CFRI-FM

CFRI-FM, Free FM, Grande Prairie

Vista Broadcast Group Inc.

StationYearFreq.PowerOwner/Info
CFRI-FM
2007
104.7
100,000
Vista Radio Ltd.
2006

On November 15, Vista Radio Ltd. received approval to operate a new Classic Rock FM radio station in Grande Prairie. Competing applications by 1097282 Alberta, Newcap, O.K. Radio, Sun Country, Pattison, Crude and Standard were denied. The new station would broadcast over 104.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The Classic Rock format would appeal to listeners 35 to 44 years of age.

Vista is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vista Broadcast Group Inc. resulting from the amalgamation of Drew Media Inc., Boundary Broadcasting Ltd., Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc. and Valley Broadcasters Ltd. Vista is the licensee of a number of radio stations in British Columbia. 

2007

CFRI-FM “Free FM” signed on the air on March 30. At the start, it operated from temporary studios in a travel trailer until the completion of the permanent facilities at 11002 – 104 Avenue, Unit #1, were completed. The antenna was located on the CKUA-FM tower. The music format featured Classic Rock, Newer Rock and Country Rock.

2009

CFRI-FM “Free FM” signed on the air on March 30. At the start, it operated from temporary studios in a travel trailer until the completion of the permanent facilities at 11002 – 104 Avenue, Unit #1, were completed. The antenna was located on the CKUA-FM tower. The music format featured Classic Rock, Newer Rock and Country Rock.

2010

Free Fm lost two valued employees. Producer/announcer Samantha Malott moved to Jet Fm in Courtney. In the newsroom, Erika Hinze moved to CTN in Vancouver. Humber College graduate Taylor Landry was welcomed to the Team as producer / announcer. Sara War joined the news department from CTV.

2011

Program Director Kiel Kelly, after four years at FREE FM, resigned.

2012

Free FM midday host/producer Taylor Landry left the station for Q101 in Merritt. J.C. Coutts moved from Mix 100 Yellowknife to become program director and operations manager at 104.7 FREE FM. His first day was March 2. 

104.7 FREE FM announced that Nancy Slater would be joining the team as the new afternoon drive host. Nancy would be joined by co-host J.C. Coutts weekday afternoons from 2:00 to 6 p.m. Nancy had been with FM96 in Kingston. Her first day with FREE FM and Vista Radio would be June 25.

It was announced that Vista President Terry Coles would move into retirement at the end of 2012 and immediately into a consulting role with the company. His successor would be CEO Margot Micallef who would handle the dual roles of President/CEO. Bryan Edwards moves to Senior VP of Business Development. Vista Kelowna General Manager/General Sales Manager Ross Hawse would become the Director Western Operations. Gary Russell, Vista's Director of Systems and GM of Vista Prince George, would integrate Haliburton and Vista in Ontario as the Director of Integration and Operations, Vista East. Co-Founder/Executive VP Paul Mann would add Senior VP of Sales and Training and Development to his duties. Assisting him would be Tracey Gard, the GM/GSM of the Cariboo Group of Vista stations, as Director Vista Sales, West and based in Courtenay. The former finance executive at Corus and Telemedia, Chris Lecomte joined Vista as Senior VP/CFO, based in Toronto.

The CRTC approved a change to the effective control of Vista Radio Ltd. from a control exercised by its board of directors to a control exercised by Westerkirk Capital Inc., a corporation controlled by Thomson Investments Limited. Vista Radio Ltd. was the licensee of radio programming undertakings located in British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

It was announced in December that two new members would be joining the Free FM team: Chance Peterson and Deanna Snyder. Chance and Deanna were coming directly from Algonquin College's radio broadcasting course in Ottawa. Chance began his career with Free FM in late December as the new evening announcer and producer. Deanna was scheduled to join the station on January 7 (2013) as an intern. Her duties would include swing announcer and promotions coordinator. Other changes at Free FM: Shawna Prince moved from middays to morning co-host while J.C. Coutts replaced Uncle Scotty (now with Vista Campbell River) as host of the Wake-Up Call. Nancy Slater was now flying solo weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. and Liz McKinney came on board to host the midday show.

2014

Nicole Lester, with Vista Radio since 2009, and GM/GSM at FREE FM, resigned. She planned to pursue other opportunities. 

FREE FM changed format and its ID to 2dayFM with an Adult CHR format.

The story continues elsewhere...
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