CHEX was scheduled to open on January 15. The owner was Northern Broadcasting & Publishing. CHEX had the latest RCA equipment and the directional antenna array meant a signal equal to 2,700 watts.
CHEX began broadcasting on March 31. It operated on a frequency of 1430 kHz and the power was 1,000 watts day and night (single directional pattern for day and night operation). Studios were in The Examiner Building on Hunter Street. The transmitter and four towers were on part of Lots 24 and 25, Concession 12, Old Keene Road, south of Highway 7, Otonabee Township, southeast of Peterborough.
On opening day the station received over 250 visitors and more than 50 telegrams at the opening ceremony. Special cars were reserved on the CNR to accommodate guests from Toronto and Montreal. W. Rupert Davies was president of the Peterborough Broadcasting Co. Ltd., and Roy H. Thomson was vice president, and president of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Ltd.
CHEX was a CBC Dominion affiliate, and was on the air from 6:00 a.m. to 12:05 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:20 p.m. on Sundays. The "EX" in the call sign represented the station’s association with the Peterborough Examiner newspaper. CHEX was owned by The Brookland Co. Ltd. and operated by Northern Broadcasting Ltd. (Rupert Davies – 60% and Roy H. Thomson – 40%). The company also owned the CKWS stations in Kingston.
During Army Week, CHEX, with the cooperation of Canadian Basic Training Centre No. 32, and some 50 or so other talented ranks, produced a series of five 30 minute variety shows.
When sister station CKWS opened on September 1, CHEX's manager Jack Davidson was moved to Kingston to take over operations at that station.
Roy H. Thomson & Jack K. Cooke formed National Broadcast Sales to represent CKGB, CJKL, CFCH, CKRN, CKVD, CHAD, CHEX and CKWS.
Senator W. Rupert Davies made his maiden speech in the Senate on February 2.
Bernard Cowan joined the staff of CHEX.
Yvonne Laplante joined the staff of CHEX. Don Ramsay (formerly CJIC Sault Ste. Marie) and Jim Ward (from Toronto) joined the CHEX announcing staff. Ken Campbell joined the CHEX announce staff. He had been with National Broadcast Sales.
CBC Dominion Basic Stations: CJFX, CHNS, CFCY, CKCW, CKNB, CJLS, CKCO, CHOV, CFBR, CJBC, CHEX, CFPL, CFCO, CFPA, CHLT, CFCF, CKRC, CJGX, CKX, CKRM, CHAB, CFQC, CKBI, CFCN, CFRN, CJRL, CHWK, CJOR, CJVI.
Jack Davidson, manager of CKWS, was appointed supervisor of stations operated by Northern Broadcasting & Publishing (CKGB, CJKL, CFCH, CHEX and CKWS). Bert Cullen left CHEX to join the announcing staff at CKSF in Cornwall. Alan Cauley (former Ferry Command) left CHEX for CKSF in Cornwall. Hal Cooke was manager of CHEX and E.L. Jones was commercial manager.
Frank Shoales joined CHEX from CKWS Kingston where he was chief operator. Bob Harvie returned to the CHEX air staff after serving as program director with the RCAF's station at Gander, Newfoundland. Bill Croone left CHEX to join the announcing staff at CJKL in Kirkland Lake.
Roy H. Thomson was president of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Ltd. S.F. Chapman was secretary treasurer. Hal Cooke was CHEX's manager, Karl Monk was program director, and El Jones was commercial manager. Jack Davidson was supervisor of the Northern stations.
Fred Darling left CHEX for Toronto's CKEY. Rod Dewar (from CJKL Kirkland Lake) and Neil Tracy (from CKGB Timmins) joined the CHEX announce staff.
Wally Crouter became the newest CHEX announcer after five and a half years in the army, including four years with the Army Show. Crouter would leave CHEX toward the end of the year - for Toronto's CFRB. Hal Cooke left CHEX as manager for CJAD Montreal and then later, CKEY Toronto. Harold Burley, recently discharged from the RCAF, was appointed manager of CHEX. He had worked in the past for CFRB (program produced for the Daily Telegram), CKRN Rouyn, and CKVD Val d'Or.
