Update 3/31: And CHR it is as “Jump 106.9” made its debut at 11:00am.
Promising 90 minute blocks of music around the clock, Jump is positioning itself as “Non Stop Hits”.
CKQB is launching with a full airstaff in place. Jay Hat, most recently at Classic Rock “98.9 Jet-FM” Courtenay, BC will host mornings. Jenna Mo joins for middays from “2Day FM” in Niagara Falls. Gord ‘The Saint’ St. Denis, formerly of “101.7 The One” CKNX-FM Wingham, ON holds the afternoon shift. Mr. D will be MD/Nights and was previously at “91.5 The Beat” CKBT Kitchener.
Update 3/29: Was “Fresh-FM” a decoy all along?
Amidst speculation in the Ottawa market that the station is preparing to launch a CHR format and not the Hot AC “Fresh” brand, Corus transferred JumpOttawa.com to its servers yesterday. There’s already a blank Twitter account and private Facebook page for that name as well.
CHR would position CKQB directly against Newcap’s “Hot 89.9” CIHT and less against Rogers Hot AC “105.3 Kiss” CISS. CIHT was second with English speakers in the Ottawa/Gatineau market with a 11.9 share in the Fall 2013 BBM Ratings and 5th among French speakers with a 6.3 share.
Update 3/28: As Corus prepares to launch “106.9 Fresh-FM” on Monday, CKQB began stunting this evening with nature sounds.
Louise Dixon, Sales Manager for the Corus Ottawa cluster tweeted earlier this week that the Fresh-FM launch will take place on Monday, March 31 at 11:00am.
4 days till ottawa gets the best radio station tune in 106.9 Monday 11am or be left out#pumped
— CharmSchool (@LouiseLdixon) March 27, 2014
Update 3/6: Corus announced today that “106.9 The Bear” will drop Rock and go in a “Fresh New Direction” at the end of the month.
In a message on the station’s website station GM Mark Dickie writes,
Corus Radio Ottawa is committed to providing the best possible listening experience, therefore, we have decided to take FM 106.9 in a fresh new direction. As we reported in late January below, the station was likely flip to Hot AC “106.9 Fresh-FM“.
We thank our listeners, advertisers and community partners for supporting us the past 20 years.
We are confident the new format will be a welcome addition to the Ottawa radio landscape. Your support is important to us and we invite you to listen to the station that we are certain will become an audience favorite.
CKQB will run jockless through the remainder of March.
Original Report 1/26: On Friday, the CRTC approved Corus’ $13 Million purchase of Classic Hits “Boom 99.7” CJOT and Rock “106.9 The Bear” CKQB Ottawa as part of the divestitures caused by the merger of Astral and Bell Media.
It hasn’t taken Corus long to indicate a change is on its way to one of the two stations. Corus has registered 1069FreshFM.com for CKQB and a Twitter account with the new logo is already active. Corus operates the “FreshFM” Hot AC brand in Edmonton, Hamilton, London, and Winnipeg already.
CKQB has had a Rock format for its entire existence since the launch of the 106.9 signal in 1994. Outside of a two year stretch from 2009 to 2011 when it was branded as “Virgin Radio“, the station has always been known as “The Bear“.
The Bear ranked tenth in the Ottawa market with a 3.8 share in the Fall 2013 BBM Ratings. A flip to Hot AC would position CKQB directly against Rogers’ “105.3 Kiss-FM” CISS and between Bell Media AC “Majic 100.3” CJMJ and Newcaps CHR “Hot 89.9” CIHT.