Radio/Television Station Group History
In July, CHUM Limited agreed to sell to Newcap its group of Newfoundland stations: CFYQ-AM Gander, CKYQ-AM (later CKXJ-AM) Grand Bank, CIYQ-AM (shortly to become CKXG-AM) Grand Falls, CFIQ-AM Harbour Grace, CHYQ-AM Musgravetown, and CKIX-FM and CJYQ-AM St. John's. In 1982, Newcap had lost out to CHUM in a bid to buy this group of stations.
In August, Newcap completed its multiple acquisitions for the year with the purchase of a majority shareholding in CKXX-AM Corner Brook.
In December, Newcap broadened its involvement in Canada's radio world by acquiring a five-year AM Network licence to broadcast Edmonton Oilers' hockey games.
On December 6th, Newcap was back again before the Commission, this time to apply to acquire VCOM-AM and several other radio stations in Newfoundland, on behalf of a wholly-owned numbered company.
In August, through its subsidiary Atlantic Stereo Ltd. in Moncton, Newcap acquired a majority shareholding in a new FM station, CJXL-FM, which operated out of the same building as Newcap's CJMO-FM Moncton.
During the year, Newcap was unsuccessful in applications for new radio station licences for Toronto and Hamilton.
Newcap's radio holdings in Newfoundland and Labrador grew even further when, in April, the CRTC approved the sale of Humber Valley Broadcasting to Newcap. This gave Newcap ownership in radio stations CFCB-AM Corner Brook (with retransmitters CFDL-FM in Deer Lake, CFNW-AM in Port-aux-Choix and CFNN-FM in St. Anthony), CFSX Stephenville, CFGN-AM Channel Port-aux-Basques and its transmitter CFCV-FM in St, Andrew's, as well as CFLN-AM Goose Bay, Labrador and its transmitters CFLW-AM Wabush and CFLC-FM Churchill Falls, Labrador.
In October, Newcap was given approval to move into the Ottawa market for the first time, with the CRTC granting the company a licence for a new dance music station, CIHT-FM. In November, Newcap acquired CHNO-FM Sudbury from Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc, and in December, Newcap and CHUM Limited jointly acquired ownership of CIEZ-FM Halifax, from Sun Radio Limited.
On May 1st, Robert Steele became President and Chief Executive Officer, while his father Harry remained as Chairman.
By this time, Newcap owned 57 broadcasting licences across six provinces, for 42 stations plus 15 repeaters.
On July 25th, in a key move away from print, in order to concentrate on broadcasting, Newcap's parent company Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited (NCCL) sold its Publishing and Printing Division to Optipress Ltd, retaining only a 20% interest.
In December, Newcap received approval to launch a new FM radio station in Brooks, Alberta. However, the new station did not go on the air until 2005.
In June, Newcap was licensed by the CRTC to open a second FM station in Ottawa, CILV-FM, which went on the air in December.
In August, Newcap received CRTC approval to make a deal with Corus Radio Company to acquire its Red Deer stations CIZZ-FM and CKGY-FM. Through its acquisition of ownership of CKVN Radiolink System Inc. in November, Newcap became owners of CHNR-FM Winnipeg. This was Newcap's first broadcast licence in Manitoba. A month later, CKJS-AM Winnipeg was added to Newcap's line-up of radio stations.
Newcap's radio licence holdings increased to 75 in November, when the CRTC gave the company a licence for a new station in Fort McMurray, CHFT-FM.
In June, on the sale of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia, CKUL-FM Halifax became jointly owned by Newcap and CTV.
In July, increasing its already strong Maritime broadcast holdings, Newcap acquired two new licences in Nova Scotia, for CHRK-FM Sydney and CIJK-FM Kentville, as well as being authorized to convert its AM station in Carbonear, Newfoundland, to FM. In addition, Newcap's CFXE Edson, Alberta, moved from AM to the FM band.
In October, Newcap completed the purchase of the 38% minority interest in Atlantic Stereo Limited, operator of Moncton FM stations CJKL and CJMO.
In August, Newcap announced that, subject to approval by the CRTC, an agreement had been signed with Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. whereby Newcap would acquire 12 FM licences for stations in Bancroft, Bracebridge, Cochrane, Elliot Lake, Haliburton, Huntsville, Hearts, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, North Bay, Parry Sound and Timmins, Ontario. This acquisition would place Newcap as second only to Astral in terms of station ownerships.
The company's application to acquire the Haliburton stations was announced by the CRTC on November 13, 2008, but the appication was subsequently withdrawn in January 2009. At the time, Newcap Inc. CEO Rob Steele indicated that in light of the credit market crisis, the company did not feel that it was the right time to increase its debt load.
