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  • Matt Cundill

Howard Kroeger: When Classic Hits Was Born

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Howard Kroeger was there in 2002 when a new radio format was launched in Winnipeg. The program director of Hot AC Q94.3 was apart of the programming team that had recently acquired AC Magic 99.9 from Standard Radio. It was obvious that Magic would no longer be an AC station, but what would it become in Winnipeg's competitive radio market? This is when BOB was born.

Classic Hits is now in its 20th year as a radio format; straddling the divide between Boomer and Generation X - the original station is still on the air doing what it has always done with similar imaging and presentation to the original product - with some musical and presentational updates naturally. In this episode we speak to Howard about how the format came together, why Winnipeg was the place to make it happen, and how the format began to spread across North America. We also asked Howard about the other formats he has created including Duke and Hank.

By the way, I also pulled out some recent audio from my conversation with "Bad Pete" Marier who was Bob's first morning host in 2002. Hear that podcast by clicking on the link at the bottom on the page.

There's also a bunch more about the other stuff on our episode page, including the CTV report from 2005 about how the format grew across the continent.


You know that thing we've saying about - "It Takes Three Years To Build an audience".

Well after three years, CTV thought it was time to do a National News piece on the Classic Hits format.

Sean Ross also had a really interesting take on Classic hits and the cancon issue in Canada. And for added fun - the hit/non-hit rule in Montreal and Ottawa.




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