CKRA-FM

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CKRA-FM
The Breeze Edmonton Logo.png
CityEdmonton, Alberta
Broadcast areaEdmonton Capital Region
Branding96.3 The Breeze
SloganEdmonton's Relaxing Favourites
Frequency96.3 MHz (FM)
First air dateNovember 15, 1979
FormatSoft adult contemporary
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT230.5 meters (756 ft)
ClassC
Transmitter coordinates53°25′9″N 113°14′29″W / 53.41917°N 113.24139°W / 53.41917; -113.24139Coordinates: 53°31′21″N 113°37′40″W / 53.52250°N 113.62778°W / 53.52250; -113.62778 (96.3 Capital FM)
Callsign meaningC K-Lite (Old format) AlbeRtA
OwnerStingray Group
Sister stationsCFCW, CFCW-FM, CIRK-FM
WebcastListen Live
Websitewww.963thebreeze.com

CKRA-FM (96.3 FM, "96.3 The Breeze") is a radio station in Edmonton, Alberta. Owned by Stingray Group, it broadcasts a Soft adult contemporary format. CKRA's studios are located inside the West Edmonton Mall, while its transmitter is located at Ellerslie Road and Provincial Highway 21, just southeast of Edmonton's city limits.

History[edit]

On April 17, 1979, CFCW Limited, owner of CFCW in Camrose, received approval to operate a new FM station in Edmonton. There were ten other applicants for the new license, including CHUM Limited, Radio Station CHED Ltd., CHQT Broadcasting Ltd., The Voice of the Prairies Ltd. (owners of CFCN in Calgary), and Roger Charest. On November 15, 1979, CKRA-FM signed on with an album rock format. By the mid-1980s, CKRA shifted to adult contemporary under the 96 K-Lite FM moniker. In 1989, CFCW Limited sold the station to current owners Newcap Radio.

On January 13, 1995, the station adopted the name Mix 96, and shifted to a hot adult contemporary format. Several name and content changes occurred in 2002 and 2003. In the summer of 2002, CKRA adjusted its name to 96.3 The Mix and incorporated more contemporary music into its playlist. During this time, the station opened a satellite "weekend" location on Edmonton's trendy Whyte Avenue. Local (former) A-Channel entertainment host, Shannon Tyler, was hired to co-host the morning radio show with B.J. Wilson. In February 2003, CKRA once again re-branded as 96X, "the hit music alternative" and retained its hot AC format, leaving R&B and hip-hop out of its playlist. Ryan Waters joined the new morning show, working with Wilson and Tyler then hosting solo for 90 minutes of commercial free music. Mike Anderson (middays), Tim Riess (drive time) and Carly Kincaid (evenings) rounded out the air staff. Several on-air changes followed, including Anderson leaving Middays and focusing on M.D. duties. Riess hosted several dayparts, Waters returned to his former position as "Swing Announcer" and Chris Kuchar held down "Afternoon Drive" before returning to sister station 97.3 K-Rock.

Following the transition of Power 92 to the hot AC formatted Power 92.5 in June 2003, the station shifted to CHR and adopted the slogan "Edmonton's Only Hit Music Station", which (after Power 92 changed to adult hits) changed to "Edmonton's #1 Hit Music Station". During this time, 96X moved its Whyte Avenue studio to a booth in Hudson's Canadian Tap House from where it began broadcasting during the evenings and on weekends; the station also began weekly broadcasts on Saturday nights from The Standard nightclub. 96X hoped to duplicate the success of Power 92, who targeted the younger demographics through "Power Parties" and would regularly broadcast from different clubs around Edmonton. Long term success was not to be as 96X enjoyed one average and one top 6 rating result, the latter being the highest market share reached to date. At the time, Wilson and Tyler hosted the morning show, Carley Kincaid entertained middays, Tim Riess sat in the chair for PM drive, and Adam McKale was the evening DJ. 96X's popularity among younger listeners was bolstered by Power 92.5's flip to 92.5 Joe FM, which aired a variety hits format. In the fall of 2005, 96X's main studio moved from its old location in a 99th Street strip mall to a new facility in Phase 4 of the West Edmonton Mall along with Newcap Broadcasting's other stations.

However, the entry of CHBN in March 2005 and CHDI in April 2005 spelled disaster for 96X, whose market quickly dispersed over the upcoming months. In response, the 96X format was relaunched with a return to hot AC, but left most of the rhythmic content intact; this change was unsuccessful in regaining listeners.

Final logo as Capital 96.3; a variation of this logo also contained the emblem of Boom FM.

On December 12, 2005, the station flipped to mainstream country as Big Earl 96.3 (pronounced as "96 dot 3"), positioning it as a flanker to CFCW's classic country format.[1] However, Big Earl was unsuccessful in competing with the market-leader CISN-FM. On March 28, 2008, CKRA flipped to classic hits as 96.3 Capital FM. Although the change came shortly after oldies station 880 CHQT announced its intent to switch to all-news iNews 880 in May, the station's manager denied it was a direct response, and remarked that they were just "lucky".[2]

On December 26, 2018, CKRA flipped to soft adult contemporary as 96.3 The Breeze, along with sister station CHLG-FM in Vancouver.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "More details on Big Earl, Capital FM, iNews 880 and New FM". Edmonton Journal. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  3. ^ "Soft AC 'The Breeze' Blows Into CHLG/Vancouver and CKRA/Edmonton". All Access. Retrieved 2018-12-24.

External links[edit]