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NorthEast Radio Watch On the Road 7/22: Owen Sound to Chatham

[You're receiving this a day late because we were unable to send it
from Chatham -- sorry!]

*Hello again from Canada -- albeit much further south than our trip
has taken us thus far.

You'll recall that we left you Wednesday night in Owen Sound, at the
base of the Bruce Peninsula, which divides Lake Huron from Georgian
Bay.  From the hotel room, the radio was picking up everything from
North Bay to the northeast to Little Current to the north to Traverse
City, Michigan to the west, to Buffalo far to the south -- distances
in each case of well over 120 miles.  As for local radio in Owen
Sound, there's just the Bayshore Broadcasting duo of oldies CFOS (560)
and AC "Mix" CIKX (106.5).

Thursday morning found us heading north up the Bruce Peninsula, a
90-minute drive to the village of Tobermory, where the ferry we missed
on Wednesday would have deposited us.  Ferry information is provided
by CHEE (89.9), a very low-power station with a radius of perhaps one
block.  A few miles south, Bruce Peninsula National Park is served by
CBPS (90.7), which gets out for a few miles from its tower next to a
campground.  What we didn't hear at all was CHFN (100.3), which is
supposed to broadcast from a First Nations (what we in the States call
Native American) reservation about halfway down the Peninsula.
Instead, 100.3 was a fight between the new religious station in Barrie
and a country station in northern Michigan.

At the south end of the peninsula, CIXK shares the CBC tower, whose
primary occupants are CBCB (98.7) and the CBLT relay on channel 20.  

Returning to Owen Sound, we found the CFOS/CIXK studios, where "Mix
106" license plate frames were the promo item du jour, and south of
town saw the CFOS transmitter, with five towers in an "X" shape.

CFOS has a relay station in Port Elgin, some 25 miles west, and so we
then drove in that direction to see and hear CFPS (1490), which
operates from a top-loaded tower that can't be much more than 70 feet
tall.  Even so, it gets out quite well with its CFOS simulcast.

The long drive south began with several stops in and around Wingham, a
very small town that just happens to be in a central spot in southwest
Ontario, which is why CKNX radio, and later TV, settled there.

The CKNX-TV and CKNX-FM tower can be seen for miles heading south.
Once we found the spot, some 15 miles north of Wingham, we found a
nice brick building with the old CKNX logo in front.  The TV side is
no longer co-owned, and is instead part of the CHUM Group's
independent operation based at CFPL-TV in London.  There are newsrooms
for "The New NX" in Owen Sound and Wingham, though, and we found the
latter atop a hill a few blocks east of downtown, still sharing space
with the radio stations.  The building itself is a classic 1950s
broadcast station, by the way, and there were bumper stickers for AM
920, which is a country outlet.  (The FM, which goes by "FM-102," was
doing a pretty diverse mix of AC on its big 101.7 signal.)

The CKNX(AM) towers are south of town, three in a row and a fourth
offset at the end of the array.  The transmitter building has two
large picture windows in front, nicely displaying the vintage Collins
transmitter.  It's a long way from anywhere, but Wingham was
definitely worth the trip...

After that, it was on to London, where CKSL (1410) is now doing soft
AC as "the River" from new studios in the Canada Trust building
downtown, which is crowned with the transmitter of sister station CIQM
(97.5).  An hour down the road brought us to Chatham, which is where
we stopped for the night after seeing the towers of CKSY (95.1) and
CBEE (88.1, along with CBC and TVOntario relays) just east of town.

That's it for tonight...tomorrow, it's up to Sarnia to see if the CKTY
towers are still standing, followed by the crossing of the border and
a survey of the Flint, Michigan market.  We'll check in from Flint
Friday night!

- -=Scott Fybush with Garrett Wollman - NorthEast Radio Watch - (c) 1999=-