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CIDR-FM
CIDR-FM.png
City of license Windsor, Ontario
Broadcast area Windsor, Ontario / Detroit, Michigan
Branding 93-9 The River
Slogan It's About the Music
Frequency 93.9 MHz
First air date September 1948
Format Triple A
Power 68,000 watts
HAAT 200 meters
Class C1
Facility ID 124896
Transmitter coordinates 42°10′15″N 82°29′59″W / 42.17083°N 82.49972°W / 42.17083; -82.49972
Callsign meaning C WInDsoR
or
C I Detroit's River
Former callsigns CKLW-FM (1991-1993)
CKMR (1988-1991)
CKLW-FM (1986-1988)
CKEZ (1985-1986)
CFXX (1984-1985)
CKJY (?-1984)
CKLW-FM (9/48-?)
Owner CTVglobemedia
(CHUM Radio Network)
Website 93-9 The River

CIDR-FM is the callsign for a radio station, broadcasting at 93.9 FM in Windsor, Ontario. The station broadcasts a Triple A format using the brand name 93-9 The River. It is owned and operated by CTVglobemedia. It is one of the few commercial triple A stations in Canada and is the only triple A station in Ontario, (with the others located in British Columbia). It was also Canada's first AAA-formatted station at launch.

Contents

History

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CKLW-FM

The station was originally launched by Western Ontario Broadcasting in 1948 as CKLW-FM, rebroadcasting the CBC Dominion Network programming of sister station CKLW. It dropped the CBC affiliation in 1950, and became the Metro Detroit outlet of the Mutual Broadcasting System.

The stations were subsequently acquired in 1956 by a consortium including the American company RKO; RKO subsequently acquired full ownership of the stations in 1963. Also that year, CKLW-FM began airing distinct programming from its AM sister station. It originally broadcast two hours of separate programming each evening from 7 to 9 p.m., and in 1967, this was expanded to six hours per night (from 6 p.m. to midnight).

CKJY/94 Fox FM

In 1970, due to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's new rules on foreign ownership of Canadian media, RKO was forced to sell the stations to Baton Broadcasting. Under Baton's ownership, CKLW-FM completely separated programming from its successful Top 40 AM sister, airing a country music format with news and talk oriented toward the Windsor audience (as opposed to the AM, which chiefly targeted the American side). In January 1982, the station changed its callsign to CKJY, airing a big band/adult standards/jazz format.

In 1984, with CKLW's top 40 format on its last legs due to the growing popularity of rock and pop music formats on the FM dial, management tried to move the AM's top 40 format to the FM dial with the new calls CFXX and the name "94 Fox FM". The station's staff spent months preparing for the change, commissioning new jingles, advertising extensively via billboards and television, and practicing the format until they were sure it was ready. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, however, refused to approve more than four hours of rock programming a day - two in the morning and two in afternoon drive - and insisted that the station remain big-band the rest of the time, holding that Top 40 music belonged on AM and that FM was for "fine music" such as classical, jazz, big band and beautiful music. The experiment was, understandably, a failure. In 1985, Baton sold both CKLW and CFXX to CUC Broadcasting, who moved the big-band "Music of Your Life" format to CKLW and instituted an easy listening format on the FM as CKEZ.

Big 8 On FM/More 94

The calls changed back to CKLW-FM in 1986, and the station instituted an oldies format meant to recapture the sound of the original CKLW-AM. The awakened CKLW-FM brought back the well-known Johnny Mann Singers-performed jingles for the "Big 8", along with many of the legendary personalities and "20/20 News" and a music rotation based on the "Big 8" playlists from the 1960s to the 1980s plus the older 1950s and early '60s hits that the AM had played as "golden" titles. "Ladies and gentlemen, the good times are back!" proclaimed former "Big 8" jock "Big" Jim Edwards during the station IDs. Although the overall sound was faithful to the "Big 8"'s glory days, the station's ratings remained low.

CKLW-FM became CKMR, "More 94", in 1988, and eventually evolved the oldies format in a middle-of-the-road direction ("The Motor City's Adult Music Station").

I-94/The Legend/93-9 The River

Then in 1991, after a short attempt at a classic soul/urban gold format as "I-94" which lasted only a few months, the CKLW-FM calls and the "Big 8"-inspired oldies format were once again restored, with the station branded as "93.9 The Legend". Once again, the station sounded faithful to the original CKLW-AM, featuring stalwarts from the golden age of Detroit's Top 40 radio era such as Tom Shannon, Dave Prince, Dave Shafer and Lee Alan (host of the weekly feature Back in the '60s Again). Unfortunately, the change once again did nothing to raise the station's anemic ratings.

CHUM Limited acquired the station in early 1993. Soon afterward, the format was switched to a "Arrow"-style classic hits format dubbed "Rock & Roll Oldies" featuring mainly 1970s classic rock title with a smattering of '60s and '80s material. CKLW-FM then flipped to adult album alternative in 1994 as "93-9 The River - Quality Rock, Real Variety", with the new calls CIDR. "The River" was never a ratings powerhouse but, with Ann Delisi (formerly of Detroit public-radio station WDET) at the helm, attracted a loyal listenership, which the station then proceeded to largely alienate by tweaking the format to "smooth rock" in 1999 and adding many classic rock titles to the playlist.

"Lite Rock" and The "River's" Return

In 2000, the station flipped to an adult contemporary format as Lite Rock 93-9 FM in an attempt to take on AC market leader WNIC. Ratings remained low, and eventually CIDR tweaked its format in a hot adult contemporary direction by 2001, when WMGC entered the Detroit AC competition. By the mid-2000s, the station dropped the "Lite Rock" identity from its on-air imaging and became known as simply 93.9 FM, Today's Best Music. The station now competed chiefly with WDVD 96.3 (the former WHYT) for the hot AC audience, but in this, it was still unsuccessful.

At 3:00 PM on September 1, 2006, 93.9 once again became "939 - The River." About three quarters of the way through the All American Rejects' "Move Along", the song was interrupted by the sound of rushing water, and a promo for the River was broadcast. It was also announced that they would be playing clips of over 7,000 songs, all weekend long, commercial free until Monday morning when the songs would be "Super sized".

On September 4, 2006 at 8:00 am, The River was officially relaunched by playing "Take Me to the River" by Talking Heads. Musically, the station is less pop-oriented than Clear Channel's successful WQKL in Ann Arbor and features more "deep" cuts. The return of "The River" brings the adult alternative format back to the Detroit radio dial after public radio station WDET dumped it in 2005 in favor of mainly NPR news and talk.

The station's main competitors are Greater Media classic rocker WCSX and Citadel Broadcasting's two stations -- adult hits WDRQ and hot AC WDVD. As a result, the station is co-owned with alternative rocker CIMX-FM, making it Detroit's second twin-stick operation for rock stations (the other twin-stick operations for rock stations would be Greater Media active rocker WRIF & classic rocker WCSX).

In 2007 CIDR along with sister stations CKLW-AM, CKWW-AM and CIMX-FM in Windsor/Detroit and other CHUM Radio Network stations across Canada were sold to CTVglobemedia.

References


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