CFRB-AM, NewsTalk 1010, Toronto
Bell Media Inc.
Before CFRB came on the air in Toronto on February 19, 1927, radio stations around the world relied on Direct Current (D.C.) for their power supplies as provided by batteries and/or motorized generators. The Alternating Current (A.C.) from power systems could not be used for heating filaments in the audio circuits because it produced an obnoxious hum – hence low-voltage batteries were commonly used. Further, to produce the high-voltage direct current and/or the low filament voltage required by transmitting tubes, electric A.C. motors were coupled mechanically to D.C. generators. This set-up served the purpose but it was expensive and unreliable.
Earlier,a Canadian, Reginald Fessenden, had demonstrated in 1900 that radio signals, until then limited to dots and dashes, could be “modulated” to carry voice, music and other sounds.
Then, in 1902, Fessenden went on to patent another invention of his – the “heterodyne principle” which, as it was perfected, made it easier to tune a radio by using only one instead of as many as four knobs.
In 1925, Edward S. (Ted) Rogers of Toronto scored a break-through in radio receivers. His achievement resulted from his experiments in developing radio tubes employing an “indirectly-heated cathode”. This proved to be a major advancement for radio – particularly so for receivers. Before Rogers’ invention, alternating current could not be used to heat the filaments of tubes because of the severe hum caused in the receiver. These early tubes used a filament (as in a lamp) for the “cathode” element (when it was activated, it became hot and emitted electrons). Rogers’ invention shielded the filament with a metal sleeve so that the sleeve was heated by the filament inside it. That sleeve became the “cathode” element, and the filament was re-named as a “heater” for the cathode. This development eliminated the hum when the heater was applied with alternating current.
In addition, while rectifier tubes that could convert A.C. to D.C. had been invented, they were not used in broadcasting – neither for home receivers nor for transmitters. Ted Rogers applied their principles to develop a rectified A.C.-power supply to substitute for the high-voltage “B+” batteries in receivers. Thus, all batteries were eliminated. Neither the 6-volt “A” batteries nor the 45-volt “B” batteries were necessary.
In August of 1925, the first Rogers Batteryless Radio Receiver was publicly unveiled at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. For the ensuing two years, these Rogers radio receivers were the only batteryless radios manufactured in North America.
After developing this revolutionary receiving tube, Ted Rogers and his brother Elsworth started a new company to make receivers using these tubes and the rectified power supplies. Their father, Albert Rogers, had financed the operations with a holding company incorporated as Standard Radio Manufacturing Corporation Limited.
Standard controlled both Rogers Radio Tube Company and Rogers Batteryless Radio Company – the latter, the manufacturer of the receivers. Models were produced under the names Rogers Majestic and DeForest-Crossley.(In 1928, the name was changed to Rogers Majestic Corporation Limited).
In his book Broadcast Policy Development (1982), Frank Foster recalled that the invention of the batteryless radio by E.S. Rogers had an indirect effect on the development of policy for broadcasting. “His batteryless radio increased the popularity of radio broadcasting. With an increase in the number of radio listeners there was a corresponding increase in the demands for a distinctive Canadian system”.
Ted Rogers Sr. went on to serve this demand.
The History of CFRB
|CFRB-AM||2007||1010||50,000||Astral Media Inc.|
|CFRB-AM||1985||1010||50,000||Standard Radio Inc.|
|CFRB-AM||1978||1010||50,000||Black brothers acquire Argus Corp. (Standard Broadcasting)|
|CFRB-AM||1966||1010||50,000||Standard Radio becomes Standard Broadcasting|
|CFRB-AM||1962||1010||50,000||CFRB Ltd. (Standard Radio Limited)|
|CFRB-AM||1946||1010||10,000||Argus Corp. buys Rogers Radio Ltd.|
|CFRB-AM||1941||860||10,000||Rogers Radio Ltd.|
|CFRB-AM||1934||690||10,000||Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co.|
|CFRB-AM||1932||690||10,000||Rogers Majestic Corp. Ltd.|
|CFRB-AM||1931||690||5,000||Standard Radio Manufacturing Corp.(Rogers)|
|9RB/CFRB-AM||1927||1030||1,000||Standard Radio Manufacturing Corp.(Rogers)|
There were 92,000 radio receiving sets in Canada, but Ted Rogers changed all of that when he produced a radio tube that converted ordinary alternating electric power into direct current that could be used by radio. In the summer of 1925, patrons of the CNE saw the new Rogers “batteryless” set in action.
On February 19th, to respond to the public’s desire for more sources of radio entertainment and to demonstrate to the world that broadcasting stations could operate solely from alternating current power lines, Standard Radio Manufacturing Corporation Limited obtained an experimental licence for “9RB”. Using tubes that he had developed, Ted Rogers built the world’s first radio broadcasting transmitter operating from power lines, without batteries and motorized D.C. converters.
At 9:00 p.m. on February 19, conductor Jack Arthur raised his baton and a symphony orchestra put music into the air. The cast included, among others, Frank Oldfield (bass baritone), Luigi Von Kunitz (director of Toronto Symphony Orchestra), the Gilson Trio, Aeolian Male Quartette and Ben Hokea’s Hawaiian Quartette, and Freddie Tee (singer).
On February 19, 1927, 9RB became CFRB (Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless), broadcasting on 1030 kHz with 1,000 watts. CFRB was operated by Rogers Radio Broadcasting Company. CFRB shared the 1030 frequency and airtime with CKGW and CJYC. CFRB’s first studios were situated in the mansion built by the Massey family which had been converted to accommodate the Ryan Art Galleries (Jarvis Street, near Wellesley). The transmitter was sited north of Toronto in Aurora on Bloomingdale sideroad – later named “CFRB Sideroad”. The station used two 98 foot high wooden towers – on the highest point of land in the Toronto area – on a hill in Aurora – 1,040 feet above sea level.
In March, CFRB’s position on the dial became 960 kHz, and the air-time and the frequency were shared only with CKGW.
Lindbergh’s dramatic flight in the spring sparked world imagination and showed the place of radio in the reporting of news events.
George Wade and his Cornhuskers joined CFRB shortly after it went on the air.
CFRB was only a month old when Denton Massey aired his “York Bible Class” on the station.
Alexander Chuhaldin, leader of the Imperial Grand Theatre in Moscow, fled Russia in 1924 and became CFRB’s first musical director in 1927.
Early in the year, Ted Rogers suggested CFRB have newscasts direct from the editorial offices of the Toronto Globe. Station engineer Jack Sharpe and vice-president Ellsworth Rogers designed a compact remote control amplifier for the Globe offices.
On April 25, using a new transmitter and still on 960, CFRB’s power was increased from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts.
Standard Radio Manufacturing Corp. Ltd. became Rogers Majestic Corp. Ltd.
Wes McKnight joined the station as Sports Director, doing sports interviews, live coverage of the King’s Plate horse races; in 1934 he developed “Sportsviews” – before the Imperial Esso Hockey broadcast on Saturday nights– a program that continued for 40 years. He also did “Sports Commentary”at 6:40 pm following the News on week-nights, and was the voice of the Toronto Argonauts and live coverage of Grey Cup games for over 30 years.
CFRB used its powerful transmitter to beam special broadcasts to an expedition in Hudson Strait, above the Arctic Circle.
Toronto Conservatory of Music graduate Ernest Bushnell started out as a singer, formed one of the first agencies to sell radio time, and joined CFRB this year, working with the station’s first station manager Charles Shearer.
Kathleen Stokes was an organist at Loew’s Theatre when she got her first radio audience with CFRB.
CFRB moved to new offices and studios in a two-story building at 37 Bloor Street West. At the time, the studios were ranked as the largest in Canada, with 2,000 square feet of floor space and a large auditorium to accommodate audiences for live shows. These studios were used in the production of a large number of sponsored Canadian programs which were fed to networks of stations in Montreal and various Ontario cities selected by advertising agencies.
The station’s original management was on hand for the opening of the new facility: H.E. Mott (chief engineer), Sam Rogers (legal counsel), H.S. McDougall (president), Harry S. Moore (secretary-treasurer), Charles Shearer (studio director), Jack Sharpe (studio engineer), Wes McKnight (chief announcer) and Walter Kiehn (sales manager).
On April 29, CFRB became affiliated with CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System, and carried as its first CBS feature The Majestic Theatre of the Air.
CKGW moved to another frequency, leaving CFRB the only station in Toronto on 960 kHz.
CKGW was re-positioned on 960, and again, CKGW and CFRB “shared”.
CFRB was the first Canadian station to originate a program on an American network (CBS).
Rex Frost joined CFRB.
Ernest Bushnell left CFRB to manage the Canadian National Carbon Company’s (Eveready Batteries) CKNC.
Announcer Wes McKnight took over the first regular sports program – on CFRB.
On November 2nd, CFRB’s frequency was changed from 960 kHz to 690 kHz, an international clear Class I-A channel allocated to Canada. Power was increased to 10,000 watts.
The Canadian Pacific Railway, which had been authorized to use the “phantom” call-sign CPRY, leased certain periods of transmitter time for presentation of programs from studios it established in the Roof Garden of the CPR-owned Royal York Hotel.
Ted Rogers said, “It has been our constant aim to keep in the forefront of radio development.”
Anne Jamieson (of Guelph) joined CFRB where she greatly impressed station producers.
To keep program quality and station policy up to technical standards, and to have CFRB pay a profit, Ted Rogers persuaded a young Famous Players Canadian Corp. (the biggest theatre holding organization in Canada) executive, Harry Sedgwick, to take over management of CFRB. Harry had never been in a radio studio and had never been interested in the business, except as a listener – and as a listener, he knew what he liked. Sedgwick would bring to an end the reliance on free talent and amateur musicians, something common in Canadian radio in the early years. The station would now air such programs as Sunday afternoon concerts by the Canadian National Railways Symphony, Imperial Oil Symphony Concert, Canadian General Electric Vagabonds, C.I.L.’s Opera House of the Air, the Rogers Majestic musical program under Luigi Romanelli’s baton, General Motors Hockey broadcasts, and then, Wes McKnight’s sports column – the first regular sports program on Canadian radio.
Andrew Allen joined CFRB from the University of Toronto. He would announce, write and produce.
Harry Sedgwick became Managing Director of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Ltd., beginning 15 years of leading CFRB by developing talent and programing that made the station one of the most repected in Canada. At the same time he helped the Canadian Association of Broadcasters through its toughest years, many of them as its President.
Two 300-foot steel towers for a 600-foot “flat-top” antenna were installed at the Aurora plant.
Kate Aitken joined the CFRB air-staff.
In the early morning hours of August 20, fire swept through CFRB’s control room. The fire was disastrous and costly. Bell Telephone worked closely with station engineers to set up a temporary control panel and CFRB was able to open its morning show right on schedule.
CFRB 690 vs 500,000 watt WLW 700
CFRB (690 kHz) expressed concern with Washington (via the Canadian government) about the experimental operation of WLW Cincinnati at 700 kHz, using a power of 500,000 watts. Because of interference from WLW, CFRB increased its power . CFRB said its power increase succeeded in diminishing interference between it and WLW. However, CFRB feared that if the experimental operation of WLW with 500,000 watts were successful, the experimental restriction might be removed with the result that interference would be caused to CFRB. The Canadian government suggested a transfer of WLW to a channel at least 50 kHz away from 690 kHz and from any other channel used in Ontario. This would not happen of course. The actual separation in miles between WLW and CFRB was 400 miles.
Canada contacted the U.S. Government again. Canada said that with WLW operating at 500,000 watts, the service area of CFRB was reduced to little more than the City of Toronto itself, and 50 miles out, the signals from Toronto were completely obliterated. WLW was told it could operate with a power of 500,000 watts during the day and only 50,000 watts at night – or 500,000 watts at night, provided such a radiating system was employed that the effective signal delivered in the area between Niagara Falls, N.Y., Lockport, N.Y., and Lake Ontario, did not exceed the effective signal delivered in that area when operating with 50,000 watts. In 1932, the governments of the U.S. and Canada entered into an agreement by which 690 kHz was allocated exclusively for the use of a Canadian station located at Toronto, with the right reserved to Canada to increase the power thereof to 50,000 watts. With that in mind, it was very difficult for the U.S. to allow WLW to continue its unrestricted 500,000 watt night-time experiment.
Harry Sedgwick hired many new personalities in the 1930’s, many of them were women. Claire Wallace was one of the most outstanding. “Tea Time Topics”, 15 minutes daily, just before the news, became very popular.
Recognizing the need for a stronger News presence, CFRB hired Jim Hunter who was writing for the Telegram newspaper, and he read the news directly from the Telegram’s editorial room. His newscast became very popular with the sound of a “coach horn” introduction to the tune of “a-Hunting We Will Go”. His newscasts continued until his death in 1949.
When the Moose River mine collapsed near Halifax, CFRB put newscaster Jim Hunter on the air every 20 minutes for 129 consecutive hours to cover the event. The collapse had trapped three men for ten days.
A short-wave transmitter, licensed as CFRX, was installed at the Aurora transmitting site, utilizing 1,000 watts on 6070 kHz. It carried CFRB’s programs.
Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was granted an experimental licence for a frequency modulation (FM) station to simulcast CFRB’s programming as VE9AK. A 50-watt transmitter, built at the Rogers Radio Tube plant, operated in the original FM band – around 42 MHz. A vertical antenna was mounted on the roof of the CFRB studio building at 37 Bloor Street West – with a height of only 60 feet above ground level.
Dick McDougal left CFRB for the CKCL announce staff. Claire Wallace was CFRB topics commentator. Andrew Allan was an announcer. Bob Kesten left CKCL to free-lance but was heard mainly on CFRB.
Slogans: 3 million Canadians can hear us tonight! And they do listen! 12 years of continuous service built this listener appeal. / By popular vote THE most popular station in Canada’s wealthiest market! CFRB, Toronto.
Edward Samuel (Ted) Rogers, founder of CFRB, died. His son, E.S. (Ted) Rogers junior, who was to become one of the most dynamic persons in Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications in the 20th century, had yet to reach his 6th birthday. This obituary appeared in Broadcasting Magazine (American): EDWARD S. (Ted) ROGERS, president of CFRB, Toronto, and prominent Canadian radio manufacturer, died May 6 after a severe internal hemorrhage. He was 38 years old. Well-known as a radio engineer and executive, Mr. Rogers started radio as a hobby when a youth and in 1921 was the first Canadian amateur to successfully broadcast a transatlantic signal. His original amateur station, 3BP, grew into the present CFRB, and his early receiver construction efforts into Canada’s largest radio and tube plants. He is credited with having developed the first commercial light-socket radio receiver in 1925. His widow and a son survive.
J. E. Rogers was named president of Rogers Broadcasting Co., owners of CFRB and CKLW, succeeding his brother E. S. Rogers, who died May 6. Mr. Rogers also succeeded his brother as president of the Rogers-Majestic Corp., parent company of all the Rogers interests in radio and tube and set manufacturing.
CFRB signed a full term contract with British United Press.
