On November 26, 2004, Rogers Media received CRTC approval to operate a new English-language commercial FM News/talk radio station which would broadcast at 88.9 FM in Saint John, New Brunswick as well as other News/talk stations in Halifax and Moncton under licensing agreement, the CRTC officially approved the application.  On October 11, 2005, CHNI-FM signed on as News 88.9 under the ownership of Rogers Media, as part of a three-station news/talk radio network comprising of CKNI-FM in Moncton (which had been sold to Acadia broadcasting and became known as 91.9 the Bend with an AC format in August 2014) and CJNI-FM in Halifax. As News 88.9, the station would also broadcast Saint John Sea Dogs, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Blue Jays games, along with programming from ESPN Radio and Westwood One.
On July 4, 2013, Newcap Radio announced that it would acquire CHNI-FM from Rogers Media pending CRTC approval, marking the company's entry into the Saint John market. The acquisition, along with a request by Newcap to allow CHNI-FM to switch from a news/talk format to a music format, was approved by the CRTC on March 14, 2014. The acquisition closed on March 31, 2014.
On July 28, 2014, CHNI-FM flipped to Mainstream rock branded as Rock 88.9, launching with 30 days of commercial-free music as the station begins to hire on-air talent. David Newbury, general manager for Newcap Radio in Atlantic Canada stated that the company felt there was a "void" in the Saint John market that needed to be filled, and noted that Newcap was hoping CHNI-FM would emulate the success of its sister stations in other Atlantic Canadian markets.