CFCA-FM, Virgin Radio, Kitchener-Waterloo
|C.A.P. Communications Ltd. (Electrohome)
|Central Ontario Television Ltd. (Electrohome/Pollock)
|Central Ontario Television Ltd. (Carl Pollock group)
Pollock Enterprises Ltd. applied for an FM station at Kitchener. The application was deferred by the CBC Board in December.
C.A. Pollock applied again for a 10,000 watt (effective radiated power) FM station. The application was recommended for approval by the CBC.
CFCA 106.1 opened on April 26. Pollock Enterprises Ltd. operated the first Canadian station to use FM exclusively (no AM counterpart). Carl Pollock, vice president and general manager of Dominion Electrohome Co. Ltd., was owner and manager of CFCA. E. Chris Fairley was commercial relations manager. He had been with Electrohome. Program director Fred Russell came from CKNX Wingham. Len Starmer, production manager, had been with Rai Purdy Productions. John Becker was the station’s engineer. Chief announcer Harold Wordell had been with CJCS in Stratford.
Studios and offices were in the Medical Arts Building. The transmitter and antenna were located on Baden Hill, about eight miles from Kitchener. The hill plus antenna/tower presented a height of 1,600 feet above average terrain. The actual radiator height was increased by the use of a 190 foot Ajax tower and 50 foot mast. A 4-bay antenna and Canadian General Electric BT-3-B 3,000 watt transmitter, with four gains in the antenna, provided a radiation power of 10,000 watts. The “CA” in the call sign: Carl A. (Pollock).
An ad for the new station talked about a ready made audience of 3,500 brand new FM receivers in the prosperous 50 mile area around Kitchener-Waterloo. The station would aim to give listeners the finest in music, drama and news – entertainment and culture – network calibre programming made perfect by the magic of FM.
The CBC Board turned down a request by Pollock Enterprises for a dawn to dusk AM station at Kitchener (1290 kHz with 250 watts).
The CBC Board of Governors approved an application by CFCA to reduce daily hours of operation from 10 to 6. Later in the year, the board said it was not in a position to recommend the retention of the license if CFCA-FM was temporarily discontinued. The station left the air a short time later.
CFCA-FM left the air. Carl Pollock wasn’t done with broadcasting though. In 1953, he would be part of a group that would apply for a television station licence in Kitchener.
A new CFCA-FM signed on the air on April 3. It was owned by Central Ontario Television Ltd. which in turn was owned by Carl A. Pollock’s Electrohome Ltd. The station now broadcast on a frequency of 105.3 MHz and had an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (horizontal and vertical polarization). CFCA-FM Stereo used a non-directional antenna. Antenna height was 812 feet and situated on the CKCO-TV tower at Baden. Studios and offices were located at 864 King Street West. Co-owned CKKW-AM and CKCO-TV also broadcast from this location.
Famous Players Canadian Corporation applied to the CRTC to sell its interests in CFCM-TV/CKMI-TV (50%) Quebec City and CKCO-TV-CFCA-FM-CKKW-AM (48%) Kitchener to Famous Communications Ltd., a new public company to be incorporated. There was also a pending deal that would have Famous Players acquire a small, additional interest in CHAN-TV Vancouver and CHEK-TV Victoria.
On April 17, the CRTC denied the application by Famous Players Canadian Corp. to transfer its Canadian broadcast interests to a new corporation – Teltron Communications Ltd. The Commission denied the application because effective effective ownership of Teltron would have remained essentially the same as before. Famous Players Canadian Corp. became an inelligible licence holder under the new foreign ownership regulations – it was a controlled subsidiary of Paramount International Films Inc. Famous had interests in Television de Quebec Ltee, Central Ontario Television Ltd., British Columbia Television Broadcasting System Ltd., and numerous cable.
Carl A. Pollock announced his family was offering to buy the Famous Players interest in Central Ontario Television Ltd. The Pollock’s would increase their holdings in the company from 48 to 96%. The remaining 4% would be held by individual Canadians.