Stations of Northern Broadcasting & Publishing Co. of Timmins were granted licenses to operate FM stations. All would have a power of 250 watts: CHNB North Bay (CFCH-AM), CHKL Kirkland Lake (CJKL-AM), CKRT Timmins (CKGB-AM) and CKEX Peterborough (CHEX-AM). CHNB and CHKL would use RCA equipment. CKRT and CKEX would use GE equipment.
Donald Cooke was manager and Harold Burley was commercial manager.
CHEX was now operating CHEX-FM.
E.L. Jones was sales manager. Karl Monk was program director. General manager Harold Burley left CHEX to become business manager for the Sarnia Observer newspaper. Russ Baer succeeded him at CHEX. Baer had worked for CKGB, CJKL and CFCH. After three years with the RCAF, he returned to radio at CKWS Kingston. He started at CKWS as program director but became commercial manager almost two years ago.
Norm Aldred joined CHEX. Russ Baer was manager and E. L. Jones was commercial manager.
The CBC approved the transfer 2 shares in the Brookland Co. Ltd., with no change of control.
Don Lawrie was transferred to CHEX from CJKL in Kirkland Lake. He was manager at both locations.
The CBC Board approved the recapitalization of the Brookland Co. Ltd. (CHEX, CKWS) with 7,500 preferred and 10,000 common shares from 10,000 common and 4,000 preferred shares.
Wally Rewegan and Ken Billings were account executives. Don Lawrie was named manager, succeeding Russ Baer. Lawrie had been manager of CJKL in Kirkland Lake. Gerry Grady was commercial manager.
The CBC gave approval for the issuance of 1,000 preferred shares and the transfer of 240 3/10 preferred shares in the Brookland Co. Ltd.
CHEX became a C.A.B. member.
The Brookland Co. Ltd. applied for TV licences in Kingston (CKWS) and Peterborough (CHEX). The Kingston application was approved but the one for Peterborough was deferred.
The CBC Board approved the transfer of CHEX from the Brookland Co. Ltd. to Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd., with no change in ownership.
George Ludgate was sports director.
CHEX-FM left the air around this time.
Slogan: Getting older...and sounding better. After 11 years in the business, CHEX still has a fresh sound.
CHEX was building a new facility to house both radio and television. It was located two miles northeast of downtown.
Jack Davidson was general manager for both CHEX Peterborough and CKWS Kingston.
When CHEX-TV opened, the radio studios moved in to the new TV building on Vision Hill (Television Road, Lot 2, Concession 2, Douro Township).
Jack Weatherwax, former CJKL Kirkland Lake manager, took over as manager of CHEX Radio.
Slogans: Key station in the Kawartha playground - CHEX Peterborough. / Expand your sales in a rich market with CHEX - Peterborough.
Ownership of Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. - W. R. Davies 50.90%, Robertson Davies 0.05%, A. L. Davies 0.05%, R. H. Thomson 1.00%, K. R. Thomson 16.00%, Mrs. I. J. Brydson 16.00% and Mrs. P. A. Campbell 16.00%.
Senator R. Davies was president of the company. Robert Redmond was assistant manager and commercial manager at CHEX. William Williamson was program director. Rudell Crary was news director while John Danko was sports director. Bert Crump was chief engineer.
Don Lawrie left CHEX as manager to become director of broadcast operations for parent company, Northern Broadcasting. He was replaced at CHEX by Keith Packer who had been manager at sister station CFCH in North Bay.
CHEX was getting ready to move to 980 kHz and increase power to 5,000 watts. Three of the four towers were now in place but when chief engineer Bert Crump and his team tried to place the last tower, they ran in to quick sand! With a lot of extra work, the 4th tower was finally put in place.