On May 19 a violent wind and rain storm hit southern Ontario, blowing down one of the 360 foot towers of CFRB, at Aurora, 20 miles north of Toronto. CFRB was off the air nearly five hours (5:40 to 10:20 p.m.) while engineers rigged up a temporary tower for the loose end of the T antenna. The west tower was a crumpled heap of steel on the ground. Damage was estimated at around $10,000.
CFRB placed and order for a 300 foot steel tower with Canadian Bridge Co. Ltd. of Walkerville, to replace the tower blown down in a wind storm on May 19. The T-type antenna was now only supported from one 300 foot tower to a small temporary tower.
CFRB was granted an experimental FM licence by the Radio Branch of the Department of Transport. 25 watts of power would be used at 43.4 MHz. CFRB manager Harry Sedgwick said no equipment had been purchased yet and an opening date was not known at this point. It was expected the FM transmitter would be located at the CFRB studio building.
Ad slogan: Canada’s Foremost Radio Buy (CFRB).
Al Savage did the morning show. Fred Haywood joined the CFRB announcing staff. He had worked with stations out west, CKSO Sudbury and CHML in Hamilton. Bob Kesten was a free-lance announcer for both CFRB and CKCL.
As a result of the terms of Havana Treaty of 1937 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the regulator of Canadian broadcasting, instructed CFRB to move from 690 to another Canadian Class I-A channel – 860 kHz. This move was made to accommodate CBF – the CBC’s new 50-kilowatt station in Montreal which had been assigned to 690 kHz. Thus, on March 29, CFRB’s transmitter plant at Aurora was re-adjusted to operate on 860 kHz.
Through negotiations with W.C. Thornton Cran, the manufacturing assets of Rogers Majestic Corporation Limited (Rogers Radio Tubes Ltd. and Rogers Batteryless Radio Co. Ltd.) were sold to Small Electric Motors Limited. Rogers Majestic Corporation Limited changed its name to Standard Radio Limited, and retained control through Rogers Radio Broadcasting Company Limited, which held the licence for CFRB.
John Collingwood Reade was now heard on CFRB. Claire Wallace left CFRB for the CBC. Earl Dunn joined the station.
A special broadcast marked the 2,000th program of Rex Frost’s Farm Broadcast on March 13. The program had been running continuously since 1933 as a sponsored market report and general farm discussion feature.
The Ontario Government started a tourist program on CBS, April 20. The half-hour variety show originated at Toronto’s Hart House Theatre. It was carried in Canada only on CFRB, Toronto’s CBS outlet. While the commercials on Ontario tourist attractions were heard on U.S. stations, listeners to CFRB were told how best they could receive American visitors to Canada and what Americans expect of their Canadian hosts.
VE9AK (FM) left the air until the end of WW II.
Harry (Red) Foster worked on-air at CFRB. Lloyd Moore, Bob Morrison, Rai Purdy and Al Savage also worked at CFRB.
Wes McKnight’s Bee Hive Sports Views entered its 10th year of uninterrupted broadcasting. The show aired at 6:40 p.m. daily and on Saturdays, was fed to a network of 39 stations across the country.
Todd Russell was at CFRB. Announcer Fred Heywood reported for military training and was replaced at the station by Loy Owens. Gordon Fraser left CFRB’s engineering department for the National Film Board in Ottawa. Wib Perry joined CFRB in the fall.
Harry Sedgwick was president of CFRB and chairman of the board of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. He took over CFRB in 1931. Roy Locksley was program director.
John Collingwood Reade ended four years of commentary on CFRB on October 14. Jack Dennett joined CFRB from CKRC Winnipeg (and CFAC Calgary before that). He took over the 11:00 p.m. newscast from Reade and would also do another nightly 10 minute newscast. Eventually Dennett would take over the 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. newscasts, replacing the popular Jim Hunter. He wrote, edited and read these newscasts for 26 years. As a member of the Hot Stove League, he presided over that group prior to the Saturday Night Hockey radio broadcast which went coast to coast.
An advertising slogan of the day: In the Heart of Ontario – CFRB Toronto – The listener’s choice.
Wally Armour was appointed CFRB’s musical director, replacing Roy Locksley.
Armour had been in radio since 1926 and succeeded Roy Locksley, now with “The Navy Show”.
Some of the on-air names: Rex Frost, Jim Hunter, Cy Strange (joined this year).
Standard Radio Ltd., the holding company for CFRB and Windsor’s CKLW, showed a profit according to its 1941-42 financial statement.
Gordon Sinclair joined CFRB on June 6. While working at the Toronto Star, Sinc had actually had his first taste of radio in 1942 with CFRB when he did a number of feature reports. Wes McKnight was program director. Staff announcer Maurice “Bod” Boddington left CFRB to free-lance. He had been with CFRB for 13 years and worked at CKGW before that. Wib Perry left for CJBC.
Eddie Luther joined CFRB as junior announcer.
John Collingwood Reade returned to CFRB following a period of political activities in Ottawa. He would now do a news commentary on the station, three days a week at 10 p.m. Eddie Luther joined the CFRB announce staff. He was a retired air force pilot and for the past two years had been a flying instructor. He was the brother of well known New York freelance announcer, Paul Luther.
Small Electric Motors Limited, with its former Rogers’ manufacturing units, were sold – to become the Canadian nucleus of the Dutch-owned Philips Electronics Ltd.
Bill Deegan joined the CFRB announcing staff from Sudbury’s CKSO. Keith Dancy was hired as an announcer at CFRB.
From an ad – “Some of the people who have helped put CFRB first among Ontario listeners” – John Collingwood Reade with fresh material from European battle fronts…Roly Young with inside dope on stage and screen… Gordon Sinclair, globe-trotting reporter, writer and newscaster…Jim Hunter and Jack Dennett also reporting the news…Rex Frost, with his farm broadcast and news analysis…Kate Aitken with informal talks to women…Wes McKnight quizzing the hockey stars and giving his “Sportviews”…Foster Hewitt, with breathless descriptions of N.H.L. games…Midge Ellis discussing the “Woman’s World”…Barry Wood, genial host and emcee with his”Top of the Morning”…Ann Adam of the “Homecrafters”, with variations in recipes and menus.
Wishart Campbell was named CFRB’s new musical director. Jack Sharpe was chief studio engineer. E.L. Moore was manager. John S. Hall hosted a gardening show on CFRB Thursdays at 7:45 p.m. It was noted that former CFRB announcer Loy Owens was now with the public relations branch of the Canadian Army.
Slogan: CFRB – Where most of the favourites are!
George Retzlaff joined CFRB from Winnipeg’s CKRC where he was chief operator. Librarian Allan Acres left CFRB for CKEY.
Four Canadian stations had their applications for 50,000 watts of power turned down: CFRB, CKAC Montreal, CFCN Calgary and CKY Winnipeg.
CFRB celebrated its 19th anniversary on February 19. Three of the original staff members – engineer Jack Sharpe and program director Wes McKnight and chief operator Bill Baker – were still with the station in 1946.
Velma Rogers, the widow of Ted Rogers Sr., sold her shares in Standard Radio Limited. Argus Corp. Ltd. which had been formed in 1945 by E.P. Taylor, J.A “Bud” McDougald and his brother-in-law W.E. Phillips, acquired control of CFRB through the purchase of shares of Standard Radio Ltd.
In March, the CBC Board of Governors declared that, as a result of the Havana Treaty of 1937, all Class 1-A frequencies would be reserved for the CBC’s use. They then made a formal application for 3 Class I-A frequencies that were being occupied by private stations. One of those channels was 860 kHz in Toronto – used by CFRB for several years. The stations were notified on April 18th that the CBC would be requiring the use of the channels by June, 1947. The CBC’s second Toronto station CJBC (ex-CBY) was operating as a Class II channel with 5,000 watts on 1010 kHz, directional. The CBC’s plan was to move CJBC to 860 kHz with 50,000 watts, non-directional, jointly using CBL’s antenna site and tower at Hornby. A lengthy controversy over CFRB’s forced eviction from 860 kHz developed and continued into 1947. The other private stations being booted from clear channels were CFCN Calgary and CKY in Winnipeg.
Mornings on CFRB would never be the same ! On November 1, Wally Crouter started a 50 year stint on the station. He always had something new going on, special guests, controversial topics – all with the listener in mind. Typical of Wally – when Hurricane Hazel hit Southern Ontario in the 1950’s, killing 81 people and leaving thousands homeless, Wally somehow made it to the studio by 6:00 a.m., and, yes the lights were on, as was the transmitter. He was on the air until noon, with non-stop messages about school and office closings, and helping to organize volunteers to help those in trouble. He would retire 50 years later to the day in 1996 – with a big retirement party with many of his fans. Before coming to CFRB, Wally had been with CHEX in his hometown of Peterborough. Crouter had done some work at CFRB once before – in 1940, he was a vocalist at the station.
On his discharge from the RCAF, Jack Dawson, who had come from CJCA Edmonton in 1939, rejoined the announcing staff.
Joan Baird was a women’s commentator at CFRB. The Toronto Better Business Bureau’s A.R. Haskell had been hosting a program (Facts about Rackets) on CFRB for 11 years now.
Slogan: First for Information! First for Entertainment! First for Inspiration!
Before the Special Committee on Radio Broadcasting, CFRB’s Harry Sedgwick compared the programming of his station with that of CJBC, the station that would take over CFRB’s 860 kHz frequency. He used the week of June 30 to July 6 for his comparison. In religious broadcasts, CFRB offered 3 hours and 25 minutes, 2 church services, organ music, choir singing, hymns, daily “Victorious Living”. This compared to CJBC’s one program of religious music. Sustaining public service broadcasts on ‘RB (not including spot announcements) amounted to 5 hours, Columbia symphony orchestra, outdoor programs, Report from Parliament Hill, etc. CJBC offered 2 hours and 15 minutes, including Operation Crossroads and High School News. When it came to sustaining news and news commentaries, CFRB had six hours and CJBC, four hours and 48 minutes. U.S. network commercials accounted for 11 hours and 45 minutes on CFRB and 9 hours and 30 minutes for CJBC. Canadian ads used 31 hours and 20 minutes on ‘RB and 30 minutes on ‘BC. CJBC used 34 hours of American sustaining programs to fill its schedules while CFRB used 27 hours and 40 minutes. CFRB used 47 hours and 50 minutes of recorded programs against CJBC’s 46 hours and 5 minutes. CFRB was on the air 127 hours and 5 minutes of the week and CJBC was on 117 hours and 36 minutes. When it came to ratings (Elliott Haynes for June, 1946), Harry Sedgwick said CFRB had 19.9% of all radio sets tuned in in the Toronto area for the 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. time period. CJBC had 7.7%. In the evenings, he said 27.9% were tuned to CFRB while CJBC rated 7.3%. A test of signal strength conducted by RCA on June 26, at ten scattered points in the city, showed the strength of CJBC was over 2 1/2 times that of CFRB. Sedgwick said CJBC’s lack of audience in the Toronto area was not due to any lack of signal, but could only be due to their program policies.
Freelancer Michael FitzGerald joined the CFRB announcing team in August, replacing Cy Strange. He had worked in the past at CKTB St. Catharines. Strange left CFRB to work in the British film business.
CFRB marked its 20th anniversary in February. A special broadcast to mark the event featured station staffers: Jack Sharpe (chief engineer since day one), Bill Baker (chief operator – he was with the Rogers factory that built the Rogers Battery-less station before he joined CFRB itself), Wishart Campbell (voice known to CFRB listeners for many years, joined the station as musical director on release from the RCAF), Wes McKnight (program director – joined the station in 1928. His “Sportsviews” had still been heard to this day and were believed to be the first daily sportscasts in the country), Lloyd Moore (station manager – joined ‘RB in the early 1930’s… started his career at Hamilton’s CKOC), and Harry Sedgwick (president of CFRB and chairman of the board of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters). The broadcast also featured William S. Paley (chairman of Columbia – CBS), Gordon Sinclair, Greg Clark, John Collingwood Reade, Jim Hunter (who had just recently done his ten thousandth newscast), Rex Frost, Claire Wallace, Andrew Allen (CBC), Joan Baird, Roy Ward Dickson, Maurice Boddington, Grace Matthews and Todd Russell. The special program also paid tribute to those who had contributed to the CFRB program schedule over the years: Anne Jamieson, Jack O’Donnell, Bill Kemp, Denton Massey, John Holden, Margueretta Nuttal, Reginald Stewart, the late Luigi Romanelli, Ernest Seitz, Eddie Bowers, Al and Bob Harvey, Charlie Shearer (former CFRB manager), Alexander Chahallen, A.S. Rogers, Edgar Stone and Foster Hewitt.
As noted above, in January, Jim Hunter delivered the news for the 10,000th time. For 16 years, 11 months annually, 6 days a week, twice a day, he had presented the news over CFRB. Originally Hunter was the Toronto Evening Telegram’s talking reporter. He started in radio in 1929 at Chicago’s WBBM. He joined CHML Hamilton in 1930, moved to CKCR Kitchener in 1931 and then joined CFRB a short time after that.
Faced with the loss of 860 kHz, CFRB searched for property where, using 1010 kHz, it could continue to principally serve Toronto. A site was selected near Clarkson, southwest of Toronto. Knowing it didn’t have a chance of winning against the CBC for 860, CFRB formally applied to change frequency to 1010 kHz. The CBC approved the application that would see CFRB on 1010 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts, using four 250 foot towers. Subsequently, CFRB’s engineering consultant was able to develop adjustments to his antenna design whereby protection was maintained to other channels, with the station using higher power. CFRB then applied for an increase in power to 50,000 watts. The daytime radiation pattern would use two of four towers. The night pattern would use all four towers. Before the year came to an end, the CBC Board of Governors agreed that in moving from a Class I-A frequency to a Class II frequency and to a new transmitter site, CFRB would be allowed to increase its power to 50,0000 watts from 10,000 watts “to maintain the present coverage”.
CJBC 1010 was expanding into the commercial field, handling national spot business as well – with the assumption it would continue as key station for the CBC’s Dominion network. It seemed CJBC planned to walk in on CFRB’s market before taking over that station’s 860 kHz frequency, expected in June.
Rogers Radio Broadcasting CO. Ltd. received an FM licence for CFRB at Toronto – 99.9 MHz with 250 watts of power.
Ken Marsden was CFRB’s publicity director. Jaff Ford was a CFRB announcer. Aubrey Wice joined CFRB as record librarian. He had worked in the past for the CBC and CKEY. Free-lancer Vic Growe was now narrating a Hollywood news-type presentation over CFRB. Waldo Holden joined CFRB as sales manager. He had held the same position at CKEY. Loy Owens returned to the CFRB announce staff. Helen Quinn was CFRB’s new women’s commentator. Wally Crouter joined CFRB from CHEX, replacing Michael Fitzgerald who resigned to do freelance work.
Slogan: Co-operation in every project of community interest. Featured personalities on all topical subjects. Regular newscasts – local, Canadian and world. Balanced programming that holds a loyal audience.
CFRB-FM signed on, replacing experimental station VE9AK.
