CKPC-AM, CKPC AM 1380 Hometown Radio, Brantford
|Evanov Radio Group
|Telephone City Broadcast Ltd.
|Telephone City Broadcast Ltd.
|Telephone City Broadcast Ltd.
|Brantford Telephone City Broadcast Ltd.
|Preston Shingle & Metal Co,
|Preston Shingle & Metal Co.
|Preston Cyrus Dolph Metal Shingle & Siding Co.
According to legend, the first broadcast of CKPC in Preston (the PC in the calls for Preston, Canada) was an accident. In the garage of his home, Wallace Russ had gathered with friends Tom Mead of Hespeler and Charles Bonner of Galt to putter with radio equipment. One day the phone rang: a neighbour recognized their voices coming over his radio receiver, and wondered what they were up to.
Inspired by their first taste of audience feedback, Russ shelled out $50 to the federal Department of Marine for a license to broadcast at 5 watts of power. Soon friends, neighbours and acquaintances were streaming through Russ’ living room to sing, recite and perform on regular broadcasts. An exception was Preston’s Silver Band: Russ ran a microphone to a window as the band performed on his front lawn. The station was essentially a hobby for the original owners.
For Russ, broadcasting became an exhausting and expensive hobby. After a day’s work in the office of the George Pattinson Woolen Mill, he would rush home to coordinate hours of nightly broadcasting. After a few years, he’d had enough. Russ sold the operation to Cyrus Dolph, who would set about turning the hobby into an enterprise.
Dolph was self-made man of pioneer stock: an industrialist and philanthropist with a fascination for new technologies. His first task was to find the station a new home, on the third floor of (what was then) the Erb Block on Preston’s Main Street.
Preferring live performances to recorded music, Dolph (like Russ before him) conscripted every singer, poet, musician and performer he could find. One was an employee of the Hurlbut Shoe Company, who’d dash over to the station after work to host The Hurlbut Bird Club. For ten minutes each evening he’d enthral listeners with his birdcalls.
When the station quickly outgrew its Erb block studio, Dolph moved the operation to the sunroom of his home, at 268 Guelph Street (later Dolph Street).
Nairn Mogeridge of Galt (who would go on to the CBC) became chief announcer. About the same time Hugh Clarke was the station engineer, and he went on to work for the CBC as well. Eleanor Braucht, also of Galt, joined the staff, becoming just the second female announcer in Canada, (and, eventually, the second Mrs. Dolph).
Miss Braucht organized the Sunshine Club, a program featuring some forty students of Preston school. The program, later called Sunshine Kiddies continued airing until 1964. On Sunday evenings, Miss Braucht played piano and chapel organ, and recited poetry. During the week, she and Moggeridge, wrote and performed a regular soap opera.
CKPC carried live feeds of hockey broadcasts from Toronto’s Mutual Street Arena. Despite the cumbersome hardware of the time, it aired a countless remote broadcasts, from local church services to Galt Terriers baseball.
As regular programming took shape, Dolph began courting potential advertisers, including Mason’s 49 Cough Medicine of Preston. Area newspapers, appalled by this new competition, refused to run any mention of CKPC on their pages.
The station increased power from five watts to 25 watts and was on a frequency of 1210 kHz.
Power increased to 50 watts on the 1010 kHz frequency.
CKPC moved from 1010 kHz to 880 kHz. Power remained 50 watts.
On April 16, CKPC moved from 880 kHz to 930 kHz with power still at 50 watts.
At the age of 68, Dolph relinquished control of the station to his daughter, Florence Dolph Buchanan of Brantford. Her husband, J. D. Buchanan, became station manager. With that, CKPC left Preston, and on December 29, it signed on in Brantford, from studios in the Arcade Building at Colborne and Queen, with a transmitter on the Glebe property, part of the Six Nations Reserve.
The Brantford Salvation Army’s Citadel band began a series of weekly broadcasts that would continue for more than half a century.
Power was increased to 100 watts on 930 kHz.
The corporate name was now Telephone City Broadcast Ltd.
CKPC became an affiliate of the new CBC network.
The station relocated to a street-level facility at 49-51 Colborne Street.
CKPC was taken off the list of stations receiving occasional CBC programs.
