CKWX-AM, News 1130, Vancouver
|CKWX-AM||1994||1130||50,000||Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.|
|CKWX-AM||1989||1130||50,000||Selkirk Communications purchased by Maclean-Hunter Ltd.|
|CKWX-AM||1966||1130||50,000||CKWX Radio Ltd. (Selkirk 100%)|
|CKWX-AM||1965||1130||50,000||CKWX Ltd. (T, P, & C becomes Selkirk Holdings Ltd.)|
|CKWX-AM||1947||980||5,000||Western Broadcasting Co.|
|CFDC-AM||1941||980||1,000||Western Broadcastin Co. (Taylor Oearson & Carson buy 40%|
|CKWX-AM||1933||1010||100||Western Broadcasting Co. (Holstead)|
|CKWX-AM||1927||730||100||Western Auto Electric|
|CFDC-AM||1925||730||100||Western Auto Electric (Holstead)|
|CFDC-AM||1923||430 m||100||Sparks Co.|
CFDC began broadcasting in Nanaimo April 1, on 430 meters with 10 watts of power. Arthur “Sparks” Holstead and Bill Hanlon of the Sparks Co., an automotive and electrical firm, started the station with a Westinghouse war surplus model purchased at a radio show in Seattle the previous year. The “DC” in the call letters stood for Direct Current, as in the batteries sold by the firm. The studios were on the second floor of Sparks Co., at Wallace and Fitzwilliam Streets in Nanaimo.
Holstead opened another automotive electric service in Vancouver, packed his 10-watt transmitter into a suitcase and set up shop in the Belmont Hotel. Although radio was in its infancy, it was against regulations to move a licensed station to another city. The Department of Marine and Fisheries ordered CFDC off the air. Public pressure brought the station back. Fan mail came from as far away as New Zealand, but there was confusion over the station’s identity. CFDC was too easily confused with other call letters, so Holstead changed them to CKWX, which officially signed on at 6 p.m. August 1, 1927. The station shared time on 730 kHz with CFCQ, CKCD, CKFC, and CJKC. CKWX moved to the mezzanine floor of Holstead’s auto electric garage at 1220 Seymour Street. Additional equipment was purchased to augment the Westinghouse transmitter, Northern Electric carbon microphone, and single turntable and pickup
While the transmitter remained at 1220 Seymour, studio equipment was moved to the penthouse of Vancouver’s Georgia Hotel. On April 1, unofficially the station’s 5th anniversary, CKWX increased power to 100 watts, now sharing time on 730 kHz with CFCQ and CKCD. The station was now on the air for seven hours per day and had a total staff of seven. The manager was Harold W. Paulson. Fred Bass, who held the positions of announcer/staff pianist/writer/music director/program manager over the years, started with the station and remained until 1961.
CKWX was sharing time with CKCD, CHLS, CKMO and CKFC.
Gerry Quinney broke in to radio at CKWX.
Fred Bass, fresh from England, was playing piano on stage to accomapny the silent movie when he was asked to visit “WX” the next day. Listen to some of the results: 1,2,3,4,5,6
The partnership of Holstead and Hanlon was dissolved on September 30. On October 1 Western Broadcasting Company Limited was formed to operate CKWX Radio. Sparks Holstead was the President and the majority shareholder. The station was still sharing a frequency with two others: CKCD, owned by the Vancouver Daily Province newspaper and CKFC, operated by the United Church of Canada. The program day was a co-operative effort, with each station taking a few hours, and then signing off to make way for another station’s programs.
CKWX fed a program “Al Person’s” to the NBC Network in the US and Earl Conner, the ‘WX engineer, talks about the home made microphones they built. 1,2,3,4 (Connor joined CKWX from CKMO this year).
CKWX moved from 730 to 1010 kHz. Power remained at 100 watts. The Georgia Hotel studios were remodeled and two microphones and remote amplifiers were added to the equipment inventory.
The “Grand Old Man” of Canadian radio, William J. “Billy” Browne hosted programs variously on CKWX and CJOR Vancouver from 1934-51 including a claimed 100,000 loyal listeners to the CKWX Sunrisers club, which featured membership cards.
CKWX increased its daily program schedule to 13 hours. The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, established in 1932 to create a national broadcasting service and to regulate private stations, announced that applications would be received for power increases to 1,000 watts. The CKWX application was contingent on ending the multiple use of the station’s operating frequency of 730 kHz.
Earl Connor left CKWX for CJAT in Trail.
The station moved from 1010 to 950 kHz. During the 1930s, the station had featured such prominent stars as pioneer broadcaster, pianist and conductor John Avison. He later led or appeared with several Canadian orchestras and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1978.
“Mr. Good Evening”, Earle Kelly became a news legend reading regular newscasts on CKWX during the 1930s and was widely known as Canada’s first personality broadcaster.
CKWX was added to the list of stations occasionally receiving CBC programs.
Bill Moyer was an announcer. Reg Dagg was commercial manager.
On January 1 Harold R. Carson moved to Vancouver from Calgary to take over operation of CKWX for a new management company, ACMO. Holstead retained control of ownership of the station through Western Broadcasting Company Limited.
On February 12, CKWX 950 received Department of Transport approval to increase power from 100 watts to 1,000 watts. The company purchased 20 acres of land on Lulu Island and erected a new transmitter building to house a new 1,000-watt Collins 20-H transmitter purchased from Canadian Marconi. A new 260 foot Ajax Engineers quarter-wave antenna, and radial ground wave system were installed. The transmitter building included living quarters for the transmitter staff. Installation of the 1 kW transmitter started in early May, along with erection of the Ajax vertical radiator. The station expected to be operating with 1,000 watts on 950 kHz in early June.