In December, CFRB received approval to increase power to 50,000 watts on 1010 kHz (directional). This was the CBC’s first approval of 50,000 watts for a private station. The CBC said: “The object of this recommendation is to maintain the extent of the coverage of station CFRB as near as possible to its present coverage at a power of 10 kW on the frequency of 860 kc.”
The frequency exchange for CFRB and CJBC had now been planned for July 1st, but both stations were experiencing some installation problems. It was mutually agreed to delay the cut-over until September 1st. Thus, at midnight August 31st, the Aurora transmitter was shut down, and on the new day, CFRB began broadcasting on 1010 from Clarkson. Similarly, at midnight, CJBC shut down its Port Credit plant, restarting on September 1st from Hornby at 50 kW. CFRB was the first private station in the British Commonwealth with power of this magnitude and to employ two directional patterns (DA-2). The CFRX shortwave transmitter plant was also moved to the Clarkson site.
Bill Valentine joined CFRB in February from Winnipeg’s CKRC. At ‘RB, he became the first rep to join sales manager Waldo Holden. Gord Atkinson began hosting “Club Crosby” in September. The program featured Bing Crosby records.
CFRB was considering discontinuing the CFRX shortwave service. Thanks to hundreds of letters, the service would continue. The change of CFRB’s frequency would possibly result in a temporary silencing of CFRX though. Early in the year, work was underway at the new 1010 kHz / 50 kW transmitter site at Clarkson, 20 miles west of Toronto, just off the Lakeshore Highway. The new RCA BTA-50-F transmitter was expected to be operational on 1010 kHz this summer.
Harry Sedgwick, founder of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in its present form (1948) and the chairman of the board since 1934, stepped down in favour of CFRN’s Dick Rice. Rice had been honorary president. Sedgwick would remain as a CAB director. CKAC’s Phil Lalonde became honorary president. The post of general manager, made vacant by the resignation of Harry Dawson, went to Jim Allard, who started in radio in 1935 on CJCA, where he worked under Percy Gayner, Tiny Elphicke and Gordon Henry.
Slogans: CFRB – The Listener’s Choice! / Ontario’s Favourite Radio Station.
CFRB requested an extension to August 31, 1948, for the licence for its 860 kHz operation. The switch for CFRB to 50 kW on 1010 kHz and CJBC to 860 kHz with 50 kW had been set for July 1. A new switch date now had to be set.
Applications to bring television to Canada, starting with Toronto and Montreal were turned down by the CBC Board of Governors. Applicants included CFRB, CKEY, Al Leary and Famous Players Canadian Corp. at Toronto; and CFCF and CKAC for Montreal. The applications were shelved because the CBC had no money to enter the television game.
As CFRB prepared to move to 1010 kHz and increase power to 50,000 watts, the station held a series of activities at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) from August 27 to September 11. The station used a portable shortwave transmitter to relay the programs from the Ex to the studios. September 3 was “Radio Day” at the CNE. An open house was also held at the Clarkson transmitter site.
Opening ceremonies for 1010 included an “Open House” special that aired from 10:10 a.m. to 10:10 p.m. on September 1.
CFRB and CJBC officially went to 50,000 watts and switched dial positions on September 1. CJBC moved from 1010 to 860 and CFRB switched from 860 to 1010. Opening ceremonies were held for CJBC at Hornby on September 1 and for CFRB at Clarkson, on the 2nd. CFRB reps attended the CJBC function and CBC officials were on hand for the CFRB festivities.
Running up to and after the move to 1010 and 50 kW, CFRB went into heavy promotion mode with ad slogans such as: Follow Your Favourites To 1010 / A New High In Good Listening. / CFRB Becomes The Most Powerful Independently Owned Radio Station In The British Commonwealth!
The Clarkson transmitter site: It cost CFRB about $500,000.00 to make the move to Clarkson, change to 1010 kHz and increase power to 50 kW. The site used 93 acres of land and was located on the Lower Middle Road (Lakeshore Highway also named), 18 miles from downtown Toronto. There were four 250 foot uniform cross-section towers. The transmitter building was modern, yellow brick, and floodlit at night. There would soon be a brilliant neon sign and landscape gardening. The main floor contained reception, lobby and offices, transmitter room, tube storage department, tuning/phasing room, and quarters for the staff. All equipment at Clarkson was RCA. The site also included a 10,000 watt standby transmitter and emergency gas-driven power unit. 36 miles of copper wire was used for the ground system – 120 lengths laid out radially from each tower. CFRB and RCA engineers worked around the clock to install and adjust the equipment in the record time available of 40 days and nights. The Clarkson transmitter received audio from the Bloor Street studios by use of telephone lines. Pat Bayly was the consulting engineer. Bill Carter was the architect. Technical supervision came from CFRB’s Ellsworth Rogers, and assistant Clive Eastwood. For the record, the old Aurora
Transmitter site consisted of a small wooden hut to house the transmitter, and a single strand of copper wire between wooden poles which acted as the antenna.
Some of the management team: Harry Sedgwick (president), Ellsworth Rogers (vice president), Lloyd Moore (station manager), Wes McKnight (program director, sports commentator and news), Wishart Campbell (musical director), Jack Sharpe (chief engineer), and Bill Baker (studio engineer). On-air names included: Katharine Bard, Wes McKnight, Beth Corrigan, Eddie Luther, Jack Dawson, Jim Hunter, Wishart Campbell, Grace Matthews, Kate Aitken, Rex Frost, Loy Owens, Wally Crouter (Top O’ The Morning), Jack Smith, Frank Grant, Gordon Cooke, Dorothy Shay, Bob Crosby, Jack Dennett, Jane Froman, Gordon Sinclair, Argos football. It should be noted that Clive Eastwood became chief engineer on his wedding day – September 15. He had been an engineer at CFRB since 1945.
CFRB became the first station in Canada to use movie promotion (about itself) in commercial theatres.
When Joseph Atkinson (Toronto Star) died in 1948 it was said several thousand shares of Standard Radio Ltd. (CFRB) were found in his safe. He closed his CFCA-AM in 1933 (opened in 1922) because he was apparently convinced radio was a passing fad. His shares in Standard were acquired by a holding company headed by E.P. Taylor, whose Argus Corp. had quietly held effective control of SRL ever since.
Angus Wilfred Donald (Don) McEachern joined CFRB’s engineering department and remained with the station into the early 1990’s.
Royce Frith began hosting “Home on the Range” on CFRB. Ken Marsden was promotion manager. Jaff Ford hosted Sketches on Music. Fred Cripps, with CKEY since 1945, left the station to do freelance work. One of his new jobs involved the noon newscast on CFRB. Roy Ward Dickson hosted Fun Parade. Frank Willis was heard on CFRB. Newscaster Jim Hunter died suddenly on June 6. John Collingwood Reade succeeded Jim Hunter on the 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. newscasts, as of June 27. Gordon Cook had been doing the newscasts since Hunter’s death. Ray Harrison was an operator. Gord Atkinson hosted “Club Crosby”.
The applications for new television stations (CKEY, CFRB, Famous Players and Al Leary for Toronto; and CFCF and CKAC for Montreal) were again deferred by the CBC Board of Governors.
E.L. Moore was manager and Waldo Holden was commercial manager.
Ken Marsden moved from publicity to CFRB sales as of May 1. Allan McFee and Cy Strange were on-air at CFRB. John Bradshaw was hosting farm programs. More on-air names: Jack Dennett, Loy Owens, Kate Aitken, Fred Cripps, Wes McKnight, Wally Crouter, John Collingwood Reade, Barry Wood, Gordon Sinclair and Gord Cook.
When CFRB started in 1927, it had three newscasts daily, coming from the old Toronto Globe office. All were unsponsored. Now, the station had 18 newscasts daily from its own newsroom – one every hour and one one was available for sponsorship.
Slogan: The Number One Station in the Number One Market…CFRB – 1010 on your dial.
Slogan: As ever, the No. 1 buy in Canada’s No. 1 market.
Jack Dennett and John Collingwood Reade swapped time slots. Dennett’s Salada news which had been heard at 11 p.m. would now be aired at 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Reade, who had been doing the double shot for Mutual Benefit, returned to the 11 p.m. slot that he popularized during the war (for Eaton’s). His newscast would now be sponsored by Shell Oil.
Wes McKnight handled Toronto Argonauts football (CFL) for CFRB. The games were also heard on CJKL Kirkland Lake, CKGB Timmins, CKSO Sudbury and CFCH North Bay. Barry Wood hosted CFRB’s Midnight Merry-Go-Round program.
From 1927 to 1929, Rex Frost directed and announced the “Castrol Hour” on CFRB and CKGW. Since 1933, he had been doing CFRB’s daily farm broadcast. For many years he did a nightly commentary on ‘RB – The Armchair Club.
CFRB signed a long term lease on the 37 Bloor Street West premises. As a result, the station was renovating its space there, expanding into the entire second floor.
CFRB marked 25 years on the air in February. It was one of the few Canadian stations to survive the quarter century under the same call letters and management. It was one of only two 50,000 watt independent stations in the country (CKLW Windsor being the other). Over the years, CFRB had originated coast-to-coast hockey broadcasts and employed the first pack transmitter that an announcer could strap on and broadcast a play-by-play account of a golf tournament. CFRB was there to cover the Moose River mine disaster (see 1936, above), the Dionne Quintuplets'(fed to CBS)…the station moved half a ton of remote equipment to Callendar, Ontario for the three times a week broadcasts. CFRB was also serious about public service. In some 125,000 hours of broadcasting, the station had given about 12,500 hours of free time to various causes…Boy Scouts, Red Cross and the Fresh Air Fund as examples. Going way back, pioneer artists on CFRB included: Myrtle Hare, Joy Fawcett and Alice Blue, “The Hollingworth Girl.” Charles Bodley, whose CFRB symphony orchestra was once rated among the world’s best, conducted four orchestras at one period on CFRB. CFRB was once a key station in the Canadian Radio Corporation’s network of 26 stations.
Farm director John Bradshaw hosted his own daily show between 4:45 and 6:30 a.m. He was also garden editor for the Toronto Star and now had a new program from S.W. Caldwell Ltd. that aired on 12 Ontario stations.
Claire Wallace returned to CFRB from the CBC.
Barry Wood left the Midnight Merry-Go-Round program. Jerry Wiggins joined the announce staff on October 1. He took over the Midnight Merry-go-Round program. He had been with CKFH.
CFRB began breaking its major 11 p.m. newscast into three segments. The 15 minute package would start with Gordon Cook doing the news, with an accent on local items. John Collingwood Reade would follow with his news analysis. Cook would then return to wrap up the package with a short newscast.
At a Parliamentary Committee, an MP complained that radio stations like CFRB and CKLW were merely American stations on Canadian soil. CFRB legal counsel Joseph Sedgwick, replied that U.S. programs accounted for 18% of CFRB’s broadcasting time and 5% of its revenue.
Hurricane Hazel hit southern Ontario between October 15 and 17. On the first night, after the 11 p.m. news, Jerry Wiggins stayed on the air to 3 a.m., well past his sign-off time, to keep listeners fully informed. After CFRB signed off, Wiggins and operator Ray Harrison went to the streets with a portable tape recorder. CFRB was back on the air at 5:30 Saturday morning, 15 minutes early, with John Bradshaw’s Breakfast on the Farm program, keeping listeners up to date with news and public service messages. Wally Crouter followed at 6:30 with the assistance of Jack Dennett, Ed Luther, Mike Fitzgerald and Loy Owens. Even though it was a Saturday, the office staff started to show up for emergency duty. Vice president Elsworth Rogers set up a shortwave receiving set on the station’s roof. This allowed CFRB to become a nerve centre for a network of amateur radio operators. Late in the day, CFRB fed storm reports to CJAD, CFRA, CFAC, CJOB and CBS.
The Trull Sunday Hour was in its 21st year on CFRB (sponsored by the Trull Funeral Home).
Slogan: CFRB is the radio station that covers Canada’s most profitable market, Ontario, completely.
Bob Aiken joined CFRB as retail sales manager. He had been assistant manager at CJIB Vernon.
Ownership of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: Standard Radio Ltd. 98.9%, E. W. Bickle 0.1%, A. B. Matthews 0.1%, M. W. McCutcheon 0.1%, J. A. McDougald 0.1%, W. E. Phillips 0.1%, J. H. Ratcliffe 0.1%, J. E. Rogers 0.1%, S. Rogers 0.1%, H. Sedgwick 0.1%, E. L. Moore 0.1% and V. McGlennon 0.1%.
Executive and staff personnel included: President, General Manager – Harry Sedgwick; Station Manager – E. Lloyd Moore; Program, News and Sports Director -Wes McKnight; Music Director – Wishart Campbell; Women’s Director – Kate Aitken; Gardening Affairs – John Bradshaw; Production Manager – Earl Dunne; Chief Engineer – Clive Eastwood; Chief Operator – Bill Baker. Announcers – Jack Dawson, Wally Crouter, Keith Rich, Bill Deegan, Eddie Luther. Newscasters – Gordon Sinclair, .Jack Dennett. Program Host – Walter Kanitz.
Betty Kennedy appointed Director of Public Affairs; Bob Hesketh joined the news staff and as an alternate to Gordon Sinclair. Jack Dawson became chief announcer and program director. Mary Falconer was traffic manager. CFRB had two ethnic shows – Canadians All – Saturday nights — and — the Sunday to Friday Continental Concert with Walter Kanitz. Bob Aiken left CFRB’s sales department for CJMS in Montreal. Waldo Holden was sales manager. Jack R. Kennedy and William V. Stoeckel were appointed CFRB sales reps. Ray Sonin, publisher and editor of Music World was now writing and producing his own 45 minute program – Calling All Britons – over CFRB – Saturdays from 5:05 to 5:50 p.m. Sonin had broadcasting experience with the BBC in the past. His CFRB broadcast debuted on September 13. (See photo of Ray with Noel Coward)
According to Elliott-Haynes CFRB had a total of 933,803 adult listeners every day.
Under the new Broadcasting Act (that saw the creation of the Board of Broadcast Governors), a broadcasting station was required to be 75% Canadian owned but the restrictions would not apply to existing stations. A conservative senator pointed out that CFRB was owned by Standard Radio Ltd. (a public limited liability company, whose shares were traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange) and had no control over the ownership of its stock which could be purchased by persons of any country.
With the Board of Broadcast Governors replacing the CBC as regulator, many parties were awaiting the lifting of the TV ban…in Toronto one channel was available and the following parties had plans to file applications: Joel Aldred of Fifeshire Productions; John Bassett (publisher of the Toronto Telegram and head of Baton Broadcast Inc.); Spence Caldwell; Jack Kent Cooke (CKEY); Famous Players Canadian Corp.; Foster Hewitt (CKFH) and Standard Radio Ltd. (CFRB).
CFRB was one of seven unsuccessful applicants to the Board of Broadcast Governors for a license for the first Toronto private television station.
Harry Sedgwick who, since 1933. had become the President and Managing Director of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Company Limited and General Manager of CFRB, died at the age of 64.
