Lost on the Dial: Winnipeg’s Lesser-Known Radio Options

Scan up and down the radio dial and it might seem that there are more choices than ever on Winnipeg’s airwaves. Indeed there are: No fewer than five new radio stations have gone on the air in Winnipeg since 2000.

That number rises to seven, if you include the rebirth of the failed Freq 107 (now Ignite 107) and the temporary presence of Flava 107.9, which was being run from a 700-square-foot apartment by the time it collapsed in 2007 amid allegations of unpaid wages and the existence of “real” and “fake” members of the Board of Directors.

Despite the increased variety over the past decade, the local radio market continues to be dominated by just a handful of veteran stations. Though a total of 28 stations put a reasonably solid signal into Winnipeg, the top five — CJOB, Hot 103, CBC Radio One, QX-104 and Power 97 — accounted for nearly 60 percent of all listener-hours in Fall 2010, while the top 10 stations accounted for slightly more than 85 percent of listener-hours.

Now here’s a primer on the also-rans in the Winnipeg radio market — the stations you might not have known existed.

810 CKJS Winnipeg

Format: Ethnic  (primarily Filipino); some religious programming

Morning Show: “Good Morning Philippines”

Afternoon Drive Show: “Afternoon Pasada”

Survival Strategy: Target niche audiences, not the general public. Rely on community to generate low-cost programming.

On air since: 1975

Ownership: Newcap Radio

Transmitter: 10,000 watts, located off Waverley south of the Perimeter

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Excellent

Web Site: www.ckjs.com (Streaming Audio link)

920 CFRY Portage la Prairie

Format: Country music and rural community programming

Slogan: “Real Country Radio”

Morning Show: Ryan Simpson

Afternoon Drive Show: (None in particular)

Survival Strategy: Local, local, local

On air since: 1956

Ownership: Golden West Radio

Transmitter: 25,000 watts (less at night), located just west of Portage

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Good to excellent

Web site: www.cfryradio.ca (no Streaming Audio)

950 CFAM Altona

Format: Mix of classical music, rural and religious programming

Slogan: “Your Community Station”

Morning Show: “Al, Michelle and Jayme”

Afternoon Drive Show: “The Drive Show with Kevin Geisheimer”

Survival Strategy: Give the Bible Belt what they want to hear

On air since: 1957

Ownership: Golden West Radio

Transmitter: 10,000 watts, located  south of Winkler next to the U.S. border

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Good

Web site: www.cfamradio.com (Streaming Audio link)

1250 CHSM Steinbach

Format: Classical/rural/religious

Slogan: “AM 1250”

Survival Strategy: Focus on the needs of Steinbach and the sparsely populated southeastern corner of the province

On air since: 1964

Ownership: Golden West Radio

Transmitter: 10,000 watts, located on Hwy. 59 west of Steinbach

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Excellent

Web site: www.steinbachonline.com (no Streaming Audio)

CKMW 1570 Morden

Format: Country music

Slogan: “Country 1570”

Morning Show: “Mullin in the Morning”

Afternoon Drive Show: “Afternoons with Wayne Lamb”

Survival Strategy: Shares studio space with CFAM Altona and Winkler’s Eagle 93.5 to keep costs down

On air since: 1980

Ownership: Golden West Radio

Transmitter: 10,000 watts, located south of Morden

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Rimshot to good, depending on quality of radio

Web site: www.ckmwradio.com (no Streaming Audio)

CKXL 91.1 Winnipeg

Format: Manitoba Francophone music/culture

Slogan: “Envol 91” (“Flight 91”)

Morning Show: “Un Rayon de Soleil” (“A Ray of Sunshine”)

Afternoon Drive Show: “CDTraké” (“CD Track”)

Survival Strategy: Non-commercial community station supporting Franco-Manitoban culture

On air since: 1989

Ownership: La Radio Communautaire du Manitoba Inc.

Transmitter: 61,000 watts, from the CBC tower southwest of Winnipeg

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Excellent

Web site: www.envol91.mb.ca (Streaming Audio link)

92.9 CKIC Winnipeg

Format: Talk/Music/Variety

Slogan: “92.9 Kick FM”

Survival Strategy: Target the Red River College campus

On air since: 2004

Ownership: Crecomm Radio

Transmitter: 250 watts, located at the RRC Notre Dame campus

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Good within a kilometre or two of campus, probably acceptable in most of northwest Winnipeg if your radio has an antenna. Strictly a rimshot signal (i.e., passable on a car radio but too weak for reliable indoor reception) for those living east of the Red River or south of the Assiniboine or in the middle of downtown.

