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March 21, 2021 3:16 pm  #1


The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I came across some vintage local radio ads from a number of stations, some of which still exist and two that no longer do. They evoke an era of radio that is quickly disappearing. Take a look at the way they were, and think about how much has changed since these first appeared. 

CKO
I love these ads, mainly because they're artifacts of a place that has long since faded into history. For those who don't remember, CKO was a national all-news radio network that was on the air (mostly on FM) in various cities across the country. It was a nice idea, but in the end, a financial failure and the entire chain went down after a few years. Not to mention my all-time favourite factoid - CKEY broke the news that the all-news network was going off the air at noon on the day it happened. Even what should have been their final exclusive went to someone else. 

In one of the ads, they describe themselves as "Fresh & Fun." Fresh and Fun? CKO? That's not exactly how I remember it. As most here know, the much coveted 99.1 Toronto frequency eventually went to the CBC. 

https://i.ibb.co/pWct1Ht/CKO1979.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/6DxVsLm/CKO-1980.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/TL7gtVs/CKO-1981.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/g3gx0hd/CKO-1985.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Cb9dw2H/CKO-Programming-1984.jpg


AM 640
They briefly called themselves Talk 640 until people started noticing it sounded more like "Toxic 40." Here's an ad from 1994 that shows part of their line-up.

https://i.ibb.co/FKK6K2h/AM640-Hip-Talk-1994.jpg


CKEY
Anyone remember the rainbow logo from 1980? 

https://i.ibb.co/RDW1bHf/CKEY-Rainbow-1980.jpg


CJRT
Long before there was Jazz FM, the Ryerson owned station was trying to get a perch on the CN Tower. The year: 1980

https://i.ibb.co/7nW120D/CJRT-CN-Tower-1980.jpg


Speaking of the CN Tower, remember this cabal of radio stations trying to tout their better signals? From 1976:

https://i.ibb.co/RhQK3PY/CN-Tower-FM-1976.jpg
 

CJCL
Remember when Brady went from 680 to 1430? By the time it was over, I think he himself would have liked to forget the move.  

https://i.ibb.co/SrMHWTq/CJCL-Brady-Barrie-1981.jpg


CFRB
Given what happened last month at the now-Bell owned station, there is certainly a lot of irony in the ads they were running in the mid 70s and 80s. Notice how they touted their legendary newsroom - and just as interesting, they took out ads to highlight their thorough sports coverage. Now, the latter are all gone and at last count, there are only two of the former left in that once much vaunted newsroom. And through it all, there was Wally Crouter, seemingly forever at the helm of the city's #1 morning show.

https://i.ibb.co/fCZ4hTJ/CFRB-Crourter-Friends-1977.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/rpXYKBh/CFRB-Line-up-1986.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/w7Q8DhW/CFRB-News-1983.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/hgxZB7Z/CFRB-Sports-1978.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/ZGVcYD6/CFRB-Team-1990.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/w7VjP3w/CFRBWally.jpg
               

 

