Alberta, Southern Alberta

CBR-AM (Radio One), Calgary

, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

1964                                                                                                                                 
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation opened radio station CBR on October 1. Studios and offices were located at 1724 Westmount Boulevard, a building the CBC had occupied since 1960 when it moved the Television Delay Centre there from a downtown location. CBR broadcast on a frequency of 1010 kHz with a full-time power of 50,000 watts. The transmitter and two towers were located near the city.

Calgarians had previously received inferior full network service from a transmitter at Lacombe, midway between Calgary and Edmonton. CFAC 960, which had been a CBC affiliate, provided some network programs. With the opening of CBR, CFAC was able to drop its affiliation. Some rebroadcast transmitters that had been associated with CBX were added to the licence of CBR when it signed on. It should be noted that the CBR call sign had been used by the CBC in Vancouver until 1951 when that station became known as CBU.

1968
CBC Radio's all-night service, started in 1963, came to an end on March 1. When the service started it was primarily intended as a national information and warning system to be used in emergencies. Even though the service had now ended, the CBC said it would maintain a stand-by procedure through the night and broadcasts would begin immediately in the event of an emergency.

1974
When CBR had its licence renewed, the following rebraodcast transmitters were also renewed (this list may not represent all of CBR's transmitters as some licences may have been renewed on other dates): CBRB Banff, CBXC Coleman, and CBXL Blairmore.

1975
CBRT (English) Television signed on the air in September, followed a few weeks later by CBR-FM (English FM Stereo).

1977
On January 31, CBRX-FM Lethbridge commenced operations.

CBRC-FM Harvie Heigts began broadcasting on February 17.

CBRP-FM Pincher Creek signed on March 24.

On June 2, CBRE-FM Exshaw signed on the air.

1978
On July 19, CBRD-FM Red Deer began operations.

1980
On March 25, CBRA-FM Coutts-Milk River signed on the air.

1983
CBR purchased a Nautel 10,000 watt transmitter for standby use.

1990
On February 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CBR Calgary and its rebroadcasters CBRB Banff, CBXL Blairmore, CBXC Coleman, CBRA-FM Coutts-Milk River, CBRC-FM Harvie Heights, CBRD-FM Red Deer, CBRE-FM Exshaw, CBRX-FM Lethbridge and CBRP-FM Pincher Creek to August 31, 1994. The Commission noted that CBR rebroadcast programming originating with the CBC English-language AM Radio Network, and originated 41 hours, 25 minutes of locally-produced programming weekly. The Commission reaffirmed the particular importance it attached to the development of Canadian talent and noted the CBC's initiatives in this regard, including contributions to regional and network programming featuring the works of artists from Alberta and other regions of Canada; participation in the provincial programs "Sunday Arts" and "Alberta in Concert"; and the frequent promotion of local cultural events. It was a condition of licence that, until March 31, 1990, 45% or more and thereafter, 50% or more of the category 5 musical selections broadcast by CBR each broadcast day shall be Canadian selections and shall be scheduled in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day. It was a condition of licence that, until March 31, 1990, 15% or more and thereafter, 20% or more of the category 6 musical selections broadcast by CBR each broadcast week shall be Canadian selections and shall be scheduled in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast week.

1992
On November 9, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CBR Calgary (the originating station), by adding to CBR's licence these radiocommunication distribution undertakings: CBRB Banff, CBXL Blairmore, CBXC Coleman, CBRA-FM Coutts/Milk River, CBRE-FM Exshaw, CBRC-FM Harvie Heights, CBRX-FM Lethbridge, CBRP-FM Pincher Creek and CBRD-FM Red Deer. This amendment would bring CBR's licence into conformity with the new Broadcasting Act and with Public Notice CRTC 1991-63 entitled New Broadcasting Act - Amendments to Classes of Licence.

1993
On January 18, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CBR Calgary (the originating station), by authorizing the licensee to add transmitters at Medicine Hat and Etzikom, operating on frequency 98.3 MHz (channel 252A) and 92.1 MHz (channel 221A) respectively, with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts at Medicine Hat and 1,114 watts at Etzikom. The Commission noted that these transmitters would replace the existing transmitter CJMH Medicine Hat, licensed to Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. Monarch indicated that it would surrender the licence for CJMH when the new transmitters became operational.

CBRM-FM Medicine Hat and CBRI-FM Etzikom signed on the air on May 18.

