CHHI-FM, Sun FM, Miramichi
Stingray Group Inc.
On May 18, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio station to serve Miramichi. Newcap proposed to offer a Country music format targeted to listeners between the ages of 24 and 54 years with a core audience skewed slightly to women aged 35 to 45 years. The station would broadcast 126 hours of local programming each broadcast week, including 13 hours and 7 minutes of spoken word programming, of which 3 hours would be dedicated to pure news. The new station would operate on 95.9 MHz (channel 240B1) with an average effective radiated power of 11,000 watts (maximum ERP of 25,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 85.8 metres). The licence would expire August 31, 2018.
CHHI-FM "Sun FM" signed on the air May 6 at 9:59 a.m. with a Hot Adult Contemporary format. The first moments on the air included a feature that talked about the history of Miramichi, Newcap, the station and its on-air personalities. The first song heard was Pink's Raise Your Glass. CHHI had applied to operate with a Country format but switched to Hot AC prior to signing on. This was a result of a change of format by competitor CFAN-FM, from Adult Contemporary to Country.
Dan Gallant was General Manager and General Sales Manager. Mel Sampson was Program Director and mid-day on-air host.
On October 23, the CRTC approved an application by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, on behalf of Newcap Inc. and its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, for authorization to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of various radio and television broadcasting undertakings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, so that effective control of the undertakings would be exercised by Eric Boyko (Stingray Digital Group Inc.). Stingray took ownership of the stations just a few days later.