CFCY-FM , The Island’s Country, Charlottetown

Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.

CFCY-FM200695.1100,000Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.
CFCY-AM199463010,000Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.
CFCY-AM198863010,000Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd. (Maclean- Hunter)
CFCY-AM198663010,000Maritime Broadcasting Co. (Maclean-Hunter 84%)
CFCY-AM197163010,000Eastern Broadcasting Ltd.
CFCY-AM19356301,000The Island Radio Co.
CFCY-AM1933630500The Island Radio Co.
CFCY-AM1931960500The Island Radio Co.
CFCY-AM1929960500The Island Radio Co.
CFCY-AM1926960100The Island Radio Co. (Rogers)
CFCY-AM1925960k50Col. Keith S. Rogers
10AS-AM1924250m10Col. Keith S. Rogers


Col. Keith S. Rogers started station 10AS on August 15. It broadcast on 250 meters from studios in Rogers’ living room.


10AS became CFCY after Rogers obtained a commercial radio licence from the federal government. CFCY broadcast on a frequency of 960 kHz. Power was 50 watts.


Power increased to 100 watts. The Island Radio Co. is listed as owner.


Power increased to 250 watts.


CFCY increased power to 500 watts switching to 580 kHz.

Marianne Morrow, daughter of Founder of CFCY, recalls some of those early days. 1,2,3 & 4.


CFCY moved to 630 kHz. Power remained at 500 watts.


Power increased to 1,000 watts.


Bob Large joined the station. He would become Station Manager and in 1956, he and his wife Betty, daughter of Col. Rogers, would put CFCY-TV on the air.

Studios moved to 143 Great George St. 


Sydney Kennedy started his radio career at CFCY.


Robert F. Large left CFCY as transmitter operator to work at the new CBA Sackville. 


Under the Havana Treaty, CFCY was allowed to remain on 630 kHz (Class III-A) with power of 1,000 watts. On March 29, hundreds of North American radio stations changed their dial position. 

In May, Sydney Kennedy left CFCY for CBC Halifax.


CFCY was scheduled to open new studios and offices on January 23. 



CFCY was originating Don Messer and his Islanders for the Trans-Canada network. The program featured L.A. “Art” McDonald (producer and announcer), Don Messer (violin), Cecil Santry (bull fiddle), Warren MacRae (drums), Ray Simmons (clarinet), Charles Chamberlain (guitar and vocals), and Jackie Doyle (piano). Messer had been on-air at various maritime stations since 1930.

Gerald Redmond was manager and L.A. McDonald was commercial manager.

CFCY increased daytime power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts in January. They claimed to be the first 5,000 watt independent station east of Toronto. Night-time power remained 1,000 watts. CFCY claimed to be the first 5 kW independent station east of Toronto.

Bob Large became Manager.

CFCY was the “Maritime Must Station”, owned by Island Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Studios were at 85 Kent Street ant the transmitter was at West Royalty. 

Keith Rogers, president of CFCY, used newspaper announcements to explain to listeners why daytime serials had been removed from the stations schedule. He said the station was obliged to go on the Dominion network last year by the CBC. For the first year, CFCY was allowed to keep the daytime serials. As of September 1, the CBC removed all daytime commercial shows from CFCY – causing the station the loss of thousands of dollars. The business lost was transferred to the CBC’s Sackville, N.B. station – CBA. 

Keith Morrow left CFCY as agricultural director for the CBC’s agricultural staff. W.G. Brown returned to CFCY as sportscaster after a period of overseas service. 


A special Christmas Day broadcast was beamed from nine different stations across Canada without the use of network facilities. The participating stations were CKWX Vancouver, CFCN Calgary, CKCK Regina, CJOB Winnipeg, CKSO Sudbury, CFPL London, CKCO Ottawa, CFCF Montreal and CFCY Charlottetown.


Slogans: Now Serving The Maritimes For A Quarter Century. It’s CFCY for Town and Country. / The Station that reaches the most people in The Maritimes.


CFCY was now operating with 5,000 watts day and night. The station had a new GE transmitter and RCA directional antenna for 5,000 watt night-time operation.


CFCY received approval for the operation of a 5,000 watt emergency transmitter. 


Col. Keith S. Rogers, president and managing director of the Island Broadcasting Co. Ltd. passed away on January 21 at the age of 62. He started CFCY – the first commercial radio enterprise in the Maritimes – after considerable experimenting on an amateur basis. Rogers built his first wireless set in 1904 and in 1920 built the first radio phone on P.E.I. With a power output of ten watts, he started to broadcast an hour a day in 1921. He was granted a commercial radio license, with the call sign CFCY, in 1924. 


Loman MacAulay was a sportscaster at CFCY. A.S. Dickson was a newscaster.


CFCY-TV signed on the air.


CFCY increased power to 5,000 watts full-time, directional at night.