At a hearing held on October 20th 2008, Newcap and Rogers Broadcasting Limited applied to the CRTC for approval to exchange Newcap's CFDR-AM Halifax for Rogers' CIGM-AM Sudbury, and for permission to convert each station's signal to FM. On November 24, the CRTC approved the applications by Newcap Inc. and Rogers Broadcasting Limited for authority to exchange the assets of CIGM Sudbury and CFDR Dartmouth. Newcap, a corporation controlled by Harold R. Steele, was the licensee of CFDR Dartmouth. Rogers, a corporation controlled by Edward S. Rogers, was the licensee of CIGM Sudbury. The Commission also approved the applications by Newcap and Rogers to convert both stations to the FM band. CIGM would operate at 93.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.
On August 24, at midnight AM 790 CIGM Sudbury finished its last song. Later that morning, simulcasting of the new 93.5 FM began on AM 790. Transfer of ownership of CIGM changed from Rogers to Newcap.
On August 25, Hot 93.5 - Sudbury's Hit Music Station debuted at 12:00 p.m.
On November 10th, Newcap filed an application with the CRTC for a licence for a new FM station in Fredericton, N.B.
On November 3, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. relating to CHLW-FM St. Paul, whereby it would relocate the transmitter site and change the authorized contours by increasing the average effective radiated power from 16,000 to 22,000 watts (maximum ERP from 36,000 to 50,000 watts) and by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 122.6 to 80.3 metres. The Commission noted that the population served within the 3 mV/m and 0.5 mV/m contours would decrease from 9,447 to 9,324 (1.3%) and from 27,098 to 22,126 (18.34%), respectively.
On November 30, the CRTC renewed CHLW's licence until August 31, 2017.
On September 19, Newcap Inc. applied to convert CKSQ Stettler AB from the AM dial to the FM dial. This was approved on February 22, 2012.
Real Country 97 7 The Spur officially went on the air on December 30 at 10:00 a.m. CHSP-FM was playing New Country and the best country from the 90's and 2000's. "We'll still continue to be an information source for St. Paul and area, providing coverage of local news, agricultural news, sports, weather, and promoting local community initiatives," said program director Jeff Murray. "It's an exciting time for Newcap Radio, but we're even more excited for the communities we serve to be able to provide them a product they can all be proud of," said Newcap Alberta East GM Chad Tabish.
With the move to 97.7 FM, CHLW-AM 1310 left the air immediately, without utilizing the authorized 90 day simulcast period.
The Commission also renewed the broadcasting licence for CIGV-FM and the above-mentioned transmitters for five years from the original expiry date of 31 August 2011. The licence would therefore expire on 31 August 2016.
On February 20th the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. for authority to acquire from Sun Country Radio Ltd. the assets of the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKKO-FM Kelowna, British Columbia and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of the undertaking. The applicant also requested a new broadcasting licence to continue the operation of the undertaking under the same terms and conditions as those in effect under the current licence.
On February 22nd, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Stettler, Alberta to replace its AM station CKSQ.
The new station would operate at 93.3 MHz (channel 227B1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 11,000 watts (maximum ERP of 23,000 watts, directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 88.6 metres).
The new station would maintain CKSQ's country music format targeting adults between the ages of 25 and 54. Local programming would include 3 hours and 10 minutes of pure news during each broadcast week.
On 11 May 2012, the CRTC approved the application by Newcap for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The new station would operate at 93.1 MHz (channel 226B) with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 150 metres).
On May 18th, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio station to serve Miramichi.There were several applications for the FM licence, but in making its decision the Commission said, inter alia, that "...having considered all of the applications the Commission finds that the proposal by Newcap Inc. (Newcap) best meets the needs of the Miramichi radio market. In the Commission's view, Newcap's proposal would introduce competition and add diversity to the market. Newcap would introduce a new editorial voice in a market that is currently served by a single local mainstream commercial station."
On October 15th, Newcap's CKSQ 1400, in Stettler, AB, switched to the FM band, and became Q93.3 Country.
On December 14th, 2012 Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited ("NCC") announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Newcap Inc, had received approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for the purchase of 70.1% of the shares of 3221809 Nova Scotia Limited, which held the CKCH-FM radio broadcast licence in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
This transaction increased Newcap's ownership interest to 100% and was expected to be completed within 60 days.
The Company said that it had a history of buying and selling businesses as a means to create shareholder value. If the Company was able to reach an agreement at a value the Company considered appropriate, the use of proceeds would be determined by the Board of Directors in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders. This might include reinvesting in geographic areas closer to its base in Atlantic Canada, reducing debt or returning capital to its shareholders.
