Broadcast History - June 1

Broadcast History - June 1

Postby jon » Tue May 31, 2022 9:28 pm

In 1923, Sir Henry Thornton, President of the Canadian National Railway (CNR), formed the CNR Radio Department, appointing W.D. Robb as its head. Second in command was an American radio engineer, W.H. Swift, Jr., and the first employee was Jack Carlyle, who began his career in 1913 as an auditor at Grand Trunk, which CNR took over. The CNR's radio stations, beginning with the call letters "CNR", became the foundation for what would later be the CBC.

In 1952, CFRG-1230 Gravelbourg (Saskatchewan) signed on with 250 watts. Unusual, but not unique in Canadian radio history, CFRG moved to 710 KHz during the daytime only, with 5000 watts, returning to 1230 KHz at night, still with 250 watts, but with the call letters CFGR. The CBC purchased the station(s) on September 1, 1973, and they became rebroadcasters of French language CBKF-FM Regina in 1974.


In 1956, CKSW-AM Swift Current (Saskatchewan) was launched on 1400 KHz with 250 watts. In 1977, the station moved to 570 KHz with 10,000 watts, where it remains today, along with a pair of FM sister stations.

In 1960, CHEK-TV Victoria increased power to 100,000 watts from a new transmitter site on Saturna Island. The station was founded by David Armstrong, owner of CKDA AM & FM. CHEK debuted December 1, 1956, with a test pattern until 5 p.m. when opening ceremonies began.

In 1965, CKOK-FM Penticton signed on with 1800 watts on 97.1 MHz, simulcast with CKOK-AM. The FM station has been CJMG since 1986 and is no longer simulcast with CKOK-AM. The CKOK call letters had originally belonged to CKLW Windsor.


In 1977, CFCN signed on CJAY-FM Calgary with 100,000 watts on 92.1 MHz. A repeater transmitter in Banff was authorized later that year. An Invermere (B.C.) repeater was also to come. CFCN had previously been denied an FM license in 1968.

In 1993, Top 40 CFTR-680 Toronto laid off all its announcers, repeatedly airing a pre-recorded Top 500 countdown until 6 a.m. June 7th, when CFTR became Rogers' first All News station.


In 2005, my greatest DX catch of all time (from Burnaby in 1969), 40 watt CBXB-860 Banff, was given permission to move to FM at 96.3 MHz with 250 watts. The CBC had been advised that the LPRT (40 watt Low-Powered Relay Transmitter) had to be moved from its CPR-owned transmitter site. The decision to move to FM allowed the CBC to use the existing TV tower in Banff.
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