CBAF-FM, Ici Radio-Canada Première , Moncton

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CBAF-FM198088.5500Societe Radio-Canada
CBAF-AM195413005,000Society Radio Canada


Construction of a new CBC station in Moncton was started at an expected to cost of $450,000.


CBAF 1300 began broadcasting on February 20. Studios and offices were on St. George Street. It offered programming from the CBC’s French language network.


Georges Huard left CBAF as manager as he had been named supervisor of CBC television operations in Ottawa. He had been with the CBC since 1953 as a producer and French network rep in Ottawa, and was made manager of CBAF in 1954. 


CBAF had a power of 5,000 watts and used a single directional antenna pattern.


CBAF rebroadcast transmitters were opened at Kedgwick and St. Quentin on April 24. 

Sydney Kennedy was appointed CBC director for the Maritimes, succeeding Capt. W.E.S. Briggs. Kennedy had been program director for the Maritime region since 1952. He started in broadcasting in 1937 at CFCY and joined CBC Halifax in May of 1941 as an operator. He later became an announcer in Sackville, moved back to Halifax in 1942 as chief announcer, became a producer in 1944 and then station manager in 1948. Briggs started in radio in 1935. He moved to CBC Ottawa in 1937, as special events producer, actuality commentator and subsequently station manager. In 1938, he became assistant manager for the Maritimes and manager for that region in 1945. In 1948, he opened CBI, CBAF and CBHT in 1954, CBHT’s three satellites in 1958, and CBAFT in 1959.


A regional French language production centre was set up in Moncton.


CBAF was authorized to add two transmitters in Nova Scotia: Arichat (610 kHz with 40 watts) and Pomquet (1340 kHz with 40 watts).


On June 2, CBA, CBAF and CBAFT-TV were given approval to move their studios and offices to 250 Archibald Street. The move took effect on September 1.


In September, CJEM Edmunston and CHNC New Carlisle (Quebec) began offering almost all of CBAF’s news and public affairs programming to the residents of northern New Brunswick.


CBAF received approval to add an FM rebraodcaster at Fredericton-Saint John, operating on 102.3 MHz.


When CBAF had its licence renewed, the following rebraodcast transmitters were also renewed (this list may not represent all of CBAF’s transmitters as some licences may have been renewed on other dates): New Brunswick – CBAK Kedgwick, CBAI Minto, CBHM-FM Richibucto, CBAQ Rogersville, and CBAL St. Quentin; Nova Scotia – CBHH Arichat, CBHF Belle Cote, CBAE Digby, CBAH Meteghan, CBHG Pomquet, CBAS Quinan, CBAA Wedgeport, CBAG Weymouth, and CBAJ Yarmouth.

CBAF was authorized to add a transmitter at Port-au-Port, NL, operating on 94.3 MHz with (non-directional) ERP of 800 watts.


Approval was given for CBAF to add two Nova Scotia transmitters: Cheticamp 103.9 Mhz with ERP of 82 watts, and Margaree 101.9 MHz with ERP of 82 watts.

The Fredericton/St. John (CBAF-14-FM) transmitter began broadcasting on October 15.


On April 10, the CBC was granted an FM rebroadcaster at Moncton (CBAF-26-FM) on 88.5 MHz to duplicate the programming of CBAF-AM. The duplicate channel was needed in order to offset severe night-time coverage deficiencies of the AM signal and to improve the reception of the station in outlying areas.


A rebroadcast transmitter was opened at Edmunston (CBAF-28-FM) on February 7.

CBAF-26-FM Moncton signed on the air on March 17.


On March 8, CBAF-24-FM Sydney was given approval to decrease effective radiated power from 100,000 watts to 61,700 watts.

The Campbellton (CBAF-23-FM) rebroadcaster was opened on March 13.


On September 4, CBAF-FM-15 Margaree was authorized to change frequency from 101.9 MHz to 92.3 MHz.


On March 26, CBAF was authorized to change the program source for CBAF-19-FM Halifax from CBAF Moncton to CBAF Moncton and CBAF-19-FM Halifax. The following transmitters were included in the decision: CBAF-21-FM Middleton, CBAF-31-FM Digby, CBAF-30FM Yarmouth, CBAF-27-FM New Glasgow, CBAF-25-FM Mulgrave, CBAF-15-FM Margaree, CBAF-17-FM Cheticamp, CBAF-24-FM Sydney, CBAF-19-FM Halifax, CBAF-16-FM Port auPort and CBAF-20-FM St. John’s.

