CIDR-FM, 93.9 The River, Windsor

Bell Media Inc.

CIDR-FM201193.950,000Bell Media
CIDR-FM199493.950,000CHUM Ltd.
CKLW-FM199393.950,000CHUM Ltd.
CKLW-FM199193.950,000Amicus Broadcasting Ltd. (CUC Ltd.)
CKMR-FM198893.950,000Amicus Broadcasting Ltd. (CUC buys 100%)
CKLW-FM198693.950,000Amicus Broadcasting Ltd. (CUC & partners)
CFXX-FM198593.950,000Russwood Broadcasting Ltd. (CUC & partners)
CKEZ-FM198593.950,000Russwood Broadcasting Ltd. (CUC & partners)
CFXX-FM198493.950,000Russwood Broadcasting Ltd. (Baton Broadcasting)
CKLW-FM197093.950,000CKLW Radio Broadcasting Ltd. (Baton)
CKLW-FM196393.950,000Western Ontario Broadcasting: RKO buys 100%
CKLW-FM195693.9250Western Ontario Broadcasting: RKO takes control
CKLW-FM194893.9250Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CKLW was issued an FM licence. This may have been an experimental licence.


CKLW applied for an FM licence (possibly a commercial licence). The CBC Board approved the application. CKLW-FM would operate with a power of 250 watts, pending implementation of their authorized 3,000 watts. FM.

The CKLW studios had a new look – new design, expanded accommodation, and a control room with the latest RCA equipment. In July, the station accepted new RCA studio broadcast audio equipment, culminating two years of engineering efforts by CKLW and RCA staff. An ad to mark the new facilities claimed, “Finest and Most up-to-date of Canada’s progressive radio stations.”

CKLW-FM (93.9 MHz) opened on November 24. The Standard General Electric 250 watt transmitter and 2-bay antenna were atop the Canada Trust Building, just above the tenth floor studios. The station covered an urban audience within an area of 6.25 miles. Rural coverage increased the range to 23.6 miles. The station was owned by Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Studios were at 825 Sandwich Street West (later became 825 Riverside Drive). CKLW-AM-FM was affiliated with the CBC Dominion Network.


CKLW-FM was still operating with a temporary power of 250 watts.


Joseph E. Ted Campeau
Ted Campeau

CKLW dropped its CBC affiliation. CKLW-FM became the Windsor-Detroit outlet for the Mutual Broadcasting System. 


The labor relations board certified NABET as bargaining agent for the technical employees of CKLW radio and television.

The CBC Board of Governors recommended for denial, an application that would have seen the transfer of CKLW-AM-FM and TV from Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Paramount Windsor Theatres Ltd. The application was denied because control would have gone to Famous Players Corp., owner of Paramount Windsor Theatres. This company already owned interests in other Canadian TV stations.


RKO Distributing became primary owner of the CKLW stations. through Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. when the transfer of a one-third interest in Western Ontario was approved on condition that there be no further transfers to non-Canadian control, specifically that the company gives an undertaking that any change in the distribution of shares of affiliated Essex Broadcasters Inc. be submitted for approval.


CKLW-AM-FM  was a CBC Dominion supplementary B affiliate. It was also affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System in the U.S. Ownership of Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: RKO Distributing Corporation of Canada Ltd. 33.4%, Essex Broadcasters Inc. 32.4%, Estate of E. S. Rogers 11.8%, Estate of M. G. Campbell 6.5%, J. E. Campeau 5.9%, S. Rogers 3.2%, S. C. Ritchie 0.4%, J. L. Labow 0.1%, K. Laird 0.1%, A. D. Rogers 0.1%, 15 other shareholders 6.1%. Ownership of RKO Distributing Corp. of Canada Ltd.: RKO Teleradio Pictures Inc. 92.0%, J. Miller Walker 1.0%, William H. Clark 1.0%, Joseph J. Lamb 1.0%, Garrett Van Wagner 1.0%, 4 other shareholders 4.0%. Essex Broadcasters Inc. – Subsidiary company incorporated in the United States and owned in direct proportion by all shareholders of licensee company. 


Under the new Broadcasting Act (that saw the creation of the Board of Broadcast Governors), a broadcasting station must be 75% Canadian owned but the restrictions would not apply to existing stations such as CKLW-Radio-TV. 


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks of the CBC were consolidated into a single service. CKLW-FM was the Dominion affiliate with CKLW-AM acting as a supplementary B station. CBE was the Trans-Canada station. Following the merger of the networks, CKLW-AM and FM went independent while CBE continued to provide CBC network service.


RKO gained 100% of the CKLW stations. 

On October 1, CKLW-FM began airing separate programming from CKLW-AM, between 7:00 and 9:00 at night. 

Power increased from 250 watts to 50,000 watts.