The federal government decided it was time to reorganize the cluttered airwaves in the Vancouver area. As a result CKFC was scheduled to go off the air as of April 1 as its licence was to expire March 31. Station owner, the Vancouver Sun, announced it would cooperate with CKWX, but would not have any financial interest in the station. CKWX took over CKFC’s church broadcasts. CKWX also took over CKFC’s shortwave outlet CKFX which had been VE9CS until 1936 and had been on the air since 1929. The low powered shortwave operation was now relaying the programming of CKWX, which was located in the Hotel Georgia. The shortwave outlet was a source of news and information to coastal communities that had no existing AM service. The focus was on the Queen Charlotte’s and upper Vancouver Island. A 10 watt transmitter (output power) and new antenna sent the CKFX signal in a north westerly direction. The transmitter was built by the CKWX engineering staff. CKFX operated in the 49 metre band at 6080 kHz.
A June print ad from Weed & Co. (U.S. sales rep): Congratulations to CKWX Vancouver, Canada – on their increased power (1,000 watts) – full time — new frequency (950 kc.). The Vancouver Sun published a special page in late June chronicling the increase in power to 1,000 watts and change of frequency to 950 kHz for CKWX. CKWX print ad regarding the technical changes: The long and short of it. 1000 watts, full time, on 950 kc, long wave, give you coverage of 100,000 homes in Vancouver, Victoria and adjacent markets! Northern and Interior coverage from B.C.’s only short wave station reaches many listeners hearing daytime Canadian radio for the first time in their lives!
In December, Taylor, Pearson and Carson, with Sparks Holstead remaining as President and majority stockholder, purchased William Hanlon’s minority stock.
Gordon Fairweather left CKWX for the engineering staff at CFAC Calgary. Loy Owens, formerly of CFCT Victoria and CKLN Nelson joined the CKWX staff. Ted Fowler was on the technical staff.
G. Norris MacKenzie joined CKWX as continuity editor and announcer. He had been with CJCA in Edmonton.
Taylor, Pearson & Carson Ltd., on January 1, took over operation of CKWX. F. M. Squires of CJCS Stratford became manager and Reg Dagg remained as commercial manager. CJCA Edmonton’s Norm Bottrell became the CKWX production manager. Bob Smith, formerly with CKCK Regina, joined the sales statff at CKWX.
Construction was underway on the new CKWX studios…moving from the Hotel Georgia to the top floor of the Georgian Building at 543 Seymour Street. The facility would house four studios, two control rooms, a stage and auditorium seating 250 was being built. The 9,000 square foot facility was expected to be ready March 15. Station staff now numbered approximately 25, mostly working in the production and news departments.
Under the Havana Treaty CKWX moved from 950 to 980 kHz (Class III-A) with power of 1,000 watts on March 29. Airtime was increased to 17 hours per day.
M. V. Chestnut of CKOC Hamilton was on loan to CKWX during the reorganization to give new manager F. M. Squires of CJCS, the benefit of Taylor, Pearson & Carson’s plans to institute a new program policy. Fred Markle, producer and writer, joined CKWX as continuity writer. Stuart MacKay joined the announcing staff of CKWX. He had been with CJCA Edmonton and CJRC Winnipeg.
CKWX-CKFX would again this year carry play-by-play for home games of the Vancouver Capilanos of the Western International Baseball League. Reed Champman would handle the broadcasts.
Reorganization of the staff and management of CKWX resulted in an almost entirely new executive personnel. Arthur Holstead, former manager and owner, assumed the presidency of the company (he had sold his 40% interest in the station to TP&C). Frank M. Squires was made GM, Norman Botterill, with the station since the start of the year, was the new assistant manager.
Frank H. “Tiny” Elphicke took over as General Manager of CKWX. He had previously managed CFAC Calgary, CJCA Edmonton, and CKRC Winnipeg. Also on the management team were Program Manager Stuart MacKay and Production Manager Laurie Irvine. John Hunt was Regional Sales Manager, R.I.P. Crotty was Sales Service Manager, Ken Hughes was Chief Announcer and Jack Hughes was Chief Program Engineer. The station grew quickly, doubling its staff over the next two years.
World War II brought public demand for faster and more comprehensive news services. Cal George started as an announcer with the station, where he enjoyed a loyal listener following until 1967, when he moved to CKOK Penticton. Over the years, he was one of the most popular of the station’s announcers.
Don McKim was promotions manager. Betty Asson had been traffic manager. Norman Botterill left CKWX as assistant manager. He was appointed manager of CJOC Lethbridge, replacing Art Balfour. Stuart McKay was the new production manager at CKWX, succeeding Don McKim who joined the RCAF on July 15.
F.H. (Tiny) Elphicke became manager of CKWX. He had been with CJRC in Winnipeg. Former CKWX manager F.M. (Frank) Squires returned to Stratford to manage his own station – CJCS.
Assistant manager Norman Botterill left CKWX for CJOC in Lethbridge.
Former CJCA Edmonton Program Director Reo Thompson joined CKWX and was appointed Program Supervisor. He later joined CFCF Montreal and then the Television Division of All-Canada Radio and Television Limited and was posthumously inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame in 1986.
Ross MacIntyre, former chief operator of CKWX, was now with Canadian Pacific Airlines. Spence Caldwell was commercial manager at CKWX. He left late in the year for CJBC (CBY) Toronto.
CKWX furthered its commitment to news coverage. In May, a 23-year veteran of journalism, Sam G. Ross became Director of News and Special Events at CKWX. The newsroom was now serviced by direct-wire facilities from Canadian Press and British United Press. On December 1 the station became an affiliate of the Don Lee-Mutual Broadcasting System and laid claim to being the first station in Western Canada to join an American network. Now top international shows were available in addition to local productions. The staff now numbered 50.
Sam G. Ross became director of news and special events at CKWX as of May 12. He had been with Press News. Not long after taking over, Ross added Earl Smith and J.E. “Red” Graeme to the news department. Isobel Frost Midmore was a continuity writer. Engineer Ross McIntyre left for the soon to open CKNW in New Westminster. Betty Long was a continuity writer and Dick Williams was an operator. Marge Wesson joined CKWX as continuity writer. Dez. McDermott and Ian Arrol were added to the CKWX news staff. “Rip” Crotty was sales service manager.
