In early May, W.W. Grant, recently returned from the war, in which he was decorated for his radio accomplishments, constructed a small radio station in Halifax, over which voice and music were broadcast (may have been the first scheduled radio programs in the country). Grant was sometimes referred to as W.W. and sometimes as W.W.W. The initials stood for William Walter Westaver (Grant).
| Bill Grant
Grant started a station at Morely, Alberta, a few miles west of Calgary. Station CYAA was set up for the federal government, in connection with the Canadian Air Force Forestry Patrol.
In January, the Morely station was moved by the Canadian Air Board because the weather was too erratic and dangerous for flying. Grant then constructed a 50 watt station at High River, Alberta, over which Western Canadians heard their first broadcast concerts.
In the spring, Grant moved his station from High River to Calgary and the call sign was changed to CFCN. The government issued a commercial licence to Grant, after The Herald's CFAC received its licence. CFCN's first day of broadcasting was May 18. The transmitter site was on Scotchman's Hill overlooking the Calgary Stampede grounds. CFCN broadcast on a frequency of 1010 kHz and had a power of 750 watts. It shared its frequency with CKCX. CFCN had the distinction of being the first station in Canada to receive compensation for commercial broadcasting.
The owners of the Electric Shop - Streb & Murphy - bought up some old crystal sets and receiving apparatus with the idea of starting a radio station at Saskatoon. A.A. Murphy went to Calgary to see W.W. Grant of CFCN, who had learned the fundamentals of radio in the army. A deal was made and Grant would build and install a 50 watt transmitter for the Saskatoon operation.
The station increased power to 1,000 watts, and shared 410 metres, splitting airtime with CKCX and CHBC.
Studios were at 708 Crescent Road N.W., and CFCN was now sharing time with CFHC, CHCM, CKCX, CNRC.
"Cy Ebineser & the Kid" debuted on CFCN. It was later renamed the "CFCN Oldtimers". It was an old time music program and held the record for the world's longest continuous weekly radio program...running into the 1980's. It aired Fridays from 9:00 p.m. until midnight. Many well known names appeared on the show over the years, including Cy Hopkins, Ma Trainor, Tony Neidermayer (accordionist), Hod Pharis (disc jockey), and Vic Siebert (recording artist who became part of the nationally known group, Sons of the Saddle).
CFCN moved to 690 kHz which it shared with CFAC, and power was reduced to 750 watts.
The Voice of the Prairies - CFCN - manufactured radios at this time. These radios, known as peanut tube sets, were sold to the public in an effort to increase the number of listeners.
CFCN increased power to 1,800 watts.
| Gordon Love
H. Gordon Love's Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd. purchased CFCN from W. W. (Bill) Grant.
Recording artist Wilf Carter joined the "CFCN Oldtimers" broadcast. Manager H. Gordon Love arranged for Carter's first recording session at RCA Victor in Montreal in December of 1933. Wilf went on to record hundreds of records. He also had his own 15 minute daily program on CFCN.
Power was reduced to 500 watts.
In the 1920s, the western music group Sons of the Pioneers were introduced to Canadians on CFCN. "Ray Little and his Radio Cowboy Show" also aired on CFCN. It featured Ray, his wife, Ann, and band members Doug Goldsmith and Jimmy Daughtry. J. B. Ham, Chuck Irvine and others comprised the "Red Head Jamboree" with Red Head Gas and Oil sponsoring the radio program.
CFCN was taken over by The Voice of the Prairies Ltd. W.W. Grant rejoined the company at this time as vice president and chief engineer. Mr. Love was still the primary owner of the company with Mr. Grant holding an interest.
CFCN increased power from 500 to 10,000 watts. This power level made it the most powerful Canadian radio station west of Montreal. To house the new and higher powered operation a new transmitter site was built at Strathmore. CFCN was broadcasting on 985 kHz at this time.
CFVP short-wave began operations, re-broadcasting the programming of CFCN. The VP in the call sign: Voice of the Prairies.
CFCN moved from 985 kHz to 1030 kHz. Power remained at 10,000 watts.
