Southern Manitoba Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was awarded a licence for a new AM station at Steinbach, operating on 1250 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts.
CHSM opened on March 13. It simulcast the programming of co-owned CFAM-AM in Altona. CFAM’s birthdate was also March 13. It went on the air in 1957. The “SM” in the call sign: Southern Manitoba.
W. E. Kroeker, president of Southern Manitoba Broadcasting Co. Ltd., appointed Elmer Hildebrand station manager of CFAM and CHSM. Hildebrand joined the company at the start in 1957. Most recently he had been sales manager. He succeeded Dennis Barkman who had acquired an interest in some British Columbia radio stations.
An ad promoting CFAM and CHSM: Now doubly effective - identical programming, separate 10 kW transmitters - Radio Southern Manitoba - 1290 CFAM - CHSM 1250.
Elmer Hildebrand, station manager of CFAM-CHSM announced the appointment of Jim McSweeney as production manager and Ray Saunders as music director. McSweeney was also morning drive host (7:00 to 9:30 a.m.). Saunders had been with the stations for a year and was heard daily from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Slogans: CFAM-CHSM The winning Combination. / Radio Southern Manitoba.
CFAM and CHSM stressed "news from around the world and around the corner" in 24 daily newscasts broadcast between 6 a.m. and midnight. The news staff included Eric Friesen, Dennis Siemens and Harv Kroker (sports). The stations had 28 local correspondents across southern Manitoba. Bruce Gunn was farm director. W.E. Kroker was president.
The two stations simulcast 100%, 24 hours a day, and had been doing so since CHSM went on the air in 1964. CFAM-CHSM had proposed to broadcast simultaneously separate pre-recorded commercials of equal length on the two stations, excluding ads from national or Winnipeg advertisers, and to broadcast individual station ID's separately. However, the Board of Broadcast Governors denied the application.
Music director Ray Saunders said the programming emphasis was on continental music, recognizing Manitoba's ethnic mosaic. The stations also aired special interest programs directed at those of Ukrainian, Dutch and German backgrounds. Classical music was offered from 2:05 to 3 p.m., 7 to 8:30 p.m. and "Classics 'til Dawn, 12:05 to 5:45 a.m. CFAM-CHSM offered a large number of religious programs, including devotional hours, church news, worship services, hymns and organ music. The stations even had a children's program - on air since CFAM started out in 1957 - Children's Party with Aunt Olly Penner. From a station print ad: CFAM-CHSM - The winning combination. Since 1957 Radio Southern Manitoba has maintained a mature and dignified approach to radio broadcasting. This includes good music, local news and information, agricultural news, as well as publicizing community events.
Ad: For complete coverage of the lucrative Southern Manitoba market - rely on the region's dominant selling force - CFAM and CHSM!!
On July 11, Southern Manitoba Broadcasting was authorized separate programming on CHSM. Up to this time the station had simulcast sister station CFAM Altona.
On February 15, the CRTC renewed the licences for Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. stations CHSM Steinbach, CFAM Altona and CJRB Boissevain, to September 30, 1989.
CHSM was given permission to change day and night radiation patterns. The proposed changes would result in an improved signal to areas already served and would extend the station's coverage to the south and west of Steinbach.
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. launched CILT-FM in Steinbach.
On June 28 the CRTC renewed CHSM's licence to August 31, 2011.
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHSM until March 31, 2012.
On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHSM to August 31, 2012. On August 28, the licence was administratively renewed to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the CRTC renewed CHSM's licence to August 31, 2019.
Written by Bill Dulmage – Updated January, 2013