Broadcast History - June 2

Broadcast History - June 2

Postby jon » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:00 pm

In 1932, The Big 8, CKLW signed on for the first time. By the late 1960s, it had become the Canadian radio station with the most listeners, a record it still holds, thanks to a huge U.S. audience for its Bill Drake-consulted Top 40 formatics. But, in 1932, it was 1000 watt CKOK-540, started by Windsor businessmen headed by Malcolm Campbell. Within 18 months, they took over CJGC London (Ontario), and changed the call letters of CKOK to CKLW, with "LW" standing for London-Windsor. CKOK was a CBS affiliate the day they first signed on, but lost it to U.S. clear channel WJR-760 Detroit on September 24, 1935. CKLW immediately switched to the (U.S.) Mutual network, also becoming a CBC affiliate when the CBC was formed on November 2nd, 1936. CKLW's legendary 800 KHz frequency came in the great frequency shuffle of 1941. This gave the station a Canada-Mexico clear channel, which meant no (continental) U.S. stations on the frequency at night. The 50,000 watt blowtorch signal came on September 7, 1949, from five 307 foot towers located 35 miles South of Windsor. As for the original CKOK call letters, the final irony came between 1948 and 1991 when the same call letters were used on CKLW's frequency of 800 KHz in Penticton (B.C.). CKOK Penticton began in 1946 as a 250 watt rebroadcaster of CKOV Kelowna on 1450 KHz, but began independent programming in 1948.


In 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Act was assented to by Canadian Parliament, creating the CBC, which replaced the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) created by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act, originally assented to by Parliament on May 26, 1932. The CBC created its first Radio network on November 2nd, 1936. The following three paragraphs are from the CCF site at ... Radio.html

"The new Act gave CBC authority to operate a national radio system, and with the approval of the Governor in Council to (among other powers) establish new stations and to acquire (existing) private stations by purchase. Also, the Corporation was empowered to make regulations governing programs and commercials, including the amount of time devoted to commercial messages. The Act specifically prohibited the dramatization of political broadcasts and required the identification of the sponsors of all political programs. Networks (of radio stations) could not be operated without prior approval of the Corporation.

"The CBC consisted of a Board of Governors of nine persons (all part-time members) appointed by the Governor-in-Council and chosen to give representation to the principal geographic divisions of Canada. Leonard. W. Brockington of Winnipeg was elected the CBC's first Chairman. The Governor-in-Council approved the Board's unanimous recommendation for the appointment of Gladstone Murray (General Manager) and Dr. Augustin Frigon (Assistant General Manager).

"Defined by its chairman as the two main overall duties of the Board of Governors were: (1) to make it possible for every Canadian to hear the programs of the CBC and (2) to provide the best possible programming. Surveys revealed that Canada had excellent available talent, and that there were programs available from networks in the USA, and from England and France. However, surveys also showed that only 49% of the population was currently able to hear the CRBC programs which had been carried over networks linking government-owned and privately-owned stations. The Board adopted a policy to increase coverage to 84% of the population. This could involve the establishment of new CBC stations, acquisition of private stations or arrangements with existing private stations to carry a specified number of hours of CBC programs a week, and/or making other hours available to either the designated ('basic') stations or to other stations in any centre served by network lines."


In 1952, the CBC French service (Radio-Canada) broadcast its first television test pattern, from a temporary antenna on the roof of the Mount Royal building in Montreal. The federal government and CBC had originally planned to have Toronto and Montreal French language television stations operational by September 1951, but road block after road block came up, delaying the project.

In 1953, the Coronation of the Queen was broadcast on CBLT, CBFT and CBOT, thanks to a new microwave link between these CBC television stations in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. This was also CBOT's first day on the air. Earlier in the year, Bell had provided a microwave link between Toronto and Buffalo, allowing CBLT to provide live American programming, which could now be relayed to Montreal and Ottawa.

In 1989, Yellowhead Broadcasting had its licenses renewed for CJYR-970 Edson and CIYR-1230 Hinton. But the CRTC encouraged Yellowhead to return CIYR to its 1987 (previous license renewal) levels of local programming: 32 hours per week, rather than the current 28 hours. It was also noted that both stations carried 42 hours per week of "Coast to Coast", distributed by Telemedia.


In 1995, Wally Slatter passed away. He and the late Fred Metcalfe had founded CJOY AM (1948) & FM (1969, now CIMJ-FM) in Guelph (Ontario) and purchased CFTJ-AM Cambridge (Ontario) in 1977. Metcalfe is famous for having formed Canada's first cable television system in 1952: Neighborhood TV in Guelph.
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