British Columbia, Vancouver Island

CFAX-AM (News Authority), Victoria

, Bell Media

1959
CFAX began broadcasting on September 4. It was licenced to Saanich. CFAX broadcast on a frequency of 810 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts - daytime only. Ellison Queale was the owner.

1960
The Board of Broadcast Governors approved the re-allocation of common shares in CFAX Saanich to give effective control to manager Roy V. Parrett. Parrett and two partners (both in the wholesale radio supply business) would each hold an interest. The re-allocation would give Parrett 60% with each of the others holding 20%.

1963
On May 14, CFAX was purchased by Clare G. Copeland.

1964
Saanich Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given approval in March to move CFAX from 810 to 1070 kHz and to increase hours of operation from daytime only to full-time with 1,000 watts. CFAX Radio 1070 Ltd., 620 View St.

1967-68
CFAX Radio 1070 Ltd. received permission to increase the power of CFAX from 1,000 to 10,000 watts (DA-1). The station said it needed to overcome night-time interference and to provide equal coverage in Victoria as the CJVI and CKDA. CFAX complained of strong night interference from KNX 1070 in Hollywood, California. The power increase was effective a short time later, using four 190 foot towers.

1974
On May 31, Clare Copeland was given approval to transfer 71% of CFAX Radio
1070 Ltd. to Melco Management Ltd.

 Mel Cooper
              Mel Cooper
G. N. (Mel) Cooper’s Melco took ownership of C-FAX on September 1.

1979-80
Mel Cooper appointed Bill Hazell to the general sales manager post and Keith Dagg as director of marketing.

1
982
C-FAX moved its studios in December from 620 View St. to 825 Broughton Street.


1984
The station began broadcasting in stereo in February.

1985
William R. (Bill) Hazell, former executive vice president, was named honorary citizen of Victoria for his community work, notably his presidency of the Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Pattison, owner of CJOR Vancouver, became president and chairman of Expo 86. He enlisted CFAX owner Mel Cooper to raise money from potential sponsors, as vice president of corporate participation.

CFAX claimed two 'firsts" in weather reporting for the Victoria area. The station installed a digital radar system which scanned for rain and snow within a 64 mile radius; and named Blane Coulcher to be the first radio station meteorologist on Vancouver Island.

1986
Barry Fontayne moved from CFAX to be general sales manager at CJVI. Chris Harper joined C-FAX as creative director.


1986-87
CFAX had its signal added to local cable FM.

1987
Ed McKenzie was news director.

1988
The corporate name was changed to Seacoast Communications.

C-FAX installed new equipment to meet a new standard for AM transmitters. The National Radio Standards Committee in the U.S. recommended the standard for pre-emphasis and filtering as a way of reducing interference on the crowded AM band and improving signal quality. C-FAX president and general manager Mel Cooper planned to write to all AM stations within 20 kHz on either side of his station's 1070 dial position to urge them to also make the modification. He said most of the benefit is to stations on adjacent channels which would experience less interference.

Alan Perry was in the CFAX news department.

1990
Susan Brice joined C-FAX as public affairs broadcaster.

1991
CFAX and C.F.B. Esquimalt worked together to keep Navy personnel who could be thousands of miles from home, up to date on local news. Esquimalt based ships on overseas assignment would receive daily news feeds that originated in the CFAX newsroom. The station would fax the early morning summaries of local and provincial news to the base for transmission to the ships.

Barry Bowman was morning man at C-FAX.

Terry Spence was named vice president and operations manager for Seacoast Communications Group Inc. (CFAX, CKOV/CKLZ-FM).

1996
CFAX was given a special award by the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for their efforts during the "Blizzard of 1996" which struck the area in late December. CFAX's open phone line manned by announcers Mike King and Greg Morin connected those in need with those who could render assistance during the record two day total snowfall of 124 centimetres, the heaviest in the area since 1916.

1997
Some on-air names: Alan Perry (news director), Terry Spence (vice president and talk show host), Greg Morin (news), and Mike King (announcer).

Barry Bowman announced he was leaving CFAX after 28 years and heading to CJVI. His replacement at CFAX would be Steve Ivings.

In February, CFAX added "Coast to Coast" with Art Bell in the midnight to 4:00 a.m. time slot. Promotions manager Kathy Baan says the program originates from Bell's home in the Nevada desert and is syndicated in over 250 markets across North America.

Terry Spence was vice president of C-FAX. Drew Snider was in the news department.

1998
The OK Radio Group applied to the CRTC to flip CKXM (Country) to FM. If approved, OK Radio would get the last FM frequency available on southern Vancouver Island. However, Mel Cooper was also seeking an FM sister for his CFAX 1070.

Alan Perry was news director.

