CanWest Broadcasting, owner of CKND-TV, had its bid for an FM licence at Winnipeg denied. The CRTC ruled the proposal was overly dependent on CKND's staff and facilities. If it had been approved, the station would have broadcast on 99.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.
On August 8, Global Communications Limited received approval to operate a new FM station in Winnipeg. This would be the company's first radio station in Canada. Global's application proposed a station that would operate in a smooth jazz format, in which at least 70% of all music played would be jazz and blues. Global indicated that such a niche format would be equally attractive to men and women aged 35-64. The new station would broadcast on a frequency of 99.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. Antenna height would be 223 metres.
Global is a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Television Network Inc., a corporation controlled indirectly by Israel Asper of Winnipeg. Global Television is one of Canada's largest private broadcasters. Through Global, Global Television owns over-the-air television stations and transmitters serving large and small communities across Canada. In response to questioning related to the question of cross-media ownership involving the proposed FM station and co-owned CKND-TV, Global indicated that, while the proposed station would benefit from synergies with the CKND-TV newsroom and other Global newsgathering resources, the new FM station would have its own news director, leading a team of three journalist/announcers. Global added that "Smooth FM's News Director will liaise with the CKND newsroom but will control the news stories that the station will broadcast.
CJZZ-FM "Cool FM" signed on the air at 6:00 p.m. on February 28.
On September 19, 2003, CJZZ was granted a decrease in effective radiated power, from 100,000 watts to 63,700 watts average (100,000 watts maximum). The transmitter site would be changed from a location at Starbuck (owned by the CBC), to a tower owned by Rogers Communications Inc. and located about 27 kilometres east of the Starbuck site. Antenna height would decrease from 223 to 206 metres. Stations operating from the Starbuck tower suffered from multi-pathing. This would not be the case at the new tower.
I. H. "Izzy" Asper passed away on October 7.
On October 27, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CanWest MediaWorks Inc. and its subsidiaries, licensees of various broadcasting undertakings across Canada, from the late Mr. Israel Asper to Mrs. Ruth Miriam Asper, and subsequently from Mrs. Ruth Miriam Asper to the children, through their control of the board of directors of CanWest Global Communications Corp., pursuant to a nomination agreement between them and CanWest Communications Corporation, a corporation controlled by Mrs. Ruth Miriam Asper. (Note: CanWest Mediaworks was now the parent of Global)
CJZZ-FM's studios and offices were now located at Canwest Global Place, 201 Portage Avenue (30th Floor).
Approval was granted for the transfer of ownership of CanWest MediaWorks Inc. through the transfer of the beneficial ownership of CanWest Global Communications Corp., the parent corporation of CMI, from Mrs. Ruth Asper to David, Gail and Leonard Asper, holding together, through their personal holdings, 88.95% of the voting rights of CGCC.
On July 6, the CRTC approved the purchase by Corus Premium Television Ltd. (Corus Entertainment) of CKBT-FM Kitchener and CJZZ-FM Winnipeg, from CanWest MediaWorks Inc. CJZZ-FM offered a specialty format, specifically, the smooth jazz format. Corus proposed to broadcast a minimum of 42 hours of local programming during each broadcast week, which would include a minimum of 61.5 minutes of news, sports and surveillance. The applicant also made a commitment to devote a minimum of 70% of its news coverage to local news.
Corus officially took ownership of CJZZ-FM Cool FM 99.1 on July 30.
On August 1, the station was moved to the Corus facility with co-owned CJOB-AM and CJKR-FM Power 97 at 930 Portage Avenue.
"Cool FM" became known as "Smooth Jazz 99.1 FM". The format remained smooth jazz.
At 7:14 a.m., November 5, CJZZ-FM was relaunched as CJGV-FM - 99.1 Groove FM. The format changed from jazz/smooth jazz to a smooth jazz/soft adult contemporary mix. Groove FM featured the image voice of Isaac Hayes, and an announcer line-up that included Dan Michaels and Russ Tyson.
