Ontario, Northern Ontario

CKGB-FM (KISS FM), Timmins

, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.

1933
Roy H. Thomson started CKGB on September 15. Another date given for the station’s launch was December 7. CKGB operated on 1420 kHz with a power of 100 watts.

1936
CKGB 1420 was noted as having studios and offices in the Press Building, and was an affiliate of the new CBC network.

1937
Dan Carr started his radio career at CKGB.

1938
Murray Morrison (new to radio) joined the CKGB announce staff. Sturdee Jarvis, formerly of CKCL Toronto was named head of production at CKGB. Don Copeland left CKGB to be special events and news commentator at CFCO Chatham. 

CKGB received approval to change frequency from 1420 to 1440 kHz and to increase power from 100 to 1,000 watts. A new RCA transmitter was ordered and there would be an entirely new plant. Management hoped to have all of this ready for a May 1 launch.

1938-39
Northern Broadcasting purchased two Lingo vertical radiators - one each for CKGB and CJKL.

1939
A fire on April 2 wrecked the studio and office building of CKGB and the Timmins Daily Press, causing the station to be off the air for two days. All of the broadcast equipment and two transcription libraries were damaged. Auxiliary equipment, including some for the new 1,000 watt transmitter to be installed soon, were utilized at new quarters in the Sky Building, enabling CKGB to return to the air early on April 4.

On May 1, CKGB moved from 1420 to 1440 kHz.

A print ad for CKGB and CJKL promoted the fact the stations hoped to increase power to 1,000 watts on September 1.

Because of the outbreak of war, all work stopped on the new plant for CKGB and the Timmins Daily Press. Construction had reached the point of completing the basement and part of the first floor.

Former CKGB manager Fred Darling and engineer Ed Ryan were now working at the new CKVD in Val d'Or. Bob Kesten (formerly with CKCL Toronto) was appointed CKGB's program director.

Roy Thomson combined his newspaper and radio interests into one company - Northern Broadcasting and Publishing Ltd. Jack Cooke, Northern Broadcasting's sales manager for three years, was appointed general manager of the broadcasting division.

George Brown (new to radio) became an operator at CKGB. Dan Carr moved from CKGB's announce staff to the post of sales manager. Sonya Barnett, continuity writer at CFCH North Bay, moved to CKGB. Julian Garson, announcer at CHML Hamilton joined the CKGB announce staff. Bill Wren, former manager of CKGB was appointed editor of the TImmins Daily Press.

Building of the CKGB/newspaper building, halted at the start of the war, resumed in the fall. It was hoped construction would be complete in the spring of 1940. Three studios, control room, offices and the news room of the newspaper would occupy the second floor.

CKGB began using its new 1,000 watt transmitter on November 15.

1940
Cy Strange was an announcer at CKGB. Hal Lawrence joined CKGB as a news editor. He had been with Hamilton's CHML. Lloyd Monk joined CKGB as music librarian. He had been program director at CKCR Kitchener. Vernon Carter was now in sales and promotions at CKGB. He had been on the announcing staff at CKCL Toronto.

On October 14, CKGB celebrated the official opening of the new Thompson Building, home to the CKGB studios, with an open house and public dance.

CKGB installed a theatre-type marquee on its new studio building. The neon-lit sign provided space for daily big-letter listing of the standout national network programs of each evening.

1940-41
Gordon Keeble joined CKGB's announce staff from CFCH North Bay.

1941
Under the Havana Treaty CKGB moved from 1440 to 1470 kHz (Class III-B) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.

Roy Hofstetter joined the CKGB staff. Jim Book left CKGB for the engineering department at CKSO Sudbury. Program director Fred Darling left CKGB for the sales staff of CJIC Sault Ste. Marie. He was succeeded by Lloyd Monk, CKGB's music librarian. Fen Job joined the CKGB announcing staff from WHLS Port Huron. He had previously worked at Hamilton's CKOC. Also new to the announce staff was Jack Russell, formerly of CKCR Kitchener. Jean Legault left CKGB to be manager of Roy Thomson's newly acquired CKRN Rouyn. Commercial manager Murray Morrison also left CKGB for CKRN (same title). Tom Holup, formerly engineer at CJRM Regina and CKSO Sudbury, joined CKGB as control engineer. Norm Chaplin, Radio College of Canada graduate, was appointed transmitter engineer of CKGB and Vance Rafuse was named assistant engineer. Hal Lawrence left CKGB as news editor and announcer to freelance in Toronto. Fred Darling returne as manager of CKGB, succeeding Jack Cooke, general manager of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing.

