CHUB-FM, BIG 105.5, Red Deer

Pattison Media Ltd.

CHUB-FM2000105.5100,000Jim Pattison Industries Ltd.
CKRD-AM198870050,000Monarch Broadcasting Ltd.
CKRD-AM198570050,000Central Alberta Broadcasters Ltd.
CKRD-AM196685010,000/1,000Central Alberta Broadcasters Ltd.
CKRD-AM19548501,000Central Alberta Broadcasters Ltd.
CKRD-AM19491230250Central Alberta Broadcasters Ltd.


Gordon S. Henry, former manager of CJCA Edmonton, received approval to operate a 250 watt AM station at Edmonton on 1230 kHz.


Gordon Henry announced the formation of Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to operate CKRD. It was hoped the new station would be on the air May 15. Studio space had been located in the Fraser Block and construction was set to begin. 

CKRD singed on the air April 30. It operated on a frequency of 1230 kHz with 250 watts of power. Studios and offices were in the Foster building. The transmitter and 200 foot tower were located south of the city. CKRD was owned by Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Gordon S. Henry was president and managing director and Hal J. Yerxa was in charge of all broadcasting at the station. A few years later, Yerxa would go on to start CFCW in Camrose, Alberta. The “RD” in the call letters stood for Red Deer.

Bill Forst’s remote control (transmitter) ideas that he toyed with at CJDC Dawson Creek were used more extensively when CKRD went on the air. 

Slogans: A new Radio Station founded on the principle of free devotion to the district it serves! / The Voice of Central Alberta.

CKRD received CBC approval to have a public commercial licence. This would permit the station to transmit personal messages, normally from midnight to 12 noon, when other electrical means of communication were not available.

The CBC Board turned down CKRD’s request for a power increase.

Hal Yerxa was commercial manager.


Slogan: The source of information.

Ned Corrigall was production manager, Cliff Bowers was news director and Bill Frost was chief engineer.


The CBC approved the transfer of 400 common, 4 preferred and the redemption of 26 preferred shares in Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Later in the year, a further transfer was approved: 1,250 common and 10 preferred shares.

Slogan: Sell this rich, expanding market through its only local daily medium – CKRD.


Slogan: Progressing along with Central Alberta…1230 on your dial, CKRD…The Voice of Central Alberta.

CKRD’s application to change frequency from 1230 to 850 kHz and to increase power from 250 to 1,000 watts was deferred and then approved later in the year.

Ad: Growing with Central Alberta – We’ll soon be shouting with 1000 watts from a preferred position on the dial.

CKRD increased power and changed frequency on December 10.


CKRD moved to 850 kHz and increased power to 1,000 watts. A single directional pattern was used for day and night operation.

Ken F. Wright was named commercial manager.


CKRD applied to the regulator to change frequency from 850 to 1440 kHz. Power would remain at 1,000 watts. The application was deferred to a later CBC meeting at the licensee’s request. 

Slogan: CKRD Red Deer – your best bet for advertising in Central Alberta.

Johnny Younie was news editor at CKRD. G.A. (Fred) Bartley was named manager. 


Production manager Ray Torgud left for CHCT-TV Calgary.


CKRD was an supplementary B affiliate of the CBC Dominion network. Ownership of Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: G. S. Henry 65.0%, D. W. Robertson 9.4%, A. A. MacDonald 1.2%, J. Wilder 1.2%, 20 other shareholders 23.2%.

CKRD’s manager G. A. (Fred) Bartley left the station in January. He resigned so that he could apply to the CBC for a licence to operate a television station to serve Central Alberta, from Red Deer. He received that licence on August 1 and CHCA Television was launched on December 11. Gordon S. Henry, president of Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. Ltd., took over GM duties from Bartley. 


Ad: CKRD – First in Central Alberta. First with the news (16 daily newscasts). First with sport (complete sport coverage). First with special events (covering all communities in Central Alberta). First choice of advertisers in Central Alberta. CKRD Red Deer – 850 k.c. – 1000 watts.

The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into a single CBC Radio network. Following the consolidation, CKRD ended its affiliation with the CBC.



CKRD was now operating with a power of 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night, on 850 kHz. The station was now owned by Central Alberta Broadcasting (1961) Ltd.


CKRD-TV moved next door to CKRD-AM.

By this time, CKRD-AM had increased power to 10,000 watts day-time. Night power remained a thousand watts.


Fred Bartley, founder of CHCA-TV died in September. He was also a former general manager of CKRD-AM. Bartley founded CHCA-TV in 1955 and then left the business a year later. 


