CFCB-AM, VOCM, Corner Brook
|Stingray Group Inc.
|Newcap Broadcasting Ltd.
|Humber Valley Broadcasting Co. Ltd. – Dr. Noel Murphy & Group
Dr. Noel Murphy moved to Corner Brook and set up his medical practice (gynecologist/obstetrician). A short time later he was approached by a group of local businessmen to obtain licences for new radio and television stations in the region. The CBC was the broadcast regulator at the time and they opposed and rejected the applications.
Murphy and group were granted an AM licence for Corner Brook and Humber Valley Broadcasting Co. was formed in August. The communications bug was in Murphy’s blood. His grandfather started VONF Radio in St. John’s (became CBN in 1949) and also founded the Avalon Telephone Company.
CFCB 570 began broadcasting on October 3 with 1,000 watts using a second hand tower. It was the first privately owned station in Western Newfoundland. The call letters are said to represent “Coming From Corner Brook”.
CFSX Stephenville opened November 13 as a rebroadcaster of CFCB. Call sign meaning: Coming From Stephenville Crossing (X = Crossing). It operated on a frequency of 910 kHz with a power of 500 watts.
CFCB was an independent station with no network affiliation. Dr. Noel Murphy was the president of Humber Valley Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Harold Butler was managing director. Roy M. Pike was station manager.
CFCB began doing morning traffic reports from a four wheel drive Jeep in November.
Robert J. Capp was program director.
CFSX Stephenville opened its own studio and began offering local programming between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The station continued to simulcast CFCB at all other times. The studios located at 251 Oregon Avenue, were authorized by the CRTC on March 25.
James O’Rourke was CFCB’s General Manager.
On April 29, Humber Valley was granted a licence for a new AM rebroadcast transmitter at Port aux Basques, operating on 1230 kHz with power of 250 watts (non-directional).
A transmitter at Wabush was licensed on July 8. It would broadcast on a frequency of 1340 kHz with 250 watts of power (non-directional). The licencing of a Port au Choix rebroadcast transmitter followed on July 23. It was licenced to operate on 790 kHz with power of 1,000 watts, using a single directional pattern.
Rebroadcaster CFGN 1230 Port aux Basques signed on the air on August 7. Call letter meaning: Coming From the Gateway to Newfoundland.
On December 6, rebroadcaster CFLW in Wabush opened. Call meaning: Coming From The West.
CFNW Port au Choix began broadcasting as a rebroadcaster on January 29. Coming From North to West (because of the station’s north and west directional pattern).
Dr. Murphy gave up his medical practice to concentrate full-time on the radio business.
On January 19, Humber Valley Broadcasting was given approval to establish local studios in Port aux Basques (CFGN) at 7 High Street.
On November 27, the company moved into the world of FM broadcasting with the licensing of new rebroadcast transmitters – all FM – at St. Andrews and St. Anthony, Newfoundland; and Churchill Falls,
On February 5, CFLC-FM Churchill Falls (calls: Coming From Central Newfoundland) opened.
An AM rebroadcaster at Goose Bay (Labrador) was licenced April 22, operating on 1230 kHz with
1,000 watts day and 250 watts night (non-directional).
Through the rest of the year, the following transmitters signed on the air:
June 6 – CFCV-FM St. Andrews (calls: Coming From Codroy Valley),
June 27 – CFNN-FM St. Anthony (calls: Coming From Newfoundland North),
September 28 – CFLN Goose Bay (calls: Coming From Labrador North),
December 6 – CFDL Deer Lake (calls: Coming From Deer Lake).
CFBB Bonne Bay (Coming From Bonne Bay) was scheduled to sign on in the near future.
Humber Valley’s application for an English FM station at Fermont, Quebec was denied. It would have operated on 97.9 MHz with effective radiated power of 8.3 watts. The CRTC said the first local service in the town should be French and reflect the needs and interests of the community. If approved, the station would have been chiefly a rebroadcaster of CFLW in Wabush.
Dr. Noel Murphy, president of the Humber Valley group of stations was elected mayor of Corner Brook. He also sponsored a vacation guide for the province. Murphy was also president at this time of the Atlantic Association of Broadcasters.
CFCB received approval for a rebroadcaster at Norris Point, operating with 126 watts on a frequency of 93.7 MHz.
Humber Valley Broadcasting received permission to reduce local originations on CFLW Wabush and CFLC-FM Churchill Falls. Until the economy improved, the stations would rebroadcast CFCB Corner Brook.
On December 13, CFGN Port-aux-Basques, CFLN Goose Bay and CFLW Wabush were granted increases in their night-time power from 250 watts to 1,000 watts.
On January 22, CFSX Stephenville was authorized to change frequency from 910 to 870 kHz.
After some feuding over alleged non-compliance, Corner Brook’s two AM stations settled on new formats, with the blessing of the CRTC. CFCB moved from Contemporary Middle of the Road to Contemporary (65% rock and 35% country) and CKWK moved from Country to Middle of the Road.
Chris Green was news director
Dr. Noel Murphy added the Order of Canada to his list of accomplishments. Murphy had recently earned Broadcaster of the Year honours from both the CAB and the AAB
CFCB purchased three Arrakis consoles and other equipment as it prepared for a move to a new facility. Jim O’Rourke was general manager and Joe Parsons was chief engineer.
On April 2, The sale of Humber Valley Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Newcap Inc. was approved. The purchase gave Newcap a coast to coast network of stations in Newfoundland. Newcap had purchased the St. John’s based Q Group (CJYQ) of stations in 1989 and the Radio Newfoundland (VOCM) group in 2000. Both of
those groups served the eastern part of the province while Humber Valley covered the west.
Humber Valley Broadcasting’s founder, Dr. Noel Murphy, passed away March 10 at age 89.
On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CFCB until August 31, 2016. The renewal included CFNW Port Aux Choix, CFNN-FM St. Anthony and CFDL-FM Deer Lake.
Katherine Hogan was promoted to general sales manager, Western Newfoundland (Corner Brook) for the Steele Communications radio stations. She had been an account executive at CFSX Stephenville.
On January 25, the CRTC approved the application by Newcap Inc. to amend the licence for CFCB Corner Brook in order to operate an FM transmitter at Port au Choix to replace the existing AM transmitter CFNW. The new transmitter would operate at 96.7 MHz (channel 244A) with an average effective radiated power of 1,900 watts (maximum ERP of 4,300 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 43.1 metres). Newcap stated that the antennas of its AM transmitters were brought down by wind and ice last year and that it had since been operating a temporary, much lower power AM antenna. The licensee also noted that it was informed by Parks Canada that the construction required to replace its AM transmitters on their existing site could irreparably damage a sensitive resource area in a National Historic Site. Newcap therefore submitted that building an FM transmitter was the least disruptive option and would significantly improve the quality of service and reliability of CFNW.
CFNW Port Au Choix moved from 790 kHz to 96.7 MHz with 1,900 watts (4,300 watts maximum ERP). It continued to simulcast CFCB 570.
On September 25, the CRTC approved an increase in daytime power for CFCB, from 1,000 to 10,000 watts.
In November it was announced that CFCB and K-Rock 103.9 would be relocating to the Glynmill Inn, owned by Steele Communications.
CFGN 1230 Port Aux Basques received CRTC approval to move to 96.7 FM with ERP of 1,240 watts.
On October 23, the CRTC approved an application by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited, on behalf of Newcap Inc. and its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, for authorization to effect a change in the ownership and effective control of various radio and television broadcasting undertakings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, so that effective control of the undertakings would be exercised by Eric Boyko (Stingray Digital Group Inc.). Stingray took ownership of the stations just a few days later.
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.