He was succeeded temporarily by Elsworth Rogers, the brother of the late Ted Rogers Sr. who had founded CFRB.
Wes McKnight was appointed Station Manager, succeeding Lloyd Moore who had retired. Bill Stephenson took over as Sports Director; Jack Dawson was appointed Chief Announcer and Program Director, Torben Wittrup joined the CFRB news staff.
On May 15, 1959. W. C. Thornton (Winks) Cran was appointed President of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Company Limited, which became Standard Radio Limited. The Chairman of the Board was J.A. (Bud) McDougald.
Additional on-air names: John Bradshaw, and Jack Dennett. Betty Kennedy (public affairs editor), Bill Stephenson, Bob Hesketh, and Torben Wittrup joined the CFRB team.
CFRB applied for and obtained permission to change CFRB-FM’s transmitter site from 37 Boor Street West to 35 King Street West and a new antenna atop the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building, which then was the tallest building in the British Empire. The high-gain antenna and the powerful 20-kW transmitter provided an effective radiated power (erp) of 200 kW – at that time, making it the most powerful FM station in Canada.
Gil Murray joined the staff as an on-air news reporter and editor. During
the eight following years he covered Queens Park on a daily basis, and in
1965, served as President of the Ontario Press Gallery.
Some of the staff at this time: Bill Baker, Betty Kennedy, Wally Crouter, Jack Dennett, Rex Frost, Gordon Sinclair, Ken Marsden, Wishart Campbell, Brian McFarlane, Jack Dawson, Bill Deegan, Keith Rich, Alan Small, Art Collins, Eddie Luther.
Bill Stoeckel, sales rep, promoted to sales manager of CFRB’s new retail sales department. Jill Loring joined as continuity editor. She had been with CFCF and CHML in the past. Ed Welch joined the sales department. He had worked in the past at CJRH and CHUM. Ken Marsden was named assistant to the president of CFRB. He joined the station in 1946 after service with the RCAF. He had been promotion manager during his entire time with the station (until now).
Rogers Radio Broadcasting Ltd. (CFRB) was one of several applicants seeking to use channel 9 for a new Toronto television station. CFRB was not the lucky applicant and ran this ad after the BBG’s decision: Naturally we’re disappointed…but we heartily congratulate the Baton Group, controlled by The Toronto Telegram, who have been recommended for the second TV licence and wish them and their station the greatest success. CFRB…1010 – 50,000 watts. Still Ontario’s Family Radio Station.
Ad – Pick a spot on … ‘RB – the interesting station for interested people!
W.T. “Bill” Valentine, after 12 years as national sales rep for CFRB, resigned to become sales manager at CKRC Winnipeg. Waldo Holden, director of sales, appointed Bill Brennan to replace Valentine. Brennan had been president and part owner of CKPT Peterborough. Patti Lewis was a singer at CFRB.
W.C. Thornton Cran, president of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. announced the following CFRB appointments: William Baker would be operations director in charge of all aspects of production of special events and outside broadcasts. Baker had been with the station over 30 years. Jack Dawson was promoted from chief announcer to program director. He had been an announcer at the station for 21 years. Eddie Luther moved up from staff announcer to chief announcer. Ken Marsden, in addition to being assistant to the president, resumed his old position of promotion and publicity director. He would be assisted by a committee of three – Wally Crouter, Bill Stoeckel and Betty Kennedy.
Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd., owner of CFRB, was among the many applicants for channel 9 – the second television licence for Toronto. The Board of Broadcast Governors awarded the licence to Baton Aldred Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
Some major construction caused big-time traffic congestion in June. CFRB rented a helicopter at $95.00 an hour so that Eddie Luther could keep listeners up to date.
J. Elsworth Rogers, director of Standard Radio Ltd. died in June. In 1939, he succeeded his late brother, Edward S. Rogers, as president of Rogers Broadcasting Co.
In September, Standard Radio Ltd. concluded an agreement with J. Arthur Dupont for the purchase of CJAD Ltd., subject to BBG approval. Dupont would continue as a director and consultant to CJAD (Montreal).
CFRB received a Golden Microphone Award to mark 30 years of affiliation with CBS Radio. W. C. Thornton Cran accepted the award from Frank Stanton, president of CBS, and Arthur Hull Hayes, president of CBS Radio.
Ken Marsden was named assistant to the president of CFRB. He had been promotions manager. The appointment was made by W.C. Thornton Cran, president of Rogers Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
Standard Radio Limited purchased Montreal radio station CJAD from its founder J. Arthur Dupont.
Standard Radio Limited established Standard Broadcast Sales as a national sales representation company – initially for CFRB and CJAD but also to act for leading stations across Canada. Appointed President was CFRB’s Sales Manager Waldo Holden.
CFRB staff appointments: Promotion Manager – Jerry McCabe; News Director – Bill Hutton.
Earl Warren departed CFRN Edmonton to host CFRB’s l0.00 am – 2.00 pm shift.
CFRB was the first station in Canada to introduce airborne traffic reports. The station’s Eddie Luther became Canada’s first airborne traffic reporter. (CHML Hamilton says it had airborne reports long before this time)
On January 3, Rogers Radio Broadcasting Limited became CFRB Ltd.
Canadian content of CFRB’s musical programs received a stimulus by the introduction in October of the first ten Canadian Talent Library albums produced during the summer by Lyman Potts. Jointly funded with sister station CJAD in Montreal, the concept of using live talent budgets to employ Canadians to make stereo recordings for broadcasting was warmly welcomed by the Board of Broadcast Governors in approving CJAD’s application for its FM licence.
Donald W. Insley joined CFRB. Fred K. Ursel joined Standard Broadcast Sales from CFRB where he had been in the retail sales department since 1961. He had been with CKSL London before that.
Lyman Potts, CJAD’s program director and manager of CJFM-FM (both of Montreal) moved to head office in Toronto. He was appointed assistant to the president, W.C. Thornton Cran to undertake a number of specific assignments. As a start, he was to co-ordinate and be responsible for any station activities with the Department of Transport, the Board of Broadcast Governors and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. He was also made responsible for the joint operation of the two FM stations, He would also continue to develop the Canadian Talent Library. Potts had been with CJAD since 1958 and was responsible for the launching of CJFM.
Print Ads: Keep on top of the news. Listen here: CFRB 1010. / Remember you get Results with CFRB 1010. Personalities like Earl Warren (10:05 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) keep the big CFRB family of mature listeners (& buyers) entertained and informed…More people listen to CFRB than any other radio station in Canada. “Ontario’s Family Station”.
A print ad listed the many people involved in CFRB’s news department in 1963: Eddie Luther (traffic), Bill Hutton (news director), Gil Murray (Assistant News Director), Gordon Sinclair (11:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. news and comment), Bob Hesketh (1 and 5 p.m. news), Jack Dennett (8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. news), Torben Wittrup (noon to six news), Bill Gilmour (6:30 a.m. and noon news), Tom McKee (bulletins), Jim Fleming (newsman), Hartley Hubbs (6 p.m. to midnight news), Bill Stephenson (Sports Director), Ron McAllister (reporter/Press Information Officer), Gerry Farkas (news writer), and John Collingwood Reade (10:50 p.m. news & comment).
Veteran Toronto radio commentator, newspaper reporter and public speaker, John Collingwood Reade, died in January at the age of 58. He had been a freelance news analyst on CFRB since 1936, and recently made many appearances on CHCH-TV and CFTO-TV. During the war, in addition to his 11:00 o’clock news on CFRB, he worked with The Globe & Mail newspaper.
CFRB’s on-air lineup: Wally Crouter (6-10), Earl Warren (10-2) Eddie Luther (2-3), Betty Kennedy (3-4), Bill Deegan (4-8), Continental Concert hosted by Walter Kanitz (8-9). Starlight Serenade hosted by George Wilson (9-11). Bill Deegan (11.30-midnight), Bill McVean (12pm-6am) There were also long breaks for major news packages. John Bradshaw had a show on the station.
CFRB-FM became CKFM-FM. Except from midnight to 6 am, its programs were now totally separate from CFRB.
Wayne Van Exan moved from CKFM-FM to replace Bill McVean on overnights, as he took on daytime assignments.
CFRB opposed CHUM’s application to increase power to 50,000 watts. CHUM’s proposed transmitter site was in close proximity to CFRB’s – both at Clarkson. CFRB operated on 1010 kHz and CHUM on 1050 kHz. CFRB felt there was a strong probability that CHUM’s signal would interfere most seriously with CFRB’s. At the Board of Broadcast Governors public hearing, CFRB noted that it did not oppose CHUM’s application, provided undue interference was not caused to CFRB. There were concerns that CFRB would require 500 to 1,000 hours of off-air time to install the requisite traps in its antenna array to rematch the networks and readjust the patterns as a result of CHUM being nearby. CFRB also stated that any further difficulties which might be experienced by CHUM in establishing its pattern would involve CFRB being faced with additional off-air periods. CFRB’s engineering consultants stated that this problem could be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties if CHUM should select a site and pattern which would significantly reduce the signal which they would radiate into the CFRB antenna system. CHUM’s application for a power increase and change of antenna site was later approved.
The Canadian Talent Library was set-up by Standard Radio as a non-profit trust, and an invitation was extended to all stations to participate in the project by financially supporting the funds devoted to increasing the amount of Canadian programming thus available for their programming. Standard Radio, while financing and increasing its funding, pledged that all new income would be dedicated to hiring musicians and singers for the making of more records. (Over the next 25 years, 265 albums were produced, containing 3,000 Cancon performances.
Standard Radio Ltd, CFRB, CKFM-FM and Standard Broadcast Sales moved from 37 Bloor Street West into new state-of-the-art premises at 2 St. Clair Avenue West.
President of CFRB Ltd. was W.C. Thornton Cran; CFRB Manager – Wes McKnight; Assistant Manager and Program Director – Jack Dawson; Production Manager – Earl Dunne; Chief Announcer – Eddie Luther; Sales Manager – Bill Brennan; Traffic Manager – Mary Falconer; Studio Supervisor – Bill Baker; News Director – Bill Hutton; Sports Director – Bill Stephenson; Women’s Director – Betty Kennedy; Chief Engineer – Clive Eastwood; Chief Operator – Don McEachern; Music Librarian Art Collins. On-air names included: Wally Crouter, Jack Dennett, Earl Warren, Gordon Sinclair, Betty Kennedy, Bill Deegan, Bill Stephenson, Bob Hesketh and Ray Sonin.
Charles Doering and Bill McVean were new to CFRB this year. Doering had been with CKPC in Brantford until last year.
On June 1st, Donald H. Hartford was appointed General Manager of CFRB Ltd. Subsequently, when Mr. Cran was named Chairman of the Board, Donald Hartford was appointed President and General Manager of CFRB Ltd, which included CFRB and CKFM. Jack Dawson was appointed Vice-President and Station Manager of CFRB. Wes McKnight, a Vice-President, was appointed Director of Public Relations. He had been with “Ontario’s Family Station” for almost 38 years.
The corporate name of the company became Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited.
Standard obtained Canadian rights for the broadcasting of NBC Radio News in Canada formerly held by the CBC. Forming a physical network to extend it across Canada was financially prohibitive and it certainly would not cosmetically fit in with the spirit of the Broadcasting Act. However, it did contain news stories, actualities and fast-breaking world events that would enhance the news coverage of Canadian stations.
CN-CP Telecommunications was just perfecting the use of Broadband on its Canada-wide system, and Lyman Potts was able to establish what became known as “Standard Broadcast News”. CN-CP offered a service whereby one could “dial up” a predetermined list of stations and, like a long-distance call, pay only for the time used. He then approached stations in major cities across Canada and offered them a service which would include items taped from NBC Radio News, the CFRB-CJAD News Bureau on Parliament Hill and Canadian news from participating Canadian stations. Permission had already been received from the BBG to take directly from NBC actualities of news being made. Initially, the network comprised stations in 13 cities from Vancouver to St. John’s. It rose over the years to include 27 stations.
This was also the year that Lyman Potts was appointed President of a new subsidiary – Standard Broadcast Productions (SBP), designed to produce and market Canadian programs of value to other stations. These programs were distributed on tapes or discs and mailed to stations requesting them. They also provided wider exposure and new income for Canadian writers, actors and other types of performers. Examples: Bob Hesketh’s 5-per-week “The Way I See It” which became the longest-running syndicated radio program in Canada; actor Don Harron’s series as “Charlie Farquharson”; Guy Gisslason’s “Centennial Flashback”.
SBP also was an “umbrella” for Standard Broadcast News, The Canadian Talent Library, and two music publishing firms – Deer Park Music and Conestoga Music.
Wayne van Exan was now at CFRB doing the overnight show (Music ‘Till Dawn).
On March 16, Charles Templeton and Pierre Berton began “Dialogue” on CFRB. It was a daily commentary exchange between the two personalities.
Pierre Berton & Charles Templeton were doing commentary on CFRB. David Craig joined CFRB’s news department.
CFRB had plans to move TV channel 13 to Toronto so that it could operate a TV station in the city. The BBG was to hear the application in early 1968. The move would be predicated entirely upon firm contracts between CFRB, CKCO Kitchener, WOKR Rochester and the CBC.
W.C. Thornton Cran was president of Standard Radio. VP’s were Don Hartford and Jack Dawson. Dick Shatto was retail sales manager. Perry Anglin was named chief of the Ottawa Bureau.
SRL subsidiary CFRB Ltd. made formal application for a licence to use channel 13 at Toronto on April 5. CFRB entered into long-term and exclusive contracts with the Rochester and Kitchener stations using channel 13, as well as the CBC, regarding the exchange of channels needed for the move and would defray the costs of such moves. Approval had already been given for erection of a 640′ tower, but still required BBG ok. The Board of Broadcast Governors delayed the hearing.
Art Cole was appointed News Director, succeeding Bill Hutton. After working dayshifts at sister station CKFM-FM, Fred Napoli moved over to CFRB to do an overnight program, Music Till Dawn. Fred’s interpolation of his original short stories and essays between the easy listening music tracks was to build him a major cult following. Ray Sonin, host of the Saturday program “Calling All Britons” added the weeknight show “Down Memory Lane” to his workload.
CFRB bought exclusive radio coverage for all home and away games of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, according to vice president and general manager Jack Dawson. Bill Stephenson would do play-by-play. Dick Shatto would handle colour commentary. Bill Baker would handle technical operations.
W.O. (Bill) Crompton became television consultant for CFRB. He had been vice president and general manager of CFTO-TV.
Slogan: Ontario’s Family Station.
Eddie Luther was CFRB’s airborne traffic reporter. Luther and CFRB introduced air traffic reporting to Toronto listeners in 1961, using a fixed-wing aircraft for special reports in connection with its news service. CFRB was still using this plane in connection with its helicopter on occasion, for important news coverage. The helicopter was a new Fairchild Hiller 1100 Turbine Jet Helicopter delivered in March to Kenting Earth Sciences in Malton. Kenting had the contract for the traffic helicopter including the pilots. Eddie Luther’s did his last traffic report for CFRB on August 21, and Henry Shannon’s first traffic report was the next day.