Mac McCurdy joined CKPC from CJIC in Sault Ste. Marie. In time he would leave for the RCAF. On his return to Canada, he joined the CBC International Service.
Lt. J. Don Buchanan, owner and manager of CKPC, left the station in charge of Evelyn Feely as he joined his regiment of the Canadian Active Service Force. Feely thereby became Canada’s first female station manager. She joined CKPC as secretary to Lt. Buchanan seven years ago, and has also served as announcer and commentator under the name of Martha Lee. She had been program director for the last few years.
By this time, Florence Buchanan was both owner and manager of CKPC; one of – if not the – first Canadian woman to assume such a role. Her sister and brother-in-law each retained a .1% share. Under Mrs. Buchanan, CKPC established a blend of local entertainment and information. It boasted the first regular broadcasts of City Council meetings, while offering popular national and international favourites, including MGM Theatre On the Air, Red Skelton, Westinghouse Presents, Canadian General Electric Show, and the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports.
Under the Havana Treaty CKPC moved from 930 to 1380 kHz (Class IV) on March 29. Power was 100 watts.
Evelyn Feely resigned as manager of CKPC after 8 years with the station. She became manager last year when Lt. J. Don Buchanan, owner and manager, joined his regiment on active service. Mrs. Buchanan was now the manager.
CBC Dominion Supplementary Stations: CKCV, CKTB, CHML, CKLW, CKPC, CKCR, CKNX, CJCS, CFOS.
Mrs. J.D. Buchanan was manager.
It was announced late in the year that in early 1946, CKPC would go to 1,000 watts on 1350 kHz.
CKPC received approval in 1945 to increase power from 100 watts to 1,000 watts full-time (directional at night). The power increase went into effect on October 28, 1946. The project cost $75,000.
Slogan: The Voice of the Telephone City.
Frank Kovacs was sports editor at CKPC.
CKPC 1380 (1,000 watts) was a CBC Dominion affiliate, owned and operated by Telephone City Broadcast Ltd. (F.M. Buchanan). Studios were at 49-51 Colborne Street and the transmitter was on Cockshutt Road in Brantford. CKPC was on the air daily from 7:15 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. (to 11:45 p.m. Fridays), and 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. Sundays.
CKPC received an FM licence.
Hugh Bremner was commercial manager. John Strong left CKPC to join the announce staff at CKNX Wingham.
Clint Godwin was commercial manager.
CKPC-FM was born and simulcast the AM station’s programming.
Mrs. J.D. Buchanan was manager.
Arnold Anderson began as a staff announcer, and over a half century became the voice of local sports in Brantford. Despite cumbersome remote equipment – especially in the earlier days – Anderson dedicated countless hours of airtime to local sports, from lacrosse and hockey to junior and senior baseball. This aggressive tradition of local sports coverage would continue into the 80’s. Shortly before Anderson’s death, the City of Brantford honoured him by renaming its Cockshutt Park baseball facility Arnold Anderson Stadium.
CKPC-AM-FM moved to a large, renovated house at 525 Colborne Street (at Rawdon).
During this era, CKPC became home to memorable personalities. Among them: morning host Bill Brady, who later became a pioneer of ‘phone-in’ radio, then moved to CFPL London as morning man for almost 20 years before moving into that station’s management; and John McFadyn, who saw two tours-of-duty at CKPC, the first under the name “John Edgar”. Mid day announcer Charles Doering hosted ‘Problem Corner’, which encouraged listeners to share all manner of difficulties, and solutions. Later both Doering and McFadyn became newsmen with CFRB/CKFM Toronto.
A television station was approved for Hamilton but one at Kitchener was denied. Mrs. F. M. Buchanan, owner of CKPC, asked for deferment of the Hamilton application because she said CKPC wanted to make a formal application for a TV station at Brantford that would cover some of the same area. She also wanted to see the Kitchener application deferred until her company had the time to file an application. The Kitchener application was approved near the end of the year.
CKPC’s licence showed the following information: The transmitter site was at 43-05-30 80-15-06, on part of the Lefferty Tract, east of Cockshutt Road, in the angle formed by the New Newport Road and the Cockshutt Road, about three and a half miles south of the city of Brantford.