Web site: kickfm.blogspot.com (no Streaming Audio)

95.9 CKUW

Format: Music/Talk/Variety

Slogan: “Open Playlist Opens Minds”

Survival Strategy: Volunteer support at the University of Winnipeg

On air since: 1999 (as a radio station; previously operated closed-circuit)

Ownership: Winnipeg Campus-Community Radio Society

Transmitter: 450 watts, located on a high-rise in Osborne Village

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Good in central Winnipeg, but might require an antenna in suburban areas. Rimshot signal only in ex-urban areas.

Web site: www.ckuw.ca (Streaming Audio link)

101.5 CJUM

Format: Music/Talk/Variety

Slogan: “One-oh-one.five UMFM”

Survival Strategy: Volunteer support at the University of Manitoba

On air since: 1998 (Predecessor station was on air from 1975 to 1980 on 101.1 FM)

Ownership: University of Manitoba Students Union

Transmitter: 1,200 watts, located on top of one of the office towers at Portage and Main

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Good to excellent in most of Winnipeg; antenna might be required on the city’s outer fringes

Web site: www.umfm.com (Streaming Audio link)

Link I’ll catch hell for if I don’t include: Winnipeg Internet Pundits

107.9 CJNU

Format: Nostalgia

Slogan: “Music of the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and More”

Survival Strategy: Volunteer support, and use a temporary “special events” broadcasting licence to get a foot in the door

On air since: Intermittently since 2006, pending the awarding of a permanent broadcasting licence

Ownership: Nostalgia Broadcasting Cooperative

Transmitter: 45 watts, located on top of an Osborne Village high-rise

Signal quality in Winnipeg: Should be good in the centre of the city, might require an antenna in some older post-war suburbs. Strictly a rimshot signal if you live out beyond Assiniboine Park, Lagimodiere Blvd., Bishop Grandin or the Chief Pegius Bridge. (Which is probably not bad if your transmitter is less powerful than most lightbulbs!)

Web Site: www.cjnu.ca (Streaming Audio link)

Other stations capable of putting a rimshot/deep fringe signal into Winnipeg which might be audible on more sensitive radios:

  • Mix 96.7 (Hit music; Steinbach)
  • CKDM 730 (Country music; Dauphin)
  • 740 The Fan (Sports talk; Fargo, N.D.)
  • CKLQ 880 (Country music; Brandon)
  • Maverick 105.1 (Country music; Cavalier, N.D./Morden, Man.)
  • Z 106.7 (Hit music; Walhalla, N.D.)

Other stations capable of putting a rimshot/deep fringe signal into Winnipeg:




About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

5 Responses to Lost on the Dial: Winnipeg’s Lesser-Known Radio Options

  1. W. Krawec says:

    Great rundown of some of the lesser-known options out there.

    It’s unfortunate that CFRY’s FM signal doesn’t reach the city. They are a bona-fide country music station unlike QX-104 which really sticks with country-pop. (You’re more likely to hear Johnny Cash on Power 97 before you’ll hear him on QX.) But as it stands there is no good-sounding country alternative in Winnipeg unless you have satellite radio.

    There is a country station from North Dakota that targets southern Manitoba audiences and is audible from southerly parts of Winnipeg – http://www.maverick105fm.com/ . I use it occasionally to get my fix!

    And thanks for the mention of Winnipeg Internet Pundits! 😉

  2. theviewfromseven says:

    You’re welcome, and thanks for reminding me about Maverick 105! It is indeed possible to pick that station up in parts of Winnipeg on some better-quality radios. Sometimes their sister station, Z106.7 Walhalla, can also be heard in Winnipeg.

  3. mrchristian says:

    Ah, CFRY, Many great memories of that blasting though the car radio driving of to Sask many years ago !

    I do like CJNU for something different. Aside from nostalgia music they broadcast old radio dramas which are neat to listen to !

  4. shawndee says:

    you missed 550 am from bismarck which can even be picked up from north of winnipeg!

  5. Jessica Burton says:

    104.7 Sreetz and 106.1 don’t know the station name, HIp Hop, Rap, etc

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