It was announced on June 26 that Standard Radio Ltd. would be renamed Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.
James Wesley (Wes) McKnight died at age 59. He had retired two years earlier but remained as a consultant to CFRB up to the time of his death. Wes joined CFRB in 1928, became sports director and finally, station manager, in 1959.
Donald H. Hartford, vice president and general manager of CFRB Ltd., announced the appointment of Arthur L. Cole as CFRB/CKFM news director as of August 1.
Rex Frost died at age 71. He had joined CFRB in 1931.
Gerald F. MacCabe was appointed vice president of advertising and public relations. He had been director of advertising since joining CFRB Ltd. in 1961.
After 20 years or so with CFRB, Eddie Luther left for CHFI.
At this time, CFRB had a staff of 130, eleven studios and 23,000 square feet of operating space.
According to BBM, CFRB reached the largest audience of any station in the country.
Program director Donald Insley said the top name announcers were given almost complete freedom on the air. The format stressed easy listening and adhered to the Middle of the Road format. The station had never seriously considered talk shows as two or three other Toronto stations were doing them. Insley said CFRB had “Sinc” who was about as controversial as you could get. The station also had “Dialogue” with Pierre Berton and Charles Templeton.
Arthur L. Cole, news director of Standard Radio News System, appointed Ralph L. Errington as Ottawa bureau chief. He had been SRN Parliament Hill reporter for the past year. Before that, he was city hall correspondent for CFRB and joined the station in 1963.
CFRB’s plan for a TV station on channel 13 was blocked by the CRTC’s moving of channels in Southern Ontario. If CFRB had gotten channel 13, CKCO Kitchener would have moved to channel 6 once CBLT moved to channel 5.
Jack Dennett marked 25 years at CFRB.
Veteran broadcaster and newspaper woman Claire Wallace died September 22 at the age of 68.
Former CFRB announcer Maurice B. Bodington died December 30. He was 84.
The government again was taking applications for new television stations in Toronto and Montreal. Standard Broadcasting was among the Toronto applicants – for UHF channel 25. Niagara Television Ltd. (CHCH Hamilton), Toronto Star Ltd. (in partnership with Montreal Star Co. Ltd.) and Canadian Film Industries (Leslie Allen of CHIC) were among the other applicants. If approved, this would be the first UHF station in Canada, even though TV sets in this country were not equipped to receive UHF. It was noted that adapters were available for about fifty dollars, and after June 1, 1969, all sets in Canada would be required to have UHF. Speaking on behalf of Standard, W.C. Thornton Cran said its bid for channel 25 was made with the intent to operate a local Toronto station without network commitments. Programming would be community-oriented and would emphasize news and public affairs. Cran also said his company’s previous bid for a Toronto VHF channel was never dealt with. The applicants would be heard at a public hearing beginning February 4, 1969.
On July 25, CFRB Ltd, received approval to change CFRB’s pattern on 1010 kHz with 50 kW. Art Cole was hosting “Let’s Discuss It”. He had joined the station in 1968. Neal Sandy (overnight news) came to the station in June. Henry Shannon joined CFRB. Ad: Each week 60% of the people in Metro Toronto, 18 years and over, listen to CFRB. CFRB had ten Ryerson and Carleton University students on staff for 13 weeks this summer to be “Good News” reporters. At this time, CFRB was offering 29 newscasts a day, consisting of approximately 180 minutes of news, weather, sports and traffic, supplemented by three news cars and one jet helicopter. CFRB also subscribed to the Standard Broadcast News service. SBN received direct feeds from NBC New York by broadband. Don Hartford was vice president and general manager. Jack Dawson was vice president and station manager. Slogan: Canadians 25 and over are the biggest spenders. Each week over one million of these big spenders listen to us. CFRB 1010.
Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. applied to the CRTC for permission to purchase CHML and CKDS-FM in Hamilton. At the time, the rules denied licensees of stations from acquiring stations in close proximity. The application was denied as it was decreed that Hamilton and Toronto were “too close”. On-the-air staff included: Wally Crouter, Jack Dennett, Earl Warren, Gordon Sinclair, Bill McVean, Betty Kennedy, Bill Deegan, Ray Sonin, Wayne Van Exan, Art Cole, Bob Hesketh, Charles Doering, Prior Smith (Reporter), and Neal Sandy. CKEY lured away commentators Pierre Berton & Charles Templeton. Don Hartford was appointed president and general manager of CFRB Ltd., effective April 1. He had been VP & GM. Hartford joined CFRB in 1965. J.A. McDougald was chairman of the board of Standard Broadcasting. W.C. Thornton Cran was president of Standard and chairman of the board of CFRB Ltd. William O. Crampton left CFRB to open a TV consulting service. As VP and GM of CFTO, he was credited with putting that station into a profitable position. Slogan: ON CFRB, all the time is prime. Charles Templeton and Pierre Berton moved to CKEY from CFRB on September 7. They had been doing their daily “Dialogue” on CFRB since March 16, 1966. CFRB General Manager Jack Dawson said ‘RB was not able to match CKEY’s better offer and time slot for the duo. Donald W. Insley was appointed Vice President of Programming at CFRB. He joined the station in 1962 and had latterly been Program Director. Pat Hurley, Vice President and Sales Manager of CJAD, was named Vice President of CFRB and CKFM, succeeding Wally Shubat who resigned. George Daniels, Vice President of the Montreal office of Standard Broadcast Sales, succeeded Hurley as Vice President and Sales Director at CJAD.
At the CFRB Clarkson transmitter site, two 550-foot towers were erected in place of 2 of 4 original 250-foot towers, greatly strengthening CFRB’s ability to serve Toronto. David Craig joined CFRB news. Neal Sandy became Queen’s Park bureau chief. Former CFRB personality Kate Aitken died December 11.
On the retirement of Art Cole, Don Johnston left CHML Hamilton to accept the position of News Director of CFRB. Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited established Standard Broadcasting Corporation (U.K.) Limited in London, England to serve as a consultant to prospective applicants for commercial radio licenses. Retaining his role as President of Standard Broadcast Productions, Lyman Potts was appointed Managing Director of SBC-UK. Bob Greenfield joined CFRB’s news department. John Spragge became CFRB’s program director. He had been with the Radio Sales Bureau and with 1050 CHUM before that.
Don Insley was appointed Station Manager of CFRB, succeeding Jack Dawson who had retired. Sue Prestedge was a CFRB ‘Good News Reporter’. Terry Glecoff was also a Good News Reporter. His stint at CFRB that summer led him to his first TV job – a reporter at CFTO. He would go on to be a news anchor at CTV Halifax, CBC Calgary and Vancouver and then CBC Newsworld International. Another member of the Good News reporting team was Valerie Whittingham, who later married and became Valerie Pringle. Henry Shannon was doing traffic. Eric Thorson was in the news department.
W.C. Thornton Cran, President of Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited, retired . He was succeeded by H.T. (Mac) McCurdy, the President of CJAD Ltd. The CRTC approved the purchase by Standard Broadcasting Corporation of the controlling shares of Bushnell Communications, the licensee of CJOH-TV in Ottawa. Connie Smith was a ‘Good News Reporter’. She came from CKOC Hamilton and then left for CKVR-TV in Barrie.
W.C. Thornton Cran died in June. Torben Wittrup was in CFRB’s news department. Bill Anderson joined the air staff. Jack Dennett died August 27. His daily news and commentary broadcasts were the most listened to in Canada. Donald H. Hartford was elected a member of the board of Standard Broadcasting.
Prior Smith was in the news department. Lyman MacInnis joined CFRB to do political and business commentary. Don Hartford became president of CJAD Ltd. (Montreal).
The Jack Dennett Microphone Collection went on permanent display in the lobby of the CN Tower, Donated by CFRB to mark the station’s 50th Anniversary, the collection included 14 microphones and a granite etching of the news broadcaster. In February, CFRB celebrated 50 years of service with “What’s 50 Years Between Friends”. George Wilson hosted “Starlight Serenade”. Other on air names: John Dolan, John Bradshaw (gardening), Richard Needham & Caroline Carver (feature), Bob Greenfield (news), Tony Andras (reporter).
Ray Sonin’s wife Eileen died. She had often appeared with Ray on his radio and TV broadcasts. Andy Barrie joined CFRB from CJAD Montreal. Donald Insley was appointed Vice-President and General Manager of CFRB. Bill Hall was named Station Manager.
Brothers G. Montagu Black and Conrad Black gained control of CFRB Limited when they acquired Ravelston Corporation from the widows of J.A. McDougald and W.E. Phillips. Ravelston, in turn, held the controlling interest in Argus Corporation, formed in 1945 by E.P. Taylor, J.A. McDougald and W.E. Phillips. Argus was the controlling shareholder of Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited, the owner of CFRB Limited. Bruce Dingwall joined the CFRB engineering department. David Taffler was doing business reports, Dave Hodge was in the sports department. Don Johnston was news director. Don Insley was named vice president and general manager. Bev Cudbird, a regular contributor to “This Business of Farming” was now the station’s meteorologist.
Programming: 5:30 – World At Dawn, 6:00 – Wally Crouter, 10:00 – Earl Warren, 11:45 – Gordon Sinclair, 12:00 – Earl Warren, 1:00 – Bill McVean, 2:00 – Betty Kennedy, 3:00 – John Dolan, 5:45 – Gordon Sinclair, 6:00 – John Dolan, 6:30 – News with Torben Wittrup, 7:00 – Andy Barrie, 8:00 – Ray Sonin / Dave Hodge (Mondays), 9:00 – George Wilson, 11:00 – World Tonight, 11:20 – Bill McVean, 1200 – Wayne van Exan. Weekends – John Bradshaw (Gardening), Bill Deegan, Dr. David Ochterlony, Bob MacLean, Bill Anderson, Rod Doer, Paul Kellogg, Art Cole (Let’s Discuss It). News – David Craig, Peter Dickens, Liz MacDonald, Eric Thorson, Chris Wilson, Charles Doering, Bill Rogers, Bob Hesketh, Bob Greenfield, Bill Walker, Torben Wittrup, Neal Sandy. Reporters – Sidney Margles, Jim Munson, Prior Smith, Wilf List (labour), Neal Sandy. Others – John Spragge (staff announcer /program director), Henry Shannon (traffic), David Taffler (business), Allen Spragget (horoscopes), Ron Singer (entertainment), Bev Cudbird (weather), Anita Burn (traffic), Valerie Pringle, Lyman MacInnis (commentary), John Stall. Sports – Fred Locking, Dave Hodge, Bill Stephenson, Doug Beeforth. Notes – Valerie Pringle took over 7-8 p.m. Bill Deegan moved from PM drive to weekends in February, replaced by John Dolan. Bob MacLean joined.
Donald Insley was upped to Vice-President for Radio for Standard Broadcasting. Bill Hall succeeded him as Vice-President and General Manager of CFRB. Program Director John Spragge was made a Vice-President. Joining the news department were Peter Dickens, Chris Wilson and Brian Wrobel. Bev Cudbird became CFRB’s weatherman. Dominion Stores made Gordon Sinclair an honorary director in recognition of his significant contribution to the favorable development of the company’s relations with the public. Dominion had been a long-time sponsor of some of his broadcasts. For the record, Gordon Sinclair was heard twice daily on CFRB…11:45 a.m. with “Let’s Be Personal” and 5:45 p.m. with “Show Business”. Each broadcast was followed by ten minutes of news and comment. It was on “Let’s Be Personal” that Sinclair broadcast the extremely popular “The Americans” commentary in 1973. Bob Hesketh presented commentary in “The Way I See It”. This program proved most popular and was syndicated to other stations across Canada and ran for many years.
J. Lyman Potts C.M. , Vice-President of Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited, retired. With 30 years of radio experience behind him when he was appointed in 1963 as Assistant the President of Standard, he played a formidable role in the growth of the company for two decades.
CFRB replaced the original transmitter building and equipment at its Clarkson transmitter site, but continued to use the existing antenna system. Two new Continental 317C-2 50,000 watt transmitters were installed, providing the ultimate in redundancy and reliability. The old RCA 50 kw (and 10 kw back-up) transmitter installed in 1948, when the station was forced to move from 860 to 1010 kHz, was retired. A new programmable logic controller was added. It would be used for various control and surveillance functions, and was the first application of the system in radio broadcasting. This allowed for unattended operation and everything could be controlled from the studios. A diesel generator could handle the total building load for 72 hours in the event of a power failure. The new building was one-quarter the size of the old one. The $1 million project was completed in the summer. Engineers Kirk Nesbitt, Bruce Dingwall and Clive Eastwood worked on the project.
George Daniels became vice president and general sales manager for CFRB. Art Cole retired. Frank Lehman, chief technician at CFRB retired after 33 years of service. He participated in the work on the new transmitter building earlier in the year. On-air names: Neal Sandy (reporter), Earl Warren middays), Valerie Pringle (returned to the station), Henry Shannon (traffic), Gene Kirby (joined from CKEY), Wayne Van Exan, Bill Deegan, Paul Kellogg, and John Stall (joined from CKTB).
CFRB had Argos football and Dave Hodge was part of the station’s broadcast team. There was a problem though. The Argos wanted Hodge gone. So it was goodbye to Dave Hodge on CFRB. Art Cole (Let’s Discuss It) retired. John Dolan resigned due to health problems.
Announcer John Dolan left to do news at CHFI-FM. Hal Vincent was a reporter. John Bradshaw, CFRB’s gardening expert for 32 years, left in June to pursue other interests. He was replaced by Art Drysdale. Announcer Paul Kellogg left for CKEY.
A new transmitter for short-wave station CFRX was put into service at Clarkson, using two 50-foot vertical towers to form a directional pattern for better service to Northern Ontario. Kenneth W. Whitelock became CFRB’s general sales manager. W.E. (Bill) Hall of CFRB was named a vice president of parent company Standard Broadcasting.
Don Hartford retired from Standard Radio. Gordon Sinclair dropped his Monday broadcasts. He was still heard Tuesday thru Friday.
CFRB was testing two of the four AM Stereo systems: Motorola and Magnavox.
On May 17, Gordon Sinclair passed away at age 83. Gordon was a news commentator at CFRB for over 40 years. For much of that time, he presented the news and his comments at 11:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m., as well as “Let’s Be Personal” at 11:45 a.m. and “Show Business” at 5:45 p.m. “Sinc” was also a panellist on the weekly CBC Television quiz program, “Front Page Challenge”. Bob Hesketh took over the news and commentary segments that Sinc had done at 11:50 am and 5:50 pm.
On July 30, stereo broadcasting over CFRB’s AM transmitter was increased to 24 hours-a-day. This followed the completion of the station’s new master control room (replacing 18 year old equipment).
