BMac's Blog - Radio Ramblings & More

To quote Monty Python, I DON'T LIKE SPAM!


Back in the saddle
Saturday, May 1, 2004, 09:13 a.m. ET
After just over five months of unemployment, I have landed on my feet, in radio! While a couple of regular readers already know where I'm off to, you'll have to stay tuned to find out. This new gig's in "the boondocks" (in Ontario), unlike Cornwall and Belleville, so blog updates may be a little less frequent. Either way, keep an eye on this blog, as I'll tell you where I am now working!

Tropo, E-skip, etc.
Monday, April 26, 2004, 09:53 a.m. ET
The TV/FM DX season is upon us, but contrary to William Hepburn's recent tropospheric ducting forecasts, not a whole lot was out of the ordinary this weekend on the FM dial. The usual Burlington FMs were there: Vermont Public Radio (WVPS 107.9) and hot AC Star 92.9 (WEZF) from up on Mount Mansfield, as well as country WOKO (98.9), and 99.9 The Buzz (WBTZ Plattsburgh). Well, they don't call WOKO "the big station" for nothing... it'll come into Cornwall no problem just about anytime, but The Buzz is often hit-or-miss. Montreal was loud & clear, but there are still some hard-to-get fringe signals, thanks to strong adjacent-channel signals. I thought maybe Ottawa's 84,000 watt class-C1 Rock-Detente (CIMF-FM 94.9 Hull QC) would blast in over the noise from 94.7 in Malone NY... not a chance. My TV log didn't change all that much, just the addition of public WCFE (Ch. 57 Plattsburgh). Currently on my radio wish list are 1) one of those round mini-state outdoor TV/FM antennas RadioShack sells (the good directional one), and a GE Superadio, thanks to the testimonials of its satisfied Canadian users. When I was still working at Corus Cornwall, CE Thom Smith had offered to give me a satellite system that the company didn't need, because the small BN dish now picks up all the feeds they need. It would have been nice, but unfortunately, my apartment's on the wrong side of the building, so rigging up a big dish for C- or Ku-band would involve putting it on the roof, and I doubt the landlord would say yes to that. As for DSS, I won't even go there - full analogue cable service comes with the place. Once I get into another job, I might consider getting a small dish, since both Canadian systems carry numerous radio stations along with the regular music channels. Then again, where I end up next could have a pretty sparse FM dial, or there could be a clear signal on just about every channel! Stay tuned!

Also from CJLX...
Tuesday, April 20, 2004, 11:54 a.m. ET
GM Greg Schatzmann e-mailed me today, and confirmed the news I had heard over lunch yesterday: last month, CJLX replaced its nearly six-year-old MediaTouch automation system with a brand new Scott Studios SS32 package. When I was still at 'LX last year, the station wanted to upgrade to the more recent "iMediaTouch" software, using some of the many Dell computers that the radio department got as part of the college's major purchase. Problem was none of the new machines had ISA slots (the Antex audio cards were all ISA), and that pretty much ruled out a software-only purchase. The other problem was that all the Dells had Windows XP pre-installed on them, and the existing MediaTouch software wouldn't work with XP... in fact, the admin machine in Greg's office had to have Windows downgraded from XP to 2000 for that reason. But from what Greg's said so far, the Scott system has worked wonders on the air, but he's still getting used to the AS32 production software. First a new on-air/automation system, now let's hope CJLX gets their freq/power change!

An update from BMac's alma mater
Monday, April 19, 2004, 08:56 p.m. ET
Campus-instructional modern rocker CJLX (92.3 Belleville) has made some changes to its frequency & power change proposal, dubbed "Power The Tower". The original plan was to boost power on 92.3 to 4.1 kW peak ERP, from the T.A.S. Communications tower in Oak Hills, with a directional signal protecting Smiths Falls' JACK FM (CJET-FM 92.3). Unfortunately the powers-that-be at Rogers Communications, JACK's owner, didn't like that idea, so Loyalist College Radio and its consulting engineers at Promethean Electronics went back to the drawing board. The new proposal calls for a 3400 watt non-directional signal on 91.3 FM, also from the TAS tower, at 165 metres or about 540 feet above average terrain. This would give CJLX a coverage area comparable to that of the 50,000 watt market leading hot AC Mix 97 (CIGL-FM 97.1). A proposed coverage map has been posted on CJLX's "Power The Tower" page... click this entry's title to take a look. How will CJLX's coverage area be just as big as the Mix's, when 'LX will be using far less power? One word: height. CJLX's antenna will be one of the highest in the market, while Mix 97's fifty kilowatts are coming from an eight-bay antenna less than fifty metres AAT (the tower is 62 metres or roughly 200 feet tall), with their transmitter site on Belleville's north edge, near North Front Street and the 401. To CJLX, you have all my support, along with the support of probably many more CJLX and Loyalist radio/BJ alumni... once this goes before the CRTC, I'll do what I can to file an intervention supporting your application!