On July 20, the sale of Central Ontario Television Ltd. (CKCO-TV, CKKW-AM and CFCA-FM) by Famous Players Canadian Corp. to a company to be incorporated, represented by Carl .A. Pollock was approved. Under the proposed structure, a public company to be known as Electrohome Communications Ltd. would own 100% of Central Ontario Television Ltd. Electrohome Ltd. would own apx. 55% of the holding company (Electrohome Communications Ltd.). Electrohome Ltd. was a large manufacturer of radio and tv sets. Apx. 54% of the shares of the new company would be owned by the Pollock family.
W.D. McGregor became president and director of Central Ontario Television Ltd.
CFCA-FM suffered an $80,000 fire that burnt out the transmitter on Baden Hill.
W.D. McGregor, president of Central Ontario Television, also became vice president of Electrohome Ltd.
Chief engineer Paul Turchan and his crew upgraded and enlarged the CKCO-TV transmitter building. The upgrade included a concrete floor to replace the old wooden one. Six transmitters (main and standby for CKCO-TV, CFCA-FM and CKGL-FM) had to be moved three times in order to do the construction work. All was done while keeping the three stations on the air.
Construction began on the expansion of the Central Ontario Television building on King Street West. The projected was expected to cost over a million dollars and be completed by the fall. Radio expansion would include new control rooms and production facilities, record library and administration and sales offices for both CKKW and CFCA-FM.
On July 3, Central Ontario Television Ltd. was renamed C.A.P. Communications Ltd., in honor of founder Carl A. Pollock. This followed the amalgamation of Central Ontario Television Ltd. with parent company, Electrohome Ltd.
On June 1, the official opening ceremonies took place to mark the completion of the expansion project at 864 King Street West. CAP Communications doubled the size of the facilities to more than 100,000 square feet at a cost of $2.2 million. Supervisor of engineering Joe McIntyre said the building was virtually gutted and rebuilt to accommodate CAP’s staff of 168 – recently increased by about 30, mostly in production and engineering. Radio space was doubled and a new TV production studio (50 x 60 x 18) was added, along with production control rooms and enlarged newsroom facilities.
Walter Hulme was promoted to general sales manager of CAP’s radio division (CKKW and CFCA-FM).
This followed the amalgamation of Central Ontario Television Ltd. with parent company, Electrohome Ltd.
On January 11, the CRTC renewed CFCA’s licence until September 30, 1985.
CAP president Bill McGregor was named to the Wilfred Laurier University board of governors for a three year term.
Neil Aitchison was sales manager.
Ron Johnston was news director for CFCA-CKKW and CKCO-TV. Dave Carswell was radio news supervisor.
J.A. Pollock, president, chairman and CEO, Electrohome Ltd., announced the appointment of W.D. McGregor to a newly established position, president of Electrohome Communications Inc. and vice president of Electrohome Ltd. D.L. Willcox would be the new general manager of CAP Communications Ltd. Willcox had been program manager of CKCO-TV.
John Spragge was appointed station manager for CFCA-FM and CKKW.
Don Wilcox, general manager of CAP Communications, announced the appointment of Joe Brenner to the position of manager of engineering, effective June 1. Brenner started his career with CAP in 1970 on a part-time basis while attending college. He became a full-time staff member in 1973 (maintenance technician) and in 1978 he was appointed maintenance supervisor.
Craig Smith was appointed CFCA-FM program director.
On August 19, Jack Schoone (51%) and Irving Zucker (49%) were given approval to purchase CFCA and CKKW from CAP Communications. Both of the purchasers were familiar with the Tri-Cities market. Zucker owned the old CKCR-AM-FM (now CKGL and CHYM-FM) in the early 1960’s. Schoone was an announcer at CHYM in 1960 and went on to become manager of the station at age 20. CAP vice president Bill McGregor said the two stations had lost about $3 million since 1988 and the sale would allow the company to focus on television. Schoone and Zucker proposed a new one million dollar state of the art facility for the stations.
