CKOM-AM, News Talk 650, Saskatoon

Rawlco Radio Inc.

CKOM-AM198565010,000RAWLCO Radio Ltd.
CKOM-AM196512505,000Robert Hosie
CKOM-AM195514205,000Robert Hosie
CKOM-AM19511340250Robert Hosie


R.A. Hosie applied for an AM station at Saskatoon (1340 kHz with 250 watts). The application was denied by the CBC Board of  Governors. 


The CBC again turned down an application by Hosie for a new station. A competing application was also denied.


The CBC heard several applications for new stations at Saskatoon. Robert A. Hosie, a local hotel keeper, this time had his application approved. The station would operate on 1340 kHz with a power of 250 watts. Competing applications by J.F. Sweeney, Weston Clifford Fisher and Saskatoon Broadcasters Ltd. were all refused. 


CKOM was expected to sign on in May. In early March the station was well under construction and would be equipped with a Marconi transmitter. Studio equipment would be Canadian General Electric throughout. Studios and offices were to be in the Empire Hotel. Owner Bob Hosie would be general manager and Bob Freeland was named manager. Freeland also did on-air work. By the way, the Empire Hotel was also owned by Bob Hosie.

CKOM “The Friendly Station” signed on the air on June 8. It broadcast on a frequency of 1340 kHz with a full-time power of 250 watts. Bob Freeland was manager, M.D. (Curly) Dyck was sales manager and Bill Forst was chief engineer. Forst was the first man in Canada to receive approval for remote control (transmitter) equipment to be developed.

Ad: Now on the air! CKOM – Saskatoon’s new station on 1340 KCS – “On the right side of the dial”.

12 year old Marbeth Henry was considered Canada’s youngest disc jockey. She hosted a Sunday morning program on CKOM, aimed primarily at children.


CKOM announced it was the first station in Canada to broadcast a two-way transatlantic telephone call. It was for an exclusive interview by sports director Art Henderson, with coach Louie Holmes of the Edmonton Mercury hockey team – Canada’s Olympic champions. 


The CBC approved the transfer 15 common shares in Saskatoon Community Broadcasting Co.

CKOM had applied for a power increase but at its own request had the application set aside. It had applied to go from 1340 to 680 kHz with power increasing from 250 to 5,000 watts.

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Ltd. applied for a television licence. The application was deferred by the CBC Board of Governors. The board wanted to allow additional applications from the city to be reviewed, applications which were almost complete. This included one from A.A. Murphy, owner of CFQC-AM, and later, one from Saskatoon Community Broadcasting, owner of CKOM. In the end, the CFQC television application was approved.

Slogan: Saskatchewan’s leading community station.

CKOM received CBC permission to change frequency from 1340 to 1420 kHz and to increase power from 250 to 5,000 watts. 


CKOM increased power to 5,000 watts in March – with unattended operation.

Slogan: Growing up? You bet we are! 250 to 5,000 watts – CKOM in Saskatoon.

Bill Forst was chief engineer and had been with CKOM since 1951.


CKOM moved from 1340 kHz to 1420 kHz and power increased from 250 watts to 5,000 watts (directional at night). Bill Forst who would go on to CKSW-AM and CJFB-TV in Swift Current, was CKOM’s chief engineer at this time. He built the station’s new remote control 5 kW transmitter. 

Red Alix was on-air at CKOM. Harvey Tate was night news editor. Jack McClung was CKOM’s new early morning voice. 


CKOM operated as an independent station with no network affiliation. Ownership of Saskatoon Community Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: R. A. Hosie 60.0%, C. C. Mason 5.0%, J. S. Woodward 2.5% and six other shareholders 32.5%. Bob Hosie was president of the company and CKOM’s manager. Gordon Welburn was program and music director. Del Delmage was CKOM’s news director. 


Easton Waymon, Jack McClung, Doug Alexander, Art Henderson, Lyle Murray and Bruce Cowie were announcers at CKOM. 

CKOM 1420’s application to increase power from 5,000 to 10,000 watts was deferred by the broadcast regulator.


Jack McClung hosted the morning show.

Federal authority was granted for CKOM to increase power to 10,000 watts


By this time, CKOM was operating on a frequency of 1250 kHz with a day and night-time power of 10,000 watts (directional at night).

CKOM was authorized to change its main studio location.

Robert A. Hosie was president and general manager. Robert H. Stovin was station manager and commercial manager.