CKWX became an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System as of December 1. This was the station’s first link with an American network. Some programs would originate with the Don Lee-Mutual system. On this date, Mutual aired a program to salute the affiliation and CKWX responded with a half hour program right after.
Manager F.H. Elphicke put a news policy into effect at CKWX in May. A single office was selected to make a compact newsroom where the fewest steps produced the highest efficiency. The news bureau was established along the lines of a city desk and city newsroom at a daily newspaper.
In January, G. Norris MacKenzie left CKWX for CKOC in Hamilton.
The station received approval to increase power to 5,000 watts. Sam Ross went overseas as a special war correspondent for CKWX and 8 other All-Canada stations, filing reports from Britain, Belgium, Holland, and Germany by short wave radio.
Rip Crotty was appointed national sales manager of CKWX. He had been sales service manager. Sid Richards and Jack Anthony joined the CKWX announcing staff. Jack Bingham left CKWX for the announce staff at CBR Vancouver. Joe Midmore joined the RCAF.
The B.C. government certified the Radio Stations Employees Union (Local 23757) as sole bargaining agent between management and employees of CJOR, CKWX, CKMO and CKNW. The union was affiliated with the AFL.
Sam Ross hosted “City Desk” and had four men in his newsroom. Johnny Hunt left CKWX as commercial manager to take over the reigns at CKMO.
Stuart Mackay was appointed regional sales manager of CKWX. He had been the station’s program director. Mackay started his career at CJCA (Edmonton) ten years earlier and moved to Vancouver in 1940 at a stint at CKRC (Winnipeg).
Bill Hughes joined the CKWX air staff after two years with CJAT in Trail. Announcer Frank Eckersley joined the station from Calgary’s CFAC.
Frank Mead joined CKWX as a newscaster and editor. He had been production manager at CJAT in Trail. Reo Thompson, back from overseas, and former CJCA (Edmonton) announcer, joined the CKWX announce staff. Servicemen Bill Hill and Al Klenman returned to the station. Bert Cannings joined CKWX as news director.
Jack Gordon, late of the RCAF and formerly with CFAC Calgary, was appointed CKWX’s chief engineer.
John Ansell joined as an announcer, becoming Program Manager and ultimately Operations Manager. He later won several awards from the B.C. Association of Broadcasters, the Broadcast Education Association of Canada and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
Jack Gordon, discharged from the RCAF, was appointed chief engineer at CKWS. Charles Smith, former production manager of CJVI Victoria, was appointed assistant chief engineer for CKWX.
Joe Midmore, discharged from the RCAF, returned to CKWX as continuity editor. Ken Hughes, former chief announcer was appointed production supervisor. Reo Thompson was named night production supervisor.
News announcer Bill Hughes left CKWX for CKNW.
CKWX marked the arrival of Vancouver’s diamond jubilee by recording 90 minutes of a city council session on January 2. The material, with Reo Thomson announcing, was edited down to 30 minutes and broadcast at 7 o’clock the same night. Two sessions were actually recorded – the last of 1945 and the first of 1946. Bert Cannings of the news department wrote the script. Dick Williams and Vern Wildman of the CKWX engineering department handled technical operations. They used five microphones and a loop from the council chamber to the station.
CKWX had a ten watt transmitter that it used when weather disrupted communications.
Wallace Garrett joined CKWX as a staff announcer from CKOV in Kelowna. Don McKim, former Vancouver Sun newscaster, joined the CKWX promotion department after a stint in the army. John Hoyland joined the CKWX announce staff from CKOV Kelowna. Graham Turner joined the sales department from CJAT Trail. Laurie Irving was program manager (production manager). Bert Cannings handled special events. The technical team included Dick Williams, Vern Wileman and Bill Collins.
CKWX added something for children to its schedule. The Junior Radio Theatre aired between 5 and 6 p.m. on school day evenings. The program featured children’s favourites previously heard on the station (“Superman”, “Terry & the Pirates”, “Captain Midnight” and “Men in Scarlet”). Reo Thompson was producer and master of ceremonies.
Shirley Kerr was in the continuity department.
Slogan: First in Canada’s Third Market.
With a printers strike at the Vancouver Daily Province, the Southam paper arranged to take between two and three hours a day on CKWX to keep its readers informed. CKWX shuffled around programming, including sponsored shows, to make room for the various departments of the newspaper.
Duke McLeod and Laurie Irving were doing sports on CKWX. Jack Gordon was chief engineer. Joe Midmore who announced for CKWX before joining the air force, returned to the station as continuity editor.
Sparks Halstead was trying to get his 5,000 watt transmitter up and running at CKWX. He said it was like building a house – no materials and nobody to put them together when you do get them. He was hoping to have the new unit in operation in early fall.
Former chief announcer Ken Hughes and Reo Thompson were appointed day and night production supervisors. Laurie Irving continued as program manager. Joe Midmore, recently back from the RCAF, took over as continuity editor while Ed Smith (formerly of CJVI Victoria) joined Midmore’s writing staff. Charlie Smith joined CKWX as assistant chief engineer, specializing in production. He had been with CJVI.
Ralph Spencer was religious director at CKWX. Announcer Bill Hughes left CKWX for CKNW. Bill Ward was heard on CKWX. Former Vancouver mayor, Senator G.G. McGeer, hosted a six week series of talks over CKWX. Mike Crammond hosted the “Fish & Game Club of the Air”. Charlie Smith was assistant chief engineer. Fred Bass marked 17 years with CKWX in December. As announcer, pianist, singer or sound effects man, he had become one of the best known personalities in western Canadian radio. He was still announcing on the station and was also keeping tabs on the CKWX recording library.
In October the CKWX engineers were still working hard to get the new 5,000 watt transmitter up and running at the Sea Island transmitter site, south of the city.
CKWX was set to up its power to 5,000 watts on January 24. The transmitter site was located on Lulu Island in the mouth of the Fraser River. Ottawa consulting engineer Keith MacKinnon was in the city to conduct tests and filed reports on the new RCA equipment.