On July 14, 1987, the CRTC renewed the licence for CBAF to August 31, 1989. The CBC’s application for renewal of CBAF Moncton was published for comment, calling representatives of the CBC to appear at a public hearing in May 1987 to show cause why the licence should be renewed beyond September 30, 1987. The CBC was using two frequencies to simulcast its French-language basic AM services in Moncton for more than seven years, despite the Commission’s repeated requests that the Corporation find more appropriate means of serving the people in the community and the CBC’s own commitment to phase out the duplicated service at the latest by November 1, 1985. The French-language basic (AM) radio service of the CBC was provided to Moncton listeners via CBAF on 1300 kHz as well as via CBAF-26-FM on 88.5 MHz. The use of two frequencies to provide a duplicate service to the same area was contrary to a long-standing policy of the Commission and the Department of Communications. The Commission licensed the operation of an FM broadcasting station to rebroadcast the AM programming services of CBAF Moncton on April 10, 1980 at the request of the CBC, in order to offset severe night-time coverage deficiencies of the AM signal and to improve the reception of these stations in outlying areas. The Commission had already deferred consideration of this application in March 1978 pending completion of a study undertaken jointly by the DOC, the CBC and the CRTC, with a view to optimizing the use of available frequencies in the Maritimes. The decision went on to say that: The Commission considers that the use of the FM band is the most effective means, in the long run, of assuring quality French-language service both in the day-time and in the night-time … The Commission will wish to review with the CBC the need for the continued use of this AM frequency when it considers the licence renewal of CBAF. It was clear from these statements that the Commission intended the simulcasting of the AM radio programming on the FM band in this community as a temporary measure to ease the transition of listeners from the AM to FM frequency band. The Commission recognized that service deficiencies existed in some areas and was particularly sensitive to the concerns reflected in interventions received from the public in the Moncton region and from their elected representatives with respect to the continued use of CBAF and its importance for listeners who were unable to receive the FM rebroadcasts of the signal. It also noted that the engineering solutions to the duplication problem presented by the CBC were inordinately costly at a time when the Corporation’s budget was subject to serious restraint. The Commission considered it unacceptable that the CBC had failed to embark upon a meaningful campaign to inform its radio listeners of the availability of its basic radio service on FM. Such promotion could have changed listening habits, as had happened in other areas of the country where the CBC moved its AM service to FM frequencies, and might well have altered the current situation. The Commission also considered it unfortunate that the CBC failed to submit any practical proposals for an early and reasonable solution to these difficulties. However, because of the strong representations received from the communities involved, the Commission was prepared, notwithstanding its serious concerns in this matter, to grant an exemption to its policy for a further interim period of two years. The exemption was intended specifically to allow the CBC, in concert with the CRTC and the DOC, the time necessary to find a practical and reasonable solution to this problem that would ensure that listeners in the Moncton area receive complete and adequate signal coverage of the French-language CBC basic radio services.  


On March 30, CBAF received approval for an FM transmitter at Weymouth on 100.9 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 500 watts. This transmitter would replace the existing CBAF-2 (AM).

CBAF-AM was to have gone silent by November 1, 1985 but the CBC kept it going until the plug was finally pulled in 1988. In the end, CBAF-AM operated on 1300 kHz with a power of 5,000 watts (single directional pattern). CBAF-26-FM operated on 88.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts.


As of September 1, the call signs changed for the following transmitters: CBAF-26-FM Moncton to CBAF-FM, CBAF-14-FM Fredericton/Saint John became CBAF-FM-1, CBAF-22-FM Neguac became CBAF-FM-2, CBAF-23-FM Campbellton became CBAF-FM-3 and CBAF-28-FM Edmunston became CBAF-FM-4. Unchanged: CBAF-5 Kedgwick, CBAF-6 St. Quentin, and CBAF-9 Rogersville.


On June 29, CBAF had its licence renewed. At this time, it operated the following transmitters: CBAF-FM-1 Fredericton/Saint John, CBAF-FM-2 Neguac, CBAF-FM-3 Campbellton, CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston, CBAF-20 Kedgwick, CBAF-21 Saint-Quentin, and CBAF-22 Rogersville. CBAF-FM broadcast programming originating from the Radio-Canada (AM) network and, each week, produced 44 hours and 50 minutes of local programming. It also produced 12 hours per week of programming exclusively for CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown. As a result, on this date, the CRTC issued a separate licence for CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown.


On February 6, CBAF-FM was granted permission to add a transmitter at Lamèque, operating on frequency 90.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 930 watts. The new transmitter would provide a better quality signal to the eastern part of the Acadian Peninsula.


The Radio-Canada network was renamed “Première Chaîne” on September 1.


