Cogeco Inc.

CFOM-FM2010102.932,600Cogeco Inc.
CFOM-FM2005102.932,600Corus Entertainment inc,
CFOM-FM2001102.932,600Astral Media Inc.
CFOM-FM1992102.932,600Radio Etchemin Inc.
CFLS-AM19679201,000Radio Etchemin Inc.


CFLS was scheduled to open on December 1, operating on 1240 kHz with a full-time power of 250 watts. Studios and offices would be at 24 Trans Canada East in Levis. Adrien Begin, publisher of the Levis-Lauzon Tribune was president of the company. Pat Gendron was general manager. He had been assistant manager at CJEM Edmundston. Stephen Guay was sales manager. He had been local sales manager at CKBM Montmagny. CFLS signed on the air in December.


Slogan: Music for Adults.


On April 27, the sale of CFLS to René Coulombe’s Radio Etchemin Inc. was approved.


CFLS was authorized to increase power from 250 watts to 1,000 watts and change frequency from 1240 kHz to 920 kHz.

CFLS had its licence renewed but it was expected to carry out improvements in technical operation, personnel and programming.


By this time, CFLS was operating on 920 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts


Power increased to 10,000 watts in October.


The following appointments were made at CFLS: Gilles St-Pierre (news director), Pierre Picard (general manager), Pierre Gingras (music director), Richard Blondin (producer), Jean-Pierre Maheux (technical director) and Alain Chouillard (program director). 


CFLS applied to the CRTC to move from 920 kHz to the FM band at 106.3 MHz with effective radiated power of 54,350 watts. The application was turned down. CFLS had been experiencing coverage problems despite spending $100,000 to increase power from 1,000 to 10,000 watts, and another $200,000 on AM stereo. The station complained of interference from CKCV Quebec and CBO Ottawa. CFLS and other Quebec City area stations had experienced financial difficulties in recent years, and in 1987 incurred a substantial loss. The CRTC suggested CFLS consider a move to 870 kHz.

CFLS ceased operations July 15 following the CRTC’s denial of its application for an FM frequency. General manager Pierre Picard said that a move to FM was the only remedy for a drastic loss in audience over recent years. CFLS employed 17 people.


Following a period of serious financial difficulty culminating with the temporary closure of CFLS, the station decided this year to introduce a major change in its programming, opting for an exclusively country music format.


The corporate name changed from Radio Etchemin Inc. to Entreprises Radio Etchemin Inc. 

CFLS turned around a difficult financial situation after a switch to a country / western and folk music format. It was airing 80% French vocals, well above the 65% objective set by the CRTC.


Approval was given for CFAP-TV Quebec City to simulcast its regional newscasts over CFLS.

CFLS switched from a talk format to country music. As a result, the simulcast of Le Grand Journal from TQS station CFAP-TV was discontinued. CFLS manager Yvon Lorrain said ratings doubled when the station replaced the TV newscast with its own programming.


On September 9, CFLS was given approval to convert to the FM band, operating on 102.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 32,600 watts. The existing country music format would continue to be offered. The CRTC said the format would be unique for FM in the Quebec City area.


The move to the FM dial took place.


On April 7, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFLS-FM Lévis by decreasing the effective radiated power from 32,600 watts to 5,315 watts. The Commission noted that the licensee had relocated its antenna from Lévis to Mont-Bélair, and hereby authorized the licensee to operate CFLS-FM on the basis of the contours and particulars resulting from this relocation. The licensee stated that this change would enable it to resolve the poor quality of reception of the station and thus, to adequately reach a greater number of listeners in its market area. The power decrease took place a short time later.

The call letters had now changed from CFLS to CFOM. These call letters had been used in the past in the Quebec City market by the now dark AM 1340. CFLS switched formats – from Country to Oldies.


CFOM-FM was granted a power decrease from 5,315 to 3,597 watts, following an increase in antenna height.


Radio Etchemin inc. was purchased by Groupe Radio Astral inc.


CFOM was granted a power increase from 3,597 to 16,800 watts.


On January 21, the CRTC approved the application by Astral Media inc., on behalf of Astral Media Radio inc., to acquire, as part of an intra-corporate reorganization, the assets of CFOM-FM from Entreprises Radio Etchemin inc. CFOM-FM was being operated by Radio Etchemin and Paul-Émile Beaulne acted as trustee of that company under a voting trust agreement approved by the Commission on October 25, 2002. Mr. Beaulne exercised voting rights attached to Radio Etchemin shares. The Commission noted that this application followed an intra-corporate reorganization within the Astral group, approved on May 2, 2003. At a September 7, 2004 public hearing, the Commission examined this application as well as applications submitted by Astral Media Radio and 591991 B.C. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Corus Entertainment Inc., for authority to acquire several radio stations in Quebec as part of an exchange of assets. The Astral/Corus transaction also involved the acquisition of CFOM-FM’s assets by Corus. The Commission approved the Astral/Corus transaction today. In the event that the parties completed the transaction, the assets of CFOM-FM would be transferred from Radio Etchemin to Astral Media Radio, and subsequently transferred to Corus. 


On August 27, the CRTC renewed CFOM-FM’s licence until August 31, 2016. Conditions include: The licensee shall, as an exception to the percentage of Canadian musical selections set out in sections 2.2(8) and 2.2(9) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), in any broadcast week where at least 90% of musical selections from content category 2 that it broadcasts are selections released before 1 January 1981: devote, in that broadcast week, a minimum of 30% of its musical selections from content category 2 to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety; and devote between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., in the period from Monday to Friday of the same broadcast week, a minimum of 30% of its musical selections from content category 2 to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety. Commitment: The licensee commits to broadcasting a total of 1.4 hours of local news each week, from Monday to Friday.


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. For the record, Cogeco already operated CJEC-FM and CJMF-FM in the Quebec market. 


CFOM changed its branding from 102.9 Souvenirs Garantis to 102.9 FM. The format remained Oldies-Classic Hits.

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-Riviére. 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.


On December 19, the CRTC approved an application by Cogeco Diffusion inc. for authority to acquire from Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions inc., as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CFOM-FM Lévis, CKOY-FM Sherbrooke, CKOB-FM Trois-Rivières, CKOF-FM Gatineau, and CIME-FM Saint-Jérôme. Cogeco Diffusion inc. was wholly owned by Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions inc., which in turn was wholly owned by Cogeco inc.


CFOM rebranded from 102.9 FM to M102.9. The format remained Classic Hits.

The story continues elsewhere…
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