CBME-FM, Radio One, Montréal

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CBME-FM199888.54,040Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
CBM-AM19379605,000Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
CRCM-AM19331050500Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission


The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission opened CRCM Montreal. Programming was in English and French.


In November, the CRBC was replaced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


Early in the year, CRCM became CBM.

CBF was launched to broadcast in French on a full-time basis. As a result, CBM became a full-time English station. 


Wilford Davidson joined the CBC Montreal announce staff from CKY Winnipeg. 

Because of lengthened time on the air, increased activities and larger scale programs, the CBC opened three more studios for CBM and CBF in the King’s Hall Building, where the existing studio facilities were located. One of the new studios was concert hall size. The other two studios were smaller and could be used for chamber music, piano recitals and plays. Each studio had its own control room and visitors’ observation booth.


On February 26, CBM moved from 1050 to 960 kHz. 

Central studios and offices to house the scattered quarters now occupied by the CBC in Montreal and Toronto were to be built this year at a cost of $800,000 each. The new facilities would include a number of small studios, one large auditorium studio, offices for the entire staffs in each city, for the commercial departments, and in Montreal, also for the engineering department.

After nearly a year with CBC Montreal, announcer Wilford Davidson returned to CKY Winnipeg. Former CBM and CBF manager John Stadler was killed in a plane crash in northern Quebec on March 8. Gerry Wilmot and J. J. Fernand Leclerc were announcers. H. Rooney Pelletier was program director.

The City of Montreal gave the CBC a 100,000 square foot site opposite a new park on Ontario Street for its new facility.

Ground was broken late in the year for CBM’s new transmitter facility, about 25 miles southeast of Montreal. A 525 foot vertical radiator was being erected by the Canadian Bridge Co., and a modern building was being built for a new RCA 5,000 watt transmitter, to be used on 960 kHz. The move was being made to locate nearer the centre of the English speaking population of Quebec and because a 525 foot tower could not be erected at the existing transmitter site at Laprairie because it was on a main aviation route.


CBC Quebec ad slogan: With the CBC Key Station, CBF (50,000 Watts), directed to the French-speaking population… with CBM (5,000 Watts) reaching the English-speaking people…the CBC network serves 80% of all radio homes in the Province, with an overflow that extends to French-speaking Canadian homes in the Maritimes and Eastern Ontario.

CBM opened its new modern transmitter facility at Marieville site. The 5 kW transmitter was inaugurated June 17. The facility was built to accommodate a possible future power increase. Construction was supervised by Dr. Augustin Frigon, CBC assistant GM. Engineer in charge was R. A. Scantlebury, assisted by W. A. Falconer. Operators were H. A. Rogers and P. Deziel.

Jean Marie Beaudet was CBC Quebec program director, Omer Renaud was a CBM announcer. Producer Rooney Pelletier moved to Great Britain to join the CBC Overseas Unit. Jacques Desbailletes, producer in charge of commercial programs at the Montreal studios, was appointed to the CBC Overseas Unit in Britain.

A near tornado brought down CBM’s new 525 foot tower, but engineers under chief engineer R. A. Scantlebury had the station back on the air in 45 minutes by utilizing the antenna system at the former CBM Laprairie site, which was due for demolition within ten days.

The CBC planned to build a 7,500 watt shortwave station at Laprairie, former site of CBM.


Under the Havana Treaty, CBM moved from 960 to 940 kHz (Class 1-B Clear Channel) on March 29. Power remained 5,000 watts.

Fernand Leclerc, chief of the special events department of CBC Montreal, and Leo Pol Morin, CBC musician, were killed in a car accident on May 29.

Former CBM announcer Gordon Young was now a second lieutenant at Camp Borden. Omer Renaud was manager of CBM and CBF.

On September 16, Gladstone Murray, general manager of the CBC announced that the networks would sign off at 11:30 p.m. local time in all regions as of September 27. The reduction was designed to reduce wear on equipment. Murray said that such a reduction would lengthen the life of a large amount of the equipment, some of which could not be replaced. Some of the vacuum tubes used at the 50,000 watt outlets were water cooled and cost as much as $3,000. The half hour reduction would not apply on all nights to CBA Sackville. It would continue to operate for the extra 30 minutes on some nights. 


On January 2, the CBC formed a second network, The Dominion. The main network was renamed the Trans-Canada. CBM was part of the Trans-Canada network. 

