CJGX went on the air on August 19th, licensed to Dawson Richardson of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. The opening ceremonies featured a live 7 piece orchestra and several singers all from the Yorkton area.
Smilin Johnnie and his Praire Pals
Daily programming from 8:00 am consisted of area news and information on various clubs and associations meetings, births, anniversaries, deaths - all interspersed with music from the gramophone. News was the biggest attraction, like the news of Lindbergh's flight over the Atlantic.
The letters "GX" in the call sign reflect the Grain Exchange. The Exchange were seeking to reach farmers with the latest market prices from the Exchange in Winnipeg and two reports were carried daily by use of a private line to Yorkton. Prices fluctuated widely and farmers always waited to deliver their grain to the elevator when the highest price was being paid.
Dawson Richardson assumed control of the station after the Canadian Wheat Board was formed to give some stability to grain prices, putting an end to the conflict between the "Wheat Pool" and the Grain Exchange.
James Richardson & Sons took over CJGX briefly, in order to switch frequencies with their Regina and Winnipeg stations then sold CJGX back to Dawson Richardson (Richardson Publications) for only one dollar.
During the 1930's, the circulation of the daily newspapers in Saskatchewan dropped by nearly 75%, mostly due to the recession. In 1937, licensed radio receivers in the province more than doubled to about 40,000 homes. Radio was here to stay.
| Smilin Johnnie and his Praire Pals
Jim McRae started in radio at CJGX.
CJGX began subscribing to the United Press news service on January 1.
CJGX was authorized to increase power from 100 to 1,000 watts and shift frequency from 1390 to 1430 kHz. Action by the Boards of Trade of Yorkton and 30 surrounding towns brought about the acceptance of the application by the CBC and Department of Transport. The arrangement required that two members of local boards of trade be on the directorate of the company; that four hours a day broadcasting should be for educational community purposes; and that the station owners pay the Yorkton Board of Trade for the establishment of scholarships at the University of Saskatchewan for local young men and women. As a result, CJGX became locally owned, headed by President F.K. Tully. Leslie Garside was appointed manager, but he would be headquartered at the station's Winnipeg studios at 171 McDermot Avenue. The station was recently purchased by Dawson Richardson. Clinton V. Godwin joined CJGX as program director from CKX Brandon. He left later in the year to become commercial manager at CKCA in Kenora. Jim McRae left CJGX for CJRC Winnipeg.
Under the Havana Treaty, CJGX moved from 1430 to 1460 kHz (Class III-A) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.
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.
Managing director Les Garside announced the appointment of R.J. (Bob) Priestly to the managership (assistant manager) of CJGX. He had been production manager.
Announcer Omar Blondahl joined CJGX from CKRC Winnipeg. Murray Gould became a studio engineer at the station after serving with the Signal Corps.
Slogans: Western Canada's Farm Station. The Good Cheer Leader in N.E. Saskatchewan.
CJGX had a new transmitter.
CJGX was on 1460 kHz.
A new transcription and produciton office was expected to open in Winnipeg. Besides offering stations, agencies and their clients recording and production facilities, the new operation would provide Winnipeg studios for CJGX radio.
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.
A.L. Garside was manager and R.J. Priestly was commercial manager. Reg Beach was commercial manager later in the year.
Les Garside, CJGX managing director, announced that authority had been received to change the station's frequency from 1460 to 940 kHz. It was hoped the change would be effected very soon. CJGX would continue to operate with a power of 1,000 watts on the new channel.
CJGX made the move to 940 kHz ("In The Centre of Good Listening") in the fall.
A.L. Garside was managing director of CJGX and of CJRL in Kenora, ON. Announcer Greg Anderson was transferred from CJGX to CJRL Kenora. He was replaced at CJGX by Gordon Jones who had been at CKY Winnipeg.
George Gallagher joined CJGX as the morning show host in October. Arthur E. Osborne was appointed farm service director. Kenneth S. Parton was appointed assistant manager, responsible for station operations. Jack Shortreed became commercial manager, replacing Douglas McBride who moved to CJIB in Vernon. Bill Liska was promoted to production manager.
