CKEN-FM, AVR – Today’s Best Country, Kentville

Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.

CKEN-FM200397.113,250Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.
CKEN-AM19471490250Evangeline Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CFAB Windsor applied for a rebroadcast transmitter at Kentville. The application was deferred in December.


In January, CFAB again applied for a rebroadcaster at Kentville – 250 watts on 1490 kHz. The earlier application was deferred by the CBC because of an application for a new station at Kentville by F.J. Burns, who published the weekly newspaper there. This second application by CFAB was also deferred. In March, the CBC Board recommended for approval, CFAB’s request to operate a relay station at Kentville. CKEN signed on the air August 7. It operated on a frequency of 1490 kHz with 250 watts of power (non-directional). The station was owned by Evangeline Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


J.A.C. Lewis was manager.


The CBC approved the transfer of 23 common shares in Evangeline Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CKEN and CFAB). A further transfer of 2 common shares was later approved.


Approval was given for the transfer of two common shares in Evangeline Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


Slogan: CKEN-CFAB Teamed to cover the Rich Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley.


CKEN received federal approval to change frequency from 1490 to 1350 kHz and to increase power from 250 to 1,000 watts.


G. H. Wilson was president of the company, Jack Lewis was manager, Willard Bishop was production and program manager. CKEN was an independent station with no network affiliation. Ownership of Evangeline Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: A. M. Bishop 52.1%, R. L. MacDonald 0.3%, G. C. Baker 0.2%, W. A. Bishop 0.2%, F. J. Burns 0.5%, D. J. Waterbury 0.3%, Mrs. E. J. MacMillan 0.3%, United Fruit Companies Nova Scotia Ltd. 43.6% and seven other shareholders 2.5%.


Bob Huggins did sports. Ann Ramey was women’s commentator. Jack Lews was manager. CFAB-CKEN was now signing on the air at 6:25 a.m. instead of 6:55 – as of October 20. The extra time was added to “Farm Review” which continued on to 7:30 a.m.


Willard A. Bishop was program director. Ann Ramey was on-air.


CKEN-FM signed on the air. Frank J. Burns was President of Evangeline Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Willard A. Bishop was General Manager of CKEN.


On October 18, a power increase was granted for CKEN.




Ron Harrison left CKEN for sister station CKDY Digby. Brian Schofield was hired at CKEN to fill in for vacationing announcers. Don Hill and Dan Moores were heard on CKEN. CKEN moved to a new studio facility. The building housed complete facilities for all five Annapolis Valley stations.


Approval was granted for the transfer of 66% of Evangeline Broadcasting Co. from the estate of A. M. Bishop to W. A. Bishop.


Annapolis Valley Radio Ltd. acquired CKEN and CKWM on June 26. Also purchased were CFAB Windsor, CKDY Digby and CKAD Middleton. These stations rebroadcast much of CKEN’s programming. CFAB had been on the air since 1945, CKAD since 1962 and CKDY since 1970. By this time, CKEN was operating on 1490 kHz with 1,000 watts day and 250 watts night.


The AVR network expanded when CKDY-FM-1 signed on the air at Weymouth. CKEN was given approval to increase night power from 500 to 1,000 watts.


Richard Collicut left AVR where he had been news director. He’d remain toed to owner Neil MacMullan in his new capacity plus doing some work at CBC Radio in Halifax. The new AVR news director was Bill Spurr, who had been with the company for four years.


The CRTC approved the sales of Kentville-based Annapolis Valley Radio Ltd to Halifax-based Maritime Broadcasting System Limited. AVR operated CFAB Windsor, CKEN and CKWM-FM Kentville, CKAD Middleton, CKDY Digby and CKDY-FM-1 Weymouth. Maritime Broadcasting president Merv Russell said the deal for AVR would close April 30. Diane Best-Redden would be general manager at AVR. Maritime Broadcasting closed its deal for the purchase of Neil MacMullen’s Annapolis Valley Radio on April 30, then did the same thing all over again on May 1 for the purchase of Fundy Broadcasting’s CJCB/CKPE-FM Sydney and CFBC/C98-FM Saint John. CKEN was granted a night-time power decrease from 1,000 to 750 watts.


The corporate name changed from Annapolis Valley Radio Ltd. to Maritime Broadcaasting System Ltd.


On July 2, CKEN was given approval to convert to the FM band. The new station would offer a country music format and operate on 94.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.


On January 10, CKEN moved to sister station CKWM’s 97.7 MHz frequency from 1490 AM. CKWM”Magic 97” took the 94.9 frequency that CKEN had applied for, becoming “Magic 94-9”.


Willard A. Bishop, founder of CKEN-CKWM (Annapolis Valley Broadcasting), passed away January 15 at age 78.


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKEN-FM until March 31, 2012.


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKEN-FM to August 31, 2012. On August 28, the licence was renewed to December 31, 2012. On December 19, the CRTC renewed the licence for CKEN-FM to August 31, 2019.

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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