1942
Harrison Flint was appointed program director of CKGB. Cyril King and Fred Darling joined the CKGB announce staff. The former came from CJKL Kirkland Lake. Fred Darling was CKGB's special events man. Wilfred "Doc" Lindsey became CKGB's production manager. He had been with Metropolitan Broadcasting Service in Toronto. Doc would also be production chief for all of Northern's stations. Murray Morrison was CKGB's manager. Ted Moro was commercial manager. Gordon Keeble left CKGB for CBC Toronto. Cliff Wingrove started in the radio business at CKGB as a salesman. Roy Hofstetter left CKGB for the brand new CKWS in Kingston.

1942-43
K.B. (Kenny) Crossley joined CKGB as an announcer.

1943
Roy H. Thomson & Jack K. Cooke formed National Broadcast Sales to represent CKGB, CJKL, CFCH, CKRN, CKVD, CHAD, CHEX and CKWS.

1944
Kondrick B. Crossley left CKGB where he had been senior announcer. He moved on to be program director of CKRN Rouyn, CKVD Val d'Or and CHAD Amos.

Manager Ted Morrow left CKGB for National Broadcast Sales. Announcer Norman Palmer left CKGB for CKLW Windsor. Announcer John Knox joined CKGB after being transferred from CKRN Rouyn. H. Harrison Flint left CKGB to become station manager at the soon to open CKSF in Cornwall.

Paul Mulvihill joined CKGB from S.S. Kresge Co. He became commercial manager eight months later.

1945
Jack Davidson, manager of CKWS, was appointed supervisor of stations operated by Northern Broadcasting & Publishing (CKGB, CJKL, CFCH, CHEX and CKWS).

CBC Trans-Canada Basic stations: CJCB, CBH, CBA, CHSJ, CFNB, CBO, CKWS, CBL, CKSO, CFCH, CJKL, CKGB, CKPR, CBM, CKY, CBK, CJCA, CFAC, CJOC, CFJC, CKOV, CJAT, CBR.

Robert Hart became CKGB's program director. He had worked in the past for CJKL Kirkland Lake and CKCR Kitchener. Claude Irvin was added to the station's sales staff. H.C. Freeman was manager and Al Huggins was commercial manager. Marion Brown joined CKGB as a control operator. Harry O'Donnell joined CKGB's announce staff after serving with the army. He had worked in the past for CKY and CBM. Mark Starbird joined CKGB's announce staff. He had worked for CKBI in Prince Albert and CKCK Regina. Dave Wilson returned to CKGB's announce staff after recovering from an army ailment.

Roy H. Thomson was president of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Ltd. S.F. Chapman was secretary treasurer. Harvey Freeman was CKGB's manager, Bob Hart was program director, and Claude Irvine was commercial manager. Jack Davidson was supervisor of the Northern stations.

1945-46
John Size joined the CKGB announcing staff. He had worked with CKOC Hamilton and CFCO Chatham. Announcer Neil Tracy left CKGB for CHEX in Peterborough.

1946
An ad for CKGB stated that an unusual mineral formation makes it impossible to hear outside radio stations in the area during many hours of the day. This "blank-out" has helped CKGB gain one of the highest ratings of any station in Canada...73,870 listeners in the Porcupine Gold Mining district...that includes Timmins, Schumacher, South Porcupine, Iroquois Falls, Matheson, Cochrane, Kapuskasing, Hearst and intervening towns.

The transmitter site was noted as being at Cook's Lake, six miles from Timmins. CKGB was on the air from 7:30 a.m. to midnight (8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sundays).

In October, Paul Mulvihill was transferred to National Broadcast Sales in Toronto.
Bud Hall joined CKGB's announce staff. Allan Watson and Sid King became CKGB announcers. Both were new to radio. Jim Kirkpatrick became CKGB's program director, replacing Bob Hart who moved to the new station in Sarnia. Harry Edgar of CKWS Kingston took over as commercial manager of CKGB.

1947
Mat Morrison joined the announce staff of CKGB. Art Laing was an announcer at CKGB. Gerry Hall was in the sales department. Gordon Allen was an announcer at CKGB. H.C. Freeman was manager and Harry Edgar was commercial manager.

