Alberta, Northern Alberta

CFCW-AM (The Farm Station), Edmonton/Camrose

, NewCap Broadcasting Ltd.

1953
Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was granted a licence for a new AM station at Camrose, operating on 1230 kHz with a power of 250 watts.

1954
Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. opened CFCW at 1:00 p.m. on November 2. The station operated with 250 watts of power on a frequency of 1230 kHz, covering the Wetaskiwin, Camrose and East Central section of Alberta with a radius of 25 miles. The transmitter and single tower were located a mile and a half east of town. Studios and offices were located at 4832-50th Street in Camrose.

The opening broadcast was a presentation of the story of CFCW’s listening area…the builders of the district, including the pioneers of the past and the service club members of past and present who helped mould the growth of the district. The station’s music format covered a full range, from heavy classics to hot boogy and hill-billy.

Tom Shandro was Managing Director of Camrose Broadcasting and Manager of CFCW.  Hal Yerxa handled sales promotion and was production manager. He was already known to residents as "Uncle Hal" of the “Sunny Boy” program and for being MC at bingos and wrestling matches. He started in radio in Regina in 1936, was associated with the CBC in Toronto and later joined CJCA Edmonton as news editor. He was a former director of Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. (CKRD) Red Deer. Yerxa was a member of the Edmonton Stock Exchange, and was a partner in the brokerage firm of Yerxa & Mills, Ltd. in Edmonton.

1957
CFCW was an independent station with no network affiliation and it broadcast on a frequency of 1230 kHz with full-time (non-directional) power of 250 watts. CFCW was owned by Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Hal J. Yerxa 61.2%, R. C. Byers 5.0%, E. W. Schnell 5.0%, J. E. Stuart 5.0 and 24 other shareholders 23.8%). Hal Yerxa was president of the company and CFCW's manager.

Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. opened CFCW at 1:00 p.m. on November 2. The station operated with 250 watts of power on a frequency of 1230 kHz, covering the Wetaskiwin, Camrose and East Central section of Alberta with a radius of 25 miles. The transmitter and single tower were located a mile and a half east of town. Studios and offices were located at 4832-50th Street in Camrose.

The opening broadcast was a presentation of the story of CFCW’s listening area…the builders of the district, including the pioneers of the past and the service club members of past and present who helped mould the growth of the district. The station’s music format covered a full range, from heavy classics to hot boogy and hill-billy.

Hal Yerza
          Hal Yerza
Tom Shandro was Managing Director of Camrose Broadcasting and Manager of CFCW.  Hal Yerxa handled sales promotion and was production manager. He was already known to residents as "Uncle Hal" of the “Sunny Boy” program and for being MC at bingos and wrestling matches. He started in radio in Regina in 1936, was associated with the CBC in Toronto and later joined CJCA Edmonton as news editor. He was a former director of Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. (CKRD) Red Deer. Yerxa was a member of the Edmonton Stock Exchange, and was a partner in the brokerage firm of Yerxa & Mills, Ltd. in Edmonton.

1957
CFCW was an independent station with no network affiliation and it broadcast on a frequency of 1230 kHz with full-time (non-directional) power of 250 watts. CFCW was owned by Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Hal J. Yerxa 61.2%, R. C. Byers 5.0%, E. W. Schnell 5.0%, J. E. Stuart 5.0 and 24 other shareholders 23.8%). Hal Yerxa was president of the company and CFCW's manager.


Ad: The farm station for East Central Alberta.

1958
Ad slogans Alberta's "farm station" CFCW Camrose...now Alberta's 4th market (1. Edmonton 2. Calgary 3. Lethbridge 4. CFCW). Approximately 24,000 radio homes (fall 1957 BBM).

CFCW 1230 received federal approval to increase power from 250 watts full-time to 1,000 watts day and 250 watts at night.