Studios and offices were located in the Executive Hotel. 


Bill Stovin, Jr., left CKOM for announce work at CKRC Winnipeg.


George Johns joined CKOM as program director from CKY Winnipeg.


Mike Christie was at CKOM. 


CKOM’s application for a new FM station (100,000 watts on 102.1 MHz) was denied. Applications by CFQC and Gerald Fraser were also denied.


Applications by Doug O’Brien to acquire CFAR Flin Flon, CJAR The Pas and CHTM Thompson (all Manitoba) from Arctic Radio Corp., and for Arctic to purchase CKOM, were approved. The acquisition of CKOM by Arctic may never have moved ahead.


CKOM lost a tower during the night of May 17 and vandalism was believed to be the cause. The 354 foot tower was the principal radiator in the station’s three tower array. A 250 watt standby transmitter at the studios kept CKOM on the air while adjustments were quickly made to enable operation at half power (5,000 watts). Engineering Director Ken Fisher said the station returned to full power a week later, using a two tower array, operating within required protection levels.


Robert Hosie (Saskatoon Community Broadcasting Co.) sold CKOM to Rawlco Radio Ltd. Hosie, owner and manager since the station began in 1951, was now retired.

On March 11, CKOM was given approval to change frequency, from 1250 kHz to 650 kHz.. The new clear channel frequency would vastly improve CKOM’s daytime signal to encompass Regina, Swift Current and Lloydminster. The night-time coverage area would be extended by approximately 30 miles to the east, north and west. Power on 650 kHz remained at 10,000 watts (with different directional patterns for day and night operation).

Rawlco acquired CFMC-FM from General Broadcasting Ltd. The purchase was approved by the CRTC on May 21.


Ottawa August 30, Rawlco Communications Ltd., on behalf of a company to be incorporated was authorized to acquire CJME and CIZL-FM Regina, and CKOM and CFMC-FM Saskatoon from Rawlco Communications Ltd. The new licensee would be Rawlco Communications (Sask.) Ltd.


Ken Crook was promoted from CKOM’s engineering department to the post of chief engineer at CFFR in Calgary.


Elmer Hildebrand, owner of CHSN-FM, entered into a Local Marketing Agreement with Rawlco Radio, owner of CKOM-AM and CFMC-FM. Rawlco ran the Hildebrand station as part of the agreement. It was now known as “102.1 The River”.

Saskatoon newsman Easten Waymand died at age 59. Over the years he had worked at CFQC-AM-TV, CKOM and CJWW.


CHSN-FM became CKOM-FM on September 8. The format (oldies) and personalities of CKOM-AM moved to the FM station as the AM adopted a news-talk format as CINT-AM “650 NTR” (NTR for News/Talk Radio).

Christina Cherneskey, who had been host of CJWW’s Let’s Talk Saskatchewan, moved to CKOM and its talk format. 


The LMA between Hildebrand and Rawlco was ended.


On December 21, Rawlco was authorized to purchase CKOM-FM from Elmer Hildebrand. 


In May, the Rawlco stations relocated to a new state of the art building overlooking the South Saskatchewan River…at 715 Saskatchewan Crescent West. CKOM had operated from 3333 8th Street East.


In February, CINT 650 returned to the CKOM call sign. CKOM-FM became CJDJ-FM.

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.


CKOM’s founder, Robert Allan (Bob) Hosie, passed away on January 30.


In September, CKOM became known as “News Talk 650”.  Much of its programming originated with Rawlco station CJME-AM in Regina.


Stu Ferguson joined AM 650 as director of talk programming. He had been with CFUN in Vancouver.


On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CKOM until August 31, 2016.

Former CKOM personality Mal Faris passed away.

Carissa Donaldson, general manager/general sales manager at CJAT-FM/CKKC/CFKC left in February to take a sales job with Rawlco Radio Saskatoon as of March 1. 

Jim Rendall died at the age of 58. The former radio host began his career at CHOW Welland in the early 1970s, moved to CKX Brandon and, in the late ‘70s, to CKOM Saskatoon. Later, he joined CFQC Saskatoon.


Bill Stovin passed away August 27. After the war, Bill helped set up CJBQ in Belleville. In 1959, he was hired to manage CKOM where he remained until his retirement in 1984.

Harvard Yorkton senior broadcast engineer Stew Ogilvie moved to Rawlco Saskatoon’s engineering team. 


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).

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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