On May 2, The Calgary Daily Herald opened station CQCA. It broadcast on a frequency of 400 metres with a power of ten watts from a 210 foot antenna. Studios were in the Greyhound building.
On May 9 CQCA changed call letters to CHCQ. It was on the air from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Broadcasts consisted of live music and selected gramophone and player piano records.
The call letters were changed from CHCQ to CFAC on August 26. The frequency changed from 400 to 430 metres, and power increased from 10 to 2,000 watts (many listings show the increase was only to 200 watts but the Herald mentions 2,000 watts). A new radio facility was built in the Herald building…consisting of a radio machine room, office, artists’ room and lobby. The artists, speakers and orchestras were accommodated in a handsomely furnished studio that was hung with heavy soundproof curtains. It was also heavily carpeted. The station’s piano was furnished by Heintzman Co. while the gramophone was supplied by Mason & Risch Co. Electrical Engineers Ltd. did the technical installation for the station. CFAC’s antenna was on the roof of the Herald building.
The official opening for CFAC was held on August 29. The Herald claimed the station was the largest in Canada, with a signal that could be heard 2,000 miles away. The two kilowatt generator used by CFAC was the highest DC voltage used in Calgary and possibly in Western Canada, according to the Herald. CFAC would operate under the Radio Corporation of Calgary banner.
Because of the extensive program on this opening night, the broadcast was broken into two segments: 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 to 10:30 p.m. Mayor S. H. Adams declared CFAC open at 7:45 p.m. The Calgary Board of Trade’s Frank Freeze was the next speaker. Harold Kirby, who directed the evening’s programming and was the official announcer for the event, arranged a “wonderful program,” featuring the Calgary Silver Band (conducted by Chas W. Creighton), Miss Dorothy Creighton (vocalist), and Miss Mureil Creighton (accompanist). The station signed off the air at 8:45 and returned at 9:45 with another live concert, followed by a special program of the latest dance music that continued until a late hour. For those unable to listen to the opening broadcast at home, the Radio Corp. of Calgary set up receiving sets at two locations in Calgary, and one each in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.
By early October, CFAC was back on 400 metres (had been using 430). Programming was now featuring music from requests made the previous day, the latest news bulletins received over the Herald’s wire, major league ball scores and “all other items of interest”. The CHCQ call letters were also back in service, in addition to those of CFAC. The Herald’s daily program listings headlined both the C.F.A.C. and C.H.C.Q. calls. It is not known how long the Herald continued to use the CHCQ calls.
CFAC moved to 690 kHz with 500 watts of power, sharing airtime with CFCN.
During this period CFAC shared time with CFCN, CHCA, CJCJ, CNRC on 690.
Vernon Wileman joined the CFAC staff.
CFAC moved from 690 to 930 kHz. Power decreased to 100 watts.
Taylor, Pearson & Carson Broadcasting Co. was formed and soon entered into a management with CFAC’s owner, The Calgary Herald (a Southam Newspaper). The station was a basic affiliate of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission.
Richard Tregillus joined CFAC as an announcer and he tells how the various sounds heard in those days were accomplished.1,2,3,4
Harold Carson offered Guy Herbert the post of commercial manager at CFAC.
Guy Herbert became manager of CFAC.
Wilf Carter (a.k.a. Mountain Slim) signed by Columbia Artists Bureau and doing a regular program over CBS, had performed for 10 months over CFAC.
On October 22, power increased to 1,000 watts from a new transmitter site located seven miles east of the city.
Fred Shaw joined CFAC from CJCJ. Rolfe Leonard Barnes joined CFAC. Fred McDowell, announcer and publicity director of CFAC left for CJAT Trail and a similar job. He was replaced at CFAC by Jack Dennett (marketing), Frank Fleming (publicity) and Dick Tregillus (traffic). Earle C. Connor joined CFAC as technical supervisor. He had been with CJAT. Pat Freeman, chief announcer, was promoted to production manager. He was succeeded as chief announcer by Jack Dennett.
