CINF-AM, Montréal

Corus Closed the station

CINF-AM201060050,000/10.000Corus Closed the station
CINF-AM200169050,000/10,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CKVL-AM199969050,000/10,000Metromedia C.M.R.
CINF-AM199969050,000/10,000Metromedia C.M.R. Broadcasting Inc.
CKVL-AM199385050,000/1,000Metromedia C.M.R.
CKVL-AM1946990100Jack Tietolman


Jack Tietolman was granted a licence to operate an AM radio station at Verdun. It would broadcast with 1,000 watts on a frequency of 990 kHz and operate during the daytime hours (dawn to dusk) only. It would be a blingual station. Corey Thompson, known to Montrealer’s as Uncle Troy, was named to manage CKVL. The station would occupy two stories of Verdun’s former social centre, Wood Hall, at 211 Gordon Avenue. The vision side of the studios would be almost completely composed of plate glass. Ajax was installing the 250 foot tower and the transmitter was being handled by Marconi. J. C. Charlebois, formerly of CHLP Montreal, would be chief engineer. CKVL 990 signed on the air on November 3. The Marconi transmitter and single 250 foot tower were at Edward 7th Boulevard, official Cadastre of the Parish of LaPrairie, LaPrairie County. CKVL operated in English and French.


Beth Manley was an announcer at CKVL. Corey Thompson was commercial manager. CKVL secured approval from the Department of Transport to change frequency from 990 to 980 kHz. The dawn to dusk station would now be able to operate 24 hours a day and Jack Tietloman hoped his station would be the first such station (24 hours) in the province. The changes were expected to be completed by Christmas. CKVL received federal approval to operate an emergency transmitter. CKVL went to a 24 hour a day schedule in November. Six evenings (5-11 p.m.) a week would be in French. The same time period on Sundays would feature English programming. Because no opened French language transcriptions were available for the 8 to 10 p.m. time period, programming in that slot would be live.


CKVL slogan: Serving Greater Montreal 24 Hours Daily! The CBC Board approved CKVL’s application for operation of an FM station. CKVL’s application for a power increase was turned down by the CBC board because the station’s present power gave good service to the area.


Hal Stubbs hosted “Call Me Uncle”. Roger Baulu was heard on the air.


By this time, CKVL was now on 980 kHz and broadcasting with 1,000 watts day and night, using a single directional pattern. In the past, the CBC Board approved the formation of a second French radio network – the French Radio Association Ltd. The six stations in the network were now (late 1950) broadcasting commercials for a dozen national sponsors. The stations were CKVL Verdun, CKCV Quebec, CHLT Sherbrooke, CHEF Granby, CJSO Sorel and CHLN Trois-Rivieres. There were also two supplementary stations – CHRL Roberval and CHGB La Pocatiere. The network signed its first commercial contract in October of 1948. In 1949, the group broadcast 44 hours of commercial programming and 132 1/2 hours of sustaining programs. Corey Thomson, manager of CKVL, did his 5,000th broadcast of the “Uncle Troy” program over CFCF in November. The show had now been on the air – and CFCF – for 19 years. This was despite the fact that Thomson had been manager of CKVL since it opened in 1946.


Ad: in 1947 we had 17% of the French audience…today 44.5% in Greater Montreal plus more than the other French stations combined … Canada’s largest permanent staff…Canada’s biggest live talent spender…modern equipment…power packed programs that pull… Laurent Thibeault joined CKVL as a news writer.


Approval was given for the transfer of CKVL from Jack Teitolman to CKVL Ltd., with no change in ownership.


