CFUR-FM, Campus, Prince George
Education Alternative Radio Society
|CFUR-FM||2001||88.7||4.3||Education Alternative Radio Society|
Schoolteacher Geoff Rhodenizer tried unsuccessfully to seek approval for a high school radio undertaking. Meanwhile, Jamie Campbell, Andrew Inch, David Russell and David Schindler were idealistically envisioning what a “future radio station” would be.
As roommates, Russell and Schindler created sound files on an old 486 computer to show friends how the station would sound. Although somewhat unprofessional sounding, local support was given for their efforts. With electoral help from Russell, Schindler became a director of the Northern Undergraduate Student Society (NUGSS). In that capacity, he managed to grow the idea of an on-air radio station and the university’s mailroom staff granted operating space.
The Education Alternative Radio Society (EARS) was officially registered as a society.
UNBC and Northern Undergraduate Student Society Board of Directors offerings in many ways became the key to license approval. Rhodenizer shared in the writing of the official application by including, “How we would serve the community with our undertaking.” On January 16 CFUR started Internet broadcasting. Unlike many other college and university based stations, carrier current (a method of broadcasting signals through the power lines) was not used because the Radio Society recognized that it would be expensive to make sure that everyone had a receiver necessary for that type of transmission. On September 12 the CRTC approved application for the station to operate as a developmental FM community-based campus station at 88.7 MHz non-directional with a peak effective radiated power of 4.3 watts. It was licensed to broadcast 126 hours each week, including at least 6 hours of ethnic programming, featuring music from local artists, songs by popular artists not generally aired on commercial radio, music styles such as “blues” and “jazz” and various ethnic music programs. Additionally it was to offer programming in languages taught at UNBC and the College of New Caledonia, such as Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, German and Spanish. The applicant also planned to invite ethnic groups in Prince George to provide programming that portrayed their particular culture.Volunteers from the university, college and high school communities were to produce approximately one-third of the station’s programming and to submit ideas for programming and to write and host programs.In September CFUR-FM began on-air testing. The first song played was “Highway Song” by a band called Blackfoot. The station officially signed on in November.
After a successful referendum in the fall, CFUR-FM began collecting a levy from UNBC undergraduate students allowing it expand and develop.
A full time station manager was hired in July. Fundraising events, such as live concerts, began being held on a regular basis to supplement the station’s income.
On February 16 the CRTC approved application by EARS to increase the station’s power to 510 watts non-directional, giving it full English-language community-based campus FM radio status, broadcasting a wide range of music, including rock, pop, dance, country, folk, world beat, jazz, blues and international music. The power increase was calculated to provide a strong stereo signal into the city of Prince George.
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.