March 22, 2021 7:30 am  #2


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I had an interesting, and possibly embarrassing, experience calling in to CFRB on Friday morning. Shortly before 7 am, John Moore asked listeners to call in with their stories regarding the ease or difficulty of they were having arranging  their Covid-19 vaccine shot. Thanks to the weekly newsletter my local Councillor sends out, they provided a link to show which pharmacy's in the area were providing the shot, and I was able to book an appointment to get mine this week. I managed to get through, spoke to Robert, told him of my situation, and he said he would get me on air shortly. After I spoke of my situation on air, John paid me a very nice compliment, saying I had a very good voice for radio. I think I thanked him for the compliment, (  hope I did!https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/cwy.png
). I then went on to say how the 'voice of doom sound' (I've been told that my voice in the range similar to that of Lorne Greene/ John Vernon) seems to have gone out of style in this century, and the radio of today doesn't lean to that type of voice as much as in the past. For some reasonhttps://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/dizzy.png
I asked if there were any openings for on air positions. John said  he didn't think there were any available, I then said 'I'm available for voice overs, or any imaging voice work, then we both said goodbye and the call ended. I felt a bit awkward afterwards, once I realized what I had said, weeks after the major purge of staff at Bell. I sent a text a bit later to apologize. I then offered to send my ( inherited) copy of Betty Kennedy's book, Dear Gerhard as a peace offering. John has mentioned Betty Kennedy in the past, and the books she has published. I'm wondering if I should send an email with a bit more of a detailed apology. As far as I understand the system, text messages pass by, and if they aren't picked from the list and saved,they are gone. As is often the case, I had that much later moment of regret, thinking that ' what I should have said instead was.....'. I should have mentioned my short intern stay at the 11th floor of 2 St. Clair Ave W in the newsroom back when it was Standard Broadcasting. Steve Kowch  was fairly new to his position there. When I first met him, he asked if I was a Mormon, as I was dressed in my favourite non colour, of black. My stay as an intern only lasted a few weeks due to fat fingers, and all the details involved in trying to get the news items off the line and put in to separate segments to go on air. That's when I came to the conclusion I likely am dyslexic.. At least that would have made a (small) connection to CFRB.  But, I did get to meet the lovely Avery Haines.https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/cheerful.png
Even if it was little more than an introduction.

 

March 22, 2021 10:50 am  #3


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I think you're overthinking things Norman. You had an awkward moment (though it actually doesn't sound like a big deal) and sent an apology. That's a nice gesture. If he responds, great, if he doesn't just leave it at that and move on or you'll be making things even more uncomfortable. 

 

March 22, 2021 10:54 am  #4


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I noticed in that one CKO ad that David Onley hosted a Spacewatch segment for them. Did he do that while anchoring weather at City?

 

March 22, 2021 10:55 am  #5


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

CKO was actually pretty good for a few years but I think they're problem - aside from the main issue of being on FM when many cars still only had AM radios - was that they tried too hard to be national (and compete with CBC?) and didn't have very much local programming - and had some really strange stuff like Herbert W. Armstrong's sermons (whatever pays the bills, I guess). 680 News learned from that and emphasized what people in their cars want to hear - traffic, weather, news updates, particularly local news. 680 goes too far in the local capsule direction - it would be nice to hear a few longer programs but from a marketing POV you have to commend them for sticking with the headline and local model. 

Last edited by Hansa (March 22, 2021 10:55 am)

 

March 22, 2021 1:09 pm  #6


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Awesome ads thanks for the post.  The CN Tower ad still applies today thats for sure. 

 

March 22, 2021 2:14 pm  #7


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Hansa wrote:

680 News...emphasized what people in their cars want to hear - traffic, weather, news updates, particularly local news. 680 goes too far in the local capsule direction - it would be nice to hear a few longer programs but from a marketing POV you have to commend them for sticking with the headline and local model. 

I believe 680's format is a modified one based on the concept originated by WINS in New York, complete with the traffic and weather together slogan and the headlines at :15 and :45. It's proven very successful for them and they've been at it since t965. Not many stations can boast they've had the same format for that long. 

And you're right, the CFTR news wheel is pretty restrictive (unless for some reason or other they're taking an emergency presser, which is rare.) But what it lacks in flexibility it more than makes up for in predictability. You know exactly when to tune in to hear the Leaf score or the current temperature or how the TSX did. That's what the entire format is based on and they don't alter it much, if ever. In this case, the consistency is the selling point. 

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h01rPRUP8Jw/U1Ew9cA95fI/AAAAAAAAqrU/xXTrQ8sVdJE/s1600/wins_1010_clock.png

     Thread Starter
 

March 22, 2021 4:13 pm  #8


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Hansa wrote:

CKO was actually pretty good for a few years but I think they're problem - aside from the main issue of being on FM when many cars still only had AM radios - was that they tried too hard to be national (and compete with CBC?) and didn't have very much local programming - and had some really strange stuff like Herbert W. Armstrong's sermons (whatever pays the bills, I guess). 680 News learned from that and emphasized what people in their cars want to hear - traffic, weather, news updates, particularly local news. 680 goes too far in the local capsule direction - it would be nice to hear a few longer programs but from a marketing POV you have to commend them for sticking with the headline and local model. 

