CKCU-FM, Campus, Ottawa

Carleton University Students’ Association Inc.

CKCU-FM197593.112,000Carleton University Students’ Association Inc.


On May 22, Carleton University Association Inc. was granted a licence for a carrier current AM station, operating on 670 kHz with power of 16 watts. Before now, Radio Carleton had produced programming that aired on local commercial stations. For example – in 1965 Carleton’s radio club produced a Sunday night public affairs program that aired on CKOY 1310.


Carleton University Students’ Association Inc. was awarded an FM licence on June 27.

CKCU 93.1 signed on the air at midnight on November 14, broadcasting from Carleton University. It was the first campus-based community radio station in the country. The CU in the call sign: Carleton University. Steve Colwill who went on to work at CHEZ-FM was CKCU’s first announcer.


CKCU-FM was given permission to increase effective radiated power from 4,100 watts to 12,000 watts, increase antenna height from 251 feet to 852 feet (EHAAT), and change the antenna site.


CKCU had its licence renewed but was told to increase news and community programming. Service to other post-secondary institutions should be improved (not only to Carleton). Commercial activity was to be restricted to classified ads and simple statements of sponsorship, not exceeding six interruptions/four minutes per clock hour. 


On January 13, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKCU-FM, by authorizing the licensee, as a condition of licence, to broadcast a maximum of four minutes per hour of restricted advertising. In line with the definition in this statement as to what constitutes restricted advertising, the licensee was authorized to broadcast simple statements of sponsorship which identify the sponsors of a program or of the station. Such statements may incorporate the name of the sponsor, the business address, hours of business, and a brief general description of the types of services or products which the sponsor provides, including the price, name and brand name of the product. These statements must not contain language which attempts to persuade consumers to purchase and thus must not contain references to convenience, durability or desirability or contain other comparative or competitive references. The Commission would also allow the station to accept payment for classified advertisements on behalf of individuals and for informational messages on behalf of organizations engaged in community affairs and activities of a non-profit nature. The Commission requires the licensee to derive most of these revenues from sponsors in the area it is licensed to serve and will not permit the use of pre-produced national advertising messages.


CKCU-FM, Canada’s largest campus-community radio station marked ten years as an over the air FM station in November. 

CKCU had a staff of 150-250 volunteers, co-ordinated by an executive staff of ten.


CKCU-FM marked 25 years on the air and alumni from all over came to town mark the event. Many were amazed the station had survived and how far it had come.

Over the years, CKCU’s emphasis on public affairs programming has attracted several ethnic groups to the station. Dr. Harsha Ehejia, the host of “An Indian Morning”, one of the station’s longest running programs, was on the team that applied for the FM licence in 1975. Steve Neale, chair CKCU’s board of directors said the station was a valuable community resource. He added that many people live here and it’s important that they have access to the airwaves. 


On May 15 the CRTC renewed CKCU-FM’s licence until August 31, 2014.


A fire at the Camp Fortune transmitter site knocked CKCU-FM off the air for a time on December 7.


Allan Lindsay “Chopper” McKinnon died at age 66. He was a CKCU announcer for 33 years, hosting a weekly folk and roots show. McKinnon also chose music for a number of years at CBC Radio Ottawa.

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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