CKKW-FM, KFUN 99.5, Kitchener-Waterloo

Bell Media

CKKW-FM201199.52,100Bell Media
CKKW-AM1993109010,000CHUM Ltd.
CKKW-AM1980109010,000C.A.P. Communications Ltd. (Electrohome)
CKKW-AM1975109010,000Central Ontario Television Ltd.
CKKW-AM197013201,000Central Ontario Television Ltd. (Electrohome 100%)
CKKW-AM196313201,000Central Ontario Television Ltd. (Pollock/Famous Players)
CKKW-AM195913201,000Twin City Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


On July 30 at 8:00 p.m., Twin City Broadcasting Co. Lt.d. put CKKW on the air for the first time. The official first day of broadcasting was August 1.  The company was owned by Albert Dunker, Gordon R. Brock, Robert Shantz, Geoffrey Lewis, and former CKCO-TV News Director, Alan G. Hodge. Studios were in the Dunker Building at 251 King Street West. The transmitter and four towers were located about two miles south of Kitchener. CKKW operated on a frequency of 1320 kHz with 1,000 watts of power. The “KW” in the call sign: Kitchener-Waterloo. 

W.J. (Bill) Pratt joined CKKW as the station’s first sales manager. 


Bill Pratt left CKKW for the CBC. Alan Hodge was manager.


Dan Fisher (Fish) joined CKKW.


On December 1, CKKW was purchased by Central Ontario Television Ltd., owner of CKCO-TV. Studios and offices moved to the CKCO Building at 864 King Street West. 

Ross Marshall was news director. Don Wilcox was program director. Len Evans was general manager. Wayne Smith and Jim Junkin were reporters. Dan Fisher was chief announcer. Millie Armstrong was traffic manager. Tom Dalby and Ron Reusch were also on staff.


William Thomas Valentine joined CKKW as general sales manager from CJAD in Montreal.


C. A. Pollock was President of Central Ontario Television Limited and W. D. McGregor was General Manager of CKKW and CKCO-TV. CKKW was an independent station with no network affiliation. Other names at the station at the time: Don MacDonald (program director), Dan Fisher (chief announcer and farm director), Stu Kenny (morning man), Gary McLaren (news director), and Reg Sellner (sports director).


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 companies. 

Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN’s voice (audio) service. CKKW was one of those stations.


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.


On May 22, CKKW was authorized to change frequencies from 1320 to 1090 kHz, increase power from 1,000 to 10,000 watts, and move the transmitter to a site east of Ayr.


On May 5, at 5:15 p.m., CKKW moved from 1320 to 1090 kHz with 10,000 watts (full-time), using nine 500 foot towers at a site located just east of Ayr. In connection with this change, CFTJ in nearby Cambridge moved from 1110 to 1320 kHz. These changes required the co-operation of CHOK 1070 Sarnia and CFGM 1310 in Richmond Hill.

A reception was held at the Chateau Kress Hotel in Cambridge on the day of the switch, featuring W. D. McGregor, President of Central Ontario Television (owner of CKKW) and John Evans, President of CFTJ. Together, they pulled the symbolic switch to change the frequencies of both stations.

CKKW suffered a fire at the Ayr transmitter site. It burnt out the new Continental transmitter that was installed on March 5 for the power boost and frequency change. 


W.D. McGregor, president of Central Ontario Television, also became vice president of Electrohome Ltd.


Bob Thompson (overnights), Randy Steinman joined. 


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, who died in 1978. This followed the amalgamation of Central Ontario Television Ltd. with parent company, Electrohome Ltd.

On-the-air: Dan Fisher (mornings), Ken Copeman (mid-days), John Rodgers (afternoons), Tino Monte (evenings), Joe Torbay (overnights).


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.


D. Neil Atchison was appointed general sales manager at CAP radio (CKKW and CFCA-FM). 

Rod Charles, Brian Bourke (news) joined in January from CKDK Woodstock. Randy Steinman left for CFTJ.


Brian Bourke (news) left in January for CFCA.


On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CKKW, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League. 

On February 20, CKKW began broadcasting in stereo, using the Motorola C-Quam system. 


CAP president Bill McGregor was named to the Wilfred Laurier University board of governors for a three year term.

Greg Shaughnessy, Tino Monte, Joanne Ondrica, Kevin Kelly joined from CFTJ Cambridge. 

Don MacDonald was general manager.

On November 28, CKKW’s morning show broadcast from Barbados via satellite.


Neil Aitchison was sales manager.


Ron Johnston was news director for CKKW-CFCA 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.

D.J. MacDonald, manager of CAP’s radio division named Raymond T. Collins as program director of CKKW.