I had once read that they didn't even have a studio in London in their later years; I presume 97.5 London was a straight rebroadcast of 99.1 Toronto towards the end.

I can't speak for the other markets but for the 1980s, London would've been saturated with radio news with CKO on top of all the other radio outlets with news departments plus CBC - at a time when that was a market of only around 250,000 people.

 

March 22, 2021 4:21 pm  #9


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I know a number of people who worked at CKO. (Internally, they used to call it "CK-Zero.") They told me it was a mess most of the time. Underfunded, poor, neglected or out of date equipment and management promises made but almost never kept. It was only the talent of some of the pros who worked there (Denis Woolings, Robert Holiday, Mike Robbins, Marvin Piuti, Jim Morris and many others) who kept the place on the air and up and running. 

But not even they could keep it going. There were so many issues - not the least of which was that talk just wasn't done fulltime on FM in those days, plus it was a tad on the repetitive and boring side and the fact that the owners were terrible - that helped lead to its inevitable demise.  

     Thread Starter
 

March 22, 2021 5:53 pm  #10


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

RadioActive wrote:

I know a number of people who worked at CKO. (Internally, they used to call it "CK-Zero.") They told me it was a mess most of the time. Underfunded, poor, neglected or out of date equipment and management promises made but almost never kept. It was only the talent of some of the pros who worked there (Denis Woolings, Robert Holiday, Mike Robbins, Marvin Piuti, Jim Morris and many others) who kept the place on the air and up and running. 

But not even they could keep it going. There were so many issues - not the least of which was that talk just wasn't done fulltime on FM in those days, plus it was a tad on the repetitive and boring side and the fact that the owners were terrible - that helped lead to its inevitable demise.  

One of their former personalities is still on TV today - Squire Barnes did sports for CKO from Vancouver and was among the staff let go when the network was shut down in 1989. He's been doing sports on BCTV for around 25 years now. He actually did a story about his own demise at CKO a few years ago:


 

March 23, 2021 9:41 am  #11


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Hansa wrote:

I think you're overthinking things Norman. You had an awkward moment (though it actually doesn't sound like a big deal) and sent an apology. That's a nice gesture. If he responds, great, if he doesn't just leave it at that and move on or you'll be making things even more uncomfortable. 

Thanks for a bit reassurance that I didn't put my whole foot in my mouth.I do tend to over analyze things. It seems to be a family trait. I guess those in the business as long as John and Robert get to accept the fact that staff at the station they work at will come and go. Even those that have been there for many years.Maybe I should look for a job at one of those firms that analyze most anything there is to analyze .https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/happy.png

 

March 23, 2021 10:25 am  #12


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Norman peters wrote:

Hansa wrote:

I think you're overthinking things Norman. You had an awkward moment (though it actually doesn't sound like a big deal) and sent an apology. That's a nice gesture. If he responds, great, if he doesn't just leave it at that and move on or you'll be making things even more uncomfortable. 

Maybe I should look for a job at one of those firms that analyze most anything there is to analyze .https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/happy.png

CRTC ?   https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/ermm.png

 

 

March 23, 2021 1:30 pm  #13


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

If they pay by the word for their analysts, I'm in like Flint!https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/cheerful.png

 

March 23, 2021 4:57 pm  #14


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Those are great ads and they bring back a lot of memories.    Looking at the CKFH / CJCL one with Brady and Barrie got me looking online and I found a good page on those days called "the greatest station never heard" by Leslie Sole that tells the story. 

 

March 23, 2021 5:07 pm  #15


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

SpinningWheel wrote:

Those are great ads and they bring back a lot of memories.    Looking at the CKFH / CJCL one with Brady and Barrie got me looking online and I found a good page on those days called "the greatest station never heard" by Leslie Sole that tells the story. 

Yes, I've read this before and it's a terrific piece by the late Mr. Sole, who was there at the time. Quite an all-star line-up, not to mention the Leafs and the Jays. But it was way ahead of its time on a terrible frequency. If they could get something like that again today, it might be a very different ratings outcome. 