Western Broadcasting Company’s CKWX increased power to 5,000 watts on the night of January 24. A special program built around the growth of British Columbia and Vancouver aired to mark the second power increase since 1940 when the station moved up from 100 to 1,000 watts. Arthur ‘Sparks’ Holstead who started the station and CFDC Nanaimo in 1923, and manager F.H. ‘Tiny’ Elphicke, were hosts of a reception in the Hotel Vancouver before the new transmitter officially went on the air. In addition to the new transmitter, two new 260 foot towers were also erected. More than 26 miles of wire were used in setting up the new equipment. With 5,000 watts, reception would be improved particularly for Victoria and Vancouver Island listeners, northern B.C., and the eastern end of the Fraser Valley. Because of the new equipment, Vancouver listeners would also find improved signal quality.
Reed Chapman and Cal George were heard on-air at CKWX.
CKWX laid claim to being the first radio station to have its own broadcast booth at the Pacific National Exhibition. During the two-week fair, the station was on the air from the grounds for several hours each day.
Bert Cannings joined the staff, later becoming News Director, before moving on to
a distinguished career at CFCF Montreal in 1955. He received a number of awards for journalistic leadership and was later inducted into both the Canadian Media and CAB Hall of Fame.
Stuart MacKay, regional sales manager at CKWX, was appointed assistant manager of the station. Dal Gray joined CKWX. He had been an announcer at CKRN Rouyn and at CFRN Edmonton. Vancouver News-Herald reporter Bruce Lowther joined the CKWX news bureau. John Schoberg became a studio operator at the station. He had been with the RCAF. Bobby Hughes joined the continuity staff. Bill Tutte was with the CKWX news bureau. Hal Rodd left CJOB Winnipeg as night supervisor to become Bill White at CKWX where he handled feature assignments. Jack L. Sayers joined CKWX as sales manager as of March 22. He had been commercial manager at CKCK in Regina. With this appointment, the local and national sales departments were consolidated under one head. R.I.P. Crotty left CKWX where he had been national sales manager.
CKWX began publishing the “CKWX-TRA”, a four page summary of station news and information about station advertisers’ campaigns.
Vernon Grove joined the CKWX announcing staff. He had been assistant production manager at CJVI Victoria. Frank Geluch, who left the engineering staff in May, 1942, returned to CKWX. Bob White worked in promotions. Laurie Irving was program manager.
When the Goodyear blimp returned to the city for the first time since before the war, CKWX scored with an experimental broadcast from the air to the ground. At about 2,000 feet above the city, station staff used their two FM frequencies, one to the CKWX control room and one to B.C. Telephone’s experimental FM circuit, to broadcast voices from the blimp and also from three homes in the city.
Vernon Wileman left CKWX to become assistant engineer at CKNW. Jack Kyle joined the CKWX announce staff from CJVI Victoria’s production department. Al Klenman moved from CKWX engineering to the sales staff. Dave Pomeroy joined the technical staff as program engineer. Mike Giraud joined CKWX news from Canadian Press, replacing Bill Tutte who moved on to Press News in Toronto. Moira Wallace was publicity director. Jack Kemp joined CKWX sales from CKRC Winnipeg. Production manager Laurie Irving took over “Public Opinion” and was already emcee for “Pick the Hits”. CKWX announcer Wally Garrett became MC for “Public Opinion”, the highest rated program in Vancouver.
CKWX was granted a 250 watt FM licence. It was the first commercial station in the west to receive Department of Transport approval for an FM operation. CKWX had made arrangements with the city parks board to locate the transmitter and antenna atop Little Mountain.
On April 1 CKWX celebrated its Silver Anniversary, marking 25 years of service to British Columbia. In May tragic floods struck the entire Pacific Coast from British Columbia to California. The station was on the scene around the clock with emergency announcements and information.
Promotion director Don McKim left CKWX to work in Toronto. Gerry Gaetz was named manager of CJCA Edmonton, succeeding Gordon Henry. Gaetz had been manager of CKRC Winnipeg since 1942. Bill Speers, who ran CKRM Regina since 1944, replaced Gaetz at CKRC. Stuart MacKay, with CKWX since 1941, where he had been assistant manager, followed Speers at CKRM. Gaetz started in radio at CJOC Lethbridge as an announcer in 1929. Speers started as an announcer at CHWC Regina in 1931. MacKay got his start in the business as an announcer-operator at CJCA in 1938. Sam G. Ross, director of news and special events, succeeded Stuart MacKay as assistant manager.
Stuart MacKay left CKWX to join All-Canada in Toronto, and by 1961 became President of Selkirk Communications.
CKWX was granted a 250 watt FM licence. It was the first commercial station in the west to receive Department of Transport approval for an FM operation. CKWX had made arrangements with the city parks board to locate the transmitter and antenna atop Little Mountain. Unfortunately, CKWX-FM never signed on the air.
Al Reusch brought his disc jockey show from CKMO to CKWX late in the year.
CKWX rebuilt and enlarged its broadcast booth at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds in time for this year’s event.
In the fall, CKWX was airing hockey broadcasts. Duke McLeod did the play-by-play with Bill Good assisting.
CKWX was getting ready to celebrate 25 years on the air.
News slogan: First with the News.
A special Christmas Day broadcast was beamed from nine different stations across Canada without the use of network facilities. The participating stations were CKWX Vancouver, CFCN Calgary, CKCK Regina, CJOB Winnipeg, CKSO Sudbury, CFPL London, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF Montreal and CFCY Charlottetown.
Bert Cannings was promoted from news director to news and special events director.
CKWX newscaster Reed Arthur Chapman passed away January 4. John Loder left the CKWX sales department to become manager of CJAT Trail as of February 12. Bert Cannings was head of CKWX news. Manager F.H. Elphicke was elected to the council of the Vancouver Board of Trade. Moira Wallace, public relations director since 1941, left to work for the Red Cross. Ed Chown joined the CKWX sales team from CJCA Edmonton. Bill Ryan took over The Vancouver Sun’s 10 p.m. newscast on CKWX. The broadcast had been hosted by the late Reed Chapman. Clyde Gilmour, CBC movie critic (CBR), as of April 27, launched a new half hour series on CKWX on the criticism of classical recordings.
