CHSJ-FM , Country 94.1, Saint John

Acadia Broadcasting Ltd.

CHSJ-FM200394.150,400Acadia Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM199370025,000/10,000New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM198870010,000/5,000New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM1960115010,000/5,000New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM194611505,000New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM194111501,000New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM193811201,000New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CHSJ-AM193511201,000/500New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
CFBO-AM19331210100C.A. Munro Ltd.
CFBO-AM193189050C.A. Munro Ltd.
CFBO-AM19278905C. A. Munro Ltd.


C.A. Munro Limited opened station CFBO. It had a power of 50 watts and broadcast on a frequency of 890 kHz.


CFBO switched dial positions, moving from 890 kHz to 1210 kHz. Power was reduced from 500 watts to 100 watts.


On April 18, CFBO became CHSJ. It also changed frequency – from 1210 kHz to 1120 kHz. Power remained 100 watts. The “SJ” in the new call sign represented Saint John.


CHSJ increased power from 100 watts day and night to 1,000 watts day and 500 watts night. The transmitter was moved to Coldbrook because the original location on top of the Capital Theatre was no longer suitable. The owner had a new corporate name – New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Studios and offices were in the Admiral Beatty Hotel. 


An entirely new plant, from studio to transmitter, was scheduled to be inaugurated by CHSJ on September 1. The station had been operating as a local since February 1934 but with its new assignment on 1120 kHz, it would greatly expand its operations. The new building project would include a 1,000 watt Western Electric transmitter with Blaw-Knox vertical radiator, at Coldbrook, according to manager L. W. Berwick. New studios and offices would be in a new building in the city’s business district. The latest speech-type input equipment was purchased from Northern Electric. Three new studios were being built, including one which would accommodate and audience of more than 200. Power would be increased from 100 watts to 1000 watts, giving wide coverage in Central and Southern New Brunswick and Southwestern Nova Scotia, the richest sections of the Maritimes, serving a population of 306,000. 

To mark the opening of the new 1,000 watt Northern Electric transmitter and new studios at CHSJ on October 29, the St. John Telegraph-Journal and Evening Times-Globe, owner of the station, issued a 12 page radio section with the regular edition of both morning and evening editions. The inauguration of the new transmitter and studios was marked in a program carried over the CBC network. Among those on hand were CBC station relations chief, H. N. Stovin, and Joseph H. McGilvra of New York, with Bill Wright and L. Micles of the Toronto and Montreal offices. 


Under the Havana Treaty, CHSJ moved from 1120 to 1150 kHz (Class III-B) on March 29. Power was 1,000 watts.


L.C. Rudolph was manager of CHSJ.


CHSJ was purchased by The Telegraph-Journal and Evening Times-Globe, which was owned by the Irving Family. Studios and offices were at 14 Church Street. 


Betty Taylor left CHSJ for the program department at CBH Halifax. L.C. Rudolf was manager. G.A. Cromwell was commercial manager. Cromwell was appointed station manager later in the year. Cleve G. Stillwell became program director. He had been with CFNB for the past 12 years, as announcer and program arranger. John G. Bishop was named chief engineer. T. Reid Dowling became studio engineer. Bishop and Dowling had been associated with CHSJ since its inception.

Work was started on the new 5,000 watt transmitter building late in the year.


CHSJ increased power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts. The signal was non-directional during the day and directional at night.


CHSJ-FM signed on the air.

John Merrifield left CHSJ to become script writer and announcer at CKCW Moncton. Cleve Stillwell and Reid Dowling were on the air at CHSJ. Geo Cromwell was manager. 

CHSJ was now operating at 5,000 watts, using a new transmitter and towers (444′ and 225′) at Coldbrook, N.B. The station was non-directional during the daytime. Studios were at 14 Church Street.

An ad promoted the fact that the station was under the same management as The Telegraph-Journal, The Evening Times-Globe and The Maritime Farmer.


Earl McCarron was production manager. J.G. Bishop was chief engineer. T. Reid Dowling was a studio engineer.

