|Broadcast area||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Branding||97.5 Big FM|
|Slogan||Big Hits & Real Classic Rock|
|First air date||May 27, 1948|
|Audience share||4.4% - Rank: 9|
|Former callsigns||CJOB-FM (1948-1976)
|Sister stations||CJOB, CJGV-FM|
|Website||97.5 Big FM|
CJKR-FM is a radio station in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Owned by Corus Entertainment, the station broadcasts an classic rock format branded as 97.5 Big FM. The station shares studios with sister stations CJOB and CJGV-FM in Winnipeg's Polo Park area.
The station was launched in 1948 as CJOB-FM, an FM simulcast of CJOB. The station applied to the BBG to move its broadcast frequency from 103.1 MHz to the current 97.5 MHz. It opened with distinct programming in 1962, featured a country music format as CHMM-FM in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and changed its format to soft rock and its callsign to CKIS-FM in 1984. In the late 1980s, CKIS-FM moved to a rock format, which was not in compliance with its license at that time. Eventually the station was allowed to amend its license, stick with the rock format, and changed its call letters to the current CJKR-FM in 1991.
In April 2010, Corus Radio Winnipeg announced the future relocation of its radio broadcast facility to 1440 Rapelje Avenue (since renamed Jack Blick Avenue), as part of a lease agreement between Corus Entertainment and Cadillac Fairview. The relocation to Polo Park was originally slated for January 2011. CJOB 680, CJGV-FM and CJKR-FM would become the anchor tenants. Corus Radio Winnipeg planned to occupy the second floor of the three story building, upsizing its radio, production and business operations to 17,500 square feet (1,630 m2). At the time, general manager Garth Buchko said the stations had outgrown their 930 Portage Avenue facility. With the move, Corus Radio Winnipeg would also upgrade to state-of-the-art, fully digital on-air systems. At the end of February 2011, CJKR-FM completed the move to its new location at 1440 Jack Blick Avenue. In the late 2000s, the station moved from mainstream rock to active rock by reducing the classic rock in its playlist.
On September 12, 2012, morning show hosts Dave Wheeler, Phil Aubrey, and Rena Jae resigned from the station, citing an inability to come to terms on a new contract with Corus Entertainment. Wheeler would move to CITI-FM. In January 2013, a new morning program hosted by Cam Carson and T.J. Connors, Carson & Connors, premiered. Vicki Shae was added to the show in March 2013. In March 2014, Carson was let go.
At Noon on January 29, 2015, after playing "Fade to Black" by Metallica, CJKR began stunting with a promo for an impending change in format the following morning at 8 AM. At that time, CJKR flipped to classic rock as 97.5 Big FM. The first song on "Big FM" was "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel. The new format was described as an "homage to Winnipeg's rock heritage", with a playlist that is "familiar, less predictable and has rock credibility."
- "Spring 2013 BBM Canada Survey"
- "Local radio station prepares FM sending". Winnipeg Tribune. April 13, 1948.
- "City station asks two FM programs". Winnipeg Tribune. September 29, 1960.
- "Local FM station is going to CKIS". Winnipeg Free Press. May 29, 1984.
- "Wheeler and friends quit Power 97". Winnipeg Sun. September 12, 2012.
- "Power gives way to 97.5 BIG FM". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "Power 97 FM playing different tunes today". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Official website
- CJKR-FM history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CJKR-FM