Researching Broadcast History

Bits and Pieces of BC Radio History

Researching Broadcast History

Postby jon » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:51 pm

I've learned a lot lately about how easy it is to get Broadcast History wrong. Even something so factual as a frequency change or an original signon date/time for a radio or television station.

The CFCW 60th anniversary has just past and I made the effort at that time to determine exactly when the station had signed on. Stations themselves don't generally keep that kind of information. Broadcast Yearbooks from the era appear to be the traditional source for reliable information.

A while back, I started looking for newspaper articles announcing the upcoming launch, and thought I had found the ultimate source. Wrong! In CFCW's case, they had trouble getting the transmitter running reliably, so they were delayed.

I have now settled on newspaper articles written right after the event. This morning, I found that even that may not be good enough.

Take a look at this article from the Saturday, January 26, 1952, Vancouver Sun:


Reading the third paragraph, noting the word "tonight", would have you believe that CBR-1130 became CBU-690 at 8:30 p.m. on January 26th, 1952.

But, in the same issue, take a look at this article:


The second paragraph names 7:00 a.m. Friday (January 25th) as the time and date when the frequency shift from 1130 to 690 occurred.

The only answer I can come up with would be that the first article was written for publication Friday, but there wasn't space to run it, so it was delayed to Saturday, but someone forgot to revise it, i.e. - the "tonight" reference.
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