CIHR-FM, Heart FM, Woodstock

Byrnes Communications Inc.

CIHR-FM2006104.71,910Byrnes Communications Inc.


On August 25, Byrnes Communications Inc. was awarded a licence to operate a new commercial FM station at Woodstock. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 104.7 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 1,910 watts (6,000 watts maximum). Antenna height would be 99.5 metres.The format would be mainstream adult contemporary designed to appeal to listeners between 25 and 54 years of age. A number of applicants competed against Byrnes for the 104.7 frequency.

Byrnes Communications was 80% owned by Chris Byrnes and 20% by Gordon Marratto. Marratto was the owner of Woodstock’s CKDK-FM for 15 years. He sold it to what became Corus Entertainment. Byrnes was the owner of broadcast consulting firm, Byrnes Media.

Gordon Marratto decided not to move to Woodstock as General Manager so Chris Byrnes purchased his shares. Byrnes also continued to consult radio stations across Canada and the United States.


After a short test period of a few weeks, CIHR-FM “104.7 Heart FM” signed on the air at 8:00 a.m., April 10. Studios and offices were located at 223 Norwich Avenue in Woodstock. Michael Jones was the station’s first general manager. He arrived in Woodstock from Australia. 


John Macintosh succeeded Michael Jones as general manger in July.


On June 30 the CRTC approved an increase in effective radiated power for CIHR-FM, from 1,929 watts to 7,096 watts. CIHR stated the proposed changes would result in better signal quality for listeners experiencing poor reception in the licensed service area. 


Heart FM announced some changes to its on air lineup. John Harada joined Liz Wismer on the morning show 5am-9am effective August 16th. The show was re-branded as the “Heart FM Breakfast with John and Liz”. John also assumed the music director position. Program director Dan Henry moved to mid days (9am-2pm). Promotions/drive host Don Martin moved to the 2-7pm slot.

A short time later, it was announced that Don Martin and Heart FM had parted ways. Don had been afternoon drive host and promotions manager for the past 4 1/2 years, originally signing on the station in 2006 as morning host. The station then announced the appointment of Monica Lapajne as promotions director and midday host. The Monday to Friday on-air line up now looked like this: 5am-9am – The All New John & Liz Show featuring John Harada & Liz Wismer, 9am-2pm – Monica Lapajne, 2pm-7pm – Dan Henry. Weekends & holidays: Jeremy Smith, Vic Folliott, Jim Weir and George Panayi.

On September 2, the CRTC denied the application by Byrnes Communications Inc. to change the authorized contours of CIHR-FM. Byrnes had proposed to increase the average effective radiated power from 7,096 to 8,950 watts. 

All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The licensee stated that it wished to increase the quality of the signal of the station to better serve the population of Woodstock. The population within the 3mV/m contour would increase from 63,425 to 65,300. The population within the 5mV/m contour would increase from 499,814 to 556,000. The Commission analysis revealed that the licensee failed to comply with its conditions of licence relating to contributions to Canadian talent development for the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 broadcast years. The Commission noted that the licensee had informed the Commission of its non-compliance in 2007 but that its annual returns had indicated shortfalls in its CTD contributions in each broadcast year since CIHR-FM began operations in 2006. The Commission generally denied licence amendments requested by licensees that were in non-compliance with their regulatory requirements. The Commission did not consider that a departure from this practice was warranted in this case.

Heart FM added The Donny Osmond Show from 7 p.m. to midnight as of September 7th.

Dan Dusick returned to HEART FM after having left the previous summer.


Darrell Van Sickle was promoted to Retail Sales Manager at 104.7 Heart FM. He began at the station in May of last year, as an Account Executive.

On November 10, the CRTC approved the application by Byrnes Communications Inc. to change the authorized contours of CIHR-FM by increasing the average effective radiated power from 7,100 to 8,950 watts. The applicant stated that the change would result in better signal quality for listeners who were experiencing poor signal reception in CIHR-FM’s licensed service area, including Woodstock, Ingersoll and Oxford County. The licensee further indicated that this change would rectify new coverage problems experienced following implementation of the technical changes approved in Broadcasting Decision 2009-396.


John Macintosh, the General Manager at 104.7 Heart FM, left that position in April bound for Quebecor’s national sales office in Toronto. His background included stints as a senior account manager at CFPL-FM London and, before that, Blackburn Radio Wingham. He was also General Sales Manager at then Rogers-owned CICX-FM Orillia.

The new midday announcer/promotions director at 104.7 Heart FM was Brian Shayne (Donahue), formerly of 1240 AM The Port in Port Hardy. He’d been doing mornings and sales at the Vista station.

Ted Hyland was the new General Manager at 104.7 Heart FM. Hyland retired from his position as GM at Newcap Halifax in June 2011 after 14 years with the company. He succeeded John Macintosh who left Heart FM in April bound for Quebecor’s national sales office in Toronto.

In November, Brian Shayne left CIHR to take on Promotions/Marketing and on-air work with Bell Kingston. 


In November, CIHR Heart FM began using a second HD channel (HD-2) to air all-Christmas music. Along with HD radio, the stream could also be heard via computer or smartphone.


In March, CIHR-FM-HD2 was relaunched as a Classic Hits (The 80’s and More) channel.


In July, CIHR-FM changed the format of CIHR-FM-HD2 from Classic Hits to Country. It was believed to be the first format change for a stand alone HD facility in Canada.


After more than ten years of hosting weekend mornings, Jeremy Smith was let go at 104.7 Heart FM. His program was replaced by out-of-market voice-tracking.

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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