A new licence for CFCN was issued December 1, to William Walter Grant and Herbert Gordon Love, Toronto General Trust Building, Calgary. The licensees were authorized to establish a private commercial broadcasting station at: N.E. section 12, Township 24, Range 25, West 4th Meridian, Alberta. The licence would expire April 1, 1936. CFCN was operating on 1030 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts.
CFCN was the first radio station to sell advertising space and this year it aired the first commercial newscast. Texaco was the sponsor.
H. Gordon Love purchased W. W. (Bill) Grant's interest in CFCN / The Voice of The Prairies Ltd. (Grant & Love Radio). Grant headed to Saskatchewan to work for the CBC's CBK Radio at Watrous.
Studios were listed as being in the Toronto General Trust Building.
Leo Trainor left CFCN for CKOV where he was appointed chief announcer of CKOV Kelowna.
CFCN became a United Press subscriber.
CFCN installed RCA control desk speech input equipment as well as new RCA turntables.
Doug Smith joined CFCN's sports staff from B.C.
In the 1930's, Crescent Heights High School principal and Alberta Premier, William Aberhart, known as "Bible Bill" appeared on CFCN. His very popular program was called the "Prophetic Bible Institute." Another religious show that aired on CFCN in the 1930's was "Sunrise Gospel Hour."
CFCN and CFRN hooked up via government phone lines to carry "The Army Sings" from the Edmonton encampment of the Southern Albert Regiment each week. It was announced in December that Kelvin Traynor, 31, former CFCN announcer, was missing and believed drowned in the sinking of a Canadian freighter.
Under the Havana Treaty, CFCN moved from 1030 to 1010 kHz (Class I-A Clear Channel) on May 29. Power remained 10,000 watts. There were concerns though that a high-powered Mexican station on 1010 kHz might cause CFCN some grief.
Bob Lamb joined CFCN on June 14.
To meet growing demands for network time during the evenings, largely due to the war, the CBC set up a second network for commercial sponsorship. The network's first sponsor (on an experimental basis) was the Gillette Safety Razor Co. The Mutual Broadcasting System originated boxing events for 26 Canadian stations through the CBC, plus the MBS affiliate - CKLW Windsor. The second network had 23 Canadian stations with alternative stations in Montreal to meet local conditions there. The new network would operate only after 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Over the past year, private stations had been anxious to have such a network - outside of CBC control. However, under the Radio Act, the CBC had full control over all networks in the country. It was felt that a full second network with full day and night programming was not feasible or economically possible at this time. CBC-owned stations affiliated with the new network: CBK Watrous, CBA Sackville and CBY Toronto. Privately-owned stations affiliated with the new network were: CJOR Vancouver, CHWK Chilliwack, CFCN Calgary, CFRN Edmonton, CJRM Regina, CJGX Yorkton, CJRC Winnipeg, CKCA Kenora, CJIC Sault Ste Marie, CKOC Hamilton, CKTB St. Catherines, CFPL London, CFCO Chatham, CKLW Windsor, CKCR Kitchener, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF or CHLP Montreal, CHLT Sherbrooke, CKNB Campbellton, and CJLS Yarmouth.
The corporate name was changed to The Voice of The Prairies Ltd.
Bob Lamb joined CFCN as Chief Engineer.
CBC Dominion Basic Stations: CJFX, CHNS, CFCY, CKCW, CKNB, CJLS, CKCO, CHOV, CFBR, CJBC, CHEX, CFPL, CFCO, CFPA, CHLT, CFCF, CKRC, CJGX, CKX, CKRM, CHAB, CFQC, CKBI, CFCN, CFRN, CJRL, CHWK, CJOR, CJVI.
H.G. Love was manager and E.H. McGuire was commercial manager.
On Christmas night, CFCN delivered its 10,000th newscast. C.H. Stout was news editor.
CFCN’s request for a power increase to 50,000 watts was refused.
The station’s slogan remained: The Voice of the Prairies.