Russ (Baldy) Arthur was an announcer at CFCW. He started his career 14 years earlier at CKBI Prince Albert. He also worked at CJVI and CFCN. On August 1 he got to emcee The Grand Ole Opry from Nashville after winning the title of Mr. D-J U.S.A.!

CFCW announced it planned to open a studio in Stettler around November 15. The new studio would have a staff of ten and broadcasting from the facility would be done on an open line in conjunction with Camrose...using one transmitter and frequency. A print ad regarding the Stettler studios: CFCW - The big farm voice of Alberta - studios & offices in two cities - Camrose and Stettler. Now double impact - More sales.

CFCW with 250 watts of power, reported in October that it had installed its new 1,000 watt transmitter and hoped to have it operational within a few weeks. All went well and the new power level was operational a short time later.

1960
CFCW became Canada's first full-time country music station in October.

Ads: Warren Holte says...almost half of Alberta's farms are in our area! That's a BIG CHUNK no matter how you slice it. Cut yourself in for a big slice of business - with CFCW! CFCW Camrose - Stettler. / CFCW tops every poll. In Alberta's farm market. 28 local farm broadcasts weekly. A rich market covering 42% of Alberta's farms. CFCW Camrose - Stettler.

CFCW received approval to increase power to 10,000 watts from 1,000 day and 250 at night, to change dial position from 1030 to 790 kHz, and to change the transmitter site. The board said the station needed the increase to expand its service to city and rural broadcast areas and to overcome increasing static interference from industrial establishments in the area.

Manager Gene Ross left CFCW to become assistant manager at CJOC Lethbridge.

1961
CFCW's frequency changed from 1230 kHz to 790 kHz. Power was raised from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts.

1967
In opposing applications for new AM stations at Edson, Westlock and Wetaskiwin, CFCW called itself the regional farm station for Central Alberta.

1969
Warren H. Holte was manager.

Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN's voice (audio) service. CFCW was one of those stations.

1972
On December 20, Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given permission to increase CFCW's power from 10,000 to 50,000 watts (directional).

1976
Power increased to 50,000 watts (day and night).

1979
CFCW Limited launched an FM station in Edmonton - CKRA-FM.

1983
CFCW announced plans for a major building project that would provide the station with new studio facilities. Costs were expected to be in the area of $1 million.

Lyndon Olson was CFCW's chief engineer.

1989
On June 23, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CFCW Ltd., (CKRA-FM Edmonton, CFCW Camrose and CHRK-FM Kamloops), through the transfer 90% of the Class "A" common voting shares held by CFCW Radio Ltd., which in turn was controlled by Harold J. Yerxa of Camrose, and 10% of the Class "A" common voting shares held by Warren H. Holte to Newcap Broadcasting Ltd.  NewCap was 100% owned and controlled by Newfoundland Capital Corp. Ltd. whose President and principal shareholder (43%) was Mr. Harry Steele. Mr. Yerxa, who founded CFCW Radio Ltd., stated that he has been seeking a purchaser for the stations for a couple of years, and that he considered that NewCap would ensure that the quality and level of local service would be maintained and enhanced in the years ahead. Warren Holte, who was Vice-President and General Manager of CFCW Ltd., would assume the role of President under a five-year management contract and Mr. Yerxa would become Chairman of the Board of Directors, which will be western based and include representation from Edmonton, Camrose and Kamloops.

It should be noted that at this time, CFCW had studios and offices at
4752-99th Street in Edmonton and at 6220-48th Avenue
, Camrose.

1995
News director Mike Goetze died at 50. He had been with the company for 30 years.

CHED became the new voice of the Edmonton Oilers assuming the remaining two years of the contract from CFCW.

1997
Hal Yerxa died at the age of 76 on April 12. He started in radio in the 1930's with the CBC. After serving in the war, he joined CKCK Regina. Yerxa then moved on to CJCA Edmonton and was involved with the launch of Red Deer's CKRD in 1949. He then became morning announcer at CKNW New Westminster. In 1953, Yerxa founded CFCW, which became one of the country's leading country music stations. Hal Yerxa was inducted into Alberta's Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991.