Neil Gordon, Kevin Kelly (mid-days), Derek Botten (mornings) joined from CKNX-FM Wingham. Larry Fine (Steve Sobczuk) joined in January for part-time weekends. The Big “M” (Michael Terry) joined CKKW as swing announcer.

Ray Collins (‘Wild’ Bill Edwards, on-air) was now CKKW’s program director. Former PD Ted Lehman now had other duties at the station.


Early in the year, the station switched from an adult contemporary format to contemporary hits, becoming “Hits Radio AM 109”.

Craig Fox was now heard on CKKW. Michael Terry (swing) left CKKW.


John Spragge was appointed station manager for AM109 and CFCA-FM.

Larry Fine moved from swing to 6-midnight. Kevin Kelly moved from mid-days to AM Drive. He replaced Derek Botten who left. Craig Fox joined for evenings and then left.


Richard Moss was appointed program director at 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.

Kevin Kelly (AM Drive) left for CFOS Owen Sound.


On August 19, Jack Schoone (51%) and Irving Zucker (49%) were given approval to purchase CKKW and CFCA-FM 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 stations 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.


On February 11, CKKW “AM 109” became “Oldies 1090”. The format changed from contemporary hits to oldies from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, targetting the 30 to 50 age group.

The CFCA/CKKW studios and offices moved to the JC Group building at 255 King Street North (at University) in Waterloo.

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.


Shannon Beckner was heard on CKKW. Garfield Ogilvie became General Sales Manager of CKKW/CFCA-FM.


Tim Gable was at CKKW.

Neil Atchison, CKKW’s sales manager for 15 years, left for an on-air position at CKGL.


Nyle Futher – one of the founders of CKKW-AM – died in February. He was one-time president of Standard Television Products. 

Linda Benoit left CKKW and CFCA as general manager on August 31.


Stacey Thompson joined CKKW. Dan Delorme (PM Drive, also at CFCA) joined from CHUR North Bay. 


On-Air: Ross Poll (6:00), Dave Schneider (10:00), Jennifer Sherratt (2:00), Jay Nijhuis (6:00), Stacey Thompson (12:00). Others: Dan Delorme (also at CFCA). News: Dan Sherman, Jason Herrington, Janice MacKay, Tanya MacIntyre (traffic).


Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CKKW, 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 CKKW-AM.  


Dave Schneider was named program director for CFCA-FM and CKKW-AM. He had been with CHYM-FM and CIKZ-FM.

On October 2, the CRTC approved the application by CTV Ltd. to replace CKKW-AM with an FM station. The new station would continue to offer the existing Oldies format for adults between the ages of 40 and 64. Approximately 124 hours per broadcast week would be devoted to local programming. The licensee was authorized to simulcast programming of the new FM station on CKKW for a transition period of three months. The new FM station would broadcast on a frequency of 99.5 MHz and have an average effective radiated power of 2,100 watts.

In December, CKKW-FM began testing on 99.5 MHz.


On January 6 at 3:00 p.m. CKKW “Oldies 1090” made the move to the FM dial as “KFUN 99.5”. The 99.5 frequency in the market had been used in the past by CIKZ-FM which moved in 2005 due to co-channel interference from WDCX-FM in Buffalo. 

The last signs of CKKW 1090 were gone as of March 23. On that date, all nine of the AM towers were brought down. Towers 1, 4 and 7 came down at 10:21 a.m. Towers 2, 5 and 8 fell at 11:46 a.m., and at 12:22 p.m., towers 3, 6 and 9 hit the ground. 

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.

John Delazzer died of a heart attack. He was the voice of TVO for many years and, before that, an announcer at CKKW Kitchener.


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 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. John Yost was retail sales manager.

Kyle “The Sarge” McKone joined Larry Silver on 99.5 KFUN’s Breakfast Club Show. Program director Dave Schneider said “Sarge grew up with the great music of the 60s and 70s and shares a love of it with our listeners. Take his big personality and fun approach and add Larry Silver’s sense of humour to the great music we play and KFUN listeners will have lots to smile about.” Sarge made his debut on 99.5 KFUN FM April 23 at 5:30 a.m. Succeeding McKone at KOOL was Jeff Lumby, joining Angie Hill and Brian Bourke. The changes came into effect April 23.


In the spring, CKKW received ISEDC permission to operate in HD with power of 258 watts.

In August, the CRTC denied CKKW’s application to increase ERP from 4,300 to 37,500 watts, and to raise antenna height. The station cited interference from WDCX 99.5 in Buffalo as the main reason for the proposed power increase. The CRTC felt CKKW did not demonstrate a compelling technical need for the change.

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.

Contact this station