CHEX moved from 1430 kHz to 980 kHz, and increased full-time power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts. The changes took place on March 12 (or in April sometime). The same towers and transmitter site were used. The 1430 frequency that CHEX had operated on would now be used by Foster Hewitt's CKFH in Toronto. CKFH had been on 1400 kHz. This change also opened up 1420 kHz for use in 1959 by Peterborough's new station - CKPT. Ad: Announcing...great new coverage! CHEX - now at 980 with 5,000 watts.
Reg Carne was named sales manager at CHEX. He had been with CJKL Kirkland Lake.
CHEX opposed the application for a new AM station in the city (CKPT). CHEX was already concerned about the amount of listening done to Toronto and other outside stations. CHEX's program policy at this time was to provide something for everyone. Total weekly program time was 125 and a quarter hours. An average week featured about 20 hours of news and sports, 32 hours of regularly scheduled talks and interviews, quizzes, drama, farm news, concert music, women's programs and CBC Dominion Network programs. The remaining approximately 74 hours per week was devoted mainly to music. The only exception being talks, interviews and special remote features which were inserted into the schedule as they became available or desirable. Network programs carried on a weekly or nightly basis by CHEX included Assignment, BBC dramas, Travelers Night Life, Fighting Words and Cross Section. School of the Air was carried daily (Mon-Fri). In addition, CHEX has always cooperated with the network for the origination of programs from Peterborough. CHEX was soon to begin feeding the entire Dominion network a weekly half hour of live music featuring Peterborough artists. Outside of the network, CHEX considered itself to be a "community" station and aired programs such as Report from Parliament Hill, Canada at Work, Teenage Book Parade, Morning Devotions, etc. Local talent was featured on programs such as Kawartha Showcase and Peterborough Playhouse. At this time CHEX had a staff of 27. (CKPT was licensed and went on the air in December)
Jim McGrath was special events announcer at CHEX. Bill Williamson was program director. Frank Eckersley was news editor.
Equipment for a weather station was installed at the CHEX Radio-TV centre. Previously, Peterborough and the Kawartha's used the forecast issued for the Trenton area.
The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks of the CBC were merged into a single service. CHEX had been a Dominion affiliate. It remained a CBC affiliate after the merger.
Paul Godfrey joined CHEX.
CHEX applied for a change in daytime radiation pattern.
Paul Godfrey left for CKLY in Lindsay.
Bruce Anderson joined CHEX-AM-TV from CHNO Sudbury.
Senator Rupert Davies was President of Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and Wally Rewegan was General Manager of CHEX. Other staffers of note: Don O'Neil was program and production manager, John Gilbert (morning man), Sean Eyre (music director), Bruce Anderson (news director), John Danko (sports director) and Bert Crump was chief engineer.
CHEX applied to increase power from 5,000 watts full-time to 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night. It would operate with different day and night directional antenna patterns with a slight change to the daytime signal. At present, radio reception in localities throughout the north and north-east of the proposed contour was spotty, and not consistent from any station. These areas would benefit most by the improved CHEX signal. The proposal would extend the signal about ten miles to the east and north. The signal would be virtually unchanged to the south and west.
CHEX increased daytime power in February, to 10,000 watts. Night-time power remained 5,000 watts. The same transmitter site and four towers were used.
Bruce Anderson left CHEX to work in the U.S. He had been news director for the Peterborough stations.
CHEX-FM returned to the air on July 24.
Del Crary left for CKPT. Ron Fitzpatrick joined CHEX in September from CFOR in Orillia.
It was announced that the broadcast interests of Lord Roy Thomson and the late Senator Rupert Davies' families would be sold to Bushnell TV Co. Ltd. of Ottawa (CJOH-TV). The plan was subject to CRTC approval. The sale would include CKWS-AM-FM-TV Kingston, CHEX-AM-FM-TV Peterborough, CFCH-AM-TV North Bay, CKGB-AM-FM Timmins and CJKL Kirkland Lake.
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. CHEX was one of those stations.
On July 6, the Thomson and Davies families were given permission to sell their stations to Bushnell Communications Ltd. of Ottawa. The sale included stations in Timmins, Kingston, Kirkland Lake & New Liskeard, and North Bay. Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CHEX-AM-FM-TV) was part of the deal. The sale was conditional on the transfer of CFCH-AM-TV North Bay & Cablevue to another party. The sale to Bushnell was never completed.