At this time CKVL had seven studios in its building, including a 400 seat theatre. The FM transmitter was also at this location. Work was underway on new transmitter site, 9 miles from Montreal. Crews were working 16 hours a day in daylight and under floodlights at night. When done, the new building would house twin 10 kw transmitters, a control room, studio, complete library and living quarters for the transmitter staff. The new system was expected to be up and running by the end of August. CKVL would continue its bilingual on-air policy 24 – hours a day. The station would move from 980 to 850 kHz. It was hoped that the station would be operating at 10,000 watts on November 3 – the date the station opened eight years earlier. On December 28, CKVL switched to 850 kHz from 980 kHz and increased power to 10,000 watts from 1,000 watts. The transmitter site was in the Parish of St. Constant, County of LaPrairie, part of Cadastral #167, near Verdun. Three towers were used and CKVL had different directional patterns for day and night-time operation. Hal Stubbs was program director. Marcel Beauregard was in the news department.


Slogan: Soon 10 kw at 850 / Popularity + Coverage = Results! An ad by Marconi and featuring CKVL: CKVL started in 1946 with a 1 kW Marconi transmitter. It recently decided to modernize to obtain greater coverage, and again chose Marconi. Marconi installed two new 10 kW Gates transmitters and three tower phasing and antenna tuning equipment. Andy Wilson was in the sales department.


Jack Tietolman was one of the first broadcasters in the country to hire female announcers. Among them: Beth (Sleepy Time Gal) Manley and a French female talk-show host, Madame X.


CKVL sportscaster Mike Normandin was named executive director of the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) Football Club.


The Board of Broadcast Governors raised concerns with the Department of Transport regarding an application by CKVL to increase its daytime power to 50,000 watts. The Board was concerned about the proposed signal intensity within a built up urban area. It warned DOT of the dangers of cross-modulation, shock excitation of receivers and other possible objectionable effects from too high a signal strength. The BBG was also concerned that an increase could lead to unfairness toward many stations which in the past have placed their transmitters well outside the metropolitan area in order not to exceed the maximum intensities. The regulator felt the raising of the maximum allowed could lead to an undesirable “signal intensity race”. The ownership of Radio Station CKVL Ltd. was as follows: J. Tietolman 99.8%, Mr. J. Tietolman 0.1% and A. D. Costom 0.1%. Jack Tietolman was president of the company and Corey Thomson was CKVL’s manager. CKVL was affiliated with the French Radio Associaiton.


From an ad: 50,000 watts Soon! CKVL – Tops in the Paris of America. CKVL’s daytime power was raised to 50,000 watts. Night power remained at 10,000 watts. The station operated with different day and night directional patterns. Four 197 foot towers were used at the existing transmitter site. The corporate name was now Radio Futura Ltee. Jack Tietolman was President of the company and Corey Thomson was Vice President and General Manager of CKVL. The station was an independent with no network affiliation. Ad slogan: Don’t be confused – in Greater Montreal…CKVL now 50,000 watts (day) is clearly your best buy! Walter P. Downs was appointed director of programs at CKVL. Hal Wardell was at CKVL. June Warren was women’s editor. Pierre Fournier was an announcer. CKVL (AM and FM) now had three stereo programs: a Sunday evening half hour at 9:00, a one-hour concert starting at midnight each Friday and a bilingual broadcast from Simpson’s department store.


Ad: Tops in public service…in live programming…in awards…in French audience…In Greater Montreal…The Paris of America – CKVL – Verdun-Montreal – 50,000 watts (daytime). Radio Station CKVL Ltd. partnered with United Amusement Corp. in a bid for a new French-language television station (channel 10) in Montreal. The licence was awarded to Paul L’Anglais & Associates. An English licence was awarded to Canadian Marconi (CFCF). Ad: Meet Mr. One (CKVL Verdun Montreal) … listened in more homes* than any other radio station in Canada! CKVL 50,000 watts (daytime). Tops in Greater Montreal, the Paris of America … and in Canada too! (* latest Nielsen coverage service report shows CKVL reaches 497,740 homes…more than any other station in Canada) Roger Baulu, Leon Lachance and Roger Gosselin were at CKVL.