1994
On November 16, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBR Calgary and its transmitters, CBRB Banff, CBXL Blairmore, CBXC Coleman, CBRA-FM Coutts/Milk River, CBRI-FM Etzikom, CBRE-FM Exshaw, CBRC-FM Harvie Heights, CBRX-FM Lethbridge, CBRM-FM Medicine Hat, CBRP-FM Pincher Creek and CBRD-FM Red Deer, to August 31, 2001. The Commission noted that CBR originated 38 hours of local programming per week. It was a condition of licence that 50% or more of the category 2 music selections broadcast each broadcast week be Canadian, and that these selections be scheduled in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day. It was a condition of licence that 20% or more of the category 3 music selections broadcast each broadcast week be Canadian.

1995
CBC Radio added overnight programming to its schedule on May 1, with "CBC Radio Overnight". The programming started out on certain CBC stations and was expanded to all of its stations by September. The program aired between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. (local time) and offered reports from public broadcasters in 25 countries, with Canadian news on the hour. The program service was provided by the World Radio Network in London, England.

1997
On September 1, the CBC Radio network (CBC Radio) was renamed CBC Radio One.

1999
Ron Wilson was chosen to host CBR's morning show. He had been with CBC for most of his 20 years in the business.

2001
As of 2001, CBR operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBRB Banff, CBXL Blairmore, CBXC Coleman, CBRA-FM Coutts/Milk River, CBRI-FM Etzikom, CBRE-FM Exshaw, CBRC-FM Harvie Heights, CBRL-FM Lethbridge, CBRM-FM Medicine Hat, CBRP-FM Pincher Creek, and CBRD-FM Red Deer. CBR broadcasts approximately 42 hours of local programming each week from Calgary.

2005
On June 1, the CRTC approved the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence for CBR Calgary, in order to operate an FM transmitter in Banff to broadcast CBR's programming, and to delete the existing AM transmitter CBRB (AM) Banff. The new transmitter would operate at 96.3 MHz (channel 242A) with an average effective radiated power of 250 watts. The CBC stated that the CBRB-AM was located on a site owned by Canadian Pacific, which had advised the CBC that it must vacate the current location. Consequently, the CBC decided to convert CBRB to the FM band, which would allow it to consolidate its television and radio transmitting facilities at the same site.

2006
On February 6, the CRTC approved the application by the CBC to change the authorized contours of the transmitter CBRD-FM Red Deer, by increasing the effective radiated power from 1,560 watts to 5,100 watts and by increasing the antenna height. The CBC indicated that this technical change would improve the reception quality of the CBRD-FM signal in Red Deer.

On March 16, the CRTC approved the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence for CBR Calgary in order to operate an FM transmitter in Calgary. The transmitter would operate on a frequency of 99.1 MHz (channel 256B1L) with an effective radiated power of 1,100 watts. It would rebroadcast the programming of the CBC's national, English-language network service Radio One. The CBC submitted that urban growth, the construction of high-rise concrete and steel buildings, increased electrical noise from overhead wires, large and small appliances and portable radio transmitters had impeded the ability of the station to deliver reliable high quality AM signals to listeners. It stated that a significant number of residents who described themselves as CBC listeners had advised the CBC that they had difficulty receiving its radio service in their homes, offices and cars. The CBC proposed to establish an FM transmitter with modest power that would cover the urban area in order to improve the signal quality of its AM station. The CBC indicated that its existing AM transmitter, which had a very large coverage area outside the urban core served by the station, would continue to operate with coverage supplemented by this "nested" FM transmitter. It also indicated that it had considered other options for improving its signal quality through either modifying the existing coverage patterns of its AM transmitter to increase the strength of its signal in the urban core, or moving the stations from the AM band to the FM band. According to the CBC, its analysis of these options revealed that modifying its AM coverage pattern would require substantial capital costs and would only produce marginal improvements in the city while creating coverage gaps in the outlying areas that could potentially require the addition of more transmitters. The CBC maintained that it would be impossible for stand-alone FM undertakings to replicate the coverage provided by its AM transmitter because the overall spectrum availability on the FM band for high power radio stations has decreased. It further argued that converting the AM station to the FM band would require the use of a large number of FM transmitters operating at different frequencies to serve the same area. The CBC contended that the existing coverage of its AM signal in the outlying areas would be best optimized by its proposed nesting solution which, in improving service to the urban core, would also permit the CBC to maintain its existing wide coverage pattern outside the city. The CBC argued that such a solution would limit its capital costs and the future need for additional FM transmitters and frequencies. The CBC added that, over the past decade, radio listening across Canada has shifted from the AM band to the FM band. It argued that AM tuning in this market was declining or, at the very least, stagnant, thereby precluding the CBC from increasing its market share. By means of comparison, the CBC maintained that its position on the FM band in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Saint John, had permitted it to gain market share in those markets.