Jack Sayers was commercial manager.
Joe Midmore moved from the position of promotion manager to news reader. Ken Hughes moved from news to promotion manager. Reo Thompson became assistant production manager. Charles Smith replaced Jack Gordon as chief engineer. Gordon had resigned. Midmore would be the first of a series of special staff voices who would do nothing but read the news and announce special events, dissassociated from commercial and program announcing.
The station established a radio course for members of the Radio Society at the University of British Columbia. Lectures and practical work were carried out in all phases of broadcasting, with students gathering weekly at the CKWX studios. In succeeding years, the course produced about 25 graduates annually.
Slogan: ‘WX takes your message into the most homes…most consistently!
Mike Giraud was a reporter. Dick Smith joined the sales team. Jack Sayers was at CKWX. Peter Spring joined the newsroom from the Daily Province. Leslie Mather joined the writing staff from Odeon Theatres. Vic France was added to the technical staff. Alan Jordon joined the announce staff from CKOK Penticton. Vince Duggan was CKWX’s correspondent in the Okanagan.
CKWX acquired new studio and control room equipment. The station was now on air 20 hours a day, from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Gene Kern started as an announcer, after holding positions at several prominent Canadian stations, including CKUA Edmonton, CFRB Toronto and CKMO Vancouver. He stayed in that capacity and in sales for 39 years before retiring in 1991.
The first women’s commentator in the west – Dorothy Douglas – expanded her program from 11 to 28 stations.
The CBC approved the transfer of 1 common share in Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
F.H. (Tiny) Elphicke was named vice president and general manager of Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd., founding company of CKWX. The appointment was made by president A. (Sparks) Holstead. Elphicke would continue to manage the station, a post he had held for the past 8 years.
A service directed at the farm and rural audience was added to the CKWX program schedule, hosted by Norm Griffin.
In cooperation with the Vancouver Police Department, the station began production of the award-winning series “Why Do They Do It?”, in which News Editor Bert Cannings and other members of the news staff rode the beat with Vancouver police officers and interviewed alleged violators. Mel Cooper was a news editor at CKWX. He later bought CFAX radio in Victoria, served as President of the BC Association of Broadcaster and won numerous awards, including being named to the Order of British Columbia and Order of Canada.
Reo Thompson moved to All-Canada Toronto to set-up their Televison Sales Division
The CBC Board approved the recapitalization of Western Broadcasting Ltd. from 25,000 common to 25,000 common and 250,000 preferred shares and the issuance of 108,000 preferred shares. Later in the year, the board approved the issuance of 108,000 preferred shares and the redemption of 80,000 preferred shares in Western Broadcasting Ltd.
CKWX received provincial approval to operate a seperate company – CKWX Television Ltd. – as the station planned to apply for a television licence. CKWX already owned a site in Burnaby to locate the TV transmitter and studios (if approved).
John Ansell was manager. Earle MacLeod was news editor.
On January 1, CKWX began operating 24-hours a day with an overnight program called “Concert Under the Stars” from a completely automated transmitter monitoring facility.
In the summer Sports Director Bill Stephenson began play-by-play broadcasts of
B.C. Lions football games in their first year of operation. Bert Cannings and Laurie Irving began production of the public affairs documentary series “They Walk By Night”, which gave listeners an inside look into the world of narcotics, prostitution, and other shady subjects.
Slogan: In Vancouver all the big shows are on CKWX – First in Canada’s 3rd market.
Norm Griffin was farm director. Eric Bishop left CKWX as sports director to join the sports department at CFAC in Calgary.
Slogan: In Vancouver, all the big shows are on CKWX.
CKWX completed construction of a new studio facility at the Pacific National Exhibition. During the summer fair, the station was completely operational from the on-site location, which included open-air studio facilities, newsroom, and a production control room.
Arthur Eric (Sandy) Sanderson joined CKWX as director of news and special events. Nina Anthony hosted “Our Neighbour Nina” on CKWX 980. Bill Stephenson did sports and Bert Cannings was a newscaster. Cannings left CKWX news to become news director at Montreal’s CFCF. He first started in radio in 1945 when he helped build the CKWX newsroom.
Slogans: CKWX radio Vancouver…5000 friendly watts. Hear all the big shows on 980 CKWX radio. Wherever you go there’s 980 CKWX radio. News…dial 980 CKWX.
In July CKWX moved into an ultra-modern studio building at 1275 Burrard Street. The facility was state-of-the-art with completely independent studio and control room modules in a concrete core. The office area surrounded the studios in a “doughnut” configuration. The new building was generally recognized as one of the finest broadcast installations in North America. It was officially dedicated and opened on September 26.
J.L. Sayers, general sales manager of CKWX left to become manager of CFUN.
The beam type CKFX antenna was replaced by a two element vertical array.
Teen music host Red Robinson, who was later inducted into several Halls of Fame, started the first of three terms at the station. Nina Anthony hosted “Our Neighbour Nina” from 2:05 to 3 p.m.
CKWX received CBC Board of Governors approval to operate with 50,000 watts on 1130 kHz. The CBC chose CKWX over five other stations that also had the wish to use the 1130 dial position. CKWX was now operating on 980 kHz with 5,000 watts of power.
Sports Director Bill Stephenson (later of CFRB Toronto fame) and Production Supervisor Ron Robinson devised a system of reconstructing play-by-play Vancouver Mounties baseball games in the studio, using a collection of recorded sound and a Teletype operator at the originating ballpark. To add to the realism, a low quality microphone was used in the studio to simulate a remote feed.
At 1130 a.m., August 15, CKWX officially signed on with “The 1130 Luncheon Club” hosted by Ron Robinson on its new 1130 kHz clear channel frequency with 50,000 watts from a new Continental transmitter. Transmissions continued for a time on 980 kHz, where it had previously identified as “The Centre Aisle on Your Radio Dial”, with a continuous loop stating, “This is not CKWX, it used to be….”, along with an announcement to tune to the new frequency. Its new slogan was “CKWX, Radio British Columbia”.
