CJME-AM, News Talk 980, Regina

Rawlco Radio Inc.

CJME-AM200298010,000/5,000RAWLCO Radio Ltd.
CJME-AM196713001,000RAWLCO Communications Ltd.
CJME-AM195913001,000Midwest Broadcasters Ltd.


J. Marsh Ellis opened CJME on November 24. It broadcast on a frequency of 1300 kHz and power was 1,000 watts. The “JME” in the call sign: J. Marsh Ellis.


CJME became a member of the Western Association of Broadcasters. 

Bob Zaran was named production manager of CJME. Wally Cameron was named chief announcer. Dennis Owens moved to CJME from CKRM as night supervisor. Grant Lamar joined CJME from CHAB, as announcer. Beattie Martin was sports director.


The corporate name was Midwest Broadcasters Ltd. and J. Marsh Ellis was President.  


On-air line-up: Hart Kirsch (6-9), Chuck (Ken) Connors (9-1), Jay Tomson (1-3), Mel Corey/ Al Dylan (3-7), Scott Miller (7-midnight). Others: Ken Roberts and Johnny Russel. News director: Bob Richards. News reporters: Mike Douglas and Glen Barry, Sports: Ron Temreck. Gord Rawlinson was GM and his brother Doug was Promotion Director. 


On February 27, the CRTC approved the application to transfer 14,000 common shares (100%) of Midwest Broadcasters Ltd., licensee of CJME, as follows: 11,200 common shares from Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Gordon Rawlinson and 2,800 common shares from Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Douglas Rawlinson. 

CJME received approval to increase power to 10,000 watts day and night. 

Chuck (Ken) Connors left for CHED Edmonton, Mel Corey moved to Hawaii.


Scott Miller left for CHAB Moose Jaw. 


CJME increased power to 10,000 watts full-time.


Douglas E. Rawlinson was appointed general manager of CJME. He would also manage the company’s new Regina FM station when it signed on. Rawlinson had been with CJME for 9 years, the last four as program director. He had been with CHUM Toronto before that. 


CIZL-FM began broadcasting. 


Aerianne Le Blanc left CJME for Broadcast News.


On April 1, CJME was denied a change of frequency to 760 kHz. Adjacent 750 kHz was awarded to CJWW Saskatoon instead. The applications were technically mutually exclusive and both could not be granted. CJME admitted its 1300 kHz signal was adequate enough to serve Regina, but it could not provide a reliable enough signal beyond a 50-mile radius of the city during the day, particularly to the southeastern part of the Province. The problem was more severe at night.   


Rob Alexander was program director and Harry Decker moved over to the post of morning man.


Harry Dekker, Jr. celebrated his 10th anniversary with CJME. His dad (Harry, Sr.) was into his 47th year as morning man (he was also general manager) at CJNB North Battleford.)

Former news director Bob Richards was now operations manager.


Marsh Ellis, founder of CJME, passed away September 15.


On December 31, Regina’s 980 frequency came back to life as CJME 1300 began testing (on 980). The 980 frequency had been used by CKRM which moved to the former CKCK frequency of 620.


On January 9, News/Talk CJME officially began broadcasting on 980 kHz. The station had been located at 1300, and that licence was cancelled. 

On July 26 the CRTC approved applications by Rawlco Capital Ltd., submitted on behalf of 614546 Saskatchewan Ltd., Central Broadcasting Company Limited and Rawlco Radio Ltd., to effect an intracorporate reorganization within the Rawlco Group of corporations. The corporate reorganization involved the following transactions: a) the transfer of 100% of the Common A voting shares of 614546 from Rawlco Inc. to Lobstick Investments Inc., a corporation ultimately owned and controlled by Gordon S. Rawlinson; b) the transfer of 100% of the Common A voting shares of CBCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of G. Rawlinson, to Lobstick; and c) the transfer of 100% of the Class B voting shares of RRL from G. Rawlinson to Lobstick. RRL is currently owned equally by G. Rawlinson and Lobstick, each holding a 50% interest. Following these transactions, the applicant proposed to amalgamate the licensee corporations 614546, CBCL and RRL under a new licensee corporation, Rawlco Radio Ltd.; and to wind up Rawlco Inc. into Rawlco Capital Ltd., which currently owns 89.18% of Lobstick. These two transactions do not require Commission approval. 614546 is the licensee of CJDJ-FM Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. CBCL is the licensee of CKBI (AM), CFMM-FM and CHQX-FM Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. RRL is the licensee of CFMC-FM, CKOM (AM) Saskatoon; CIZL-FM, CJME (AM) and CKCK-FM Regina, Saskatchewan. The Commission notes that the transactions will result in a transfer of effective control of 614546, CBCL and RRL to Lobstick. However, ultimate control will remain in the hands of Gordon S. Rawlinson. 


Former CJME Anchor/Reporter Geoff Smith moved to sister Rawlco stations CJNB/Q98/ 93.3 The Rock in North Battleford as News Director.


On February 26, the CRTC approved the applications by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to amend the broadcasting licence for CJME Regina in order to add FM transmitters in Gravelbourg, Swift Current and Warmley. The transmitters would operate as follows: Gravelbourg – 107.1 MHz, Swift Current – 101.7 MHz and Warmley – 107.3 MHz. All three transmitters would have an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. Rawlco stated that the purpose of the applications was not to address signal deficiencies but rather to extend CJME’s News/Talk programming to underserved areas in southern Saskatchewan, namely the communities of Gravelbourg, Swift Current and Warmley. It emphasized that these transmitters would have no local programming and was in no way meant to be local News/Talk services. Instead, the proposed transmitters would provide CJME’s News/Talk service focusing on provincial issues and would therefore add to the diversity of radio services in these communities. The Commission notes that approval of this application would create a precedent, as it would be approving three high-power transmitters to re-transmit content from an originating station with the transmitter coverage falling outside the CJME market. The Commission notes, however, that high-power transmitters offer greater coverage in sparsely populated areas, as indicated by Rawlco and would appear to provide a reasonable technical solution to extend the coverage of CJME to the southern portion of Saskatchewan. 

Former CJME personality Mal Faris passed away October 5.


In March, CJME began testing its three FM repeat transmitters.

Joel Gasson joined CJME as evening and weekend news anchor/reporter. Kevin Antrobus moved up from senior advertising consultant at 980 NewsTalk CJME to sales manager of sister station Jack FM, as of May 1.


Saskatchewan’s Justice Ministry bestowed the Queen’s Counsel honour upon 16 lawyers. One of them was John Gormley, Rawlco Radio’s in-house counsel and radio host at News Talk 650 (CKOM) and News Talk 980 (CJME).


Alex Docking celebrated 50 years in broadcasting this year. He was 18 when he started out at CFRY Portage la Prairie. He went on to work at CJOB Winnipeg, CKX-TV Brandon and then CKCK-TV Regina. From 1985-87, Docking was CTV’s national correspondent for the Prairies, based in Winnipeg. He then returned to CKCK-TV and was named news director in 1991. Docking joined CJME in 1999, hosting a provincial afternoon show that was also heard on CKOM Saskatoon. He retired from full-time work in 2016, but continued to do fill in work at CJME.

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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