CJBR-FM, Premiere Chaine, Rimouski

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CJBR-FM1977101.550,000Société Radio-Canada
CJBR-FM1957101.550Jules A. Brillant
CJBR-AM193710301,000Jules A. Brillant


CJBR began broadcasting on November 15. It broadcast on a frequency of 1030 kHz with power of 1,000 watts. The “JBR” in the calls – for founder Jules. A. Brillant. Paul Corbeil became chief organizer-director of CJBR.


Slogans: The French voice of French Canada. / French Canada listens to CJBR. / The key to the Lower St. Lawrence – CJBR. 

CJBR marked its first anniversary on November 15 with special programming from noon to midnight. The station also announced the completion of an improved ground system at the transmitter site.


The Association of Independent Stations of the Province of Quebec was formed at the end of January, with CKAC, CHLP and CFCF Montreal; CHRC and CKCV Quebec; CKCH Hull; CJBR Rimouski; CHNC New Carlisle; CHLT Sherbrooke; CHLN Trois-Rivieres; and CKRN Rouyn as members. Phil Lalonde of CKAC was elected president; Narcisse Thivierge, CHRC, vice-president; Alex Dupont, CKCH and Marcel Lefebvre, CHLP, directors.

J. A. Brillant was appointed July 13 by the federal government as one of six directors of the new government-owned Central Mortgage Bank, a subsidiary of the Bank of Canada. 


Under the Havana Treaty, CJBR was to move from 1030 to 1300 kHz (Class III-A) with 1,000 watts on March 29. The treaty was adjusted and CJBR instead moved to 900 kHz (Class II) with 1,000 watts. 

Paul Corbeil left CJBR for CKAC Montreal.


G.A. Lavoie was CJBR’s manager.


Daytime power increased to 5,000 watts (directional at night).

Slogan: The key to the lower St. Lawrence. 

G.A. LaVoie was manager and L. Bernier was commercial manager.

Now 1,000 watts, CJBR was hoping to be at 5,000 watts in the fall (December). 


CJBR’s owner was listed as Central Public Service Corp. Studios were at 1 St. John Street. The transmitter was at Sacre-Coeur. 

In the spring, CJBR was operating with 5,000 watts during daytime hours. After installation of a new directional antenna system the station hoped to operate at night with 5,000 watts – by early summer. 

By the end of the year, CJBR 900 had increased night-time power to 5,000 watts (directional at night only).


CJBR installed an auxilliary diesel power unit at the transmitter site to deal with power failured during storms, etc.

CJBR manager G.A. Lavoie died March 9. He had guided the station since its opening in 1937. A short time after Lavoie’s death, Guy Caron was appointed manager of CJBR.

CJBR was issued an FM licence. 


CJBR had applied for approval to increase its power to 10,000 watts, directional (on 900 kHz). The CBC Board deferred the matter for further study. The application came up at a CBC hearing later in the year and it was turned down this time. The board noted the request would affect the coverage of another station and would put a higher signal into the local community areas of two other stations.


A major fire hit Rimouski in May and CJBR was knocked off the air as the main transformer was burned. CJBR was able to return to the air 64 hours later. 


Slogan: After Montreal and Quebec City the largest French-language market in Canada can be reached best over CJBR Rimouski. 

Manager Guy Caron was named manager of CJNT in Quebec City. Andre Lecomte became manager of CJBR.

The CBC approved the transfer of two common shares of Central Public Service Corp. Ltd.


The CBC Board of Governors approved the recapitalization of Central Public Service Corp. Ltd. from 100,000 common and 2,500 preferred shares to 86,000 common, 2,500 1st class preferred and 70,000 2nd class preferred shares, as well as transfer of 3 1st class preferred and 1,000 2nd class preferred shares.


CJBR-TV signed on.

CJBR’s application for a power increase was denied. A new application was filed – for 10,000 watts (directional at night). This one was approved.


CJBR increased power from 5,000 to 10,000 watts.

CJBR Radio & TV employed 60 people. When the radio station went on the air in 1937, there was a staff of 10.

Slogans: CJBR – More power to you – CJBR Radio, Rimouski, Quebec – Now 10,000 watts – More power. Wider Coverage. Stronger signal. Covering Quebec’s third largest market. / Radio-Rimouski CJBR – Always a good buy…Now better than ever.


CJBR 900 increased power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts (directional at night). The station had first applied for the increase in 1954.