Starting at midnight January 1, announcers Red Robinson, Bill Davis and Bob McGavin went on the air from the Pacific National Exhibition studio for a continuous 100 hours to celebrate B.C.’s Centennial year. During 1958, CKWX moved to a family oriented Hit Music format and started distributing “Sensational Sixty” music surveys in late summer.
Ad slogans: The largest circulation of any radio station in Western Canada – Radio British Columbia – CKWX – 50,000 watts. / 50,000 watts of sales power – Radio British Columbia – CKWX Vancouver. CKWX influences more buyers by far than any other B.C. radio station – and B.C. has the highest average weekly earnings in Canada! Radio British Columbia, Vancouver – CKWX – 50,000 watts of sales power. More motorists listen to CKWX with 50,000 watts…and there are 186,000 car radios in B.C. Radio British Columbia – Vancouver – CKWX – 50,000 watts of sales power.
Sam Ross, assistant manager of CKWX, left for Ottawa on August 1 to set up a radio news bureau for the 10 ACMO (All-Canada Mutually Operated) stations. The bureau would channel news from Ottawa by telegraph, telephone and tape recorder. Stations using the service: CJVI, CKWX, CJAT, CJCA, CFAC, CFGP, CJOC, CKCK, CKRC and CKOC. Ross started out as a copy boy with the Winnipeg Tribune and later worked for the Regina Leader-Post. In 1931 he joined the Canadian Press in Calgary. He was made manager of Press News Ltd., now Broadcast News, when the radio subsidiary was formed. He stayed in that post until 1944 when he joined CKWX as news editor.
According to Elliott-Haynes CKWX reached a total of 191,599 adult listeners every day.
Local sales manager Douglas S. Greig left for CFUN to be general sales manager. Clare Copeland was appointed general sales manager. He had been both national and retail sales manager over the past six years.
With the Board of Broadcast Governors replacing the CBC as regulator, many parties were awaiting the lifting of the TV ban…in Vancouver, two TV channels were available and CKWX, CKLG and CKNW were among those interested in applying for a TV licence.
William A. (Bill) Speers was general manager. Doug Reid was appointed marketing director. Morris McLean and John Ansell were at CKWX.
On November 12, the “Sensational Sixty” survey was changed to “The Fabulous Forty”.
Jim Robson, who was later inducted into several Sports Halls of Fame, took over as Sports Director and play-by-play Mounties baseball game reconstruction. “Open Line” broadcasting began when telephone facilities were added to announcer Barrie Clark’s show to allow listeners to comment on affairs of the day. He served as a B.C. Liberal MLA for six years and later a Councillor for the City of Kelowna. During the 1960s, the station continued to explore the techniques of “Open Line” radio with several shows in this format. Additionally, veteran outdoorsman Ted Peck went on the air every week on a 90-minute Open Line show to counsel fishermen and hunters in B.C. The CKWX “Golden Palace”, a 40-foot mobile studio, went on-location with full broadcasting facilities at special events. In the fall there was a gradual shift from its previous Top 40 programming to a combination of talks shows and middle-of-the-road music.
Red Robinson was the only DJ at the station still playing rock music on his nightly Platter Party show as the last Fabulous Forty was issued for the week of March 3. Red left the station shortly after and went to rival CFUN on April 2.
Selkirk Holdings became a publicly traded company.
With Roy Bonisteel, the Director of Broadcasting for the United Church of Canada, CKWX designed a new concept in religious programming, “God Talk”, which was an open line talk show on religious topics, featuring listeners’ comments and a panel of clerical representatives in the studio. On October 10, government approval was given for Selkirk to purchase 100% of CKWX Radio Ltd. Ever-popular announcer Bob Bye arrived from Regina and Winnipeg and stayed with CKWX for over 22 years of a total 50 years on air.
Bill Hutton was news director. Annis Stukus hosted the weekday sports open line program.
Dalt Elton was appointed general manager of CKWX. He had held the same position at CJCA Edmonton. His appointment was effective April 1. Barrie Clark was an announcer at CKWX and also a Liberal MLA. A special branch of the Promotion Department was organized to create, co-ordinate, and promote community activities. With Ron Robinson’s move to CJVI in Victoria, Jim Morrison took over technical production of Vancouver Mounties baseball broadcasts, including the station’s famous “reconstructions” of away games with play-by-play by Sports Director Jim Robson. Bob Bye became Program Manager, replacing John Ansell, who took over management duties at CFAC Calgary.
W.A. Spears, a director of CKWX, was appointed vice president of Selkirk Holding, effective April 1. John Ansell, formerly in charge of programming and production at CKWX, was named manager of CFAC Calgary. Bob Bye moved from production to succeed Ansell. Reg Miller joined CKWX as director of publicity and public relations after 23 years with CJCA in Edmonton.
The shortwave stations of CKWX (Vancouver) and CHNS (Halifax) had ad time purchased by a Japanese company to sponsor their mid-dawn marine weather broadcasts. This sponsorship could be the first time commercial sales had been made on Canadian shortwave radio.
On-air: Jim MacDonald, Bob Bye and Barrie Clark.
Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN’s voice (audio) service. CKWX was one of those stations.
Slogan: CKWX Radio 1130 – Serving Vancouver – the SUPER market.
CKWX moved the Barrie Clark Open Line show to the B.C. Legislature in Victoria to keep listeners informed on Government Affairs while Vancouver newspapers were on strike. The station donated a control room console to the Vancouver City College Radio Club.
On January 14 station founder Arthur “Sparks” Holstead died in North Vancouver at age 81. Production facilities were updated at CKWX with the installation of 4-track recording equipment. B.C. Lions football returned to the station with sportscaster Eric Bishop handling play-by-play. Hall of Famer Red Robinson returned to the station to host the morning show for 12 years.
Former Federal Cabinet Minister Judy LaMarsh joined the staff to host a daily 3-hour Open Line show.
Ed Murphy left CKWX for CKNW.
