CBX-AM, Radio One, Edmonton

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CBX-AM196474050,000Canadian Broadcasting Corp.(Lacombe)
CBXA-AM19541010250Canadian Broadcasting Corp.(Edmonton)
CBXA-AM19531010100Canadian Broadcasting Corp.(Edmonton)
CBX-AM195374050,000Canadian Broadcasting Corp.(Lacombe)
CBX-AM194874050,000Canadian Broadcasting Corp.(Lacombe)


Late in the year there was a report the CBC had taken an option on 40 acres of land, four miles south of Lacombe (80 miles south of Edmonton and 112 miles north of Calgary). The current owner had no idea what the broadcaster had in mind for the land but the CBC did have plans for a new high powered station at Red Deer but no action had been taken on that option to date.


The CBC confirmed in January that it had plans for a 50,000 watt station at Lacombe. The corporation would still not confirm information on the appropriation of CFCN Calgary’s 1010 kHz frequency, but Ottawa had notified signatory nations of NARBA that a new 50 kW station would occupy that frequency.

The new 50,000 watt station to be built at Lacombe was assigned the call sign, CBX. Studios would most likely be located in Edmonton.

Late in the year, the CBC announced that CBX would be on the air shortly. It would be the basic outlet for the Trans-Canada network. Existing T-Can affiliates, CFAC Calgary and CJCA Edmonton, were not happy about being dropped. They applied to the CBC for supplementary status but the corporation refused to agree without a complete review of the matter from a national standpoint.

The Lacombe transmitter was to be identified as “CBX Edmonton” even though the antenna site was located some 65 airline miles from Edmonton. The studios would be in Edmonton and administrative offices would also likely be located there. 

The CBC was making progress on new 50,000 watt stations for Lacombe and Winnipeg. It was also building a 50,000 watt operation for CJBC Toronto and a 10,000 watt facility for CBJ in Chicoutimi, Quebec. 


J.R. Finlay, CBC Prairie regional representative announced 50,000 watt stations CBX 1010 Edmonton and CBW 990 Winnipeg would go on the air July 1. A direct line would carry programming from the Edmonton studios to the Lacombe transmitter site. Dan E. Cameron was appointed to head Alberta operations for the CBC. The CBW transmitter would be at Carmen, 52 miles from the Winnipeg studios. There was still no announcement on whether the CBC would purchase CKY Winnipeg and CKX Brandon from the Manitoba government.

CBX Lacombe opened on August 24 at 10:00 a.m. The official opening took place September 8. CBW Winnipeg had opened a few days earlier, replacing CKY-AM. 
Provincial officials were on hand for the opening of CBX. CBC Chairman A.D. Dunton and CBC General Manager Dr. A. Frigon were present at both openings. Federal Electric Manufacturing Co. of Montreal built the equipment for CBX and CBW – the first CBC outlets in Alberta and Manitoba. Special one hour programs on the Trans-Canada network inaugurated the stations. The CBX transmitter and twin 5/8 wavelength towers were strategically placed half way between Edmonton and Calgary, at Lacombe. CBX operated with a power of 50,000 watts with the same directional pattern for day and night operation. The station broadcast on a frequency of 1010 kHz which had been used by CFCN Calgary, now on 1060 kHz. CBC studios and offices were in Edmonton’s MacDonald Hotel.

The official opening for CBX and Winnipeg’s CBW was postoponed from July 5 and 7 to September 3 and 8 (respectively).

CBX used a Federal Electric transmitter. 

Don MacDonald joined CBX as an announcer-operator.


Dan Cameron was manager.


In June, CBXA opened in Edmonton on frequency 740 kHz with 100 watts of power. The transmitter was located in the Westinghouse Building, 10312-105th Street. A single 110 foot tower was used. CBXA was designed to alleviate signal problems CBX Lacombe was having in the Provincial capital. Power later increased to 250 watts.

A rebroadcast transmitter – CBXJ 730 Jasper – opened on November 23.


Rebroadcast transmitters CBXL 860 Blairmore and CBXC 1450 Coleman opened on August 14. CBXB 860 Banff likely opened around the same time.


Don MacDonald left for CBC Winnipeg.


