This Throwback Thursday, we go back to my first full-time gig in radio, and where it took place, starting around this time in summer 2003 – 237 Water Street East in Cornwall, Ontario. At the time, there were three radio stations in this building: CFLG-FM 104.5, CJSS-FM 101.9, and CJUL(AM) 1220. The two FMs are still on the air today, while CJUL, which was a newer licence using the former CJSS(AM) transmitter site on Headline Road, closed in 2010. A TV station also once lived in this building: the short-lived CJSS-TV (ch. 8), which signed on in the late 1950s and, a few years later, became a full-time rebroadcaster of Ottawa’s CJOH-TV (ch. 13). That transmitter, later identified as CJOH-TV-8, was recently shut down along with several other analog rebroadcasters of various CTV stations.
The first studio shown here, that of CJSS, was my primary workspace during my short time at Corus Cornwall – I was the afternoon host on CJSS for its first few months as “Rock 101.9”. Not much to see here beyond an eight-channel Broadcast Electronics AirTrak console, Sennheiser mics, Scott Studios automation, and a Denon CD player. Below that Fujitsu keyboard was the studio’s “skimmer”, a cassette deck that automatically recorded announcers when they were on the air live.
Inside the CJSS studio was the voice tracking booth. This little room often did double duty: most of the time it was used for recording shows, but about once a week, it was used for a live sports show on CJUL.
Next is CFLG’s control room, which was my favourite in this building. To my left in this photo were a bunch of equipment racks, previously occupied by a large automation system used by CFLG. At the time of this photo, the racks held the tuners and OTA logging computers used by all three stations, plus a TFT FM modulation monitor which, more often than not, was used to keep tabs on our American competitors.
Across the hall from CFLG was the now-defunct CJUL. Lots of nostalgia in this studio – an old McCurdy rotary-pot console (a totally mono unit!), Audi-Cord cart machines, and not seen in this shot were a turntable and a Revox reel-to-reel tape deck.
At the back of the studio corridor was the production room. Unlike the three on-air studios, prod had two computers – one for Adobe Audition, and the other for managing audio cuts on the Scott Studios machines. There was also a Studer CD recorder in here, plus an effects box, and an Otari MX5050 reel-to-reel.
Our final stop at 237 Water is the newsroom – at the time, the newsroom computers were running the NewsBoss system, and Scott Studios TLC for recording news and weather reports and sending them to any or all of the three stations. The news booth also boasted a special ASCII-only computer, seen on the right in the photo below, for downloading and playing audio cuts from the Canadian Press/Broadcast News, and there were cart machines too! Newsies used the Denon CD player to play jingles/background music for each station’s weather cuts.
My time in Cornwall came to an end in the spring of 2004, when I was picked up to help launch Renfrew’s “96.1 myFM” (CHMY-FM) that summer, and I’ve been in the Ottawa Valley ever since. A few years after I left Cornwall, the Corus stations moved to their current home at the old Cotton Mill, beside the mighty St. Lawrence River, in Cornwall’s east end.
Next Throwback Thursday, it’s my 38th birthday, and I have some surprises lined up for that day’s TBT post. Stay tuned!