J.J. Gagnier was musical director for CBM and CBF. 



Announcer Terry O’Dell joined CBM from CBL Toronto. Norm Olding moved from Vancouver to join the CBC Montreal studios as operations engineer. O Renaud was manager. 


CBM was operating from studios at 1231 St. Catherine Street West. The transmitter site was at Marieville.

John de B. Pyne was program administrative officer for CBC Montreal.

William J. O’Reilly, former announcer at CBL Toronto was appointed program director of CBM. He had been with the CBC since 1937 and was in the RCAF during the war. 

Warren Robinson (new to radio) joined the announce staff at CBM. 

Tom Hill, formerly of CKRM Regina, was now at CBM. William (Bill) J. O’Reilly became CBM’s program director. He had been an announcer at CBL Toronto. Bill started in radio as an announcer in 1934 but took a break to join the RCAF during the war. 

In August, the CBC revealed plans for a $2,500,000 radio centre in Outremont. The CBC had earlier this year turned down an offer of a property by the city of Montreal which the corporation had agreed in 1939 to build a radio centre. 


Former CKY (Winnipeg) announcer Jeff Hogwood was now at CBM.

J.M. Beaudet was manager and O. Renaud was commercial manager.

Omer Renaud left the CBC to head a station representation firm. He had been commercial manager for CBC Quebec. Bill Moyer was on the sales staff. Stan Catton, musical producer, resigned December 15. He had replaced Morris (Rusty) Davis last spring.


An explosion ripped through the King’s Hall Building on January 8 at 3:07 p.m., killing a 17 year old boy and injuring six women. The building was home to CFCF and the CBC’s CBF and CBM. King’s Hall was ordered evacuated at 4 p.m. and within six minutes, CFCF had resumed normal broadcasting from its facilities in the Mount Royal Hotel. The CBC stations switched to their transmitter sites and an hour later (5 p.m.), CBF began receiving programming from CBV Quebec City and CBM was getting its programs from CBL in Toronto. The CBC later operated from their shortwave studios and then the engineering department, therby restoring normal Montreal program services.

Marcel Ouimet was manager and M. Valiquette was sales manager for CBF, CBM and CBV.

The CBC announced plans for power increases and new stations at four locations. CBM Montreal and CBR Vancouver would increase power from 5,000 to 50,000 watts. New stations would be established at Windsor (10,000 watts) and Sydney (1,000 watts). Sydney should be operational this fall. The other changes would not be in place until late 1949.

Late in the year the CBC started work on remodelling the Ford Hotel which would become the Radio-Canada Building. It was not expected to be completed before the fall of 1949. It would contain studios and offices for the International Short Wave Service, CBF, CBM, the networks (Dominion, Trans-Canada and French), and the general headquarters of the CBC technical services.


W.J. O’Reilly was manager and all sales work for CBM was handled by CBC Toronto. 


Montreal’s Radio-Canada Building opened May 18. Dr. J.J. McCann cut the ribbon that officially opened the building, before more than a thousand guests. Speeches by Dr. McCann, CBC general manager Dr. Augustin Frigon and CBC Chairman Davidson Dunton were delivered during a 15 minute coast to coast broadcast. The building was the former Ford Hotel, purchased by the CBC in September of 1948. It took over two years to modernize and adopt the building to the demands of radio and television. The 12 storey building would be home to the French network, International Service, CBC Montgreal television, and the national offices of the personnel and administration division, the engineering division and the executive. Over 600 CBC employees and another 600 radio artists were required to produce the 18 hours of programming that would leave the building each day. The programs were in two languages for home listening, and 14 languages for the international service. When finished, the building would have 26 modern radio studios and three for television. Four 50,000 watt transmitters had already been installed – two FM and two for shortwave. The news rooms, recording rooms and large master control were already in place. The control room could handle five transmitters, eight outgoing and seven incoming networks and the 26 studios. It was an automatic operation to a great extent. 

William J. O’Reilly, program director of CBM, passed away in December. He had been with the CBC since 1937 except for a time when he was with the RCAF. In 1939, he was the youngest CBC commentator covering the visit to Canada by King George and Queen Elizabeth. O’Reilly started in radio at CKCH Hull in 1933. In 1937, he joined the CBC in Ottawa, moved on to Toronto, then became assistant to the CBC’s regional representative in Halifax, and was named CBM’s program director in 1946.


