Milestone Radio Inc. was formed by Denham Jolly, Zanana Akande, Carl Redhead, Reynold Austin and Tony Davy. Their goal was to obtain a broadcast licence to operate a Toronto radio station with an Urban format.
Milestone was denied a licence for a Toronto Urban station.
On July 29, the CBC was given approval to move CBL from 740 AM to 99.1 FM. Several other applicants had applied for the 99.1 MHz frequency including Milestone (their second attempt), which had proposed a "World Urban Contemporary" music format.
In May, in response to Milestone's appeal, the Federal Cabinet sent the CRTC an Order in Council to reserve a frequency for applicants like Milestone, bearing in mind Toronto's diverse society. Later in the year, the CRTC announced that it would again call for applications for new Toronto radio services.
On June 16, B. Denham Jolly on behalf of Milestone Radio Inc. was granted a licence for a new FM station at Toronto, operating on 93.5 MHz with effective radiated power of 298 watts. The new station would offer an "Urban" music format, targeted to an audience aged 25 to 44. Milestone stated that the format would be a "modern-day reflection of the rich musical traditions of Black musicians and Black-influenced music over at least the past century. Milestone Radio Inc. was controlled by Foundco Inc. (70.1%), which was controlled by five individuals, with Mr. B. Denham Jolly being the major shareholder. Standard Radio Inc. was a minority shareholder in Milestone (29.9%).
On February 9, CFXJ "Flow 93.5" launched at 9:35 p.m. after a period of technical tests. Studios and offices were on the fourth floor of 211 Yonge Street (across from the Eaton Centre). Transmission facilities were shared with CBC Radio atop First Canadian Place.
After weeks of broadcasting music with no announcers or commercials, Flow 93.5 officially began broadcasting in early March.
Kenny Robinson was named morning man at Flow 93.5. He was described as the Canadian King of Comedy.
On July 19, CFXJ was granted an increase in power from 298 to 1,430 watts. The change would provide a more reliable signal in the Toronto area.
On December 11, Milestone Radio Inc. was granted a licence to operate a transitional digital radio undertaking to serve Toronto. The transmitter for the undertaking would employ the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system and operate from the CN Tower. The Milestone the transmitter operated using DRU frequency 1454.56 MHz (DRB channel 2) with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,084 watts.
Carl Redhead, Milestone VP and GM (and one of the original founders) passed away December 22 after a long illness. He was 67.
In February, Flow significantly increased the strength of its signal when it began operating from a new antenna atop First Canadian Place. This was the result of a CRTC decision on December 11, 2003, granting CFXJ a decrease in effective radiated power, from 1,430 to 1,170 watts and an increase in antenna height, from 264 to 298.7 metres.
On August 20 at 5:30 a.m., CFXJ-FM was rebranded as the "New Flow 93.5". The music format changed from Urban (CHR-Rhythmic) to Contemporary Hits.
On December 23, the CRTC approved the application by CTV Limited for authority to acquire, from Milestone Radio Inc., the assets of CFXJ-FM (known as "The New Flow 93.5"). CTV was controlled by CTVglobemedia Inc. while Milestone, the vendor, was controlled by Denham B. Jolly. The Commission noted that Milestone Media Broadcasting Ltd. was looking to step out of the broadcasting industry. In this regard Rogers Broadcasting Limited filed an application for authority to acquire, from CTV Limited and Milestone Media Broadcasting (Edmonton) Limited, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Edmonton Urban Partnership, their other indirectly held radio undertaking, CHBN-FM Edmonton. That application was also approved.
In early February, CHUM Radio (CTVglobemedia) took ownership of 93.5 FLOW (Hip Hop, Dance and R&B). CHUM Radio president Chris Gordon said the company was committed keeping the station "very rhythmic". In approving the sale, the company was bound through 2017 to the terms of CFXJ's original licence, which was for the operation of an urban music format. The CHUM/CTV takeover brought to a close Denham Jolly's run as the first black person in Canada to receive a radio licence. With the ownership transfer, the studios and offices moved from 211 Yonge Street to CTV's 299 Queen Street facility, where CHUM-AM and FM were located. 34 of 58 employees were given buyout packages. Among the departed were program director Wayne Williams, sales, promotions and administrative people. On air personalities J-Wyze, Devo Brown, Chris Mikes, Jus Red, Spex, The Real Frequency, Dr. Jay, OTA Live and the DJ's who worked on the mix show were no longer with FLOW. Scott Boogie, Jenni, Melanie and "Starting From Scratch," Denham Jolly's daughter, Nicole, Milestone's vice president of operations also departed. Vice president of sales Byron Garby remained with the company as did two of his former six sales reps. Music Director Justin Dumont also remained.
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 operated 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 Toronto Radio Partnership, for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, CHUM, CHUM-FM, CFXJ-FM and transitional digital radio undertakings CHUM-DR-1 Toronto and CHUM-DR-2 Toronto. 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.
Bill Bodnarchuk, VP and GM of Bell Media Radio Toronto, retired August 31 after a 38-year career with the company. He spent the first 28 years at CHUM Halifax, beginning as an overnight announcer and working his way up to general manager. Bodnarchuck was promoted and transferred to CHUM/CHUM-FM where he led the two stations for the past 10 years. The Flow 93.5 came under his responsibility earlier this year.
Larry Keats, the former chief engineer at CHUM Toronto, moved to CTV's Agincourt location to become manager of Toronto transmission engineering for CHUM Radio.
Red left Flow 93.5 to host middays and weekends at SONiC in the Fraser Valley/ Vancouver. Former FLOW Program Director Wayne Williams, was now with the new CKFG-FM in Toronto, as was Adriana Steele, a former General Sales Manager at FLOW FM.
Gavin Mortimer became general sales manager at CHUM FM and FLOW 93-5 on March 7. Mortimer moved from Toronto to KOOL 101.5 Calgary five years ago, leaving his national account manager position to assist in the launch of that new station.
Byron Garby was appointed General Manager, Bell Media Radio, National Sales. That division represented 46 stations across Canada. Garby's background included VP at Integrated Media Sales, Telemedia Radio, Canadian Association of Broadcast Representatives Board of Directors and VP, Sales at Milestone Broadcasting-owned The New Flow Toronto when it was sold to Bell Media. Garby succeeded Breydon Macdonald, who had joined CHUM Radio Sales in 2007 from Integrated Media Sales in Toronto and was promoted in 2008 to GM.
On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc. It was a condition of the approval that BCE must divest itself of ownership of several television and radio programming undertakings, including CFXJ-FM. Pending eventual sale, the Commission directed BCE Inc. to transfer the interim management and control of CFXJ to a trustee pursuant to the terms of the voting trust agreement addressed in a letter of approval issued 27 June 2013, by no later than 29 July 2013.
On August 26, Newcap and Bell Media announced that they had entered into an agreement whereby Newcap would acquire from Bell Media Inc. the licences of five radio stations of which BCE had been required to divest itself as part of the CRTC approval for BCE to acquire Astral. CFXJ-FM was one of the stations included in the deal, which was subject to CRTC approval.
Bill Dulmage - Updated September 2013