Ownership of The Island Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: Mrs. Flora Rogers 51.5%, Mrs. Margaret E. Large 13.6%, Mrs. Marianne G. Morrow 13.6%, William K. Rogers 21.3%.

Mrs. K. S. Rogers was president of the company, R. F. Large was manager and program director, and Mrs. M. E. Large was women’s director and copy chief.


The Board of Broadcast Governors approved the formation of the Atlantic Broadcasting System with affiliates CKCW Moncton, CFNB Fredericton, CFCY Charlottetown, CHNS Halifax, CFBC Saint John and CJCB Sydney.


Ad slogan: CFCY – Listeners in the vie eastern provinces. 

CFCY, CKCW, CFNB, CFBC and CJCB were members of the Atlantic Broadcasting System, a privately-owned network, established by the stations. 


The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks merged into a single CBC radio service. CFCY had been a Dominion station. After the merger, it remained as a CBC affiliate.


Mrs. K. S. Rogers was president of Island Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and R. F. Large was CFCY’s manager and program director. Betty Large was promotions manager.


CFCY increased power to 10,000 watts full-time, directional at night, using three 265 foot towers.


On July 8, Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given approval to acquire CFCY-AM from The Island Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.  One qualifying share each was to be held by proposed directors Jack W. Schoone, J. Irving Zucker, Robert F. large and Margaret E. Large (beneficially owned by Eastern). Schoone and Zucker owned Eastern. Island was owned by the Large family. The corporate name would remain The Island Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


On February 28, CFCY was given approval to move studios and offices from 85 Kent Street to 51 University Avenue. 

Dave Holland was at CFCY.


The studio-office move to 51 University Avenue took place.


On November 17, President Jack W. Schoone, on behalf of three companies to be incorporated, was given approval to reorganize the Eastern Broadcasting Co. group of stations – CFCY Charlottetown, CKCW and CFQM-FM Moncton, CJCW Sussex and CFAN Newcastle. The Charlottetown, Moncton and Sussex stations had operated under the name, Island Radio Broadcasting Ltd. CFAN was transferred from Eastern to CFAN Broadcasting Co. Ltd.


CFCY received approval to disaffiliate from the CBC. Network programming was now available to the area via the CBC’s own station – CBCT-FM.

As a result of the 1978 transfer, the corporate name changed from The Island Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (The Island Broadcasting Co. Ltd.) to Eastern Broadcasting Ltd.


Eastern Broadcasting opened CHLQ-FM in Charlottetown. To make room for the new station, Eastern constructed new studios and offices for CFCY and Q-93.


On December 3, the CRTC approved the sale of 90% of Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (nine stations, including CFCY and CHLQ-FM) through the transfer of 84% of its issued shares to Maritime Broadcasting Co. Ltd., (wholly owned by Maclean-Hunter Ltd.). The managers of the individual stations would hold a 6% interest in their respective operations and Jack Schoone would hold 10%. Eastern had been equally owned by J. Irving Zucker and Jack Schoone. Schoone would become president of Maritime, as well as of Eastern.

When The Financial Post came out with its “The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Canada”, only one radio operation was named – CFCY/CHLQ-FM!


Loman McAulay died at age 61. For over 40 years, he was known as “The Friendly Voice of the Maritimes” on CFCY. Last year he was co-winner of the AAB’s Broadcaster of the Year award.

Craig Ainsley was CFCY’s news director.


Eastern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and Maritime Broadcasting Co. Ltd. merge into Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd.

Bernie Boucher became CFCY’s news director. He had been with Newsradio. Former news director Craig Ainslie moved to CBC Charlottetown sometime earlier.

Don Mabee became program operations manager of CFCY/Q93. He had been with K100 in Saint John.


CFCY studios are listed at 141 Kent Street.

Betty Large passed away August 4 at the age of 76. The daughter of Col. Keith Rogers, founder of CFCY, she became The Storyteller in 1925 on the station’s Christmas program, which ran for over 40 years. For many of those years, she also had a morning program. Large also appeared on TV and served as personnel manager for the company.


CFCY adopted the Country music format that had been on co-owned CHLQ-FM.


The CRTC permitted Maritime and Newcap to enter into an LMA involving CFCY and CHLQ-FM and Newcap’s CHTN. Both broadcasters were experiencing financial hardship in a difficult Charlottetown market, and considered that their economic viability would be better protected through the sharing of their facilities and administrative and sales resources. Maritime acted as manager and the LMA stipulated that each licensee would be responsible for making, supervising and controlling decisions related to programming, particularly news. The two companies entered the LMA in August. CHTN sold its studio building and moved in with CFCY/CHLQ-FM.