The CBC approved the transfer of two common shares in New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.

CHSJ received approval to operate a 1,000 watt emergency transmitter.


CHSJ filed an application for the operation of a television station at Saint John. The CBC Board of Governors approved the proposal. 


CHSJ Television signed on the air on March 22.

It was around this time that CHSJ-FM left the air. 

On-air: Jene Wood, Earl McCarron (now manager), Foster Marr, Dave Archibald, Fred Blizzard (sports). 


William Stewart did news at CHSJ. 


CHSJ 1150 was an affiliate of the CBC Trans-Canada network. Ownership of New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: New Brunswick Publishing Co. Ltd. 99.7%, T.F. Drummie 0.1%, L.W. Bewick 0.1% and E.K. Logan 0.1%. T.F. Drummie was president of the company and Earl McCarron was CHSJ’s manager.


CHSJ increased daytime power to 10,000 watts. Nigth-time power remained at 5,000 watts.

Francis Godin was librarian. 


The CBC consolidated the Trans-Canada and Dominion networks into a single service. Following the merger, CHSJ remained a CBC affiliate. CFBC had been the Dominion station. After the consolidation, it became an independent. 


CHSJ Radio and Television received approval to change studio location from 85 Germain Street to 335 Union Street. 


Jim Sward left CHSJ as sales manager to take up the same posting at CFOX in Montreal.


L. F. Daley, Q. C., was president of New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd. CHSJ was still listed as a CBC affiliate (The CBC’s own station – CBD 1110 – had gone on the air in 1964). 


75 CHSJ Radio & Television reporters, technicians and producers, members of NABET, went on strike.


Kenneth B. Clark was promoted to president of New Brunswick Broadcasting, succeeding Ralph Costello. Clark had been general manager for the past three years and worked previously with CBC Halifax, CJCB-TV and ATV.

The licenses for CHSJ-AM and TV were renewed for three years following a review of cross-ownership. New Brunswick Broadcasting was owned by the Irving family who also own the Saint John daily newspapers. The CRTC said the licensee still needs to make some improvements. 


On January 16, CHSJ was given approval to move from 1150 kHz to 700 kHz. Power would be 10,000 watts day, 1,000 watts night (directional at night). Noting that the station’s licence renewal will depend on the media cross-ownership decision, the CRTC suggested the licensee use its discretion before implementing the new operation.


Glen Johnson left CHSJ for Broadcast News in Edmonton.

On December 3, New Brunswick Broadcasting’s application for a new FM station at Saint John was denied. It had proposed to operate on 94.1 MHz with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. A competing application by Mervyn Russell / Eastern Broadcasting was approved.


CHSJ was told by the CRTC to implement its move from 1150 kHz to 700 kHz by September 30, 1988, or re-apply to use 1150 kHz.

On December 3, CHSJ was granted a change of transmitter site from approximately four kilometers southwest of Lorneville to Seaview. The change of site would enable CHSJ to implement the 700 kHz frequency change that was previously authorized.
When CHSJ moved to the Coldbrook transmitter site 48 years earlier, there were no houses or businesses in the area. By now, the city had expanded all around Coldbrook, and the ground system had completely disintegrated. A new transmitter site had to be found. Since the station had federal approval to move to 700 kHz, the search for a new transmitter site began in the summer. One was found…located 30 km south-west of Coldbrook. As most of the equipment was of early 1960’s vintage, it was necessary to replace about 95% of it with new AM stereo equipment…at the studios and transmitter site. The master control studio was rebuilt. Among the new equipment at the transmitter site: a new Nautel 10 kw transmitter, a Motorola C-QUAM stereo generator, and three Trylon towers. Work at the transmitter site was started in October.


On February 25, CHSJ began broadcasting on 700 kHz and in AM Stereo.


CHSJ’s bid for a power increase from 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night to 50,000 watts day and 10,000 watts night was rejected by the CRTC following strenuous objections from other area broadcasters. CHSJ said it wanted to increase its signal strength in the central area of Saint John, which it claimed had deteriorated since relocation of the transmitter site authorized in 1987. 


