CKOI-FM, CKOI 96.9, Verdun
|Corus Entertainment Inc.
|Metromedia C.M.R. Broadcasting Inc.
Jack Tietolman founded CKVL-FM to simulcast the programming of CKVL-AM.
CKVL-AM-FM had seven studios in its building, including a 400 seat theatre. The FM transmitter was also located at this address.
CKVL-FM was operating on a frequency of 96.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 10,200 watts. It was owned by Radio Station CKVL Ltd. (J. Tietolman 99.8%, Mrs. J. Tietolman 0.1%, A.D. Coston 0.1%).
CKVL-FM was authorized to move to a new transmitter site and to increase antenna height from 74 feet to 479 feet.
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.
The CKVL-FM music format was light and popular during the day and more serious at night. On Sunday evenings, the station had live broadcasts (featuring the likes of Marthe Letourneau, Nelly Methot, Collette Boky and Arthur Garami), the world’s great music festivals (Salzburg Mozart Festival, as an example), and complete opera recordings. CKVL-FM aired announcements in English and French because surveys had shown that its audience was split about equally between the two languages.
CKVL-FM began to offer separate programming from CKVL-AM. Effective radiated power was now 307,000 watts on 96.9 MHz, and the transmitter was at Peel and St. Catherine Streets.
CKVL-FM had a “good music” format.
CKVL-FM was now broadcasting in stereo and its program schedule was totally separate from CKVL-AM’s. Jack Tietolman was president of the company which was now known as Radio Futura Ltd.
CKVL-FM was the first Canadian FM station to go to 24 hour a day operation. It was the only bilingual station in the country. It still had a “good music” policy at this time. CKVL-FM placed an emphasis on live, local talent. The station broadcast live, two hours every day, programming that featured artists in Montreal. Lucien Hetu offered organ music from noon, and Mischa, the station’s featured pianist, was heard from 6 to 7 p.m. Program openings and closings were in both languages as were music intros and extros. At 307,000 watts ERP, CKVL-FM was the most powerful FM station in the province.
For more than 25 years thousands of French listeners faithfully tuned to CKAC to hear the 15 minute program, Le Chaplet, the recitation of the Rosary. Station management in announcing the re-vamping of programming, said the program would be dropped on September 30 because the audience for the 7 p.m. broadcast had dropped 72%. Listeners were outraged at the loss. Jack Tietolman stepped in and the broadcast was heard as of October 1, in stereo, at 9 p.m. on his CKVL-FM.
CKVL-FM began broadcasting in French only. The station had been bilingual since its launch.
CKOI-FM remained under close CRTC scrutiny to make sure it lived up to programming commitments. The Commission remained seriously concerned about the station’s persistent non-compliance with its promise of performance, and deferred action on licence renewal. The licence was renewed later in the year, but only for six months. The station was told it needed to improve its spoken word programming.
CKOI’s licence was renewed for one year (to September 30, 1985) to coincide with the renewal of other FM licenses in the province. Since the six month renewal in 1983, the CRTC said the station had made progress, particularly in foreground programming and the promotion of Canadian talent.
Marc Blondin was named promotions director at CKOI/CKVL.
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.
Radio Futura Ltée 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 CKOI-FM and CKVL-AM, 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.
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 April 30th, Corus Entertainment Inc. announced that they had reached an agreement with Cogeco Inc. for Cogeco to purchase the Corus Quebec radio stations: CKOI-FM , CKAC-AM, CHMP-FM and CFQR-FM Montreal , CFOM-FM102.9 and CFEL-FM Quebec City, CJRC-FM Gatineau , CIME-FM St-Jérôme, CHLT-FM and CKOY-FM Sherbrooke, and CHLN-FM Trois Rivieres. The deal would be subject to CRTC approval.
