Ontario, Ottawa Valley

CBO-FM (Radio One), Ottawa

, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

1924
On February 27, at 8:30 p.m., the Canadian National Railway opened CKCH on 690 kHz with 500 watts. The broadcast opened with the playing of “O Canada” by the Chateau Laurier Orchestra. Studios were in the Jackson Building, 122 Bank Street and the 200 foot antenna was located on the roof.

On July 16, CKCH changed its name to CNRO to indicate it was the CNR's station in Ottawa.

1927
CNRO moved to 840 kHz on January 10.

On February 14, CNRO moved back to 690 kHz.

1929
In September, CNRO’s frequency was changed to 600 kHz.

CNRO moved its studios to the CNR-owned Château Laurier Hotel.

1933
Peter Aylen joined the CRCO announce staff.

The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission purchased the CNR stations, including CNRO on March 3. Because of the new ownership, CNRO became CRCO on April 16.

1934
Aurele Seguin started out as an announcer with the CRBC in Ottawa.

1936
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation replaced the CRBC on November 2.

1937
Because the station was now owned by the CBC, CRCO became CBO on October 3.

W.E.S. Briggs joined CBC Ottawa after starting in radio in 1935.

1938
W. C. Anderson was appointed acting manager of CBO, succeeding Peter Aylen who was transferred to CBL (as manager). George R. Young, of CBC Toronto's production department, was transferred to CBC Halifax as acting program director of the Maritimes Division, replacing Frank Willis who was on loan to the Australian Broadcasting Commission. W. E. S. Briggs, of the CBC Ottawa production staff also moved to Halifax, to assist Young.

1938-39
Announcers Ed Devlin and Ian Smith left for CBC Toronto. Syd Brown left the CBO production staff for CBC Toronto.

1939
CBC changes: the new Winnipeg representative was H.G. Walker, manager of CBL and CBY, Toronto, while Dick Claringbull, CBC Ontario regional rep, would add management of these two stations to his duties. Walter C. Anderson, manager of CBO Ottawa, would be night manager of the stations, and Charles Wright, senior CBC producer at Winnipeg, would be manager of CBO.

Robert E. M. Anderson became senior announcer at CBO. He had been commercial manager at CFQC in Saskatoon.

1941

Under the Havana Treaty, CBO moved from 880 to 910 kHz (Class III-B) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.

CBO opened new studios on the two top floors of the Chateau Laurier Hotel. There were now three complete and separate broadcasting units, each consisting of studio and control room.

1942
Walter C. Anderson, station manager of CBO, became night manager of CBL and CBY Toronto. Charles Wright, senior CBC producer in Winnipeg, assumed management of CBO.

On September 16, Gladstone Murray, general manager of the CBC announced that the networks would sign off at 11:30 p.m. local time in all regions as of September 27. The reduction was designed to reduce wear on equipment. Murray said that such a reduction would lengthen the life of a large amount of the equipment, some of which could not be replaced. Some of the vacuum tubes used at the 50,000 watt outlets were water cooled and cost as much as $3,000. The half hour reduction would not apply on all nights to CBA Sackville. It would continue to operate for the extra 30 minutes on some nights.

1943
Warren L. Robinson, formerly of CFCH North Bay and CKGB Timmins, joined the announce staff of CBO.

1944
Smith Howker passed away at age 63. He had been supervising operator of CBO's transmitter operations at Hawthorn for the past ten years. He started his radio career with the old CNR station in Ottawa. Marguerite Charlebois left the CBO announcing staff.

1945
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.

Chas. P. Wright was manager.

1946
Bill Beatty was an announcer at CBO.

The CBC announced plans to increase CBO's power to 5,000 watts.

1947
Alan Maitland (future co-host of As It Happens) joined CBO.

In the fall it was announced that plans for a CBC FM station in Ottawa might be held up unless musicians union - AF of M - in Canada, reversed its US policy and permitted musicians to play for simultaneous transmissions on AM and FM radio. The FM transmitter was already in the Chateau Laurier Hotel. All that was left to do was erect the antenna and install other equipment. Once operational, the FM outlet would duplicate the programming of Trans-Canada station CBO-AM.

1948
The CBC opened its Ottawa FM station in late February. It was the first FM station in the area. It carried the regular programming of CBO-AM, daily, from noon to midnight and operated on 103.3 MHz.

Charles P. Wright was manager. John Moore (future owner of CHLO in St. Thomas) joined CBO as an announcer and producer.

1950
John Moore left for the new CBE in Windsor.

By this time, CBO had a power of 5,000 watts full-time and used a single directional pattern for day and night operation. It was a CBC Trans-Canada station.

