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Radio 1923

CKY Winnipeg, Man. 450 metres 500 watts

Manitoba Telephone System

On March 13th, 1923 CKY broadcast its first program. It was an in house affair, with selections by staff members. The Premier, John Bracken, delivered the opening address. He paid tribute to the newspapers for their radio pioneering.

The program schedule consisted of evening broadcasts between 8:30 and 10:00 o'clock and daily noon hour broadcasts from 12:30 to 2:00 pm which included news, sports and market reports (farm). On Sunday evenings, there an hour or hour-and-half of sacred music. The final slot in the evening program was the Thursday night "University Hour" which became CKY's most popular. It was a series of talks by university professors.

In the Fall, when good reception returned, CKY introduced a unique service. The station installed sensitive receivers with directional antennae located in "interference free" areas of the city. When one of these receivers picked up a strong foreign signal, it would rebroadcast it over CKY. Thus Manitobans might be listening to Des Moines, Denver or elsewhere, while CKY was extolling the excellence of "their" productions.

In 1924, a phantom station (a station with no transmitter or studios, but with a different call sign) was licensed to the Canadian National Railways who leased time on CKY to broadcast to parlor cars on trains passing through Manitoba. CNRW contributed to CKY's revenue until 1931.

In 1925, CKY moved to 780 Kc. and in 1928 increased power to 5000 watts.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation bought CKY from the Manitoba Telephone System in 1948 and changed the call sign to CBW.

Note: In 1949, Lloyd Moffat was awarded a Winnipeg license and used the CKY call sign for this new station.

SOURCE: "Early Wireless and Radio in Manitoba" Manitoba Historical Society.

updated to January, 1996

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