Gordon Love offered to sell CFCN to the listeners of Alberta, provided his station be allowed to stay on 1010 kHz and increase power to 50,000 watts. He offered to give Canadian listeners the first locally-owned high-powered station as a solution to the CBC wavelength seizure. The government wanted to move CFCN to 1060 kHz so the CBC could build a 50,000 watt station in Alberta, using CFCN's 1010 kHz frequency. The CBC planned to take over the frequencies of CFCN, CFRB Toronto and CKY Winnipeg for their own use. Love told the Parliamentary Committee on Radio Broadcasting that the move would cause CFCN to lose much of its audience, which had come to depend on the station for local Alberta coverage. He said a CBC station with national programs would not supply southern Alberta listeners with local programs and news. Love said he did not learn until last year that CFCN would have its frequency taken over by the CBC and not until April of this year was the date of June 1947 given for the changeover. In 1941, Love had been assured CFCN would remain on the 1010 kHz clear channel if it agreed to take it at that time. He said in addition to losing audience, the change would cost CFCN about $125,000.
CFCN moved to its third transmitter site, located south of the city.
The CBC confirmed in January that it had plans for a 50,000 watt station at Lacombe. The corporation would still not confirm information on the appropriation of CFCN Calgary's 1010 kHz frequency, but Ottawa had notified signatory nations of NARBA that a new 50 kW station would occupy that frequency.
E.H. McGuire was commercial manager. Bob Kerr (future CBC Radio host) joined CFCN.
CFCN increased power to 10,000 watts (directional at night). The transmitter was located at Strathmore.
Slogan: Alberta's Most Listened To Radio Station.
An Ad promoted the fact that CFCN had a new 10 kW transmitter and had a 75 mv/m signal downtown. The station also had a new location, 9 miles from Calgary.
E.M. McGuire was sales manager.
Slogan: CFCN Talks To More People In Alberta Every Day Than Any Other Station.
A special Christmas Day broadcast was beamed from nine different stations across Canada without the use of network facilities. The participating stations were CKWX Vancouver, CFCN Calgary, CKCK Regina, CJOB Winnipeg, CKSO Sudbury, CFPL London, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF Montreal and CFCY Charlottetown.
Slogans: Cover More Area and More People Over CFCN. / Wanta Make a Sale Pitch in the Big Alberta League? Sign Up on CFCN. / More People in the booming Alberta market Listen to CFCN The Voice of the Prairies. / The Powerful Voice of the Prairies.
H.G. Love was manager and E.H. McGuire was commercial manager.
Bob Lamb was chief engineer.
On Thanksgiving Day, CFCN deliveered its 16,000th newscast. It was written by news editor Lorne Stout and delivered by Ken Lapp.
F.B. Brand joined CFCN as an announcer/newsman - talks about the difference TV has made in radio.1,2,3,4,5
Slogan: You cover more...you sell more over CFCN Calgary.
Dora Dibney hosted "Chatting with Dora Dibney" on CFCN. Don Thomas joined CFCN's announce staff.
Bob Lamb left CFCN for the RCA Television Training Clinic at Camden, New Jersey. He would later return to the company (CFCN).
The CBC approved the transfer of 1,125 common shares and 160 preferred shares in The Voice Of The Prairies Ltd.
Slogans: CFCN is the best buy in Calgary. / It's CFCN...every time.
A joint television application by radio stations CFCN, CFAC 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.
Almost 5,000 attended a two-day (February 16 and 17) open house to see CFCN's new studios and to celebrate the station's 32 years of continuous service.
Slogans: It's CFCN...every time. / 10,000 watts - Western Canada's most powerful station.
Staff and management: H.G. Love (president), James A. Love (vice president), E.H. McGuire (commercial manager), G.L. Carter (production manager), R.W. Lamb (technical director), Mrs. E. Bruce (secretary-accountant), William N. Love (director), L.H. Stout, Sam Solomon, J. Ross Henry, Henry Viney, William Davis, Jean McIntosh, Dora Dibney, D. Peacock, Don Thomas, Wally Arens, Ross Arthur, R.A. (Bob) Kerr, Frank Brand, R. McDonald, Bob Hewitt, F. Francis, P. Lundie, C. Chapman, Bette Hume, M. waldie, K.W. McKinnon, Max Morgan, L. Hawrelak, Cyril Hunt, Len Gilbert and Frank Irvin.