1953
Harry Boyle was named director of programs for CBC Ontario - radio and television. He had been program director of the Trans-Canada network for eight years.

1954-55
Marconi equipped CBN, CBY, CBI, CBV and CBO with new Gates transmitters.

1955
William G. Richardson was director of engineering for CBC Ottawa.

H.G. Walker was appointed CBC assistant director for Ontario by the province's director, Ira Dilworth.

1956
CBO 910 increased power to 5,000 watts full-time, using a single directional pattern for day and night operation. It was a CBC Trans-Canada station.

1958
Ad slogan: In Canada's Mid-Easter Region CBC Radio gives you a total daily circulation of 970,000 radio homes (Elliott-Haynes, 1957) with stations CBM Montreal, CBO Ottawa, CBL Toronto, CBE Windsor.

H.G. Walker was named director for Ontario and for English networks, succeeding Ira Dilworth who became director of program evaluation.

1959
CBLI Deep River signed on the air on July 24.

1960
Ad: In Ottawa CBO delivers the quality audience! An average of 93% of CBO's listeners are over 21. In a recent (Fall 1959 Elliott Haynes) breakdown (8 a.m. to 12 noon), the cost per 1,000 adults worked out to only .45 cents!

Spencer Moore, director of programs for CBC Ottawa region since 1959, was appointed London CBC representative as of August 1.

1962
The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks were merged into a single service. CBO had been the Trans-Canada station while privately-owned CKOY was the Dominion affiliate. Following the consolidation, CKOY disaffiliated and CBO remained the full-time CBC station in the nation’s capital.

1963
CBC Radio added an all-night service in June.


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
CBOM Maniwaki, Quebec opened on March 7.

1977
CBOC-FM Cornwall was opened on January 3.

On January 31, CBO began broadcasting on 920 kHz with 50,000 watts (separate directional for day and night) from a new site just west of Manotick. Seven 243 foot towers were used. The new site was shared with CBOF 1250.

On April 3, CBCK-FM began broadcating from Kingston.

1989
On November 9, CBO was licenced to convert to the FM band, operating on a frequency of 91.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 84,000 watts. The proposed FM transmitter would overcome existing reception problems encountered by CBO listeners in urban area, and improve significantly the reception of the station’s basic national radio services in outlying areas, particularly at night. Also approved was a decrease in effective radiated power for CBO rebroadcaster
CBCD-FM Pembroke, from 100,000 to 61,000 watts. The decrease would minimize the overlap of CBCD-FM's service area with that of the proposed
Ottawa FM station. The CBC also noted that the contours of the proposed Ottawa FM would encompass the area that was to be served by CBOB-FM Brockville, a rebroadcaster of CBO approved in 1976. CBOB never went on the air.
The CBC committed to hand back the licence for CBOB-FM immediately upon approval of the present applications.

On the same date,
CJET-AM Smiths Falls received approval to disaffiliate from the CBC network once the new CBO FM transmitter was on the air in Ottawa.

1982
The Pembroke transmitter – CBCD-FM – began operations on February 5.

1983
CBCW-FM Whitney was opened on August 1.

1988
Doug Ward became CBO station manager.

1991
On January 7, CBO became CBO-FM and moved to 91.5 MHz (existing CBO-FM 103.3 became CBOQ). CBO 91.5 operated with an effective radiated power of 84,000 watts from the Camp Fortune,
Quebec antenna site. CBO-AM 920 was deleted on March 26.

1994
CBO-FM received permission on December 19 to change the frequency of its transmitter CBCD-FM Pembroke from 96.7 MHz to 92.5 MHz and to decrease the effective radiated power from 52,300 watts to 49,000 watts. The CBC had reached an agreement with Pelmorex Communications Inc. for the use of the existing Pembroke transmitter site. These changes would improve the FM spectrum utilization and reduce the overlap with CBO-FM
Ottawa without any significant change in coverage. Pelmorex’s CHVR-AM received approval on the same date to move to the FM band, using 96.7 MHz.

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
The CBC Radio network (CBC Radio) was renamed "CBC Radio One" and the FM Stereo network, "CBC Radio Two" on September 1.

In September, the CBO noon-hour show Radio Noon was re-named to Ontario Today, and was expanded to the whole province, replacing other local noon-hour programs. Dave Stephens, who had hosted Radio Noon since 1993, would host Ontario Today, and would include Ottawa reporters Laurie Fagan and Carol Spendlove

1998
On February 13, CBO was authorized to add CBCK-FM Kingston to its licence. CBCK had operated as a rebroadcaster of CBL Toronto. The CBC stated this would provide a more consistent and relevant Eastern Ontario service to listeners in the Kingston area.

