The Pembina Valley’s newest radio station Country 88.9 FM has officially launched.
The event took place at the radio station on June 12. Station Manager Bill Hildebrand says they’ve switched 1570 CKMW from the AM dial to Country 88.9 on the FM dial at 10 a.m. He says switching a station from an AM to FM frequency is a first for Golden West and this is a very exciting day for everyone involved.
Hildebrand says he been involved with 1570 CKMW since it was started 25 years ago, and so this is a bittersweet day for him, but also a very exciting one. He explains Country 88.9 will feature great country music in crystal clear FM stereo, but still include all the best in local coverage like news, sports and weather.
“It’s a great day. We are not going to take our foot off the gas, we’re going to go hard and provide everything we can for our listeners in the region.”
Hildebrand says even though the launch has now officially taken place, the celebrations are not done. He says the new Country 88.9 FM truck and trailer will be travelling the region for the next several weeks, full of great prizes to be won by their listeners.
“Stop by, say hi. You could be the next big winner!” notes Hildebrand.
Golden West Vice President Richard Kroeker was on hand at the launch this morning and offered his congratulations on the new station.
“I’d like to recognize Cheryl Grossi (acting Director for Client Services for the Northern and Western Regions) from the CRTC. All of this wouldn’t be possible unless the CRTC gave us approval.”
Kroeker adds Country 88.9FM is Golden West’s first station in Manitoba using digital technology and says the sound coming from our speakers will be “outstanding.”
“A special thank you goes out to all of our staff. They’ve worked extremely hard in the last little while to put this radio station together. I also want to thank the business community for entrusting us and advertising with us so we can help grow their business. All this really is impossible unless you have advertisers and you have listeners.”
Winkler Mayor Martin Harder helped flip the switch at 10 a.m. and had a few words of encouragement for the new station and Golden West staff. “One of the things, if you’re living in the Pembina Valley, you have to be used to change. Golden West has recognized that.” He explains there is a change in media, the business community, in people familiar with the area and says it’s all a part of growing communities. “Today I want to say thank you to Golden West for recognizing that we are in a growing community and we’re in a growing region.”
He also acknowledged Ken Wiebe, the Mayor of Morden, for the City’s partnership in the community and working together with Winkler.
Morden Mayor Ken Wiebe offered his congratulations as well, and thanked Golden West for the opportunity to participate in the celebrations. “On behalf of the Council and staff and all of the citizens of Morden I extend congratulations to Golden West Radio in this change from AM to FM.” Wiebe goes on to say that this flip is another example of Golden West family’s commitment to provide the best possible service to it’s listening audience and he sites a recent incident that occurred in Morden.
Here are some photos from today’s event.
Earl Reimer helped set up 1570 CKMW when it first launched back in the day.