"These broadcasting assets have a strong track record of earnings," commented Rob Steele, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is a great opportunity for potential buyers as this is the first time in many years that a cohesive group of broadcasting assets has been for sale in one concentrated area in one of Canada's most prosperous provinces."
On 7 February 2013 the CRTC approved an application by Newcap to modify the technical parameters of what would be their new Fredericton FM station CIHI-FM by changing the class of its licence from B to C1, by decreasing the station's average effective radiated power (ERP) from 50,000 to 42,000 watts (and by increasing the maximum ERP from 50,000 to 100,000 watts), by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 150.0 to 137.5 metres, by changing the radiation pattern of the antenna from non-directional to directional, and by relocating the antenna and transmitter from Hamtown Corner, New Brunswick, the site specified in the application approved in English-language FM radio station in Fredericton, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-286, 11 May 2012, to Mount Hope, New Brunswick.
On April 23rd, the CRTC approved Newcap's application for a licence for a new FM station to replace its existing AM station CKKY Wainwright, Saskatchewan. The approval also covered a change to the authorized contours of the Newcap English-language commercial FM radio station CKWY-FM Wainwright in order to reduce signal overlap between its radio stations in the Wainwright radio market and in the adjacent Lloydminster radio market.
On May 3rd Newcap issued a press release stating that it was no longer exploring the possible sale of its western broadcasting assets.
The Company was unable to reach an agreement at a value the Company considered appropriate.
"We appreciate our employees being patient and understanding during this process and I am proud to tell them they are still a part of the Newcap family," commented Rob Steele, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to continued success in Alberta."
On May 6th, Newcap launched CHHI-FM - Sun FM - with a Hot AC format on the frequency of 95.9 MHz in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
On May 9th, Newcap received approval from the CRTC for a licence for a new FM station in Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. The proposed station would operate at 97.1 MHz (channel 246A) with an effective radiated power of 2,500 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 21.2 metres). The station would offer a Hot Adult Contemporary music format targeting listeners between the ages of 25 and 54, slightly skewed towards women.
On June 24 at 7:00 a.m CIHI-FM "UP! 93.1" was launched in Fredericton, New Brunswick, with a modern day interactive format. Studios and offices for Newcap Fredericton (CFRK-FM, CIHI-FM) were located at 495-A Prospect Street.
On August 2nd, the CRTC announced that on October 3rd it would hear an application by Harvard Broadcasting Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of the radio station CHFT-FM Fort McMurray, Alberta from Newcap Inc. and for a new licence to continue the operation of the station under the same terms and conditions as those in effect under the current licence.
On August 26th 2013, 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.
The stations involved were CHBM-FM (Boom 97.3) and CFXJ-FM (93.5 Flow) in Toronto, Ontario and CKZZ-FM (Virgin Radio 95.3), CHHR-FM (Shore 104.3 FM), and CISL-AM (AM 650) in Vancouver, British Columbia.The transaction was subject to approval from the CRTC and the Competition Bureau.
On November 5th, at a hearing in Ottawa, the Commission considered non-appearing applications from Newcap for authority to acquire English-language radio stations CKCH-FM Sydney, Nova Scotia, from 3221809 Nova Scotia Ltd, a subsidiary of Newcap, as part of a corporate reorganization, and CHNI-FM Saint John, New Brunswick, from Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. The Commission reserved its decisions.
On November 7th, the CRTC announced its approval of Harvard's proposed acquisition of CHFT-FM Fort McMurray from Newcap.
On March 14th, the CRTC approved Newcap's application to acquire CHNI-FM Saint John from Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
On 20 February 2014, the CRTC approved an application by Newcap for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Hinton, Alberta.
The new station would operate at 104.9 MHz (channel 285B1) with an effective radiated power of 1,100 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 345.4 metres). Call letters TBA.
The new station would offer a rock based music format targeting adults between the ages of 25 and 54.
On March 19th, the CRTC approved Newcap's application to acquire ownership and control of two Toronto and three Vancouver radio stations from Bell Media. Bell had been required to divest themselves of ownership of these stations as a condition of their receiving approval to acquire Astral Media Inc.
The stations to be acquired were CHBM-FM Toronto, CFXJ-FM Toronto, CHHR-FM Vancouver, CKZZ-FM Vancouver and CISL-AM Vancouver. The transactions would be effected through the transfer of all of the shares in the share capital of the Bell subsidiaries that owned the stations to Newcap.
Updated by Pip Wedge - July, 2014