1999
Ontario Region director of CBC Radio was Miriam Fry (based in Ottawa).

2000
Ken Rockburn was host of CBO's drive home show.

2001
As of this year, CBO operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBOC-FM Cornwall, CBLI Deep River, CBCK-FM Kingston, CBOM Maniwaki, Quebec, CBCD-FM Pembroke and CBCW-FM Whitney. Approximately 42.5 hours of local programming each week originatd from the Ottawa studios.

Ken Rockburn left CBO for the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC).

2003
CBO-DR-1 was launched on March 11.

2002
On November 14, the CBC was granted a transitional digital radio undertaking licence for CBO-FM. Three transmitters would be used: one was be located at its site at Camp Fortune, Quebec and the other two in Ottawa, one at its building on Lanark Avenue and the other at the Time MCI Las Brisas building. All three transmitters operated in a single frequency network, using 1482.464 MHz (DRB channel 18) with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,928 watts, 2,850 watts and 2,965 watts, respectively. The CBC stated that the transmitters employed the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. Approved.

2004
On September 13, CBC/SRC Ottawa began broadcasting from new studios and offices at 181 Queen Street. Facilities had been scattered around the city. Radio had been in the Chateau Laurier and Television had operated from Lanark Street.
CBO had occupied the 7th and 8th floors of the old hotel and had operated from that location since the early days of Ottawa radio.

2005
On December 7, CBO-DR-1 was granted an increase in isotropically radiated power of the Camp Fortune transmitter, from 5,928 to 12,250 watts. Also approved: relocation of their other transmitter - from the former CBC building on Lanark Avenue to Place Bell Canada (downtown Ottawa) and a decrease in EIRP from 2,850 to 2,820 watts.

2007
On November 22, CBO-FM received permission to add a transmitter at Brockville. It would operate at 106.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts. The CBC noted that although Brockville is located within the 500 uV/m theoretical contour of its CBCK-FM Kingston transmitter, a recent signal quality evaluation study concluded that neither that station, nor its originating station in Ottawa, provide adequate coverage to Brockville.

2009
On May 12 the CRTC renewed the licence of CBO-FM, including the following transmitters: CBO-DR-1 Ottawa, No Call Sign at Brockville, CBLI Deep River, CBCD-FM Pembroke, CBCK-FM Kingston, CBCW-FM Whitney and CBOC-FM Cornwall.

2010
On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBO-DR-1, CBO-FM (and its transmitters) to August 31, 2011.

2011
In 2010, the CBC had the licenses for its Montreal digital radio transmitters revoked. On January 21, 2011, the CRTC revoked the licenses for the rest of the CBC's digital radio transmitters across the country - at the Corporation's request. The revocations included CBO-DR-1, CBOQ-DR-1, CBOF-DR-1 and CBOX-DR-1 Ottawa. There had been a total lack of interest in digital radio by all parties involved.

On August 25, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBO-FM 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.)

Robyn Bresnahan became host of CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning December 5, succeeding Kathleen Petty. Bresnahan, who had spent nearly a decade abroad as a reporter, returned to the show that launched her journalism career. Marc Riddell, formerly of CBC Ottawa, was the new Managing Editor at CBC St. John's. He succeeded Janice Stein who moved to CBC Yellowknife. Riddell was the developer and Executive Producer of Power & Politics.

2012
In the fall, CBOB-FM 91.9 Brockville began broadcasting.

2013
On February 19 the CRTC approved the application by the CBC to modify the technical parameters of CBOB-FM Brockville. This CBO-FM Ottawa transmitter was approved on November 22, 2007 and had been operating since November of 2012. The CBC proposed to decrease the transmitter's average effective radiated power from 1,080 to 738 watts (maximum ERP from 2,000 to 1,571 watts) and to increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 97.9 to 151.9 meters. To justify the proposed amendment, the licensee indicated that the antenna purchased for CBOB-FM differed from the one that it originally planned to use.

On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBO-FM Ottawa and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBO-FM Ottawa and its transmitters CBCD-FM Pembroke, CBCK-FM Kingston, CBCW-FM Whitney, CBLI Deep River, CBOB-FM Brockville, CBOC-FM Cornwall and CBOM Maniwaki, for a five year term to August 31, 2018.

2014
On September 20, the CRTC approved the CBC's application to operate a low-power FM rebroadcaster in Deep River to replace CBLI-AM. It would operate at 97.9 MHz with ERP of 50 watts (non-directional).

                                                               Bill Dulmage - Updated October 2014

Written by Bill Dulmage - February, 2012