Stations of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Co. of Timmins were granted licenses to operate FM stations. All would have a power of 250 watts: CHNB North Bay (CFCH-AM), CHKL Kirkland Lake (CJKL-AM), CKRT Timmins (CKGB-AM) and CKEX Peterborough (CHEX-AM). CHNB and CHKL would use RCA equipment. CKRT and CKEX would use GE equipment. The Timmins station would operate on 94.5 MHz with 250 watts of power.

CKGB was officially operating at 5,000 watts of power on 680 kHz as of February 1st.

1948

Paul Mulvihill left CKGB to work for co-owned National Broadcast Sales in Toronto. Ernie Courtney was program director. Gerry Lauzon was women's commentator. H.C. Freeman was manager and Harry McLay was sales manager. Sales manager Harry McLoy left for National Broadcast Sales in Toronto.

The FM station was now known as CKGB-FM.

1949
Cecil Linder was an announcer at CKGB. Ed Bowser was commercial manager.

1950-51
Approval was given for the transfer 1,530 shares of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFCH, CJKL and CKGB) with no change of control.

1951
The recapitalization of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFCH, CJKL and CKGB) with 4,500 preferred and 100,000 common shares was approved by the CBC Board.

1952
Harvey Freeman was manager.

The CBC Board approved the issuance of 1,000 preferred shares and the transfer of 642 35/50 preferred shares in Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd.

1953
Roy H. Thomson, president of Canadian Press and owner of CKGB, CJKL and CFCH, was elected president of the newly formed CP subsidiary, Broadcast News Ltd. The new company specialized in news for Canadian radio and TV stations.

Harvey C. Freeman was appointed station supervisor of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. For the past 11 years he had been manager of CKGB Timmins. Succeeding him as CKGB's manager was Jack Pollie, program director and recently promotion manager of CKWS Kingston. Pollie had started in radio in Ottawa and returned home to Kingston 8 years ago and had been associated with CKWS over the time. Northern's general manager, Jack Davidson, would continue in that position along with his duties as executive assistant to the president of the Thomson Co. Ltd., which controlled by Roy Thomson's publishing interests.

Approval was given to change the licensee name for CKGB from Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Timmins Broadcasting Ltd., with no change of control.

1954
Ad: 21 years loyal listening - CKGB radio's North Star sells your product.

CKGB manager John Pollie applied for a radio station at Smiths Falls.

1955
Gerald Beland was a technician at CKGB.

The CBC Board of Governors approved the transfer of control of Roy Thomson's northern Ontario stations as follows: CJKL from Kirkland Lake Broadcasting Ltd. to Mrs. Irma Jacqueline Elliott (Roy's daughter); CFCH from Northern Broadcasting Ltd. to Mrs. Phyllis Audrey Campbell (Roy's daughter); and CKGB from Timmins Broadcasting Ltd. to Kenneth Roy Thomson (Roy's son).

W. Wally Rewegan became CKGB's manager on June 1.

Slogans: If your sales need HELP in the North - try RADIO - it sells - CKGB Timmins, CJKL Kirkland Lake, CFCH North Bay. / Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Timmins, Cochrane, Rouyn-Noranda, North Bay. Sell the NORTH with RADIO! CKGB Timmins, CJKL Kirkland Lake, CFCH North Bay.

1957
J. M. Davidson, general manager of Northern Broadcasting Ltd. announced the appointment of Gerry Hall as manager of CKGB. He replaced Wally Rewegan who was transferred to CKWS Radio in Kingston. Hall had been CKGB's commercial manager. He's replaced in that position by Gino Cicci.

CKGB moved to 680 kHz on February 1. Power increased to 5,000 watts full-time (directional at night).

CKGB operated as a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate and was owned by Timmins Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (K. R. Thomson 91.46%, C. N. Thomson 8.31%, S. F. Chapman 0.22%, and J. J. Stephenson 0.01%).

Kenneth R. Thomson was president of the company. Gerry Hall was CKGB's manager. William Nadeau was program director. Lou Schaffer was news and farm director. Ernie Mott was chief engineer and Doug McCormick was chief operator.

Slogan for CKGB-CJKL-CFCH: From Huntsville to Hearst...There are 307,000 people. CKGB Timmins, CJKL Kirkland Lake, CFCH North Bay, reaches 'em all!

1960
RCA announced the completion of the engineering assignment in Timmins, bringing into operation CKGB's 10,000 watts of power on 680 kHz.

Jim Prince was news director, Bill Nadeau was program director and Gerry Hall was general manager.

