CJWA signed on the air June 30 with the official first day being July 1. The station broadcast on a frequency of 1240 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts during the day and 250 watts at night. CJWA (with the WA in the calls for Wawa) was owned and operated by Hyland Radio & TV Ltd. of Sault Ste. Marie, owner of CJIC. It was affiliated with the CBC. Mrs. Eileen Hyland was President of the company and the station’s GM was Russ Ramsay.
The station was a part-time satelite of CJIC in Sault Ste Marie.
Stevie Ray (Raymond Stephen Pine) was on air at CJWA (through CJNR Blind River).
Stevie Ray left CJNR/CJWA for CKCY Sault Ste. Marie.
Applications were submitted to the CRTC by Huron Broadcasting Ltd., a new syndicate headed by Carmen Greco, owner of CKCY, to acquire all of the broadcast facilities in the Sault Ste. Marie area. The new company would purchase Hyland Radio-TV (CJIC-AM-FM-TV and CJWA Wawa) and Algonquin Radio-TV (CKCY-AM-FM, CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake and CKNS Espanola). Huron would then sell CJIC-AM-FM to a group headed by Russ Hilderly, the present program director of CKCY. CJIC-AM-FM would assume new call letters while CJWA would become part of the CKCY network. CJIC-TV would continue as a CBC affiliate and Huron would seek a twin stick operation with a new station to be known as CKCY-TV to bring CTV service to the area.
The CRTC approved the applications by Huron for changes in broadcast facilities in the Soo. The approval was conditional on Huron agreeing to provide CTV service no later than September 1, 1978. Huron was warned it must meet its commitments to provide better TV news and public affairs programming. CJWA was to become a full CBC affiliate with separate programming from Wawa.
Huron Broadcasting employees became unionized in June.
On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by Telemedia Communications Inc. for a licence for an English-language radio network that included CJWA, for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1983-84 season of the National Hockey League.
On March 21, the transfer a shares of Huron Broadcasting Ltd. (CJIC-TV, CKCY-TV, CJQM-FM, CKCY Sault Ste. Marie, CKNR Elliot Lake, CKNS Espanola, CJNR Blind River, CJWA Wawa) was approved as follows: the transfer of 16.7% of common shares from each J.S. Hinds, J.O. Hinds and P.D. Edwards to Soo Mill Holdings Ltd., the transfer from C.P. Greco (16.7%) and G.E. Nori (6.7%) to James R. McAuley Investments Inc. and the transfer of 10.0% from G.E. Nori to James F. Kelleher, Patrick J. Mahon and Joseph Anthony Martella. Soo Mill Holdings Ltd. was owned by three trusts, each having an equal interest and having as its beneficiary one of three brothers, Fremlin Simpson Hollingsworth, Edward Hollingsworth and Ian Woolner Hollingsworth. James R. McAuley Investments Inc. was effectively controlled by James R. McAuley.
On December 13, CJWA was granted an increase in night-time power from 250 to 1,000 watts.
Because of the poor economy, CJWA laid off its staff, leaving manager Fred Zimmerman to do 4 ½ hours a day and picking up the remainder of the 19 ½ hours of programming from sister station CKCY in Sault Ste. Marie.
On January 30, CKCY 920 Ltd. was authorized to purchase CKCY-AM, CJQM-FM and Wawa’s CJWA-AM from Huron Broadcasting Ltd. CKCY 920 Ltd. was equally owned by four Sault Ste. Marie residents – Paul Fockler, John Meadows, Basil Carruthers and John Dacey. Fockler and Meadows were Huron employees. CKCY 920 Ltd. had applied in 1984 to purchase these stations. That application was denied July 19, 1984.
Also approved on January 30, CJQM-FM’s application to add SCMO service to transmit the programming of CKCY-AM for pick-up by CJWA. CJWA was also authorized to disaffiliate from the CBC Radio Network. The Wawa area was now receiving network service from the CBC’s own FM transmitter – CBLJ. CJWA would continue to broadcast four and a half hours of local programming each weekday. The rest of its programming would originate with CKCY-AM Sault Ste. Marie.
CJWA changed its part-time program source from CKCY Sault Ste. Marie to CJQM-FM Sault Ste. Marie, a country music station.
On August 31, the CRTC approved the sale of CKCY 920 Ltd. through the transfer of all of the outstanding shares of the licensee company from the existing shareholders (Paul Fockler, John Meadows, Jack Dacey and Basil Carruthers) to Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. Mid-Canada proposed to purchase 100% of the outstanding shares of CKCY. Mid-Canada was a subsidiary of Northern Cable Services Ltd.
On July 26, approval came for the sale of Mid-Canada Radio Inc. (formerly Mid-Canada Communications) by Northern Cable Holdings Ltd. to Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc.
CJWA switched its part-time program source from CJQM to CHAS-FM Sault Ste. Marie.
On April 7, the CRTC approved the applications by Pelmorex Radio Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of CKNR Elliot Lake and its transmitter CJNR Blind River, CKNS Espanola, CHYK and CKAP Kapuskasing, CHUR North Bay, CHVR Pembroke, CHVR-1 Renfrew and its transmitter CHVR-2 Arnprior, CJQM Sault Ste. Marie, CHNO, CHYC and CJMX-FM Sudbury, CKOY Timmins and its transmitter CHOH Hearst, and CJWA Wawa, from Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc., and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these undertakings. In approving these applications, the Commission took into account the fact that Pelmorex Radio Inc. was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pelmorex Inc. which was controlled by Pelmorex Management Inc. and that the transaction thus represented an intracorporate reorganization without any change occurring in the control, programming or management of the licensee.
CJWA 1240 left the air in September.
On May 1, North Superior Broadcasting Ltd., owner of CFNO-FM Marathon, was granted an FM station at Wawa, operating on 107.1 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 210 watts, with a rebroadcast transmitter at Chapleau, on a frequency of 100.7 MHz, with an ERP of 130 watts. As a result, CFNO’s rebroadcast transmitter (CFNO-FM-8) at Wawa would be deleted. The new Wawa station would fill the void resulting from the closure of CJWA-AM. The licensee would also purchase various on-air equipment from the now defunct CJWA.
On August 18, CJWA-FM was granted a low power transmitter at Michipicoten, operating on 100.7 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 5 watts.
On August 30, Labbe Media Inc. was given permission to acquire CJWA-FM from North Superior Broadcasting Ltd. (North Superior also sold CFNO-FM Marathon to H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd.). Labbe was owned and operated by Mrs. Kerry-Lee Labbe and Mr. Rick Labbe.
On January 18, the CRTC approved the application by Labbe Media Incorporated to change the authorized contours of CJWA-FM-1 Chapleau, by decreasing the effective radiated power from 130 watts to 111 watts and by decreasing the effective antenna height from 37 metres to 30.5 metres. The Commission noted that this change reflected the actual technical parameters following construction of the transmission facilities and that there would be no significant change to the coverage area.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJWA-FM and its transmitters CJWA-FM-1 Chapleau and CJWA-FM-3 Michipicoten until March 31, 2012.
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJWA-FM Wawa, and its transmitters CJWA-FM-1 Chapleau and CJWA-FM-3 Michipicoten to August 31, 2012. On August 28, the licence was administratively renewed to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2019.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated January, 2013