The call letters of CFCH are coming home.
Earlier this week, Vista Radio Ltd. announced the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had granted the use of a second licenced radio station out of North Bay. The new station will be found at 90.5 on the FM dial and will be a sister station to Vista’s 106.3 Moose FM that operates in downtown North Bay.
Vista officials say the call letters of CFCH have been secured for this new station, in order to pay homage to the history of radio in North Bay. CFCH was launched by Lord Roy Thomson and was one of the first radio stations in Northern Ontario.
Officials say Lord Thompson had been selling radios in Northern Ontario for De Forest Crosley Radios. After some time, he had grown frustrated with selling radios in an area with spotty reception and decided to put a station on air himself. Thompson bought an unused licence from the Abitibi Paper Company for $1 and an old transmitter for $200, and the temporary use of a technician to install it. In March 1931 CFCH North Bay went to air, located inside the Capitol Centre, just three doors down from the present-day Moose FM.
Vista Radio is proudly owned by Sherry Brydson, a granddaughter of Lord Roy Thomson, who says, “Building a radio station that honours my grandfather’s legacy with the same call letters in the same city is a privilege.”
General Manager Peter Hobbs says this has been a lengthy journey.
“We have seen a need for more musical and programming diversity in North Bay and we are thrilled that the CRTC recognizes that along with the hard work of the entire team at Vista Radio,” he explained. “I grew up listening to CFCH radio and it will be amazing to hear those historic call letters on the air once again in North Bay.”
“Vista has deep roots in the North Bay community and we are thrilled to be able to diversify music programming and continue to provide local information, and news that people have come to rely on Vista Radio and 106.3 Moose FM,” stated Vista Radio Ltd. interim president, Bryan Edwards.