CKRS-FM, RYTHME FM, Chicoutimi

Attraction Radio inc.

CKRS-FM201298.351,000Attraction Radio inc.
CKRS-FM200798.351,000Corus Entertainment Inc.
CKRS-AM200259025,000/7,500Astral Media Inc
CKRS-AM198159010,000Radio Mutuel
CKRS-AM19545901,000Henri Lepage & group
CKRS-AM19471240250Henri Lepage & group


Radio Saguenay Ltee received a licence for a new AM station (1240 kHz) at Jonquiere.


CKRS began broadcasting on June 23, operating on a frequency of 1240 kHz with a power of 250 watts. Studios were on St. Dominique Street in Jonquiere and the transmitter was at Rang de la Petite Societe in Jonquiere. The “RS” in the calls: Radio Saguenay. CKRS was an independent station with no network affiliation. Gaston Voyer was manager.


CKRS became a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.


CKRS received permission to change frequency from 1240 to 590 kHz and to increase power from 250 to 1,000 watts.


A new 1,000 watt transmitter was expected to be in operation in the fall. 

CKRS received approval for the operation of a 250 watt emergency transmitter.


CKRS moved to 590 kHz and increased power to 1,000 watts. A single directional antenna pattern was used for day and night operation.

The Canada Labour Relations Board certified NABET as bargaining agent for units of employees at CKRS Jonquiere and CFGT Alma. The board also ordered a representation of employees by NABET at CJMT Chicoutimi.

Jean-Marie Dugas was in the news department.


Henri Lepage

Radio Saguenay Ltee ownership: Henri Lepage 27.4%, J. Grenier 0.2%, J. Landry 11.0%, CHRC Ltee 17.5%, CKCV Ltee 17.5%, Paul Lepage 2.5%, Simon Baribeau 14.9%, Gaston Pratte 2.5%, T. H. Burham 1.5%, Norman S. Robertson 2.5% and T. Fortier 2.5%.

Henri Lepage was president of the company and Guy Boivin was manager of CKRS. 


Ad slogans: Only one private radio station covers Quebec’s rich No. 3 market…CKRS. The only private Radio & Television stations covering the entire Chicoutimi – Lake St. John market – CKRS Radio & Television. / Don’t split your advertising dollar when only one Radio & Television station covers Quebec’s entire No. 3 market – CKRC Radio-Television.

G. Boivin was manager of CKRS Radio. Tom Burham was sales manager.


Guy Boivin was general manager and Yvon Lavoie was program director. Joe Dion was at CKRS.

Ad: Don’t miss in the Saguenay Kingdom – CKRS Radio-Television – Sir Wilfrid Laurier Street, Jonquiere. Only CKRS covers them all: Lake St. John, Jonquiere, Kenagami, Arvida, Chicoutimi.


CKRS was an independent station with no network affiliation. Henri Lepage was President of Radio Saguenay Ltee. Tom Burham was general manager of CKRS. Burham announced the appointment of Gerard Lemieux as manager for radio and television. Lemieux had been with CKRS since 1953. 


Henri Lepage, 68, died suddenly on August 26, ending a 39 year association in an executive capacity with CHRC. Lepage had retired as general manager of CHRC in January, but remained on the board of directors. He founded CKRS Radio in 1946, then CKRS-TV, in 1955 (Rouyn-Noranda-Jonquiere). He continued as president of both stations up to the time of his death. Lepage was one of the founders of Television de Quebec Ltee in 1953, establishing CFCM-TV and three years later, CKMI-TV (Quebec City). He joined Narcisse Thivierge in founding CJNT Radio and was president of that station at the time of his death. Henri was brother of Paul Lepage, who for many years was manager of CKCV (Quebec City). Henri Lepage entered the broadcasting business in 1930 when he was hired as secretary-treasurer for CHRC Ltee. In 1946, he became station manager, succeeding Thivierge. Lepage became general manager of CHRC-AM and FM in 1956.


On November 4, Radio Saguenay Ltee was authorized to increase the power of CKRS 590 from  1,000 watts day and night to 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night and to change from a single directional pattern to separate day and night directional patterns.


Radio Saguenay (CKRS) applied for an FM station at Jonquiere, operating on 94.5 MHz with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The CRTC turned the application down on the basis that a new commercial station could be detrimental to existing services.


