Gerald (Gerry) William Lee received a licence to operate a daytime-only AM radio station at Galt. The station would be operated by The Galt Broadcasting Co. Ltd. on a frequency of 1110 kHz with a power of 250 watts (non-directional). Lee had been a consulting engineer for Canadian General Electric. CGE would supply studio equipment while the Gaetz transmitter would come from Canadian Marconi. The station would offer light music, strong local news coverage, sports, music and a few transcribed programs.
CKGR was set to open on September 17 at 4:00 p.m. Because it would be a daytime-only (dawn to dusk) station, it's operating schedule at that time of year would be 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. September 17 was only 43 days after the licence was issued (CBC approved June 18, Cabinet approval came August 5). CKGR did hold its official opening on September 17 at 4 p.m. It was called "a new powerful voice in South Waterloo". Studios and offices were at 3 Ainslie Street North. The transmitter and single tower were located southwest of the intersection of Cheese Factory Road and the First Concession, south of the Galt city limits in North Dunfries Township, Waterloo County. CKGR was the country's third daytime-only station - after CHUM Toronto and CFJB Brampton. The "GR" in the call sign: Grand River (not Galt Radio).
Some of CKGR's original staff: Gerald Lee (station manager), Derrick Crossey (sales rep), Don Carter (news announcer), John Meadows (program director), Lloyd Colthorp (sports announcer), Gwynn Mallory (women's commentator), Gerry Wood (news reporter), Grace Newlands (librarian), Sally Whittington (receptionist) and Sherley Hipel (secretary).
CKGR was accepted as a member of CARTB (former CAB).
On August 1, The Galt Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was purchased by John V. Evans 99.6%, Mrs. M. E. Evans 0.1%, S. C. Cooke 0.1%, Mrs. M. I. Cooke 0.1%, Samuel Berger, Q.C. 0.1%. The station was an independent with no network affiliation.
John V. Evans was president of the company and CKGR's manager. Neil Thomas was news and farm director.
CKGR became CFTJ.
John V. Evans was president of The Galt Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and CFTJ's manager.
Ron Fitzpatrick joined in March and left on December 25 for CKOX Woodstock. Doug Hobbs (PM Drive) also left for CKOX .
On April 19, CFTJ's studios and offices moved from The Gore Building, 3 Ainslie St. N. at Main, to The Canada Trust Building at 46 Main Street.
Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN's voice (audio) service. CFTJ was one of those stations.
On May 22, Galt Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was authorized to change CFTJ’s frequency from 1110 to 1320 kHz, to increase power from 250 watts daytime only to 1,000 watts day and night, and to move the transmitter to a site southwest of Galt.
Galt became part of the new City of Cambridge.
On March 5, at 5:15 p.m., CFTJ moved from 1110 to 1320 kHz and increased operation from daytime only to full-time (6 a.m. to midnight), with 1,000 watts of power (two directional patterns), from a new transmitter site located southwest of Galt, and using four 195 foot towers. In connection with this change, CKKW in nearby Kitchener moved from 1320 to 1090 kHz. These changes required the co-operation of CHOK 1070 Sarnia and CFGM 1310 in Richmond Hill.
A reception was held at the Chateau Kress Hotel in Cambridge on the day of the switch, featuring W. D. McGregor, President of Central Ontario Television (owner of CKKW) and John Evans, President of CFTJ. Together, they pulled the symbolic switch to change the frequencies of both stations.
Even at this time it was already known that CFTJ would soon change frequency again because of the plan by CFGM Richmond Hill to move from 1310 to 1320 kHz – CFTJ will move to 960 kHz.
CFGM did receive permission to move from 1310 kHz to 1320 kHz and CFTJ from 1320 kHz to 960 kHz. CFTJ would also operate from a new transmitter site. It was only March of 1975 that CFTJ moved to 1320 kHz to facilitate the move of CKKW to 1090 kHz.
On February 21, John V. Evans and group sold The Galt Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFTJ) to Frederick T. Metcalf, Kay M. Metcalf, Wally Slatter, Nancy Slatter, Neil Stillman (General Manager), W. D. (Bill) Dawkins (Sales Manager) and Larry D. Smith (Engineering Manager). Fred Metcalf and Wally Slatter owned CJOY Ltd. (CJOY-AM and CKLA-FM) in Guelph. The purchasers were told the station must continue to be identified clearly with Cambridge.
CFTJ moved to 960 kHz on August 9, with 1,000 watts (full-time, two patterns) from the same transmitter site. While extensively modifying its 50,000 watt transmitter plant at Mississauga to change from 1310 kHz to 1320 kHz, CFGM (Richmond Hill) also built the new facility for CFTJ so that it could move from 1320 kHz to 960 kHz. CFTJ was now using a new CCA 1,000 watt transmitter.
A rebuilding of the CFTJ studios was completed. The studio space was expanded and completely renovated shortly after the change of ownership last year.
Equipment was purchased from McCurdy to upgrade both the on-air and production control rooms. The station would now be ready for AM Stereo when the time comes.
Larry Smith, director of engineering for CJOY-CKLA was now in charge of CFTJ as well. Larry Keats was CFTJ's chief engineer.
Ron Fitzpatrick returned. He had been at CKWS Kingston. Randy Steinman (sports) joined from CKKW/CFCA Kitchener.
Randy Steinman left for CJOY Guelph.
