CKWW-AM, AM 580, Windsor

Bell Media Inc.

CKWW-AM2011580500Bell Media
CKWW-AM1985580500CHUM Ltd.
CKWW-AM1964580500Radio Windsor Canadian Ltd.


Royce Frith applied to the Board of Broadcast Governors to operate a new AM station in Windsor. In his brief to the board, he ripped in to the city’s other AM station – CKLW. He said complained that because CKLW was owned by Americans (RKO), the station was sold, promoted and programmed as a Detroit station and made no serious attempt to program for Canadians. He also complained about ‘LW’s high advertising rates. CKLW was able to prove that it had two rate cards – one for Detroit and one for Windsor. The Windsor rates were greatly lower those for Detroit. At the public hearing into the Frith application, CKLW said it did not oppose the new station. It simply took exception to many of the claims made by Mr. Frith. CKLW also had concerns about how the licensing of a new Windsor station might affect its plans for improving the operation of CKLW-FM.

Over the years Royce Frith worked for the CBC and for CFRB in Toronto. He then became a lawyer and was a partner in the Toronto firm of Magwood, Frith & Casey, specializing in litigation municipal and broadcast and entertainment industry law. At the time of the application for the new Windsor station he was host of the CTV public affairs program “Telepoll”. Frith would eventually become a Senator.

The Board of Broadcast Governors did approve the new AM station for Windsor.
Geoff Stirling purchased the licence from Frith before the station went on the air. Stirling was part-owner of radio and television stations in Newfoundland.


Radio Windsor Canadian Ltd. put CKWW on the air on March 29. The official first day of broadcasting was March 30. CKWW – with the WW in the call letters representing Wonderful Windsor – broadcast on a frequency of 580 kHz and had a full-time power of 500 watts. The station had a single directional antenna pattern. Studios and offices were in the Canada Trust Building, 176 University Avenue. The transmitter and four towers were at River Conard, Concession 4, Anderson Township, Essex County. CKWW was an independent station with no network affiliation.


Geoff Stirling was president of the company. Edd Routt was CKWW’s manager. Al Shaver was assistant manager, morning man and sports director. Ron Burgoyne was program director and chief announcer. News director was Stan Switzer. 


In December, CKWW moved to new studios and offices located on the top floor of the new 19 story Viscount Towers at 1150 Ouellete Avenue in downtown Windsor. CKWW and the soon to launch CKWW-FM occupied the entire top floor.


CKWW-FM signed on the air.

Later in the year CKWW-FM changed call letters to CJOM-FM. 


At this time CKWW was offering some automated programming. 

CKWW subscribed to the NewsRadio news service, started by Stephens & Towndrow in September of 1968. NewsRadio received news content from CBS in New York.


Richard Richardson was general manager of CKWW.


Norm Aldred was morning show host. 


Announcers included George Michaels and Cam Gardiner.


John Henderson was morning host. Wayne MacLean did the mid-day talk show. Tom Skelso was on the air in the evenings. Other on-air names: Kevin McGowan, Dave Quinn, Cam Gardiner, Steve Bell, Sue Lavigne, Judy Thyssen, Lee Schamahorn. Wayne MacLean left for CFPL-AM London. Neil Thomas left CKWW’s news department for CKLW.


Dave Snodgrass moved from the CKAR-CKQT Oshawa engineering department to CKWW 580. 

Wayne Stevens and Cam Gardiner were among the on-air people at CKWW.


Tim Pratt became general sales manager at CKWW-CJOM. He had been with co-owned CKGM-CHOM in Montreal.


CKWW and CJOM-FM moved from 1150 Ouellete Avenue to 300 Cabana Road East. 


CHUM Ltd. announced that it planned to purchase CKWW and CJOM-FM (along with Montreal’s CKGM and CHOM-FM) from Geoff Stirling who planned to concentrate on his Newfoundland operations. The CRTC approved the sale later in the year. 


George Ferguson left CKWW/CJOM to become GM at CFRB in Toronto. Neil Thomas was news director. 


CKWW adopted a news-talk format. 

August was a bad weather month for CKWW and CJOM. Hydro crews worked for three days to restore power to the transmitters following flooding and electrical storms. The stations operated on a generator for three days. On top of that, there were lightning strikes at the studio facility. 


Announcer Paul Mahon joined CKWW in October.


CHUM Ltd. announced that it planned to acquire Windsor’s two other commercial radio stations – CKLW-AM and FM – from Amicus Communications (Trillium Cable). The CKLW stations had been losing money in recent years. CHUM proposed to swap the dial positions of the AM stations – CKLW and CKWW, and wanted exemptions from regulations to enable the four stations to compete with the flood of American signals. A public hearing was set to begin September 22.


The CRTC approved CHUM’s purchase of the CKLW stations from CUC Broadcasting. This was a very rare exception – all four commercial stations in a market were owned by the same company.

CKWW and CIMX-FM moved in with CKLW-AM-FM at 1640 Ouellette Avenue.

On March 1, at 12:00 a.m., CKWW and CKLW swapped formats. CKWW switched from news-talk to adult standards.

Announcers included Wayne Stevens (mid-days) and Paul Mahon.


Paul Mahon left CKWW in August.


On January 31, the CRTC renewed (administrative) CKWW’s licence to August 31, 1996.


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

Veteran Windsor newscaster Neil Thomas died at age 59. At one time, he was the station was back to its full 50,000 watts in January of 2004.


news director of CKWW.


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


On March 22, CKLW was granted a transitional digital radio licence. The  facilities were located at the existing CIMX-FM/CIDR-FM site in Windsor, using the EUREKA-147 DAB system in the frequency band 1452 MHz–1492 MHz (L-Band). The transmitter operated on frequency 1484.208 MHz (channel 19) with an effective isotropic radiated power of 4,369 watts. 


CKWW’s program schedule featured Charlie O’Brien (5-10 a.m.), Robb Duncan (10-2), Wayne Stevens (2-7), “Standards, Swing & Big Band Too!” for the rest of the broadcast day with a break between 10 and 11 p.m. for “When Radio Was”.


In October of 2003, CKLW toppled its aging towers at Howard Ave. & County Rd. 50.  To keep the station on the air, one of the old towers remained standing and power was cut to 8,000 watts (non-directional). Five new towers were constructed and Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CKWW,  passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.


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 12, 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 CKWW-AM. 


On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CKWW-DR-2.


On November 30, the CRTC renewed CKWW’s licence to 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.

Former CKWW broadcaster Ted Tevan passed away at the age of 78.

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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