Lew Roskin was named assistant manager of CFCN. He had been manager of CJDC in Dawson Creek. E.H. McGuire retired after 19 years with CFCN.
J.R. Henry was farm director. Don Thomas was chief announcer.
Slogan: In Calgary, only CFCN delivers a bonus audience. The buyers choice...the sellers voice.
CFCN aired its very first remote broadcasts.
In November, Lew Roskin left for CHED in Edmonton.
CFCN was an affiliate of the CBC Dominion network. Ownership of The Voice of the Prairies Limited: H. G. Love 17.5%, Mrs. M. Love 2.5%, J. A. Love 20.0%, The Western Printing & Lithographing Co. Ltd. 40.0%, and W. M. Love 20.0%. Ownership of The Western Printing & Lithographing Co. Ltd.: H. G. Love 99.7%, J. A. Love 0.1%, W. M. Love 0.1% and F. E. Maxie 0.1%.
Slogans: Who gets the lion's share of listeners in Canada's fastest growing market? CFCN Calgary. / We're all fired up about the new sound on CFCN Calgary.
With the Board of Broadcast Governors replacing the CBC as regulator, many parties were awaiting the lifting of the TV ban...in Calgary three channels were available and CFCN was among the parties expressing an interest in having a TV licence.
Announcer Don Thomas became production manager.
Gord Kelly joined CFCN radio.
The Board of Broadcast Governors granted CFCN a television licence for Calgary. The TV station would operate under the corporate name, CFCN Television Ltd. Gordon Love of Calgary, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and members of his family would operate the new station - co-owned with CFCN Radio. The chairman of the board of CFCN Television Ltd. was H. Gordon Love, president of Voice of the Prairies Ltd., Radio Station CFCN and owner of Western Publishing & Lithographing. James A. Love (son), vice president of Voice of the Prairies, would be president of the TV company. William N. Love (son), director of the radio company, would be secretary treasurer for CFCN Television Ltd. TV vice presidents would be Gordon L. Carter (son-in-law of Gordon Love) and Robert W. Lamb. Carter was also operations manager of radio while Lamb was technical supervisor for radio and would carry the same title with television. Other shareholders: Mrs. Gordon Love and Mrs. Carter.
In preparation for television, CFCN moved to a new home - Broadcast House. The station had operated from various locations over the years, including 544 Crescent Road, the Carlton Hotel, the York Hotel, Toronto General Trust Building, and 12th Avenue and 6th Street S.E.
CFCN Television signed on the air.
Coffee with Carrigall aired between 6 and 9 a.m.
Ad: CFCN - Giant Size instant entertainment - news-music-sports - Your 5 Star Station.
Print ad: Give some people an inch and they want to be a ruler. CFCN Radio/TV Calgary.
CFCN increased power to 50,000 watts.
What was considered the longest single radio station remote (in terms of time and distance) took place this year. Sports reporter Henry Viney and partner, Doug Smith were outside the International Olympic Committee doors in Rome, where they chatted for three hours and 20 minutes before announcing that Banff had lost its bid for the Olympic games.
Don Thomas was now in charge of CFCN programming and production.
In January 1967, Maclean-Hunter Ltd. purchased control of Voice of the Prairies Ltd. (CFCN-AM, CFVP-SW and CFCN-TV Ltd.) from CFCN Communications Ltd. (Love family). M-H kept the CFCN Communications name for this new division.
Joe Hutton was news director.
W.W. (Bill) Grant died on March 1. In 1920, he erected station CYAA at Morley, AB (a few miles west of Calgary). In 1921, he built a station at High River, over which the people of Western Canada heard their first broadcast concerts. Early in 1922, Grant moved that station to Calgary and it became CFCN. CFCN had the distinction of being the first station in Canada to receive compensation for commercial broadcasting. In 1928, CFCN was acquired by H.G. Love, using the corporate name of Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd. In 1931, the station increased power to 10,000 watts and CFCN was taken over by Voice of the Prairies Ltd. Grant re-entered the company in 1931 as vice president and chief engineer. In 1936, Love took over Grant's interest and a short time later, Grant joined the CBC's CBK Watrous, SK. He took time out for World War II (RCAF service) but returned to CBK when he retired as chief engineer in 1957. Later in the year, Grant joined CKLC Kingston where his son - R.S. (Bob) Grant was president. Bill retired again in 1965.
