CJFX-FM, 989 XFM, Antigonish

Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd

CJFX-AM200398.975,390Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd
CJFX-AM19435801,000Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd.


A meeting in Sydney in April brought together a group of priests from the Diocese of Antigonish. Father James Boyle expressed his conviction that the Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University must have a radio station of its own, to carry on it’s important work of adult education and community development.


By November, Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. had been formed and it had a licence to operate a private commercial radio station, with St. Francis Xavier University providing the educational part of the programming.


CJFX was now subscribing to Press News service to obtain news from the Canadian Press and Associated Press.


Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. opened CJFX on March 25, operating on a frequency of 580 kHz with 1,000 watts of power. Premier A. S. MacMillan was on hand for the launch of the new co-operatively owned station. CJFX operated under the management of Clyde Nunn. Just days before CJFX went on the air it received a government letter stating the station must return all of the copper wire used for its antenna tower ground system. The copper was an important wartime resource. CJFX refused.


CJFX received CBC approval to increase power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts. J. Clyde Nunn was managing director. CJFX was a new station for the CBC Dominion Network.




CJFX increased power to 5,000 watts (directional at night). The transmitter site was located on Post Road. Future “voice” of the Montreal Canadiens Danny Gallivan left CJFX for CJCH in Halifax.


CJFX was operating with 5,000 watts day and night. Slogan: The Station That Is Heard & Preferred. The CJFX towers, located a mile from town, came under threat from a forest fire in the fall. Volunteer firefighters hampered by strong winds, were successful in beating the fire in the end.


The CBC recommended for approval, the transfer of one share in Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd.


J.C. Nunn was manager.


The CBC approved the transfer of four shares in Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. There was no change of control.


The CBC approved the transfer of 8 common shares in Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. There were two further approved transfers later in the year: 11 common shares and then 2 common shares.


Approval was granted for the transfer of one common share in Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. Later in the year, the CBC approved a further transfer of one common share.


Approval was granted for the transfer of six common shares in Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. Later in the year, a further transfer of five common shares was approved. CJCB in Sydney was granted a licence for a television station. The application was opposed by a new company, Cabot Television Co. Ltd., composed partly of some of the shareholders of CJFX. The company said it was trying to raise $500,000 and if it was unsuccessful in the next few weeks, the group would recommend to the board that the licence go to CJCB. CJFX manager Clyde Nunn was named a governor of St. Francis Xavier University. The CBC Board approved the transfer of three common shares in Atlantic Broadcsters Ltd.


Coverage area ad: North east Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Northern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Gaspe East and Magdalen Islands, Quebec, and most of Newfoundland. Outdoor billboard ad: Dial 580 – You’re tuned to the Stars on CJFX – 5000 watts – Dominion Network – Sports-News-Music. The CBC approved the transfer one common share in Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd.


Manager Charles “Chuck” Tierney left CJFX to be sales manager at CKVR-TV in Barrie. He had been manager of CJFX for the past two and a half years and his appointment at CKVR was effective August 1. Slogan: We have the right approach to sell – 5000 watts – 580 KCS. – CJFX.


CJFX was a CBC Dominion affiliate. Ownership of Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd.: Rev. Dr. D. MacCormick 0.2%, A. J. Sears 0.2%, A. Gallagher 0.4%, Rev. R. Campbell 0.6%, L. Connolly 0.4%, J. Doyle 0.4%, D. J. MacEachern 0.2%, J. Flynn 0.2%, Rev. M. M MacDonald 0.2%, approximately 309 other shareholders – 97.2%. Dr. D. MacCormick was president of the company and Gordon C. MacDougall was manager.


Ad slogan: CJFX Antigonish offers the largest circulation (BBM) and audience of any rural Nova Scotian station.


Ad: Largest rural coverage of any rural station in Nova Scotia – CJFX – “Voice of the Atlantic Seaboard”.


Dr. F. J. Ginivan was president of Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. J. Clyde Nunn was manager. 


CJFX increased power on 580 kHz from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts.


Dr. F. J. Ginivan was President of Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd.


CJFX marked 25 years on the air on March 25. J. Clyde Nunn had been manager since the start.


Bruce Rafuse was program director.


On October 7, Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. was given approval to operate an auxiliary studiofor CJFX at McLaughlin Drive, Port Hawkesbury.


The world’s first totally solid state 10 kw AM broadcast transmitter went into operation on February 19 at CJFX. The AMPEET 10, manufactured in Nova Scotia by Nautel, was designed to provide trouble-free operation, and 74% efficiency resulting in savings of up to 60,000 kw hours per year. Manager Dave MacLean said the transmitter replaced a 17 year old RCA unit. An official inauguration ceremony was held March 28.


