Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. proposed to apply for an AM licence in Ottawa. A frequency was not mentioned, but power would be 50,000 watts during the day and 10,000 watts at night. The program format would be strikingly different from anything else in the market, appealing to a varied adult audience. Standard owned CJOH-TV in Ottawa.
Standard Broadcasting and Selkirk Communications bid for the now available 540 kHz frequency in Ottawa. Power would be 50,000 watts during the day, with Selkirk proposing to use 25,000 watts at night and Standard (CFRB Ltd.) looking at a night power of 10,000 watts. 540 kHz was one of Canada's seven clear channels recently made available for additional stations where technically feasible.
The 540 frequency was awarded to CFRB Limited. It would be the capital city's seventh AM outlet and Standard Broadcasting's seventh radio station. CFRB proposed a format of music and information for the over 25 age group. Standard would also move the headquarters of Standard Broadcast News (SBN) to Ottawa and staff would be increased from three to eight, in addition to a CJSB news staff of sixteen.
New technical parameters approved for CKCY in Sault Ste. Marie would slightly reduce CJSB Ottawa's expected night-time coverage. CJSB (540 kHz) and CFGO Ottawa (1440 kHz) were to accept whatever technical compromises were necessary to avoid a "lock in" of CFGO in the future. CFGO had intervened to request CJSB be obliged to remedy any image interference problems experienced by listeners in the vicinity of the CFGO transmitter site.
It was announced that CJSB would be managed by Sidney (Sid) Margles who had been the head man at Standard Broadcast News. He would be vice president and general manager. It also became known that the "SB" in the call sign would represent Standard Broadcasting and that the station format would devote 40% of its time to news and talk. Scheduled on-air date for CJSB was set for September 1, 1982.
Appointments at CJSB: Linda Benoit (general sales manager), Mike O'Brien (program director and operations manager), Ken Harris (chief engineer - formerly of CJRN in Niagara Falls), and Judy Bath (administrative assistant).
Robert Linney, who was hired as the first News Director for CJSB put together an a stellar team of news and sports personalities. Bob came from CFCF Montreal.
CJSB announced the purchase of Continental transmitters for delivery in May to the transmitter site under construction 15 miles southwest of Ottawa. The six tower array (four tower quarter wave phased array - day, and three tower quarter wave phased array at night) was being built by LeBlanc & Royle. The two-storey studio building was being built adjacent to the CJOH-TV building on Merivale Road. It would include three control rooms equipped with McCurdy boards. Ken Harris was chief engineer but overall engineering supervision was by Ernie Mott of Standard stations CJAD and CJFM in Montreal.
NHL statistician Ron Andrews was named CJSB sports director.
Standard Broadcasting's CFRB Ltd. opened station CJSB-AM on August 31 at exactly 5:40 p.m. The station broadcast on 540 kHz with a daytime power of 50,000 watts and a night-time power of 10,000 watts, using different day and night directional patterns. The program format was a mix of Adult Contemporary and Middle of the Road music, as well as news and talk.
The two-storey, 14,000 square foot studio and office complex was located at 1504 Merivale Road (CJOH-TV was at 1500 Merivale). The upper floor was devoted to administration, sales, promotion, copy and accounting. The lower floor held the three studios, public affairs, news, music library and engineering. CJSB had a diesel generator designed to carry the load of the operational station, and it could assume that load within four seconds of a power failure.
Among the original CJSB announcers: Peter Thompson (mornings), Mark Lewis, Michael Engelbert, and The Arthur Brothers. Ken Clarke joined CJSB from Montreal's CJAD where he had been known as Mike Williams.
Harry Bright (son of CKFM Toronto newsman Bill Bright) became overnight newsman at CJSB. He had been with CFOS in Owen Sound.
On October 15, CJSB began broadcasting in stereo, using the Motorola C-Quam system.
CJSB suffered a transmitter fire at 7:15 a.m. on March 10. The station was able to transfer to a 10,000 watt stand-by transmitter, shutting down the 50 kw room where the fire took place, with negligible loss of air time. CJSB was able to return to a full 50,000 watts on March 21.
CJSB changed formats to the Music Of Your Life.
While Sid Margles went on assignment for Standard Radio, Linda Benoit became acting manager and sales manager.
CJSB reportedly had lost $1 million a year since signing on in 1982. As a result, there were some budget cuts. Among the cuts: Ron Andrews lost his daily sports shift and was now working weekends only.
John Lescard became general sales manager. Linda Benoit retained the general manager post.
Perry Middicoff became music director and Helen Lenthal joined as promotions manager from CKBY.
Cam Gardiner became assistant program director to John Mackey.
Ron Andrews (sports) left for The Sports Network.
CJOH-TV's Brian Smith is doing play-by-play and CJSB's Dave Kittle, color commentary for CJSB's coverage of Ottawa 67's hockey games.
Linda Benoit was promoted to vice president and general manager.
Al Zimmer joined CJSB as news director. He had been with CHIN in Toronto.
