Infobox Radio Station

airdate=June 27, 1927
frequency=98.3 MHz (FM)
area=Chilliwack, BC
format=Adult contemporary
owner=Rogers Communications
erp=5 kW
branding=98.3 Star FM
slogan=The Valley's Lite Rock
website= [ 98.3 Star FM]
callsign_meaning=C K StaR
former_callsigns=CHWK (1927-2000)|

CKSR (known on-air as Star FM) is a Canadian radio station located in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The station, operating at 98.3 FM with 5000 watts of power, is owned by Rogers Communications. CKSR also runs a repeater station in Hope, British Columbia called CFSR-FM on 100.5 FM with 157 watts.


CKSR began broadcasting on June 27, 1927 as CHWK (which stood for CHilliWacK), airing for two hours a day (noon-1 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.) at its original frequency of 1210 AM with transmission power of 5 watts. The station had been started up by original owners, radio set salesmen Casey Wells and Jack Menzies, as a response to the problems Chilliwack residents had with picking up radio signals from Vancouver due to the area's mountainous terrain and the less-sophisticated radio receivers of the time. During CHWK's early years, there were some days when the station would not go on the air if Wells and Menzies were busy selling radios; this was eventually remedied in 1929 when Jack Pilling was hired on to help run station operations.

CHWK moved to 665 AM and increased power to 100 watts in 1930, and Wells bought Menzies' ownership stake in the station in 1933, with programming geared toward the Chilliwack area's farmers. CHWK became a charter affiliate of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission upon the network's formation in 1932, and later became the local affiliate when the CRBC reorganized as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1936. The station switched frequencies again to 780 AM in 1937 and increased power to 250 watts the following year. In 1940, Pilling acquired half-ownership of the station, which changed over to 1340 AM in 1941. The original CBC Radio became known as the Trans-Canada Network on January 2, 1944 when its new sister network, the Dominion Network, went on the air, and CHWK became a charter affiliate of the Dominion Network at that time.

CHWK made further frequency switches over time, to 1230 AM on April 14, 1951, then to 1270 AM (with a power increase to 1000 watts) in 1952. In 1957, Fraser Valley Broadcasters Ltd. was established as the owner of CHWK, with Jack Pilling as the new company's largest shareholder. The station's power was increased to 10,000 watts in 1960. On August 20, 1962, Fraser Valley Broadcasters established CFVR in Abbotsford as a semi-satellite of CHWK, operating on 1240 AM with 250 watts of power; CFVR had its own morning show, while the balance of its programming came from Chilliwack. Pilling retired as the majority owner and president of Fraser Valley Broadcasters in 1963.

In 1966, CHWK and CFVR parent Fraser Valley Broadcasters was under the ownership of Murdo MacLachlin, Bill Wolfe and Bill Teetzel when Dennis Barkman purchased ⅓ interest in the company by acquiring Teetzel's shares, with an option on the remaining shares of MacLachlin and Wolfe. With the involvement of six employees as minority shareholders, Barkman became the majority owner in 1969. On May 8, 1972, CHWK got a second rebroadcaster when CKGO went on the air in Hope at 1490 AM with 250 watts, airing two hours of local programming a day with the rest from CHWK. Bill Coombes took over from Dennis Barkman as the president of Fraser Valley Broadcasters in 1976, and CHWK co-founder Casey Wells died in Chilliwack on November 11 that year at age 74.

In February 1977, CFVR moved to 850 AM and increased its power to 10,000 watts, while CKGO later took over CFVR's old 1240 frequency and made a power increase to 1000 watts in the daytime, remaining at 250 at night. Jack Pilling, the former president and majority owner of Fraser Valley Broadcasters, died on July 16, 1977 at age 69. In June 1981, CHWK, CFVR and CKGO dropped their CBC affiliations when CBC set up CBYF-FM, a Chilliwack repeater station of CBU. On October 1, 1986, Fraser Valley Broadcasters put the original CKSR-FM on the air at 107.5 FM in Chilliwack, with a repeater station (originally called CFSR-FM) in Abbotsford at 104.9 FM, broadcasting a mixed adult contemporary/easy listening format.

On June 25, 1994, CFVR discontinued its adult contemporary format for oldies music and changed its call sign to CKMA (adopting the on-air brand 85 Radio MAX). Dennis Barkman, who had relinquished his interests in Fraser Valley Broadcasters some years earlier, died on March 11, 1995 of a brain tumour at the age of 62. CHWK and CKGO later began simulcasting CKMA (with CKMA's on-air brand being shortened to simply Radio MAX as all three stations adopted it as a common brand) on September 8, 1997. In August 1999, Rogers Communications bought Fraser Valley Broadcasters and its stations. On December 31, 1999 at 5 p.m., CKSR/CFSR changed its call letters to CKVX-FM (eventually to become CKCL-FM on April 8, 2004).

On June 9, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) gave approval to CHWK to switch to FM, to operate at 98.3 MHz. In preparation for the switch, in September that year, CHWK, CKMA and CKGO changed call signs as well as CHWK adopted the old CKSR name, while CKMA became CFSR and CKGO changed to CKIS. On December 15, CKIS was approved to move to FM at 100.5, and CFSR got the green light on June 5, 2001, to move to 107.1 FM. On August 31, 2001, the switch took place as the stations (with CKSR as the originating broadcaster) adopted the on-air brand Star FM and dropped their oldies format for adult contemporary; their old AM frequencies would continue simulcasting CKSR until December. Former CHWK co-owner Murdo MacLachlin died on July 8, 2003 in North Vancouver at age 93. CFSR ceased rebroadcasting CKSR on March 24, 2005 at noon as it became CKQC-FM, airing a separate schedule of contemporary country music, while the CFSR calls were transferred to CKIS. Bill Wolfe, another former co-owner of CHWK, died on June 1, 2005 at the age of 77.

In an announcement made in 2007, the historic CHWK call letters were planned to be brought back by Manitoba-based Golden West Broadcasting, which had applied to the CRTC for a licence for an FM station in Chilliwack, to operate on 89.5 FM if the application was successful. [ [ Golden West Broadcasting applies for new Chilliwack FM station (02/21/07)] ] [ [ Local spin to station ("Chilliwack Times", February 20, 2007)] ] This application, along with a competing application by Vista Broadcast Group (which owns 19 radio stations in British Columbia), were made in response to public outcry over the lack of local content in Chilliwack radio since the purchase of Fraser Valley Broadcasters by Rogers. [ [ FM dial getting crowded ("Chilliwack Times", February 23, 2007)] ] Both applications were denied by the CRTC on May 30, 2008 in favor of an application by Radio CJVR Ltd. (owner of Melfort, Saskatchewan station CJVR-FM), which now expects to use the CHWK calls for its new station when it eventually goes on the air. [ [ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-116 May 30, 2008] ] [ [ Northwest Broadcasters - FM Stations] ]

Past station logos


External links

* [ 98.3 Star FM website]
* [ CHWK/CKSR history at CCF website]
* [ Fraser Valley Radio history at Vancouver Radio Museum] (includes CKSR-FM)

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