Alexis LaForest was promoted at Corus Winnipeg to Promotions Manager, succeeding Lisa-Marie Buccini who left the industry.
Corus Radio Winnipeg announced that it would relocate its radio broadcast facility to 1440 Rapelje Avenue as part of a lease agreement between Corus Entertainment and Cadillac Fairview. The relocation to Polo Park was slated for January of 2011. CJOB 68, Power 97 and 99.1 Groove FM would become the anchor tenants of a massive, new, expansion on the site. Corus Radio Winnipeg would occupy the second floor of the three storey building, upsizing its radio, production and business operations to 17,500 square feet. The new facility was being built to accommodate the stations' 85 full and part-time employees. General manager Garth Buchko said the stations had outgrown their 930 Portage Avenue facility. With the move, Corus Radio Winnipeg would upgraded to state-of-the-art, fully-digital on-air systems which would provide improved sound quality from the field and greater distribution and enhancement opportunities in the future.
Citing budgetary reasons, Corus Winnipeg parted ways with Roxane Gagne, music director and afternoon host @ 99.1 Groove FM.
CJGV changed format from Smooth Jazz/Soft Adult Contemporary to Oldies/ Classic Hits but retained the GROOVE FM name.
Just in time for Corus Radio Winnipeg's move into its new home, Winnipeg city council approved the name change of Rapelje Avenue to Jack Blick Avenue, in honour of CJOB founder, J.O. Blick. Jack Blick was a Second World War veteran and founded the station on March 11, 1946. All of the original staff members were veterans returning from the war and seeking employment. Garth Buchko, General Manager of Corus Radio Winnipeg, gave special thanks to Mayor Katz and city councilors for recognizing a broadcast and business icon. Mayor Katz unveiled the name change on Monday, February 7, at 9:15 a.m. CST.
On February 14, CJOB, Power 97 and 99.1 Groove FM, made the move to 200-1440 Jack Blick Avenue. The new facility boasted over 17,000 square feet of broadcast and office space. 1440 Jack Blick Avenue was the former home of CTV Winnipeg and was owned by Cadillac Fairview. The building was being completely refurbished and would soon announce additional tenants.
99.1 Groove FM Program Director Russ Tyson was released as the jazz-formatted station awaited word on whether or not the CRTC would approve a licence change from a Category 3 to a Category 2. Power 97 PD Matt Cundill added responsibilities for Groove FM.
On August 3, the CRTC administratively renewed CJGV-FM's licence until October 31, 2011. On October 25, the licence was administratively renewed to November 30, 2011. On November 30, the CRTC renewed CJGV-FM's licence until August 31, 2016. This short-term renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee's compliance with its conditions of licence and the Regulations.
On February 14th Corus Entertainment launched 99.1 Fresh FM, replacing the Groove FM Smooth Jazz format. Corus had been quoted as saying that Fresh FM would play "a wide variety of today's pop and rock hits, mixed with songs from the 80s and 90s."
Corus Winnipeg manager Garth Buchko was named President/CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers effective March 1. Buchko had an extensive background as a senior executive, most notably as general manager of CJOB, Power 97 and Groove FM for the past 16 years.
Corus Entertainment announced the appointment of Garry McKenzie as regional general manager for Corus Radio Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, effective April 2. In his new role, Garry would provide leadership, strategic direction and vision to the three markets, bringing over 20 years of solid operating experience, a strong sales and marketing background and results-driven success to 10 radio stations. Most recently, Garry was general manager of Corus Radio Vancouver.
Fin Paterson, Retail Sales Manager at Corus Radio Winnipeg, resigned May 11. Paterson, who joined the cluster in June 2007 from CHUM Winnipeg, accepted a position with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, joining former Corus Winnipeg boss Garth Buchko who was now President of the CFL club.
Matt Sutton, formerly with B105 Brisbane, took over as morning host at 99.1 Fresh FM. This is the first morning show for the Hot Adult Contemporary station since it was re-launched from the previous jazz-based 99.1 Groove FM last February. Corus said they planned to hire a morning co-host.
Bill Dulmage - Updated June 2013