CFVR-FM, Mix 103.7, Fort McMurray
Harvard Broadcasting Inc.
On November 15, Harvard Broadcasting Inc. received approval to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio station in Fort McMurray. It beat out eight other applicants. The new station would operate on a frequency of 103.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 20,000 watts. The station would primarily offer an Adult Contemporary music format targeting listeners between 25 and 54 years of age, in the evening turning to a Top-40 format targeting listeners younger than 25 years of age.
Harvard is a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. Frederick W. Hill and owns CFWF-FM, CHMX-FM and CKRM, all of which serve Regina, Saskatchewan, and has been granted a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio station in Calgary.
On December 10, CFVR-FM received approval to make the following technical changes: effective radiated power would go from 20,000 watts horizontal & vertical to 20,000 watts horizontal and 8,800 watts vertical. The pattern would continue to be non-directional. Antenna height from a new location would increase from 54.0 metres to 81.4 metres.
CFVR-FM "Mix 103.7" signed on the air with a Hot AC format on January 14 at 7:00 a.m. Studios and offices were located at 9904 Franklin Avenue.
On December 16, the CRTC approved the application by Harvard Broadcasting Inc. to change the authorized contours of the radio programming undertaking CFVR-FM Fort McMurray, Alberta by increasing the effective radiated power from 20 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The licensee requested this power increase following the publication of the Department of Industry's Gazette Notice No. SMBR-003-08 - Changes to the Domestic Protection Criteria for FM Broadcast Stations. In support of its request, the licensee submitted that the proposed changes would improve its service to the expanding community of Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo and ensure that it remains competitive by offering the same signal reach as its competitors.
Trent Allen became program director at Mix 103.7. He had been music director and PM drive announcer at sister station Lite 92 FM in Regina.
Christian Hall, in addition to his responsibilities as Program Director/Operations Manager at X92.9, became Program Manager for the Harvard Alberta Radio cluster.
Jason Huschi was promoted from his general manager/general sales manager position at MIX 103 FM Fort McMurray to general manager of Harvard Broadcasting's Regina radio cluster. Gemma Howard was appointed Mix 103's station engineer. She transferred from Rawlco Radio Price Albert. Don Grose became general manager/ general sales manager at Mix 103.7. He had been with CHUM Radio Halifax.
The CRTC approved the change to the effective control of Harvard Broadcasting Inc. from Frederick W. Hill to Paul J. Hill following the death of Frederick W. Hill in July 2008. Harvard was the licensee of radio stations and the parent company of two other licensees of radio stations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Darrell Bezdietny was the new broadcast engineer at CFVR. Between 2007 and 2010, he had been assistant engineer with CHUM Radio (Bell Media) Winnipeg.
Wallis Snowdon was promoted to News Director at MIX 103.7.
In early May an out of control wildfire caused the evacuation of Fort McMurray’s 80,000 residents. Rogers-owned Country 93.3 and Rock 97.9 were forced to carry programming from out of market sister stations in the early going. Harvard stations Mix 103.7 and 100.5 Cruz FM were off the air for a time with staff providing updates on social media and out of market sister station programming. Mix 103.7 and 100.5 CRUZ FM returned to the air May 24. Being named an essential service by the Regional Municipality, the stations received early access to the city. The rest of the staff would be allowed to return June 15. The stations had been evacuated in early May.