CFAN-FM, 99.3 The River, Miramichi

Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.

CFAN-FM198699.317,800Maritime Broadcasting System
CKMR-AM19491349250 wattsMiramichi Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


L.W. Flett applied for an AM licence for Newcastle (1340 kHz with 250 watts). The application was deferred by the CBC board but reheard again later in the year and then recommended for approval.


CKMR became a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Miramichi Broadcasting Co. officially signed CKMR on the air on April 4. On hand for the opening at a local theatre: Premier John McNair; Hon. D.L. MacLaren, Lt. Governor; and other prominant citizens. Coverage of the new station would centre on Newcastle and Chatham. Art Martin was manager.


Jack Coalston became CKMR’s manager. He had been with British United Press.


CKMR and Truro’s CKCL were now members of the co-operative news service – Radio Press Ltd. – formed a year earlier by CKCW Moncton, CFNB Fredericton and CFBC Saint John.


Bill Murray was program director.


Bob Cadman was an emcee.


CKMR received permission to change frequency from 1340 to 790 kHz and to increase power from 250 to 1,000 watts.


CKMR moved from 1340 kHz to 790 kHz and increased power from 250 watts to 1,000 watts. A single directional pattern was used for day and night operation on 790.


CKMR was owned by Miramichi Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (L. W. Flett 27.8%, J. F. Kerr 2.8%, G. R. McWilliam 13.9%, H. F. Brown 8.3%, D. S. Greaghan 13.9%, M. F. Esson13.9%, three other shareholders 19.4%) and was a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate. L. Warren Flett was president of the company and Robert J. Wallace was CKMR’s manager.


Interference between CKMR Newcastle and CBY Corner Brook (NL) was raised in the House of Commons. When CKMR was established it was given the same frequency as CBY. Neither station was receiving interference within its protected area. A Corner Brook MP was hoping the Ministry of Transport would consider a power increase for CBY or that the frequency of one of the stations would be changed. 


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks of the CBC were consolidated into a single service. 


L. W. Flett was president of Miramichi Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and R. J. Wallace was CKMR’s manager. The station was still listed as a CBC affiliate.


On March 25, Miramichi Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given permission to sell CKMR to a company to be incorporated, represented by Jack W. Schoone (Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd.). This was Eastern’s second radio station. The call letters soon changed to CFUN.

On July 16, CKMR was authorized to move studios and offices from 129 Castle Street to 245 Pleasant Street.


CHUM Limited purchased CKVN Vancouver and wanted to return the CFUN call letters to that station. CHUM negotiated with CFUN Newcastle to obtain the call sign. The Newcastle (Miramichi) call letters would now be CFAN – close to CFUN.


On April 7, was authorized to increase daytime power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts.

On November 17, President Jack W. Schoone, on behalf of three companies to be incorporated, was given approval to reorganize the Eastern Broadcasting Co. group of stations – CFCY Charlottetown, CKCW and CFQM-FM Moncton, CJCW Sussex and CFAN Newcastle. The Charlottetown, Moncton and Sussex stations had operated under the name, Island Radio Broadcasting Ltd. CFAN was transferred from Eastern to CFAN Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


As part of a company-wide upgrade of facilities Eastern Broadcasting installed new production facilities for CFAN. 


On December 3, the CRTC approved the sale of 90% of Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (nine stations, including CFAN) through the transfer of 84% of its issued shares to Maritime Broadcasting Co. Ltd., (wholly owned by Maclean-Hunter Ltd.). The managers of the individual stations would hold a 6% interest in their respective operations and Jack Schoone would hold 10%. Eastern had been equally owned by J. Irving Zucker and Jack Schoone. Schoone would become president of Maritime, as well as of Eastern.


Ian Byers was CFAN’s general manager.


Shawn McKinnon left CFAN for mid-days at CIHI Fredericton.


Following the purchase of Maclean-Hunter Ltd. by Rogers Communications, Maritime Broadcasting was sold to Maritime’s President, Mervyn Russell, along with Robert Pace and J. Gerald Godsoe.


On July 2, CFAN was given approval to convert to the FM band, operating on 99.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 17,800 watts.


After a few weeks of testing, CFAN-FM 99.3 signed on the air on January 10. The new station was known as “Miramichi’s Best Music – 99.3 The River”. 


On September 29 the CRTC renewed CFAN-FM’s licence until August 31, 2015. 


CFAN changed format from Hot Adult Contemporary to Country. The station retained its “The River” branding.

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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