Even the newsroom was amazing, with a number of former CFTR types there, including John Wilson, Mike Robbins, Bev Bowman and I think even Larry Silver (not sure if he was part of it, but my memory tells me he was there.). And of course, the great Bob Holiday as P.D. (Not to mention John Donabie doing afternoon drive.) That version of CJCL should have done better than it did.    

     Thread Starter
 

March 23, 2021 8:37 pm  #16


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

CKO signed their own death warrant when they made the decision to broadcast Maple Leafs hockey games instead of sticking with the all news format.

 

March 23, 2021 10:50 pm  #17


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

turkeytop wrote:

CKO signed their own death warrant when they made the decision to broadcast Maple Leafs hockey games instead of sticking with the all news format.

Were those games aired nationally?

 

March 24, 2021 12:35 am  #18


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Good question.  I know we got them in Ottawa.

 

March 24, 2021 8:17 pm  #19


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

MJ Vancouver wrote:

turkeytop wrote:

CKO signed their own death warrant when they made the decision to broadcast Maple Leafs hockey games instead of sticking with the all news format.

Were those games aired nationally?

I don't know the answer. In those days I was living up north on the Bruce Peninsula. The only one I could get was Toronto, and that was unreliable, subject to the vagaries of propagation conditions.

I liked CKO and was disappointed when it failed.

 

March 25, 2021 4:37 pm  #20


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Hansa wrote:

CKO was actually pretty good for a few years but I think they're problem - aside from the main issue of being on FM when many cars still only had AM radios - was that they tried too hard to be national (and compete with CBC?) and didn't have very much local programming - and had some really strange stuff like Herbert W. Armstrong's sermons (whatever pays the bills, I guess). 680 News learned from that and emphasized what people in their cars want to hear - traffic, weather, news updates, particularly local news. 680 goes too far in the local capsule direction - it would be nice to hear a few longer programs but from a marketing POV you have to commend them for sticking with the headline and local model. 

CKO was the site of two of my all time favourite radio stories. 

In the first one, a woman whose name I won't mention had decided she'd had enough of the place, after endless frustration that essentially was like swimming against a tide of managerial incompetence. So she decided to go to her bosses and submit her resignation. But every management person was nowhere to be found and try as she might, she couldn't find anyone in charge. 

She called me in anguish and uttered a phrase that should live forever in radio history. "There's no one to quit to!" she lamented. Only at CKO.

The other story is one I've told here before but it's one of the greatest quitting stories of all time. A friend of mine had toiled endlessly at CKO, putting up with poor equipment, reel-to-reel tape with splices and leader tape in it (management refused to buy new supplies) and promises for more help that simply never came. 

Exhausted, he'd arranged for a much-needed vacation when John Gilbert, the talk show host who'd managed to land a management position at the place, told him they were short-handed - something he knew only too well, since he'd been asking for help for months - and he'd have to cancel his time off, because they had no one to replace him. 

His head exploded. After more than a year of never having a single promise for improvement fulfilled, he tore Gilbert a new one, accused management of gross incompetence and used some language I won't repeat here. He then quit on the spot, stomped to his office and went to get his stuff.

As he walked toward Carlton St. with his meagre belongings in a box, he heard Gilbert come running down the hall, screaming his name, yelling "Wait! Wait! Wait!"

With smoke coming out of his ears, my friend turned on his heel and said, "What the f--- do you want?"

To which Gilbert asked, "Can you at least do the weekend?"

I'm honestly not sure what the answer was, but I think you can guess.    

     Thread Starter
 

March 25, 2021 6:33 pm  #21


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I happened to be in Toronto that day driving on Queen St W at the time they shut down.

