CFIT-FM, Air 106.1, Airdrie
Golden West Broadcasting
Tiessen Media Inc
On August 2, Tiessen Media Inc. received approval for an FM station at Airdrie, with a transmitter in Cochrane. Tiessen proposed the use of 106.1 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 3,600 watts (6,000 watts maximum) at Airdrie. The Cochrane transmitter would operate on 99.1 MHz with average ERP of 15 watts. The CRTC awarded the use of frequency 99.1 MHz to the CBC so Tiessen was advised to seek an alternate channel. The station would offer an Eclectic Adult Contemporary music format that would feature a blend of pop, soft rock, country and roots-oriented music and artists designed to appeal to listeners between 25 and 54 years of age. Telus Mobility towers would be used at both locations for antenna sites. Antenna height would be 35 meters at Airdrie and 116.5 meters at Cochrane.
On December 18, CFIT-FM Airdrie was authorized to reduce average effective radiated power from 3,600 watts to 3,000 watts. Maximum power would remain 6,000 watts. The antenna site would also be changed.
On February 12, Tiessen Media received approval for the use of frequency 95.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100 watts for CFIT’s Cochrane transmitter.
CFIT-FM (“The Range – Your Perfect Music Mix”) signed on the air April 12th at 10:06 a.m., serving Airdrie, Cochrane and the MD of Rocky View. The station offered local community news, information and a perfect music mix! CFIT provided the first local radio service to these communities. Studios and offices were located at 159B East Lake Blvd., Airdrie.
Jamie Tiessen owned Tiessen Media Inc., a private company. Mr. Tiessen was actively involved in the Okotoks Community, as a Town Councillor.
On March 9, CFIT-FM was authorized to change the frequency of CFIT-FM-1 Cochrane from 95.3 to 91.5 MHz and to increase antenna height (EHAAT) from 42 metres to 135 metres. The change took place later in the year.
The CRTC approved the change to the ownership and effective control of Tiessen Media Inc. through the transfer of the shares of Jamie Tiessen in Tiessen Media Inc. to Goldwest Broadcasting Ltd., a corporation controlled by Elmer Hildebrand. Tiessen Media Inc. was the licensee of CFIT-FM.
On September 8, the CRTC approved an application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. to change the authorized contours of CFIT-FM by increasing the average effective radiated power from 3,000 watts to 60,000 watts (maximum ERP from 6,000 watts to 100,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 40 metres). The licensee indicated that a better signal within the area already served and a slight expansion to the north and east of Airdrie would help the station realize its potential. The Commission noted that, as a result of this technical change, the potential listenership would increase from 30,814 to 49,255 persons in the 3 mV/m contour and from 87,982 to 894,133 persons in the 0.5 mV/m contour. This significant increase in population would be due to the 0.5 mV/m contour encompassing the city of Calgary. The Commission reminded Golden West of its commitment to provide a local radio service to the communities it was licensed to serve. The Commission therefore expected the licensee to maintain its focus on local programming for Airdrie. The Commission also noted the overlap of the new CFIT-FM contours with the Calgary market. Even if no interventions were received from licensees in Calgary, in order to ensure that the licensee directed its programming to the market it was licensed to serve, it would be subject to the following condition of licence: The licensee shall not solicit or accept advertising from the city of Calgary as identified by Statistics Canada.
CFIT-FM (and CFIT-1 Cochrane) rebranded from "The Range" to "Air 106.1". The format remained Hot Adult Contemporary.
Ron Zuke was appointed Station Manager & General Sales Manager in September. He was transferred from CHOO Drumheller after launching that station in 2009
Kevin Wallace joined Air 106 as program director. He had been with CJOB Winnipeg.
In April, CFIT-FM moved to new downtown studios at Unit 30 & 40, 105 Main Street North.
In January, Golden West’s application to switch a 100-watt Cochrane repeater of CFIT to a 4,800-watt standalone station was denied by the CRTC. Intervenors were concerned GWB was attempting to gain entry to the Calgary radio market. GWB said its intention was to provide intense, Cochrane-focused programming.