|Branding||96.3 Big FM|
|Slogan||Big Hits & Real Classic Rock|
|Frequency||96.3 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||May 14, 1947|
|Format||classic rock/classic hits|
|HAAT||247.9 meters (813 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||Canadian FM Radio for Kingston|
(591589 B.C. Ltd.)
|Sister stations||CKWS-FM, CKWS-DT|
The station was launched in 1947 as CKWR-FM, an FM simulcast of CKWS. Both stations were owned by Allied Broadcasting, in which the Kingston Whig-Standard was the primary partner. The station's call sign was changed to CKWS-FM in the same year, and Allied changed its name to Frontenac Broadcasting in 1954. The station adopted its current CFMK call sign in 1976.
In 1977, Paul Desmarais and Claude Pratte purchased Frontenac Broadcasting. In 1987, ownership was transferred directly to Desmarais' Power Corporation, and in 1989, Frontenac and another Power subsidiary, Kawartha Broadcasting, were merged to form Power Broadcasting.
In 1998, both the AM and FM stations were knocked off the air for a week by the Ice Storm of 1998.
The stations were purchased by Corus Entertainment in 2000. A country music station for nearly three decades beginning in the late 1970s, CFMK adopted an adult hits format branded as Joe FM in 2004, and switched to a classic rock format branded as "FM 96" in 2007. On February 13, 2015, CFMK-FM switched to a mainstream rock format and changed its slogan to "Kingston's Best Rock", but retained its FM96 branding and featured rock music from the late 1960s to today. The "Kingston's Best Rock" slogan is also being used on CIKR-FM (105.7 K-Rock) in the same city. CFMK-FM's sister station, CKWS-FM rebranded its station to "104.3 Fresh Radio" on the same day.
On August 27, 2015, CFMK's website was replaced with a timer counting down to the following day at Noon, promoting "something exciting is coming soon". At that time, after playing "Can't Get Enough" by Bad Company, FM96 relaunched as "96.3 Big FM" with a full-blown hybrid classic rock/classic hits format, launching with a commercial free "Big 500 From A to Zed" countdown, playing 500 songs alphabetically and without interruption throughout the weekend before resuming its on-air programming on August 31, 2015. The change comes as CFMK registered a 2.3 share in the Spring 2015 Numeris ratings, placing it well behind CIKR-FM’s 9.0 share and CKLC-FM’s 6.6 share.
- 96.3 Big FM
- CFMK-FM history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFMK-FM
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