CFRC-FM , Campus, Kingston

Radio Queen’s University

CFRC-FM1990101.93,000Radio Queen’s University
CFRC-FM195491.91,270Queen’s University


Queen’s University was granted an experimental FM licence on April 3. The call letters were VE9BH. Power was 250 watts.


Queen’s University sought an FM broadcast licence – 1,000 watts on 91.9 MHz. An application was filed and approved. Queen’s had operated an FM operation on an experimental basis since 1944. That licence had been renewed on a yearly basis until now. The university had also operated CFRC-AM for a number of years. In approving the regular FM licence for CFRC, the CBC Board of Governors said the FM outlet would give additional technical, operating and programming experience to the students of the university.


CFRC-FM 91.9 began official broadcasting. Actual effective radiated power was 1,270 watts. CFRC-FM simulcast the programming of CFRC-AM. 


In January, CFRC-FM stopped simulcasting with the sister AM station.


The station’s only full-time staff members at this time were manager Steve Cutway and engineer Gary Racine.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CFRC-FM’s licence until September 30, 1985.


CFRC-FM’s ownership was transferred from Queen’s University to an independent body known as Radio Queen’s University. This was to comply with CRTC requirements (AM ownership changed earlier). Approval was also given for the simulcasting of AM and FM programming during student vacations.


On May 9, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFRC-FM by changing the frequency from 91.9 MHz (channel 220) to 101.9 MHz (channel 270), by increasing the effective radiated power from 1,270 watts to 3,000 watts, and by relocating the transmitter from Fleming Hall on the Queen’s University campus to a site three miles northeast of Kingston (Vivarium site). CFRC indicated that these changes would enable it to avoid interference resulting from electronic measuring equipment in use elsewhere on campus and to improve its service to Queen’s University and the immediate surrounding area. The Commission also approved the proposal to delete the condition of licence which authorized the simulcasting of programming originating with CFRC on CFRC-FM. The licensee proposed to increase its weekly broadcast time from 51 hours 30 minutes to 78 hours 30 minutes and to change the station’s format from “Classical/Fine Arts” to “Group IV”, based primarily on an increase of more than 15 hours in the weekly commitment to subcategory 52 (Pop and Rock-Harder) music. It further proposed to augment its weekly commitment to traditional and special interest music by 48 minutes from 21 hours 2 minutes to 21 hours 50 minutes and to broadcast in stereo. The Commission approved the request to change CFRC-FM’s format to “Group IV”. It considered this change in light of opposing interventions from Kingston’s two commercial AM stations, CKWS and CKLC, and the licensee’s response thereto. Although the interveners claimed that CFRC-FM’s move to “Group IV” would infringe on the formats of their local stations and fragment the market, the Commission noted that there were important differences in the service proposed by this FM station and that offered by the interveners on the AM band. In the Commission’s view, CFRC-FM’s commitment to draw 90% of its category 5 selections from “non-hit” material, its commitment to traditional and special interest music, and its undertaking not to engage in commercial activity at this time, should ensure diversity in the programming offered to listeners in the area and should not unduly affect the ability of CKWS and CKLC to attract revenue. The Commission further noted that student FM stations historically have never achieved significant audiences according to BBM surveys. 


On February 3, CFRC-AM closed. On the same date CFRC-FM moved from 91.9 MHz to 101.9 MHz with increased effective radiated power of 3,000 watts, using a 295 foot antenna on the Cantel Tower at Highway 15 and the 401. Hours of operation increased from 51 hours a week to 78.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

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