CJGX marked its 20th birthday on August 19.
The station expanded its farm service with a new, live stock market program direct from the Union Stockyards in St. Boniface.
Jack Goodman left CJGX for the announce staff at CJOB Winnipeg.
Les Garside resigned as managing director of CJGX and of Inland Broadcasting Service Ltd., to start a representation business. He had also been appointed supervisor of CJRL Kenora, owned by James Richardson & Sons Ltd. Garside had been manager of CJGX since 1939. Ken Parton, assistant CJGX manager since May of 1947 would take over from Garside. Parton joined the station in June of 1945 as announcer-producer. His appointment was effective June 1.
Jack Goodman returned to CJGX from CJOB Winnipeg.
Slogans: In North Eastern Saskatchewan Folks Turn First To CJGX Yorkton. Community Station For 200 Communities.
The CBC gave CJGX approval to increase power (940 kHz) to 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night.
Bill Liska was production manager. Ken Parton was manager. Robert K. MacDonald joined CJGX.
Derek Everard was an announcer at CJGX. Jack Shortreed was now sales manager. Ken Parton left to become manager of the soon to open CKDM in Dauphin. George Gallagher also left CJGX for CKDM, to handle sales and news.
Slogan: Sell the richest crop area in the west with CJGX Yorkton.
W.H. (Bill) Henley became farm services director at CJGX.
Manager Arthur Mills retired. He was succeeded by assistant manager of two years, Jack Shortreed.
Silver anniversary slogan: Life Begins at 940.
Ad: The ONLY way to reach the Prairies' richest farm market DAILY is by using CJGX - whose 300 communities and thousands of farms dial 940 daily. There's always a reason to use Western Canada's Farm Station. (Note: CJGX used "Bovine Bill" in some of its print ads and referred to its coverage area as "CJGX-Land".)
Fire destroyed the studio building and the staff operated out of temporary quarters while a new facility was built. At this time, CJGX also had remote studios in Winnipeg.
Daytime power increased to 10,000 watts. Night-time power remained at 1,000 watts. The station used a directional pattern during the daytime. After the power increase, CJGX claimed its area "consistently earns the highest farm cash income on the Prairie Provinces."
All programming on the station was aimed at the farm family. CJGX was an affiliate of the CBC Dominion network.
Ownership of Yorkton Broadcasting CO. Ltd. - L. J. Ham 7.5%, C. A. Campbell 0.3%, D. Richardson 0.7%, Richardson Publications Ltd. 60.1%, R. G. Sutherland 11.9%, F. K. Tully 14.7%, 7 other shareholders 4.8%. Dawson Richardson was president of the company. John M. Shortreed was manager. George Gallagher was commercial manager.
Ad Slogans: Serving Saskatchewan and Manitoba. For greater impact on the Prairies. / 1/3 of the total retail sales in Saskatchewan (excluding Regina and Saskatoon) are made within a 100 mile radius of Yorkton. CJGX covers this wealth market with 10,000 selling watts. / CJGX-land - a consistent SUPER market. CJGX Yorkton.
CJGX now originated two hours of programming daily from newly opened studios in Melville, 20 air miles from Yorkton. The new studios were officially opened in March by Mayor Ray Bailey. Also on hand for the opening: Fred Tully (CJGX president), George Gallagher (manager) and Ted Harper (Melville manager), as well as provincial and federal house members. Permanent staff at the new studios: Ted Harper (manager, announcer), Ginger Alcorne (writer, receptionist). The Yorkton and Melville studios and offices were connected by two-way land line for broadcasting and private teletype.
Ads - CJGX Yorkton - the KING SIZE station in the KING SIZE market. / The King size station in the King size market - CJGX.
CJGX received approval to use a 250 watt Canadian Marconi model 75030 standby transmitter.
In April CJGX opened a second studio - at Melville. Two hours a day originated from the facility.
The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into a single CBC Radio network. CJGX became an independent station as a result.
CJGX increased night-time power to 10,000 watts. It was now operating with that power full-time.
Fred K. Tully was president of the company. George C. Gallagher was manager.
