Broadcast History - April 17

Broadcast History - April 17

Postby jon » Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:18 pm

In 1927, today was Easter Sunday, which was selected as the launch date for CHMA, licensed to the Christian and Missionary Alliance, from which the call letters are derived. The station had 100 watts and shared time on 580 KHz with several other Edmonton stations. In 1934, Taylor & Pearson Ltd. bought CHMA, obtained sole use of 1260 KHz, changed the call letters to CFTP. Part of the deal was that the original owners (C&MA) controlled all Sunday broadcast time.

But, later that year (1934), Taylor & Pearson were the successful bidders for the Edmonton Journal's CJCA, and they then sold CFTP to Dick Rick and Hans Nielsen, who had been the second (and unsuccessful) bidder on CJCA, where Dick had worked since its 1922 signon. On November 1, CFTP was licensed as CFRN (Rice and Nielsen), signing on November 3rd. CFRN has a long and well-known history, including the addition of FM and TV stations, but perhaps the weirdest fact is that the AM station moved from 1260 to 960 KHz in 1936, but got their 1260 KHz frequency back in the mass North American frequency move of 1941. Although a few stations kept their frequencies in 1941, I have never heard of any other station that got an old frequency back in that mass frequency migration.

Dick Rice became sole owner in 1946, sold AM/FM/TV to Electrohome in 1988 (a record 66 years as an Edmonton broadcaster) and passed away in 1992 at 91 years of age. Today, CFRN-AM is The Team 1260, CFRN-FM is CFBR "The Bear" and CFRN-TV is "CTV Edmonton", all owned by Bell Media.


In 1969, Famous Players had its CRTC application to transfer its broadcasting operations into a new corporation, Teltron Communications Ltd., denied. Famous Players Canadian Corp. was a controlled subsidiary of Paramount International Films Inc. The application was denied because effective ownership of Teltron would have remained essentially the same as before, in violation of new media ownership regulations, requiring Canadian ownership. Famous Players' first application for a television license had come before the BBG in November 1948 and by 1969 had interests in Television de Quebec Ltee, Central Ontario Television Ltd., British Columbia Television Broadcasting System Ltd. and numerous cable companies.

In 1974, the CBC-TV aired the last (excluding summer re-runs) edition of West. The half hour documentary series was produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Its 13 episodes chronicled Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Some of the NFB's finest directors contributed films to the series, including Donald Brittain, Tom Radford, Barbara Greene and Ian McLaren. John N. Smith and Cynthia Scott produced the series.

In 1979, CFCW beat 11 other applicants to a new Edmonton FM license, including CHUM, CHED, CHQT, CFCN and O.K. Broadcasting. CKRA-FM hit the airwaves on November 15th on 96.3 MHz with 100,000 watts, as K-96, in direct competition with CIRK-FM, then known as K-97, but with a slightly less edgy sound. K-97 reacted foolishly first by moving more and more into Heavy Metal until they became known as "Music to Weld By". And then by complaining to the CRTC that CKRA was not living up to their license application which proposed a soft rock format. The CRTC ordered CKRA to live up to their original Promise of Performance, which the station did by picking up the new U.S. "Light Rock and Less Talk" Adult Contemporary format, even calling themselves K-Lite. They also invented the "Music at Work" audience in Edmonton with clever promotions to get (mostly working women) to install and play a radio in their office cubicles. But, now on the CRTC's Format Radar, there were endless rounds of monitoring and disagreements on the format, mostly the percentage of Hits. Today, the station is Capital-FM, playing '80s and Oldies.


In 1998, CFTO-TV founder John Bassett died at age 82. He was posthumously inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2000. In 1960, CFTO was licensed to Bassett's Baton Broadcasting, and went on the air as Toronto's first private television station. In 1961, CFTO became the flagship of the just-licensed CTV Television Network. Just four months before his death, Bassett's Baton Broadcasting purchased CTV.
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