|City of license||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||National Capital Region
(Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Upstate New York)
|Branding||106-9 The Bear|
|Slogan||Ottawa's Best Rock|
|Frequency||106.9 FM (MHz)|
|First air date||August 31, 1982 (AM)
September 1, 1994 (FM)
|Former callsigns||CJSB (1982-1994)|
|Owner||Bell Media under blind trust pending sale to Corus Radio|
|Website||106.9 The Bear|
CKQB-FM is a Canadian radio station, which broadcasts an active rock format at 106.9 FM in Ottawa and 99.9 FM in Pembroke (on a repeater as CKQB-FM-1). The station uses the on-air brand name 106.9 The Bear.
The station was launched in 1982 by Standard Broadcasting at AM 540, with the call sign CJSB and a power of 50,000 watts (daytime) and 10,000 watts (nighttime). The station was initially a mixture of MOR music and talk programming, then became an adult standards/easy listening (Music of Your Life) station, and in January 1987 evolved into a soft adult contemporary format with the brand name 54 Lite Rock.
In 1988, the station adopted a mainstream rock format and the brand name 54 Rock. In June 1989, the station's nighttime power was increased from 10,000 watts to 12,500 watts in an effort to extend their coverage area in the west-end of Ottawa. Through all the changes, the station continued to lose money hand over foot.
In 1993, after 11 years without a profit on AM, the station applied to move from the AM band to the FM band using the available 106.9 frequency that had been occupied by CKO from 1977 to 1989. The AM station signed off the air at 9AM on August 31, 1994 and the FM station signed on at 6PM on September 1, 1994 with the new brand name 106.9 FM The Bear and changed its call sign to CKQB.
The Real Darren Stevens became the first personality to be heard on air on 106.9 FM The BEAR CKQB-FM broadcasting live from Minglewoods bar in the Byward Market September 1, 1994
In 2004, CKQB was given approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to operate an FM transmitter at Pembroke, Ontario on 99.7 FM, to rebroadcast the programming of CKQB's main station in Ottawa and provide better service to CKQB-FM’s listeners in Pembroke and in the surrounding west Ottawa Valley area.
The station's music director, Kath Thompson, won the Canadian Music Industry Award for Music Director of the Year (Major Market) in 2007. On October 29, 2007, Astral Media took control of CKQB-FM as a result of its takeover of Standard Broadcasting.
The station dropped the decimal point on its ID by late 2008; it continues to do so now that the station is The Bear yet again.
On December 4, 2008, Astral Media announced that CKQB, along with sister stations CJFM-FM in Montreal and CKZZ-FM in Vancouver, would be rebranded as a Virgin Radio station in January 2009. This was in addition to an existing Virgin Radio station, CKFM-FM in Toronto. CKQB featured a "re-energized" rock format, as opposed to a hot adult contemporary format at the other Virgin Radio stations in Canada. The Toronto Virgin flipped to contemporary hit radio the following year.
The rebranding was completed on January 9, 2009, at 4 PM. The first song after the relaunch was "London Calling" by The Clash. The station subsequently faced criticism for its inaugural promotional campaign, which featured images of pregnant young women accompanied by the slogan "Lock up your daughters, the gods of rock are now in Ottawa." The station dropped the advertisements after a number of listeners filed complaints.
On August 26, 2009, Astral applied to change Pembroke's repeater frequency (CKQB-FM-1) from 99.7 to 99.9 MHz to mitigate interference due to the approval of Astral's new FM station in Ottawa at 99.7 MHz. The move to 99.9 FM received CRTC approval on October 14, 2009.
CKQB-FM's studios are located at the broadcasting complex shared by its former sister station CJOH-TV, on Merivale Road in Nepean. On February 7, 2010, CJOH-TV's studios were gutted by a four-alarm fire in the pre-dawn hours; CKQB-FM's studios, located in a separate building, were not affected.
In 2010, following the reformatting of francophone station CFTX-FM as a mainstream rock station, CKQB included more active rock songs to its playlist. On February 4, 2011, the station dropped the Virgin branding, returning to its former Bear identity.
In March 2013, as part of Bell Media's acquisition of Astral Media, Corus reached a tentative deal to acquire several radio stations, including CKQB, as part of an overall deal totaling $400.6 million.
- Homegrown '89 (1989 - Cassette issue when branded as 54 Rock)
- Homegrown '90 (1990 - Cassette issue when branded as 54 Rock)
- Unmuted: Ottawa Recording Artists United Against AIDS (1996)
- Unmuted II (1997)
- Canadian Communications Foundation History of CKQB-FM
- Decision CRTC 89-346
- Decision CRTC 93-636
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-60
- Astral press release, December 4, 2008
- "Virgin Radio drops 'lock-up-daughter' ads". Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2009.
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-519
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-649
- "CTV Ottawa newsroom destroyed by fire", CTV Ottawa, 2010-02-07
- "Fire destroys CTV newsroom", CBC.ca, 2010-02-07
- "Bell moves closer to Astral with sale of TV assets". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- 106.9 The Bear
- CKQB history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKQB-FM