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City of license Kingston, Ontario
Branding 98.9 The Drive
Slogan Essential Alternative
Frequency 98.9 MHz (FM)
First air date 1953 (AM)
2007 (FM)
Format Modern rock
ERP 15 kW
Class B
Owner Bell Media
(Bell Media Radio)
Sister stations CFLY-FM
Website 98.9 The Drive

CKLC-FM is a Canadian radio station, which airs at 98.9 FM in Kingston, Ontario. Owned by Bell Media, the station airs a modern rock music format.


CKLC, along with its sister station CKLC-FM, began operations in 1953 as affiliate of the CBC's Dominion Network. The call letters are taken from Kingston's nickname, the "Limestone City". Some of its earliest alumni include newscaster Allan Saunders (Sandzelius), Al Boliska as morning man, and disk jockeys Buddy Guilfoyle and Ron Bertrand. The original station manager was John Bermingham.

In 2001, CKLC changed from its adult contemporary format in favour of a national sports radio network The Team. In August 2002, after just over a year on the air, then-owner CHUM Limited reversed their decision on the Team format and CKLC moved to an adult standards format as "All time favourites".

In April 2007, CKLC applied to move from the AM band to the FM band at 98.9 MHz[1] and was given approval by the CRTC on August 28, 2007.[2]

CKLC-FM began broadcasting a test signal on 98.9 in October 2007, with an announcement that "Kingston's newest radio station" will be launching either "soon" or "in the weeks to come". The test signal included classic alternative rock music. The test announcements featured the voice of CHUM-FM's Darren B Lamb. On November 29, 2007, after a short test period, CKLC made the flip from AM to FM.

The new CKLC-FM tower was to be installed on the same land as the 1380 AM transmitter site located on Wolfe Island. Due to safety concerns, the construction could not commence on the new 500' FM tower while the 4 175' AM towers remained on and standing. So for the first several weeks on air, CKLC-FM broadcast from a temporary 1 kW transmitter on the old AM STL tower attached to the transmitter building. Once the main transmitter was completed, the station powered up to its full authorized power of 15,000 watts.

In 2007, CHUM Limited was acquired by CTVglobemedia. Before CHUM was purchased, the company had applied to the CRTC to convert CKLC to the FM band. On August 28, the Commission approved that application. CKLC would broadcast on a frequency of 98.9 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 8,700 watts. The station would continue to offer an Adult standards/middle-of-the-road music format and target adults over 45 years of age.

On November 29, 2007, at 3:00 p.m., after a short test period, CKLC made the flip from AM to FM. The new station was known as the Essential Alternative, 98.9 The Drive. The format changed from Standards on AM to Alternative Rock on FM. The first song aired was Breed by Nirvana from the Nevermind album. CKLC-AM 1380 left the air in December without ever simulcasting the new CKLC-FM. The AM had authorization to simulcast the FM for three months.


  1. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2007-6
  2. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-334

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