Broadcast History - September 8

Broadcast History - September 8

Postby jon » Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:56 pm

In 1937, Barbara Frum was born Barbara Rosberg, in Niagara Falls, New York. Her father was a Canadian businessman in Niagara Falls, Ontario, but her mother Florence was an American and wanted Barbara to have a U.S. passport. In 1957, Barbara acquired the name Frum by marrying Toronto dentist Murray Frum. She first became well known across the country while co-hosting As It Happens every evening with Harry Brown on the CBC AM network. Her success was repeated when she moved to TV as founding co-host of The Journal. Although diagnosed with leukemia in 1974, it was not widely known until her death on March 26, 1992. For all her honours, I still think her greatest achievement, shared with Harry Brown and Peter Gzowski (This Country in the Morning), was creating Radio that Canadians wanted to listen to, giving CBC Radio, in the early 1970s, its first stab at decent ratings since the debut of television.


In 1952, CBLT-TV Toronto became Canada's second television station, after CBFT-TV Montreal had signed on two days earlier. Also that day, CBC News Magazine debuted, "a film digest of international News features", later simply Newsmagazine, and was aired each week until 1981. Most of the top names in CBC television News were reporters, anchors or producers for the series at one time or another.

In 1997, one of Canada's greatest Oldies stations ever, Radio Max, expanded from being heard solely on CKMA-AM Abbotsford, with 10,000 watts on 850 KHz, to being a network that included CHWK-AM Chilliwack and CKGO-AM Hope. Technically, the three stations were not simulcast. They did play the same music, with the same announcer doing the same intros and extros on each. But most of the commercials and all of the announcer-read community announcements were different. Each station was run by a separate automation computer and, because the community announcements were not exactly the same length, the stations tended to drift, sometimes being over two minutes apart. It would be another two years before Rogers purchased the three stations, and their FM siblings, known then as STAR-FM.

In 2005, CFCW-FM Camrose began testing on 98.1 MHz with 50,000 watts. In retrospect, the music played during the test period not only matched the format Newcap had proposed to the CRTC in 2003, but became the core of the sound of CAM-FM. But, in between, listeners were both shocked and amazed to hear the Big Earl "He plays anything Country" format at official sign-on, at 4 p.m. on September 30th, until Big Earl moved to CKRA-FM Edmonton on December 12th at 9 a.m. Both stations are owned by NewCap, of course, as is CFCW-AM, but the most surprising thing about the format moves between the stations was the fact that the on-air staff stayed with the stations, and did not travel with the format: West Edmonton Mall-based 96X staff did Big Earl on CKRA; and Camrose-based Big Earl staff did CAM-FM on CFCW-FM.


In 2006, The Fox debuted, replacing Cat Country on many of the NewCap stations in Northern Alberta. Other stations would drop the Cat Country format in the days that followed, such as CKJR Wetaskiwin, which switched to Oldies as W-14-40, on September 29th. The Fox was a network that all played the same music, but with local content in each station's community. W-14-40 was run entirely out of Wetaskiwin, jockless evenings and overnights, with significant amounts of religious and ethnic programming on the weekend and for three hours each evening.
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