David MacLean was general manager at CJFX.


On April 26, CJFX had its application to increase power to 25,000 watts denied. The station also wanted to relocate the transmitter site from Post Road to Pleasant Valley Rd.


Approval came September 12 for CJFX to increase power from 10,000 to 25,000 watts and to relocate the transmitter from Post Road to a new site on Pleasant Valley Road, approximately 13 kilometres to the north-northwest of Antigonish. CJFX determined that any improvements to its transmission system would best be done at a new location far removed from an area of concentrated population with its attendant problems of commercial and residential electrical interference.


On March 25, CJFX marked 50 years on the air. It was noted that a number of big names got their start at the station…Danny Gallivan, Earle Cameron, Allan MacEachern, Daniel Petrie, Senator Finlay MacDonald and Chuck Camroux. Before he became famous, Hank Snow used to call the station and buy a play of his records – at two dollars an airing.


David MacLean was general manager.


Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. was given approval February 13 to add a rebroadcast transmitter for CJFX at Antigonish, operating on 98.9 MHz with effective radiated powerof 1,900 watts. With the 1990 power increase, the AM radiation pattern had to include sharp nulls to protect other stations to the west. This FM transmitter would correct the deficiencies in CJFX’s coverage area.


A power increase for the FM rebroadcaster from 1,900 to 2,750 watts was approved on July 26.


On January 8, CJFX was given approval to convert to the FM band. The new station would operate on the existing rebroadcaster’s frequency of 98.9 MHz and effective radiated power would increase from 2,750 to 75,390 watts. The move from AM to FM took place later in the year, and on June 30, the AM transmitter was shut down for the last time.


On April 8, CJFX was given permission to add a rebraodcast transmitter at Inverness. The station proposed to operate on 97.5 MHz with effective radiated power of 2,330 watts. CJFX was advised however to seek another suitable frequency. Within days of shutting down its AM transmitter, CJFX was made aware of a coverage deficiency in northern Cape Breton. This FM transmitter would reinstate the station’s service to northern Inverness County on Cape Breton Island.   On November 12, CJFX was authorized to operate the earlier approved Inverness transmitter on 102.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 2,330 watts. This transmitter became operational later in the month.


Over the past year CJFX “98.9 XFM 102.5” built a new sound and image. The format was now Hot AC with Classic Rock Gold. It should be noted that from the very beginning, Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. has operated as a cooperative with over 300 shareholders. At this point in time, some 80% of the shares of ABL were spread throughout residents of Eastern N.S.


On August 17, Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. received permission to operate a low-power transmitter at Pleasant Bay. It would operate at 102.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50 watts. After CJFX converted from AM to FM, residents of the Pleasant Bay community lost their radio service as a result and have since petitioned the licensee to restore coverage to the area. In addition, mountainous terrain surrounding Pleasant Bay prevents this community from receiving the signals of both CJFX-FM and its transmitter CJFX-FM-1 Inverness. 


On June 1, Ken Farrell became the General Manager at 989 XFM (CJFX). He had spent 25 years as host with “Inside Sports” and basketball and hockey play-by-play at the station. As of December 10, Joey Arsenault joined 989 XFM (CJFX) as music director and afternoon drive host. He had been with CJCW Radio / Maritime Broadcasting for the past two years.


On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CJFX-FM until August 31, 2016. The renewal included CJFX-FM-1 Inverness and CJFX-FM-2 Pleasant Bay.


Joey Arsenault left CJFX early in the year.


CJFX-FM changed format from Hot Adult Contemporary-Classic Hits (as XFM) to Oldies-Classic Hits (The Nish). Just after the switch to the Nish, CJFX reverted back to 989 XFM Nothing But Hits. The music was not only oldies, but spanned from the 1960’s to the 2000’s. Barry MacKinnon was Program Director and Paul Kerwin was Music Director.


The CRTC denied the Atlantic Broadcasters Ltd. application for a 60 kW FM station in Antigonish.


On March 25, CJFX marked 75 years on the air. An open house was held March 23 with announcers Paul Van, Gerard MacDonald, Joe Chesal, GM Ken Farrell and former on-air personalities Ray ‘Mac’ MacDonald and Freeman Roach in attendance. CJFX was a pioneer in broadcasting educational programming and live music in its early years.

John Anthony Hello died at age 64 on June 10. Hello spent many years working in radio with his career culminating at CJFX as news and sports director.

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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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