Slaight Communications (J. Allan Slaight) purchased Standard Broadcasting from Argus Corp. (Conrad Black). The sale was announced March 29 and approved by the CRTC in November.
Cam Gardiner was promoted from assistant program director to program director. He replaced John Mackey who was promoted to general manager at Standard's CKFM in Toronto.
Cory Galbraith was now news director at CJSB. He had worked in the past at Toronto's CFTR.
CFRB Limited (CJSB) and CJAD Inc. merged to form Standard Radio Inc.
Ed Needham left CJSB for Toronto's CFRB. Ken Clarke died at age 44 following a motor vehicle accident.
CJSB had its licence renewed for four years but the CRTC called for improvements in programming, news and support for Canadian talent. It was noted that the station's first two years of operation were ‘disastrous'.
Bev Bowman, formerly of CFTR News, joined the news department at CJSB for weekend work. News director was Cory Galbraith.
A lite hits format was adopted in January.
David Foreman was named general manager of CJSB.
Randall Moore left CJSB after five years to become news director at CFJR Brockville.
Marissa Golini joined CJSB news (mornings) from CHEX Peterborough.
Relph Leven left CJSB news for Broadcast News.
CJSB became "54 Rock" with a contemporary hits format.
On June 20, CJSB received CRTC approval to increase night-time power from 10,000 watts to 12,500 watts. Daytime power would remain 50,000 watts.
Personalities 1988-89: Pat Cochrane and Wendy Daniels (mornings), Gord Taylor (middays), Brian Kelly (afternoons), Kevin Klein (evenings), Nikki Shaw (overnights). Others: Darren Stevens, Sonny Fox, Bob Cowan, Mike Hogan (news) and Don Landry. Kevin Klein was replaced in evenings by Don Landry and then Ken Conners.
Earl McRae was doing sports at 54 Rock. Pat Cochrane left for CHOG in Toronto.
Gary Aube joined from CILQ-FM in Toronto to be CJSB's vice president and general manager.
Unprofitable in each of its eleven years, CJSB was given approval to move to the FM band, using the old CKO frequency of 106.9 MHz. Effective radiated power would be 84,000 watts. On FM, CJSB would have a hard rock format, heavy on current releases.
On August 31, at 9:00 a.m., "54 Rock" CJSB-AM-540 signed off the air.
At 6:00 p.m., September 1, CKQB-FM "The Bear" signed on with a classic rock format on 106.9 MHz. The station kicked things off with 106 hours of commercial-free music. CKQB-FM began testing a few days earlier. Gary Aube continued on as vice president and general manager.
CJSB 540 simulcast CKQB 106.9 until its deletion in December.
CKQB news director and morning news anchor Marisa Golini died on May 23.
Darren Stevens left. VP and GM Gary Aube left The Bear.
Doc Halen returned to the air at The Bear. He had been dismissed from the station a month earlier in favour of B.J. Wilson from Q104 Halifax. However, Wilson opted to remain with NewCap and instead moved to Mix96 Edmonton.
Gary Aube was no longer CKQB's general manager.
Mornings (5-9) were hosted by Bill, Stuntman Stu & Robin. Lea Miller handled 9-2, and was followed by Wendy Daniels (2-6). Hunter was on 6-11, and overnights were handled by Jetboy (Scott Lear). Kath Thompson looked after weekends. Robin Banks (morning co-host) left for CKFM in Toronto in May.
Brad Dryden became morning host at The Bear. He had been at CIRK-FM, Edmonton.
On November 13, CKQB was granted a licence to operate transitional digital radio undertakings (DRU) to serve Ottawa. Three transmitters were used: one was located at the CBC's site at Camp Fortune, Quebec. The other two transmitters were located in Ottawa, one at the CBC's building on Lanark Avenue and the other at the Time MCI Las Brisas building. All three transmitters operated in a single frequency network, using 1487.696 MHz (DRB channel 21) with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,928 watts, 2,850 watts and 2,965 watts, respectively. The transmitters employed the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system.
On January 30, CKQB received approval to add a rebroadcast transmitter at Pembroke, operating at 99.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 45,200 watts.
CKQB started testing its new Pembroke transmitter in November and it officially went on the air a short time later.
CKQB’s Pembroke rebroadcaster – CKQB-FM-1 – began operation in the spring.
On September 27, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions. The purchase included CKQB-FM.
On January 9 at 4:00 p.m., "Ottawa's Best Rock 106.9 FM The Bear" was rebranded as "Virgin Radio 1069 FM - Where Rock Lives".
On August 27, Virgin Radio Ottawa relieved two people of their duties - Pete Travers (program director) and Darren Stevens (promotions director).