CKLW Radio-TV dropped All-Canada Radio & Television as its national sales rep firm and opened its own sales office in Toronto. This was based on the huge success of selling its own ad time in the U.S. since 1961.

At the same time, S. C. Ritchie, President of Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. announced the appointments of Edwin C. Metcalfe as general manager of CKLW-TV and Bob Buss (formerly of CHAT-TV Medicine Hat), GM of CKLW-AM-FM.

CKLW-FM’s offering of independent programming was now airing between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., nightly,


Separate FM programming increased to six hours, from 6 p.m. to midnight.


Robert J. (Bob) Buss was appointed vice president. He would continue to be AM-FM general manager, a position held since June of 1965.


The Canadian Radio-Television Commission introduced foreign ownership regulations. CKLW Radio & Television were owned by Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd., which was owned by RKO Distributing Corp. of Canada Ltd. That company was owned by RKO General Inc. of the U.S. RKO in turn was owned by Akron, Ohio based General Tire & Rubber Co. As a result, Western Ontario Broadcasting was not an eligible corporation for licence. CKLW-AM-FM and TV had their licences renewed only until September 1, 1970. They had until that time to conform to the new rules as their petition for exemption from the foreign ownership rules was denied.


On December 17, Baton Broadcasting Ltd. was authorized to purchase CKLW-AM and FM from Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Earlier in the year, CKLW-TV was purchased by a company owned by both Baton and by the CBC (St. Clair River Broadcasting Ltd.). Once that approval came, Baton after a period of consideration, decided to also acquire the CKLW radio stations. As to CKLW-TV, Baton had earlier joined up with Maclean-Hunter Ltd. in a bid to buy the station. The application was turned down.


On May 12, CKLW Radio Broadcasting Ltd. (Baton) was authorized to move the radio studios from  825 Riverside Drive West to 1640 Ouelette Ave.

CKLW-FM became known as “Radio 94” and began to offer a 24 hour stereo service to the people within a 75 mile radius of Windsor. Radio 94 had a “community oriented informative sound”. 


Randy Gordon was an announcer at CKLW-FM.


CKJY-FM (formerly CKLW-FM) received CRTC approval to change format from Country & Western to “Big Band”, jazz.  


CKJY-FM received approval to increase effective radiated power from 50,000 watts to 79,900 watts, and to change transmitter site. 

CKJY-FM / CKLW-AM applied to the CRTC to swap formats. CKLW proposed to adopt a Big Band sound, while CKJY would change to contemporary rock aimed at the younger audience listening to FM. The application was denied.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CKJY-FM’s licence to September 30, 1984. This term would enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of CJOM-FM.

CKLW Radio Broadcasting Ltd. changed its name to Russwood Broadcasting (still owned by Baton).

G. Blair Nelson, president of Russwood Broadcasting (CKLW and CFQC) was named a director of parent company Baton Broadcasting.

The following appointments were made at CKLW / CKJY-FM: Tom Bell to vice president of news, Robert Dent to vice president of finance, Pat Holiday to vice president of programming, and Gary Mercer to senior vice president. 

Announcers included Scott Miller, Johnny Williams, and Pat Holiday.

In June, CKJY-FM became CFXX-FM.


It was announced that CFXX-FM would be renamed CKEZ-FM. Pending CRTC approval, the station would play soft pop and rock music, 90% hits and 60% instrumental. 

On March 29, Keith Campbell on behalf of a company to be incorporated was given approval to acquire CKLW and CKEZ-FM (formerly CFXX) from Baton’s Russwood Broadcasting Ltd. CUC Ltd. (owner of Windsor Cable) would hold 50% of the new company (negative control). The other shareholders would be Keith Campbell (20%), Robert O’Brien (19%), Michael Rinaldo through Platoon Communications Corp. (6%) and Denis Beallor (5%). O’Brien would manage the stations.

CKEZ-FM was issued an “experimental FM licence” exempting it from having to deal with certain requirements under the Radio (FM) Broadcasting Regulations, such as advertising, simultaneous broadcasting and foreground format programming. It was hoped the station would now be able to better compete in the Detroit-dominated market.

For now, CKLW and CKEZ continued to operate under the Russwood Broadcasting banner.

On April 26, CKEZ was authorized to decrease effective radiated power from 79,900 watts to 68,000 watts.

A recent CRTC decision requiring CKEZ and CKLW to have 45% Canadian content in their newscasts came under heavy criticism from the news business. The Globe & Mail said the state had no business in the newsrooms of the nation. Jim MacLean of CKEY Toronto said the requirement opened the door to direct government control of editorial content. Bob Beaton of the RTNDA told CRTC chairman Andre Bureau that the decision, in effect, regulated newscast content and was a dangerous precedent, contrary to the public interest and to the constitutional provision of freedom of the press.