1999
On October 29 the CRTC announced approval of an application by Seacoast Communications to open a new sister FM station to serve Victoria. It was licensed to operate a modern rock and alternative music format on a frequency 107.3 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 20,000 watts. Call letters CFEX-FM.

On November 2, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters announced a Community Service Gold Ribbon Award for "Tour de Rock". News Director Alan Perry joined a police team in bicycling 1000 km and filed live reports every half hour along the way. The project raised over $300,000 for the fight against childhood cancer.

2001
CFAX news director Moira McLean left in February to become a reporter at CHEK-TV. Frank Stanford was the new CFAX/Extreme 107 news director. He'd continue to anchor morning news on CFAX.

In May, Mel Cooper was named the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters' Broadcast Performer of the Year.

Longtime CFAX newsman Drew Snider crossed the street in August to become senior news editor at CIVI-TV.

2004
In January 2004 CHUM Ltd announced that they had acquired CFAX-AM and its sister station CHBE-FM from Seacoast Communications, subject to CRTC approval.

2005
Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of CFAX,  passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.

2006
On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval.  On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM.  The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC.

On December 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.

2007
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007.  On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver.   Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, including CIVI-TV, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CFAX-AM.  

2009
Jim Blundell joined CHUM Victoria as Vice President and General Manager. He had held the same position at CHUM London.

2009-10
Charlie White died at age 84. White was a broadcast pioneer who was a founder of both C-FAX Victoria and CHEK-TV Victoria . He was also a long-time director of BCTV (now Global).


2010
Former CFAX owner Clare Copeland died in May at the age of 85. He purchased the station in 1963 and sold it in 1974 to Mel Cooper. At the time he bought CFAX, CKDA and CJVI were fighting it out for number one in the ratings - CFAX - at 810 on the dial, was a distant third. CFAX only had 1,000 watts and could only broadcast during daytime hours. A year later, Copeland got approval to move the station to 1070 and to increase the station's hours of operation. In 1967, antenna towers were built on Trial Island, giving CFAX a power boost to 10,000 watts. The station was now owned by CTV.

News announcer Shiela Gardner joined CFAX from CHQT in Edmonton.

In October Joe Easingwood, 72, signed off C-FAX 1070 for the last time. He retired from the station where he had worked since 1980. 

Neal Foisy died at age 51. He was best known for his work as a Creative Writer at CHQM-FM and at CFAX-AM. Foisy's father, Maurice, was once a General Manager at CHQM-AM-FM.

2011
On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm's licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission's objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher's Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control.

On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.

BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also perated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the Sympatico.ca portal.

The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.

On August 22, the CRTC approved the applications by BCE Inc., on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Canada Inc., carrying on business as Bell Media British Columbia Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CFTE, CKST, CFBT-FM and CHQM-FM Vancouver, and CFAX and CHBE-FM Victoria. Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE. 7550413, the other partner holding the remaining 0.01% of the voting interest in the general partnership, is wholly owned by Bell Media and is also controlled by BCE. BCE submitted that the purpose of this corporate reorganization was to realize tax efficiencies. The Commission noted that this transaction would not affect the effective control of the undertakings which would continue to be exercised by BCE.

Jim Blundell, the Vice President and General Manager at Bell Media Victoria (CFAX/ CHBE/CTV2), left the company September 2. He took up the position in 2009. General Sales Manager Kevin Bell took over on an interim basis.

Kevin Bell was appointed General Manager at CTV Two Victoria and of CFAX 1070/107.3 KOOL FM. He remained General Sales Manager at the radio stations and became GSM at CTV Two as well. Bell had been the interim GM at both TV and radio since Jim Blundell left.

2012
Roy McKenzie was the new Retail Sales Manager at CFAX/ KOOL FM. McKenzie, with 20 years experience at Silk FM Kelowna and Astral Media Kelowna, began his new job May 22.

2013
Bud Goes retired in January from his chief engineer's role at C-FAX/CHBE. Goes, who helped build CHBE and was instrumental in designing and building the new studios on Broad Street in 2007, was with the operation for 22 years.

Johnny Z (Zwolak) died at age 68. He was the C-FAX production manager for 36 years before retiring in May of 2009.

Barry Fontayne (Ron Quail) died at age 76. He had a 44-year broadcast career, first as an announcer and then in sales and sales management at CKDA, CFMS-FM, CFAX and The Ocean/Jack FM.

Al Thain died at age 75. The long-time C-FAX broadcaster spent 17 years at the station before his retirement in 2000.

2014
Hugh Curtis passed away at 81. He spent 15 years at CJVI before moving to CFAX. For a time, he was a minority shareholder in CFAX. Curtis had the unique distinction of being the only person who, while mayor of Saanich, read the 6:00 news every night on CFAX.

                                     Bill Dulmage, Gord Lansdell - Updated June 2014

Written by Ross - February, 2012