On January 28, The CBC was authorized to delete the transmitter CBAF-22 Rogersville, New Brunswick. The transmitter had not been in operation since 1994.


On September 13, CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston was authorized to increase effective radiated power from 20,400 watts to 20,935 watts. The CBC had recently replaced its transmission tower. These changes would enable it to improve the reliability of its facilities.


As of 2001, CBAF-FM operated the following transmitters: CBAF-FM-1 Fredericton/St. John, CBAF-FM-2 Neguac, CBAF-FM-3 Campbellton, CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston, CBAF-FM-18 Lameque, CBAF-20 Kedgwick and CBAF-21 Saint-Quentin. CBAF-FM broadcasts approximately 40 hours of local programming each week from Moncton. CBAF also operated base stations in Halifax and Charlottetown. These transmitters offered local programming of their own and operated transmitters throughout Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

On August 21, CBAF-FM was granted approval to decreae effective radiated power for transmitter CBAF-FM-1 Fredericton/Saint John from 100,000 watts to 84,000 watts.


On October 27, CBAF-FM was authorized to increase average effective radiated power from 22,000 watts to an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts and to increase antenna height.


On March 22, CBAF-FM received permission to operate a new transmitter in Bon Accord, operating on frequency 107.5 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 26,900 watts. The CBC had received several complaints from residents of Grand Falls regarding reception problems originating from its transmitter CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston. The addition of this transmitter would improve the reception of La Première Chaîne in the Bon Accord region and in particular in the municipality of Grand Falls.

On October 1, CBAF-FM received approval to change the frequency of its transmitter CBAF-FM-21 Bon Accord from 107.5 MHz to 91.7 MHz and to decrease average effective radiated power from 26,900 watts to 24,400 watts. The CBC filed this application because, in accordance with Canada-U.S. agreements on broadcasting frequencies, the earlier approved 107.5 MHz was not acceptable to the Federal Communications Commission.


CRTC approval was given for the operation of CBAF-FM-21 Bon Accord, reflecting the as-built technical parameters. Maximum effective radiated power would be decreased from 69,600 to 60,200 watts. Average ERP would be 20,900 watts, down from 24,400 watts. Antenna height would increase from 301.9 to 320.4 metres.


On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBAF-FM’s licence. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBAF-20 Kedgwick, CBAF-21 Saint-Quentin, CBAF-FM-1 Fredericton/Saint John, CBAF-FM-18 Lameque, CBAF-FM-2 Allardville, CBAF-FM-3 Campbellton, CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston, and CBAF-FM-21 Bon Accord. Also: CBAF-FM-19 Urbainville and CBAF-FM-20 St. Edward/St. Louis (both Prince Edward Island).

On June 23 the CBC was authorized to operate a temporary transmitter for CBAF-FM at Caraquet. The new transmitter would broadcast on a frequency of 93.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50 watts. Effective height of the antenna above average terrain would be 53.2 metres. The authorization to operate the transmitter would be revoked on October 1, 2009. The CBC said the transmitter would be in operation between July 1 and September 30 to broadcast Caraquet’s Festival acadien as well as the 4th Congres mondial acadien. 


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


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


On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBAF-FM Moncton and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBAF-FM Moncton and its transmitters CBAF-FM-1 Fredericton/Saint John, CBAF-FM-2 Allardville, CBAF-FM-3 Campbellton, CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston, CBAF-FM-18 Lameque, CBAF-FM-21 Bon Accord, CBAF-20 Kedgwick, and CBAF-21 Saint-Quentin for a five year term, ter August 31, 2018.


On January 10, the CRTC approved the CBC’s applications for CBAF-FM Moncton to operate low-power FM rebroadcasting transmitters at Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick, to replace the existing AM rebroadcasting transmitters, CBAF-21 Saint-Quentin and CBAF-5 Kedgwick. The new Saint-Quentin transmitter would operate at 91.1 MHz and the new Kedgwick transmitter, at 98.1 MHz. Both would operate with an ERP of 50 watts (non-directional).


On May 6, the CRTC approved an application to relocate the transmitter site for CBAF-FM-18 Lamèque to Grande-Anse, change the transmitter class from A to C, change the antenna’s radiation pattern from horizontal to circular (directional antenna), increase the average ERP from 930 to 23,000 watts (max. ERP from 3,000 to 100,000 watts), and to increase the EHAAT from 57.9 to 96.6 metres.


On May 2, the CBC received CRTC approval to increase the power of CBAF-FM-1 Saint John from 84.000 to 93,100 watts (average & maximum ERP). Antenna height would be lowered from 395 to 374.6 metres (EHAAT).

The story continues elsewhere…
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