Broadcast History - January 25

Broadcast History - January 25

Postby jon » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:05 pm

In 1952, CBU Vancouver made the greatest mistake in its history, by abandoning 1130 KHz for 690 KHz. On paper, it looked like a good idea, as 690 KHz was a Canada/Mexico clear channel, while 1130 KHz had several high powered stations in the Mid-West and Eastern U.S., with the possibility of the FCC licensing major stations in the Western U.S. in the future. At the time, 690 had a 5000 watt non-directional station in Tijuana, XEAC, just across the border from San Diego. It looked harmless enough, but Jim and Bob Harmon of Tulsa, Oklahoma, gained control of the station in 1956, transforming it into "The Mighty 6-90" with new call letters, XEAK, and a Top 40 format beginning in April 1957. But a new transmitter site in Spring 1958 brought with it a 50,000 watt signal with a tight Northern pattern to hit Los Angeles. At night, it also hit Vancouver, making CBU unlistenable most evenings in White Rock and Victoria. Ironically, it was less than a year earlier that CKWX had moved from 980 to 1130, precluding any chance of CBU moving back to 1130. The ultimate irony, of course, was that the CBC itself had approved the CKWX application for 1130, as the CBC was also the regulator during those years. As for XEAK, Gordon McLendon gained control (non-Mexicans could not own Mexican radio stations) of the station in 1961, replacing Top 40 with the world's first All News format. And changing the call letters to match the format, XETRA pronounced Extra. In the late 1960s, XETRA became the first AM stereo station in the world, using the left and right sideband as the left and right channels, and switching to background music.


In 1985, CHQT Edmonton finally obtained permission to move from 1110 KHz, a frequency dominated most nights by KFAB Omaha, Nebraska. CKST-1070 St. Albert also caused interference because its transmitter was located in the South West corner of the City, rather than well outside of the City as other AM stations were. A competing application for 880 by CKSQ Stettler was turned down by the CRTC, and the frequency was awarded to CHQT.

Also in 1985, CHQR Calgary finally was granted a new frequency. Despite the distance, KGO San Francisco delivered a strong signal into Calgary on 810 KHz most nights, and CHQR was eager to move off the frequency. The application for 770 KHz was approved by the CRTC, and a competing application for the frequency from CIBQ Brooks was turned down.


In 1990, CHUM announced its agreement with Jack Stark to purchase CHQM AM & FM Vancouver. It was not until October of the same year that the purchase was approved by the CRTC, with the requirement that CHQM-AM be re-sold since CHUM already owned CFUN-AM Vancouver. It was not until early 1994 that CHQM-AM became ethnic CHMB.
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