CFAC purchased RCA portable speech input equipment.
Rolfe Leonard Barnes left CFAC for CJCA in Edmonton. Pat Freeman was an announcer at CFAC.
Don Oaks started his radio career at CFAC. Gordon Fairweather joined the CFAC engineering staff from Vancouver's CKWX. Gordon Henry, former manager of CFAC, joined CJCA Edmonton as manager. Pat Freeman, production manager, was called to active service with the Canadian Armed Forces. He was replaced at CFAC by Bob Straker, former assistant manager of CJRC Winnipeg.
F.H. (Tiny) Elphicke, recently manager of CJCA (Edmonton), was named manager of CJRC (Winnipeg). Victor F. Nielsen of CJRC moved to CFAC (Calgary). Gordon Henry of CFAC moved to CJCA. Fred Scanlon of CJRM (Regina) was elevated to manager of that station. New commercial manager at CJRC was P.H. Gayner, formerly with All-Canada in Winnipeg. Stewart MacPherson, formerly with the BBC, would hold a similar job at CJRC. Bob Straker, chief accountant of CJRC was moved to CFAC as program director, replacing Pat Freeman, who joined the RCAF. Fred Luce, CJRC salesman, was transferred to CJRM as was Ken Anderson, accountant. Three CJRC staffers entered military service: Ken Cameron, chief studio engineer; Keith McConnell, control engineer; and Hugh Young, special events and sports.
Under the Havana Treaty, CFAC moved from 930 to 960 kHz (Class III-A) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.
Larry Heywood joined CFAC.
| Bert Cairns
A.M. (Bert) Cairns became CFAC's manager, taking over from V.C. (Vic) Neilson, who resigned. Ian Arrol moved to CFAC as of May 15. The announcer was transferred from CJOC in Lethbridge.
Bob Straker was production manager.
A.M. Cairns was manager and F.R. Shaw was commercial manager. Frank Eckersley left CFAC for the announce staff at CKWX in Vancouver. Don Hartford joined CFAC as an announcer.
Music was under the direction of Geoffrey Waddington at CFAC.
CBC Trans-Canada Basic stations: CJCB, CBH, CBA, CHSJ, CFNB, CBO, CKWS, CBL, CKSO, CFCH, CJKL, CKGB, CKPR, CBM, CKY, CBK, CJCA, CFAC, CJOC, CFJC, CKOV, CJAT, CBR.
In an ad of the time, CFAC was called “The Foothill City's Favourite Station”.
Chief engineer Earle Connor was working on the installation of a new 5,000 watt transmitter and looking into the possibility of FM for CFAC.
Slogan: As Much A Part of Calgary As The Calgary Stampede.
Al Bestall was CFAC's special events commentator.
Taylor, Pearson & Carson had its stock listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. T P & C was the holding company for CFAC. It ran other stations, owned All-Canada Radio Facilities Ltd. (representation firm and transcription service), and operated automobile accessory and radio stores in Western Canada.
Bruce Alloway left the CFAC sales department for All-Canada in Toronto.
CFAC established a new transmitter site at Midnapore, seven miles south of Calgary. Power was increased to 5,000 watts (directional at night).
A.M. Cairns was manager and F.R. Shaw was commercial manager. Pat Freeman was production manager and hosted "Southern Alberta's News Roundup". Larry Heywood hosted the 10 o'clock news.
Late in the year, the CBC announced that CBX Lacombe would be on the air shortly. It would be the basic outlet for the Trans-Canada network. Existing T-Can affiliates, CFAC and Edmonton's CJCA, were not happy about being dropped. They applied to the CBC for supplementary status but the corporation refused to agree without a complete review of the matter from a national standpoint.
Don Oakes left CFAC sales to become sales manager at CKRM Regina. Don McDermott was an announcer. Dave Penn was an emcee. Robert H. Buhr joined CFAC.
Slogans: Calgary's CFAC delivers Southern Alberta's mass market right into your mitt! / Your Southern Alberta Advertising is CFAC's baby.