Goin' down the road... to Brockvegas
Monday, April 19, 2004, 02:39 p.m. ET
Today saw a short radio-related road trip to the city of Brockville, with Jesse Lavendel of Cornwall's Variety 104 (CFLG-FM 104.5). The main event was lunch with CHUM Brockville traffic manager Leslie Scott and BOB FM (CJPT-FM 103.7) afternoon driver Bill Porter, but of course, we were a bit early, so Jesse & I took a quick jaunt north of town to the transmitter site of 104.9 JRfm (CFJR-FM), off Kilkenny Road, west of Tincap. JRfm transmits from the same spot as its AM predecessor, CFJR (830), but all that's left of the AM are the antenna "doghouses" for each of the three towers, and chances are the tower now holding JRfm's four-bay directional antenna used to be one of the AM sticks. The FM antenna looks like it was just added to the top of a tower... the Industry Canada broadcasting databases list the ex-CFJR towers as being 244 feet each, and the current FM antenna being 79 metres (258 feet) above average terrain, so FM added roughly ten feet to one of the towers. I don't think we'll be taking a trip all the way down to BOB FM's Ivy Lea site anytime soon, but like I mentioned earlier, a short run out to CJOH's channel 8 transmitter in Lancaster may be a possibility, even though tx sites don't interest Jesse anywhere near as much as they interest me. Oh well...

Two years of radio ramblings & more
Saturday, April 17, 2004, 04:37 p.m. ET
Yes, it was two years ago today that I joined the blogging craze. The first entry on what was then called "Macblog" was about my last assignment in my first year of college, and how boring the summer would be. Readers would later hear about radio & TV happenings around Belleville & eastern Ontario, then follow me to my current location, Cornwall, where I worked for just under four months. Where will I be next? Not sure. Could be just down the road, or on the other side of the continent. My job search has now kicked into high gear, thanks to a little help from Tim Wieczorek at Corus Cornwall. | Also, on behalf of the Pitas crew, I apologize for the blog being down for the past day or two... they had a bit of a hard drive glitch. What did you miss? Not much, other than a short trip around Cornwall, to catch a glimpse of two more area transmitter sites: the self-supporting microwave tower at Tyotown - home to French CHOD (92.1) - and across the river in St. Regis QC, the CKON (97.3) stick. When I have the time and energy, I'll bike the 25 km to Lancaster (along the local trails, of course) to see CJOH's Channel 8 site. The CBC tower (CBOC 95.5, CBOF-6 98.1) is right on the path, west of Cornwall on Power Dam Drive.

