CKPE-FM, Cape 94.9, Sydney

Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.

CKPE-FM199894.961,000Maritime Broadcasting System
CJCB-FM195794.9630Cape Breton Broadcasters Ltd.


CJCB was granted a 250 watt FM licence.


CJCB-FM (94.9 MHz) went on the air. The “CB” in the call sign: Cape Breton.


Marven Nathanson

Marven Nathanson

Approval came for the transfer of control of Eastern Broadcasters Ltd. (CJCB) from N. Nathanson to J. Marven Nathanson and Norris L. Nathanson.


CJCB-FM may have left the air at some point and re-entered the picture this year. It now operated on a frequency of 94.9 MHz with a power of 630 watts. The station rebroadcast the programming of CJCB-AM so was a CBC Dominion affiliate. Cape Breton Broadcasters Ltd. was owned by the Nathanson family (J. Marven Nathanson 49.9%, Norris L. Nathanson 49.9% and Jennie Nathanson 0.2%). The company also owned CJCB-TV.


The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks were consolidated into a single CBC radio service. CJCB-AM-FM’s affiliation with the network came to an end.


CJCB-FM received approval to increase power from 630 watts to 675 watts. CJCB-FM offered 14 hours of programming each week that was separate from CJCB-AM.


Nate Nathanson, the founder of CJCB-AM-FM and TV passed away on February 28. His sons Marven and Norris took control of the company.


Cape Breton Broadcasters Ltd. changed its name to Celtic Investments Ltd.




On August 16, CJCB-FM was authorized to increase power from 675 watts to 61,000 watts. The station also committed to increasing its hours of operation from 87 to 124 hours, weekly.


CJCB-FM’s application to change to a country format was denied. The CRTC said AM stations broadcast country music extensively, and that CJCB-FM’s recent change to easy listening provided an alternative.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CKPE-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985. On February 13, the CRTC approved the application by CFCF Inc. for an English-language radio network licence consisting of CFCF Montreal, CKBY-FM Ottawa, CKPE-FM Sydney and CHFX-FM Halifax for the purpose of broadcasting the hockey games of the Montreal Canadiens during the 1983-1984 to 1986-1987 National Hockey League seasons.


At 81, Robby Robertson was still hosting one show a week on CKPE-FM.


CKPE-FM had its licence renewed for only three years because of problems with its music format and shortfalls in foreground programming and special interest music. Marven Nathanson was vice-president of operations of the Atlantic Television System, present owners of CJCB-TV, and president of Celtic Investments, owners of CJCB and CKPE-FM. Norris Nathanson was vice-president of Celtic and general manager of the radio stations.


Celtic Investments Ltd. (J. Marven Nathanson 50%) and (Norris L. Nathanson 50%) was purchased by Fundy II Ltd. (Wm. C. Stanley, owner of CFBC & CJYC Saint John).


CKPE was given approval to relocate its transmitter site to a location 13 km southwest of the present site.


Donnie Brown was Vice President & General Manager of CKPE and CJCB.


After months of rumours, Fundy Cable announced it would concentrate on cable. The company reached an agreement in principle to sell CKPE/CJCB (Sydney) to Maritime Broadcasting (which had a minority interest in CHER) and CFBC/CJYC-FM (Saint John) to Newcap.


The deal for Martime Broadcasting to purchase CJCB/CKPE-FM Sydney and CFBC/C98 FM Saint John from Fundy Communications closed May 1. Maritime’s Merv Russell said the environmental issue at Sydney had been satisfied to all parties. Fundy would retain ownership of the building housing the two radio stations at Sydney. Donnie Brown would stay in his general manager’s position at Sydney and George Ferguson would retain his GM’s role at the stations in Saint John. On April 30, Maritime had just closed on its deal to purchase of Neil MacMullen’s Annapolis Valley Radio. Following the purchase by MBS, CJCB/CKPE saw eight layoffs in late June: four from news, three from programming, and one from accounting. Included from the programming side: music director/swing announcer George Gregory. Losses on the news side included 23-year veteran Dave Wilson, who was news director and morning talker, and sports director Dave LeBlanc. Program directors Donnie Graham (CJCB) and Fred Denny (CKPE), no longer PDs, now reported to CHER Sydney morning man Dan Barton, who was now also now operations manager at CJCB/CKPE-FM. The stations would also undergo format changes with CJCB to become all-country while CKPE-FM would adopt light rock. News and sportscasts were also being reduced. The format changes took place in June. The Nova Scotia House of Assembly gave approval to a resolution condemning the layoffs at CJCB/CKPE-FM. The House protested the CRTC’s failure to regulate broadcasting in a way that protected jobs and ensured service to communities in Nova Scotia. The resolution cited similar job cuts at other Maritime Broadcasting stations, saying the commission allowed MBS to continue to accumulate radio licences despite its record of laying off employees and reducing service to the community. In June, CKPE switched to a lite rock format.


Don Sharpe left CKPE/CJCB at the end of June because his mid-day shift was automated.


Sean Russell, general manager at CHER, added operations manager duties for K94 and CJCB to his responsibilities. He succeeded Dan Barton who had moved on to Telemedia’s stations in Truro. Donnie Graham lost his morning show job at K94 but a short time later joined the station’s sales department.


On June 28 the CRTC renewed CKPE-FM’s licence until August 31, 2011.


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


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


Norris Nathanson (84) passed away December 9. He was GM and co-owner of CJCB and CKPE, along with his brother Marvin, until the stations were sold to Fundy Broadcasting in 1990. The brothers took over the stations from their father, Nate, who started CJCB in 1929 in an effort to sell more radios at his Sydney book and music store.

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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