A.M. Cairns was manager and F.R. Shaw was commercial manager.
Fred Shaw left CFAC as commercial manager to become manager of CJCJ. He had joined CFAC in 1938 from CJCJ. A.R. Mackenzie was appointed sales manager. He had been executive assistant to H.R. Carson, president of All-Canada Radio Facilities.
Don McDermid was an announcer. Robert H. Buhr left CFAC for the CBC.
Slogan: The station most listeners dial - The station most advertisers buy.
Joe Marks was a sports commentator. Alistair MacKenzie left CFAC as commercial manager to become manager of CKY in Winnipeg. Larry Heywood was a newscaster. Announcer Allen Barker had been "Uncle Allen" on CFAC's "The Children's Corner" for eight years.
CFAC set up a complete drama department under the full-time direction of Clarence Mack.
Slogan: "I like IKE" say the Republicans. "We like CFAC" say radio time buyers and sponsors.
Joe Marks did sports at CFAC.
CFAC announced that it was now jointly owned by the Herald and the Taylor-Pearson- Carson Broadcasting Co., with a new identity – Calgary Broadcasting Limited (The Herald – 60%, TPC – 40%).
Slogan: You're in good company when you're "on" CFAC.
Dick Tregillus was promotion director. Don McDermid was an announcer. Donald F. McLean joined CFAC to head its new farm service department.
A joint television application by radio stations CFAC, CFCN and CKXL was filed under the name Calgary Television Ltd. The application was deferred by the CBC Board of Governors. The board wanted to allow additional applications from the city to be reviewed. The CBC approved the joint application later in the year. It was felt that Bert Cairns, manager of CFAC, was likely to manage the new TV station.
Don Fox did his 1,000th interview on "Talk of the Town", a program on the air since January of this year. Don Hartford was commercial manager.
Don McDonald was farm director.
CFAC had its own drama department under the direction of Clarence Mack. He also hosted "Toast & Marmalade". Mack was also public service director. Dave Gell was CFAC's European correspondent. CFAC said it was the only private station in North America to have its own European correspondent.
Joe Marks was sports editor. Eric Bishop did play by play sports. Bishop had just joined the station from CKWX Vancouver where he had been sports director. Dick Tregillus was promotion director.
Lawyer Ernest Watkins was now hosting "Presenting Ernest Watson" on CFAC. George Brown was production manager. Chris Wiggins was a copy writer. E. L. Heywood was a newscaster. Jacqueline Penn hosted It's a Woman's World.
Slogan: Calgary's CFAC 960 KC - more listeners, more buyers.
CFAC was a supplementary B affiliate of the CBC Trans-Canada network. Power was 5,000 watts (directional at night) on frequency 960 kHz. Ownership of Calgary Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: The Southam Co. Ltd. 60%; Taylor, Pearson & Carson Broadcasting Co. Ltd. 39.8%; H. R. Carson 0.1%, Hugh E. Pearson 0.1% (B. Dean, E. L. Harvie and F. Polley were listed but hold no shares). Basil Dean was president of Calgary Broadcasting Co. Ltd. A. M. Cairns was manager of CFAC and Donald H. Hartford was commercial manager.
Winnifred Sutton died in December. She became Edmonton's first woman commentator with CFTP in 1934, moving to CFRN in 1938. She served as promotion director at Calgary's CFAC before returning to CJCA in a similar capacity from 1939-56.
Ad slogans: We're all fired up about the new sound on CFAC Calgary. / Win them...and hold them with CFAC Calgary.
According to Elliott-Haynes CFAC reached a total of 138,846 adult listeners every day.
ACMO - the All-Canada Mutually Operated stations set up a radio news bureau in August. The bureau channelled news from Ottawa by telegraph, telephone and tape recorder. Stations using the service: CJVI, CKWX, CJAT, CJCA, CFAC, CFGP, CJOC, CKCK, CKRC and CKOC.
CFAC received federal approval to increase power from 5,000 to 10,000 watts.