1962

CKGB remained a CBC affiliate following the consolidation of the Trans-Canada and Dominion networks into a single service.

1965
K. R. Thomson was President of Timmins Broadcasting Ltd. while Gerry Hall was CKGB's General Manager. Don Kelly was program director, Grant Chevrette was news director and Mike Doody was sports director. Andy Andrews was chief engineer.

CKGB 680 now had a full-time power of 10,000 watts.

1967
Don Lawrie was director of broadcast operations for Northern Broadcasting.

1968
David Shulman was appointed promotion manager at CFCH-AM-TV. He had been with CKKW Kitchener. Shulman would be responsible for promotions CFCH-TV and Trinor Radio (CFCH, CKGB, CJKL and CJTT). Reg Carne was manager of Northern Broadcasting Ltd. and CFCH-AM-TV.

1969
CJKL, CFCH and CKGB were known as Trinor Radio.

It was announced that the broadcast interests of Lord Roy Thomson and the late Senator Rupert Davies' families would be sold to Bushnell TV Co. Ltd. of Ottawa (CJOH-TV). The plan was subject to CRTC approval. The sale would include CKWS-AM-FM-TV Kingston, CHEX-AM-FM-TV Peterborough, CFCH-AM-TV North Bay, CKGB-AM-FM Timmins and CJKL Kirkland Lake.

1970
On July 6, the Thomson and Davies families were given permission to sell their stations to Bushnell Communications Ltd. of Ottawa. The sale included Timmins Broadcasting Ltd., along with stations in Peterborough, Kingston, Kirkland Lake and North Bay. The sale was conditional on the transfer of CFCH-AM-TV North Bay & Cablevue to another party. The sale to Bushnell was never completed.

1972
On December 28, the sale of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (including CKGB) by Lord Thomson to Jack Schoone, J. Irving Zucker and Robert Ancell  (Eastern Broadcasting) was approved.

1973
In September, CKGB went to a 24 hour format. Nick Harris was Program Director. Don Coles was morning man. Alan Thom was morning man. Craig Albert was news director. Bob Crowse was part of the news team. Joe Putos was the station's first all night disc jockey.

1976
Sister station CKGB-FM became CFTI-FM.

Steve Howe joined as sports director from CJBK London, in August.

1977
Steve Howe left for CKDK (CKOX) Woodstock, and Mike Wilmot joined from Woodstock. Michael Armstrong (Steve Ray) joined CKGB as news director. He had held the same position at CFCH in North Bay.

1978
Mike Wilmot left for CKJD Sarnia. Joe Evans (Pat McNorgan) joined from CFOX Montreal for PM Drive, and to be program director.

1979
Joe Evans left for CKLW Windsor. Michael Armstrong left CKGB for CKO-FM in Toronto.

1980
On February 28, approval was given for the transfer of CJCS Ltd. (CJCS Stratford), Midland-Penetang Broadcasting Ltd. (CKMP Midland), and Orillia Broadcasting Ltd. (CFOR Orillia) by Ranger Communications Ltd., and for the transfer of CKGB/CFTI-FM (Timmins Broadcasting Ltd.) Timmins and CFCH/CKAT-FM (Northern Ontario Broadcasting Ltd.) North Bay by Northern Broadcast Management Ltd. (owned by Eastern Broadcasting), to 93238 Canada Inc. 93238 was indirectly controlled by Philippe de Gaspe Beaubien. He controlled Telemedia Communications. Other shareholders in 93238 Canada Inc. were Ralph Burford (20%) and Keith Campbell (15%). Five per-cent of the shares were issued to senior officers. Keith Campbell was president of the new company, which promised to upgrade news service on the stations and make use of a Telemedia mobile unit to record local talent. Ranger also sold CKDK Woodstock to Gordon V. Marratto.

Gord Williams was the evening announcer.

1981
Following the purchase by Telemedia of Foster Hewitt's CKFH, and its renaming to CJCL, the Toronto station began feeding newscasts four times a day to the other Telemedia Ontario stations, while exchanging news with the company's Quebec network.

With the addition of the Ontario stations, Telemedia claimed to be the world's largest privately-owned broadcast group. President of the Ontario group of stations was John Van de Kamer. Leslie Sole was vice president of programming (Ontario), and Gary Hooper was in charge of engineering for Telemedia Ontario.