Charles Doering joined CKPC. He had been with Sarnia’s CHOK until last year.
Slogan: The Established Voice of Industrial Ontario.
CKPC-FM moved from 94.7 MHz to 92.1 MHz.
Deryk Upton became CKPC’s manager on March 18. He had been commercial manager at CFJB in Brampton. Arnold Anderson was program director of CKPC.
Ownership of The Telephone City Broadcast Ltd.: Mrs. Florence M. Buchanan 99.8%, Kathleen M. Colvin 0.1%, A. Gordon Colbin 0.1%. CKPC operated on 1380 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts (directional at night) and was a Supplementary B affiliate of the CBC Dominion network.
Mrs. F. M. Buchanan was president of the company. R. Buchanan was the station’s manager. Arnold Anderson was program and sports director.
Approval was granted by the Board of Broadcast Governors for CKPC to increase power to 10,000 watts.
Marian George moderated the Home & School broadcast over CKPC.
CKPC built a new transmitter site and increased power to 10,000 watts full-time (different day and night directional patterns). The new site was located on part of Lot 10, Concession 3, Oakland Township (43-03-05 80-18-50). Five towers were used.
At the behest of the Board of Broadcast Governors, FM stations began introducing original programming. CKPC-FM’s offering was a two hour block of classical music, usually at night.
The CBC consolidated the Trans-Canada and Dominion networks into a single service. CKPC’s affiliation with the network came to an end.
Charles Doering left CKPC and would wind up next at Toronto’s CFRB. During his time at CKPC, he claimed to have done the first ever talk show (1954). It was called “Charlie’s Problem Corner”. Charlie said the idea was so new and primitive from a technical point that to get the listener on the air, he had to hold the phone up to the microphone.
Mrs. Florence Buchanan was president of Telephone City Broadcast Ltd. and her son Richard was manager of the stations. Arnold Anderson was still program and sport director (as well as music director) and Ken Hodge was the morning man. Gordon Cook was news director.
On November 25, CKPC moved to new studios and offices at 571 West Street.
Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN’s voice (audio) service. CKPC was one of those stations.
By this time, the name Gretzky began cropping up in Arnold Anderson’s sportscasts – as much for Gretzky’s prowess at lacrosse and baseball as for his dominance of hockey. In time, a lasting link was forged between the two: just hours before Gretzky announced his retirement from hockey, he phoned Anderson, then ill with cancer, to wish him well.
On June 15, one era ended, and another began. Florence Buchanan’s son Richard purchased his mother’s share of the station. He became 100% owner of Telephone City Broadcast Limited. The day before, the CRTC had approved the transfer of 916 common shares (51%) from Florence M. Buchanan, A. G. Colvin and I. K. Colvin to R. D. Buchanan.
Vic Folliot was at CKPC. Among other things, he hosted a country show on the station.
CKPC-FM now offered programming 100% different from what was on the AM station.
Stuart Bailey was appointed chief engineer for CKPC AM and FM.
John Best became news director in April. He had been with CKSL London.
John Best left CKPC as news director. He joined CHCH-TV in Hamilton.
Often at the centre of news and events, CKPC scooped the world in January. On a special edition of ‘Off the Cuff’, Prime Minister Joe Clark (stopping in Brantford during the election campaign) revealed that Canadian diplomats in Tehran had helped six U.S. refugees escape during the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Michael Mezo was named general sales manager for CKPC-AM and FM.
James Tuckett became news director.
John York became operations manager at CKPC-AM-FM. He had been manager of CJTN Trenton, and succeeded Ron Smith who left to teach at North Bay’s Canadore College.
CKPC newscaster John Radley passed away. He was 41.
James Tuckett left CKPC as news director to work for Mid-Canada in North Bay. Tuckett was replaced at CKPC by Bob King who had been with CHYM Kitchener. John York was FM-AM operations manager.
On November 17, CKPC-FM was given permission by the CRTC to increase antenna height to 230 metres from 117.5 metres. Mike Roberts was an announcer at CKPC-FM.