Donald McGill was named program director. He was one-time program director and later manager for years, of CKSO in Sudbury, and had been with the CBC since 1947. He started in radio at CFCO in Chatham. 


CBM increased power to 50,000 watts. 


William A. Nichols was assistant chief engineer for CBC Montreal.

Gerard Lamarche was appointed CBC director for the province of Quebec. He had been with the CBC since 1942. In 1952, he was named program director of CBF and became provincial program director last year.

Aurele Seguin resigned as head of English and French CBC Radio-TV in Quebec. Seguin started out as an announcer with the CRBC in Ottawa in 1934 and later moved to CBV Quebec City.


Ad slogan: In Canada’s Mid-Easter Region CBC Radio gives you a total daily circulation of 970,000 radio homes (Elliott-Haynes, 1957) with stations CBM Montreal, CBO Ottawa, CBL Toronto, CBE Windsor. 


As of July 26, CBC Montreal had a total of 2,374 employees. TV producers numbered 94, radio, 40. CBC Montreal made use of eight TV studios, including studio 42, one of the largest in the world. There were 21 radio studios.


The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into the CBC Radio Network. CBM became the sole CBC network station in Montreal. It had been the Trans-Canada station while privately owned CFCF was the Dominion affiliate.


CBC Radio added an all-night service in June.


CBC Radio’s all-night service, started in 1963, came to an end on March 1. When the service started it was primarily intended as a national information and warning system to be used in emergencies. Even though the service had now ended, the CBC said it would maintain a stand-by procedure through the night and broadcasts would begin immediately in the event of an emergency.

On December 24, the CBC was authoirzed to add transmitters at Chapais on 920 kHz and Chibougamau on 710 kHz. Both transmitters would have a power of 40 watts. On the same date, CBC transmitters CBMM (English) and CBFC (French) in Senneterre were authorized to swap frequencies. CBMM would move from 710 kHz to 540 kHz and CBFC would move from 540 kHz to 710 kHz.


CBM was authorized to add a transmitter at Label-sur-Quebillon, operating on 1230 kHz with a power of 40 watts. 

CBMD Chapais was granted a frequency change from 920 kHz to 1340 kHz. Power would remain 40 watts. A frequency change was also approved for CBME La Tuque. It would move from 1440 kHz to 990 kHz with power remaining 40 watts. 

The CBC had 22 different owned and rented buildings throughout the city of Montreal. All of these facilities would come under one roof when Place de Radio-Canada was completed and in use by 1972. The building would be a 23 floor office tower, covering an area of 900 by 510 feet on a 25 acre plot of land in east-central downtown. New radio facilities would include 11 production studios (3 would be stereo-equipped), 8 presentation studios and 7 tape editing rooms. 


CBMD Chapais received permission to change frequencies again – from 1340 kHz to 1400 kHz. Power would remain at 40 watts (non-directional). 


In November, the CBC Montreal stations began broadcasting from the new Maison de Radio-Canada at 1400 Dorchester Blvd. (now 1400 Rene Levesque Blvd.). The facility officially opened December 5, 1973.


When CBM had its licence renewed, the following rebraodcast transmitters were also renewed (this list may not represent all of CBM’s transmitters as some licences may have been renewed on other dates): CBDN Schefferville, CBMA Noranda, CBMB Port-Cartier, CBMC Sept-Iles, CBME La Tuque, CBMG Gagnon, CBMH Gaspe, CBMK Lebel-sur-Quevillon, CBMO Lac Megantic, and CBJE-FM Chicoutimi.


On May 21, CBM 940 with 50,000 watts was authorized to move to a new transmitter site and to change from a non-directional pattern to a directional signal.


On September 21, CBM moved to a new transmitter site at Brossard, using two towers (one 367’ and one 585’) to give a slightly directional signal. Power was 50,000 watts. The Brossard site was shared with CBF 690. CBM had operated with a non-directional signal from Marieville. . A new 50 kw Continental 317 transmitter was also used at the new site.A new 50 kw Continental 317 transmitter was also used at the new site.


In March 1979, CBVE-FM 104.7 Quebec City opened (replaced CFOM-AM). operating on 101.9 MHz with an ERP of 3,400 watts. 


CBC Radio added overnight programming to its schedule on May 1, with “CBC Radio Overnight”. The programming started out on certain CBC stations and was expanded to all of its stations by September. The program aired between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. (local time) and offered reports from public broadcasters in 25 countries, with Canadian news on the hour. The program service was provided by the World Radio Network in London, England.


