CJVB-AM, Multicultural – Fairchild Radio, Vancouver

Fairchild Broadcasting Ltd

CJVB-AM2007147050,000Fairchild Broadcasting Ltd.
CJVB-AM1992147050,000Fairchild Radio Group Ltd.
CJVB-AM1977147050,000Great Pacific Broadcasting Ltd.
CJVB-AM1972147010,000Great Pacific Broadcasting Ltd.


Jan van Bruchem, owner of Great Pacific Broadcasters Ltd., with backing from Wim de Bruijn was issued a license on November 26 to operate a new multicultural AM station in Vancouver on 1470 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts directional.  Van Bruchem immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1952, and hosted the weekly program “Holland Calling”, which aired in numerous Canadian markets for 15 years, from the late 1950s to early 1970s, and later served as vice-president of the Canadian Association of Ethnic Radio Broadcasters and director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.


CJVB (the JVB for Jan van Bruchem) signed on the air on June 18.  It was Western Canada’s first multilingual station, behind previous entries in Toronto and Montreal.  The station’s transmitter was at the north end of No. 8 Road in Richmond, just across the North Arm of the Fraser River from Boundary Road in Vancouver.    CJVB was licensed to serve 18 ethnic groups in 18 different languages.   A maximum of 40% of air time was in languages other than English or French.  The remaining 60% was in either of the two official languages but aimed at the ethnic community.  A considerable amount of time was devoted to listeners such as those of Australian, Caribbean, English, Irish, New Zealand and Scottish descent and initially included a Jewish program in English.  Morning, noon and afternoon drives were a mix of music from as many (but mostly West European) sources as could be found, with information features supplied by transcription from Radio Nederland, Deutsche Welle, the BBC and Broadcast News.A number of prominent Vancouver broadcasters worked at the station, including Hanson Lau, producer/host of “Overseas Chinese Voice”; Pat Karl, news/sports anchor and host of “Karl’s Korner”; Rudy Hartman, previously of CKLG and CHQM Vancouver; announcer Nick Sands from CKWX and Theo Donnelly, who anchored morning news.    


An application by CJVB to operate a rebroadcast transmitter at Columbia Valley, in the Kootenay area of B.C. on 850 kHz with 10,000 watts full-time (single directional pattern) was denied on December 27.


On December 28, the CRTC approved application to increase power from 10,000 to 50,000 watts.


Van Bruchem marked his 50th birthday by increasing CJVB’s power to 50,000 watts.  His parents flew in from Holland to flip the switch that upped the power.  Celebrations were held at the Hotel Vancouver to mark the event.


CJVB began broadcasting in stereo, using the Motorola system on September 10, the first Vancouver station to do so.


On March 20 the CRTC approved application to increase programming in languages other than English and French from 25-40% of its weekly broadcast time, up to 60%.  The licensee also indicated a willingness to expand its ethnic service to broadcast in as many as thirty languages.  In the years following, morning drive and overnights became predominantly targeted at Chinese listeners.


Following the retirement of general manager Rudy Hartman, production manager Pat Karl and news director Theo Donnelly took over the running of the station.


Van Bruchem served as chairman of the task force on the media for the B.C. advisory committee on cultural heritage from 1988 to 1990.


The B.C. Association of Broadcasters named Jan van Bruchem Broadcaster of the Year.


CJVB was given approval to change its daytime radiation pattern in order to increase coverage towards the south of Vancouver and extend service to the multilingual communities of the Fraser Valley, White Rock and Tsawwassen.  On September 10, the CRTC approved the sale of Laureleaf Holdings Ltd. (owner of Great Pacific Broadcasting Ltd., licencee of CJVB) from the van Bruchem family, to Y.B.C. Holdings Limited, (Fairchild Radio Group).  Van Bruchem stayed on as General Manager, but retired the following year.


On July 16, the CRTC approved application by Thomas Fung and Roger Charest, for a new ethnic FM station for Vancouver.  Their company, Newco was to be owned 50% by Y.B.C. Holdings Limited, which also held indirect ownership of Great Pacific Broadcasting Ltd.


Ed Ylanen left as president of CJVB. His title was assumed by Patrick Wong, senior vice president and C.O.O. of Canadian Chinese Radio.

On September 6, sister station CHKG-FM 96.1 signed on.


Jan van Bruchem died in Tsawwassen B.C. on June 1 at age 70.


On May 2 the CRTC approved application for transfer of the effective control of Fairchild Radio Group Ltd. to Fairchild Broadcasting Ltd. 


George Lee was promoted to President of Fairchild Radio from his Vice President/General Manager job at Fairchild Vancouver. Lee now had the larger responsibility of overseeing the stations in Toronto and Calgary as well. 


Robert “Bobby” Ng died in Edmonton. He emigrated from the Philippines in 1972 where he was a well known television and radio personality. He was a staff announcer with CJVB Vancouver for five years before moving to CHQT Edmonton where he was a host from 1977 to 1993.


Rudy Hartman passed away at age 99 on February 9. His radio career started in the 1930’s at CJAT Trail. After enlisting in WWII, he worked with the BBC and Canadian Forces radio stations in Europe during the war. When the war ended, he returned to radio at CJVI Victoria, moving on to manage Victoria’s first FM station, CFMS. He later helped launch CKLG-FM Vancouver as program director and host of Symphony Hall. Hartman’s career continued into the 1980s at CHQM-FM and multicultural station CJVB, where he was also Program Director.

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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