On December 13 Kenneth Colin Irving passed away at the age of 93. He formed Irving Oil as a young man and went on to build an empire that included New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CHSJ-AM-TV and MITV).


CHSJ received approval to increase power from 10,000 watts day and 5,000 watts night to 25,000 watts day and 10,000 watts night. A previous bid for 50,000 watts during the day was denied by the CRTC. In the latest proposal, CHSJ would reduce signal strength towards Fredericton and committed not to sell advertising in Nova Scotia. 

The power increase approved earlier in the year went into effect in December.


Bill Piekarski passed away January 2. Bill retired in 1986 as director of engineering for CHSJ Radio and Television.


On March 27, CHSJ was given approval to move to the FM dial, operating on a frequency of 94.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50,400 watts. Because of opposition from CIBX, CIHI and CKHJ, CHSJ-FM would not be allowed to solicit advertising from the Fredericton market. This would mark the end of 63 years on the AM dial for CHSJ.


CHSJ-AM was replaced by CHSJ-FM on January 7. 

CHSJ-AM went dark in April.


On February 19 CHSJ-FM launched sister station CHWV-FM.

Gary Murphy, long-time New Brunswick radio-television broadcaster died. He spent most of his career in sports, first at CHSJ-AM then moved to CHSJ-TV. He was considered one of the first TV personalities in the province, beginning his career in the early 1960’s. He retired as sales manager of CHSJ-TV/MITV in 1995. 

George Ferguson left CHSJ and CKBW (Bridgewater) where he was general manager. He led the company’s radio division in winning licenses for CHWV Saint John and CHTD in St. Stephen.


On January 1, New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and Acadia Broadcasting Co. Ltd. were amalgamated and continued under the name Acadia Broadcasting Ltd. 


On June 8 the CRTC approved a corporate reorganization resulting in the transfer of the ownership and effective control of Acadia Broadcasting Limited, licensee of CHSJ-FM and CHWV-FM Saint John (NB), CHTD-FM St. Stephen (NB), and CKBW-FM Bridgewater (NS), from Brunswick News Inc., a corporation indirectly owned and controlled by J.K. Irving, A.L. Irving and John E. Irving (Irving brothers), to 618042 N.B. Inc., a corporation indirectly owned and controlled by John E. Irving. 


News Director Brian McLain, after 21 years with MBS/Maclean Hunter Saint John, moved across the street. McLain joined Acadia Broadcasting’s Country 94/97.3 The Wave as Assistant ND.


Bobbi Matchett joined Country 94’s Breakfast Club as a co-host with Jim Lavigne and Brian McLean. She had shown her wide range of ability in radio as Promotion Manager and Advertising Consultant with the station, and as an Announcer most recently filling in on afternoon drive. 


The CRTC approved the change in the effective control of Acadia Broadcasting Limited from John E. Irving to a joint control exercised by John K.F. Irving and Anne C.I. Oxley, following the death of John E. Irving in 2010. Acadia was the licensee of radio stations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, following the amalgamation of Northwoods Broadcasting Limited with its mother company Acadia on February 3, 2012.


In August, Jim MacMullin retired after 15 years as President of Acadia Broadcasting and 43 years in the business. He started out with Acadia in 2001 as General Manager for CHSJ/CHWV Saint John; CHTD St. Stephen; and CKBW Bridgewater. Before Acadia, he was GM at CKCW/CFQM/CHOY Moncton and, before that, GM at CJCW Sussex.

Grace Elizabeth Craft died October 8 at age 86. She started her career in radio at CFBC, while still a high school student. She was also a radio and TV personality with CHSJ and a committed volunteer during the Empty Stocking Fund for 40 years. Craft co-hosted a half-hour show on CHSJ during the ANE Exhibition Week with Donald Armstrong.


Kenneth (Ken) Markham Ogden (75) died August 3. He spent more than 40 years working as a producer at CHSJ radio and television.

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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