 

March 25, 2021 8:36 pm  #22


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

One more CKO story.  We used to call it CK-Zero".  The deal was made to swap frequencies in Toronto with CKEY.  Key Radio's (Mclean-Hunter) CKEY would launch a "present gold" (oldies) format on 99.1.  There was a $4M cash consideration involved which would have kept it alive.  Key Radio was also going to spend almost $1M in Canadian talent development bucks for the FM "present gold" format station.  In the negotiations there was discussion that Ben Torchinsky of Agra Industries which had the controlling stake in CKO, should not/would not attend the CRTC hearing.  Mr. T, and Andre Bureau who was then the CRTC Chairman had clashed in the past, and it was agreed that his attendance would not be "useful" and could set the whole deal on fire - let alone the public hearing room.  I recall that there had been a lot of animosity between the CRTC Chair and Mr. T, regarding the unbuilt CKO stations.  My recollection is that Mr. T, attended the hearing - contrary to the advice of his regulatory counsel and everyone else who was involved in the frequency swap and the hearing did not go well at all.  (an understatement) Both applications were denied.   CKO folded not long afterwards.  It might have had a pretty good shot to stay alive if it had moved to 590.  CKO Folded about a year and a half after the CRTC decision.

I had forgotten that this all occurred in 1987/1988.  

The decision can be found at. https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/1988/DB88-294.htm

Here's an extract from the decision denying the applicationecifically, CKO stated at the hearing that $1,450,000 of the $4,000,000 which it would receive from Key under the transaction would be used to meet the capital costs associated with constructing new radio stations at Winnipeg, Manitoba and Regina, Saskatchewan within 12 months, and at St. John's, Newfoundland and Saint John, New Brunswick within 24 months of approval. According to CKO, "... the total operating costs that those new stations will add to our circumstances is $1,813,755 and that would leave us out of the $4 million, some $736,000 to contribute to either CKO's current situation or to any unforeseen errors in our forecasting of the new stations' success".CKO also indicated that, should the $4 million prove not to be sufficient to construct the stations, Agra Industries Limited, the indirect owner of 99.2% of the partnership, "would undertake to inject sufficient capital to fulfill these commitments".

 

March 25, 2021 9:08 pm  #23


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Interesting story. I'd heard some of it before but had long forgotten about it. Not only did the CRTC put the kibosh on CKO when denying the deal, they also pretty much assured the end of CKEY. To this day, I wonder what an oldies station on FM - virtually non-existent in Toronto, AM 740's low power repeater notwithstanding - might have done and whether 'EY would still be around today. Or where CBL would be on the dial.

I suppose we'll never know, but I think you're right - CKO on 590 might have carved out an audience for itself, and there may not have ever been a 680 News. History changed in that one meeting so long ago. Fun - and a bit sad - to contemplate what might have been. 

     Thread Starter
 

March 25, 2021 9:22 pm  #24


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

RadioActive wrote:

Interesting story. I'd heard some of it before but had long forgotten about it. Not only did the CRTC put the kibosh on CKO when denying the deal, they also pretty much assured the end of CKEY. To this day, I wonder what an oldies station on FM - virtually non-existent in Toronto, AM 740's low power repeater notwithstanding - might have done and whether 'EY would still be around today. Or where CBL would be on the dial.

I suppose we'll never know, but I think you're right - CKO on 590 might have carved out an audience for itself, and there may not have ever been a 680 News. History changed in that one meeting so long ago. Fun - and a bit sad - to contemplate what might have been. 

CKO on 590 would have had a much wider coverage area. Up north, where I lived CKO was unreliable DX. CKEY was available during the day any time, just as 680 News is today.

 

March 25, 2021 9:29 pm  #25


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

With all the cuts Bell recently made, why not just relaunch CFRB as CKO radio 1010 Toronto, along with all their other talk stations.  They have a good head start on the idea here in Ontario with all that non local talk during the day & Evening already.


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

March 25, 2021 9:53 pm  #26


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

CKEY never did get their FM station. But as the articles below show, they originally had a line on not only an FM frequency, but also a TV station on channel 8. Neither of them came to pass. I've always wondered what happened.

