CKDR signed on the air in August. It operated on a frequency of 900 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts day and 250 watts at night. It was a satellite station of CJRL in Kenora. The DR in the call sign represented Dryden. CJRL-CKDR were affiliated with the CBC Radio Network.
CKDR 900 had a power of 1,000 watts and was owned by Lake of the Woods Broadcasting Ltd. Stuart King was President and General Manager.
Hector Fraser Dougall and his brother Christopher Dougall, owners of CKPR in Fort William, received permission to acquire CJRL and its satellite in Dryden from Stuart King. It is not clear though if they actually took ownership of the stations.
On February 12, CKDR was authorized to move its studios from 7 King Street to the second floor of the Dryden Hotel Annex, 74 Queen Street.
On March 9, approval was granted for the transfer of ownership of Lake of the Woods Broadcasting Ltd. (CJRL Kenora and CKDR) from the present shareholders to Donald Austin Fawcett, Eloise Pearl Fawcett and Gordon Alexander Mctaggart.
CJRL, CKDR and CFOB received approval to rebroadcast the overnight show from CJOB-FM in Winnipeg.
CKDR received approval for a 50 watt rebroadcaster at Ignace, operating on 1340 kHz. The CRTC said it considered the use of AM frequencies justified, despite its July, 1976, policy on rebroadcasters specifying FM for such stations.
On June 27, Fawcett Broadcasting Ltd. received approval to add rebroadcast transmitters for CKDR at Ear Falls (1490 kHz, 40 watts), Hudson (1450 kHz, 40 watts), and Sioux Lookout (1400 kHz, 50 watts).
On January 15, Fawcett was authorized to add a CKDR rebroadcaster at Red Lake on 99.5 MHz with power of 170 watts. The company also wanted to add an AM transmitter here, using 1340 kHz with power of 50 watts. The green light was given for the FM transmitter, but not the AM.
Fawcett Broadcasting received approval to operate a transmitter at Red Lake. It would rebroadcast CKDR on 1340 kHz with a full-time power of 250 watts. The CRTC had originally authorized an FM transmitter but accepted Fawcett's contention that FM use in the area was too low at this time.
Rebroadcaster CKEF Ear Falls was authorized to change frequency from 1490 kHz to 1450 kHz.
On November 7, the CKDR on-air studio was struck by fire. When closing up shop the night before, the evening announcer did the usual end of day clean up of the studio. This included the emptying of the ashtrays into the garbage can under the console. There were still hot ashes in the ashtray. The entire building would have been destroyed but the fire was starved for oxygen thanks to the tight sound-proofing in the studio. Almost everything in the studio was destroyed. The production studio was not severely damaged so CKDR was able to use it as a control room. Within hours, CJOB, CFRW and CFQX in Winnipeg had volunteered with equipment to allow the station to get back to full operation. Actual off-air time was only two and a half hours.
On November 21, Lake of the Woods Broadcasting Ltd. (Fawcett) was granted a change of frequency for CKDR from 900 to 800 kHz and an increase in night-time power from 250 to 700 watts.
On December 13, CKRE Red Lake was authorized to increase night-time power from 250 watts to 1,000 watts.
On September 26, the network licence was renewed allowing CKIS-FM Winnipeg to be broadcast from midnight to 6 a.m., over CKDR Dryden, CFOB Fort Frances, CJRL Kenora, CFAK Atikokan, CKEF Ear Falls, CKHD Hudson, CKIG Ignace, CKRE Red Lake and CKSI Sioux Lookout.
Fawcett Broadcasting's Sunset Country Radio announced some management changes early in the year. Gordon McBride retired as station manager of CFOB Fort Frances. Replacing the 40 year broadcast veteran was Scott Fawcett, who left his post as manager of CJRL Kenora to become CFOB's general manager and vice president of sales. Hugh Syrja, manager of CFDR Dryden took over as station manager of CJRL and Bruce Walchuck was promoted to manager of CFDR. All were long-time employees of the company.
Donald Fawcett passed away on April 26. His wife (Eloise) assumed the role of president of Fawcett Broadcasting.
On June 10, approval came for the change of program source for CFOB-1 Atikokan from CFOB Fort Frances to CKDR Dryden.
Laura Leigh Wilson, 27, creative director at CKDR, passed away late in the year.
Bruce Walchuck was Station Manager, Ben Lucas was Operations Manager and Duncan Stokes was News Director.
On March 24, CKDR was given permission to convert to the FM band, operating on 92.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 36,800 watts maximum / 15,800 watts average. The antenna would be on a Dryden Municipal Telephone System tower with height (EHAAT) of 102.2 metres. The existing adult contemporary music format would be used on the new station. Studios and offices at this time are at 122 King Street in Dryden.
On the same date, CKDR-5 (1340 kHz with 250 watts) Red Lake was given approval to operate as a new station with CKDR-4 (1450 kHz with 40 watts) Ear Falls as its rebroadcaster. These stations would no longer be full-time rebroadcasters of Dryden.
