|City||St. Catharines, Ontario|
|Broadcast area||Niagara Region, Hamilton Mississauga, Toronto|
|Branding||Newstalk 610 CKTB|
|Frequency||610 KHz (AM)|
|First air date||1930|
10,000 watts daytime|
5,000 watts nighttime
Bell Media |
(Bell Media Radio)
|Sister stations||CHRE-FM, CHTZ-FM|
CKTB is a radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Broadcasting at 610 AM, the station airs a news/talk format. CKTB is housed in the former mansion of William Hamilton Merritt, the main promoter of the first Welland Canal, located on Yates Street in downtown St. Catharines. Its transmitters are located on Grassy Brook Road east of Port Robinson.
CKTB was launched in 1930 by Edward Sandell at 1120 on the AM dial. As with most early AM radio stations (see Canadian allocations changes under NARBA), the station changed frequencies a number of times in its early years, moving to 1200 in 1933, 1230 in 1941, 1550 in 1946, 620 in 1950 and its current 610 in 1959.
Sandell died in 1943, and the station was acquired by Niagara District Broadcasting the following year. Niagara District Broadcasting subsequently launched CKTB-FM in 1949.
The stations were acquired by Standard Broadcasting in 1980. Standard sold CKTB to Affinity Radio Group in 1997. Affinity was in turn acquired by Telemedia in 2000; Standard reacquired the station when it purchased Telemedia in 2002.
CKTB's programming is a mixture of locally-produced Canadian programming and American syndicated programs, owing to St. Catharines's position halfway between the cities of Hamilton, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.
As of July 2015, local weekday hosts include Tim Denis, Tom McConnell and Larry Fedoruk. Weekend local programming consists of a morning show hosted by married hosts Carol and Paul Mott which is syndicated on 610 AM and 1010 CFRB as well as Nerdplay, co-hosted by Chris Biggs (who also is a co-host of the morning show Biggs & Barr on sister station 97.7 CHTZ-FM) and Drew Comerford. Past hosts of locally produced programming include Joe Cahill, Kevin Jack, Stephanie Sabourin, Rob McConnell, and John Michael.
CKTB was the only affiliate in Canada to carry the controversial The Phil Hendrie Show until 2006, when Phil Hendrie retired for the first time. CKTB continued to air the best of Phil Hendrie on Saturdays from 6-10pm until April 2007. At that point, the show was replaced with other programming (including part of the previous night's Coast to Coast AM broadcast). With Hendrie's return to radio, however, CKTB returned him to the lineup on a daily basis. The show, however, was subsequently dropped and replaced by Joy Browne, another American show. Browne's program was also subsequently dropped in favour of two hour long 'best of' programming blocks, edited from the day's local programming, and the 9-10pm hour now contains an encore presentation of Coast to Coast AM.
CKTB carries broadcasts of the Niagara IceDogs junior hockey team and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL, along with select programming simulcast with sister station CKOC in Hamilton (such as Hamilton Tiger-Cats games). Until 2005, CKTB had carried sports programming from the Buffalo Bills of the NFL and the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. In that year, CKTB dropped Bills coverage, while the Sabres rights were revoked as Entercom Communications, owners of WGR in Buffalo and WROC in Rochester, New York, gained exclusive rights to the team's games.
While St. Catharines is usually considered a part of the Buffalo market when dealing with syndicated programming, CKTB does not usually show up in Buffalo's Arbitron ratings. A lack of knowledge of the station, its distance from Buffalo (coupled with its presence on the AM dial), and its primarily Canadian content during the day contribute to this. However, BBM registers CKTB as a popular station in the St. Catharines market, with audience share comparable to that of CHML's audience share in nearby Hamilton.
- BBM Topline Radio Report, Fall 2007
- CKTB history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKTB