CKDK-FM, Country 104, Woodstock

Corus Entertainment Inc.

CKDK-FM1999103.952,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CKDK-FM1991102.33,500Shaw Cablesystems Ltd.
CKDK-FM1986102.33,500Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Jack Schoone)
CKDK-AM198513401,000/250Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Jack Schoone)
CKDK-AM197713401,000/250Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Countryside/Eastern)
CKOX-AM197613401,000/250Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Countryside/Eastern)
CKOX-AM196513401,000/250Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CKOX-AM19471340250Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


Former CBC engineer M.J. (Monty) Werry of Montreal was granted a licence to operate an AM station at Woodstock. It would operate on a frequency of 1340 kHz and have a full-time power of 250 watts.

CKOX became a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. 

The station was under construction in the fall and expected to sign on the air in December. 

Slogan: Canada’s Richest Dairy County.
Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. signed CKOX on the air December 6. Stanley Smith was commercial manager. John B. Starke was program director and joined CKOX from CBL Toronto. Rod Clark, formerly with CJCS Stratford, was chief operator. Studios were in the Capitol Theatre Building, 290 Dundas Street. The transmitter was in part of The Gore, West Oxford Township, Oxford County. CKOX was on the air daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.


CKOX had plans to open a remote studio in Ingersol. 


CKOX staffers Beverley Harrington and Steve Brody were killed in a plane crash at Tillsonburg. Harrington, staff announcer, joined the station at its inception in December of 1947. Brody had joined CKOX a month before his death and was an operator. 

CKOX-FM was scheduled to sign on the air December 5.


Slogan: People who earn their bread and butter in Oxford County listen to CKOX Woodstock-Ingersoll.

Bruce Marsh was program director. John Meadows joined CKOX. M.J. Werry was manager and Stanley Smith was commercial manager.


William (Bill) Todd joined CKOX as commercial manager. He had been with a sales rep firm.


Major Stan Smith returned to the army. He had been commercial manager at CKOX.


The CBC Board approved the transfer of 2,350 common shares in Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. 


Vin Dittmer was program director. 


CKOX was an independent station with no network affiliation. It was owned by Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: M. J. Werry 92.4%, L. A. Wilmot 0.1%, K. Start 0.1%, R. G. Start 0.1% and three other shareholders 7.3%.

M. J. Werry was president of the company and manager of CKOX. William Tonner was program and sports director.

Advertisement from the time: CKOX – Serving the Heart of Canada’s Rich Dairyland.


Slogans: Cover the rich dairy producing area of Oxford County by using CKOX. / Dairy farm income is up this year – cover the Dairy County of Oxford by using CKOX.


Walter Hulme was morning show host.


On-air names: Walter Hulme (mornings), It’s A Woman’s World with Alice Munro (mid-days), News Quizz with Crawford Douglas (mid-days), Oxford County Ranch House with Dave Timms (afternoons), Club 1340 with Doug Reed (after 5:30 p.m.). Clarence Sawyer was news director and did the morning news. Weekend hosts: George Virag, Henry Jaques, and Bill Close.


On May 10, CKOX increased daytime power to 1,000 watts. Night-time power remained 250 watts night. The station produced a directional during the day, using two towers at the existing site.

M. J. Werry was president of Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and manager and commercial manager of CKOX. Walter Hulme was the Program Manager. Murray Porteous was morning man. T. Horney was news and sports director. 


Ron Fitzpatrick joined on December 26 from CFTJ Cambridge. Doug Hobbs joined from Cambridge for the PM country / evening rock show. 


Ron Fitzpatrick left for CFOR Orillia. Doug Hobbs left for CHOO Ajax. 

Countryside Stations slogan: Home town radio – specializing in home town reporting, home town entertaining, home town interest, home town buying.


Ross Carlin was morning man (6-10). Steve Shannon was on the air from 10-2, followed by Donny Rogers (2-6), and Cliff Lorimer (6-10). Ken Curtis did news. Carlin was also program and music director. Mike Wilmot joined the station as a swing announcer.


Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (85%) and Gordon V. Marratto (15%) received approval to acquire CKOX Woodstock (100%), CJCS Stratford (100%), CFOR Orillia (100%), CKAR Huntsville and Parry Sound (87.9%) and CKMP Midland (51%) from Countryside Holdings Ltd. and T. G. Ferris. Eastern owns stations in the Maritimes and has a major interest in the Northern Broadcasting group in northern Ontario. Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. is owned by Jack W. Schoone, J. Irving Zucker, and Gerald W. Kennedy. The CRTC noted that the new owners are to improve the technical quality and overall performance of the stations, appointing at least one local director for each. The sations would continue to operate under the Countryside banner. CKOX had operated under the Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. name.

Mike Wilmot moved from swing to AM Drive.


CKOX became CKDK on March 14. 

Steve Howe joined as news director from CKGB Timmins in August. He left for CJBK London in November. Mike Wilmot (AM Drive) left for CKGB.