Up goes the white flag
Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 10:51 a.m. ET
Since I have a good feeling our neighbours down Massena or Malone way have caught on to this blog and bookmarked it, I should clear up any grudges or misconceptions I once had with regard to border broadcasting near Cornwall and Montreal. It wasn't because they were American (I do listen to some U.S. stations on a regular basis, one in particular being WBTZ Plattsburgh/Burlington - "99.9 The Buzz"), and it wasn't necessarily because they were getting into Canadian markets without having to conform to the very restrictive Canadian radio regulations. Heck, last year I almost got a gig in Chatham... surrounded by TWO major American markets, Detroit and Cleveland! The biggest problem I had with the Massena/Malone outlets was the way they "bully" Canadian stations. Examples include, but are not limited to, Hits FM's "Nix The Mix" campaign not too long ago, and The Fox's current battle against Ottawa's CHEZ (106.1), saying that the latter being on the air since 1977 is "a long time to suck", not to mention the controversy stirred up earlier this year over the "Go Leafs Go" banner their traffic plane flew over Ottawa. Where's CHEZ founder Harvey Glatt in all this? While I was working at Corus, a Hits FM liner ragging on Variety 104 (CFLG-FM 104.5 Cornwall) infuriated me to the point where I wouldn't listen to any of the Martz stations, because I didn't want to hear more Canadian stations get mocked. I'll more than admit, even though some of it is syndicated/satellite fare, the programming on Martz's stations is of high quality, and it's more than likely that Wild Country and The Valley (and possibly Hits FM, too) mean well when targeting Canadian audiences. But taking shots at Canadian stations over something they can't control is the wrong way to go. At the same time, in Detroit, there must be at least a couple of radio geeks who are uptight over three of CHUM's four Windsor stations calling themselves Detroit stations. Could have been the same thing 30-35 years ago, when CKLW (800) was tops. If anybody, modern rocker 89X (CIMX-FM 88.7) would be the one to rag on the real motor city rock stations. After all, 89X is currently the highest-rated Canadian station in the Motown book. In Buffalo, a few have gone apeshit over Urban CHR Wild 101 (CKEY-FM 101.1 Fort Erie) invading the territory of mainstays Kiss 98.5 (WKSE-FM Niagara Falls NY) and WBLK (93.7 Depew), despite the Cancon quotas. Well, Wild's in a bit of hot water with the CRTC right now over, among other things, allegations that their programming is coming from a studio at the Citadel cluster in Buffalo, as opposed to a studio in Fort Erie, or the Dancy digs at 4668 St. Clair in the Falls. I won't be surprised if the Dancys end up having to give up their licence for CKEY. Back to Martz as I conclude this rather long entry... I surrender. There's no point in bitching about border broadcasting, and there was no valid reason for it, either.... border broadcasting is legitimate, as long as one plays by the rules, and I apologize to anybody who may have been offended by my previous tirades about it. As long as radio stations don't do anything that could possibly annoy me, they'll get props on this blog. Oh yeah, and would I be able to get some Hits/Fox/Valley stickers and some Wild Country roll banner? If you have any station shirts or mugs, that's even better... I collect this stuff. E-mail me!

FLY FM back online
Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 01:38 p.m. ET
Kingston's 98.3 FLY FM (CFLY-FM) has a new and much improved website! It had been down for some time as it was a bit outdated, especially after veteran FLY FM/CKLC morning man Greg Hunter retired. Click this entry's title to "fly" over to the new site. Now we're just waiting for CKLC (1380) to re-establish its Web presence, which has been lacking since it flipped from sports to standards in August 2002, when The Team folded. Complete sites for Belleville's Classic Hits 95.5 (CJOJ-FM) and Cool 100.1 (CHCQ-FM) would be nice, too... the FLY FM home page has a link to the current Cool page.

Loads from the commish
Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 12:10 p.m. ET
The CRTC's got a rather large batch of applications ready to go for a hearing, starting on June 7 at their Hull headquarters. Among the 54 items listed in this morning's release, many of them licence renewal apps, Barrie's Rock 95 Broadcasting wants to move hot AC Star 107.5 (CKMB-FM) up a notch to 107.7, increase the power to 30 kW (70 kW peak, directional) and move the transmitter site to a higher location, approximately 20 km from its current site near Edgar. This could cause problems for Durham Radio who, at the same time, are applying for an FM rebroadcaster of oldies CKDO (1350 Oshawa) on 107.7 with 250 watts. Also on the list is former CKLY Lindsay owner Andy McNabb, who wants to launch a Christian music station in Lindsay on 106.7 FM with 25.5 kW/50 kW peak ERP. And there could be a battle for new stations in midwestern Ontario... not too long ago, we heard that Owen Sound's Bayshore Broadcasting wants to move CFPS (1490 Port Elgin) to 97.9 FM, and in the process, quit rebroadcasting CFOS (560 Owen Sound). Another application is now going up against Bayshore's: Brian Cooper and Daniel McCarthy are after a classic hits station based in Kincardine, with rebroadcasters in Goderich and Port Elgin. Finally, Blackburn Radio wants to open a rock station in Wingham on 94.5, as a brother station to existing country CKNX (920) and hot AC "FM 102" (CKNX-FM 101.7). You can check the full list of applications, and download the actual apps, by clicking on this entry's title.