Messrs. Tully L. Ham and several smaller shareholders sold the station to George Gallagher, Ed Laurence and Merv Phillips – all senior staff members.
James L. Keilback was named news manager. He had been sports director. Jerry Chomyn was hired as a newsman/reporter.
Buffalo Broadcasting Co. Ltd. took over operation of CKRM on June 15. The company was incorporated in 1969 for the purpose of acquiring the radio station from Cambrian. George Gallagher was president of the company and held the same title with Yorkton Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CJGX). Merv Phillips was vice president of the company and managing director (manager) of CKRM. Ed Laurence was secretary-treasurer and held this same position with Yorkton Broadcasting. Phillips started his career at CJGX as an announcer, moving on to CKXL Calgary in 1955. He returned to CJGX in 1956 as production manager. In 1959, he was appointed sales manager and still holds that position today.
Late in the year, Mervin G. Phillips was authorized to sell 257 common shares of Yorkton Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Edward Lawrence.
Doug Blackie became news director at CJGX.
Larry Roller became news director. Former news director Doug Blackie moved on to CFFR Calgary.
George Gallagher received approval to purchase the 50% of Yorkton Broadcasting Co. Ltd. he didn't already own, from a company controlled by Ed A. Laurence.
CJGX had its application to boost power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts approved. (It would actually operate with 50,000 watts during the daytime and 10,000 watts at night)
Broadcaster Fred King died. He started his career at CJGX Yorkton. In 1974, he moved on to CKRM Regina where he spent the rest of his career.
Jack Dawes, regarded as western Canada's most influential and experienced farm broadcaster, moved to CKDM in Dauphin, Manitoba, after 14 years with CJGX.
CJGX marked 80 years on the air. Former owner George Gallagher (still associated with the station) noted that he had been involved with CJGX for 56 of its 80 years. He started with the station as morning man in October of 1947. From that date to now, there were only four years when he was not involved with CJGX. He left to set up CKDM in Dauphin and worked for a time at CJOB in Winnipeg.
The CRTC approved a change in the effective control of GX Radio from Brenda and Lyle Walsh to Frederick W. Hill, through the transfer of 89% of the voting interest of the parent corporation of Walsh Investments Inc. and Yorkton Broadcasting Company Limited to Harvard Broadcasting Inc., a corporation controlled by Frederick W. Hill. GX Radio was the licensee of CJGX Yorkton, and CFGW-FM Yorkton and its transmitters CFGW-FM-1 Swan River, Manitoba and CFGW-FM-2 Wapella, Saskatchewan.
Rob McBride moved to WIRED 96.3FM Saskatoon as Station Engineer. He had been with sister Harvard stations The Fox/GX94 Yorkton.
On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CJGX until August 31, 2016.
Angie Norton became the new Business Manager for Harvard's Regina and Yorkton stations.
After 36 years in broadcasting, Lyle Walsh, General Manager at Harvard Broadcasting Yorkton, resigned effective December 9. He moved into real estate.
Harvard Yorkton senior engineer Stew Ogilvie moved to Rawlco Saskatoon's engineering department.
The CRTC approved the change to the effective control of Harvard Broadcasting Inc. from Frederick W. Hill to Paul J. Hill following the death of Frederick W. Hill in July 2008. Harvard was the licensee of radio stations and the parent company of two other licensees of radio stations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Angie Norton became general manager of GX94 and Fox FM (CFGW). The Saskatchewan Harvard Broadcasting business manager began her new role December 12, succeeding Lyle Walsh who left the business. Norton was the first female GM in the 85 year history of CJGX. Long-time morning man/program director Brad Bazin retired from his on air duties to become the full time PD for both CJGX and CFGW.
Colin Laird became the new General Sales Manager at GX94/FOX FM September 10. He had been a marketing consultant the last 11 years with the Harvard cluster.
Cam Cowie was promoted from General Manager of Harvard Broadcasting to the newly created position of Vice President/COO. He joined Harvard in 2008.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated May 2013
George Gallagher, who was with the station for 60 years, congratulates CJGX on their 80th anniversary.