CFCN applied for an FM station at 102.1 MHz.
The Voice of the Prairies Ltd. applied for but was denied a licence on May 28 for the operation of a new FM station in Calgary.
On March 21, Maclean-Hunter Ltd. was authorized to acquire a further 2,400 common shares of Voice of the Prairies Ltd.
R.F. (Bob) Irvine was manager.
Ad: Fresh and new since 'twenty-two! That's been the secret of CFCN's success ever since it pioneered Southern Alberta radio newly half a hundred years ago. The station that once helped make stars like Wilf Carter popular still maintains its all-family appeal, with the sound that's fresh and new and friendly. In 1922, CFCN was one of the first on the air in the west. It's still first choice of Southern Albertan's today.
Don Thomas was appointed manager. He had been with the station since 1952 when he came on board as an announcer. He became production manager in 1959, and in 1966, Thomas took charge of programming and production.
Bob Lamb was chief engineer and had been with the station since 1944. In 1960, he helped get CFCN-TV on the air in a record 36 days.
Glen Schey was on CFCN's air staff.
CFCN enlarged its facilities in Broadcast House and installed all new McCurdy studio equipment.
The re-organization of the Maclean-Hunter group of companies (16 cable systems and the CFCN/Shoreacres/Great Lakes broadcasting group) was approved by the CRTC. Reservations were expressed regarding the nearly 10% equity of the Toronto-Dominion Bank in the new company, Maclean-Hunter Holdings Ltd. The shares had been held by Hunco and D. F. Hunter. Effective control of Maclean-Hunter Ltd. was now held by the directors and senior managerment.
CFCN received authorization to change its daytime pattern to improve coverage to the east
Permission was received to move the transmitter site for CFCN-AM and CFVP Short Wave.
In the fall, CFCN moved its transmitter site from Midnapore to a location seven miles east of Calgary, using three towers and a new Harris MW-50 transmitter.
Don Thomas replaced Norm Haines as general manager at CFCN. Thomas had been with CFCO in Chtham, ON.
Following a review of cross-ownership, the licenses for CFCN-AM-TV and CFVP-SW were renewed. CFCN Communications Ltd. was owned by Maclean-Hunter which also owned 49.7% of Toronto Sun Publishing Corp. (owner of the Calgary Sun). The CRTC was satisfied that the legal agreement between TSPC and M-H put restraints on Maclean-Hunter control of the Calgary Sun.
Dan Freeman joined CFCN to host the evening show.
Edward W. Chapman was appointed chairman of the board of directors, CFCN Communications Ltd.
Dale O'Hara was news supervisor.
Don Stevens left AM 106 for Toronto's CKFM. Pete Millard also left for CKFM. Evening host Dan Freeman left CFCN for CKXY in Vancouver.
It was revealed that Maclean Hunter was trying to sell CFCN-AM and CJAY-FM. It was widely known that the company was attempting to sell CFCN-TV which had now been pulled off the market because no acceptable offers had been received.
On June 19, the CRTC approved the sale by CFCN Communications (Maclean-Hunter) of CFCN-AM, CFVP-Short Wave and CJAY-FM (including CJAY-1 Banff and CJAY-3 Invermere) to Standard Broadcasting Corp. Maclean-Hunter did try to sell CFCN-TV as well but the asking price was not met.
CFCN switched formats from Contemporary Hits to Adult Contemporary and was now known as "Mix 1060". Promotions co-ordinator Jackie Davidson said the change was made following months of research and feedback. Contact with the community would continue with the ‘listener line', ‘Big Mix radio' and ‘Fun Seeker' van.
The call letters changed in the spring from CFCN to CKMX. The MX in the calls reflected the station's "Mix" name.
Frank Irvin passed away. Along with his brother Chuck, he sang with the CFCN "Oldtimers" for many years. In time, he left CFCN to work in the electronics industry but returned to the station in the 1980s. This time around he was purchasing agent for the engineering department, a position he held until his retirement.