One year after...
Saturday, April 3, 2004, 07:02 p.m. ET
At this time last year, I was on internship at Quinte Broadcasting in Belleville. And today, I've marked the occasion by adding a tour of the facilities to my studio/tx site... it's about time I added this! Click this entry's title to have a look. Also, it's about time I put together a demo from my tenure at Rock 101.9. Go to my radio career page to hear it - click on "my radio career" at the top-right of this page.

BMac's first taste of the Marsbar
Friday, March 26, 2004, 09:28 p.m. ET
Like I've said before, I don't listen to enough online radio, but tonight, I finally had the opportunity to listen to David Marsden on 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM Oshawa). Musically, it was what I had expected: lots of stuff from the CFNY years. His personality, however, was not what I had expected, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Since I hadn't heard any Marsden airchecks from the past 20-25 years, I had no idea how he sounded, but what I heard tonight was a surprise. How much more laid back can a jock get? One break and I was hooked! What the Marsbar does on The Rock is probably a big no-no for most other rock PDs... playing what he wants (within reason), and the laid-back, very conversational style, complete with a bit of an accent. David Marsden, Thursday & Friday evenings on 94.9 The Rock. You've earned one more listener, Dave!

The beginning of the long dash...
Thursday, March 25, 2004, 07:39 a.m. ET
Some time ago, I explained to you my fear of Viacom's "creepy V of death" shown at the end of some TV shows produced in the late 1970's and through the 80's. Yes, I do have another little-known radio/TV-related phobia, although it's not nearly as morbid... CBC's National Research Council time signal broadcasts, heard every day at 12:59 p.m. My dad used to have CBC on his radio all day, and being a bit more sensitive to certain sounds, including tones, I would run into the backyard as soon as Radio Noon's closing theme came up. This was the case until about age 10. I still get a bit nervous around the CBC/NRC time signal, as well as some other broadcast-related tones, such as those used during Emergency Alert System transmissions in the U.S. (who ISN'T afraid of those?), and TV test patterns. That doesn't mean I can't listen to CHU, or keep going with my interest in television sign-offs. It's simply an autism thing. Anyway, the reason I brought all this up is a piece I found last night in the CBC's online archives, describing the history of the time signal broadcast. It's become the longest-running feature in CBC radio history, having aired every day for about the past sixty-five years! Click this entry's title to see (and hear) the history of CBC's time signal broadcasts.

BMac's DX logs go public
Sunday, March 21, 2004, 03:31 p.m. ET
After browsing through fellow radio buff Bill Dulmage's recently-updated site for hours (and adding a link on the top of this page... you've earned it, Bill!), I figured it was time to put my Omemee & Belleville reception logs online. My Cornwall log isn't anything spectacular compared to the other two, so it likely won't go up anytime soon. I got here too late in the TV/FM DX season, and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be in the Seaway City. Anyway, browse through the logs by clicking on this entry's title.

Kingston trip #4
Friday, March 19, 2004, 07:59 p.m. ET
As promised, some pics from yesterday's jaunt in Kingston are now online... click this entry's title to see the studios of the limestone city's Corus & CHUM radio stations.

BMac loves K-Town (too much?)
Thursday, March 18, 2004, 11:10 p.m. ET
The past week has been like a repeat of last fall... first another trip to Ottawa, then another run down to Kingston. Yes, today I was there, again to see college classmate & close friend Charlie Groulx. And this afternoon, I finally got a look inside Corus Radio's Queen Street studios, thanks to OM Jim Elyot... watch for some photos coming to the studio/transmitter page. Unfortunately, the tour didn't include much of a peek at the TV side, just a quick glance inside a non-linear editing suite down the hall from the radio studios. Today also included yet another visit to CHUM, this time to 1) visit with former CJSS-FM Cornwall morning man/current FLY FM midday jock Carl Richards, and 2) check out the recently-installed Scott Studios SS32 & VT32 systems... definitely a step up from DCS. Big kudos to everybody at CHUM & Corus, and next time I head for the limestone city - when, I don't know - K-Rock (CIKR-FM 105.7) will be one of my destinations, although I've been there once before. In the short term, though, I may drop in on Leslie & Bill at CHUM Brockville sometime soon. As for this weekend's CHUM Ottawa open house, I'll pass on it this time, since I did it in the fall.