The production control room was used as the interim MCR while construction work was underway. This allowed for programming tocontinue without interruption. Over the past year, stereo broadcasting had taken place on CFRB between 9:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. while all equipment was upgraded to stereo. CFRB used the Motorola C-Quam AM stereo system. McCurdy Radio Industries supplied the new master control equipment. At this time Bruce Dingwall was chief technologist in charge of studios and transmitters for CFRB. Ray Sonin, host of “Calling All Britons” for more than 25 years, received an MBE (Member of Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. The Saturday afternoon program provided a large audience with music and news from Britain. CFRB weatherman Bev Cudbird passed away. Peter Shurman was named president of the radio division (Standard Radio) of Standard Broadcasting. Neal Sandy left in November.
Long considered a middle-of-the-road music station, CFRB embarked on a gradual transition to adult-contemporary music-and-talk. By the early 1990’s CFRB was completely all “news-talk”. Ralph Lucas became CFRB’s Vice President, Programming. He had been vice president and general manager at sister station CJAD in Montreal. On November 14, the CRTC approved the sale of Standard Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. to Slaight Broadcasting Inc. Slaight purchased Standard from Hollinger Argus Ltd. and other shareholders. (G. Montegu Black III and Conrad M. Black) Slaight was a privately owned company. Slaight in turn sold his Toronto stations (CFGM and CILQ) to Westcom Radio Group Ltd. Standard became a privately held company. 680 CFTR broke the long-standing record of CFRB as having the largest radio audience in Canada. CFRB hoped that programming changes made this year would help the station recapture the number one spot. CFRB 1010 altered its night-time radiation pattern to improve service to the northwest. John Burgess was an entertainment reporter at CFRB. Kirk Nesbitt left CFRB to become director of engineering for Rogers Radio. Murray Smith joined CFRB as entertainment editor. He had been at CKO-FM. Occasional host of “Starlight Serenade”, David Ouchterlony, moved on to CFMX-FM. John Spragge left CFRB. John Donabie was now at CFRB. Both Bill Stephenson and Bob Hesketh marked 25 years with CFRB. On September 16, Betty Kennedy’s show time changed to 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Bill McVean moved to 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. and The World Today moved to 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Other Notes: Andy Barrie returned, Bill Anderson left, John Dolan returned. Paul Kellogg left for CJCL. Neal Sandy left. John Donabie joined.
With the change of ownership of Standard Broadcasting, Larry Nichols was no longer president of the company. Bill Deegan (veteran CFRB announcer) and Mac McCurdy retired. Mac had been president and then deputy chairman of the company. He remained as a director. Peter Dickens was replaced after many years on major breakfast newscasts by David Craig. Dickens would now co-ordinate morning newsroom activities. He would also continue to anchor the 12:30 p.m. newscast. Charles Doering moved from the 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. newscasts to do five minutes of news and comment at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Bill McVean marked 20 years at CFRB.
M. Earl Dunn died April 21 at age 70. He was retired operations manager of CFRB. Dunn joined the station in 1941, was with the RCAF from 1943-46 then returned to ‘RB. He was involved in many station broadcasts in his 40-year career. Former CFRB reporter Mark Sherwin was now a reporter for NBC News. After nine years with CFRB news, Ken Cox left for CKO. Bill Hall retired as vice president and general manager at CFRB, and Ralph Lucas became Acting General Manager. Peter Henderson left CFRB where he had been promotion manager. He was replaced by Perry Goldberg. Paul Rogers left CFRB news for CFTO-TV. Don Johnston was news director. Hal Vincent was Queen’s Park reporter. Toronto Star police reporter Jock Thomas stopped doing his reports on CFRB after 25 years. Wally Crouter marked 40 years as CFRB’s morning man. On August 15, Betty Kennedy did her last show for CFRB. John Stall and Barbara Land took over the noon-1 p.m. time slot (Stall continued to host The World Today as well). Other Notes: Jocko Thomas retired. Mark Sherwin left for NBC News. Ken Cox left for CKO-FM. Paul Rogers left for CFTO-TV. Ed Needham joined for evenings from CJSB Ottawa. Ray Sonin’s “Down Memory Lane” was cancelled. Ray continued to broadcast “Calling All Britons” on Saturdays. Fred Napoli joined.
Doris Dicks, who had a show on CFRB in the 1930s and 1940s (as Doris Scott), died at age 68. She was also a singer with the Percy Faith Orchestra. The Toronto Argonauts signed a new three year contract with CFRB, renewing exclusive radio rights to all home games.
CFRB marked 60 years on the air in February. Former CFRB announcer Dean Aubrey Hughes passed away at age 79. He joined CFRB in 1935, moved to Associated Broadcasting Co. in 1937, and was then with the CBC from 1939 to 1965. Gary Slaight became president of Standard Broadcasting. He had been manager of CILQ-FM. David Ouchterlony died at the age of 73. He had been an early broadcaster with CBC Television and hosted radio programs at CJBC, CKFH, CKEY, CFRB and CFMX-FM over the years. Ralph Lucas resigned as vice president of programming at CFRB in August. Perry Goldberg left CFRB. He had been marketing director. After 15 years as news director, Don Johnston left CFRB. He was succeeded by John Mcfadyen who had been news director at sister station CKFM. Pat Marsden joined CFRB as afternoon sportscaster.
George Ferguson became CFRB’s vice president and general manager. He had been with CKWW/CJOM in Windsor. Don Costello was operations supervisor.
Sales manager Patrick Hurley left for CJCL 1430 to become general sales manager. Bob Hesketh retired from full-time duties at CFRB. Wally Crouter signed a new five-year contract with CFRB. To mark the occasion, president Alan Slaight presented Crouter with the keys to a new Porsche 928. Taylor Parnaby was now CFRB’s news director. He was also hosting a Sunday night news program on Global TV. Ron Hewatt succeeded Wolf von Raesfeld as CFRB’s general sales manager. von Raesfeld moved on to CKOC in Hamilton. Bob Bratina left CFRB. He had been PM drive announcer and voice of the Argos when CFRB carried the games. He would end up back in Hamilton – this time at CKOC. After 17 years, newsman David Craig left CFRB for CJEZ-FM. News director Taylor Parnaby took over the 7 and 8 a.m. newscasts when Craig left. Wayne McLean was hired to replace Bob Bratina. McLean had been working in Ottawa. Murray Smith was now hosting CFRB’s afternoon drive show. Murray Johns became retail sales manager at CFRB. He had been an account director at the station for the past six years. Telemedia picked up the Argos broadcasts from CFRB. Bob MacLean joined from CJSB Ottawa. Suneel Joshi left for TSN, replaced by Dave Quinn on the sports talk show. David Craig left for CJEZ-FM. Tayler Parnaby joined. Bob Hesketh retired after 28 years with CFRB. Charles Doering replaced Hesketh for the 11:50 News & Comment. Dick Beddoes joined from CHCH-TV Hamilton.
Bob Greenfield left CFRB news. Marlane Oliver left in March, replaced by Jacquie Perrin. John Keogh joined CFRB as program director in August. He had been PD at CHML Hamilton. On September 11, talk programming was added 9-10 p.m. with Jeremy Brown, Barbara Klish, Bill McVean, John Turro (different shows each night). Starlight Concert followed. In December, George Wilson left for CJEZ-FM, replaced by Fred Napoli. Jeremy Brown also left for CJEZ-FM. Other notes: Murray Smith moved from PM Drive to Weekends, replaced in afternoons by Joe Cannon from CJAD Montreal. Bob Greenfield & John McFadyen left.
Beth Kidd was appointed promotions co-ordinator. CFRB began the transition to a news talk format, airing newscasts every half hour, 24 hours a day, replacing the last hour of Wally Crouter’s morning show with a news magazine, and extending the 11:00 p.m. news to a full hour. In January Dick Beddoes joined CFRB for a Sunday night sports talk show. On August 7, Wally Crouter began ending his show an hour earlier. He was now on-air 5:30 to 9:00 a.m. John Stall & Marlane Oliver took over the 9-10 a.m. hour. Stall was replaced on The World Today by David Bent & Jacquie Perrin. Perrin was replaced on The World At Noon by Jane Hawtin who moved over from CKFM. In October, Joe Cannon left for CJCL. The PM drive show was taken over by swing announcers Terry McElligott / Pat Marsden. Jason Roberts joined from CKOC Hamilton on November 26. Jeremy Brown returned to CFRB from CJEZ in November. Other program notes of the year: The World Tonight (11 pm) expanded to an hour. Sports-talk was added from 10 to 11 p.m. with Dave Quinn / Dick Beddoes. Jacquie Perrin left for CBL and was replaced On The World At Noon by Marlane Oliver. Pat Marsden filled in for Wally Crouter from time to time. Terry McElligott joined from CHFI-FM. David Lennick left for CFMX-FM, but returned a short time later. Lyman MacInnis left. He had done political and business commentaries since 1976. He also filled in on occasion for Betty Kennedy and other talk show hosts.
John Bradshaw passed away at age 75. He had been CFRB’s garden show host and farm director from 1950 to 1982. John Crawford joined CFRB from CKFM in January. On February 14, Ed Needham left. He was replaced February 18 by Larry Solway and others for a new 7-9 p.m. shift. The World Today moved to the 5-7 p.m. slot. In March, Bill Anderson (who had just returned to ‘RB a short time ago for PM drive) left for CKYC. On March 25, Donna Tranquada joined from CBL. In May, Ed Needham returned…in a way. He was now living in Florida and sent a daily commentary to the station. On August 12, John Oakley joined for the new 11:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. talk show. The program was followed by repeats of other ‘RB programs between 3 and 5 a.m. Ray Sonin passed away August 20, followed by Dick Beddoes on the 24th. Sonin was 86. He hosted “Calling All Britons” on Saturdays and the weeknight program “Down Memory Lane” ran for 18 years until 1986. In September, Fred Locking left CFRB sports for TSN. He was replaced by CKYC’s Glen Crouter (Wally’s son). Ted Woloshyn joined from CKFM for commentaries and fill-in talk. Charles Adler joined for weekend talk and news on September 21. On December 2, Charles Adler moved from weekends and news to the 7-10 p.m. shift. Larry Solway moved to fill-in talk. Pat Marsden left. Ted Woloshyn moved from Friday evening talk to weekend talk. Other 1991 program notes: David Lennick left for CJEZ-FM and was replaced by Fred Napoli. Roy Hennessey was general manager.
Wally Crouter celebrated 45 years as CFRB’s morning man with thousands of listeners joining him for breakfast on October 30 at the Sheraton Centre. In September, when Fred Napoli announced on-air that CFRB was cancelling his all-night show Music Till Dawn, listener reaction was so great that the show was extended for a further year, finally ending in September 1993. On-air: World At Dawn with John Elston (5-5:30), Wally Crouter (5:30-9), The World This Morning with John Stall and Marlane Oliver (9-10), Andy Barrie (10-11:50), News and comment with Charles Doering (11:50-noon), The World At Noon with Jane Hawtin (12-1), Wayne McLean (1-3), Jason Roberts (3-5), The World Today with David Bent & Donna Tranquada (5-7), Charles Adler (7-10), Dave Quinn (10-11), The World Tonight with Torben Wittrup (11-11:30), John Oakley (11:30-2), Larry King. Notes: On Fridays Needham was off and Oakley did the evening show and Larry King started early at 11. By fall, Weekends were all talk too, with Mark Cullen, Gary Lansberg, Larry Grossman, and Alan Silverstein, some programs came from CJAD and elsewhere. Catharine Pope left. Jason Roberts left PM drive for CKLH Hamilton. He was replaced by Joe Cannon who returned from CJCL. Weekends: Jim Bohanon, John Eakes, Joe Cannon, Dr. Gary Lansberg, Dave Cornwell, Mark Cullen, Mark Breslin, Lowell Green, Pat Blandford, Brian Linehan, Lynn Pickering, Allan Gould, Mike Stafford, Larry Grossman, Phyllis Walker, Ed Needham, Fred Napoli, Terry McElligott, Ron Hewatt, John Dolan, Ted Woloshyn, Bill Deegan, Larry Solway, Bill McVean. (Cullen and Cornwell handled the weekend gardening show and McVean had a travel show) Some of the other voices heard on ‘RB at this time – News: Mike Stafford, Mark Coutts, Brent Copin, Chris Wilson, Catherine Pope, Hal Lowther, Jane Hawtin, Anne Winstanley, Torben Wittrup, Avery Haines, Bob Comsick, Bill McDonald, David Bent, John Elston, Dave Agar, Tayler Parnaby, Donna Tranquada, Charles Doering, Bruce Rogers, Arnis Pederson, Danna O’Brien, John Crawford. Sports: Bill Stephenson, Dave Quinn, Mike Hannifan, Tom Mckee, Glen Crouter – Reporters – John Crawford, Hal Vincent. Traffic: Monica Desantis, Henry Shannon, Dianne Pepper. Business: Pat Blandford, Arnis Peterson, Brian Costello. Commentary: Ed Needham, Bob Hesketh. Entertainment: Brian Linehan, Jeremy Brown, Lisa Brandt. Food: Jeremy Brown. Events: Linda Kitigowa. On March 7, Ed Needham returned for Weekends. Dave Quinn’s evening Sports-talk show was dropped April 24. On April 27, The World Tonight moved from 11 to 10 p.m., John Oakley from 11:20 to 10:20; The Best Of ‘RB followed. On April 30, Charles Adler left and was replaced by Larry Solway (ex-weekends). In April or May, Larry Grossman (former Ontario PC leader) was added to Weekends. |On May 9, Phyllis Walker joined for Weekends. On August 21, Wayne McLean left for CKWW in Windsor. On August 24, the following changes were made: John Stall was now on the air from 9-9:30 a.m., with Andy Barrie from 9:30 to 11:50. John Stall & Marlane Oliver hosted The World At Noon from 12-2 p.m. with Jane Hawtin following from 2-4. Dave Agar joined David Bent and Donna Tranquada for The World Today – now heard from 4 to 7 p.m. On August 25, Larry King was added from 2:00 to 5:00 a.m. Ed Needham returned for 7-10 p.m. from Weekends on August 31. Fred Napoli’s weekend program was cancelled August 23. On September 12, Fred Napoli returned (weekends) due to popular demand. As of September 20, Fred Davis & Judy Webb hosted a new weekend nostalgia music show – Real Radio. On December 9, Tayler Parnaby took over the 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. shift, John Stall concentrated on The World At Noon. Torben Wittrup retired December 31. Bill Deegan also retired this year. Lisa Brandt joined at some point in the year, from CKFM.
Bill Baker died on December 21 at the age of 85. He started his broadcasting career in 1924. Baker was with sportscaster Wes McKnight for many years as engineer-operator, broadcasting sporting events from all over. Bill Baker retired around 1973, but remained an authority on the history of radio. On February 1, Larry King moved from night-time to daytime then the program was dropped. Eddie Luther died February 16. He was Canada’s first air-borne traffic reporter, working at CFRB in 1961. He had started at the station as an announcer in the 50’s. On June 7, Harold Hosein (CITY-TV weather) began doing weather reports for CFRB. On August 27, Ed Needham left and was replaced temporarily by John Oakley, then by Al Rae. On September 7, Paul & Carol Mott joined for 2-4 p.m. from CKTB St. Catharines, Jayne Hawtin moved to 1-2 p.m. In September, Mike Inglis joined for swing work from CJCL. John Crawford switched from reporter to news-casting duties. Fred Napoli left in September. In October, Marlane Oliver left for CFTR (now all-news), John Stall was now heard from 9:05 to 9:30 a.m. Jeremy Brown left. Lisa Brandt took over his regular entertainment reports and Brian Linehan took over his weekend features. Other 1993 program notes: Ed Needham was off on Fridays nights, and John Oakley filled-in, with Larry King starting at 11 p.m. TSN Sports was added for weekends & evenings. Diane Pepper left. Early in the year, John Majhor was doing some on-air work for both CFRB and CKFM.