On March 8 the station became “CKWX Supercountry” with the adoption of a country music format. It produced the first big CKWX country music show in support of Vancouver’s “Save the Orpheum” campaign. Tom Peacock was appointed Program Manager. CKWX Public Affairs established “On The Scene”, a series of two-minute mini-documentaries broadcast after selected hourly newscasts around the clock. This feature covered a wide range of subjects, from personality interviews to serious public affairs comment.
A new sales concept was instituted as All-Canada Radio and Television (Selkirk’s Sales Division) took over Sales Department functions. Country music musician Elmer Tippe joined CKWX as an announcer, where he stayed until 1991 and was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002.
The Creative Department captured three Soundcraft Awards in the Radio Bureau of Canada annual competition. Expansion of production studio facilities continued, reflecting increased activity in commercial and public affairs production.
Management was proceeding with the design of a concept for a new FM station for the Vancouver market. The proposed station was to feature information programming and jazz music.
Programming of play-by-play coverage of Seattle Seahawks football games began, which CKWX claimed was the first Canadian radio station to broadcast NFL events. At the CRTC Public Hearings in Vancouver in October, the station presented its proposal for a new FM station.
On February 13, CKWX Radio Ltd. was granted approval-in-principle by the CRTC for a licence for CJAZ-FM on the condition that a suitable frequency could be found instead of the proposed 93.7 MHz. On December 20 final approval was given to use 92.1 MHz from a transmitter site on Salt Spring Island.
On March 1 CJAZ-FM, with the claim of being Canada’s first all-jazz station, officially went on the air from new studios in the basement of the CKWX building at 1275 Burrard Street in Vancouver. New stereo production facilities were installed to serve the new station and staff was increased accordingly. Harry Boone was appointed CJAZ-FM Program Director. Selkirk Communications Director of News and Information, Bill Hutton arrived to supervise the expansion and reorganization of the CKWX/CJAZ-FM news and information department. However, reception problems in many areas of Vancouver and surrounding communities plagued the station. The Salt Spring Island transmitter site was highly effective in Victoria and northwest Washington State, but failed to reach key areas of the Lower Mainland.
In the spring, the CKFX shortwave transmitter was relocated to the new 50 kW Lulu Island site of CKWX-AM (Blundell Road and Number 6 Road). The SW antenna was reduced to a single quarter wave omni-directional vertical element from the old two element directional system. The antenna was ground mounted with approximately 30 radials.
CKWX produced “Focus On Racism”, an in-depth documentary series on the growing problems of racial discrimination in the community and across the nation, which involved the entire production staff of 22 people.
In August permission was granted for CJAZ-FM to move its transmitter site to Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. In December the new transmitter went on the air at a new frequency of 96.9 MHz. CJAZ was heard clearly throughout the Lower Mainland. Ted Farr became Program Manager of CKWX. In October Tom Peacock became General Manager of CKWX/CJAZ-FM, succeeding Dalt Elton.
CKWX celebrated its 60th Anniversary of service to British Columbia with a special day of programming on April 1, including a two-hour special, produced and narrated by former announcer Jim Morrison. Feature items on the station’s history were aired throughout the month of April. On July 21, approval was granted for the transfer of 200 Class B voting shares of Selkirk Communications Ltd. from Southam Inc. to John T. Ferguson, and subsequently, the transfer of these shares from Mr. Ferguson, together with 200 Class B shares from each of seven other individual shareholders, to the Canada Trust Co., pursuant to a voting trust agreement. Southam held 20% of the voting shares and approximately 28% of the non-voting shares of Selkirk Communications.
Sister station CJAZ-FM became CKKS-FM.
Tom Peacock was president and general manager of CKWX.
Ken Short was named sales manager at CKWX/CKKS-FM.
Tanta Gupta was news director.
Beth Leighton joined CKWX. She had been news director at CKEG in Nanaimo.
Harold Graboski became retail sales manager at CKWX/CKKS-FM. He had been with All-Canada Radio & Television.
On June 17, CKWX moved to new studios at 2440 Ash St. The official opening took place July 20th. CKWX was granted a change in technical facilities to directional antennas day and night from direction night only. On September 28, the CRTC approved Maclean-Hunter Ltd.’s purchase of Selkirk Communications and for the transfer of CKWX/CKKS-FM and several stations in other cities from MH Acquisition Inc. to Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
Gary Milne became sales (director of marketing) vice president at CKWX and CKKS-FM. He had been managing CHWK/CFSR-FM in Chilliwack.
Chuck McCoy, vice president and general manager of CKKS-FM was also named general manager of CKWX and of Mountain FM at Squamish.
On February 8 at 8 a.m., CKWX switched from its long-time country format to all-news, using an hourly news wheel similar to sister station “680 News” CFTR Toronto. News anchor of note was Andy Walsh, who started his career at CKSF in Cornwall ON in 1951 and had been News Director at CHQM AM & FM Vancouver from 1968-93. He received a Radio-Television News Directors Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and continued as a weekend news anchor.
Brian Breen (formerly with CKST) and Andrea Ring joined CKWX for the morning news run. Ted Schellenberg went from part-time to full-time news duties, handling afternoons.
Keith Pelletier was general sales manager at News 1130.
Sister station CJVI Victoria began simulcasting CKWX programming between midnight and six a.m.
Richard Dettman was now business editor at CKWX. Jim Bennie joined the CKWX staff from CKBD/CJJR-FM.
Terri Theodore left CKWX to join Broadcast News Vancouver as a reporter/editor.
On November 3, Vancouver joined Toronto as the second Canadian city to offer digital radio broadcasting. CBU-AM and FM, along with CBUF-FM, CHUM Limited’s CFUN and CHQM-FM and Fraser Valley Radio’s STAR-FM began regular Digital Radio broadcasting. All six signals were broadcast from two pods located at the CBC’s Mount Seymour transmission facilities. Rogers Broadcasting, Shaw Radio and Westcom Radio were planning to file applications for six more digital services in the city, to operate from the Rogers transmitter site, also on Mount Seymour.
