CKMX (CFCN) Calgary - 100th Anniversary - 1922 to 2022

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CKMX (CFCN) Calgary - 100th Anniversary - 1922 to 2022

Postby albertaboy4life » Sat May 21, 2022 5:26 am

RadioWest celebrates the 100th anniversary of Calgary's (Funny) 1060 CKMX :occasion4:

On May 18th, 1922 the radio station that for over 70 years was CFCN began broadcasting.

In Ontario, Ted Rogers, Sr. was developing battery-less radio receivers and his station, CFRB.

In Alberta, William Walter Westover Grant was working on his own radios and conducting radio experiments for the federal government. ... df#page=17

W.W. Grant helped get the Calgary Herald's CHCQ, George M. Bell's CFAC, the Calgary Albertan's CHBC, CJOC Lethbridge, CKUA Edmonton and CFQC Saskatoon on air along with his High River, Alberta station which became "The Voice of the Prairies" CFCN. CBK Watrous, Saskatchewan and the Royal Canadian Air Force also benefited from Grant's expertise.

Image A W.W. Grant Ltd. "The Voice of the Prairie" radio (from the Steve Olson Collection) note that "Prairie" is still singular.

CFCN Radio would spend time occupying the 682, 698, 750, 1010, 1030 and ultimately 1060 frequencies. Short wave services were launched in the early 1930s, simulcasting CFCN Radio with the call letters CFVP, and remain on air today at 6030 kHz.

Bill Grant aggressively pursued better frequencies and power increases -

Image Radio Digest 1923

CFCN had a following throughout North America. Bill may have even been the first to undertake simultaneous substitution as he established a receiving and relay station near the Alberta/Montana border from which he would obtain feeds of US Radio network programs that he would air on his Calgary station with his own local ads airing in place of those of the originating US stations. This profitable practice would continue until 1936 when the CBC took over such programming distribution in Canada.

CFCN Radio had a number of other firsts including Canada's first regularly scheduled newscasts, Canada's first 10,000 watt radio station in 1931, Canada's first commercially sponsored radio newscast, by Texaco, in 1935 and female DJ with the late 1940s "Music with Marg" afternoon shows hosted by Marg Wood.

Bill Grant would need the help of a prominent client, Bill Aberhart and his Prophetic Bible Institute, in the form of a mortgage to help pay for the legal expenses resulting from a 1927 judgment against him in a copyright dispute with the Westinghouse Corporation, a new downtown Calgary studio and a new 10,000 watt transmitter in nearby Strathmore. From 1932 to 1937, CFCN Radio recovered and grew its audience to once again be the most listened to radio station in Alberta. From 1928 to 1931, CFCN was majority owned by H. Gordon Love under the Western Broadcasting Company Ltd.

Bill Grant returned to CFCN in 1931 as Vice-President and Chief Engineer, and CFCN came under the renamed Voice of the Prairies Ltd. corporate ownership.

Grant sold his remaining ownership interests in CFCN Radio to H. Gordon Love in 1937. The Love family retained ownership until a sale to Maclean-Hunter in 1967.

Bill Grant went on to play a key role in the CBC's launch of its 1010 AM transmitter near Lacombe, Alberta which at the time was hoped to serve all of the province in the same fashion as 540 AM did at Watrous, Saskatchewan. Grant and his son, Robert, would later launch CKLC Radio in Kingston, Ontario.

J. Lyman Potts wrote an excellent profile with the help of Bill's son in March 1997 - ... t-www-bill

Image Calgary Albertan 13 March 1922

1060 CFCN increased daytime power to 50,000 watts in June 1965 and a year later it added 50,000 watt nighttime service restoring some of its signal loss due to increased electricity use in Alberta.

From October 1966, we have the introduction for the 12:30 pm edition of the World Today major newscast - ... intro-1966

In 1972, CFCN Radio and its competitor, CFAC, marked their 50th anniversaries -

Image Calgary Herald 27 May 1972 - this article is incorrect about CHCB - it was likely confused with the Herald's competitor Albertan newspaper which had a radio station of its own with CHBC as the call letters. Bill Grant operated CHBC for the Albertan which later became CJCJ and ultimately, CKXL/CISS Calgary.


From the Eric Dawes collection we are pleased to share the following photos and aircheck from 1973 -

Image CFCN Radio and Television Broadcast House on Broadcast Hill

Image The late Hap Freeman in the 1060 CFCN Radio main studio

Here's Hap with a "Traffic Watch" report from the station's helicopter on the late Wayne Barry's afternoon drive show from early June 1973 - ... -june-1973

RadioWest acknowledged Hap's and Wayne's passing -




Image 1060 CFCN Radio main studio board

Image 1060 CFCN Radio news booth

We also have a short clip, from Eric, of the "Man of Steel" Ken O'Neil on AM 106 from early July 1991 - ... -july-1991

Thank you, Eric!


From the RadioWest archives we have a 1975 promo for the "Numbers Game" - ... promo-1975

And a few other audio clips - ... sign70.mp3

Norm Haines, general manager, at the time hired consultant, Ted Randal, and new program director, Mike Button, to secure a younger listening audience for 1060 CFCN.

On September 10th, 1984 1060 CFCN dramatically changed its format to contemporary hits under the leadership of program director, Don Stevens, and his team.

Image Calgary Herald 11 September 1984

Image Calgary Herald 14 September 1984

Radiofan was tuned in and shares the following from the RadioWest aircheck archives -



Also from Radiofan's collection, we have Glen Slingerland hosting the afternoon show in 1988 and Bob Steele hosting the morning show in 1991 -

Thank you, Radiofan!

By the summer of 1986, it was leading the Calgary market. In the entire time it was AM 106, I can't recall ever hearing the call letters CFCN being said.

1060 CFCN changed its call letters to CKMX in early 1993 after Standard Broadcasting purchased the station. AM 106 became Mix 1060.

Image Calgary Herald 22 February 1993

To this day, I don't understand how in the same situation CFRN Edmonton retained the call letters for both the AM and TV stations.

Mix 1060 morphed from Adult Contemporary to a Modern Rock/Alternative format before long-time CFCN morning man, Howard Langdale, returned and the station took on an Adult Standards format.


Here are some 1060 CKMX station IDs voiced by Don Wood, who also spent many years at CFCN Radio and Television - ... mx-calgary

Thank you, Don!

Image Calgary Herald 8 November 1995

In time for the 2005 Calgary Stampede, "Great Songs and Great Memories" were replaced by "Classic Country" which was the last music format heard on 1060, replaced by 24/7 Comedy as Funny 1060 on September 12, 2013.


In case you missed it . . .

The May 18th edition of the Jingle of the Day featured a montage of 1060 CFCN jingles (1964 to 1984) -


Happy 100th anniversary, (Funny) 1060 CKMX (CFCN)! :partyguy:
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