Rebroadcaster CBRB Banff made the move from AM to FM on June 1. It was now CBRB-FM.

2007
The Calgary nested FM transmitter (CBR-1-FM) signed on the air on January 27.                                                                  

2008
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application by the CBC to change the authorized contours of its transmitter CBR-1-FM Calgary, by increasing the effective radiated power from 1,100 watts to an average ERP of 2,800 watts and by decreasing the antenna height. The CBC submitted that shortly after CBR-1-FM became operational, it received a number of complaints, mostly about poor reception in apartment buildings, from residents of downtown Calgary. According to the CBC, the proposed changes would improve the signal reception in the city core.

Later in the year authorization was given for CBR-1-FM to operate as-built technical facilities following a move from downtown. Average effective radiated power would decrease from 2,800 watts to 1,870 watts (maximum ERP would be reduced to 7,000 watts from 10,000 watts). Antenna height (EHAAT) would increase from 275 metres to 331 metres. The changes would allow the station to duplicate its authorized coverage area.

2009
On May 12 the CRTC renewed the licence for CBR. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBRB Banff, CBXC Coleman, CBXL Blairmore, CBR-1-FM Calgary, CBRA-FM Coutts/Milk River, CBRB-FM Banff, CBRC-FM Harvie Heights, CBRD-FM Red Deer, CBRE-FM Exshaw, CBRI-FM Etzikom, CBRL-FM Lethbridge, CBRM-FM Medicine Hat and CBRP-FM Pincher Creek.

2010
A five-hour stand-off at CBC Calgary ended with a 74-year-old man apprehended under the Mental Health Act. He was charged with weapons offences after a man with a handgun entered the CBC Calgary broadcast centre. He apparently wanted to publicize a dispute he'd had with a former employer.

On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBR (and its transmitters) to August 31, 2011.

2011
On July 7, the CRTC approved the application by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to change the technical parameters of CBR by relocating its transmitter. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The CBC stated that the relocation of its transmitter was necessary because of increasing urban development encroaching on its existing transmitter site, resulting in a large population within its strong signal contours. Potential problems that may occur from development within CBR's strong signal contours included the risk of re-radiation from new buildings and other structures, as well as an increased probability of overload interference complaints due to the large population near the transmitter site. CBC indicated that the relocation of the transmitter would reduce the potential for these problems.

On August 25, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBR and its transmitters to March 1, 2013.

Kathleen Petty, host of CBO's Ottawa Morning and the weekly Radio One political program, The House, left for CBR Calgary to be host of Eyeopener. Petty continued in Ottawa while a search was held for her successors on the two programs. Her new job began at the end of August, succeeding Jim Brown. He took on a new role with CBC national radio. (A health issue kept Kathleen Petty from her move to Calgary from Ottawa. For the past five years, she'd been host of CBC Radio One's Ottawa Morning. She had been set to return home to take over CBC Radio One's Calgary Eyeopener.)

Suzanne Sen-Waddell joined CBC Calgary November 8 as Regional Communications Manager. While she has a broad television and radio background, Sen-Waddell moved to the position from Calgary's Mount Royal University where she was Senior Marketing & Communications Strategist.

2013
On January 4, the CRTC approved the application by the CBC to amend the licence for CBR Calgary in order to add a new FM transmitter in Coleman. The new transmitter would operate at 102.3 MHz (channel 272A1) with an average effective radiated power of 51 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of -168.8 metres). The new transmitter would replace the existing CBXC-AM serving the community of Coleman. The CBC submitted that this change would result in a better quality signal for listeners to the station.

CBR 1010 began broadcasting with new equipment from its new transmitter site located about 15 miles northeast of Calgary.

On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBR Calgary and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.

CBXC Coleman moved to the FM dial. With this change CBXC-AM (1450) Coleman and CBXL-AM (860) Blairmore left the air.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBR Calgary and its transmitters CBR-1-FM Calgary, CBRA-FM Coutts/Milk River, CBRB-FM Banff, CBRC-FM Harvie Heights, CBRD-FM Red Deer, CBRE-FM Exshaw, CBRI-FM Etzikom, CBRL-FM Lethbridge, CBRM-FM Medicine Hat, CBRP-FM Pincher Creek, CBXC Coleman and CBXL Blairmore, for a five year term, to August 31, 2018.

On August 15, the CRTC approved the deletion of transmitters CBXC Coleman and CBXL Blairmore from the licence of CBR Calgary.

                                                              Bill Dulmage - Updated August 2013

Written by Bill Dulmage - February, 2012