Ron Fitzpatrick left for CHLO St. Thomas.
John Stall became the morning man at CHEX.
John Stall left for St. Catharines and CKTB.
CHEX-FM became CFMP-FM.
A numbered company owned by Paul Desmarais, Claude Pratte and J. G. Porteous received CRTC approval to purchase Frontenac Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CKWS-AM-TV and CFMK-FM) and Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CHEX-AM-TV and CFMP-FM) from the Rupert Davies Estate (51%), and the Thomson Estate (49%).
Don Lawrie became president of Katenac holdings, owner of Kawartha Broadcasting and Frontenac Broadcasting.
Some of the on-air names at CHEX: Shane Gordon (mornings), Stu Harrison (middays), Gord Gibb (afternoons), Tim Hollingsworth, Gary Dalliday (sports), Vern Belos (news) and Bill Juby (sports).
Robert Rudd was promoted from assistant news director to vice president of information at CHEX.
Ralph Connor joined CHEX as executive vice president.
Joe Andrews (Malysa) joined CHEX from Toronto's CKEY. He hosted the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift, Monday thru Friday.
Stuart Harrison became promotion director at CHEX. Ralph Connor was vice president and general manager and Robert Rudd was vice president of news. Carl Patrick left CHEX for 820 CHAM Hamilton in November.
On January 29, the CRTC approved the applications for authority to transfer effective control of Frontenac Broadcasting Company Limited and Kawartha Broadcasting Company Limited through the transfer of 200 common voting shares (100%) of Katenac Holdings Limited from Paul G. Desmarais (90), Claude Pratte (90) and three minority shareholders (20) to Power Corporation of Canada, which was indirectly controlled by Mr. Desmarais. As a result of this transaction, Power Corporation would acquire 100% control of Katenac Holdings Limited which held effective control of Frontenac Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CKWS, CFMK-FM and CKWS-TV Kingston and Kawartha Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CHEX, CHEX-TV, CFMP-FM Peterborough and two rebroadcasting stations, and CKCB Collingwood and CKBB Barrie.
Del Crary died. He started at CHEX and then moved to CKPT in 1968.
CHEX 980 received approval to increase its night-time power to 7,500 watts from 5,000 watts. Daytime power would remain 10,000 watts. A new transmitter site would be used.
Brian Punchard became general manager of CHEX. He had been at CKSA Lloydminster.
Jack Ruttle was named president of Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd. He had been executive vice-president at CTV.
Former CTV news anchor Wally Macht was named managing editor at CFMP / CHEX-AM-TV. Robert Rudd remained vice president of information.
CHEX moved to a new transmitter site (located about six and a half kilometres south of the existing one) and increased night power to 7,500 watts. The station began broadcasting in stereo, using the Motorola C-Quam system. Day power remained 10,000 watts.
Long-time Toronto news and sports broadcaster John Badham, was now at CHEX.
Joe Andrews left CHEX. He had worked on the air, was program director, and then vice president of programming.
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.
The CHEX Radio and Television building underwent an overhaul, complete with new equipment. The building was renamed The Donald R. Lawrie Broadcast Centre in honour of the station's first president & general manager who retired earlier in the year. At retirement, Lawrie was president of Katenac Holdings and had been in broadcasting for almost 44 years.
Donald R. Lawrie was appointed honorary director of Power Broadcasting Inc. The Rt. Hon. Jeanne Sauve and Anthony R. Graham were named directors.
CFMP-FM became CKWF-FM.
Bob Harris was named program director for CHEX-AM and CKWF-FM and Randy C. Redden was appointed sales manager.
CHEX, with an adult contemporary format became CKRU with an oldies format ("Good Time Oldies, 980 Kruz").
Randy C. Redden moved from the position of general sales manager to vice president and general manager of Power Radio Peterborough.
Malcolm Sinclair became program director of CKRU and CKWF-FM. He had been with CKYC-AM in Toronto.