CKDK had to move its transmitter building because a gravel pit that was some distance away years ago had steadily crept to within 25 feet of the building. 


Allen Joseph was on the air at CKDK.


On February 28, Ranger Communications Ltd. (Jack Schoone group) was given permission to sell Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Gordon V. Marratto. Marratto was President of Oxford Broadcasting and general manager of CKDK. He committed to substantially improve CKDK’s technical facilities over the next three years. The Schoone group also sold their other Ontario stations (JCS Stratford, CKMP Midland, CFOR Orillia, CKGB/CFTI-FM Timmins and CFCH/CKAT-FM North Bay. They went to a numbered company indirectly controlled by Telemedia’s Philippe de Gaspe Beaubien.

Debbie Walker (Bill Walker’s daughter) was doing news at CKDK. Brian Bourke joined CKDK in October as news director. Allen Joseph was an announcer.


Gord Williams was mid-day host and music director. News director Brian Bourke left in January for CKKW Kitchener.


On December 13, CKDK was granted a night-time power increase from 250 to 1,000 watts. 


Rick Roi became CKDK’s chief engineer in February. He also provided engineering services for CKO London and CHLO St. Thomas.

Schoone Communications applied to the CRTC to boost its ownership of CKDK from 50% to 100%.


On March 12, the CRTC approved the application by Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd., for a licence for an English language FM station at Woodstock on the frequency 102.3 MHz, channel 272, with an effective radiated power of 11,300 watts. The Commission issued a licence expiring September 30, 1990. The applicant held a licence expiring September 30, 1988 to operate CKDK-AM Woodstock. Upon implementation of the FM station, the AM undertaking would rebroadcast all of the FM programming for a “phasing-in” period not to exceed three months. The applicant indicated that the purpose of replacing the existing AM facility with a new FM station was to overcome severe technical problems which had both limited its ability to provide an adequate signal to the area it seeked to serve, namely Oxford County, and contributed to serious erosion of the CKDK audience. Oxford further pointed out that, since no suitable AM frequencies were available to rectify the coverage problem, it had concluded that an FM station was the most appropriate solution. The Commission noted that the power of the proposed FM, which was more than 10 times that of the AM operation, and the superior transmission characteristics of the FM band should enable the new station to increase its coverage area and provide a clear and consistent signal day and night. This should provide the applicant with the means to compete with out-of-market stations that had captured the majority of radio tuning in Oxford County. The new station would be operated in the “Group I” music format, with a vocal-to-instrumental ratio of 85:15. Consistent with the FM policy and as discussed at the hearing, the applicant would maintain, as a condition of licence, a level of “hits” below 50%. The Commission noted the strong local and regional orientation proposed by the applicant, including the dedication of 50% of the station’s overall news commitment to the coverage of local and regional events. The Commission noted that, at the hearing, Oxford defined “local” as referring to Woodstock and the surrounding area and “regional” to the rest of Oxford County, and that it specifically excluded London from its concept of regional coverage. 

CKDK made the switch to 102.3 FM on July 2, using a 400 foot tower.

On October 9, CKDK was granted a power decrease from 11,300 to 3,500 watts.

CKDK-AM 1340 was deleted October 30.

Jim Arden was on the air at CKDK.


Chris Daniels was among the announcers at CKDK.


Shaw Cablesystems purchased CKDK-FM subject to CRTC approval. Shaw president James Shaw said the sale would not affect programming or personnel. The purchase would give Shaw its second Ontario radio station. It already owned CHAY-FM in Barrie. 


On September 6, the CRTC approved the sale of Oxford Broadcasting Co. Ltd. by 
Schoone Communications Ltd. to Shaw Radio (Shaw Cablesystems). Shaw Radio president Terry Strain said the company had confidence in the future of both the Woodstock market and the Ontario economy.


Janice McKay joined the news department from CHUC in Cobourg.


CKDK-FM received approval to move from 102.3 MHz to 103.9 MHz and to increase effective radiated power from 3,500 watts to 65,000 watts.

In the fall, “K102” became “K104”. 


Janice McKay was in the news department and Paul Hill was an announcer.


Derek Botten joined CKDK as mid-day announcer. Larry Fine (Steve Sobczuk) joined for weekends. Newscaster Janice McKay left for CFCA Kitchener. Kyle McCone was on the air at CKDK.


Two Shaw stations – Energy 108 (CING) Burlington and K104 (CKDK) Woodstock, teamed up to form “Energy Radio”. The two simulcast programming to their combined audiences from Toronto, to London. Five of 20 CKDK Woodstock staffers lost their jobs, four full-time and one part-time. One was an announcer. General manager Dean Sinclair (based in Burlington), said Woodstock and Oxford County couldn’t generate enough advertising revenue to keep the station in a profit position. The simulcasting began on June 11 at 3:00 p.m. but CKDK still offered local programming between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Larry Fine (weekends) left for CHYM in Kitchener.