Stu Morton was working at CKRD.


Approval was given for the purchase of CKRD, CKRD-FM and TV by Monarch Broadcasting of Medicine Hat.


During 1978, CKRD hired a part-time announcer, a young man aged 18 years, who would later become nationally famous for his work on Hockey Night in Canada, Coach’s Corner and many major CBC sports events. His name was Ron MacLean.


On July 3, Central Alberta Broadcasting received authority to change the frequency for CKRD from 850 kHz to 700 kHz; increase the power from 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night to 50,000 watts day and 25,000 watts night; and relocate the transmitter from Penhold to a site near Innisfail. The authorized frequency of 700 kHz became available for assignment in Red Deer and Calgary as a result of the new Canada/U.S. Bilateral Agreement for AM Broadcasting. The changes in technical parameters will result in improved day-time coverage in Central Alberta, and provide a reliable night-time signal, particularly to the south of Red Deer where the signal is presently non-existent at night.


CKRD/CFCR-FM news director Bernie Wolfe left for CFSK-TV in Saskatoon.


On February 3, Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. received approval to acquire CJXX Grande Prairie and of CKRD Red Deer from Central Alberta Broadcasting Ltd.

Central wass wholly-owned and controlled by Monarch and effective control of these stations would remain unchanged. 

Dwaine Dietrick became vice president of operations for Monarch Broadcasting. He succeeded vice president and general manager Merv Phillips, who retired. 


CKRD installed a new Arrakis 10,000 studio console.


CKRD General Sales Manager Ken Truhn was transferred to CJXX as General Manager and General Sales Manager.


On October 19, CKRD was given approval to convert to FM band, using 105.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. The new station would retain the existing adult contemporary format.


CKRD made the move to the FM dial, becoming CHUB-FM “Big 105.5”.

On December 21, Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. was given approval to purchase Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. 


The CRTC renewed CHUB-FM’s licence on July 23.


On December 23, the CRTC approved the application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner) carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership, owned by James A. Pattison (the Pattison Group), for the authority to acquire the assets of all of the radio television undertakings (and their respective transmitters) currently licensed to corporate entities owned by James A. Pattison. This transaction was part of a corporate reorganization that would not affect the ultimate control of the broadcasting undertakings. The ultimate control would continue to be exercised by James A. Pattison, the sole shareholder of Jim Pattison Ltd.


On November 30, the CRTC renewed CHUB’s licence until August 31, 2017.

Island Radio news director Marlow Weldon left February 3 to be sports director at the Jim Pattison Red Deer group


The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Red Deer thanked Jim Hall, Program Director of BIG 105 and 106.7 The Drive, for his many years of service following his retirement. Peter Michaels was named the new Program Director of 106.7 The Drive and Jamie Rankin was appointed the Program Director of BIG 105.

What was supposed to be a two-year gig in 1989 at then CKRD-AM (now CHUB-FM) for morning show host Jim Hall, turned into a 23-year career. Hall became Program Director in 1996 and then added PD duties at sister station 106.7 The Drive when it launched in 2004. He took voluntary early retirement, moving home to Kelowna to be closer to family. Succeeding him involved two promotions: Peter Michaels was now PD at 106.7 The Drive while Jamie Rankin was PD at BIG 105.


Jim Elliott died at age 71. Elliott began in broadcasting as a library assistant at CKRD Red Deer while still going to school and later on, on the air. He moved to Lethbridge in the early ‘60s and worked at, first, CHEC and later at CJOC. In the ‘70s, he did drive at both CFRN and CJCA Edmonton, eventually moving into sales at CJCA. Later, he went to ITV Edmonton. In the mid ‘80s, he moved back to CHEC Lethbridge/CKTA Taber as General Manager and, in the early ‘90s (still with Shaw), Elliott was GM at CKDK Woodstock. In the late ‘90s, he went back west to the OK Group where he was in sales both in Kelowna and Fort St. John. And, it was in 2004 that he joined Newcap’s engineering group in Edmonton. Elliott and the Alberta engineering team won the Rohde & Schwarz Excellence in Engineering Award in the fall of 2011 at the annual Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) convention.


Tim Klassen (56) died on October 23. Klassen started out at CKRD Red Deer in 1981. Over his 30 years in radio, he worked at stations in Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Sudbury and Regina. In 2002, he moved to Dubai to act as station manager and morning host at Channel 4 FM. In 2007 he formed his own audio/video production company.

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.

Contact this station