Evanov Communications flipped Soft AC “Lite 88.5” CKDX-FM Newmarket/Toronto ON to “Hot Country 88.5” at 9am today.
The station, which covers the northern portions of the Toronto market, helps fill gaps in the format in the area. Durham Radio’s “KX 94.7” CHKX-FM Hamilton covers the western portions and “KX 96” 95.9 CJKX-FM servers the eastern suburbs.
The new brand will be anchored by “Hot Country Mornings with Tracy Lynn”. Lynn is also heard on Evanov’s “Hot Country” branded stations in Brantford, Hawkesbury, and Rockland. Cruise, who is also heard on the other three stations, will host afternoons. Audacy’s Nashville based “Katie and Company” hosted by Katie Neal in middays and WYCD Detroit based Rob & Holly in afternoons will round out the weekday lineup.
The new format launched with the “Lite 88.5” morning show introducing Lynn and the old format signing off with Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” before launching into Steven Lee Olsen’s “Hello Country”, Luke Bryan “Lovin On You”, and Jelly Roll “Need A Favor”. Gary Gamble, who had been with the station in mornings for the past 26 years through multiple formats including Dance, Rhythmic Oldies, a previous Country incarnation, Adult Standards, and Soft AC, will remain with Evanov Toronto as Director of Operations.
“From its inception with 88.5 the Pheonix, to Foxy 88.5, Jewel 88.5 and Lite 88.5, Gary has been a fixture of CKDX morning radio with his soothing voice, amazing personality and infectious laugh.”
Hot Country 88.5, an all-new country radio station serving the Greater Toronto Area, will begin broadcasting Friday, November 17th at 9:00 am.
Hot Country 88.5 will have a fresh, current upbeat country sound and will feature the best artists in country music such as Blake Shelton, Lainey Wilson, Keith Urban, Morgan Wallen, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dallas Smith, Jelly Roll, Kane Brown, Dean Brody and Thomas Rhett, to name just a few. The station will also provide local news, weather and traffic which makes it the ultimate local station fit for GTA country music lovers.
Tracy Lynn will host Hot Country Mornings. Tracy Lynn is a proven veteran of the country format and has spent most of her career as an announcer on country radio. Katie & Company will be hosting mid-days, while Casey Clarke does his weekend Countdown Show. The Rob and Holly Show featuring special guests from the country music world will be heard weekday evenings.
Once more popular in suburban settings, country music is exploding, growing in popularity, and putting homegrown artists in the spotlight. Live Nation and other industry leaders are booking more country acts than ever. Many new, young, people are taking an interest in the genre, to the point where Country Music is now Pop too.
“After assessing the market and its various needs we determined that there was a large unfulfilled demand for a local country music station in this part of the GTA,” said Paul Evanov, President and CEO of Evanov Communications that operates three other country music stations in Ontario. “We believe the time is right to provide GTA country music listeners and advertisers with a much-needed country station and Hot Country 88.5 will do just that.”