In September, CKRU began picking up most of its programming from the Good Time Oldies network (Satellite Radio Network owned by Rogers and based in Vancouver). Local production was limited to the Monday through Friday morning snow, news, weather, advertising and promotion. The same changes went into effect at Power-owned CFFX Kingston and CKDO Oshawa. (Later, local personalities were brought back for middays and PM Drive - automation).
Power Broadcasting Peterborough vice president and general manager Dennis A. Watson left to take up the same position with CKCO-TV in Kitchener. He was succeeded by Bryan Ellis who had been with CHAT in Medicine Hat.
Claude Pratte died in Quebec City on July 15. He had been prominent in several Quebec-based broadcasting companies. Between 1977 and 1987, he was a part owner of Kawartha Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
Malcolm Sinclair, PD for CKRU and CKWF since 1994 was promoted to Regional Radio Program Director for Power Broadcasting (Radio).
Bryan Ellis, Executive Vice President and General Manager, was appointed to the same position at CHCH-TV Hamilton. He took up his new job on April 28.
On January 13, the studios of CHEX Channel 12, CKWF 101.5, and CKRU 980 had to be evacuated for several hours after the 700 foot CHEX-TV/CKWF-FM tower began to sway dangerously from heavy ice.
On February 1, CKRU, CHEX and CKWF moved from the Television Hill studio and office complex due to concerns over the TV-FM tower. The radio stations moved to 151 King Street and CHEX-TV relocated to 743 Monaghan Road.
Late in the year, Corus Radio Company purchased the stations of Power Broadcasting, which included CKRU, subject to CRTC approval. Corus had just been formed in September.
John Badham was doing news at CKRU.
On March 24, the CRTC approved the sale of Power Broadcasting to Corus Entertainment. Corus took ownership of the stations a short time later. The purchase included Peterborough’s CKRU-AM, CKWF-FM and CHEX Television.
In February, Corus created a six station Ontario talk network consisting of CHML 900 Hamilton, CFPL 980 London, CKDO 1350 Oshawa, CKRU 980 Peterborough, CFFX 960 Kingston and CJOY 1460 Guelph. Talkshows from CHML and CFPL were simulcast on the network during certain dayparts, seven days a week. The network began on CHML and CFPL, February 12 with the other stations joining later in the month. The network disbanded later in the year except for CHML-CFPL.
CKRU applied to the CRTC for permission to move to the FM band.
On May 8, Corus Entertainment Inc. was licenced to operate a new English-language commercial FM station in Peterborough to replace CKRU-AM. The conversion to FM was approved but the CRTC denied the proposed technical parameters. The application by Corus was technically mutually exclusive with one by Pineridge Broadcasting as both proposed the use of the 96.7 MHz frequency. Given that the 96.7 MHz 3mV/m FM contour is significantly greater than the existing 15mV/m AM contour of CKRU and would extend its principal marketing area further south into the Cobourg radio market, the Commission considers that this frequency should be awarded to Pineridge, which is currently the only local commercial operator in Cobourg. Accordingly, Corus will be required to consider using an alternative FM frequency to operate the proposed service. Corus proposed to maintain CKRU's current Oldies music format on the proposed FM station.
On December 1, CKRU received approval to broadcast on a frequency of 100.5 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 5,000 watts.
On June 15, CKRU (980 Kruz) made the official move to the FM dial. At 8:00 a.m., "Peterborough's Greatest Hits 100.5 FM Kruz" signed on the air. On AM, the format focused on music from the ‘50s, ‘60's and ‘70s. The FM format shifted a bit to concentrate on the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Fred Patterson was program director. On-air staff included: Mike Melnik (mornings), Gord Gibb, Lisa MacDonald, Catherine Hanrahan, Pete Dalliday, Dale Lowe and John Badham.
CKRU-AM 980 left the air in the autumn after more than 60 years of service. Programming continued on the new FM replacement.
J.J. Johnson became general manager of Corus Radio in Cornwall, Kingston and Peterborough.
