CKOT-FM, Easy 101.3, Tillsonburg
|Tillsonburg Broadcasting Ltd.
John B. Lamers, owner of the Tillsonburg Broadcasting Co. Ltd. which held the licence for CKOT-AM, proposed to operate an FM station at Tillsonburg. The original plans called for the sttion to use a frequency of 106.7 MHz but 100.5 MHz was chosen instead.
Tillsonburg Broadcasting Co. Ltd. received its FM licence and CKOT-FM signed on the air on October 1. CKOT-FM operated on 100.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 1,135 watts. Studios were in downtown Tillsonburg and the transmitter was located just northwest of town. CKOT-FM simulcast the programming of CKOT-AM and was on the air from 6:00 a.m. to midnight. The FM actually expanded the local broadcast day as CKOT-AM was only on the air from sunrise to sunset.
In January, CKOT-AM and FM adopted different programming. “The Sound of Music” was born on FM while AM became known as “Active, Lively, Community Information Radio.”
CKOT-FM was authorized to move from 100.5 to 101.3 MHz, increase effective radiated power from 1,135 watts to 50,000 watts, and to move to a new transmitter site. These changes went into effect in December. CKOT-AM also received approval for a power increase. This was the start of a major expansion for both stations…new transmitter sites with power increases, plus a change of frequency for FM.
Tillsonburg Broadcasting was called to appear before the CRTC for further consideration of its FM licence. The commission ruled that violations occurred in the spring of ’77 with respect to simulcasting AM and FM, excessive commercial content, and insufficient foreground and mosaic content. However further consideration was to be given in view of difficulties in separating FM operations from that of the daytime AM station, the fact that the licensee did not receive previous notice of violations, and the committment by CKOT to complete the
necessary changes and facilities to comply with requirements.
CKOT-FM had its licence renewed for full 5-year term.
AM and FM studios were upgraded. New McCurdy SS8500 stereo consoles were ordered. There were now three production rooms in the renovated and expanded facility. The renovations actually began in late 1976 when new offices were laid out at the front of the building, providing larger quarters and easier operation. The area previously occupied by the offices was changed to a sales room and two new stereo production rooms, which can go on-air if needed. The main control room was completely rebuilt and a second one added. Each studio has an adjoining separate news booth. There is also a common guest booth.
On January 11, the CRTC renewed CKOT-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.
Bob Lamers, Jr. was general manager of CKOT-FM-AM.
John B. Lamers passed away on April 17, at age 89.
Mike Roberts was on the CKOT announce staff.
On September 10, the CRTC approved a change in ownership of Tillsonburg Broadcasting Co. Ltd., resulting in John D. Lamers, Jr. increasing his ownership interest from 36.8 to 50.3%, thereby gaining effective control. Other shareholders are Robert Lamers and Joanne Fenton.
Stereo 101’s announcers: Dave Coldham (6-10), Craig Fox (10-1), Harold Gilpin (1-6) and Robert Palmer (6-midnight). Fox joined CKOT-AM and FM from CKSY-FM in Chatham.
Craig Fox left for CKPC in Brantford.
CKOT-FM was now known as Easy 101.3. Dave Coldham was still the morning man. Gary Chittim was now the mid-day announcer. Doug Cooper handled afternoons and Bob Evans was on the air in the evenings. Evans (formerly known as Chet Martin of CHAM Hamilton and CJBX London) joined CKOT-FM following the death of long-time station announcer Robert Palmer. Palmer had been with CKOT since the AM station went on the air in 1955, and was that station’s very first announcer.
Cam Leonard joined the CKOT-FM and AM announce staff in April.
After a lengthy test period, CJDL-FM “ New Country, Classic Country – Country 107-3” signed on the air on August 1 at 5:00 a.m. Oxford M.P.P. Ernie Hardeman congratulated the station on behalf of the province. Congratulatory messages were also received from a number of country artists including George Fox and Julian Austin. The “JDL” in the call sign represented owner John D. Lamers. CKOT-AM for the most part was simulcasting the new FM signal.
On November 26th, Dave Coldham died at the age of 56. He had been an announcer and the Morning Man at CKOT-FM for nearly nineteen years.
The CRTC approved the change to the ownership of Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited through the transfer of the shares of Tilsonburg to a holding company owned by the initial shareholders of Tilsonburg Broadcasting, licensee of CJDL-FM and CKOT-FM Tillsonburg, Ontario.
On November 16, the CRTC renewed the licence for CKOT-FM from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014. This short-term renewal would enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986.
Morning anchor Bill Adams left Easy 101 (CKOT) and Country 107.3 (CJDL) to spend more time with his family.
On February 17, CKOT-FM’s long-time brother station – CKOT 1510 – signed off the air for the last time. It was Canada’s last day-time-only AM station.
Richard Robinson (62) died on April 6. He worked in news at Easy 101 and Country 107.3. Robinson joined the stations in 2011 after a decade of working in Brantford and Sudbury radio.
On July 13, the CRTC approved an application by Rogers Media Inc., on behalf of Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited, for authority to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of TBCL, licensee of CJDL-FM and CKOT-FM. TBCL was owned by Lamers Holdings Inc., which in turn was owned by John D. Lamers (78%), Carolyn Watts (11%) and Christine Lamers (11%) and effectively controlled by Mr. Lamers.
In August, CKOT-FM was rebranded slightly, from Easy 101 to Easy 101.3.
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.