CBX broadcast on 1010 kHz with a power of 50,000 watts (single directional pattern for day and night operation). CBXA operated on 740 kHz with a power of 250 watts (non-directional). CBX and CBXA were CBC Trans-Canada station.


CBXD Edson began operations on November 8.

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CBXT-TV (English) Television began broadcasting.


The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into a single CBC Radio network. CBX had been the Trans-Canada station while private CFRN was the Dominion network affiliate. CJCA was a Trans-Canada supplementary B affiliate. With the CBC owning CBX, it was no longer necessary for CFRN and CJCA to remain as affiliates.


CBX was given permission to move studios and offices from the MacDonald Hotel to the new CBC-TV building.

CBC Radio added an all-night service in June.


In October, CBR Calgary went on the air with 50,000 watts on 1010 kHz and CBX 740 increased power to 50,000 watts (two directional patterns), from a site near Edmonton. Four 325 foot towers were used. With these changes, the Lacombe transmitter was closed. Some of the CBX rebroadcast transmitters were added to the licence of CBR.


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.


The CBC was authorized to add rebroadcast transmitters at Fort Vermilion and High Level. CBXJ Jasper (860 kHz with 40 watts) was authorized to change its transmitter site.


CBKC 1460 Fort Vermillion and CBKD 1230 High Level signed on the air December 1. Power for both was 40 watts.


CBWI 1450 Grande Cache (40 watts) began broadcasting on January 8.


CBX received approval to operate an FM rebroadcast transmitter at Peace River.


When CBX had its licence renewed, the following rebraodcast transmitters were also renewed (this list may not represent all of CBX’s transmitters as some licences may have been renewed on other dates): CBWI Grande Cache, CBXD Edson, CBXI Hinton, CBXJ Jasper, CBXX Rainbow Lake, CBKC Fort Vermilion, and CBKD High Level.

CBXG-FM Peace River signed on the air on September 16.

CBX gained a French-language sister station when the CBC purchased CHFA 680.


CBXX 1240 (40 watts) Rainbow Lake began operations on May 6. Although it appears on the transmitter list above for 1974, it was not yet on the air at that time.

CBXM-FM Manning commenced operations on June 9.

On September 19, CBXK-FM Fox Lake and CBXH-FM Jean D’or signed on.

On October 24, CBXA-FM Chateh begain operations.


CBC Stereo programming came to Edmonton with the launch of CBX-FM.


On February 14, CBXV-FM Fox Creek signed on the air.

CBXP-FM Grande Prairie commenced operations on June 4.

CBXN-FM Fort McMurray began operations on July 20.


On November 1, CBXS-FM Swan Hills signed on the air.


Mardi Matthews was director of radio for CBC Edmonton.


On September 6, CBX was licensed to add an FM transmitter at Hinton – 88.1 MHz with effective radiated power of 890 watts. The new transmitter would replace the existing CBXI-AM.


On October 9, CBX received permission to change its night-time antenna radiation pattern. The change would extend the station’s night-time coverage by approximately 35 miles to the south-east and 30 miles to the west with a slight decrease in coverage to the north, by approximately 8 miles.

Rebroadcaster CBXI Hinton made the move to the FM band on November 5.

On December 17, CBX was authorized to add new transmitters at Whitecourt (90.5 MHz with effective radiated power of 5,000 watts) and High Prairie (90.9 MHz with ERP of 50,000 watts).


On April 18, CBX received approval for a new transmitter at High Level on 88.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 9,400 watts. The new FM transmitter would replace CBKD-AM.

On June 6, CBX was granted new transmitters at Wabasca (91.9 MHz with effective radiated power of 510 watts) and Marten Mountain/Slave Lake (89.7 MHz with ERP of 114 watts).


The CBC’s French language AM station in Edmonton – CHFA – moved to the CBC Radio Building at 7909-51st Avenue.

When CBX had its licence renewed, the CRTC noted that the following approved rebroadcast transmitters were still not on the air: CBX-2-FM High Level, CBXF-FM Whitecourt, CBX-1-FM High Prairie, CBX-3-FM Wabasca and CBX-4-FM Marten Mountain/Slave Lake.


