J.A. Nathaniel “Nate” Nathanson (1898-1966)

J.A. Nathaniel "Nate" Nathanson

Year Born: 1898

Year Died: 1966

Year of Induction: 1983

Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Nathanson, J.A. Nathaniel “Nate” (1892-1966)

Ice Cream retailer – record/book store proprietor – radio and TV station owner.

Nate Nathanson’s first business venture after graduating from Sydney Academy in Sydney, Nova Scotia, was an ice cream store at the corner of Muggah Street and Victoria Rd. in Whitney Pier. Looking for bigger and better opportunities, Nate closed this store and bought a building on Chartlotte Street – a combination book and record store.

He also began to stock radio receivers, but reception was limited to certain times and seasons due to distances from broadcasting stations.

Concluding that sales would improve if there were a Sydney station, Nate had a former ship’s transmitter converted and began broadcasting on February 14, 1929 with 50 watts of power for a few hours around noon and for three hours in the evening.

In due course, a full schedule was provided, CJCB increased its power and became affiliated with the CRBC and then the CBC radio networks. “CB”, of course, stood for Cape Breton. the “J” was chosen from the letters available, for wife “Jennie”. Pioneer announcers were Lewis R. MacDonald, Robbie Robertson, Kieran Kelly and Nate himself.

His crowning achievement was the inauguration of television broadcasting service with CJCB-TV on October 3, 1954, with ultra modern studios boasting the latest TV equipment. In 1962, Nate received approval for an FM station which became CKPE-FM.

Nate and Jennie produced two sons, Marven and Norris, who succeeded him in the ownership and management of his stations following his death in 1966.

Nathaniel Nathanson as a Canadian and as a broadcaster was highly regarded by broadcasters from across Canada who came to know him from being a Director and member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Posthumously, Nate was named to the CAB Hall of Fame in 1983.

Written by J. Lyman Potts – September, 1996