On January 31, for administrative reasons, the CRTC renewed CKPC-FM’s licence to August 31, 1996. Kevin Kelly (AM Drive) joined from CIQB Barrie and left for CIMJ Guelph. He was at CKPC-FM for three months.
Craig Fox (PM Drive) joined from CKOT Tillsonburg.
Al Pooley was on the air from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Craig Fox (PM Drive) left for CJEZ Toronto. Peter Jackman became general sales manager at CKPC-AM-FM. He succeeded Mike Smolders who left the station.
Arnold Anderson, 70, considered by many as the voice of sports in Brantford, passed away. He joined CKPC in 1949 and stayed with the station until his retirement last year.
Brock Dodington became morning host at CKPC-FM.
On December 15, CKPC-FM received approval to increase effective radiated power from 50,000 watts to 80,000 watts.
Richard Dolph “Dick” Buchanan died at age 76 on July 29. Buchanan was president and owner of CKPC-AM and FM since 1972 when he bought the stations from his mother. In November the CRTC approved the change in effective control of Telephone City Broadcast Ltd. through a corporate reorganization consisting of the transfer of all of the issued shares from Richard Buchanan to the Estate of R.D. Buchanan, the trustees being R.J. Johnson and James A. Hitchon.
The CRTC approved the change of effective control of Telephone City Broadcast Limited from the Estate of R.D. Buchanan to William Vasil Evanov, through the transfer of all issued and outstanding shares of Telephone City to Evanov Communications Inc. Telephone City was the licensee of CKPC-FM and CKPC-AM. With Evanov’s takeover of CKPC-AM and FM, changes were underway. On air hosts Ken Carter, Brock Dodington, and Greg Moulton left the stations. Newscasters Mark Laden, Sean Allen and Daryl McInness were also no longer with the company. The new Retail Sales Manager at CKPC AM/FM was Simon Constam, formerly of The Wave Hamilton. He began November 2. Peter Jackman remained Vice President and Sales/General Manager of the stations.
CKPC-FM became known as FM 92 The Jewel – featuring the best Current Hits, Recent Favourites, and Timeless Classics. The morning show host was Ed McMahon, who had been in radio and broadcasting for over 35 years, and for 30 years straight, doing morning drive with the last 23 waking up Brantford on CKPC-AM. Middays were hosted by Melissa Forsyth. Marc Scott handled afternoon drive and evenings were hosted by Matt Ruiss. Wendy Rose, the Promotions Director at Astral Media Radio Hamilton’s CHAM & CKOC, left after 11 years. She joined Evanov’s FM92 The Jewel/AM 1380 Brantford as its Promotions Director. On November 19, the CRTC renewed CKPC-FM’s licence to 31 August 2014. The short-term renewal would enable the Commission to review the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and its conditions of licence at an earlier date.
Jewel 92 had a new morning show (5:30 to 10:00 a.m.) featuring Ed & Melissa. General Manager Peter Jackman said, “Ed McMahon and Melissa Forsyth are both real radio pro’s full of passion with a love of life and community.” Both had held other positions at the station. After more than 20 years in the broadcast industry, Kent Chambers landed in Brantford as the new afternoon personality at Jewel92. He joined a lineup that included ‘McMahon in the Morning’ and ‘Suzanne Joyce’ [ the queen of lunch time trivia]. Peter Jackman, the General Manager and an 18-year veteran of CKPC, resigned. His last day was November 4. Jackman said he would resume activities at his InFront Communications in Waterloo. Randy Redden was now General Sales Manager at CKPC. Up until about a year ago, he had been GSM at Astral Media Hamilton. Most recently, he was associated with Ens Media.
Tim Symons died at the age of 54 on March 26. The 26-year CKPC newscaster joined the station in 1984 after working in Vancouver and Ottawa. Alan Duthie was promoted from Account Manager to Retail Sales Manager at CKPC-AM and FM. Wendy Rose, Promotions Manager at CKPC/CKPC-FM moved on. Succeeding her as Promotions Coordinator was Amanda Black, from outside the broadcast business.
Doug Cameron died January 14. Cameron spent more than 50 years in broadcasting and retired from CKPC-AM and FM in July of 2017. Before Brantford, Doug also worked at stations in markets like Sarnia, Simcoe and Hamilton.
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.