CKVL-FM began separate broadcasting with 307,000 watts on 96.9 mHz from a transmitter at Peel and St. Catherine Sts.


On August 29, CKVL’s transmitter building was hit by lightning. The resulting fire almost completely destroyed the transmission equipment. Because the shell of the building was still intact, crews were able to install replacement equipment. CKVL was back on the air within hours – at 5:30 p.m. A new 10,000 watt transmitter was fully operational on September 1 at 5:00 a.m. Exactly one week after the fire, on September 6, the station was operating at full power again with a new RCA 50,000 watt transmitter.


Marcel Beauregard was news director. Paul Tietolman was at CKVL. Slogan: The premier voice of French Canada.


Marcel Beauregard was news director. CKVL expanded its open-line schedule with a $120,000 phone system. Huguette Proulx was one of the new talk show hosts. The federal regulator was getting ready to consider new TV applications for Toronto and Montreal. CKVL owner Jack Tietolman was going after channel 29 and still had a previous application on file for channel 14.


Yvon Dupuis hosted the 6-9 a.m. talk show. Laurent Thibeault, 49, an 18 year veteran of CKVL and assistant news director since 1963, died in March. Marcel Provost was program director of CKVL. Jack Selinger was sales promotion manager. CKVL now had a one hour personal horoscope feature airing seven days a week. It had expanded from a half hour, five days a week because of its popularity.


Marcel Provost died June 8 at the age of 62. He was CKVL’s program director and a longtime associate of Jack Tietolman. The two men first got together in 1932 when Provost merged his La Salle Broadcasting Co. Ltd. into Tietolman’s General Broadcasting Co., a radio time sales agency. In 1937, Provost was aked by the late Hon. Jacob Nichol to establish CHLT Sherbrooke and CHLN Trois-Rivieres. He later went on to help Tietolman to establish CKVL. Slogan: Quebec’s No. 1 radio salesman! CKVL – 50,000 hard-selling watts – Verdun-Montreal. Program schedule: Yvon Dupuis (host of the open line show, Challenge, 6-9 a.m.), Le Pere Gedeon (humour – country style – 9-10 a.m.), Jacques Boulanger (music, guest stars, Pyramid – 10-noon), Henri Gazon (Horroscope – open line – noon to 1), Madame X (The Family Counsellor – 1-3 p.m.), Les 3 Mousquetaires (live variety show – 3-4 p.m.), Gilles Pellerin (comedy, talk show – 4-5 p.m.), Discotheque (13 hours of non-stop hits – 5 p.m. to 6 a.m.).


CKVL became French-only. It had been bilingual from day one. CKVL-FM became CKOI on December 6.


Corinne Cote-Levesque was doing some interview work on CKVL. She’s the wife of Quebec’s premier, Rene Levesque.


CKVL began receiving some programming from CHRC in Quebec City – 21.5 hours weekly. CHRC had just adopted a news-talk format. The network feed from CHRC also included a three hour program of music from the 1930s and 1940s.


Marc Blondin was named promotions director at CKVL/CKOI-FM.


Selkirk Communications Ltd. proposed to purchase middle-of-the-road CKVL and rock station CKOI-FM from Jack Tietolman, who held 95% of all shares in Radio Futura. CKVL was ranked fourth in the Montreal market and CKOI was the number one FM station. Selkirk president George Meadows said his company would invest $7 million to upgrade the Verdun studio facilities and equipment of Radio Futura. A new building would be built to house the two stations. Selkirk appointed Walter Machny as director of operations for Montreal. He was president and general manager of Selkirk’s CFAC in Calgary and would continue to hold that position.


The CRTC denied Selkirk’s application to purchase CKVL and CKOI-FM.


