On September 10, Dufferin Communications Inc. was granted a licence for a new FM station at Orangeville. It would operate on a frequency of 103.5 MHz and have an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts. CIDC-FM would be the first local radio service for the region. Principals in Dufferin were Douglas Cunningham and Doug Kirk. They proposed to offer a full spectrum Group 1 music format directed at the 25-54 age demographic.
103.5 MHz was assigned to Guelph, and opposition to its use came from MI Radio (an unsuccessful applicant in Mississauga) and CFMX-FM 103.1 Cobourg. The CRTC noted that relocating the frequency to Orangeville would eliminate short spacing to CKLH-FM Hamilton (102.9 MHz) and at Stratford (channel 281A), neither of which would be possible if 103.5 were retained at Guelph. Toronto's CHFI and CKFM also opposed the application on the grounds that its technical parameters would allow it to compete in the Metro area. The CRTC was satisfied with Dufferin's commitment not to solicit advertising in Toronto, Barrie or Brampton.
Doug Cunningham, who established and managed CING-FM in Burlington was president of the company. He was also a communications analyst for Burns Fry Ltd.
A year earlier, broadcast consultant Ted Randal and Chuck Connors of CKAN in Newmarket, had proposed a new FM station at Orangeville. They had wanted a country music format, using 103.5 MHz and the call sign of CFRM ("Farm"). They withdrew their application.
Marilyn Stitt (well-known in Toronto radio and advertising circles) was named manager of CIDC-FM. Program Director Dean Roberts (formerly of Victoria's CKDA) was putting together a soft hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s format. CIDC would serve a market of about 120,000 in Dufferin, Caledon and surrounding area.
CIDC-FM "DC-103" signed on the air May 1 at 6:00 a.m. The station launch included an open house. Studios and offices were located in a renovated Victorian brick house at 287 Broadway. Studio equipment included a new McCurdy 880 console and two refurbished McCurdy consoles that came from Toronto's Q107. The CSI transmitter and 6-bay Dielectric antenna were situated on the north edge of the Niagara Escarpment, three miles north or Orangeville. The antenna location was the highest spot in southern Ontario - at 1,730 feet. With the 322 foot tower atop that hill, DC-103's antenna was actually about two feet higher above sea level than Toronto's CN Tower. CIDC shared the tower with Cantel and other utilities.
CIDC-FM used oranges for its logo - inscribed with "103% PureRadio DC103FM". Marilyn Stitt Louw was general manager. Dean Roberts was program director. News director was Scott Armstrong, and his team included J.C. Kenny, Kim Couse and Jamie Watson. Richard Correll was morning host (assisted by Scott Armstrong). Fred DeRosa (formerly of CKOM Saskatoon) handled creative and Gillian Ireland was traffic manager.
Dean Roberts was program director. Scott Armstrong joined CIDC from CKDA Victoria.
Program director Dean Roberts left DC103 for CKNG-FM in Edmonton.
Peter Webb was appointed general manager. He joined the station after operating Peter Webb & Associates for six years.
Owen Smart was appointed news director, replacing Glenn Wilkens, who left for Toronto's CFTR.
Joe Andrews (Malysa) joined CIDC-FM to host the 6 a.m. to noon show on Saturdays. He was also program consultant.
Ron S. Gilbert was named general manager.
On August 25, by Letter of Authority (no public hearing), the CRTC approved the sale of CIDC-FM to Angelo Cremisio and Bill Evanoff of CKMW Radio Ltd. They owned CIAO-AM Brampton and managed CING-FM in Burlington. Residents of Dufferin and Caledon were concerned about reports the new owners planned to move the station to Brampton.
Late in the year, "DC-103" became "Hot 103.5" with a dance music format.
Joe Andrews left CIDC-FM.
Studios were re-located to the CIAO location in Brampton. A sales office will be maintained in Orangeville.
