CFOB-FM , 931 The Border, Fort Frances

Acadia Broadcasting Ltd.

CFOB-FM200793.125,000Acadia Broadcasting Limited
CFOB-AM19558001,000John M. Reid
CFOB-FM200193.125,000Fawcett Broadcasting Ltd.
CFOB-AM19518001,000Border Broadcasting Inc.
CKFI-AM19441340500John M. Reid


A new 250 watt station owned by John M. Reid, was under construction at Fort Frances.

Gerry Prest joined CKFI as assistant manager. He had been publicity director at CKBI Prince Albert.

CKFI chose British United Press for its news service.

CKFI began broadcasting November 11. It broadcast on frequency 1340 kHz with power of 250 watts.


J.M. Reid, owner of CKFI, took over management of his station from Gerry Tonkin who resigned. Ed Borland joined CKFI’s announce staff from CJRL Kenora. Bill Deegan of Toronto got his first radio job at CKFI. 


An advertisement of the year called CKFI “The Good Neighbour Station Serving Northwestern Ontario”.


CKFI was listed as a CBC Dominion supplementary affiliate, owned by J. G. McLaren. Studios and offices were in the Well Building and the transmitter at Pither’s Point Park, two miles east of Fort Frances.

J.M. Reid was CKFI’s manager and R.S. Mitchner was commercial manager. Bill Guest left CKFI for CKRC Winnipeg’s announce staff.

Fort Frances radio listeners had been refusing to pay receiver licence fees because they were unable to hear CBC programs in their area.

Jack MacLaren, CKFI production manager, announced he planned to purchase CKFI from owner-manager J.M. Reid. The plan still required regulatory approval.


John Coughlin was an announcer at CKFI.


Syd Wall was transmitter operator at CKFI. Vic Price left CKFI to take over the overnight show at CJOB in Winnipeg. J.G. McLaren was manager and R.S. Mitchner was commercial manager.


CKFI received approval to change frequency from 1340 to 800 kHz and to increase power from 250 watts full-time to 1,000 watts day and 500 watts at night, non-directional.


CKFI announced a staff profit-sharing plan under which all members of the staff who contributed to the success of the company would share equally in company profits.

The CBC Board approved the transfer of CKFI from J.G. McLaren to Broadcasting Station CKFI Ltd. (no change in control).

CKFI received approval for the use of an emergency transmitter.


CKFI moved from 1340 kHz to 800 kHz and power increased to 1,000 watts day and 500 watts at night.


Approval was granted for the transfer of CKFI from Broadcasting Station CKFI Ltd. to Theodore Oscar Peterson, on the understanding that no other broadcasting organization would have any financial interest in the station or in any profits of the station.


CKFI changed its call sign to CFOB.


John Cochrane joined CFOB (his first radio job).


CFOB 800 was operating with 1,000 watts day and 500 watts night (non-directional) and was a CBC Dominion network affiliate. Ownership of Border Broadcasting Ltd.: T. O. Peterson 50.1%, J. G. McLaren 49.7% and H. F. Hall 0.2%.

Theodore O. Peterson was president of the company. Don A. Fawcett was CFOB’s manager.


John Cochrane left CFOB for Winnipeg’s CKRC.


Fawcett Broadcasting (Don Fawcett) purchased Border Broadcasting Ltd. (CFOB). After relinquishing his interest in CFOB, T.O. Peterson joined Ralph S. Misener & Associates in its bid for a new TV station in Winnipeg. The group won the licence for what would be CJAY-TV (later CKY-TV).


The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into a single CBC radio service. CFOB continued on as a CBC affiliate.


Don Fawcett was president of Border Broadcasting and CFOB’s program director.


Fawcett Broadcasting sold CFOB.


When CFOB’s licence came up for renewal, the BBG had concerns about the low percentage of local programming on the station. The regulator found only ten hours and 20 minutes of news and community programming in a one week period.

H. F. Dougall was president.


Fawcett Broadcasting (Donald Austin Fawcett, Eloise Pearl Fawcett and Gordon Alexander McTaggart) re-acquired Border Broadcasting Ltd. (CFOB). 


Line-up: Ken Hardie (6-10), Gerry Franzen (10-1), Cam Gray (1-6) and Bill Haight (6-midnight). 


CJRL, CKDR and CFOB received approval to rebroadcast the overnight show from CJOB-FM in Winnipeg.


CFOB received approval for a 50 watt rebroadcaster at Atikokan, operating on 1240 kHz. The CRTC said it considered the use of AM frequencies justified, despite its July, 1976, policy on rebroadcasters specifying FM for such stations.


On November 21, Broder Broadcasting received approval for CFOB to change frequency from 800 kHz to 640 kHz and to increase the night-time power from 500 watts to 1,000 watts. Daytime power would remain 1,000 watts.


On September 26, the network licence was renewed allowing CKIS-FM Winnipeg to be broadcast from midnight to 6 a.m., over CKDR Dryden, CFOB Fort Frances, CJRL Kenora, CFAK Atikokan, CKEF Ear Falls, CKHD Hudson, CKIG Ignace, CKRE Red Lake and CKSI Sioux Lookout.  