Early in the year "Mix 1060" became "AM 1060" with an adult standards format.
Howard Langdale was killed in a car accident. He was CFCN's morning man between 1966 and 1982. He then left the business to work in the travel industry, but returned to the (now) CKMX airwaves this past December. Many will always remember Howard's signature, "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours!"
On September 6, Standard Radio launched CIBK 98.5. Studios and offices for CKMX-AM and CJAY-FM moved to a brand new facility with CIBK-FM on the third floor of 1110 Centre Street North.
In July, AM 1060 CKMX switched formats from adult standards/oldies to classic country.
On September 27, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions. The purchase included CKMX-AM, CJAY-FM and CIBK-FM.
Journalist Gord Kelly died in January. He joined CFCN Radio in 1960. In the 1970's Kelly was the program director of CFCN-AM and for years hosted the most popular radio talk show in town. In 1985 he became a news reporter for CFCN-TV.
Kelly retired in 2008.
Lewis Roskin passed away December 27. He started his radio career as an announcer (at age 17) at CJOC in Lethbridge. That was in 1937. He went on to work at CFRN Edmonton, CJDC Dawson Creek, CFCN Calgary, CHED Edmonton and CKLG Vancouver. He then went on to co-found CHQT Edmonton where he was president and general manager until he sold the station years later.
Chad Thomas returned to Astral Radio Calgary as Digital Accounts Manager. He left the stations to found an agency when they were owned by Standard Radio Calgary.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKMX and its transmitter CFVP (shortwave) Calgary until March 31, 2012.
Stewart Meyers was now vice president of Alberta operations and general manager of the Astral Calgary radio stations, succeeding Tom Peacock. The position in Calgary became effective September 1. Meyers moved from Corus Radio Toronto at the end of 2002 to become operations manager and program director at the then-Standard Radio Calgary. When Marty Forbes retired at the beginning of 2009, Meyers took over at Astral Edmonton as VP/GM. Meyers would manage both clusters for the time being.
Dustin Collins returned to Astral Kelowna as assistant brand director of the Astral B.C. Interior stations. Collins, who moved to sister AM 1060 Calgary in 2005, had been the brand director/afternoon drive host at the Classic Country station. He began in Kelowna August 2.
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKMX Calgary, Alberta and its transmitter CFVP Calgary to August 31, 2012. On July 10, the licence was administratively renewed to March 31, 2013.
Ross MacLeod left The Team 1260 Edmonton to become brand director at CJAY 92 and Classic Country 1060.
On February 6, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CKMX Calgary and its transmitter CFVP Calgary to August 31, 2013.
Ronald W. Osborne died at age 66, in Florida. His broadcasting background included the presidency of Maclean Hunter Ltd. In 1994, he fought off a hostile takeover bid from Rogers Communications. After a protracted battle, a deal was inked for $3.1-billion.
Norm (Harold) Haines died at age 73. He started his broadcast career as an announcer at CFTJ Galt in 1958 and worked at CKCR Kitchener, CFCO Chatham, CKWS-Radio-TV Kingston and CFOX Montreal. Haines moved to Calgary where he was president of Voice of the Prairies Ltd. (CFCN Radio). He took on CFCN in 1973, and in time, developed CJAY-FM, Canada's first new generation FM station.
Ralph Klein passed away at age 70. The former Alberta Premier worked in broadcasting for a time, at CFCN and CFCN-TV. He spent a couple of years on the radio side before moving to TV, first as a weatherman. Later, he was assigned to cover city hall. He then ran for mayor and won, and then moved to provincial politics.
On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including CKMX.
It was announced in August that as of September 12, CKMX would switch from Classic Country AM 1060 to all comedy as Funny 1060.
Audio - F.B. Brand:
||1 Like many, F.B. got his start in a small market
||2 When it came to a choice -- well, it wasn't really a choice
||3 F.B.'s training for radio was having a good ear
||4 F.B. recalls that the equipment was a challenge, especially the first models
||5 F.B. has the vantage point of watching the sea change to radio when television appeared on the scene
Bill Dulmage - Updated August 2013