An agreement was reached between Radio Futura and Mount Royal Broadcasting that would see Mount Royal taking over immediate management of Radio Futura’s CKVL and CKOI-FM and the eventual purchase of the stations. Mount Royal, owned by Pierre Beland and Pierre Arcand, had bought CFCF and CFQR-FM two years earlier. Beland said reach of the four stations was about 1.8 million listeners. If the proposed sale was approved, advertisers could reach both Quebec’s English and French markets through one source. CKOI was rated by BBM as the most listened to station in the market. CKVL offered a majority of local programming, and had introduced and promoted many new Quebec artists. Former general manager Malcom Scott, who had worked under contract as a consultant since 1979, left the stations.


CKVL scrapped its entire news operation and laid off 25 journalists. Program director Jean Denoncourt said that news was no longer the bread and butter it was in the 1980’s. News would now be delivered by Nouvelles Tele-Radio, the French-language arm of Broadcast News.


Radio Futura Ltée (Tietolman family) sold CKOI and CKVL-AM to Métromédia CMR Inc. (Pierre Béland and Pierre Arcand). The purchaser also owns CIQC-AM and CFQR-FM through Mount Royal Broadcasting Inc.


The founder of CKVL and CKOI-FM, Jack Tietolman, passed away in February.


On July 1, new sister stations CIQC-AM and CFQR-FM relocated to the CKVL-CKOI Building at 211 Gordon Avenue in Verdun.


Longtime morning host Pierre Pascau was replaced at CKVL by Jean-Francois Bertrand.


CKVL’s licence was cut to three years from seven over the antics of “shock jock” Andre Arthur. On June 21, CKVL 850 was given approval to use CBF’s old 690 kHz frequency and to increase power from 50,000 watts day and 10,000 watts night to 50,000 watts day and night. The station would offer an all news service with a local and regional focus.    In November CINF (CKVL’s replacement) started testing on 690 kHz. The transmitter site chosen was the existing and co-owned CIQC 600 facility on Highway 138 near the Kahnawake Reserve. Regular programming on CKVL 850 came to an end on December 13 and the station was replaced the following day by CINF all-news (French) “Info 690”.


After simulcasting CINF 690 since December, CKVL 850 went silent just after midnight on April 23.


Corus Entertainment Inc. purchased Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. from Les Placements Belcand Mont-Royal inc.


Effective July 15, all of the Corus Montreal (CINW-AM, CINF-AM, CKAC-AM, CFQR-FM, CHMP-FM, and CKOI-FM) stations came under the same roof at 800, rue De La Gauchetiere Ouest , Bureau 1100.


On August 27, the CRTC renewed CINF’s licence until August 31, 2016. The licensee commits to broadcasting a total of 10.5 hours of local news in each broadcast week. The licensee commits to broadcasting 40 hours of local programming in each broadcast week.


On January 29 at 10:00 a.m., Corus Quebec pulled the programming from CINW 940 and CINF 690 and shut the transmitters down at 7:00 p.m. CINF had been known as Info690. CINW was known as AM940 Montreal’s Greatest Hits. In a statement, Corus said that despite the excellence and dedication of station employees, Info690 and AM940 were unprofitable. The statement went on to say that it was clear that these two AM stations were not viable, particularly in the current economic climate. The decision affected 10 positions, including eight positions at Info690: three journalists, two traffic reporters and three operations staff. At AM940, two positions were affected: one on-air host and one technician. The Info690 Montréal newsroom, known as CorusNouvelles, would continue its activities as part of 98,5 FM. CorusNouvelles would continue to invest in providing news content to the entire Corus Québec network and its clients. The majority of journalist positions from the Info690 newsroom (five of eight journalists along with three of five traffic reporters) would be retained. The operating licences for the two stations would be returned to the CRTC.  Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. requested the revocation of the broadcasting licences for its English-language radio programming undertaking CINW and its French-language radio programming undertaking CINF Montréal. The licensee has informed the Commission that these stations had not been in operation since 29 January 2010. Given the licensee’s request and pursuant to sections 9(1)(e) and 24(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission revoked the broadcasting licences issued to Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for the above-mentioned undertakings – June 8, 2010.

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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