Some changes took place at Rogers Broadcasting in the early part of the year. Executive vice president, programming, Sandy Sanderson, would focus on his role as national program director, relinquishing his operating responsibilities at the Toronto cluster (CFTR/CHFI); Chuck McCoy, formerly of CKWX/CKKS Vancouver, became vice president, Toronto Radio Operations, reporting to Gary Miles, and responsible for CHFI, CFTR and management of CISS-FM Toronto (throughout the LMA period and after, if approved, Rogers’ acquisition of CISS); general sales manager Derek Berghuis took on the added role of general manager at CFTR; CHFI-FM program director Paul Fisher took on added responsibility of general manager/vice president of programming, CHFI; John Hinnen, vice president, Radio News Programming, for Rogers took up new responsibilities as acting GM at CKWX Vancouver, also continuing his role as executive editor at CFTR Toronto; Dale Buote became general manager/program director at CKKS-FM Vancouver. Buote was most recently GM at CKWX; and, Victor Dann, general sales manager at CHFI-FM also became Toronto Market sales manager.
On October 18, CKWX and CKKS-FM were authorized to operate transitional digital radio undertakings, with transmitters on Mount Seymour and the Cantel Building in Burnaby’s Metrotown, employing the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. They were authorized to operate at 1465.024 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 3,381 watts from Mt. Seymour and 2,774 watts from Burnaby.
Dale Buote was the new general manager at News1130. For the past three years, he’d been program director at Vancouver’s KISS-FM and CKWX operations manager. Buote would report to vice president and market manager Chuck McCoy.
Sister station CKKS-FM became CKLG-FM.
After an extended silence, CKFX-SW was officially deleted on June 8. On the air since the mid-1930’s, CKFX had broadcast with 10 watts of power at 6080 kHz in the 49 metre band, and simulcast CKWX 1130, 24 hours a day.
Dalt Elton, who was general manager of the station during the 1970s, died in North Vancouver at age 86. He was praised by those who had worked for him as a showman who truly respected his on-air talent and included everyone on staff in his hands-on operations.
Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CKWX-AM, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.
After 35 years in radio, assistant news director Robert Linden decided to take early retirement from News 1130. Linden had been instrumental in the development of the News 1130 morning show and the station as a whole. He also managed the introduction of Traffic Alerts and guided website integration. Linden had been with the station since 2001.
George Gordon left News 1130.
On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CKWX-DR-2.
Phil Evans was the new Promotion Director at Rogers Radio Vancouver (96.9 Jack FM/News 1130/104.9 FunFM). Also at Vancouver cluster, News Director Jacquie Donaldson was no longer with the stations
On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKWX-DR-2 to April 30, 2012.
Rick Dal Farra, who had been appointed Rogers Radio director engineering, BC Radio in April, 2006-and based in Vancouver-returned to Rogers in Toronto in early June. Dean Fox, chief engineer at Rogers Radio Victoria, was named regional engineering manager for B.C. and moved to Vancouver at the beginning of July. With Rogers since 1996, Fox succeeded Rick Dal Farra.
News1130 News Director Treena Wood, who’d been with the station since it went all-news and was appointed ND in May of last year, was now the Program Director.
Bruce Williams, News1130 traffic reporter for 15 years, passed away February 21.
Doug Cheng became the new news director at News1130 as of February 6. He had been assignment editor at OMNI TV Vancouver.
Brian Lord died at 77. He had been a CFUN Good Guy, and was in the radio business for almost 47 years. He worked at CFCR-TV Kamloops, KMEN San Bernardino, KLIV San Jose, CJJC Langley, CKDA Victoria, CKWX Vancouver, CHRX/The Bridge Vancouver and Metro Broadcasting Hong Kong. Lord retired in 2001 and moved to the Philippines with his new wife. Jerry Landa died at age 78. Landa was one of the CFUN Good Guys of the early ’60s. He also worked at CKDA Victoria, CKLG, CJOR and CKWX Vancouver, and CHUB Nanaimo into the ’80s before retiring. Milton York died at 66. His broadcast career included stops at Vancouver’s CJOR, CKWX and CKO; Victoria’s CKDA and CHEK-TV, and CJJC Langley.
Bruce Claggett was now News Director at News1130, promoted from Managing Editor. He succeeded Doug Cheng, who was no longer with Rogers.
Melanie Last was no longer creative director at Rogers Radio Vancouver. While a successor had yet to be determined, the new creative services director would oversee all Rogers writing and production staffs in B.C.
John Masecar became creative services manager for the Rogers BC radio stations April 1. Most recently, he was with Astral Radio Vancouver and, before that, Astral/Standard Radio Toronto.
Former CKWX broadcaster and C.A.B. Hall of Famer (2005) Peggy Miller-Day died at age 89 on October 5.
Brian Brenn died at age 71. The long-time NEWS 1130 anchor was one of the original staff members when the station signed on in 1996. His broadcast career spanned over 50-years and included stations in Montreal and Ottawa.
CKWX became available in HD via CJAX-FM-HD2 at 96.9 MHz.
David Cassady died August 14 at the age of 86. He read news for CKWX for many years and later worked in news at CFAX Victoria before retiring to the Fraser Valley.
Andy Walsh announced he would retire on February 13 after more than 65 years in broadcasting. Walsh, 85, had been the voice of weekend news on News 1130 for nearly 20 years. Over his career, Walsh worked at CKSF Cornwall, CJICM Sault Ste Marie, CFRA Ottawa, CJAD Montreal and CHQM-FM Vancouver where he was news director until 1993.
Peter Jackson (81) died in March. He began his career in 1957 at CFUN Vancouver, then moved to CKY Winnipeg, CKLG Vancouver and then to CKXL-AM Calgary. In the late 1960’s, he joined the sales department at CKWX.
Christopher Cunnington (42) passed away on March 23. Cunnington worked with CKVU-TV, CTV Vancouver and News 1130.
James Macdonald died May 29 at the age of 87. Macdonald was hired by CHWK Radio Chilliwack, writing commercials and playing piano “live” at noon. He worked his way into the newsroom and in the early 1950’s, joined CKWX-AM and CHAN-TV.
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.