The purchase of CKKW and CFCA by Schoone and Zucker did not move forward. CHUM Ltd. stepped in to acquire the stations and was given CRTC approval to do so on July 30. CHUM took over operations of the stations on September 1 and took complete ownership on October 28. CHUM would spend $526,000 on new facilities for the two stations.
The CFCA/CKKW studios and offices moved to the JC Group building at 255 King Street North (at University) in Waterloo.
At 12 noon on August 12, “105.3 KOOL-FM” was born with a classic rock format (music from the 1960s, 70s and 80s). The station had provided an easy listening music format for several years. The new sound targeted the more lucrative 25-44 age group while the former “soft and easy favorites” attracted a mostly over 60 audience. The CFCA call letters remained.
The stations showed off their new facilities with an open house on December 1. On hand were the Mayors of Kitchener (Dom Cardillo) and Waterloo (Brian Turnbull), Waterloo MPP Elizabeth Witmer, and executives from CHUM Ltd., including chairman and founder, Allan Waters, and his son Jim, president of CHUM Group Radio.
Lisa Brandt (morning drive co-host) left for CHML Hamilton. Brian Bourke (on staff since 1983 and in news) became AM Drive co-host. Other on-air names included Brian Adam, and Tino Monte.
Garfield Ogilvie became general sales manager of CFCA-CKKW.
On-air names included Jennifer Sherratt, Janice McKay (news – joined from CKDK Woodstock), Brian Bourke (news, AM Drive co-host), and Scott Farhood.
Paul Cugliari was KOOL-FM’s program director. Linda Benoit left CFCA and CKKW as general manager on August 31.
On-air staff included Janice McKay (news), Brian Bourke (AM Drive co-host), Stacey Thompson (mid-days) joined this year, Dan Delorme (evenings – also on CKKW) joined from CHUR North Bay.
On-air line-up: Mark Paine & Angie Hill (5:30 to 9:00), Stacey Thompson (9-2), Dave Schneider (2-7), Jennifer Sherratt / Dan Delorme (7-12), and Jay Nijhuis (12-5:30). Weekends-swing: Tanya MacIntyre and Kelly Rose. News: Brian Bourke (AM Drive co-host), Dan Sherman, Jason Herrington, and Janice MacKay.
Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CFCA-FM, 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 12th, 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, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CFCA-FM.
Dave Schneider was named program director for CFCA-FM and CKKW-AM. He had been with CHYM-FM and CIKZ-FM.
At KFUN and KOOL FM, Mark Paine (formerly with KOOL FM) joined the KFUN morning show with Larry Silver and Kara Judge. Ross Poll and Stacey Thompson did the KFUN drive show and Dan Delorme, the evening show. Succeeding Paine at KOOL FM was Sarge, who joined Angie Hill and Brian Bourke. Dan Delorme and Kat Callaghan teamed for the KOOL drive show.
Long time Kitchener-Waterloo radio personality Dan Fisher (Dan Fish) passed away. He was 75.
On November 30, the CRTC renewed CFCA’s licence to August 31, 2017.
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 Sympatico.ca 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 Canada Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CJCH-FM and CIOO-FM Halifax, CKGM Montréal, CKKW-FM and CFCA-FM Kitchener, CFRW, CFWM-FM and CHIQ-FM Winnipeg. 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.
Ron Funnell, general manager and general sales manager at Sunshine 89.1 Orillia and 97.7 The Beach Wasaga Beach left the stations. He moved to Bell Media’s KOOL FM 105.3/ KFUN 99.5 Kitchener-Waterloo as senior account manager.
Jeff Lumby joined Angie Hill and Brian Bourke on the 105.3 KOOL FM’s morning show. Dan Delorme became host of the mid-day show (9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Kat Callaghan was now hosting PM Drive (2-7 p.m.). Kyle “The Sarge” McKone moved from 105.3 KOOL FM to join Larry Silver on 99.5 KFUN’s Breakfast Club.
Dave Schneider was program director. The changes came into effect April 23.
At the end of July, KOOL-FM relaunched at 105-3 Virgin Radio after stunting with Christmas-in-July music. The format changed from Hot AC to CHR.
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.