On January 18, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CBX Edmonton by increasing the effective radiated power of its rebroadcast transmitter CBXA-FM Chateh, from 122 watts to 165 watts. The CBC indicated that the power increase would improve the quality of service to the Chateh area.

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.


On September 1, The CBC Radio network (CBC Radio) was renamed CBC Radio One.


As of 2001, CBX operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBXA-FM Chateh, CBXD Edson, CBXN-FM Fort McMurray, CBKC Fort Vermilion, CBXV-FM Fox Creek, CBXK-FM Fox Lake, CBWI Grande Cache, CBXP-FM Grande Prairie, CBKD High Level, CBXI-FM Hinton, CBXJ Jasper, CBXH-FM Jean D’Or, CBXM-FM Manning, CBXG-FM Peace River, CBXX Rainbow Lake, and CBXS-FM Swan Hills. CBX broadcasts approximately 39 hours of local programming each week. It is jointly produced in Edmonton and Calgary.


On September 12, CBX was authorized to add a transmitter at Bonnyville, operating on 92.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 11,500 watts. The new transmitter would improve service to Bonnyville as well as other communities in the area including Cold Lake and Grand Centre.

In November, CBC Edmonton was scheduled to move to a new, modern digital broadcast facility downtown, bringing all operations (French and English, Radio and TV) under one roof. The old TV facility on 75th Street had 70,000 square feet while the Radio building on 51st Ave. had 48,000 square feet. The new combined facility was 38,700 square feet and was located at the Edmonton City Centre on Winston Churchill Square. 


On November 12, CBX received approval to replace CBXJ (AM) Jasper, with an FM transmitter. The new transmitter would operate at 98.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 259 watts.


On May 25, CBX-1-FM at Bonnyville signed on the air.


On March 16, the CRTC approved the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence for CBX in order to operate an FM transmitter in Edmonton. The transmitter would operate on a frequency of 93.9 MHz (channel 230A) with an effective radiated power of 3,931 watts. It would rebroadcast the programming of the CBC’s national, English-language network service Radio One. The CBC submitted that urban growth, the construction of high-rise concrete and steel buildings, increased electrical noise from overhead wires, large and small appliances and portable radio transmitters had impeded the ability of the station to deliver reliable high quality AM signals to listeners. It stated that a significant number of residents who described themselves as CBC listeners had advised the CBC that they had difficulty receiving its radio service in their homes, offices and cars. The CBC proposed to establish an FM transmitter with modest power that would cover the urban area in order to improve the signal quality of its AM station. The CBC indicated that its existing AM transmitter, which had a very large coverage area outside the urban core served by the station, would continue to operate with coverage supplemented by this “nested” FM transmitter. It also indicated that it had considered other options for improving its signal quality through either modifying the existing coverage patterns of its AM transmitter to increase the strength of its signal in the urban core, or moving the stations from the AM band to the FM band. According to the CBC, its analysis of these options revealed that modifying its AM coverage pattern would require substantial capital costs and would only produce marginal improvements in the city while creating coverage gaps in the outlying areas that could potentially require the addition of more transmitters. The CBC maintained that it would be impossible for stand-alone FM undertakings to replicate the coverage provided by its AM transmitter because the overall spectrum availability on the FM band for high power radio stations has decreased. It further argued that converting the AM station to the FM band would require the use of a large number of FM transmitters operating at different frequencies to serve the same area. The CBC contended that the existing coverage of its AM signal in the outlying areas would be best optimized by its proposed nesting solution which, in improving service to the urban core, would also permit the CBC to maintain its existing wide coverage pattern outside the city. The CBC argued that such a solution would limit its capital costs and the future need for additional FM transmitters and frequencies. The CBC added that, over the past decade, radio listening across Canada has shifted from the AM band to the FM band. It argued that AM tuning in this market was declining or, at the very least, stagnant, thereby precluding the CBC from increasing its market share. By means of comparison, the CBC maintained that its position on the FM band in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Saint John, had permitted it to gain market share in those markets.


Radio One’s “nested” FM transmitter, CBX-2-FM at 93.9 MHz in Edmonton began broadcasting. It simulcasts CBX 740.


