CHFT-FM, 100.5 Cruz FM, Fort McMurray
Harvard Broadcasting Inc.
On November 15, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. for the operation of a new FM station at Fort McMurray. There were nine applicants and three were approved. The Newcap station would broadcast on a frequency of 100.5 MHz and have an effective radiated power of 20,000 watts. It would offer a Classic Hits music format targeting listeners between 25 and 54 years of age, with a particular focus on listeners between 35 and 54 years of age, slightly skewed towards a male listening audience. The bulk of the music programming would be gold-based music from the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's. All programming broadcast on the proposed station during the broadcast week would be live-to-air. Newcap is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, which is ultimately controlled by Mr. Harold R. Steele. Newcap operates over 70 radio stations in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.
CHFT-FM "100.5 K-Rock" signed on the air at 1:00 p.m., June 16. Studios and offices were located at 9904 Franklin Avenue in Fort McMurray. Jay Lawrence was program director, Brad MacLauchlan was music director, and Andrew MacMullin was general sales manager.
On June 9, the CRTC approved the application by Newcap Inc. to change the authorized contours of the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CHFT-FM Fort McMurray by increasing the effective radiated power from 20,000 to 50,000 watts. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The licensee stated that the proposed change was necessary to improve reception to distant listeners and to remain competitive in the market.
Tim Weinberger became CHFT's general manager, succeeding Rick Colliou who moved to Newcap Red Deer/Alberta South, as general sales manager. Jay Lawrence became program director at VOCM St. John's (NL). He was in the unusual position of programming Newcap's 100.5 K-Rock Fort McMurray from his base at St. John's, and would continue to do so for the immediate future.
In March, Darrell Bezdietny became the chief engineer at CHFT.
It was announced that Ross Jacobs would join Newcap Radio on September 4, as General Manager/General Sales Manager, of the company's 100.5 KROCK Fort McMurray.
Tim Weinberger left K-Rock 100.5 where he had been General Manager and General Sales Manager. He became GSM at CHAT/CFMY/CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat. Weinberger's background included CKRD Red Deer, CFRN TV Edmonton and ITV Edmonton.
Leanne Osmond was appointed News Director at 100.5 K-Rock. She moved up from afternoon anchor.
On November 7, the CRTC approved the application by Harvard Broadcasting Inc. for authority to acquire from Newcap Inc. the assets of CHFT-FM.
It was announced that Ross Jacobs would become director of operations for Clear Sky Radio's two stations, CJOC-FM Lethbridge and CJCYFM Medicine Hat, effective December 1. He would move from his General Manager role at 100.5 K-Rock.
On December 26, CHFT flipped from Classic Rock "K-ROCK 100.5" to Classic Hits "100.5 Cruz FM".
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.