CKGB was given permission to change frequency from 680 to 730 kHz and to increase power to 25,000 watts. This change was to facilitate CFTR Toronto's (also on 680 kHz) proposal to increase night-time power to 50,000 watts from a new transmitter site at Grimsby.

On-air line-up: Ron Smith (6-10), John Van Esch (10-3), Dave Edwards (3-7), Peter Gray (7-12) and Rick James (12-6). The news team included Rich Horner, Kevin Kane, Chris Rusica, Chris Russell, and Al Rutherford (sports).

1982
On June 7, CKGB received permission to move its transmitter site from Pine Street South in Ogdin Township to Dalton Road, Concession 1, Mountjoy Township.

On June 14, CFTI-FM was authorized to reduce the amount of CBC programming it carried. It was noted at this time that CKGB-AM was still airing about four hours of CBC programming per week – this was in addition to what CFTI aired. Both stations would be allowed to disaffiliate from the network once the CBC’s own FM rebroadcaster signed on the air in Timmins.

1984
On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CKGB, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League.

On May 8, CKGB was authorized to drop its CBC Radio affiliation as network service was now available in the area from CBC-owned CBCJ-FM.

On November 7, CKGB moved to 750 kHz with 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night (full-time), using three 300 foot (82.3 degrees E.H.) towers. Two towers were used during the day and three at night.

1985
Steve Matthews joined the news department.


1986
Steve Matthews left.

1986-87
Heather Thompson left CKGB as news director and was replaced by Bob MacIntyre from CFCH North Bay.

1987
Ann Brillinger was CKGB's controller and had been with the company since Roy Thomson owned it.

1988
Bob McIntyre was news director at CKGB/CFTI-FM.

1990
On April 2, CKGB switched from Contemporary to Country music. This was the result of sister station CFTI-FM switching from Country to Pop and Hard Rock.

1992
Sister station CFTI-FM became CJQQ-FM.

1997
Sean Roscitti was the new morning host at CKGB-FM.

1998
Dave Palmer became morning announcer at CKGB. He had been with CKAP in Kapuskasing.

2000
By this time, CKGB and CJQQ-FM were operating from studios and offices located at 260 Second Avenue.

2001
On March 2, the CRTC approved the covnersion of CKGB from AM to FM. The new station operated on 99.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 40,000 watts. Antenna height would be 162 metres.

CKGB-FM  began broadcasting in August but instead of continuing the AM country format as proposed, the station went with the popular Telemedia “EZ Rock” format (“99.3 EZ Rock”).

Telemedia Radio VP Braden Doerr, most recently vice president of the Ontario regional group, assumed responsibility for the Southern Ontario cluster (London, Hamilton and St. Catharines). Rick Doughty, VP of Telemedia Northern Ontario (Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Pembroke and Orillia) would continue in that assignment but also added responsibilities as a member of the executive committee of the Ontario division, reporting to Claude Beaudoin, Telemedia executive VP for Ontario region.

2002
On April 19, the purchase of several Telemedia radio and television stations by Standard Radio Inc. was approved, as was Standard’s spin-off of a number of those stations to Rogers Broadcasting and NewCap Broadcasting. Among the stations acquired by Rogers was CKGB.

2007
On August 17 the CRTC renewed CKGB-FM's licence to August 31, 2014. 

2009
In August Andy Cole was hired to be EZ Rock's new afternoon drive announcer.

2011
Garett Chisholme returned to Rogers Radio Timmins as assistant news director.

2012
Larry Solway passed away January 9 at age 83. He started his career at CKGB.

Rick Doughty, Rogers Radio vice president and general manager for the company's Northern Ontario stations (North Bay, Sault Ste Marie and Timmins), and GM at Rogers Sudbury, retired March 31. Doughty was with Telemedia and Rogers for a combined 22.5 years, 12 and a-half of them with Telemedia before it was purchased. He divided his time between, first, North Bay and then Sudbury.

Peter McKeown was named vice president & general manager Ontario North Radio & GM Sudbury Radio. He would oversee operations of Rogers Radio stations in the Northern Ontario. McKeown had been general manager for North Bay Radio (102 The Fox, 600 CKAT, and 100.5 EZ Rock). He assumed the responsibilities previously held by Rick Doughty, who retired.

2013
On August 29, CKGB was rebranded from EZ ROCK to KISS FM. The format remained Hot Adult Contemporary.

2014
Peter McKeown became VP & General Manager for Rogers Radio Northern Ontario.

                                               Bill Dulmage – Updated March 2014