CHRW-FM , Campus – Radio Western, London

University of Western Ontario

CHRW-FM198794.75,000University of Western Ontario
CHRW-FM198194.750University of Western Ontario

1971 – 1978

UWO students begin airing a six-hour weekly program on CFPL 980 in 1971. Eventually, the students launched a closed-circuit station and a cable radio station, and again had a weekly broadcast on commercial radio, this time CFPL 95.9. Interest was lost however and in January 1978, Radio Western left the air.


Western students agreed to support a new radio station and on May 14, the CRTC granted a licence to the University Students’ Council of the University of Western Ontario. The station would be AM carrier current – operating on 610 kHz with power of 20 watts.


On January 14, at 8:00 am, Radio Western signed on for the first time. The station broadcast daily until midnight until the end of the student year (April 30), then left the air for the summer. When the students returned in the fall, so did CHRW. That was September 2. In addition to its carrier current status, Radio Western was also available on the city’s two cable systems – but on different frequencies.


Radio Western applied to regulators for a 50 watt community radio station, operating on 94.7 MHz on the FM dial. A licence was granted in June. The new station – CHRW – began testing on October 16 and officially signed on the air on October 31 at 12 p.m. For the record, the RW in the call sign is for Radio Western, and the station was owned by The University of Western Ontario with studios and transmitter located onsite. 


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


On February 5, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHRW-FM by increasing the effective radiated power from 50 watts to 5,000 watts.


On June 1, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHRW-FM by decreasing the effective radiated power from 5,000 watts to 3,000 watts. The licensee was unable to implement the authority granted in 1987 to increase the effective radiated power from 50 to 5,000 watts because of potential interference to sensitive laboratory equipment at the University of Western Ontario. Furthermore, the Department of Communications indicated that because of recent changes in its technical rules, it would not certify 5,000 watts at CHRW-FM’s new transmission site. DOC advised the Commission that it would certify 3,000 watts, the maximum for a class A operation. The Commission noted that, although the radius of the authorized service area would decrease slightly from approximately 32 to 29 kilometers, the population served would increase because of the relocation of the transmitter site 1.9 kilometers south where there was greater population density. The increase to 3 kW took place October 31.


In October CHRW’s operations were consolidated on the second floor of the UCC building (Room 222). Originally CHRW’s operations were spread out over three separate levels of the University Community Centre.


At 3:00 p.m., November 28, CHRW moved  from 94.7 to 94.9 MHz and increased power from 3,000 to 3,500 watts. The 94.9 signal was broadcast from a new transmitter site: the One London Place office tower, downtown, about 2.7 kilometres east of the old location. These changes were approved December 6, 2002. 


On August 13 the CRTC renewed CHRW-FM’s licence until August 31, 2014.  


Adulis Mokanan became CHRW’s program director. He was put on staff of the station after his volunteering – acting as host of a Radio Western Hip Hop program (The Come Up Show) – was determined to be the station’s most popular.


The CRTC approved the amendment to the condition of licence requiring that the English-language community-based campus radio programming undertaking CHRW-FM London, devote 25% of its programming to spoken word programming. The station was now required to devote 15% of its programming to spoken word programming.


In June, CHRW rebranded from CHRW to Radio Western.

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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