CIXX-FM, Campus – 106.9 The X, London
Radio Fanshawe Inc. (Fanshawe College)
|Radio Fanshawe Inc. (Fanshawe College)
On October 6, the CRTC announced approval in principal for Fanshawe College (Radio Fanshawe Inc.) to operate a new FM station at London. Frequencies for Fanshawe and the CBC (for a French FM rebroadcaster of CJBC Toronto) had to be determined and be co-ordinated with the all-news (CKO) station licensed for London. Fanshawe must consult with the Department of Communications on the use of a Class A channel. Fanshawe had proposed to broadcast on 99.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts.
On April 11, Radio Fanshawe Inc. was given the green light for its FM station. It would broadcast on 106.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts. The station would operate in conjunction with the college’s Radio Arts course and provide training for the radio and television students under actual conditions, and provide alternative programming to the community. The station would initially be on the air 117 ½ hours a week from mid-September to mid-April.
CIXX-FM (also known as 6XFM and 6X) began broadcasting October 31. On hand for the launch of the station were Charles Brown, Board Chair of Radio Fanshawe Inc.; Harry Boyle, former CRTC chair; and Barry P. Sarazin, General Manager of the station and head of the Radio Broadcasting course.
CIXX was operated by the faculty and students in Fanshawe’s Radio and Journalism departments. Studios, 150 foot tower and transmitter were located at the college, 1460 Oxford Street East.
At this time, Fred Steinmetz was the chair of the Communications Division of Fanshawe College. It was in October of 1971 that he sat down to a small meeting of faculty to discuss the dream of having a radio station at the college. He had no idea that it would take seven years for the dream to come true.
The station’s news consultant was Warren Michaels. Bob Collins was manager of public affairs programming. Station manager was Barry P. Sarazin. Production instructor Ray Wilmot was responsible for ensuring that the technical quality of all produced programming was up to industry standards. Engineers John Brouwer and Cam White kept the equipment in top running order.
The CIXX master control room was added to Fanshawe’s four existing studios. Equipment included a McCurdy 7550 console, Technics turntables, Studer and Ampex reel to reel units, and ITC cart machines. 6X used a 2.5 kw AEL transmitter and Optimod-FM was used for audio processing. The antenna was a three-bay Gates unit and it was 165 feet above average terrain.
Gary O’Brien was named operations manager for CIXX-FM. He had previously worked at CKLC Kingston and CFGO Ottawa.
CIXX-FM received a short-term licence renewal from the CRTC. The commission said the station’s programming had departed considerably from the Promise of Performance. This was of particular concern because a licensee involved in the training of professional broadcasters should communicate a broadcaster’s responsibility to the public by example as well as in theory, according to the commission. 6X was warned that failure to respond adequately could result in non-renewal of the licence.
Andrew Long was named Program Director. Steve Hajosi was Music Director.
Barry P. Sarazin, the main force behind Fanshawe’s bid to obtain Canada’s first campus instructional radio licence (CIXX), passed away on November 29 in London. He was a teacher and the Coordinator for the college’s Radio Broadcasting program for many years.
On June 13 the CRTC renewed CIXX-FM’s licence until August 31, 2014. As part of its licence renewal application, Fanshawe requested that the Commission amend the licensee’s broadcasting licence by replacing the condition of licence relating to the broadcast of formal educational programming, which reads as follows: It is a condition of licence that the licensee devote, during each broadcast week, at least two hours of its programming to formal educational programming that provides academic instruction. It would be replaced with: It is a condition of licence that the licensee devote, during each broadcast week, at least two hours of its programming to spoken word programming as researched and produced by students for curriculum requirements. The licensee supported its request by stating that it is finding it very difficult, if not impossible, to find two hours of formal educational programming, given the continuing increase in the availability of online courses and more widespread Internet access. The licensee agreed to accept a condition of licence requiring it to devote, in each broadcast week, a minimum of 12% of its musical selections from content category 3 (Special interest music) to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.
Fanshawe College Radio Broadcasting and Broadcast Journalism alumni were invited to a celebration of the 40th anniversary of CIXX. On October 27, there was an open house, tours, luncheon and guest speakers. When 6X-FM signed on in 1978, it was Canada’s first station with a ‘Campus Instructional’ licence.
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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.