On December 19, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of Maritime Broadcasting System Ltd. (including CFCY and CHLQ), through the transfer of all the issued and outstanding Class M common shares and Class S common shares of Maritime from Key Radio Limited to a numbered company (2337017 Nova Scotia Ltd.) made up of an investor group, including Maritime Broadcasting President Mervyn Russell, along with Robert Pace and J. Gerald Godsoe. This transaction also comprises all or part of the remaining minority shares which Key Radio Limited may have acquired prior to the closing date of the transaction. This followed the purchase of Maclean Hunter Ltd. (Maritime’s parent) by Rogers Communications Ltd.


It was announced that five people would be laid off by the end of the year at jointly operated CFCY, Q-93 and CHTN.


On January 4, CFCY adopted a country music format.


James (Jimbo) Cross, 52, died in Charlottetown. He began his broadcasting career at CFCY in the mid ‘60s and retired from CHTN in 1995 due to illness.


The Local Marketing Agreement between Maritime and Newcap in Charlottetown came to an end on May 31.


On March 24, the CRTC approved the application by Maritime Broadcasting System Limited for a licence to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio station in Charlottetown at 95.1 MHz. The new radio station would replace Maritime’s existing AM station CFCY, and offer a Country music format. Maritime and Newcap Inc. both proposed to convert existing local AM stations to the FM band. In addition, Newcap and Coast Broadcasting Ltd. each proposed to establish new FM radio stations. The Commission determined that the Charlottetown market could support the conversion of the two existing local AM stations, as well as a new commercial FM station. Maritime was ultimately controlled by Robert L. Pace through its subsidiary, Green Radio Limited. Maritime owned radio stations in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. On the FM band, CFCY would operate on a frequency of 95.1 MHz (channel 236C1) with an average effective radiated power of 73,300 watts. The applicant submitted that radio in general had experienced challenges in maintaining audience as a result of emerging technologies such as satellite and the Internet. The applicant asserted that, when listeners choose local radio for entertainment and information, they instinctively search the FM band rather than AM. Maritime was of the view that a conversion to the FM band was essential for CFCY’s survival in the Charlottetown radio market. The proposed station would offer the Country music format already provided by CFCY, targeting listeners aged 25 to 54. All of the station’s programming would be locally produced, and would include 5 hours and 23 minutes of spoken word programming, of which news would make up approximately 4 hours and 51 minutes. Other spoken word programming would include Backstage Pass, a 30-second artist spotlight feature to be heard five times each weekday, the Farm Market Report, a 90-second feature to be broadcast at noon on weekdays, a two-minute feature to be known as Agricultural Today, and a two and one-half minute 4-H Report on Saturday afternoons. Maritime indicated that it would continue to broadcast programs now offered by CFCY, including the weekly Saturday Night Hoedown. Other features would include a one-hour program to be called Bluegrass Island and a one-hour program on Sunday evenings called Country Roots, which would pay tribute to country music pioneers. Maritime proposed that a minimum of 35% of the popular (category 2) musical selections aired during each broadcast week would be Canadian selections, in accordance with the minimum level for category 2 musical selections set out in the Radio Regulations, 1986. In addition, the applicant made a commitment that 15% of all Canadian category 2 musical selections broadcast during the broadcast week and during the period from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, would be Maritime Canadian selections. The licence would expire 31 August 2012.

Studios and offices were noted as being at 5 Prince Street.

On July 24, Maritime Broadcasting System Limited was authorized to increase CFCY-FM’s average effective radiated power from 73,300 watts to 100,000 watts, increase the antenna height and relocate the transmitter. The proposed changes would be the result of the antenna being co-located on a transmission tower on the site of the CBC, which is located west of the licensee’s initially proposed location. Consequently, CFCY will not need to erect its own transmission tower.

CFCY officially moved from 630 AM to 95.1 FM on September 1.

Chris Evans was the first voice heard when CFCY flipped from AM to FM.


Fomer Manager, Bob Large died on June 4th at age 90. 


Peter Cotter died at age 61. He had a news career in Maritimes radio (CIGO Port Hawkesbury, CFCY Charlottetown, CJCB and CHER Sydney) that spanned the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. He’d spent the last 15 years with the Cape Breton Post. 


On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFCY-FM until August 31, 2013.


Don Chamberlain passed away January 26 at age 73. His radio stops over the years included Eastern Broadcasting in Charlottetown, CFOR Orillia, CKCW Moncton, CJBK-CJBX London, CKTY-CFGX Sarnia and CHYR Leamington, and many others. 

Longtime Prince Edward Island broadcaster Bill MacEwen passed away on February 1 at the age of 74. Bill was a devoted old-time country music historian and co-authored a biography on Hank Williams. He began his part-time radio career in 1971 at 1390 CHOO in Ajax, with his ‘Country Collection’ program. Bill returned to P.E.I. in 1975 and several years later, J.P. Gaudet, host of CFCY’s ‘Saturday Night Hoedown’ in Charlottetown, offered him a guest spot, which lasted five years. When the station went all-country in 1984, Bill started his ‘Forerunners’ program, which was later re-named ‘County Roots’.

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.

Contact this station