On April 16, the CRTC licenced two new FM stations to serve Sydney and Cape Breton. One of the licences was awarded to Newcap Inc. Until now, there was only one commercial licensee serving the Sydney radio market, namely Maritime Broadcasting System Limited. It operated one FM and two AM stations, all of which covered the entire Cape Breton region. CKPE-FM offered an Adult Contemporary music format that generally appealed primarily to females aged between 35 and 54. CJCB offered a Country music format that usually captures a loyal audience of adults in the 25 to 54 demographic. CHER offered a Classics Hits music format, which served those between the ages of 25 and 54. The other new station licensed this date (to Barry Maxwell Martin) proposed to offer a Rock music format. Newcap's proposed station (CHRK-FM) would offer a Classic Rock/Mainstream Rock hybrid format targeted to a core audience of those aged between 25 and 54. It would broadcast on a frequency of 101.9 MHz and have an average effective radiated power of 57,000 watts.
Newcap received permission to change the authorized contours of CHRK-FM by moving to a new antenna site (from the CBC tower to the GLOBAL tower), increasing antenna height (from 122.7 metres to 169.6 metres) and changing the radiation pattern from directional to omni-directional. Maximum effective radiated power would remain 100,000 watts, but average ERP would increase from 57,000 watts to 58,000 watts.
On May 27 at 8:00 a.m., CHRK-FM - The Giant 101.9 - signed on the air with a Hot AC / Adult CHR format. Studios and offices were located at 5 Detheridge Drive, Unit 2, Sydney. Dave Newbury was general manager and Daryl Stevens was program director. On-air staff included Rob MacNamara (mornings - from CIGO Port Hakesbury), Tashia Lee (from CJFX Antigonish) and Scott Boyd (from ASN/CTV's Breakfast Television).
Dwayne Sawchyn was promoted to Regional Sales Manager, Newcap Maritimes (six markets with 10 stations in NS, NB and PEI), and was based in Halifax. He had been Retail Sales Supervisor at CFRQ-FM/CKUL-FM Darmouth/Halifax.
In June, 1019 The Giant (CHRK) welcomed Rob Calabrese to the afternoon drive position, taking over from Neil Spence who left for Live 105 (CKHY) in Halifax. Rob was at Glace Bay community radio station The Coast 89.7. Scott Boyd returned to The Big Breakfast with Rob, Scott and Tashia after a short illness.
It was announced that Dan Gallant, General Manager/General Sales Manager at 92.3 Fred FM would move within Newcap to launch the company's new Miramichi station. Succeeding Gallant in Fredericton would be Dave Newbury, moving from his GM position at The Giant Sydney. Succeeding Newbury as GM at The Giant and just-acquired 103.5 The Eagle - GSM Rob Redshaw.
Veteran broadcaster Scott Boyd announced in early April that he was leaving 1019 The Giant's Big Breakfast for opportunities outside radio. The long time television host had been a part of the original launch staff of The Giant in May 2008 and had been a big part of making the Big Breakfast the #1 morning show in Cape Breton since it's launch.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated May 2013