1998
An Operations Agreement came into place at Craig Broadcast Systems' K-Rock Edmonton and Newcap Broadcasting's CFCW/CKRA-FM Edmonton. Craig would relocate to the CFCW/MIX 96 facility at about the beginning of June.

Mix 96/K-Rock 97.3/CFCW production manager Jason Bobier left in December. He was replaced by Marc Libioron from CHED/Power 92.

2003
Newcap Inc. (through subsidiary 3937844 Canada Inc.) was licenced to operate an FM station in Camrose on December 19.

2005
On June 29, Newcap Alberta revealed its brand new 26,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art broadcast facility prominently situated within the West Edmonton Mall. The move brought together, under one roof, 790 CFCW, 96X, K-Rock and the Cat Country network studios, as well as the operations of Newcap Alberta. The two former headquarters of these stations were modest facilities, located off-the-beaten-track.

CFCW-FM Camrose signed on the air September 30th.


2008
On November 14, the CRTC approved the change of frequency for CFCW - from 790 kHz to 840 kHz. The proposed change would restore night time coverage to listeners in north-central Alberta, which has been reduced by noise and interference over time.

2009
Ross Hawse
, General Sales Manager at Newcap Radio Edmonton, joined Rawlco Radio Edmonton on November 30.

2009-10
Dave Warawa was now general sales manager at Newcap Edmonton. He had been retail sales manager. Kelly Walter, formerly of Magic 99.9 Edmonton, was now Newcap retail sales manager.

2010
On November 30, the CRTC renewed CFCW's licence to August 31, 2017.

Pat Cardinal became Program Manager of Newcap Alberta's 31 radio stations. Cardinal, who retained his Operations Manager duties at the Edmonton cluster, saw his added role include being a programming and promotional resource to the Newcap Alberta Hub Managers and PD's. He's been with Newcap Edmonton for two years.

Karen Gurba was the new Marketing/Promotions Director for 790 CFCW. She arrived from outside the industry.

2011
Nick Gulka left CFCW for the CFOK-FM in Westlock. Pat Cardinal moved to become General Manager at Astral Media Edmonton. Cardinal, who'd been the Operations Manager and Alberta Program Manager at Newcap and based in Edmonton, moved from Toronto in May, 2008, to become Ops Manager for Newcap's Edmonton Radio Group. In 2010, he became Program Director for Newcap Alberta's 31 radio stations while retaining his Ops Manager duties. He began at Astral Edmonton on September 12. 

2012
Retail Sales Manager Kelly Walter was promoted to General Sales Manager at Newcap's Edmonton Radio Group. Stepping in to his RSM role at Capital FM and K97 was Doug McCulloch, promoted from Senior Account Manager. Leo Pilon continued as RSM for CFCW, CAM and W1440.

Jackie Rae Greening, who had the multitasks of being Program Director at CFCW Camrose, Station Manager at CFCW-FM and Station Manager at W 1440 (CKJR) Westaskawin, was promoted to the newly-created position of Newcap's Manager, Edmonton Operations.

Gord Satermo, who began at 790 CFCW October 1, 1972, retired. His last official day as Account Executive was December 28.

2013
CFCW senior account manager Gord Saterno, who retired after 40 years with the station, was succeeded by Melanie Sorenson who moved from the City Edmonton.

Lyndon Olson died at age 77. He began at CFCW in 1956 as a writer, then became an announcer and an operator and later, still at CFCW, became chief engineer. Olson retired in 2001.

It was announced that Sharon Taylor, General Manager at QX 104/FAB 94.3 Winnipeg, would be moving to take on the GM position at the Newcap Edmonton stations (CFCW-AM-FM, CIRK, CKRA) as of December 2. 

                                                         Bill Dulmage - Updated December 2013