James M. Taylor died in November. He was co-founder of the Taylor, Pearson & Carson wholesale firm of automotive, appliance, radio parts and equipment outlets in Alberta and British Columbia...with interests in CJCA Edmonton, CFAC Calgary, CJOC Lethbridge and CFGP Grande Prairie.
Larry Heywood, formerly of CFAC, who moved to Radio Guardian in Trinidad, was promoted from program director to station manager at his latest station.
CFAC's power increased from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts full-time.
Harold Carson died, and Taylor, Pearson & Carson became Selkirk Holdings Ltd.
A.M. "Bert" Cairns was appointed general manager of Calgary Television Ltd. He had been with CFAC and started in broadcasting at CKUA in 1929, joined CFAC in 1942 as manager. CFAC sales manager Don Hartford took over as acting manager. He started at CFAC in 1944 as an announcer, moved to promotions in 1946 and sales in 1948, becoming sales manager in 1951. Basil Dean was president of Calgary Broadcasting Co.
Ads: In Calgary use CFAC for the sweet smile of success! By any survey - Calgary's most listened to station. / Buy-way to Calgary. Advertisers have found the road to sales success in Calgary is via CFAC - Dial 960 Calgary. / Don't get caught with your sales down! Use CFAC Calgary!
Dave Penn was appointed sales manager. He had been with CFAC since 1948. Ken Goddard was named retail sales manager, having been with the station since 1952.
Lois Martin was receptionist and had been with the station since 1956. Don Hartford was manager. George A. Brown left CFAC as production manager to become retail sales manager at CHCT-TV. D.H. Hartford, manager of CFAC, appointed Clarence F. Mack as production manager (effective January 1, 1961).
CFAC received BBG approval to use a 250 watt Northern Electric model R451A1 standby transmitter.
CFAC moved to new studios on November 6, at 1301 17th Avenue S.W. (17th Avenue at 12th Avenue S.W.).
The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into a single CBC Radio network.
Don Hartford named Gordon Walker as CFAC retail sales manager.
CFAC dropped its CBC affiliation and became an Independent when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation opened CBR in the city.
Selkirk Holdings became a publicly-traded company.
D. F. Penn was named general manager of CFAC, effective April 1. He had been with the station for 17 years, latterly as assistant manager and general sales manager. Penn replaced Donald H. Hartford who moved to CFRB in Toronto.
Dave Penn, manager of CFAC was named manager of CHCT-TV by Norm Botterill, vice president of Selkirk Holdings Ltd. Penn succeeded Norman Inkster who had become director of planning for Selkirk. John Ansell, formerly in charge of programming and production at CKWX Vancouver, was named CFAC's manager.
Earle C. Connor was technical director.
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. CFAC was one of those stations.
On June 12, Calgary Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given approval to increase CFAC’s power from 10,000 to 50,000 watts, using a new transmitter site.
Later in the year, CFAC moved to the new transmitter site, located south of Chestermere Lake. Power increased to 50,000 day and night at that time, using three towers.
On December 31, approval was granted for the transfer of 40% of Calgary Broadcasting Co. Ltd. from Southam Press Ltd. to Selkirk Holdings Ltd. This change was designed to eliminate the direct ownership of Southam in broadcasting operations in cities where it owned daily newspapers. Payment for the shares was in the form of non-voting (Class A) equity shares in Selkirk. As a result, publicly traded Southam would now own about 44.6% of the Class A equity shares of Selkirk.
John Nebery was appointed general sales manager at CFAC. He had been on the sales staff for 10 years, serving as retail sales manager since 1968.
| John McColl
John McColl became CFAC's general manager.
Walter Machny was appointed general manager of CFAC. He replaced John McColl who became director of Western Radio at Selkirk Broadcasting.
