- For the former CKWS-FM, see CFMK-FM.
|City of license||Kingston, Ontario|
|Branding||Greatest Hits CKWS 104.3 FM|
|Frequency||104.3 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||August 31, 1942 (AM)
October 15, 2007 (FM)
|Callsign meaning||Kingston Whig-Standard|
|Former callsigns||CKWS (1942-1987)
|Sister stations||CFMK-FM, CKWS-TV|
|Website||Greatest Hits CKWS 104.3 FM|
The station was launched in 1942 as CKWS, a CBC Trans-Canada Network affiliate taking over CBC responsibilities from Queen's University radio station CFRC. Broadcasting on AM 960, the station was owned by Allied Broadcasting, a partnership of Roy Thomson and Rupert Davies, owner of the Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper. The call letters were derived from the newspaper's name, as was common at the time.
FM sister station CKWS-FM (now CFMK-FM) signed on in 1947 (originally as CKWR-FM), and CKWS-TV launched in 1954. For most of the 1960s and 1970s, CKWS battled local rival CKLC for listenership, since both stations had adopted a similar Top 40 music format, although CKWS always carried more news and community programming.
The stations were purchased by Paul Desmarais and Claude Pratte in 1977, and became part of Desmarais' Power Corporation in 1987. In 1987, the station adopted the call letters CFFX and moved to new studios on Counter Street, as it would no longer be associated with the television station, which retained the CKWS name.
The stations were subsequently sold to their current owner, Corus Entertainment, in 2000, at which time they were "reunited" with the television station and moved back to the studios on Queen Street.
Conversion to FM
As of 2007, CFFX was carrying an oldies format. In April 2007, CFFX applied to move from the AM band to the FM band, and was given approval by the CRTC on August 28, 2007. In September, CFFX began testing at 104.3 FM playing classic country music.
On October 15, 2007, CFFX moved from AM 960 to FM 104.3, adopting an adult contemporary music format. Because of CRTC regulations, oldies was not yet allowed on FM radio, necessitating a change of formats. At midnight on the evening of January 14, 2008, the AM side began a final test of their equipment using their 10,000 watt daytime directional antenna. At the top of each hour, on both the AM and FM stations, a special announcement was broadcast, followed by special test material, including morse code and sweep tones. This lasted for several minutes before returning to regular programming. This test was repeated again at 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM. The 960 signal was turned off at 6:00 AM EST on January 15, 2008.
On August 19, 2010, after the CRTC allowed oldies on FM radio, the station changed its format back to a classic hits format, as well as changing its calls to CKWS-FM, regaining the CKWS calls it lost in 1987 back as an AM station.
- Greatest Hits CKWS 104.3 FM
- CKWS-FM History at the Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKWS-FM