Len Arminio, after nearly 25 years at Belleville's Loyalist College, retired in the spring from his position as Coordinator of Broadcast Journalism. Before moving to the educational side, Arminio was News Director at CHEX-Radio-TV Peterborough.
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 - Suzanne Carpenter, VP/GM, Corus Radio, Eastern Ontario and VP/GM, CHEX TV Peterborough and CKWS-TV Kingston; JJ Johnston, GM, Corus Radio Cornwall, Kingston and Peterborough (was GM at Corus Radio Vancouver) and Michael Harris, GM, CKWS-TV and CHEX TV (was GM of CHEX TV only). Corus Radio-TV Kingston GM Mike Ferguson was no longer with the company. Former Corus Radio Peterborough GM Brian Armstrong became GSM.
The five towers at the old CKRU 980 transmitter site were torn down on October 25.
In December, Corus Entertainment announced the appointment of Suzanne Carpenter as general manager of the Corus Toronto radio stations, effective January 3, 2011. She had been vice president and general manager of Corus Radio Eastern Ontario, CHEX TV and CKWS TV.
Corus Radio Peterborough & program director Fred Patterson parted ways. Suzanne Carpenter became GM at Corus Radio Toronto on January 3. She also retained her VP role at Corus Entertainment. Carpenter had been VP/GM, Corus Radio Eastern Ontario, CHEX-TV Peterborough and CKWS-TV Kingston. John Badham, 73, retired from a full-time broadcasting shift at The Wolf/Kruz. He would remain with the stations doing commentaries, editorial work and some feature interviews. He'd been in broadcasting 53 years, 23 of them in Peterborough. In the '70s and '80s, he was highly regarded as a sportscaster in Toronto. Laurie English was promoted to general sales manager from retail sales manager, succeeding 19-year veteran Brian Armstrong who was no longer with the stations.
At Corus Radio Peterborough, Laurie English was promoted to Market Sales Manager from Retail Sales Manager, succeeding 19-year veteran Brian Armstrong who was no longer with the stations. Program Director Fred Patterson also departed. Jennifer Pelat moved from Corus Radio Vancouver to become PD of the Corus Peterborough cluster.
Corus Radio Peterborough announced the appointment of Rob Seguin to the position of program director for The Wolf 101.5 Fm / 100.5 Kruz Fm effective June 4. He had been program director and promotion director at CJSS-FM Cornwall.
Jennifer Pelat, a five-year employee at CKNW Vancouver before Corus Executive J.J. Johnston convinced her to move east last August to become Program Director at Corus Peterborough, moved to CTV National News in Toronto as Assignment Editor. Her last day at the Corus stations was May 13.
In August it was announced that veteran morning host Mike Melnik would leave 100.5 Kruz-FM in November to focus on his media production business. Melnik had been waking up Peterborough listeners for 24 years.
As of June 25, Meghan "Kya" Kyer, Interactive Account Manager at Corus Radio Cornwall, added that responsibility at CHEX-TV, 100.5 Kruz-FM and The Wolf 101.5 FM Peterborough. She relocated to Peterborough.
Veteran radio personality Pete Dalliday joined co-host, Catherine Hanrahan, on the 100.5 Kruz-FM morning show beginning November 12. Dalliday replaced the departing Mike Melnik who did his last show on November 9. Dalliday, who has been with Corus Entertainment since September 1996, was host of the afternoon drive show on Kruz-FM's brother station, 101.5 The Wolf, and hosted Big Pete's House of Boogie every Saturday night on 100.5 Kruz-FM. Born and raised in Peterborough, Dalliday was also a TSN play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Rock National Lacrosse League in 2010, videographer and anchor with Peterborough's CHEX-TV from 1996 to 2005, radio play-by-play announcer for the Peterborough Petes on 100.5 Kruz-FM from 1996 to 2011, and now play-by-play announcer for the Peterborough Petes on TVCogeco. Pete and Catherine in the Morning debuted November 12 and was heard every Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Peterborough's Greatest Hits of All Time - the "all new" 100.5 Kruz-FM.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated April, 2013