CKEZ-FM returned to the original CKLW-FM call letters on May 5. 

Retired CKLW (AM-FM-TV) chief engineer Stuart Clark passed away May 13 at the age of 73. Before joining the CKLW stations, Clark worked for CFCO Chatham (starting in 1929), CFPL London, CKTB St. Catharines and CKOC Hamilton. He joined CKLW in 1937, and was responsible for the installation of the 50,000 watt transmitter in 1949. He moved to CKLW Television in 1953, and became director of engineering at that station in 1957. Clark retired in 1973.

Russwood Broadcasting changed its name to Amicus Broadcasting. 

Announcers included Chuck Morgan, Scott Miller, Jeff Davis, and Dave Shaffer.


Campbell and O’Brien sold their interest in Amicus to CUC (now 89%) . 


Terry Coles became general manager of CKLW-FM-AM.


CUC increased its ownership of CKLW-AM-FM from 50% to 100%. The CRTC said there was no excuse for CUC’s failure to submit an application prior to the actual transfer of shares. CUC said it had poured $4.4 million into the stations since becoming 50% owner in 1985 and expected to spend another million before seeing a turnaround. CUC had written to the CRTC to inform it that CUC would acquire shares held by Campbell and O’Brien, but neglected to file an application. Terry Coles would be president under the new ownership setup. The CRTC approved this transfer on March 3.

Jerry S. Grafstein was appointed chairman of CUC Group of Companies. Charles G. Allen became chief executive officer. Lawrence W. Blaine joined the company as senior vice president of finance. Terry L. Coles was senior vice president of broadcasting and served as president of Amicus Communications, operators of CKLW-AM and FM.

CKLW-FM changed its call to CKMR-FM (More 94). 


Scott Miller joined the air staff in January.


CKMR-FM returned to the CKLW-FM call letters again in the fall. The new CKLW-FM adopted an oldies format and attempted to revive the old CKLW 800, jingles and all.

S. Campbell Ritchie passed away at age 75. The former president of the C.A.B. joined CKLW in 1936 as a staff singer, later becoming an announcer. He eventually became operations manager for CKLW and, later, CKLW-TV, becoming president and general manager in 1961. 


On March 30, CHUM Limited agreed to acquire Amicus Communications (CKLW-AM and FM) from Trillium Cable Communications Ltd. (division of CUC Broadcasting Ltd.). CHUM already owned Windsor’s two other private stations: CKWW-AM and CIMX-FM. CKLW-AM and FM had been losing money in recent years. CHUM proposed to upgrade CKWW to 50,000 watts on CKLW’s 800 kHz frequency. CKLW would move to CKWW’s 580 frequency. CHUM also wanted exemptions from regulations to enable it to compete with the flood of signals from Detroit. The CRTC set a public hearing date of September 22.


The CRTC approved the purchase of CKLW-AM-FM by CHUM, from CUC Broadcasting. It was a very rare exception where all four commercial stations in a market would be owned by the same company. 

Paul Mahon (evenings) joined in March.


Paul Mahon (evenings) left in August. Tom Shannon was at CKLW-FM.

In November, CKLW-FM became “Detroit’s River” CIDR-FM with an adult alternative (new music) format. 


Jeremy Spoken left The River (CIDR) for Niagara Falls.


Wayne Stafford left CHUM Windsor. General sales manager Eric Proksch became interim general manager.


Radio Computing Services installed RCS master control digital studio equipment at CIDR, CKLW, CKWW and CIMX.


Allan Waters, the founder CHUM Limited, owner of CIDR-FM, passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.


On September 1 at 3 p.m., CIDR-FM began a montage of 7,000 rock songs from the 1960’s through the 2000’s (commercial free), and calling itself “93.9 The River”. CIDR used this name between 1994 and 2000, first with an Adult Alternative format then a more mainstream smooth rock sound (1998). The new Adult Album Alternative format launched September 4 at 8 a.m.

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 CIDR-FM. 


On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licenc of CIDR-DR-1.


On November 30, the CRTC renewed CIDR’s licence until August 31, 2017.

Paul McDonald was promoted to news director at CHUM Radio Windsor, succeeding Jason Moore who left the business. McDonald had been a reporter.


On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control.

On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.

BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the portal.

The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.

On August 22, the CRTC approved the applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., carrying on business as Bell Media Windsor Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CKWW, CKLW, CIMX-FM and CIDR-FM Windsor. Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE. 7550413, the other partner holding the remaining 0.01% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Media and is also controlled by BCE. BCE submitted that the purpose of this corporate reorganization was to realize tax efficiencies. The Commission noted that this transaction would not affect the effective control of the undertakings which would continue to be exercised by BCE. 

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.

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