.3” but after a contest conducted in association with CHUM-owned CFPL-TV (The New PL), the public chose the name “Star 102.3 FM”.
After a period of test broadcasts, CHST-FM “Star 102.3 FM” officially signed on the air at 8:00 a.m., September 1. On hand for the launch of CHUM’s 27th radio station: CHUM Limited founder Allan Waters and son Jim, the head of CHUM Group Radio. The station’s General Manager was Jim Blundell
CHST was something new for CHUM as it was the first time the company went into a new market and launched a radio station from scratch. Normally the company purchases existing stations.
Studios, offices and transmitter were located with CFPL-TV at #1 Communications Road in south London.
Giving radio stations “people” names became a trend in the U.S. in the late 90’s – “Alice” as an example. The trend moved to Canada when Rogers Radio started to name some of its stations “JACK”, Corus – “DAVE” and CHUM – “BOB”. After successful “BOB” launches for CHUM in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Brockville, it was decided that London would also make the switch.
The original air staff included A. J. Phillips, Jamie Decker and Dave Kirby in mornings, Ken Eastwood (middays), Ron Young (PM Drive) and Steve Stax (evenings).
In June, A. J. Phillips left. He was replaced in AM Drive by Ken Eastwood.
At midnight, July 25, “Star 102.3” became “102.3 BOB-FM…80’s…90’s…& whatever”. The format shifted from top 40 to classic hits/hot AC. This was the forth station in the CHUM Radio Group to adopt this name and format.
On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval. On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM. The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC.
On December 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, including CHWI-TV Windsor / Wheatley, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CHST-FM.
Jim Blundell was named Vice President and General Manager of Star FM.
Ann LaRocque was promoted to general sales manager at 102.3 BOB FM. She had been local sales manager. Jim Blundell left CHUM London to become Vice President & General Manager of CHUM Victoria.
Jeremy John left BOB FM for 97.7 The Beach (Wasaga Beach) in early December. He would be that station’s new morning show host. Before joining BOB, Jeremy had been with /A London.
Ryan Valdron, a Londoner, was hired at hometown Bob-FM as a weekend personality.
On-air personality Kaz left CHST for CKQB Ottawa.
Dave Kirby left BOB FM to become news director at CD 98.9 Simcoe.
On December 22, the CRTC approved the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited for authority to acquire, from CTV Limited, the assets of CHST-FM (known as “Bob-FM”). Rogers was controlled by Rogers Communications Inc. while CTV Limited, the vendor, was controlled by CTVglobemedia Inc.
In February, Ryan Valdron left BOB FM for CFJR-FM in Brockville. Hector Card became chief engineer at Astral Radio London, as of April 4. He had been with BOB FM London. Pasqualina left BOB-FM to co-host the morning show at FREE FM (CKLO).
1023 BOB-FM welcomed Jan White as new Promotions Director while Becky Malacaria began a maternity leave. White came from outside the industry. Tom Fraser from Mix967/927MAX-FM Leamington was added to BOB’s production/ creative team while Laurie Lucas was on maternity leave.
The new co-host of BOB-FM mornings was Mindy Williamson. She had previous stops at FRESH-FM and FM96, both in London. Williamson would work with Ken Eastwood.
Justin Sweeney joined Sudbury’s Best Rock Q92 as evening/weekend swing announcer. He’d been with BOB-FM London.
On September 12, the CRTC approved the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to change the technical parameters of the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CHST-FM London, Ontario, by increasing the average effective radiated power from 5,840 to 20,400 watts (directional antenna with a maximum ERP from 12,100 to 100,000 watts), and by changing its class from B1 to C1. Rogers requested this technical change in order to improve the reception of its signal within its authorized contours and cited listener complaints as well as an engineering report that showed pockets of poor reception within its contours as justification for its request.
David Jones, Program Director at BOB FM was no longer with the station. Jones assumed the position with the then CHUM-owned station in September of 2007. Before that, he was General Manager/PD at The Beat Kitchener, and Operations Manager of the Standard Radio Hamilton Cluster.
102.3 BOBFM announced that Amanda Young would be taking over the reigns as Promotion Director and Assistant Program Director as of July 1. Amanda would leave behind her role as Program Director & Promotion Director for both Rogers radio stations in Fort McMurray. Prior to her stint in Fort McMurray she was Promotions Director for JACK-FM in Calgary.
Rogers Radio Kitchener General Manager/General Sales Manager Mike Collins, added GM duties for London’s 1023 BOB FM.
Mike Collins, General Manager for Rogers Radio Kitchener, added CHST London to his responsibilities.
In late August, CHST changed branding from 102.3 BOB FM to 102.3 JACK fm – Playing Whatever! Whenever!
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.