Corus Entertainment Inc. was formed September 1 from the media assets of Shaw Communications Inc. Corus became a separate and distinct, publicly traded corporation. The Shaw family continued to hold the majority of voting shares in Corus.


On January 12, at 4 p.m., CKDK 103.9 Woodstock (Energy Radio – dance music) swapped formats with sister station CFHK 103.1 St. Thomas (The Hawk – classic rock). This ended CKDK’s simulcasting of CING-FM Burlington. The CKDK call letters remain with 103.9 in Woodstock but the station is now known as The Hawk with a classic rock format. 

On-Air: Jody Williams & Buzz (5:30-9:00), Derek Botten (9-1), Kyle McKone (1-6), Chris Butler (6-midnight). The station was voice-tracked overnights. Other on-air staff: Leigh Robert (weekends), and Brad Janssen (news). Mitch O’Connor left AM Drive. Jody Williams joined from CJKR-FM Winnipeg to take over mornings as of April 3.


On May 20, the Corus radio stations in London, moved from the London Free Press Building at 369 York Street to City Centre at 380 Wellington Street (the former home of Telemedia’s London stations). 


On July 11 the CRTC renewed CKDK-FM’s licence until August 31, 2010.


CKDK changed from Classic Rock (The Hawk) to Oldies-Classic Hits (103.9 FM).


Leigh Robert at CKDK-FM, added Assistant Program Director to duties that included Afternoon Drive and music responsibilities.

There were a number of changes at Corus Entertainment related to its organization review to streamline decision-making and clarify roles and mandates. Among the changes: Reporting to Hal Blackadar, Executive Vice President and interim President of Corus Radio – Chris Sisam, VP/GM, Corus Radio, Southwestern Ontario (based in London, Sisam would be responsible for Corus Guelph, Corus Kitchener/Cambridge and London). Corus London GM Dave Farough was now VP, Brands and Programming at Corus Radio Toronto.

On November 30, the CRTC renewed CKDK-FM’s licence to August 31, 2017.

Dean Sinclair, former General Manager at Corus London, was the new GM at Humber College Radio in Toronto.

Mike Patterson, who’d been Retail Sales Manager at FM96/1039FM since March 3, 2008, become General Sales Manager at the sister Corus Radio Barrie cluster. He began October 12. Patterson was no stranger to the Barrie market. He was with CKVR-TV before being recruited by Rogers TV Barrie.


In July, CKDK dropped its classic hits format (“Greatest Hits 103.9”), replacing it with a somewhat more recent gold-based format as “More 103.9,” promising “More 70s, More 80s and More 90s.”

Colin Botten, the program director at 1031 Fresh FM/103.9 The Hawk since 2006, resigned. On February 22, he moved to 97.5 EZ Rock London as morning co-host.

Only July 22 at 10:39 a.m., CKDK changed ID’s and formats, moving from Classic Rock 103.9 “The Hawk” to Greatest Hits “More 103.9 FM”, playing the big songs from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. 

On August 15, morning host Jeff McArthur’s shift changed from 5:30 – 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 to 9:30 a.m. This reflected changes at CFPL-AM where McArthur did a talk show immediately following his FM morning show. 


In August/September, Jeff McArthur left the More 103.9 FM Greatest Hits morning show. He continued his mid-day talk show at CFPL-AM London but also picked up an afternoon talk show at CFMJ Talk640 in Toronto. Dunner and Matt took over More Mornings (6-9) at More 103.9.

On September 25, the CRTC approved the application by Corus Radio Company to change the authorized contours of CKDK-FM by relocating its transmitter site, by decreasing the average effective radiated power from 52,000 to 51,000 watts and by increasing its effective height of antenna above average terrain from 133 to 138.4 metres. The licensee indicated that it requested to relocate its transmitter site because its lease, which would expire in March 2013, would not be renewed by the landowner. However, the licensee further indicated that the same landowner had offered it a twenty-year lease on a site approximately 213 metres northwest from the existing one.


Jim Elliott died at age 71. Elliott began in broadcasting as a library assistant at CKRD Red Deer while still going to school and later on, on the air. He moved to Lethbridge in the early ‘60s and worked at, first, CHEC and later at CJOC. In the ‘70s, he did drive at both CFRN and CJCA Edmonton, eventually moving into sales at CJCA. Later, he went to ITV Edmonton. In the mid ‘80s, he moved back to CHEC Lethbridge/CKTA Taber as General Manager and, in the early ‘90s (still with Shaw), Elliott was GM at CKDK Woodstock. In the late ‘90s, he went back west to the OK Group where he was in sales both in Kelowna and Fort St. John. And, it was in 2004 that he joined Newcap’s engineering group in Edmonton. Elliott and the Alberta engineering team won the Rohde & Schwarz Excellence in Engineering Award in the fall of 2011 at the annual Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) convention. 


More 103.9 FM became Young Country/CHR-formatted Country 104 at 4:30 p.m., February 28. 

The story continues elsewhere…
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