New traffic manager for BOB & JR
Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 09:18 p.m. ET
Big congratulations to college classmate Leslie Scott on her return to CHUM Brockville (CJPT-FM 103.7 "BOB FM", CFJR-FM 104.9 "JRfm"), this time as traffic manager! This past summer, Leslie was a part-time producer, and in August, gave John Henderson & I the grand tour of CHUM's Stewart Boulevard digs... click this entry's title to see the way they looked then, because they've reportedly changed a bit. BOB FM afternoon driver Bill Porter, also one of my college classmates, says the stations are in the midst of yet another equipment upgrade, with new boards coming later this year to replace the existing Ward-Becks in the on-air control rooms. Again, congratulations Leslie!

An Ottawa bus board observation
Sunday, March 14, 2004, 04:20 p.m. ET
Took a quick day trip to Ottawa yesterday for non-radio purposes, but I did pay attention to one thing radio-related: outdoor advertising. I had heard that Massena's 101.5 The Fox (WRCD-FM Canton) had picked up a bunch of bus boards on OC Transpo, but I only saw a couple of The Fox's "Morning Domination" ads. Of all the broadcasters in the market, CHUM's Majic 100 (CJMJ-FM 100.3) and Rogers' CHEZ (106.1) have the most bus ads, with BOB FM (CKKL-FM 93.9) and CJOH-TV (13) not far behind. CHEZ actually has the rear ends of some buses covered. While taking in the rather early St. Patrick's Day parade, I noticed the Bank Street promenade was lined with big posters for newbie hot AC 105.3 Kiss FM (CISS-FM). Going back to The Fox, I didn't really have the opportunity to try pulling in the signal, since none of the radios I was using had a good FM section. Just for the heck of it, I tried it on my Dad's boom box... no Fox, but lots of noise from the city's big FMs at Camp Fortune. However, initial reception reports from others in Ottawa say that the 101.5 signal is only really receivable in the city's south end... my Dad lives on the fourth floor of a building near Bank & the Queensway.

The spirit of radio
Wednesday, March 10, 2004, 06:35 p.m. ET
Yes, I did play that Rush ditty at least once during my tenure at Rock 101.9, but Rush isn't the topic of this entry. Older readers of this blog will know that I'm speaking of previous incarnations of modern rocker CFNY-FM 102.1 Brampton, now known as "102.1 The Edge". Surprisingly, it's still licenced to Brampton, even though it's been transmitting from the CN Tower for over twenty years, and the studios are now in a downtown Toronto storefront on Yonge Street... a far cry from Brampton's 83 Kennedy Road South, or the "little yellow house" at Main & Vodden. But I digress. This week, I've been browsing the very interesting CFNY/Spirit Of Radio tribute site (click this entry's title to check it out), and it's true nostalgia for anybody who listened during its "Spirit of Radio" heyday, from about 1978 to '89. Audio, photos, bios, plus details on last year's CFNY Reunion, and some related items for sale. One question for former employees (Marsden, Don Berns): what on-air processing gear was used to give CFNY that one-of-a-kind sound I've been trying to reproduce for the longest time? Listen closely to some of the full-length 1986/87 airchecks on the site, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

...and their wish came true
Friday, March 5, 2004, 12:53 p.m. ET
So maybe there is some good in border broadcasting, depending on where you are. About an hour ago, Kingston got its country back, thanks to WBDR(FM) 102.7 Cape Vincent NY, now known as "Kix Country 102.7". CHR "The Border" has left 102.7, but is still available on WBDI (106.7 Copenhagen/Watertown) and WBDB (92.7 Ogdensburg). Again, the Whig did an article on it, stating that Canadian owner Garry McColman will be among the on-air staff, which will also include former 960/96.3 jocks Wayne Matthews (ex of CHCQ Belleville) and Shane Gordon, who was doing sales for The Border. Also, to keep the older country fans happy, the massively popular "Sunday in the Country" show will now be heard on Kix. The station will be commercial-free for the next week.