Also on March 24, CKDR-2 (1400 kHz with 50 watts) Sioux Lookout was given the OK to operate as a new station with CKDR-1 (1340 kHz with 50 watts) Ignace, CKDR-3 (1450 kHz with 40 watts) Hudson and CKDR-6 (1240 kHz with 50 watts) Atikokan as rebroadcast transmitters. These stations would no longer be full-time rebroadcasters of Dryden.
The new stations at Red Lake and Sioux Lookout would broadcast local programming split fed from the broadcast on the new Dryden FM station.
Later in the year, CKDR filed applications to convert CKDR-5 Red Lake and CKDR-2 Sioux Lookout to the FM band. Red Lake at this time offered four hours per week of local advertising and public service announcements. The new FM would offer 19 hours per week of programming sepecific to Red Lake and Ear Falls (CKDR-4 Ear Falls would continue as a rebroadcaster of Red Lake). The new Red Lake FM would operate on 97.1 MHz with effective radiated power of 450 watts. The antenna would be on a Municipality of Red Lake tower and would have a height of 45.8 metres (EHAAT).
At this time, CKDR-2 Sioux Lookout offered four hours per week of local advertising and public service announcements. The new FM would provide 20 hours a week of public service announcements, news and survellance information, announcer comments, and advertising. It would broadcast on 97.1 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 560 watts (1,250 watts maximum). The antenna would be on the Sioux Lookout water tower, and would have a height of 53.3 metres (EHAAT). CKDR-1 Ignace, CKDR-3 Hudson and CKDR-6 Atikokan would continue as retransmitters of Sioux Lookout.
The transfer of the ownership and effective control of Fawcett Broadcasting Limited to Northwoods Broadcasting Limited was approved. Northwoods is a corporation owned and controlled by Mr. John E. Irving (Acadia Broadcasting Ltd.). Acadia took ownership of the Fawcett stations on May 2.
On October 23, Northwoods Broadcasting Limited received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of CFOB-FM Fort Frances, CJRL-FM Kenora, CKDR-FM Dryden, CKDR-2-FM Sioux Lookout and its transmitters CKDR-1 Ignace, CKDR-3 Hudson and CKDR-6 Atikokan as well as CKDR-5-FM Red Lake and its transmitter CKDR-4 Ear Falls, Ontario, from Fawcett Broadcasting Limited. Fawcett is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwoods. This transaction will be completed through the wind-up of the assets of Fawcett into Northwoods. The Commission notes that this transaction will not change the effective control of the undertakings, which will continue to be exercised by John E. Irving. The Commission notes that, to date, CKDR-5-FM Red Lake and its transmitter CKDR-4-FM Ear Falls are not yet implemented.
Later in the year, CKDR-2-FM Sioux Lookout was authorized to change from a directional to non-directional antenna. Effective radiated power would be 166 watts, down from a maximum of 1,250 watts and average of 56 watts. Antenna height would remain 53.3 metres.
Eloise (Lois) Fawcett died at age 78.
On August 19, the CRTC approved the application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licence for CFOB-FM Fort Frances in order for CFOB-FM to replace CKDR-2-FM Sioux Lookout as the source of programming broadcast by the AM rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6 Atikokan. The Commission also approved the licensee's request to amend the broadcasting licence for CKDR-2-FM in order to delete its rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6. The licensee stated that it would be more appropriate for residents and advertisers in Atikokan to receive the CFOB-FM signal since they share more "communities of interest" with Fort Frances. As a result of the approval granted in this decision, the Commission revokes the authority granted to CKDR-2-FM to broadcast programming on the rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6. The Commission noted that approval of this application had no technical implications because no transmitters would be moved, added or taken away, and because no changes in the official contours of either the originating stations or the rebroadcasting transmitter were planned.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKDR-FM until March 31, 2012.
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKDR-FM to August 31, 2012.
The CRTC approved the change in the effective control of Acadia Broadcasting Limited from John E. Irving to a joint control exercised by John K.F. Irving and Anne C.I. Oxley, following the death of John E. Irving in 2010. Acadia was the licensee of radio stations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, following the amalgamation of Northwoods Broadcasting Limited with its mother company Acadia on February 3, 2012.
On August 17, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CKDR-2-FM Sioux Lookout, and its transmitters CKDR-1 Ignace, CKDR-3 Hudson, CKDR-6 Atikokan, CKDR-5-FM Red Lake, and its transmitter CKDR-4 Ear Falls, to August 31, 2013. The licence was administratively renewed again, to December 31, 2012.
Carol Siska died at age 59. She had been with CKDR since 1973, the past 32 years as Traffic Manager.
On December 21, the CRTC renewed CKDR-FM's licence to August 31, 2015.
Written by Bill Dulmage – Updated January, 2013