CKUE-FM, Cool FM, Chatham

Blackburn Radio Inc.

CKUE-FM200595.150,000Blackburn Radio Inc
CKUE-FM199994.350,000Bea-Ver Communications Inc.


On September 23, Bea-Ver Communications Inc. (owner of CFCO and CKSY-FM) was given approval for a new FM station at Chatham, operating on 94.3 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts. The proposed format: alternative rock targeted to the 18 to 34 year age group.
CKUE-FM “The Rock @ 94.3” with a modern rock format began testing in early October and signed on the air in November.


Kevin Bruhlman passed away. He was one of Bea-Ver’s owners and founders.

On May 4 at 6:00 p.m., CKSY 95.1 and CKUE 94.3 swapped frequencies in order to increase CKSY’s coverage in Chatham-Kent and to extend CKUE’s signal into Essex County. CKSY’s adult contemporary format moved to 94.3 as “94.3 CKSY, Chatham-Kent’s Perfect Music Mix” and CKUE moved to 95.1 as “The Rock 95.1”.


On February 20, the CRTC approved the application by Bea-Ver Communications Inc. for authority to effect a change in its ownership through changes in its shareholders. 814130 Ontario Inc. held 46.67% of the ownership interest in Bea-Ver. The ownership interest of 814130 is held 49.70% by the estate of H. Bruhlman, 33.73% by Carl Veroba and 16.57% by Robert Dietrich. Mr. Veroba proposed to transfer his 33.73% direct ownership interest in 814130 to his personal holding company, 1541748 Ontario Inc. Mr. Dietrich proposed to transfer his 16.57% direct ownership interest in 814130 to his personal holding company, 2015152 Ontario Inc. Following these proposed transfers, 33.73% of the ownership interest in 814130 would be held by Mr. Veroba’s holding company, 1541748, and 16.57% would be held by Mr. Dietrich’s holding company, 2015152. The estate of H. Bruhlman would continue to hold 49.70% of the ownership interest in 814130. For its part, 814130 would continue to hold 46.67% of the ownership interest in Bea-Ver.

On December 17, CKUE was given approval to add a transmitter at Windsor. The station would also open a Windsor studio and produce 42 hours of programming each week from that location. The new transmitter would be a synchronous repeater of CKUE, operating with an effective radiated power of 400 watts on frequency 95.1 MHz (the same frequency as CKUE-FM Chatham).


CKUE-FM-1 completed on-air tests in May.


On March 22, the CRTC approved the transfer of the effective control of Bea-Ver Communications Inc. to Blackburn Radio Inc. On the same date, approval was granted for the transfer of control of Blackburn Radio Inc. through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Blackburn Group Incorporated (the parent corporation) from the Estate of Martha G. Blackburn to 2061302 Ontario Limited, a corporation controlled by her son, Richard Costley-White.

On October 18, CKUE was given approval to decrease effective radiated power from   42,000 watts to an average ERP of 36,400 watts and decrease antenna height to 91.2 metres. CKUE-FM-1 Windsor was given permission to increase average ERP from 400 to 1,950 watts and increase antenna height to 74.5 metres.


On September 28, Blackburn Radio Inc. was given approval to change the frequency of CKUE-FM-1 Windsor from 95.1 MHz to 100.7 MHz and increase the average effective radiated power from 1,950 watts to 3,840 watts. The changes were designed to reduce the interference zone, thereby providing a better signal for the travelling public in and around Windsor and Chatham; improve signal reception in Windsor auto plants and other large buildings; provide extensive interference-free coverage to the city of Windsor and its fast growing suburbs; and eliminate most of the persistent co-channel interference to CKUE-FM Chatham and CKUE-FM-1 Windsor. 


On January 2 at 11:00 a.m., CKUE-FM-1 Windsor completed the frequency change to 100.7 MHz. Maximum effective radiated power increased from 6,000 watts to 9,000 watts. The “mother” station (CKUE-FM 95.1 The Rock – Chatham) increased its effective radiated power to 42,000 watts. With both transmitters now on different frequencies, the zone of interference between the two was eliminated.

The Windsor studios and offices relocated to 2090 Wyandotte Street East.


On October 5, the CRTC renewed the licences for Blackburn Radio Inc. stations CFGX-FM Sarnia, CHKS-FM Sarnia, CHOK Sarnia and its transmitter CHOK-FM-1 Sarnia, CKNX Wingham, CKNX-FM Wingham and its transmitter CKNX-FM-2 Centreville, CKUE-FM Chatham and its transmitter CKUE-FM-1 Windsor and CFCO Chatham and its transmitter CFCO-1-FM Chatham, 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 and with its conditions of licence.

Phil Ceccacci, General Sales Manager at Blackburn Radio Chatham, retired after 23 years with the company.

Ron Blommers was the new General Sales Manager at Blackburn Radio’s Chatham cluster. He had been with Community Living Chatham-Kent. Before that, he worked with Clear Channel in Hawaii before returning to his home town of Chatham. Further back, he was with Newcap Halifax.


Walter Ploegman, the 25-year veteran of 94.3 CKSY, who began there as the afternoon host when the station was easy listening and began working his way up, was again promoted, this time to general manager of the three-station Blackburn Radio Chatham cluster. He had been director of operations and marketing for Country 92.9, 94.3 and 95.1 The Rock.


In a cost cutting move (due to declining sales), Blackburn parted ways with on air talent Craig Venn, Kimberly Scott, Kara Ro, Rebecca Wolfe and Lisa Daigneault as well as several other behind the scenes employees in Leamington. Other employees in management, marketing and information technology were also laid off. The music selection, particularly on Windsor’s CKUE-FM, The Rock (95.1/100.7), was expected to be altered to broaden its audience. More classic rock would be added to appeal to listeners 40 and up. There would be more emphasis on news and information on the other Blackburn Windsor-Leamington stations.


Rod Martens was no longer with Blackburn Radio. He had been manager of the company’s stations in Windsor and Leamington and was PD at CKUE Chatham/Windsor, FM 95.9 Windsor and Mix 96.7/Country 92.7 Leamington. 


In April, CKUE-FM changed from Lite FM to COOL-FM, featuring the best-of-the-best from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today.

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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