From 1949:
https://i.ibb.co/xjj1cnK/CKEY-What-happened-To-FM-Sept-1949.jpg


March 1948:

https://i.ibb.co/y5gxpNy/CKEY-Wants-TV-Station-March-1948.jpg


May 1948:

https://i.ibb.co/dfQNs7F/CKEY-Tries-For-TV-Station-May-1948.jpg
 

     Thread Starter
 

March 25, 2021 10:13 pm  #27


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

I got rather addicted to listening to CKO and found 3 things particularly intriguing:

1.  Loved the Walter Kanitz travel segments.  Still can't figure out why.  If you look up his bio, he really led an interesting life.

2.  Moscow Mail Bag.  Presented by Joe Adamov, who spoke flawless English with a bit of a mid-western accent.  He provided answers to listeners' questions.  It was actually quite a hoot.  Often CKO had to air a disclaimer before running it.

Here's a sample from 1979.  Maybe if CKO used the theme as bumper music, they would have been really become popular.



3.  They used Krafterk as one of their bumper tunes.  Specifically this:



The part they used starts at the 18 second mark.
 

Last edited by Peter the K (March 25, 2021 10:26 pm)

 

March 26, 2021 11:45 am  #28


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

RadioActive wrote:

Interesting story. I'd heard some of it before but had long forgotten about it. Not only did the CRTC put the kibosh on CKO when denying the deal, they also pretty much assured the end of CKEY. To this day, I wonder what an oldies station on FM - virtually non-existent in Toronto, AM 740's low power repeater notwithstanding - might have done and whether 'EY would still be around today. Or where CBL would be on the dial.

I suppose we'll never know, but I think you're right - CKO on 590 might have carved out an audience for itself, and there may not have ever been a 680 News. History changed in that one meeting so long ago. Fun - and a bit sad - to contemplate what might have been. 

 
I was at ‘EY at the time and we were massively disappointed.  It was all part and parcel of my never-ending claim that I would never let a CRTC board member operate an elevator I happened to be on.


- Chris Mayberry
 

March 26, 2021 12:58 pm  #29


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

RadioActive wrote:

Interesting story. I'd heard some of it before but had long forgotten about it. Not only did the CRTC put the kibosh on CKO when denying the deal, they also pretty much assured the end of CKEY. To this day, I wonder what an oldies station on FM - virtually non-existent in Toronto, AM 740's low power repeater notwithstanding - might have done and whether 'EY would still be around today. Or where CBL would be on the dial.

I suppose we'll never know, but I think you're right - CKO on 590 might have carved out an audience for itself, and there may not have ever been a 680 News. History changed in that one meeting so long ago. Fun - and a bit sad - to contemplate what might have been. 

Had 99.1 been taken up by someone else after the demise of CKO, I suspect CBL would never have vacated 740, as any FM station they would've migrated to would have to have been much lower power and more repeaters would have been needed to fill in the coverage gaps than what they already needed to add (e.g. Paris, Wingham). At least in Western Canada, since 2000 CBC has taken the strategy of keeping AM stations but also adding FM repeaters, sometimes "nested" low-power signals, to boost the signal in the core market, while keeping the AM station. Here in Vancouver we have CBC Radio One on both 88.1 FM and AM 690; in Vancouver the 88.1 signal comes in much better than 690, but 690 is still the better signal in some areas beyond the city, and is actually the only CBC signal to reach Nanaimo. I've also driven across Canada and removing AM 540 from Watrous, SK would be unthinkable as it has a massive coverage area; likewise there are FM signals in Regina and Saskatoon to supplement CBK.

Last edited by MJ Vancouver (March 26, 2021 1:00 pm)

 

March 26, 2021 1:20 pm  #30


Re: The Way They Were: CFRB, CKO, CKEY, AM 640, CJCL, CJRT & The CN Tower

Peter the K wrote:

I got rather addicted to listening to CKO and found 3 things particularly intriguing:


2.  Moscow Mail Bag.  Presented by Joe Adamov, who spoke flawless English with a bit of a mid-western accent.  He provided answers to listeners' questions.  It was actually quite a hoot.  Often CKO had to air a disclaimer before running it.


 

That was the very same Moscow Mailbag that was carried on Radio Moscow at the time. That was the good old days when there were still programs to listen to on short wave. I liked Joe.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Joe became a critic of the old regime and often appeared on TV in North America.