Calgary Broadcasting Broadcasting Co. Ltd. received approval from the CRTC to operate two satellite stations for CFAC. The Canmore transmitter would broadcast on a frequency of 1450 kHz and have a power of 1,000 watts day and 250 watts night. The Banff transmitter would operate with 50 watts on a frequency of 1340 kHz. Most programming on the transmitters would originate with CFAC, but 35 hours a week would originate from the Canmore operation, whose facilities would include a mobile unit. A competing application for Canmore by Alpine Broadcasting Ltd. (1230 kHz) was denied.
Dennis Stiles was named general sales manager. He had been with CJCA in Edmonton
CFAC purchased new Nautel transmitters...1,000 watt units for Banff, Canmore and for standby use at Calgary.
On July 21, approval was granted for the transfer of 200 Class B voting shares of Selkirk Communications Ltd. from Southam Inc. to John T. Ferguson, and subsequently, the transfer of these shares from Mr. Ferguson, together with 200 Class B shares from each of seven other individual shareholders, to the Canada Trust Co., pursuant to a voting trust agreement. Southam held 20% of the voting shares and approximately 28% of the non-voting shares of Selkirk Communications. Selkirk owned the following broadcast companies: Selkirk
Broadcasting Ltd., Lethbridge Television Ltd., Calgary Television Ltd., and Niagara Television Ltd.
In September, CFAC's signal was expanded with the launch of semi-satellite station CFHC Canmore. The Banff transmitter would sign on the air later.
On May 2 - CFAC's 62nd birthday, the station moved to new studios and offices at 3320 17th Avenue S.W. The new facility was officially opened that date by Premier Peter Lougheed. The ceremonies were broadcast live and some 150 guests toured the new operation. The guests included Mayor Ralph Klein and J. Stuart MacKay, president of Selkirk Communications Ltd.
The new facility is 9,000 square feet in size and was designed to blend with the surrounding neighbourhood. The studios and news desks are all visible from the reception area. The studios feature Audiotronics control boards. The music library has 3,000 stereo carts and 3,000 LP's with another 10 to 15,000 LP's in basement storage. The new building also houses a standby 250 W Nautel Ampfet transmitter. A microwave link on the roof feeds the 50 kW Continental AM stereo transmitter at Chestermere Lake. The entire roof is covered with a transmitter ground grid for the standby transmitter.
J. Stuart MacKay became chairman of Selkirk Communications.
CFAC had an Adult Country format.
Wilt Shaw returned to CFAC news from CHRB in High River. Doug Anderson joined CFAC news from CJAY-FM where he had been news supervisor.
John McColl died January 8, at age 65. He was director of Selkirk's Western Radio division. He was manager of CFAC from 1972-1980. Before that, he was with the company's CJOC in Lethbridge.
Gene Lehto was CFAC's news director.
Dennis Stiles was appointed CFAC's operations manager.
CFAC president and general manager Walter Machny added an additional title - director of operations for Montreal. He would oversee Selkirk's application to the CRTC for approval to purchase CKVL-AM and CKOI-FM in Verdun.
Gary Phillips took over as CFAC's news director from Gene Lehto who was now doing afternoon news at the station.
The CRTC approved the purchase of Selkirk Communications Ltd. by Maclean-Hunter Ltd. on September 28. Approval was then granted for the transfer of several former Selkirk stations (including CFAC) to Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
CFHC Canmore stopped its part-time rebroadcasting of CFAC's programming.
CFAC gained a sister FM station when Rogers acquired CHFM from Moffat Communications Ltd.
Dawn Buffam was programming co-ordinator. Jim Hughes was CFAC's morning announcer and also weatherman at Calgary 7 TV.
CFAC marked 75 years on the air on May 2.
Rogers Broadcasting, owner of CFAC and CHFM-FM, announced the purchase of CFFR and CKIS-FM from Rawlco. Rogers Broadcasting president & CEO Tony Viner said the two stations were terrific and would complement the company's existing Calgary stations. He added, "with this acquisition, we've now achieved our objective of increasing our presence in four key markets: Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary." The sale of the stations was approved by the CRTC later in the year.
In June, CFAC and CHFM moved studios and offices to the renovated and expanded CHRK (formerly CKIS) / CFFR facility on 37th Avenue NE.