Monday, March 1, 2004, 12:31 p.m. ET
Talk about a quiet week in radio, especially when ratings come around. Could also be that there isn't a lot up for comment, other than the indecency B.S. in the U.S. Give it up, Janet Jackson's breast was exposed and all of America goes apeshit. Heck, Quebec's TQS runs porn some nights, but by walking a fine line, they can get away with it, as long as they air it after 9 p.m., rate it properly, and give enough warnings. Last week, not only did ClearChannel fire Tampa's "Bubba the Love Sponge" (especially after killing a live boar in the station parking lot a little while back), they also pulled Howard Stern off six stations which were carrying his show. These included Rochester NY active rocker "The Nerve" (WNVE 95.1 Honeoye Falls). To be honest, after about three years of tuning in almost every morning, I stopped listening to Stern in late August 2001 when I left Omemee for college in Belleville, because of reception difficulties. Toronto's Q107 was still carrying the show at the time, but I didn't have cable then, and regular in-house reception of The Nerve is usually spotty at best. It'll come in loud and clear on a car radio, though. When I came to Cornwall, I knew that one of the Burlington stations carried Stern, but I wasn't sure which one. Turns out it's on a station that doesn't make it to Cornwall: WIZN (106.7 Vergennes). If co-owned 99.9 The Buzz (WBTZ Plattsburgh NY) carried him, I'd once again be listening every morning.

Callsign changes at Rogers, and more on the CHEX tower
Tuesday, February 24, 2004, 10:33 p.m. ET
Some well-known Toronto call letters have moved east to the nation's capital. 92.5 Jack FM in Toronto is now CJAQ-FM, with CISS-FM going to Ottawa's 105.3 Kiss FM, making Y101 CKBY-FM 101.1 Smiths Falls. Also from today's issue of Industry Canada's broadcasting databases, more info has been released about the recently-authorized configuration for The Wolf (CKWF-FM 101.5 Peterborough), which will be used when the new CHEX-TV (12) tower goes into service. As previously reported, The Wolf will be running at a lower ERP, 15.2 kilowatts, but at 273 metres above average terrain (as opposed to the current 153 m and 48.5 kW), there won't be any noticeable changes in their coverage area. If anybody from around Peterborough is reading this, has construction started yet on the new tower? Finally, a quick update on "The Monkey" at Barrie's B101 (CIQB-FM 101.1). It looks like "Choo Choo" has the overnight show to himself, plus requests can be made at b101fm.com.

B101 stunts
Saturday, February 21, 2004, 12:45 a.m. ET
This past week, rumours went around that Barrie's B101 (CIQB-FM 101.1) was going to change formats. It's shortly after midnight Eastern, and I've been listening to the online stream since about 10:30 p.m. They haven't exactly made a complete change, but they've got an absolutely hilarious stunt on the air right now: a "monkey" doing the B101 overnight show, playing anything from Loverboy ("Working For The Weekend" was the Monkey's first song) to Outkast, to Weird Al Yankovic! Yes, the monkey played the Michael Jackson parody "Eat It". Prior to the midnight announcement, though, there were all the clues of a format change, including three appropriate songs to put the lid on any popular music format: Barenaked Ladies' "Thanks That Was Fun", Sheryl Crow's "A Change Will Do You Good", and Green Day's "Time Of Your Life". Following the Green Day number was the theme music from the film "2001: A Space Odyssey", then "the evolution of communication" by station voice Rob Wreford and former Corus Barrie jock Mike Rose, now PD at Cornwall's ROCK 101.9 (CJSS-FM). Rosie also played "Dave" in a series of teasers that ran on B101 Friday. In reality, it's doubtful any radio station would use a sequence like this to introduce a new all-night jock, let alone a bunch of simian sound effects between songs, so this is obviously a stunt, leading up to what will most likely be classic hits "DAVE FM". The domain name "davefm.ca" has been registered by Corus, but doesn't go anywhere right now. davefm.com, however, belongs to K-W's 107.5 DAVE FM (CJDV-FM Cambridge). Assuming Dave comes to Barrie for good, it'll be sometime very soon. Stay tuned.

