CHES-FM, Community – Erin Radio, Erin
Erin Community Group
|Erin Community Group
|Erin Community Group
|Erin Community Group
A group of Erin residents thought a local radio station would be a good way for community members to stay in touch, talk about local issues and support local arts and culture. A kick start was given to the concept after the big power blackout in August. Arrangements had been made for the distribution of bottled water to residents but there was no way to get the word out. After several meetings, a lot of research, and some fund raising, it was determined that there could be a radio station at Erin. An engineering study determined the 101.5 MHz frequency could be used with a power of 50 watts.
Erin Radio was formally incorporated an as non-profit corporation.
Orangeville Community Radio shut down and gave all of their broadcast equipment to Erin Radio.
Not yet licenced, Erin Radio received CRTC approval to operate on a temporary basis to cover two local events: the Fall Fair in October and Remembrance Week in November.
Studio space was rented at 106 Main Street.
On April 21, Erin Community Radio received approval to operate a low-power English-language Type B community FM station. Erin Radio would broadcast 126 hours of programming each week, of which 116 hours would be locally produced. The local programming would include local and regional news, sports, weather, current events, coverage of town council meetings and lifestyle programs. The station would also offer three hours of French-language programs and one hour of Aboriginal-language programs each week. Up to 8% of its weekly schedule would be devoted to ethnic programming. Erin Radio would draw from a broad range of music categories, including country, folk, jazz and blues. The station would operate at 101.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50 watts.
In late May, Erin Radio did a short ten day broadcast in support of the BIA’s Summer Celebration and the Rotary Club/Erin Fair Board Dodge Rodeo event.
Broadcast tests began in August.
CHES 101.5 FM Erin Radio signed on the air on September 18. The station’s official launch took place at the Erin Fall Fair on October 8 at 7:00 p.m. CHES took requests from the fair-going audience and Erin’s mayor was the first to make a reqeust.
On June 16, the CRTC approved the application by Erin Community Radio to amend the broadcasting licence for the low-power, English-language Type B community FM radio station CHES-FM Erin by changing the frequency and modifying the authorized contours. The frequency would change from 101.5 MHz (channel 268LP) to 88.1 MHz (channel 201A1). Effective radiated power would increase from 50 to 250 watts. The antenna’s radiation pattern would change from non-directional to directional. Effective height of the antenna above average terrain would increase from 44 to 63 metres. The licensee stated that the increase in power would allow the station to cover much more of the town of Erin and would help it to fulfill its original mandate. Further, it would give the station a stronger audience base, which would ensure its future economic and artistic health. The licensee also stated that the change in frequency was necessary because the proposed power increase would not be possible on its current frequency due to the over-crowded nature of the FM spectrum in southern Ontario. Opposing interventions expressed concerns relating to how approval of the present application would affect CKLN-FM Toronto, which is owned and operated by CKLN Radio Incorporated. Specifically, the opposing interveners noted the possibility of interference between the two stations and the possibility that CKLN-FM would not be able to expand its coverage. The Commission noted that ECR’s proposed directional antenna would direct CHES-FM’s signal towards the cities of Brampton and Mississauga, thereby minimizing any potential interference. In regard to CKLN-FM’s expansion of coverage, the Commission noted that should CKLN Radio file an application for an increase in its station’s power, that application would be assessed at that time through a public process, leading to a Commission determination on the matter. The Commission considered that the above-noted efforts by ECR, along with a letter of understanding between ECR and CLKN Radio that explained how both parties have resolved their dispute, address the concerns expressed in the opposing interventions.
CHES-FM moved to 88.1 from 101.5 MHz.
Paul and Carol Mott (The Motts), began weekend work at Astral’s CKTB St. Catharines while continuing their Monday to Friday gig at CHES-FM Erin. The Motts did a midday talk show at CFRB Toronto for 16 years before Astral let them go.
On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHES-FM until August 31, 2013.
In the fall, CHES 88.1 changed its branding from Main Street Radio to Mix 881.
On November 1, the CRTC approved the application by Erin Community Radio to increase the average ERP of CHES-FM from 125 to 570 watts (maximum ERP increasing from 250 to 1,250 watts).
On October 30, the CRTC denied the application by CHES-FM to add a transmitter in Orangeville, operating on 89.1 MHz with an ERP of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 29 metres).
On May 18, the CRTC approved the application by CHES to change its frequency from 88.1 to 91.7. Power would increase from 570 to 850 watts (1,250 to 2,500 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height would remain 63 metres (EHAAT). CHES said the changes were necessary because the station’s contours were not optimized towards its primary market. That resulted in about 40% of its market not being served and, thus, difficulty in selling advertising.
On June 21, CHES-FM changed frequency from 88.1 MHz to 91.7 MHz.
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.