CJMK-FM, 98 Cool, Saskatoon
Saskatoon Media Group
On March 13, the CRTC approved the application by Elmer Hildebrand (on behalf of a company to be incorporated) for a new FM station at Saskatoon. Competing applications by Forvest Broadcasting Corp. and Rawlco Communications (Sask.) Ltd. were turned down. Hildebrand proposed classic rock format, targetted to an audience aged 18-54. It was proposed to have the station operate on a frequency of 106.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. Industry Canada found, however, that these technical parameters could not be given technical certification. The applicant was directed to seek an alternate frequency.
On October 5, approval came for a change of frequency for the proposed new station, from 106.7 MHz to 98.3 MHz. Effective radiated power would be 100,000 watts.
On December 21, Forvest Broadcasting Corp. was given approval to sell CJWW-AM and CFQC-FM to Elmer Hildebrand Communications Inc. Hildebrand already owned CJMK-FM and CKOM-FM in Saskatoon. On the same date, approval was granted for the sale of CKOM-FM to Rawlco Inc.
CJMK-FM "Magic 98.3" signed on the air May 18. It was the first new radio station in the city since 1990. Studios and offices were in a 12,000 square foot, 2-storey building beside the South Saskatchewan River in downtown Saskatoon (345-4th Avenue South). CJWW has been in the building since 1980 and CFQC-FM moved into the facility in 1995. The city's four commercial FM stations (including CJMK) share a co-owned tower and transmitter facility 12 kilometres east of town.
Magic 98.3 targeted an audience in the 25-54 age range with an Adult Contemporary music format. CJMK was to have been a rock station but one month before it went on the air a competitor switched from Oldies/AC to Rock. The new station had to come up with a different format as a result. Magic 98.3 was known as "Saskatoon's Perfect Music Mix".
The Hildebrand Saskatoon stations had a total staff (including part-timers) of 60 once CJMK went on the air. Vic Dubois, former president of Forvest Broadcasting Corp., was general manager of CJMK-FM, CJWW and CFQC-FM. Magic 98.3's morning show was hosted by Steve Chisholm and Patti Mertz.
Ken McFarlane became general sales manager for CJWW/Hot 93/Magic 98.3. He had been with Rawlco Radio in Regina.
On February 1, CJWW, CFQC and CJMK moved to new studios and offices located at 366 - 3rd Avenue South.
Sister station CFQC-FM became CKBL-FM in November.
629112 Saskatchewan Ltd. (division of Hildebrand Communications) became Saskatoon Media Group.
In January CJMK 98.3 changed format from Classic Hits/Hot AC to Adult Contemporary. It continued to use the Magic 98.3 slogan.
Saskatoon's At Work Radio Station Magic 98.3 announced Gregger would join Steve Chisholm and Vanese Ferguson weekday mornings starting at 6 am. Gregger had spent most of his career with Rawlco Radio. Shannon Nelson had left the station's morning show.
Eldon Duchscher, after 21 years with the Saskatoon Media Group (the last few years as News Director), gave up that position to move to Calgary. His last day was June 30. The News Director position at CJWW Country 600/Magic 98.3/92.9 The Bull was filled by Vanese Ferguson.
Jason Lee, who hosted the PM drive show at CJWW, was now also Music Director. He succeeded mid-day announcer Jay Richards in the MD role since Richards succeeded Jeff Hayes as Saskatoon Media Group Community Relations Director. Also at SMG, Heather Morrison was the new afternoon drive host at MAGIC 98.3 FM. She filled the other half of Jeff Hayes' responsibilities. Hayes moved to sales. Landen Young was now doing afternoon drive at 92.9 The BULL Saskatoon. He was doing evenings on MAGIC 98.3. Andrew Beckler joined 92.9 The BULL for mid-days, moving from The Goat Lloydminster.
At 1:00 p.m., January 17, CJMK-FM changed format from Adult Contemporary "Magic 98.3" to Classic Hits as "98 Cool".