CBOQ-FM, CBC Music, Ottawa

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CBOQ-FM1991103.384,000Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
CBO-FM1947103.3380Canadian Broadcasting Corp.


In the fall it was announced that plans for a CBC FM station in Ottawa might be held up unless musicians union – AF of M – in Canada, reversed its US policy and permitted musicians to play for simultaneous transmissions on AM and FM radio. The FM transmitter was already in the Chateau Laurier Hotel. All that was left to do was erect the antenna and install other equipment. Once operational, the FM outlet would duplicate the programming of Trans-Canada station CBO-AM. 


The CBC opened its Ottawa FM station on February 27. It carried the regular programming of CBO-AM, daily, from noon to midnight and operated on 103.3 MHz, with a power of 250 watts. Studios and transmitter were in the Chateau Laurier Hotel. 


In February, the CBC announced plans for its FM network. It would be bilingual and start up on April 1. The network would link up the existing CBM-FM (100.7 MHz) Montreal, CBO-FM (103.3 MHz) Ottawa and CBC-FM (99.1 MHz) Toronto. High fidelity recorded music and regular Trans-Canada, Dominion and French network concerts and recitals would constitute the main programming fare during the initial 18 month test period. The CNR and CPR were now setting up the necessary lines and equipment to link the three stations. The FM network would operate during the evenings – Monday thru Friday, and noon to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. 

The CBC’s bilingual FM network launched on April 4 at 7:00 p.m. The schedule emphasized live and recorded music, both popular and classical, but also carried news, talks and commentaries in depth, and dramatic works. During non-network hours, CBO-FM would simulcast CBO-AM.

Laurence Grant Wilson of Toronto and Paul Roussel of Montreal were named program officers for the CBC FM Network. They were in charge of all programming on the bilingual network.


On October 31, at midnight, The FM network was closed and the CBC FM stations went back to simulcasting their sister AM stations full-time. 

The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks were merged into a single service.


On October 1, the CBC FM network reopened.


CBO-FM began broadcasting in stereo.


On November 3, the CBC-FM network was re-launched as “CBC Stereo”.


On April 18, the CRTC approved an increase in effective radiated power for CBO-FM from 70,000 watts to 84,000 watts, and a decrease in antenna height.


On January 7, CBO-AM-920 moved to 91.5 MHz on the FM dial, becoming CBO-FM. As a result, CBO-FM (103.3 MHz) became CBOQ-FM.


The CBC Stereo network was renamed CBC Radio Two on September 1.


At licence renewal time, it was noted that most of CBOQ-FM’s programming originated with the Radio Two network, but the station also broadcast local arts billboard information.


On November 14, 2002, the CRTC approved transitional digital radio undertakings for CBO-FM, CBOQ-FM, CBOF-FM, and CBOX-FM Ottawa. The CBC stated that each proposed undertaking would use three transmitters: one would be located at its site at Camp Fortune, Quebec and the other two in Ottawa, one at its building on Lanark Avenue and the other at the Time MCI Las Brisas building. The applicant proposed to operate all three transmitters in a single frequency network, using 1482.464 MHz (DRB channel 18) with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,928 watts, 2,850 watts and 2,965 watts, respectively. The CBC stated that the transmitters would employ the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. Approved.


CBOQ-DR-1 was opened on March 11.


On September 13, CBC/SRC Ottawa began broadcasting from new studios and offices at 181 Queen Street. Facilities had been scattered around the city. Radio had been in the Chateau Laurier and Television had operated from Lanark Street.


On December 7, CBOQ-DR-1 was granted an increase in isotropically radiated power of the Camp Fortune transmitter, from 5,928 to 12,250 watts. Also approved: relocation of their other transmitter – from the former CBC building on Lanark Avenue to Place Bell Canada (downtown Ottawa) and a decrease in EIRP from 2,850 to 2,820 watts.


On May 12 the CRTC renewed the licence of CBOQ-FM, including CBOQ-DR-1.


On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBOQ-DR-1, CBOQ-FM to August 31, 2011.


In 2010, the CBC had the licenses for its Montreal digital radio transmitters revoked. On January 21, 2011, the CRTC revoked the licenses for the rest of the CBC’s digital radio transmitters across the country – at the Corporation’s request. The revocations included CBO-DR-1, CBOQ-DR-1, CBOF-DR-1 and CBOX-DR-1 Ottawa. There had been a total lack of interest in digital radio by all parties involved.

On August 25, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBOQ-FM to March 1, 2013.


On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBOQ-FM to August 31, 2013.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBOQ-FM Ottawa for a five year term to August 31, 2018. The Commission considered that it was appropriate to impose conditions of licence on Radio 2 that: permit the broadcast of a maximum of four minutes of national paid advertising, as currently defined by the Commission, in any clock hour; and limit the number of times that programming can be interrupted for advertising to no more than twice per clock hour. The broadcast of advertising by Radio 2 was for a three-year trial period from September 1, 2013 until August 31, 2016.

On December 5, the CRTC gave approval to the CBC to introduce advertising on the Radio 2 and Espace Musique networks. Advertising would be limited to four minutes every hour. The CBC would need to seek permission to continue airing commercials on the two networks after three years.


On August 31, the CRTC denied the CBC’s application to continue commercial advertising on Radio 2 and ICI Musique beyond the initial three-year licence amendment. The CRTC found that CBC had failed to maintain satisfactory investment in radio and failed to meet ad revenue projections.


Radio 2 became CBC Music.

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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