On October 14 the CRTC approved the application by Astral Media Radio G.P., to amend the licence for CKQB-FM by changing the frequency of its transmitter CKQB-FM-1 Pembroke from 99.7 MHz to 99.9 MHz and by decreasing its effective radiated power from 45,200 to 7,500 watts. Astral stated that the purpose of its application was to avoid co-channel spacing issues between CKQB-FM-1 and its new English-language commercial FM radio station, which was authorized to broadcast at 99.7 MHz.The licensee also indicated that the approval of the technical change would fulfill the commitments made in the context of Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2007-13-2, in order to minimize potential signal interference and to address technical limitations associated with the use of proposed FM frequencies for the Ottawa-Gatineau market.
In February, after 10 years at the station, Virgin Radio Ottawa decided to part ways with morning man Cub Carson. The station also parted ways with morning co-host Katharine "Kitty" Dines. Announcer Dylan Black also left the station. A week later, it was announced that Virgin Ottawa's new morning show hosts would be Gonzo (formerly afternoons) along with Kaz (from CHST London) along with Jay, who had been with the previous morning show. Joe Leary would take over the 2-6 p.m. shift.
CKQB returned to being "The Bear" after a stint as "Virgin Radio". The format remained Active Rock. In a stunt to promote the change, Gonzo (announcer) received a letter warning of disciplinary action for both discussing on the air and taking calls concerning whether or not The Bear should return. He read the letter on the air and then played "Take This Job and Shove It". Gonzo then walked off air, leaving Kaz and Jay to figure out how to shut the song off. "The Bear is committed to operating a highly entertaining and successful radio station that promises listeners exciting programming and more of the rock music that they know and love," said Bruce Gilbert, Brand Director for the station. "We've been listening intently to our audience and in response to popular demand we've brought THE BEAR brand and Ottawa's Best Rock back to the Nation's Capital". There were no staffing changes as a result of the shift. Gonzo, Kaz & Jay continued on in mornings. Wendy Daniels, Scott Lear and Joe Leary rounded out the schedule. "The arrival of THE BEAR in Ottawa will create an engaging and distinctive experience that will enhance the value of our offering to consumers and advertisers," said Denis Bouchard, General Manager, 106.9 The Bear.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKQB-FM and its transmitter CKQB-FM-1 Pembroke until March 31, 2012.
Darryl Kornicky joined 106.9 The Bear in afternoon drive.
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKQB-FM Ottawa and its transmitter CKQB-FM-1 Pembroke, to August 31, 2012.
Astral Media Ottawa announced that Scott Lear & Jeff Kelly were named assistant brand directors for The Bear & Boom respectively. JD Desrosiers left his role as program director for Live 105 and Energy 103.5 Halifax and took on the role of brand manager for 106.9 The Bear.
106.9 The BEAR / boom 99.7 and Rebecca Crow (promotions supervisor) parted ways.
On July 10, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKQB-FM Ottawa and its transmitter CKQB-FM-1 Pembroke to March 31, 2013.
106.9 The Bear and afternoon host Darryl Kornicky (a.k.a "Kornicky") parted ways.
Jason JD Desrosiers became Brand Manager at 106.9 The BEAR Ottawa. He had been Promotions and Marketing Director/Assistant Program Director at Live 105/Energy 103.5 FM Halifax. Desrosiers had been with the Evanov stations since June, 2009.
Bruce Gilbert, the Brand Director at 106.9 THE BEAR Ottawa, made a return to HTZ-FM St. Catharines January 3 as Brand Director. It was his third time at HTZ. In April, 1999, he moved from HTZ to CING-FM Burlington as Assistant Promotions Director. In July, 2004, he moved from Promotions Manager at EZ Rock Toronto to become Program Director at HTZ-FM and, in September, 2009, Gilbert moved from HTZ-FM to 106.9 THE BEAR Ottawa.
Sarah Kelly left The Bear to join the morning team at Virgin Radio in London (CIQM).
On February 6, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CKQB-FM Ottawa and its transmitter CKQB-FM-1 Pembroke to August 31, 2013.
Jason JD Desrosiers, the brand director at 106.9 The BEAR added responsibilities as brand director at sister station boom 99.7. He succeeded Morgan Prue who left in November.
Scott McCord joined the 106.9 The Bear Ottawa morning show team of Leslie Kaz and Jay Herrington February 4, moving from The Bear Edmonton where he'd been doing afternoons for the last three years. McCord was with the Edmonton station for six years before his drive gig doing creative, overnights and evenings. He succeeded Jon "Gonzo" Mark who moved to afternoons.
On March 4th,Corus Entertainment announced that it had reached an agreement with Bell Media to acquire the 50% remaining ownership interest in two Ottawa-based radio stations, CKQB-FM (The Bear 106.9) and CJOT-FM (boom 99.7), that Bell would acquire as part of the acquisition of Astral Media Inc. pending regulatory approval, thereby achieving 100% ownership of these stations.
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 CKQB-FM. Pending eventual sale, the Commission directed BCE Inc. to transfer the interim management and control of CKQB 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 28th the CRTC announced that it would hold a hearing on November 8th to hear various applications including that by Corus to acquire 100% ownership of CKQB-FM from Bell Media.
Bill Dulmage - Updated September 2013