Former CFRB announcer Gene Kirby (Gene J. Smith) died September 10, in his 64th year. In February Lowell Green left for CFRA. On May 13, Newsman Peter Dickens retired. In September, Steven Reuben left for WHAM Rochester. John Crawford left for CKLH Hamilton. Mike Cleaver joined from CHUM. Other fall program notes: Glen Crouter moved to weekends from sports, and Mike Inglis moved to sports from weekends. John Stall was now on from 9-10 a.m. In December, John Hesselink (ex-CHOG-CILQ) was noted in doing Weekends. Other 1994 program notes: Pat Marsden covered Blue Jays spring training. Chris Wilson left for CFTR. Guy Valentine (traffic) joined from CHUM. Susan Rogers joined from CFTR. Lisa Brandt left for CFCA Kitchener.
Standard Broadcasting felt the time had come, with annual subsidies to Standard Broadcast News in excess of one million dollars, to terminate service to other than its owned and operated stations. It maintained an Ottawa bureau, exchanged reports from its O & O’s, and eventually, rejoined the Broadcast News service. CFRB, Standard’s flagship Toronto station, continued its affiliation with CBS News.
On February 6, John Hesellink moved from weekends to overnites (12-4 a.m.) weekdays and was replaced on weekends by Scott Robbins. In March, Steven Reuben returned from WHAM Rochester for a Sunday night law show. Kim Mason, a 35 year old registered nurse, was chosen from almost 1,200 listeners who auditioned for their own talk show in the “It’s My Show” contest. Kimberly did her first CFRB show on April 16 and would continue to be heard from midnignt to 4:00 a.m. on weekends. On May 31, Jane Hawtin left (Noon-2 p.m.) for CHCH-TV and CHOG-AM, replaced 12-1 by Donna Tranquada, and the Motts show was extended to 1-4 p.m. Former CFRB newscaster Bill Walker passed away on June 25. He was 72. Long-time CFRB traffic reporter Henry Shannon retired June 30. He had been with the station since 1969 and was officially replaced by Guy Valentine. Henry would continue to do fill-in traffic reports. While on summer vacation (July), Andy Barrie announced that he would be joining CBL 740’s Metro Morning as of September 5. CFRB became the radio voice of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. The team was owned in part by Allan Slaight, CFRB’s owner. CFRB’s licence was renewed by the CRTC for only nine months. The Commission wanted to assess its guidelines to ensure high standards and appropriate responses to complaints. In August, Brian Linehan left. John Oakley replaced Andy Barrie from 10 a.m. to noon. Oakley was replaced in the 7-10 p.m. shift by weekender Michael Coren. Paul Kellogg returned for weekends on August 21. On September 11, Dr. Joy Browne was added from 3:00 to 5:00 a.m. Other 1995 program notes: Anne Winstanley left for CJEZ-FM. Don McDonald joined from CJEZ. Bill McVean’s travel show moved to CFMX-FM. Mike Cleaver left. John Donabie returned. CFRB hired former Toronto police chief Bill McCormack as a regular contributor and commentator. Steve Kowch was Operations Manager. Toronto Argo football broadcasts moved from CFRB to AM640.
November 1 was Wally Crouter Day in Toronto. This was the day the 73 year old Crouter retired as CFRB’s morning host. He was with the station for 49 years, and 10,000 shows. That was longer than any other morning announcer in North America. His last show on November 1 marked the beginning of his 50th year, and followed a month-long countdown of special events and on-air highlights from his career. On February 9, Shelley Klinck joined from CHOG. On February 24, Cecil Foster joined for weekends. Jeremy Brown retired (but later showed up at CFMX-FM) on March 2. In August, John Hesselink left, replaced with more of Dr. Joy Browne. Former (longtime) CFRB personality Bill Deegan died October 8 at the age of 70. Ted Woloshyn took over the morning show on November 4. He had been doing weekends. Mike Stafford replaced him in weekends. Charles Adler returned for the 9 a.m. to noon shift, The Motts were now heard from Noon to 2 p.m. and John Oakley from 2 to 4 p.m. Money Matters with Brian Costello and Carol Mott aired Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m.
CFRB/CKFM-FM general sales manager Christopher Grossman agreed to purchase CFBG-FM Bracebridge from Telemedia. In January, The World Today expanded from 4-7 To 4-8 p.m., and Michael Coren’s Show moved from 7-10 to 8-10 p.m. Jeff Pevere joined CFRB. In April, Elly Sedinski left for CFTR. On June 16, John Dickie joined for midnight to 3 on weekends. In July, Gene Valaitis joined for fill-in talk (he left CHOG in May). On August 29, Monica Di Santis left for WBBM-AM Chicago. On September 9, Jane Hawtin Live (rebroadcast of the WTN TV show) was added at 9 p.m. Martina Fitzgerald joined from TSN Sportsradio for Traffic and Entertainment, replacing Di Santis. Also in September, Jim Richards joined from CILQ-FM to do 12-3 a.m. Al Navis also joined for the 12-3 a.m. shift. John Stall left and was replaced by Gene Valaitis. Bill Carroll joined for news from CHOG.
Charles Doering retired on August 28, following 33 years at the station. On November 2nd, the C.A.B. announced Charles’ admission to the Half Century Club, for his fifty years in broadcasting. After Gordon Sinclair died in 1984, Bob Hesketh took over the 11:50 a.m. news and commentary slot. When Hesketh was on vacation, Doering would fill in for him. After Hesketh retired, Doering took over the 11:50 a.m. time slot. CFRB listeners were once again asked to audition their talents for the chance to win their own talk show. The station had done a similar hunt for new talent about five years earlier. Dave Agar stepped down as news director in favour of retaining his duties as morning newscaster. Bill Carroll was now news director. Dick Smyth, who had retired from CFTR the previous year, began offering commentary on CFRB. He was also a regular on the station’s 9 a.m. Free-for-All Roundtable. On March 14 Allan Mayer joined CFRB. On May 31, Bruce Rogers retired. In June, Bill Carroll became Entertainment Editor. On August 28, on Charles Doering’s retirement, he was replaced by Tayler Parnaby for the 11:50 a.m. news and commentary. Charles Adler left for CJOB Winnipeg. Program schedule as of August 31: Ted Woloshyn (5-9), Bill Carroll (9-10), The Motts (10-11:50), Tayler Parnaby (11:50-12), The Motts (12-1), John Oakley (1-4), Mike Stafford with David Bent & Donna Tranquada (4-7), Mike Stafford with Michael Coren & Jane Hawtin (7-8), Michael Coren (8-9), Jane Hawtin (9-10), World Tonight (10-11), CFRB Replay (11-12), Jim Richards (12-3), CFRB Replay (3-5). Eric Hollo joined in September. Evening program changes as of September 7: Stafford-Bent-Tranquada 4 to 7, Stafford with Coren & Susan G. Cole 7 to 730, Coren 730 to 9, World Tonight 9 to 10, A Day In The Life (Best of CFRB) 10 to 11, Richards (“Coping” 11-12, “Nightside” 12-3). On September 8, Dick Smyth joined for commentary & the morning free-for-all (9-10 a.m.) a couple of days a week. Smyth had retired from CFTR earlier in the year. On September 20, Wally Crouter returned for the Sunday (8-9pm) show “Memory Theatre”. In December, Gene Valaitis left. Bill Carroll took over his Saturday show while Mike Stafford took over the Sunday show.
In January, Karen Horsman joined (most recently at CHOG). In August, Michael Coren left for CHOG, and was replaced by Mike Stafford from 7-10 p.m. Bill Stephenson retired in September and was replaced in AM drive sports by Bruce Barker (Stephenson still did fill-in work). Mark Bunting joined for sports. Dick Smyth left. In November, Harold Hosein (weather) left for CFTR. Avery Haines left for CTV. Jane Brown joined for news from CFTR. Other 1999 program notes: Karen Horsman started out in news and eventually wound up with the 1-5 p.m. talk slot on weekends. Donna Tranquada left for CBL. Jaymz Bee joined for Saturday night talk. Dave Trafford joined from CHOG. Marianne Somers joined for news from CFTR. Bob Durant joined from CJCL. Marty Galin and Avrum Rosensweig joined for Saturday nights from 6-7 (they were last heard on CHOG). Allan Mayer left and was replaced by Generation Next (Jackie Mahon, Ryan Doyle, Mike van Dixon, Rachael Shaw). Strange Days Indeed, a show about UFO’s, was added on Sunday nights. Hal Vincent, longtime Queen’s Park reporter left. Dan Reynish, Al Navis, and Eric Hollo left. CFRB’s new operations manager was CJAD program director Steve Kowch. Bob Mackowycz left that post to pursue other interests. Dave Trafford joined CFRB news. He had been news director and assistant program director at Toronto’s Talk640. June Sonin died at the age of 68. She was the widow of Ray Sonin, who originated Calling All Britons on CFRB. Some time after his death, June took the program to CHWO Oakville and was the host. June had often been heard on-air with Ray when the program aired on CFRB. During the Ontario election campaign, CFRB put headsets on a cardboard picture of Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty. The station said it tried for a month to get McGuinty to take part in an open-line show as the two other leaders had done. When he refused, the station had callers pose questions to the “dummy” which were, of course, met with silence.
After 19 years of service one of CFRB’s two 50 kw Continental transmitters was replaced by a solid-state Nautel XL-60 tranmitter. On January 17, Michael Kane and Deirdre McMurdy’s business show was added to the CFRB program line-up. Program line-up as of January 24: Ted Woloshyn (5:30-9), Bill Carroll with Laurie Goldstein & Jane Hawtin (9-11), The Motts (Brian Costello 1-2 Fri) (11-11:50), Taylor Parnaby (11:50-12), The Motts (12-2), John Oakley (2-5), World Today with Mike Stafford, David Bent, & Debra Hurst (5-7), Mike Stafford (7-9), A Day In The Life (9-10), Evening Business Hour (10-11), Jim Richards (11-2), RB Replay (2-5:30). In February, John Dickie left, replaced by John Oakley’s producer (Sun Night/Mon morn), Richard Syrett on February 6. On February 25, former newscaster/commentator Bob Hesketh passed away at age 76. Bob was a news commentator at CFRB from July 1959 (when he was hired as a summer replacement for Gordon Sinclair) until his retirement in 1987. His daily commentary, “The Way I See It”, was syndicated across Canada for 19 years. It was the longest-running syndicated show in private Canadian broadcasting. On February 27, Karen Horsman left on maternity leave. She returned later in the year. On March 4, The Weather Network’s forecasts were added. In August, Mike Stafford left (5-9 p.m.) and was replaced by Randy Taylor (last at CKTB). In September, Michael Coren returned for Sunday nights. Karen Horsman returned from maternity leave. The U.S. syndicated Mitch Albom Show was added to the Sunday line-up. Other 2000 program notes: Arnis Peterson was on long-term disability. Dan Gallagher joined for Saturday afternoons. Jaymz Bee left and was replaced by Errol Bruce-Knapp. Rob Graham and Michael Kane joined from CFTR. Laurie Goldstein left the 9 am free-for-all and was replaced by Dave Agar (The Free-For-All was reduced to half an hour from 9-9:30, then Bill Carroll on his own from 9:30-11). Mike Kirby, station voice, left. Jackie Delaney joined for traffic and fill-in talk from CJCL and CJEZ. Dr. Amanda Glew joined for pet show on Saturday afternoons (simulcast on CJAD in Montreal). The World Today and The World at Noon were cancelled. The World Today was replaced by Mike Stafford (and then Randy Taylor) from 5-9 p.m. Other voices heard on CFRB: Weekends: John Donabie, Tom Fulton, Mark Cullen (garden), Dave Cornwell (garden), John Dickie, Erroll Bruce-Knapp, John Caras, Karen Horsman, Jaymz Bee, Jackie Mahon, Mike Bendeixen, Ryan Doyle, Rachael Saw, Marty Galin, Avrum Rosenweig, Dan Gallagher, Dr. Amanda Glew, Hannah Sung, Dr. Mickey Lester, Mitch Albom, Jerry White, Michael Coren, Tom Fulton, Richard Syrett. News: Bob Durant, Jackie Mahon, Taylor Parnaby, Dave Agar, Jane Brown, Connie Sinclair, David Bent, Deborah Hurst, Dave Trafford, John Elston, Brent Coppin, Bill McDonald, Dana O’Brien, Al Michaels. Reporters: Brent Copin, Bob Comsick, Lisa Nakarado, Dana O’Brien, Myla Koskitalo, James Fitzmorris, Claude Beaulieu. Sports: Bruce Barker, Bill Stephenson, Dave Quinn, Martina Fitzagerald. Traffic: Mrtina Fitzgerald, Sheila Walsh, Guy Valentine, Neil Bansel, Myla Koskitalo, Jennifer Reed, Henry Shannon (Fill-in), Jackie Delaney. Business: Mark Bunting, Jerry White, Brian Costello, Conrad Forest, Rob Graham, Michael Kane, Arnis Peterson. Others: Lorne Hailstone (events), Susan G. Cole (Free-for-all fill-in), Mike Kirby (station voice)> Weather: from the Weather Network. Entertainment: Sheila Walsh, Martina Fitzgerald, John Donabie, John Moore. Commentary: Tayler Parnaby, Christie Blatchford, various announcers. Evening Business Hour hosted by Michael Cane & Deirdre McMurdy.
Former CFRB sports commentator Jim Coleman, 89, died January 14. Dan Gallagher died at age 43. He was a weekend personality at CFRB. He was found in his Toronto home by family after he failed to show for his January 20 show. Well known broadcaster, journalist and evangelist, Charles Templeton, passed away at age 85. He and Pierre Berton had hosted a commentary feature on CFRB in the past. On January 21: Weekend host Dan Gallagher died. He was 43. In February, Erica Ehm joined. Dan Turner joined from CHUM. On March 27, Jackie Mahon left for CITY-TV. In April, Larry Silver joined from CFYI. Former CFRB commentator Charles Templeton died June 7. He was 85. More 2001 program notes: Larry Silver left CFRB news for the Corus Radio Network (where he had already been doing some work in addition to his CFRB stint). Spider Jones joined for some fill-in work. He had been with CFYI.