Fawcett Broadcasting’s Sunset Country Radio announced some management changes early in the year. Gordon McBride retired as station manager of CFOB Fort Frances. Replacing the 40 year broadcast veteran was Scott Fawcett, who left his post as manager of CJRL Kenora to become CFOB’s general manager and vice president of sales. Hugh Syrja, manager of CFDR Dryden took over as station manager of CJRL and Bruce Walchuck was promoted to manager of CFDR. All were long-time employees of the company.


Donald Fawcett passed away on April 26. His wife (Eloise) assumed the role of president of Fawcett Broadcasting.

On June 10, approval came for the change of program source for CFOB-1 Atikokan from CFOB Fort Frances to CKDR Dryden.


Scott Fawcett, former manager of CFOB and vice president of sales for Fawcett Broadcasting, moved on to become coach of the Edmonton Eskimos (CFL).

Don Kay was to become general manager at CFOB but things didn’t work out so he remained in Edmonton.


On August 16, the CRTC approved the change in the ownership of Fawcett Broadcasting Limited through the transfer of 140,010 Class B voting shares from Eloise P. Fawcett to Howard G. Fawcett. Consequently, Mr. Fawcett’s ownership postion in the company increases to 98.77%. 

On September 17, CFOB was given approval to move to the FM dial, operating on 93.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 21,000 watts. Antenna height (EHAAT) would be 81.4 metres. The FM transmitter site would be located at the existing AM facility. The new FM station would continue to offer CFOB’s current format of “adult contemporary” music and information programming. It would continue to broadcast 79 hours of local, station-produced programming each week.

Bill Toffan left the morning show at Ottawa’s CHEZ-FM to return home to be operations manager at CFOB. 


In June, CFOB-AM flipped to 93.1 FM as “The All New B93FM” with a hot adult contemporary format. CFOB had operated at 640 kHz with 1,000 watts (directional at night). 

CFOB’s studios and offices were located at 242 Scott Street at this time.


The transfer of the ownership and effective control of Fawcett Broadcasting Limited to Northwoods Broadcasting Limited was approved. Northwoods is  a corporation owned and controlled by Mr. John E. Irving (Acadia Broadcasting Ltd.). Acadia took ownership of the Fawcett stations on May 2. 


On October 23, Northwoods Broadcasting Limited received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of CFOB-FM Fort Frances, CJRL-FM Kenora, CKDR-FM Dryden, CKDR-2-FM Sioux Lookout and its transmitters CKDR-1 Ignace, CKDR-3 Hudson and CKDR-6 Atikokan as well as CKDR-5-FM Red Lake and its transmitter CKDR-4 Ear Falls, Ontario, from Fawcett Broadcasting Limited. Fawcett is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwoods. This transaction will be completed through the wind-up of the assets of Fawcett into Northwoods. The Commission notes that this transaction will not change the effective control of the undertakings, which will continue to be exercised by John E. Irving. The Commission notes that, to date, CKDR-5-FM Red Lake and its transmitter CKDR-4-FM Ear Falls are not yet implemented.


Eloise (Lois) Fawcett died at age 78. 


On August 19, the CRTC approved the application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licence for CFOB-FM Fort Frances in order for CFOB-FM to replace CKDR-2-FM Sioux Lookout as the source of programming broadcast by the AM rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6 Atikokan. The Commission also approved the licensee’s request to amend the broadcasting licence for CKDR-2-FM in order to delete its rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6. The licensee stated that it would be more appropriate for residents and advertisers in Atikokan to receive the CFOB-FM signal since they share more “communities of interest” with Fort Frances. As a result of the approval granted in this decision, the Commission revokes the authority granted to CKDR-2-FM to broadcast programming on the rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6. The Commission noted that approval of this application had no technical implications because no transmitters would be moved, added or taken away, and because no changes in the official contours of either the originating stations or the rebroadcasting transmitter were planned.


On November 15, the CRTC approved the application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited to amend the licence for CFOB-FM Fort Frances in order to operate an FM transmitter in Atikokan to replace its transmitter CFOB-1. The new transmitter would operate on frequency 95.9 MHz (channel 240LP) with an effective radiated power of 50 watts and an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 15 metres. The licensee stated that its AM transmitter was nearing the end of its life and that it would like to replace it with an FM transmitter, which would reduce maintenance and operating costs while providing a significant improvement in service and signal quality to Atikokan residents. Upon commencement of operations of the new FM transmitter, the licensee would cease operation of its AM transmitter CFOB-1. Given that the technical parameters approved in this decision were for a low-power unprotected FM service, the Commission reminded the licensee that it would have to select another frequency if the Department of Industry so required.


CFOB-1 Atikokan moved from 1240 kHz to 95.9 MHz. AM 1240 went dark after flip to 95.9 without utilizing authorized 90 day simulcast period.

The CRTC approved the change in the effective control of Acadia Broadcasting Limited from John E. Irving to a joint control exercised by John K.F. Irving and Anne C.I. Oxley, following the death of John E. Irving in 2010. Acadia was the licensee of radio stations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, following the amalgamation of Northwoods Broadcasting Limited with its mother company Acadia on February 3, 2012.

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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