CJWF-FM, Country 95.9, Windsor
Blackburn Radio Inc.
On May 9, the CRTC approved the application by Blackburn Radio Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new FM radio station to serve Windsor. The Commission also approved the applicant's request for an exemption from the regulatory requirement regarding the level of hit material that may be broadcast. Blackburn owns and operates various AM and FM radio programming undertakings in Chatham, Leamington, Sarnia and Wingham. For its station CKUE-FM Chatham, Blackburn also operates the rebroadcasting transmitter CKUE-FM-1 Windsor. The applicant proposed to establish an English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Windsor that would operate at 95.9 MHz (channel 240B1) with an average ERP of 3,550 watts. The proposed station would offer a New Country music format targeting listeners between 35 and 64 years of age, with a core audience 35 to 44 years of age, skewed slightly towards women. Blackburn indicated that at least 120 hours of each broadcast week would be devoted to local programming and that, by condition of licence, 11 hours and 13 minutes of each broadcast week would be devoted to spoken word programming. Of the latter, 6 hours and 42 minutes would consist of news and related surveillance material, of which, by condition of licence, four hours and eight minutes would be news. Blackburn also requested an exemption from the regulatory requirement regarding the level of hit material that it is permitted to broadcast, set out in Public Notice 1997-42.7 It proposed instead that up to 100% of its music programming be comprised of hit material. The Commission considered that Blackburn's proposal for a local country music station represented a viable business opportunity that would add diversity to the Windsor radio market and that could repatriate Windsor area residents who tune in to Detroit area stations. Further, the Commission noted that Blackburn's proposal would introduce a new Canadian news voice to the Windsor radio market, and considered that the applicant's proposed levels of spoken word and news programming would ensure an additional source of Canadian radio programming in Windsor. In addition, the Commission considered that Blackburn's regional presence would allow for economies of scale in the highly competitive Windsor radio market dominated by CTV. Finally, Blackburn committed to devote, over and above the basic annual contribution to CCD, a total of $1,001,000 to CCD over seven consecutive broadcast years. The licence would expire 31 August 2014.
CJWF-FM signed on the air November 16 after testing its signal since September (began September 22). It was known on air as "FM 95-9". On-air line-up at the start: Mitch & Melanie with Mitch O'Connor and Melanie Deveau - mornings, Houida Kassem - mid-days, Reg Winters - afternoon drive and The Casey Clarke - evenings. Rod Martens and Tim O'Neill do weekend and fill-in work. Rod Martens is program director. Studios and offices were at 2090 Wyandotte Street East in Windsor.