165561 Canada Inc. (division of Radiomutuel) purchased CKRS.


On March 6, the CRTC renewed the licence for CKRS to September 30, 1989.


On December 20, Radio Saguenay Ltee (owner of CKRS) was given approval to acquire effective control of CJAB-FM Inc. (owner of CJAB-FM Chicoutimi), through the transfer of 1,000 Class A voting shares and 4,000 Class B non-voting shares from Gestion P.J. Audette Inc. Radio Saguenay  would now hold all of the shares CJAB-FM Inc.


On May 17, CKRS was given approval to increase power to 25,000 watts day and 7,500 watts night from 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night.


Radio Saguenay was searching for a buyer for CKRS-AM. The company announced that if a purchaser had not been found by the end of the year, CKRS would close. The station did not close at the end of 1991.


Radiomutuel and Telemedia announced plans to put their two Saguenay region AM stations under one management roof. The agreement was designed to ensure the survival of the stations. CJMT and CKRS would continue to have separate programming. Although the two stations would be affiliated with different networks (CJMT with Telemedia and CKRS with Radiomutuel) a single management would administer the stations. The newsrooms would be combined, making it one of the largest news services in the Saguenay region. The newsroom’s primary function would be to serve the two stations, but it would also act as a regional newsroom, feeding both networks. 

On August 21, the CRTC approved an application by 165561 Canada Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Radiomutuel, to acquire CKRS Jonquière, from Radio Saguenay Ltée. The Commission also approved an application by CJAB-FM Inc. to transfer 100% of its issued and outstanding common voting shares from Radio Saguenay Ltée. to Radiomutuel Inc. Radiomutuel would then amalgamate with CJAB-FM Inc. With the change in ownership, CKRS would move from Jonquiere to Chicoutimi.

On the same date, an application by Radio Chicoutimi Inc. on behalf of Télémédia Communications Inc. was denied. It sought authorization for CJMT Chicoutimi to receive programming from the studios of CKRS Jonquière rather than from studios in Chicoutimi. The Commission rejected the management model proposed in the application providing for the amalgamation of the newsrooms of the two competing AM stations serving the Saguenay region, CKRS and CJMT. The stations were urged to cooperate where possible, but to continue to provide the region with varied information services. 


On February 18, Radiomutuel Inc. received approval to acquire CKRS from 165561 Canada Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Radiomutuel Inc. (inter corporate reorganization).


The CRTC had concerns with a number of Radiomutuel stations. In the case of CKRS it was a matter of logger tapes and “coarse” language. The station was also told to establish a studio in Jonquiere, here it had its main studios for many years.


The corporate name changed to Mutual Broadcasting Canada Limited from Radiomutuel Inc.(the parent company Mutual Broadcasting Canada Limited, to Communications Radiomutuel Inc.). Shares in the company were offered to the public.

Radiomédia S.E.N.C. was formed as a general partnership owned equally by Télémédia and Radiomutuel to operate the AM stations in Quebec, owned by both companies. 


On January 12, approval was granted for Radiomutuel inc. to transfer effective control and ownership of its broadcasting undertakings from Radiomutuel to Astral Communications inc.  


On May 2, Astral Media Inc. received approval for an intracorporate reorganization within its group. The reorganization involves the following transactions: a) the amalgamation of Radiomedia and Astral Radio Québec to form Amalco 1, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astral Radio; b) the transfer of Radio Etchemin voting shares, held by Astral Radio, to Amalco 1; c) the transfer of Astral Radio voting shares, held by Astral Acquisition Inc., to Newco, a new wholly-owned subsidiary of Astral Acquisition; and d) the amalgamation of Newco and Astral Radio to form Amalco 2, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astral Acquisition. The ultimate would continue to be exercised by Astral Media, owned by the Greenberg family. 


On January 21, the CRTC approved applications by Astral Media Radio inc. and 591991 B.C. Ltd. (subsidiary of Corus Entertainment Inc.), to exchange several radio stations in Quebec. CKRS and six other stations that had been owned by Astral, would now be owned by Corus.


On November 24, CKRS was given permission to move to the FM band. The new station would offer a specialty talk-based format. It would broadcast on a frequency of 98.3 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 51,000 watts.