Cool country in Belleville
Friday, February 20, 2004, 01:07 p.m. ET
So country is still alive and well on CHCQ-FM 100.1 in Belleville, but as of 4:00 yesterday afternoon, it's "Cool 100", playing "the coolest country". Kudos to Will Alexander of Mix 97 (CIGL-FM 97.1) for keeping us posted. The "cool breeze" teasers really threw us off, making us believe that Starboard Communications was about to thwart Quinte Broadcasting's plan to keep the soft AC format when CJTN (1270 Trenton) moves to 107.1 FM. I think anybody who switched to 100.1 when JOE came to Kingston was a bit concerned when they heard those teasers. Online presence: q100fm.ca gives you the contact page that was up before, but without the Q logo. Greg Harris, an engineer with CHUM Kawarthas and Starboard, has registered cool100.fm, but it doesn't yet go anywhere.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Saturday, February 14, 2004, 10:18 a.m. ET
Again, another quiet week in radio & TV, aside from the Janet/Don/Conan/Triumph debacles. Here at my pad, a second computer has come in, namely a used Compaq laptop - 366 MHz Pentium II, 96 MB RAM, 6 GB HD, and Win98. Blazing fast compared to my old box. It's a six-year-old 200 MHz Pentium MMX, 32 MB, 2.5 GB, and Win95. That machine is now on a shelf, but is still in use for radio automation, CD burning, and watching TV through the tuner/capture card I had installed in '99. For radio automation, I also have something of an "air chain"... an old Marantz tape deck for a limiter/leveller (the tape transport is shot, but the limiter section is intact), and a little battery-operated FM transmitter that might make it across the building, depending on the frequency. I'll have a couple of pics up soon. I'd like to put a far better antenna on it, but then the CRTC & Industry Canada (and maybe the FCC, being on the border) would go ballistic. I need a low-power AM rig! Ramsey Electronics, I'm looking in your direction!

truly local television?
Tuesday, February 10, 2004, 11:04 p.m. ET
Thanks to some recent and upcoming shows, it looks like Cogeco Community Television, or "TVCogeco" as it's now identified on-air, is becoming slightly less "truly local", despite their positioning statement. A new Kingston-produced biography series called "Truly Local People" premieres in Cornwall on Sunday, and will be seen on TVCogeco in more than a dozen communities across southern Ontario. Among the individuals profiled, at least three are from the Kingston area: Avril Lavigne, "Canadian Idol" Ryan Malcolm, and a Queen's prof. I checked the TLP website (click this entry's title to go there), and other than those I just mentioned, only one or two I recognized, including former Ontario premier and Lindsay resident Leslie Frost. However, the show's tagline is "you never know who lives next door", so perhaps in some communities, it's a chance to discover certain "truly local people". I'll have to take a second look at the site to see if there are any names from the Cornwall, Belleville, or Peterborough areas. Regarding programming not produced by Cogeco 11 Cornwall, this includes: "Junction 28", an indie music show from Peterborough; "Soiree Quebecoise", a French-language folklore offering out of Trois-Rivieres QC; and "The Heart and Stroke Health Show", hosted by ex-CTV talker Dini Petty. And tonight, Cogeco 11 aired tape of this past weekend's Cornwall Colts hockey game in Pembroke. Yes, Cogeco's Pembroke outlet produced it. But the amount of local production here probably won't diminish anytime soon... John Bolton and his local news show "The Source" are going strong, plus producer Chris Rohde has just finished putting together a three-part miniseries about Cornwall's history. It's titled "Times Gone By - Cornwall", it's narrated by Corus' Dan Allaire, and it'll be shown later this month. So maybe TVCogeco still is "Truly Local Television"... I'd rather watch this than all the other prime-time garbage out there.

A first peek at CJTN-FM
Tuesday, February 10, 2004, 08:11 p.m. ET
The results are in for what will soon be CJTN-FM (107.1 Trenton), assuming they keep those calls well after 1270 signs off. According to the Industry Canada databases, CJTN's antenna will be on the DeCastris tower near the 401 & Wooler Road, northwest of Trenton. Their directional signal will reach Stirling and Roslin to the north, Napanee to the east, Prince Edward County to the south/southeast, and the Brighton/Presqu'ile area to the west. The only spot where there could be a mix of Q107 & 'TN would be between Grafton and Colborne. Unless Q booms in during a summer storm, CJTN-FM won't have any co-channel problems in Trenton, Belleville, PEC, or Brighton. Now it's a matter of finding out what 107.1 will be named once it signs on. Lite/Light FM? Magic 107?

My Radio Career
Studio & TX Photos