On May 7, CFAC switched to an all sports format, becoming an affilliate of CHUM Radio’s Team Radio Network. CFAC became known as The Team 960.
Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CFAC-AM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.
David Rowe left Fan 960 to join the sports department at CHQR.
On November 30, the CRTC renewed CFAC's licence to August 31, 2017.
Kapila (Kaps) Ratnayake left Rogers Radio Calgary to become Chief Engineer at Corus Radio Cornwall.
On January 12, Rogers Media rebranded both of its all sports radio stations. FAN 960 (CFAC) Calgary and FAN 590 (CJCL) Toronto were now known as Sportsnet Radio FAN 960 and Sportsnet Radio FAN 590. Rogers Sportsnet was Rogers Media's sports specialty (TV) network. "We're excited to bring the strength of these two brands together," said Scott Moore, president of Rogers Broadcasting.
Gary Phillips died at age 68 after complications from a fall. The newscaster began his career in 1960 in Nova Scotia and eventually moved to Alberta where he became news director at CFAC. Later, he moved to CHQR, from which he retired in November of last year.
Rob Kerr was the new play-by-play announcer for the Calgary Flames on Sportsnet West. He had been host of Calgary Flames hockey on Sportsnet Radio FAN 960. Promotions Director Amanda Young left Rogers Calgary for Country 93.3 FM and Rock 97.9 in Fort McMurray.
Scott Morrison returned to Rogers Sportsnet as Executive Producer of Hockey. He was also on Hockeycentral and Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590 Toronto and FAN 960 Calgary. Morrison had been with CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.
Kevin McKanna, executive VP, Rogers Radio Alberta, retired at the end of March. He began his 22-year career with Rogers as VP/GM at CFAC Calgary (Sportsnet 960 The FAN) and CFHC AM Canmore (now 106.5 Mountain FM). Later, he was promoted to VP/GM of CHFM FM (LITE 95.9), CKIS FM (96.9 JACK FM) and CFFR AM (660News) which combined to form the Calgary Radio cluster. In May of 2005, McKanna was appointed executive VP, Rogers Radio Alberta, overseeing 14 radio stations. Before moving to Rogers, he was program director at CHED Edmonton.
Jim Blundell succeeded Kevin McKanna and is the Acting General Manager of the 13 Rogers Radio stations in Alberta. Blundell had been the Vice President & GM at CTV Vancouver Island, C-FAX and KooL FM Victoria and left Bell Media in September of last year. Blundell's background included being the Market Manager for the CHUM radio stations in Brockville, Kingston and Peterborough. In 2007, he was promoted to VP/GM of then Star-FM London and, in 2009, he was promoted again to take the lead at CHUM's (now Bell Media's) Victoria properties.
Bryn Griffiths, after 30 years on-air, most recently at The Fan 960 Calgary, joined K97 /Capital FM Edmonton as an account manager.
John Edward Barron passed away. His broadcast career began in 1949 at CFGP Grande Prairie. He then moved on to CFAC Calgary, CKYL Peace River and to CFRN Edmonton. He was an announcer, writer, producer, interviewer, book reviewer, cooking show host and men's fashion commentator.
Don Hartford died at age 95. He was president of Standard Broadcasting's radio division; president of St. Clair Productions and Eastern Sound Systems; a director of Standard Broadcast Productions, Standard Broadcasting Corp. and Standard Sound Systems (Muzak). Hartford began his radio career as an announcer at CFAC Calgary and later became sales manager, then VP/GM. In 1960, he moved to Toronto and began his career with Standard.
Bill Dulmage - Updated March 2014
Audio - Richard Tregillus:
|1 Richard remembers when being a morning man meant there was no programming at all until he came in
|2 The early efforts to create a "theatre of the mind" required a lot of ingenuity, Richard remembers
|3 Richard recalls when it must have been obvious to the audience that radio was a live medium
|4 Richard believes that radio of yesteryear still has lessons for today's radio programming