CIDC-FM (Hot 103.5 FM) joined the list of applicants seeking the 99.1 MHz frequency in Toronto. Co-owners of the Brampton station (formerly licensed to Orangeville), Bill Evanov and Angelo Cremisio, say CIDC-FM has increased audience from 75,000 to 510,000 since adopting its Dance/CHR format, but it would be devastated by a new Dance music competitor on 99.1 MHz. In the end, CIDC did not get the Toronto frequency.
Randy Brill left CIDC-FM to become program director at CKDX-FM in Newmarket.
Carmela Laurgnano was station manager and vice president of marketing.
Hits 103dot5 Toronto launched The Wall of Sound May 22. The two-hour weekly program showcased the artists evolving hip-hop and R&B sounds into a music hybrid.
Approval was given July 28 for CIDC to move its transmitter from a site 6 km west of Orangeville's town hall to a site located 11 km east of the town hall, at Mono Mills. The station would also decrease effective radiated power from 50,000 to 30,700 watts.
In December, CIDC "Hits 103-5" became "Z103.5". The station also moved to its new transmitter site and implemented the power decrease authorized in July.
Adam Robinson became operations manager for CIDC, CIAO and CKDX-FM. He had been with CJKX-FM in Ajax.
On August 25 the CRTC renewed CIDC-FM's licence to August 31, 2010. In 2000, in approving Dufferin's application to relocate its transmitter and thereby access audiences in Toronto, the Commission noted that Dufferin argued that its access to a larger potential audience would have no impact on its commitment to maintain a local Orangeville orientation in its programming. In that decision, the Commission noted its satisfaction that the larger potential audience would enable the licensee to strengthen the local service it provides to residents of Orangeville and the surrounding area. The Commission notes the licensee's commitment to continuing its longstanding Orangeville programming orientation.
In November, Matt Wreggitt was appointed assistant program director for Z103.5. Matt had been with the company for a number of years and played a very important role both through his afternoon-drive show and as music director for the station. He would retain these responsibilities. Additionally, in his new capacity he would now be programming Z103.5 along with long-time PD Paul Evanov.
Marcello Palombi left Z103.5 for Calgary's X929 (CFEX). Chris Edelman was promoted to General Sales Manager of Z103.5 (CIDC-FM)/The Jewel 88.5 (CKDX). He began his broadcasting career with the Evanov Radio Group as an Account Executive at CIDC-FM.
On November 29, the CRTC renewed CIDC's licence until August 31, 2017.
Dave Blezard left Z103.5 as co-host of The Scott, Dave & Ashley Morning Show to become evening host at Toronto's KiSS 92.5.
On May 9, Z103.5 CIDC launched the "Cory Kimm and Ami A. Show" from 5:30 to 9:00 a.m. on weekdays Cory and Ami had worked together since 2009. Paul Evanov was program director. Z103.5 (CIDC) announced that Zack Taylor had joined the station's team...updating listeners on the biggest celebrity news from around the world, live from Hollywood at 1:10 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. weekdays.
Scott Fox left for CKIS Toronto in late August.
Chris Evans left Z1035 for CIMJ Guelph. Evans had held the midday shift at Z1035 for the past four years. He took over the afternoon drive (2-6) show in Guelph as of September 12. In October, Zack Taylor left Z103.5 (CIDC-FM).
Scott Fox returned to the Z103.5 morning show (5:30 to 9:00) on June 22. Fox was morning show host from February 13, 2000 to April 29, 2011. Ashley Greco left Z103.5 for CHUM FM Toronto.
Z103.5 FM announced the addition of Kat Callaghan as co-host of the morning show with Scott Fox. The new duo of morning radio hit the airwaves on August 15. Kat recently hosted afternoon drive at Kool-FM in Kitchener and was a weekend/swing announcer for CHUM-FM in Toronto.
Z103.5 FM welcomed Pina Sama as the station's new midday announcer, beginning September 10. As the newest member of the Z103.5 family, Pina returned to her broadcast roots since launching her on-air career in 2002 with the Evanov Radio Group. She had spent the last few years with major broadcasters Virgin Radio and most recently, CHUM-FM as an announcer.
Z103.5 was chosen by Toronto Sun readers as their top radio station and as their favourite morning show.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated May 2013