I’m having another end of an era moment. I just learned that at some point in the near future, London’s AM 1410 CKSL will cease to exist. Not because of a dramatic format shift (that’s already happened to that station several times), but because Bell Media recently applied to the CRTC to have its license revoked and that request has been granted, which will eventually knock it off the air altogether.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Friday it would grant Bell Media’s request to revoke the licence of the station that plays recorded material by comics.
Bell said in its application to the broadcast regulator that Funny 1410’s transmitter site is in bad shape and requires more than $3 million in repairs and upgrades.
“CKSL-AM has consistently ranked last out of all 10 commercial stations in the London market, both in audience share and revenue generation, over the last several years,” Bell said in its application.
“Even with a significant investment in programming, this trend is unlikely to be reversed.”
Back in the 80s and early 90s, CKSL was one of my go to pop and rock stations along with CKOC Hamilton and CFTR in Toronto. When it, like the others, switched away from current music and started calling itself “News Talk for the 90s,” I still listened a fair bit thanks to some of their interesting local hosts, the Jays and Leafs broadcasts and the massive quantities of what was then still Sports Radio the Fan 1430 they simulcasted on evenings and weekends.
As a music station, it will always hold a special place in my heart for being the only spot on the dial lighthearted enough to sometimes drop Weird Al songs into the playlist seemingly just because, for being the first place I ever remember hearing Casey Kasem and for being literally the only station I know of to not only play this, but to have it rank on the nightly Top 6 At 6 countdown for a while.
I lost touch with CKSL almost completely around 1995 when I moved out of the house I was living in. I only moved a few kilometres away and I think I was actually closer than before, but that place was in a fantastic spot for picking up all sorts of radio and over the air TV and even then when actual resources were still being expended on it, CKSL’s reach was pretty much crap. From the sounds of it it maybe should have been put out of its misery years ago, but that being said, it’s still a wee bit sad to see another classic AM station, influence to get into radio and part of my childhood go.
Farewell, old friend.