On May 12 the CRTC renewed the CBX licence. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBKC Fort Vermillion, CBKD High Level, CBWI Grande Cache, CBXD Edson, CBXX Rainbow Lake, CBX-2-FM Edmonton, CBX-FM-1 Bonnyville, CBXA-FM Chateh, CBXG-FM Peace River, CBXH-FM Jean d’Or, CBXI-FM Hinton, CBXJ-FM Jasper, CBXK-FM Fox Lake, CBXN-FM Fort McMurray, CBXP-FM Grande Prairie, CBXS-FM Swan Hills and CBXV-FM Fox Creek. 


Gary Cunliffe, formerly the Managing Editor of Radio and TV at CBC Windsor, moved to CBC Edmonton where he was now News Director.

On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBX (and its transmitters) to August 31, 2011.


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

Ron Wilson left the post of morning show host after 12 years. He moved to another position within the CBC.


On January 31, the CRTC approved the applications by the CBC to amend the licence for CBX Edmonton, in order to operate low-power FM transmitters in Edson (Frequency of 95.3 MHz 237LP – ERP of 50 watts – EHAAT of 3.5 metres), Grande Cache (92.3 MHz 222LP – 50 watts – 2.9 metres), High Level (99.5 MHz 258LP – 50 watts – 18.2 metres), Fort Vermilion (105.1 MHz 286LP – 50 watts – 23.2 metres), and Rainbow Lake (101.5 MHz 268LP – 50 watts – 11.2 metres). The new transmitters would replace the existing AM transmitters serving the aforementioned locations. The CBC requested these changes to offer a better quality signal of its Radio One service to its listeners.

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

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBX Edmonton and its transmitters CBX-1-FM Bonnyville, CBX-2-FM Edmonton, CBXA-FM Chateh, CBXG-FM Peace River, CBXH-FM Jean d’Or, CBXI-FM Hinton, CBXJ-FM Jasper, CBXK-FM Fox Lake, CBXM-FM Manning, CBXN-FM Fort McMurray, CBXP-FM Grande Prairie, CBXS-FM Swan Hills, CBXV-FM Fox Creek, CBKC Fort Vermilion, CBKD High Level, CBWI Grande Cache, CBXD Edson and CBXX Rainbow Lake, for a five year term, to August 31, 2018.

The CRTC approved the deletion of the following AM transmitters: CBKC Fort Vermillion, CBKD High Level, CBWI Grande Cache, CBXD Edson and CBXX Rainbow Lake.

On October 25, the CRTC approved the CBC’s request to delete the following transmitter for CBX Edmonton: CBXJ Jean D’Or.


On January 15, the CRTC approved the application to change the authorized contours of CBXV-FM Fox Creek by changing the antenna’s radiation pattern from non-directional to directional, increasing the average ERP from 38 to 93 watts (max. ERP from 38 to 260 watts), and decreasing the antenna height.

Peggy MacFarlane died at age 88. Her career began at CBW in 1954. In 1958 she moved to CBX. She also served as CBC Saskatchewan director of radio & TV in Regina, and wound up her career as the manager of CBX up to her retirement in 1991.


Larry Langley passed away January 10 at the age of 83. The former Edmonton city councillor and long time CBC broadcaster joined CFQC-TV Saskatoon in 1956. He later moved on to WHTV and CBC Whitehorse, CHEK-TV in Victoria and CFCN-AM-TV Calgary. He joined CBC Edmonton in 1965 as a host, anchor and weatherman. Langley worked in both radio and television there for 28 years before retiring in 1993.


On March 23, the CRTC approved the CBC’s application to change the authorized contours of CBXM-FM Manning, by changing the antenna’s radiation pattern from non-directional to directional, increasing the maximum ERP from 13,500 to 14,400 watts, decreasing the average ERP from 13,500 to 7,790 watts, increasing the EHAAT from 105 to 118.84 metres and correcting the existing coordinates.

Cyril Hunt passed away April 3 at the age of 93. He started his career with CBC Alberta’s engineering department in 1948 at CBX Lacombe. In 1964, he moved to CBX Edmonton, working over the years with CBXT, CBXFT and CBX-FM. Hunt also took care of all the 40 watt LPRTs that were fed from CBX. Before retiring in the early 1990’s, Hunt had become supervisor of the Edmonton Transmitter Group.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

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