Broadcast History - November 20

Broadcast History - November 20

Postby jon » Sun Nov 19, 2023 8:37 pm

In 1949, CHFA Edmonton signed on to 680 KHz with 5000 watts into three 230 foot towers. Although affiliated with the CBC French network, the station was run independently, totally in French on-air, by a group of Edmonton citizens. Until April 1, 1974, when the station was purchased by the CBC. A power increase to 10,000 watts followed soon after CBC ownership, along with repeaters throughout the province, beginning with CBRF-FM Calgary on May 23, 1977.

In 1969, the "final" Directive to the CRTC on Canadian Ownership is made by the federal government. It forces the sale of the most listened to Canadian radio station in history, CKLW Windsor "The Big 8", and its TV station. Both are owned by RKO, a subsidiary of General Tire. "Broadcast licences may only be issued to Canadians or eligible Canadian corporations in which 80% of the shares and capital are controlled by Canadians. The CRTC has a broad discretion to deem corporations ineligible." (CCF) There are further amendments in 1971 and 1975.


In 1997, CBCV-FM Victoria signed on to 90.5 MHz with 3190 watts. Morning drive (3 hours) was local, with the remainder of the day simulcast with CBU Vancouver, including any local programming aired by CBU. It had been nearly 40 years since XEAK (later XETRA) increased power to 50,000 watts with a tight Northern pattern aimed at Los Angeles. XEAK was on 690 KHz, just like CBU, causing huge interference problems most days after sunset in White Rock. In Victoria, CBU was unlistenable.

In 2010, Chuck Davis died of lung cancer at age 75. As well as his years as a broadcaster, he also wrote 15 books and numerous newspaper articles. History was his main love, including "Top Dog!", a book he wrote for CKNW's 50th anniversary in 1994. Personally, I knew him best from his few years doing Afternoon Drive on CBU Vancouver in the early '70s. His CBU sidekick and perhaps best friend was John Runge who was Music Director at CKLG-FM when it became Canada's first full-time "Underground" music format station in Canada in early 1968, a format John had invented with Bill Coull at CKUA in 1964, several years before San Francisco stations made it popular. I also had the opportunity to talk to Chuck early in 2010 about his time at CFPR Prince Rupert, and compared notes with my time there nearly a decade after him.

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