On January 11, a new antenna system was put into operation. This was the third new array since the transmitter plant was moved from Aurora to Clarkson. Four towers with identical height of 690 feet were erected further south on the site, replacing two 50-foot towers and two 550-footers. The aircraft warning lights on the new towers, using the LED design, were the first to be authorized in Canada. Former on-air personality Earl Warren (Earl Warren Seagal) died October 19. He was 69. Former swing announcer Tom Fulton died on December 9 at age 58.
H.T. (Mac) McCurdy, President of Standard of Standard Broadcasting Corporation from 1974 to 1985, died on September 3rd. Daryl Wells (Daryl Frederick Wille) The Voice of Racing, heard for many years on ‘RB died December 12 at 81.
Art Cole, the former host of “Let’s Discuss It” died January 5 at age 87.
On September 27, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions. The purchase included CFRB-AM, CKFM-FM and CJEZ-FM. Astral Media took ownership of the Standard stations on October 29.
John Spragge passed away on December 16 at the age of 71. At one time, he was CFRB’s program director, a position he held for 13 years. He joined the station after a ten year run at CHUM, followed by a few years with the Radio Sales Bureau and Standard Broadcast sales. Jack Dawson, who had joined CFRB in 1939 as an annoucer and retired in 1973 as Vice -President & General Manager, passed away at the age of 91.
Chief correspondent Tayler Parnaby retired in January. This also ended the only connection with CFRB’s past…the 11:50 a.m. newscast which had belonged to Gordon Sinclair. Parnaby’s retirement was part of Astral Media Radio’s restructuring at a number of stations across Canada. A number of other CFRB news personnel lost their jobs – David Bent, Jane Brown, Bill McDonald and John Elston. Talk host Richard Syrett was also let go. On August 27, 12 employees were let go at CFRB. Sherry O’Neil, general manager of Astral Media Radio’s Toronto cluster said they are “evolving the product on air” to boost ratings. She added the move had nothing to do with the economy and that any money saved will be put back into the station. Mid day talk hosts Paul & Carol Mott were among those let go. News staffers, including newscaster Kris McKusker, and some producers were also now gone from the station. Michael Coren and Jacqui Delaney were also among the casualties. On August 28, the CRTC renewed the transitional digital radio licence of CFRB-DR-2. After being let go by CFRB, Astral gave Steve Kowch the opportunity to work a six month contract with sister station CJAD in Montreal. He accepted. He would be program and news director. When Steve Kowch was moved to CJAD-AM Montreal, that station’s program director Mike Bendixon took up the same post at CFRB. Mike had been with CFRB before being moved to CJAD a few years earlier. In September, CFRB announced major program line-up changes to take effect on October 5. The station would become known simply as “Newstalk 1010” as well. John Moore would move from afternoon drive to mornings (5:30-9). Morningman Bill Carroll would return to the mid-day shift (9-1). Jim Richards would handle the 1-4 p.m. shift. Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory would move from a weekend shift to afternoon drive (4-7). Ryan Doyle would remain in the 7-10 p.m. time slot. John Moore would be joined in the mornings by Rick Hodge (sports), former Breakfast Television host Liza Fromer and Tarek Fatah on international affairs. Sportscaster Rick Hodge was no longer with Astral Media Radio Toronto. His job at EZ Rock was eliminated as was fellow morning show staffer Kim Stockwood’s position. Hodge had also been doing commentary on sister station CFRB. Ron Hewat, after 51 years in the radio business, retired December 31 from his Specialty Sales Manager’s job at CFRB. Hewat had done play-by-play for the Maple Leafs and the Canada Cup, helped build the Toronto Blue Jays’ first radio network and hired play-by-play announcer Tom Cheek. He got his start in 1958, when Foster Hewitt hired him to work 12-hour weekend shifts. Shortly afterwards, Hewat began doing intermission interviews at Leafs and Marlies games and eventually became the colour man on Leafs radio broadcasts. But the big break was in 1968 when he was handed the playby-play job.
Ronald Adam Krochuk died at age 73. Krochuk held sales and marketing positions at such stations as CJOB Winnipeg, CJAD Montreal, CFRB Toronto and at the now-Corus Radio Hamilton stations.
Bill Carroll, the 9 a.m. to noon talker at CFRB, moved to KFI Los Angeles to do the noon to 2 p.m. talk show, as of February 22. Program director Mike Bendixen said Carroll would continue to be heard on CFRB during the Live Drive with John Tory. He would also join ‘RB hosts on a regular basis to provide his unique opinions on the news and social issues of the day. Jerry Agar succeeded Bill Carroll in the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot. He began his career at hometown CKDM Dauphin doing the overnight show. Agar had worked at WABC New York, KMBZ Kansas City, WLS Chicago and until now, had been hosting weekends at WGN Chicago. Gwyn ‘Jocko’ Thomas passed away at age 96. He was hired by the Toronto Star in October of 1929. He went on to win three National Newspaper Awards and was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame in 1995. From the early ‘60s, Thomas was also heard on CFRB where he would end his news reports with his distinctive sign-off: “This is Jocko Thomas of the Toronto Star reportin’ to CFRB from police headquar-r-r-rters”. Astral Toronto let a number of CFRB people go in June: Eileen Berardini (assignment editor), Bob Komsic (evening anchor), Melissa Boyce (promotions) and weekend announcer John Donabie. In September, Mike Bullard moved to Newstalk 1010…noon to one p.m. He had been at CHAM Hamilton until that station changed back to a country format. Former CFRB morning man Ted Woloshyn returned to the station this year to handle Saturday afternoons. Fred Ursel died at 76. He had worked in the 1960’s with CFRB sales and with Standard Broadcast Sales. David Lindores became the Promotion Director at KiSS 92.5/98.1 CHFI on June 15, moving from Astral Media Radio Toronto where he’d been for about three years. Daniel Proussalidis of CFRB’s news department was promoted to Ottawa Bureau Chief. Val Meyer, Vice President of Sales at Astral Outdoor in Toronto, succeeded Sherry O’Neil as Vice President and General Manager of Astral Radio Toronto (CFRB/boomfm/Virgin), effective December 6. O’Neil became Astral’s corporate Vice President of Planning and Transformation.
Former CFRB on-air personality John Dolan passed away. On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFRB-DR-2 to April 30, 2012. Bill Herz, vice president of sales at Astral Media Radio and based in Toronto, announced his retirement. He’d been with the operation, through three owners, for 45 years beginning with CFRB in 1965. In 1975, he tried TV sales at Baton Broadcasting, then went back to Standard Broadcasting. In 1995, he worked at CHUM for short time and then returned to Standard. Lorie Russell was now managing sales for the entire Astral Radio Toronto cluster. She added Newstalk 1010 after Scott Johns was promoted to revenue director for English Canada stations. Also at Astral Radio Toronto, retail sales supervisors Brett Dakin and Brian Labonte were promoted to retail sales managers. Traffic reporter Rob Valentine left CFRB to joins 680NEWS (CFTR), December 7. Dave Trafford, News Director at CFRB, moved September 15 to Global TV where he became Managing Editor.
Former CFRB talk host Larry Solway passed away January 9 at age 83. On April 23, the CRTC administratively renewed the broadcasting licence for digital radio programming undertaking CFRB-DR-2 until August 31, 2012. Tom McKee passed away at age 76. McKee was a sports broadcaster with CBC, CTV, ABC, TSN, CFRB and TV Labatt, and was the first face and voice on the Toronto Blue Jays’ 1977 inaugural telecast.
A guest’s comments on homosexuality on Mayor Rob Ford’s weekly talk show on CFRB were found by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to have violated the CAB’s Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.
Astral Radio announced the return of “Humble” Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson. On January 21, the Humble & Fred Radio Show began airing weekday evenings on Funny 820 Hamilton, Funny 1410 London, and News Talk 1010 CFRB Toronto. Mike Bullard of Newstalk 1010 received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal at the Ontario legislature in recognition of his charitable contributions. John McFadyen died at age 73. His early days in broadcast news included CKPC Brantford before he moved to CKFM Toronto where he served as News Director from the mid 1970s through the early ‘80s. He also became ND at sister station CFRB. Later, he was in news management at the CKO news network, CKWS-TV Kingston and CHCH-TV Hamilton. Ian Brownlee died three days short of his 70th birthday. He began a long broadcasting career as a newsman at CKBB-AM/CKVR-TVBarrie, then in Toronto radio from the 1960s through the ‘80s at CHUM, CKEY, CKO and CFRB. He also taught broadcasting at Niagara College in the 1970s and was the narrator of TV’s Wild Animals of the World. On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including CFRB. It was announced in July that CFRB and Virgin Radio would move from their long time home at 2 St. Clair Avenue West to the building that housed Bell’s other Toronto radio stations on Queen Street West. The move was expected to take place in March, 2014. Bill Bright died at age 87. He was best remembered for his days as a newscaster at CFRB and then as News Director and feature newscaster at CKFM. Bright’s career also included some time at CKOC Hamilton.
Don Hartford died at age 95. He was president of Standard Broadcasting’s radio division; president of St. Clair Productions and Eastern Sound Systems; a director of Standard Broadcast Productions, Standard Broadcasting Corp. and Standard Sound Systems (Muzak). Hartford began his radio career as an announcer at CFAC Calgary and later became sales manager, then VP/GM. In 1960, he moved to Toronto and began his career with Standard. On May 9, CFRB and CKFM left their longtime home at 2 St. Clair Ave. W. (midtown) for the Bell Media broadcast centre, co-located with CHUM-AM and CHUM-FM on Queen Street West. To mark the occasion, the station produced a series of brief audio episodes covering the history of CFRB; it may be heard at: http://www.newstalk1010.com/news/2014/04/28/a-look-back-the-history-of-c…
Former CFRB sports director Bill Stephenson passed away in July at the age of 85. He also did CFL broadcasts for CTV for a number of years.
90-year old Don Harron died in January. He introduced Charlie Farquharson to CBC viewers in 1952 and in the late ‘60s began an 18-season stint on American TV’s Hee Haw. In the ‘70s, he was a regular contributor to CFRB and, from 1977 to 1982, host of CBC Radio’s Morningside.
Former and long-time CFRB chief engineer Clive Eastwood passed away in October. He joined the station in 1945 and retired in 1986. He had actually been a “techie” at the station between 1938 and 1941, before going to the University of Toronto for an engineering degree. Eastwood became Chief Engineer at CFRB in 1948, and Vice President of Engineering in 1969. In 1985 the Canadian Association of Broadcasters gave him its Engineer of the Year Award as well as its Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.
Wally Lennox was let go from Bell Media as part of restructuring. He had been director of radio engineering and was in the business over 41 years. Before Bell, Lennox was VP of engineering for Astral Media, Standard Radio (plus director of engineering at CFRB/CJEZ) and Telemedia.
Larry Keats, Bell Media’s Toronto manager of transmission engineering (after 35 years) was no longer with the company in November following the latest round of job cuts. His primary duties were with CHUM-FM/CFRB/TSN 1050. CFRB sports reporter Mike Toth and TSN Radio senior producer Todd Hayes and co-host David Bastl were expected to leave in February.
Long-time CFRB news anchor Dave Agar retired on March 31.
Wally Crouter passed away March 28 at age 92. For 50 years, he was the top-rated morning man in Toronto, talking to a CFRB audience that, at the time, was numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Crouter joined CFRB on November 1, 1946 and retired on November 1, 1996. Before CFRB, Wally worked at CHEX in Peterborough. Crouter was a member of the C.A.B. Hall of Fame.
Errol Bruce Knapp died at age 73 in August. The former host of CFRB’s “Strange Days… Indeed”, had also worked at CKFH, CHUM-FM, CILQ, CBC and TVO.
Bev Edwards passed away December 7 at age 87. He produced the Wally Crouter Show on CFRB for 38 years.
Betty Kennedy (91) passed away on March 20. She spent 27 years at CFRB and was a panellist on the long-running CBC-TV quiz show, Front Page Challenge. Kennedy’s work earned her nomination to the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Canadian News Hall of Fame. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982, and was nominated by Prime Minister Jean Chretien as a Senator from July 2000 to her mandatory retirement age of 75 in January 2001.
In May, NewsTalk 1010 began simulcasting The CTV National News at 11:00 p.m.
At the end of June, NewsTalk 1010 became available in HD via CKFM’s second HD channel (HD2).
Wayne McLean died at age 73, on April 30. Through his long career, Wayne worked at CJSP Leamington, CFOS Owen Sound, CFPL London, CFRB Toronto, CKWW and CKLW Windsor, as well as stations in Sarnia, Ottawa, Kitchener and Hamilton. McLean was also an ordained Baptist minister. In later years, McLean taught Communications at the University of Windsor and Film Studies at Walkerville Collegiate and Windsor Library. In the final 10 years of his life, he operated a global film script consultancy.
Mark Elliot (Nils Johanson) retired from radio this year. Elliot was host of long-running weekend People Helping People program on NewsTalk 1010 and sister station CJAD Montreal. He previously hosted The Nightside on CFRB from 2003-07, in addition to stints at CFRA and CFGO Ottawa and CKLW Windsor.
Gordon Alan Whitehead passed away August 4. Over his long radio career, Gord was news director for CFPL London, managing editor at CFRB (and CKFM), and news reporter for several newspapers.
David Craig (77) passed away on October 9. Best known for his 22 years at CFRB news, Craig started out at CJCJ Woodstock, NB in 1959. He moved on to Smiths Falls, Fredericton, Saint John, Sydney, Sault Ste. Marie and Hamilton. After CFRB, Craig worked at CKSL London, CJEZ and CFTR Toronto, and CFMX and CHUC Cobourg. Before retiring at age 68, he worked as a weekend announcer for CBC. Craig was honoured with an RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 in the Central Region.
Fred Napoli passed away November 9 at the age of 82. Fred started his career at CJOY Guelph in 1960. He would move on to CHML Hamilton, Toronto’s CBC, CKFM and CFRB, and CHOW in Welland. Napoli also voiced more than 400 documentaries over the years. Many of those were produced for TVOntario and the National Film Board.
Lyman Potts died December 9 at the age of 102. His radio career started at CHWC Regina in 1935. In 1940, he moved to Hamilton’s CKOC, as production manager. In 1956 he helped launch CKSL in London and then assisted Arthur Dupont (CJAD) in his attempt to gain a Montreal television licence. He later became GM of CJFM, which he helped put on the air in 1962. Lyman eventually became president of Standard Broadcast Productions. From 1970-74, he was president of Standard Broadcasting Corp. (UK). Potts retired from broadcasting in 1981 and formed J. Lyman Potts & Associates. He then went on to create the Canadian Talent Library, a non–profit trust supporting Canadian recording. Lyman was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978, inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1976 and named to the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1987. He inspired the formation of the Central Canada Broadcast Engineers Association in 1953 and was a founding member of the Canadian Communications Foundation, serving as its vice-president from 1994 to 2004.
Mark Elliot (Nils Johanson), 65, passed away January 11. Best known for his long-running late night show People Helping People, Elliot worked at CHIC Brampton, CFOM Quebec City, CFRW Winnipeg, CFRA and CFGO Ottawa, CKLW Windsor, CFMJ and CFRB Toronto.
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.