Hamilton Spectator / Left the Air
|Hamilton Spectator / Left the Air
The Hamilton Spectator became a pioneer in the development of FM broadcasting in Canada, acquiring one of three licences issued for stand-alone FM stations after World War ll (others were in Kitchener and Simcoe). The CBC Board of Governors recommended for approval, an application by The Hamilton Spectator (Southam Co. Ltd.) for an FM licence in the city.
Gerry Quinney left CFAR Flin Flon (MB) where he had been manager, to become assistant manager at CJSH-FM.
The Spectator’s CJSH-FM began broadcasting on October 26, with a 30-minute preview. Werner Bartmann and Bruce St. George presented a talk about the goals of the station. In addition to fine music, CJSH would broadcast drama and an hour of children’s programming each day. There would also be a commitment to news.
CJSH-FM began official broadcasting at 6.45 p.m., November 12 with ‘O Canada’. An organ recital by George Veary from Christ’s Church Cathedral followed. Next, the Rt. Rev. Walter Bagnall, Bishop of Niagara, was introduced by The Spectator’s publisher, F.I. Ker. Following the bishop’s dedication, Evensong was broadcast live from the Cathedral.
The station operated a schedule of ten hours a day from studios in the converted Southam residence at 163 Jackson Street West (at Caroline). The transmitter, powered by 740 watts, operated on a frequency of 102.9 MHz. The 300 foot tower was located on the escarpment above Dundas and was over 1,000 feet above sea level. The “SH” in the call sign: Spectator, Hamilton.
CJSH-FM applied to the CBC for a power increase – from 745 watts to 9,200 watts (effective radiated power). The application was approved and the station was operating at the new power later in the year.
Slogan: Now…Hamilton has a quality medium for a quality audience.
CJSH asked for and received permission to reduce its daily broadcast hours from ten to six.
Unfortunately, FM broadcasting was eclipsed by fledgling television, and greatly hindered by the failure of potential listeners to buy FM receivers, coupled with the lack of promotion by radio receiver manufacturers who were concentrating on TV. After a valiant effort to make the station successful, in 1953, the Spectator, having been approved as one of three partners in a new TV station for Hamilton (CHCH-TV), shut down CJSH-FM. The studios were converted for use by CHCH.
After four years as manager of CJSH, Gerry Quinney left for S.W. Caldwell Ltd.
The story continues elsewhere…
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