Broadcast History - September 28

Broadcast History - September 28

Postby jon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:40 pm

In 1974, VOCM St. John's (Newfoundland) founder Walter Banks Williams, Jr. passed away at the age of 62. He had obtained a experimental license for VOCM in 1933, switching to commercial broadcasting on October 19, 1936. VOCM was allowed to retain its V call letters when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, though its AM repeaters, first added in 1961, were assigned C call letters. Interestingly, VOCM's FM station was licensed as VOCM-FM, and its repeaters were licensed as VOCM-FM-1, etc. Williams was VOCM's Chief Engineer until two years before his death.

In 1988, the first new Broadcasting Act since 1968 passes the House of Commons in Bill C-136, but dies in the Senate when a new election is called. It is not until February 1, 1991, that a new Broadcast Act actually gets royal assent, becoming law on June 4. Among other changes, it includes the removal of the CBC's national unity mandate.

In 1989, Maclean-Hunter's purchase of Selkirk Communications was approved by the CRTC. The deal included transferring several stations to Rogers, including CFGP Grande Prairie, CFAC-AM Calgary, CJOC/CILA-FM Lethbridge, CFHC Canmore/Banff, CJIB Vernon, CISQ-FM Squamish and CKWX/CKKS-FM Vancouver. And the sale of Selkirk's whole or partial interests in CHAN-TV Vancouver, CHEK-TV Victoria, CFAC-TV Calgary, and CHCH-TV Hamilton to WIC (CKNW, et al); regulatory and legal battles delayed the CHCH sale until 1993. Some of these stations had repeaters that were also included in the sales.

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In 1998 at 6:00 a.m., CBCV-FM Victoria signed on, finally fulfilling a CBC promise dating back to the Spring of 1958. That is when CBC listeners in Victoria began demanding a local station to provide coverage at night. Sharing the same Canada/U.S. clear channel as CBU Vancouver, Jim and Bob Harmon's Top 40 XEAK-690 in Tijuana had just boosted power to 50,000 watts with a tight Northern pattern to serve both San Diego and Los Angeles. CBU's 10,000 watt directional signal was no match for XEAK (later XETRA) at night in nearby White Rock, let alone Victoria. As it turned out, CBU's move from 1130 to 690 KHz in 1952 had been a bad decision. Even a 1967 boost to 50,000 watts did not solve the problem. Part of the problem, of course, was the nature of CBC programming. Heavily narrated programs like "Ideas" did not require much background interference from other stations to be annoying for many listeners. In the early 1970s, there was even talk of the CBC purchasing its affiliate CJVI Victoria.

Also in 1998, CFCP Courtenay was approved by the CRTC to move to FM on 98.9 MHz with a directional pattern and 2685 watts. The move happened on November 11, 1999, as Magic 98.9, CFCP-FM.

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