CJBR was an affiliate of the CBC’s French radio network and was owned by Central Public Service Corp. Ltd. (T. A. Bernier 0.02%, Jacques Brillant 19.98%, Aubert Brillant 19.98%, Carol Brillant 20.00%, N. Gendreau 0.02%, Suzanne Brillant 20.00%, and Madeleine Brillant 20.00%).

Jacques Brillant was president of the company, Andre Lecomte was CJBR’s manager.


Ad slogan: The fast growing market of “Le bas-St-Laurent” thoroughly covered by Radio CJBR Rimouski / Rimouski CJBR-TV 3.


On February 28, CJBR-FM opened. 


Ad – CJBR has added a new separate FM Radio Service to the already existing CJBR Radio and Television facilities. 101.5 mhz 20 kW.

Ad: The coverage of “Le Bas St-Laurent” is better than ever. Radio CJBR Rimouski – 10,000 watts 900 kcs. CJBR-FM 101.5 Megacycles/sec. 20,000 watts. Rimouski, CJBR-TV 3 100,000 watts channel 3.


CJBM Causapscal wnt on the air as a satellite of CJBR.


Jacques Brillant was President of La Radio du Bas St-Laurent Inc. Andre Lecomte was CJBR’s manager.


By 1966, CJBR-AM and FM had been sold by Central Public Service Corp. to Lower St. Lawrence Radio Inc. (still owned by the Brillant family). Studios were now at 13 rue Saint Jean Baptiste.


Miville Couture, 52, died April 24. The well known radio personality started his career at CHRC (Quebec) and CJBR in 1938 as a comedy announcer. He joined the CBC in 1941.


Power Corporation acquired the stations belonging to the Brillant family.


Power Corp. sold a controlling interest in CJBR-AM-FM and CJBM Causapscal (La Radio du Bas St-Laurent (1966) Inc.) and a number of other stations to Philipe de Gaspe Beaubien’s Telemedia (Quebec) Ltee (owned by Telemedia Communications Ltee, in turn owned by Beaudem Ltee). Power would retain through ownership debentures, a large financial interest in the new company for a period of time. Philipe de Gaspe Beaubien would control more than 80% of the votes of the company (to be known as CJBR Radio Ltee).


Andre Lecomte, who for many years was associated with CJBR (he was manager), was granted a licence for a new station at Rimouski. It would broadcast with a power of 10,000 watts day and night on a frequency of 1000 kHz. Competing applications were denied. They were by Roch Demers (representing Telemedia interests) for Rimouski and Amqui; and La Voix Laurentienne Ltee for Rimouski and Mont-Joli; and Benoit Santerre for Mont-Joli. The CRTC deferred action on any further licences for the region including Mont-Joli, Amqui and Cuaapscal.

CBC/Radio-Canada purchased the CJBR stations.


It was proposed that in addition to network and local programming, CJBR, CBSI-FM Sept-Iles, and CBGA Matane, would offer 12 hours and 10 minutes of inter-regional programming. The three stations would work together to produce these programs.


On February 11, CJBR was authorized to add a transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup, on the frequency 89.5 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.  The transmitter was needed because of the disaffiliation of CHGB La Pocatière and its rebroadcaster CHAL Saint-Pamphile, from the Radio-Canada network.

CJBR-1-FM opened at Rivière-du-Loup on July 1.


The CBC announced plans to restore local programming at CJBR-FM and at CBV-FM in Quebec City.


The Radio-Canada network was renamed “Première Chaîne” on September 1.


On September 9, CJBR was given approval to convert to the FM band, operating on 89.1 MHz with effective radiated power of 5,500 watts. The existing rebroadcast transmitter, CJBR-FM-1 Rivière-du-Loup would continue to operate.


On June 6, CJBR-AM moved to 89.1 FM, becoming CJBR-FM. As a result, CJBR-FM (stereo) became CBRX-FM. (CJBR-1-FM Rivière-du-Loup became CJBR-FM-1)


By this time, CJBR-FM Rimouski had one rebroadcast transmitter – CJBR-FM-1 Rivière-du-Loup. CJBR-FM broadcast approximately 40 hours of local programming each week from Rimouski.

On November 28, a power increase was granted for CJBR-FM, from 5,500 to 19,400 watts. 


On May 12 the CRTC renewed CJBR-FM’s licence. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitter: CJBR-FM-1 Riviere-du-Loup.


On August 9, the CRTC administatively renewed the licence of CJBR-FM (and its transmitter) to August 31, 2011.


On August 25, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJBR-FM and its transmitter to March 1, 2013.


On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CJBR-FM Rimouski and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CJBR-FM Rimouski and its transmitter CJBR-FM-1 Rivière-du-Loup for a five year term to August 31, 2018.

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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