CKMS-FM, Campus – Radio Waterloo, Kitchener-Waterloo

Radio Waterloo Inc.

CKMS-FM2017102.7250Radio Waterloo Inc.
CKMS-FM1992100.3250Radio Waterloo Inc.
CKMS-FM197794.550Radio Waterloo Inc.


Radio at the University of Waterloo began when a group of students arranged to host a weekly music and information show on CKKW-AM.


Closed-circuit Radio Waterloo was created to broadcast to campus common rooms.


Radio Waterloo expanded its service when it was made available to Grand River cable subscribers.


The University of Waterloo Students’ Federation (would become Radio Waterloo Inc.) was granted an FM licence in June. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 94.5 MHz and have an effective radiated power of 50 watts. Carrier current station CKMS was to be discontinued.

CKMS-FM signed on the air October 15. It was the third campus FM station in Ontario. The station’s mandate was still to serve the UW campus. In the early going, CKMS was on the air daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The station used a 100 watt totally solid state transmitter. The 2-bay circularly polarized Phelps Dodge antenna was located atop the University’s library building. CKMS had two full-time staffers: Bill Wharrie and Dave Assman.


In October, CKMS moved its antenna from the Arts Library on campus to the studios at the Bauer Warehouse, just off the north campus. 


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CKMS-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.


On August 28, CKMS was given approval to change frequency from 94.5 to 100.3 MHz and to increase effective radiated power from 50 to 250 watts.


The switch from 94.5 to 100.3 took place October 15. 


On August 7 the CRTC renewed CKMS-FM’s licence until August 31, 2014. The Commission requires that the board of directors of CKMS-FM include balanced representation from among the student body, the associated university (for example, faculty or administration), station volunteers, and the community at large. To ensure continuity of direction, the Commission also requires CKMS-FM to establish positions on their boards of directors with terms of at least two years during this next licensing term. As a condition of licence, the licensee shall devote, in each broadcast week, a minimum of 12% of its musical selections from content category 3 (Special interest music) to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety. 


CKMS changes its name from Radio Waterloo to Sound FM.


CKMS went silent in November after losing its main source of funding. “100.3 SoundFM” was a student station, and in a referendum, students voted against a $2.50-per-term fee to support the station. The station returned to the air.


On November 10, the CRTC approved the application by CKMS to change its frequency from 100.3 to 102.7 MHz. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The amendment was necessary to reduce interference resulting from proposed technical changes at CKRZ-FM Ohsweken.


On February 17, CKMS held a New Frequency Party to celebrate its move from 100.3 to 102.7 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.

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