Nova Scotia

CBI-AM (CBC Radio One), Sydney

, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

1947
In December, the CBC recommended for denial, an application by Donald D. Anderson, for a new AM station (930 kHz) at Sydney. The application was denied because the CBC intended to establish its own station in sydney at an early date. It was felt the area could not support additional stations (CJCB already served the area).

1948
The CBC was to hear an application in May from itself - for a new AM station at Sydney. The application was approved and the new station would broadcast on 1570 kHz and have a power of 1,000 watts. The CBC had a short time earlier announced plans for power increases and new stations at four locations. CBM Montreal and CBR Vancouver would increase power from 5,000 to 50,000 watts. New stations would be established at Windsor (10,000 watts) and Sydney (1,000 watts). Sydney was expected to be operational this fall. The other changes would not be in place until late 1949.

The CBC was expecting to open CBI on November 1. The station would be managed by Barry McDonald who had been chief announcer in Halifax. CBI would be a Trans-Canada station while CJCB would become the Dominion station in the region. The CBC felt some 100,000 Cape Breton listeners would be served by the new station. Once on the air, the CBC would own and operate three Maritime radio stations - the others being CBH Halifax and CBA Sackville.

The CBC launched CBI on November 1, operating on 1570 kHz with 1,000 watts.

1949
Barry MacDonald was manager.

1954
CBI was planning to boost power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts. It had been operating at a thousand watts since opening in November of 1948. The CBC ordered a new Gates transmitter for CBI. Transmitters from Gates were also ordered for CBN, CBY, CBV and CBO.

1955
CBI increased power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts and changed frequency from 1570 to 1140 kHz.

1957
CBI was a CBC Trans-Canada station.

1958
Ad: In the Maritimes CBC Radio reaches the whole market with one buy! Radio Stations CBI - Sydney, CBH - Halifax, CBA - Sackville.

1960
Sydney Kennedy was appointed CBC director for the Maritimes, succeeding Capt. W.E.S. Briggs. Kennedy had been program director for the Maritime region since 1952. He started in broadcasting in 1937 at CFCY and joined CBC Halifax in May of 1941 as an operator. He later became an announcer in Sackville, moved back to Halifax in 1942 as chief announcer, became a producer in 1944 and then station manager in 1948. Briggs started in radio in 1935. He moved to CBC Ottawa in 1937, as special events producer, actuality commentator and subsequently station manager. In 1938, he became assistant manager for the Maritimes and manager for that region in 1945. In 1948, he opened CBI, CBAF and CBHT in 1954, CBHT's three satellites in 1958, and CBAFT in 1959.

Ad: In the Atlantic Provinces...CBC Radio delivers the BIG PLUS. No ifs, buts or maybes! Your regional radio buy of CBC Stations CBH Halifax, CBI Sydney and CBA Sackville, delivers the greatest audience at the lowest cost!

1962
The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks of the CBC were merged in to a single service. CBI had been the Trans-Canada station while privately owned CJCB was the Dominion affiliate. After the merger, CJCB became an independent while network service continued to air over CBI.

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

1965
CBI 1140 was now operating with a full-time power of 10,000 watts (directional at night).

1967
CBI received approval to move its studios from 247 Charlotte Street to Alexander Street.

R. Gordon Smith joined CBI as program supervisor.

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.

R. Gordon Smith left CBI for CBCT-TV (CFCY-TV) Charlottetown.

1971
CBIT Television began broadcasting.

1977
CBI-FM Stereo signed on the air.

1984
On September 14, the CBC’s application to add an FM rebroadcast transmitter for CBI-AM at Sydney was denied. It would have operated on 97.1 MHz with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The FM rebroadcaster would have been used as a solution for CBI’s night-time signal problems. Following consultations with the Department of Communications, the CRTC determined that improved night-time CBC service could adequately be provided to the Sydney area by increasing the technical parameters of CBHB-FM Mulgrave or by establishing a small rebroadcaster in St. Ann's Harbour.

1985
On October 25, the CBC was authorized to add a transmitter at Inverness to rebroadcast CBI. It would operate on the frequency 94.3 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 490 watts. 

CBI received approval December 17 to add an FM transmitter at Northeast Margaree using the low-power unprotected frequency of 93.9 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 42 watts. 

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" on September 1.

2001
As of 2001, CBI operated the following transmitters: CBIB-FM Bay St. Lawrence, CBIC-FM Cheticamp, CBHI-FM Inverness, and CBHF-FM Northeast Margaree. CBI broadcasts approximately 25 hours of local programming each week from Sydney.

2007
On July 9, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation received permission to convert CBI-AM to the FM band. The proposed FM station would continue to broadcast programming received from the CBC’s national Radio One network, as well as approximately 23.5 hours in each broadcast week of local programming originating in Sydney. The CBC also indicated that it intends to apply for retransmitters to extend this service to other communities such as Big Harbour and Englishtown and the Ingonish area. Transmitters CBIB-FM Bay St. Lawrence, CBIC-FM Cheticamp, CBHI-FM Inverness and CBHF-FM Northeast Margaree, presently authorized as transmitters of CBI Sydney, would be part of the new FM licence. The station would operate at 97.1 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 61,400 watts.

2009
On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBI's licence. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBHF-FM Northeast Margaree, CBHI-FM Inverness, CBIB-FM Bay St. Lawrence and CBIC-FM Cheticamp.

2010
CBI-AM 1140 was scheduled to be replaced by CBIT-FM 97.1 in the summer. The CBC conducted tests of the new FM frequency and put the AM to FM flip on hold. The corporation planned to study the possibility of establishing a nested FM repeater for the Sydney area instead.

On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBI (CBIT-FM) to August 31, 2011.

2011
On August 25, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBI and its transmitters to March 1, 2013.

2013
On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBI Sydney and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBI Sydney and its transmitters CBHF-FM Northeast Margaree, CBHI-FM Inverness, CBIB-FM Bay St. Lawrence and CBIC-FM Cheticamp, for a five year term to August 31, 2018.

                                                       Bill Dulmage - Updated July 2013