Bob Lindsay (mornings) passed away. Ron Fitzpatrick took over the morning show.
Joe Timothy was CFTJ's news director.
CFTJ became CIAM "AM96" with a contemporary hit music format on March 15. The "AM" in the calls: AM-96.
On April 14, the CRTC approved the sale of The Galt Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CIAM Cambridge) by Fred T. Metcalf, K.M. Metcalf, Wally Slatter, N. Slatter, Neil Stillman, W.D. Dawkins and Larry D. Smith to Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. of Peterborough. Kawartha was owned by Paul Desmarais and Claude Pratte, who had applied to transfer their broadcast holdings to Power Corp., of which Desmarais was president.
Ron FitzPatrick was program director. Craig Kerr was sales manager. Jim Walton was news director.
Power Corp. of Canada reorganized its radio and television assets. They would now be held in the new wholly-owned subsidiary, Power Broadcasting Inc. PBI would be based in Montreal. Andre Desmarais was named chairman and chief executive officer of the new unit. Peter Kruyt was president. Before now, Power's seven AM, four FM and three TV stations were held by a number of subsidiaries in Ontario and Quebec.
Guus Hazelaar was promoted to the position of general manager and sales manager; Peter Allen was named assistant sales manager.
Wally Slatter, a former owner of CIAM, passed away on June 2.
Fred Metcalf, a former owner of CIAM, died in February.
On June 25, the CRTC approved the move of CIAM from 960 AM to 92.9 FM with 560 watts effective radiated power. The rapid growth of FM tuning as well as customers' preference in choosing FM over AM for advertising campaigns had severely impacted CIAM's revenues. The station had operated with negative earnings going back to 1992.
CIZN-FM “The Zone@92.9” began broadcasting on May 28 at 9 p.m. with a weekend special of wall-to-wall music. The uptempo current adult contemporary music format catering to the 18-49 age group was officially launched with regular programming on June 1. CIAM 960 left the air in August after being officially replaced by CIZN-FM. The 92.9 transmitter and antenna was located on the Freeport water tower in Kitchener.
Corus Radio Company purchased the stations of Power Broadcasting, which included CIZN-FM. The CRTC approved the purchase on March 24th. Corus took control of the stations on April 13.
On February 14, the CRTC approved the application by Corus Entertainment Inc., to change CIZN's frequency from 92.9 to 107.5 MHz, increase power from 560 to 2,500 watts, and move the transmitter to 48 Stafford Court (approximately seven kilometres from the 92.9 site). The change would vastly improve service for local listeners in the Cambridge region and repatriate advertising revenues that had been lost to out-of-market stations licensed to serve Kitchener.
CIZN began testing on the new 107.5 frequency in June. CIZN “The Zone 92.9” left the air with little warning at 1:23 a.m. on July 20 and was replaced the next day by CJDV “Dave 107.5 FM – 80’s, 90’s and whatever” with a classic hits / hot adult contemporary mix. The new station started out with a non-stop sample of music with no announcers or commercials.
It should be noted that the CJDV studios and offices moved at some point in recent years to 1315 Bishop Street North in Cambridge.
Ron Fitzpatrick (at the station since 1981) left for CJOY/CIMJ in Guelph
On June 22, CJDV’s application to increase average effective radiated power from 2,500 to 6,800 watts was denied.
On January 14 at 8:00 a.m., 107.5 Dave FM (CJDV-FM) became the "Tri-Cities Best Rock" as the format changed from Variety Hits to Classic Rock/Active Rock. The new sound would offer listeners all of their favourite rock tracks from the 70's through to today. Jeff Lumby, Gayle O'Brien and Carlos Benevides would continue as as on-air hosts. Lars Wunsche was Corus Radio Kitchener general manager.
Curtis Bray left Corus Radio Kitchener for 89.3 K-Rock in Kentville, NS. Will MacKay, formerly of Corus Radio Kitchener, became General Manager/General Sales Manager at Newcap's K-Rock 89.3 Kentville June 28. MacKay, with 15 years experience in sales and marketing, was a Senior Sales Rep with Corus.
There were a number of changes at Corus Entertainment related to its organization review to streamline decision-making and clarify roles and mandates. Among the changes: Reporting to Hal Blackadar, Executive Vice President and interim President of Corus Radio - Chris Sisam, VP/GM, Corus Radio, Southwestern Ontario (based in London, Sisam would be responsible for Corus Guelph, Corus Kitchener/Cambridge and London). Lars Wunsche, GM of CJDV-FM/CKBT-FM was now GSM at Corus Radio Toronto.
Stu Holloway passed away at age 69. In 1967, he began a career in broadcasting at a number of stations in Southern Ontario, including CFTG Galt, CKTB and CHSC St. Catharines, CJOY Guelph and CBC Toronto. He became well known for his voicing of the famous phrase, "It's worth the drive to Acton" (Olde Hide House). For 32 years he was the narrator of the CNE Air Show in Toronto.
Norm (Harold) Haines died at age 73. He started his broadcast career as an announcer at CFTJ Galt in 1958 and worked at CKCR Kitchener, CFCO Chatham, CKWS-Radio-TV Kingston and CFOX Montreal. Haines moved to Calgary where he was president of Voice of the Prairies Ltd. (CFCN Radio). He took on CFCN in 1973, and in time, developed CJAY-FM, Canada's first new generation FM station.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated April, 2013