On December 17, the CRTC approved the transfer of various commercial radio programming undertakings from Corus Entertainment Inc. to Cogeco inc. The Commission received an application by Corus Entertainment Inc., on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiaries 591991 B.C. Ltd. and Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc., to transfer their shares and effective control from Corus to Cogeco inc. or one of its wholly owned subsidiaries (the proposed transaction). 591991 B.C. was the licensee of the French-language commercial radio programming undertakings CFOM-FM Lévis, CFEL-FM Lévis/Québec, CHLT-FM and CKOY-FM Sherbrooke, CKAC Montréal, CJRC-FM Gatineau and CHLN-FM Trois-Rivières. Metromedia was the licensee of the French-language commercial radio programming undertakings CKOI-FM Montréal, CHMP-FM Longueuil, CIME-FM Saint-Jérôme and its transmitters CIME-FM-1 Val-Morin and CIME-FM-2 Mont-Tremblant, and CFQR-FM Montréal, an English-language commercial radio programming undertaking. Following the proposed transaction, effective control of 591991 B.C. and Metromedia would be exercised by Cogeco, a corporation controlled by Gestion Audem inc. The CRTC approved, by majority decision, Cogeco’s request to be granted an exception to the Common Ownership Policy in relation to the number of radio stations that it is authorized to operate in the Montréal radio market. For the record, Cogeco already operated CFGL-FM in the Montreal market.
On November 24, the CRTC concludes that Cogeco Inc. made inappropriate use of montages, thus circumventing the Radio Regulations, 1986 as they relate to the broadcast of French-language vocal music. The Commission consequently imposed a condition of licence to limit the use of montages. On December 17, 2010, the Commission received a complaint by the Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo alleging that certain French-language radio stations, including CKOI-FM, were in non-compliance with the requirements of the Radio Regulations. According to ADISQ, this non-compliance was due to an abusive use of montages in the music programming of the stations in question. In its complaint, ADISQ submitted that those stations [translation] “wrongly qualify a simple succession of English-language selections broadcast almost in their entirety as a montage in order to consider this montage as a single English-language selection for the purpose of calculating the levels of FVM.” The complaint filed by ADISQ and the reply by Cogeco Inc. were placed on the public record of this proceeding. Although the licence for the station was not up for renewal, the Commission directed the licensee to appear at a public hearing to show cause why a mandatory order requiring it to comply with the above-mentioned sections of the Regulations should not be issued.
On June 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKOI-FM until November 30, 2012.
On October 16, the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licence for CKOI-FM to August 31, 2015. This short-term licence renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and its conditions of licence.
In November, Henri Audet, founder of Cogeco cable died at age 94. Trained as an engineer, Audet left a job at the CBC to launch a TV station in Trois-Riviéres. He sold his house and raised $100,000 from friends and other investors as seed money. From that single television station the company became Canada’s fourth-largest cable company and one of Quebec’s largest media companies. Audet served as president of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters from 1961 to 1964, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1984. Control of Cogeco Inc. and its direct and indirect subsidiaries was held by Gestion Audem Inc., a holding company whose shares were held entirely by the members of the family of Henri Audet.
In June, the CRTC approved a decrease in ERP for CKOI-FM from 307,000 to 147,000 watts. Antenna height would be raised and the transmitter would be relocated.
In March, Denis Grondin died at the age of 66. The 47-year radio veteran began his career in 1970 at CKVL-FM, moving on to stints at CHOM, CKOI and CHMP.
On September 27, the CRTC approved Cogeco Media’s applications to combine CKOI, CKBE, CKMP and CFGL’s services on a single, more efficient antenna owned by Cogeco on Mount Royal. Under the change, CKOI would increase ERP from 147,000 to 148,000 watts and and decrease EHAAT from 277.6 to 276.7 metres.Z
The consolidation of Cogeco’s four Montreal-area FM antenna’s on to a single Mount Royal tower was completed in November. The stations involved were CKBE 92.5 Montreal, CKOI 96.9 Montreal, CHMP 98.5 Longueuil and CFGL 105.7 Laval.
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.