In March CKRS 98.3 changed format from News-Talk to Oldies/Classic Hits. 

On August 27, the CRTC renewed CKRS-FM’s licence until August 31, 2013. The licensee is alleged to have breached sections 2.2(5) and 2.2(8) of the Regulations concerning the broadcast of French-language vocal music and the broadcast of Canadian musical selections from content category 2 during the broadcast week of 14 to 20 September 2008. Further, the licensee is alleged to have breached section 2.2(5) of the Regulations. As a result, a short term renewal was given. Conditions: The station shall be operated within the Specialty format as defined in A Review of Certain Matters Concerning Radio, Public Notice CRTC 1995-60, 21 April 1995, and Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Public Notice CRTC 2000-14, 28 January 2000, as amended from time to time. The licensee shall devote more than 50% of the programming broadcast during the broadcast week to programming drawn from category 1 (Spoken Word). The licensee shall broadcast, in each broadcast week, not less than 21 hours of spoken word programming of direct and particular relevance to the community served. This programming shall include local news, weather and sports and the promotion of local events and activities. Commitment: The licensee commits to broadcasting 6 hours and 5 minutes of local news each week.


Paul Arcand, who had been doing the morning show for several years at News/Talk (CHMP-FM) 98,5 FM Montreal was now be heard via simulcast on four more Corus Quebec stations: CJRC 104,7 FM Outaouais, CHLT 107,7 FM Estrie, CHLN 106,9 FM Mauricie and CKRS 98,3 FM Saguenay, beginning in February. Three employees were affected by the change.

On August 13, the CRTC approved the application by 7545398 Canada Inc. for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of the French-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKRS-FM Chicoutimi/ Saguenay from 591991 B.C. Ltd. 7545398 Canada, the purchaser, and 591991 B.C., the existing licensee of the above-mentioned undertaking, were wholly-owned subsidiaries of Corus Entertainment Inc. The transaction would be carried out through the transfer to 7545398 Canada of the assets of the above-mentioned undertaking held by 591991 B.C. On completion of the transaction, 7545398 Canada would become the licensee of CKRS-FM. The applicant indicated that the objective of this corporate reorganization was to simplify the submission of applications relating to the sale of radio stations controlled by Corus in the province of Quebec. This reorganization would not have any impact on the control of CKRS-FM, which would continue to be exercised by Corus.

The CRTC approved the temporary management by Radio Saguenay inc., of CKRS-FM, a radio station owned by 7545398 Canada Inc. (the licensee), pursuant to an agreement between Corus Entertainment Inc., the parent corporation of the licensee, and Radio Saguenay inc., a corporation controlled by its board of directors. 

CKRS changed its branding from “98.3 FM” to “FM 98”. 


The CRTC approved a change to the effective control of 7545398 Canada Inc. from Corus Entertainment Inc. to Radio Saguenay inc., through the transfer to Radio Saguenay inc. of all the shares of 7545398 Canada Inc. held by Corus Entertainment Inc. 7545398 Canada Inc. was the licensee of the French-language radio station CKRS-FM. The station was sold to a group of six local business people, among them Guy Carbonneau, a former captain and coach of the Montreal Canadiens. The station was the lone exception in the sale of the company’s Quebec stations to COGECO. 

On March 1, the Commission approved the application by Radio Saguenay inc. for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CKRS-FM from 7545398 Canada Inc. 7545398 Canada was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Radio Saguenay, which was controlled by its board of directors. This transaction would not affect ultimate control of this undertaking, which would continue to be exercised by Radio Saguenay. 

CKRS changed format from Oldies/Classic Hits to Classic Rock and Talk.


The CRTC approved the change to the ownership and effective control of Radio Saguenay inc. through the acquisition of all of the shares of Radio Saguenay inc. by Attraction Radio inc., a corporation controlled by Richard Speer. Radio Saguenay inc. was licensee of CKRS-FM.


On December 18, the CRTC renewed the licence for CKRS to August 31, 2018. The licensee was found to be in non-compliance with its obligations relating to French-language vocal music, and regarding contributions to CCD funding for 2010-11 and 2011-12.


CKRS and CKGS 105.5 joined the Rythme FM network in February, changing format from Talk/Classic Rock FM98 to Adult Contemporary RYTHME FM.

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