From January 9 to 18, CBM-FM gave up its Radio Two programming to allow CBM-AM’s Radio One service to use the frequency. CBMs transmitter was damaged in the ice storm of ’98.  

CBM-AM (940) moved to the FM band as CBME-FM.

On November 19, the CBC was granted a licence for a transitional digital radio undertaking to serve Montréal. The transmitter would be installed at the Mont Royaltower and employ the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. CBM would operate on frequency 1458,048 MHz with effective isotropic radiated power of 11,724 watts.


On October 14, CBM-FM received approval for the addition of a transmitter at Sherbrooke, operating on frequency 89.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 23,400 watts.  


On August 21, CBM-FM was given approval to add a transmitter at Quebec City, operating on 96.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 308 watts. 

As of 2001, CBM-FM operated one rebroadcast transmitter: CBM-FM-1 Sherbrooke. Most of CBM-FM’s programming originates with the Radio Two network. The station also broadcasts local arts billboard information.

CBM-FM-1 Sherbrooke received approval on October 1 to increase effective radiated from 23,400 watts to 25,000 watts. The CBC planned to relocate the transmitter at its existing TV and FM transmitter site located in Fleurimont near Sherbrooke.


CBM-FM received approval December 14 to add a transmitter at Iqaluit, Nunavut. It would operate on 88.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 800 watts.


On April 3, a power decrease for CBMG-FM Cowansville was approved – 3,400 to 2,700 watts. The original site was unavailable so CBMG would share with Bell Mobility a site located 3.8 km northwest of Sutton. 

On July 2, CBME was given permission to add a transmitter at the intersection of Sherbrooke West and Cavendish Streets in Montréal, operating on 104.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 98 watts. The proposed transmitter would correct significant reception problems in the Westmount, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Côte-des-Neiges, Hampstead and Snowdon communities. 


On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBME-FM’s licence. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBME-DR-1 Montreal, CBME-FM-1 Montreal, and CBMG-FM Cowansville.


Because of a total lack of interest in digital radio by all parties involved, the CBC advised the CRTC that it would cease operation of its Montreal digital radio transmitters CBME-DR-1, CBM-DR-1, CBF-DR-1 and CBFX-DR-1. On June 15, the Commission revoked the broadcasting licence issued to the CBC for these transmitters.

On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBME-FM (and its transmitters) to August 31, 2011.

More than a decade after CBM 940 and CBF 690 last broadcast from the two towers at Brossard, those towers were brought down. The CBC had used the Brossard site from 1978 to 1999. Before 1978, CBF and CBM had operated from separate towers at different locations. The taller, 675 foot tower did see some FM use during the summer of 2010, when it played as backup while work was done at the CBC’s main FM-TV site on Mount Royal.

Mike Finnerty, the former Daybreak Host at CBC Radio Montreal, returned in the fall to anchor the morning show. He left last year to work as an online editor for The Guardian in London. Nancy Wood hosted Daybreak for six months after Finnerty’s departure. She left earlier this year. 


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


Longtime CBC Radio Montreal personality Dave Bronstetter retired February 18. His career with the CBC stretched back over three decades, including stints as a sportscaster, TV news anchor and as host of CBC Radio’s Daybreak.


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

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBME-FM Montréal and its transmitters CBME-FM-1 Montréal and CBMG-FM Cowansville, for a five year term to August 31, 2018.


In the fall, the CBC announced it had selected the Broccolini group to build the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal and Groupe Mach to purchase the western part of the large property (René-Lévesque Blvd. & Papineau Ave.) occupied by the broadcaster’s facilities. The transactions still required Treasury Board approval.


On October 1, ground was broken at the site of the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montréal. Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix were among those on hand for the ceremony. Expected to be finished by January of 2020, the new building would feature a four-storey atrium and rooftop patio.


In April, Monique Lacombe left CBC Montreal after 17 years. For the past decade, she had been the traffic and transit reporter for CBC Daybreak.

Myrtle Fowler Gallup passed away October 31. She was known for doing live reports on CBM’s Radio Noon. The reports were about the challenges and pleasures of rural life. She also did live reports from Expo ’67.


Ernest Tucker (87) died on January 3. He joined the CBC Toronto newsroom in 1961 and later moved to CBC Montreal, covering the FLQ October Crisis, among other big stories. Tucker retired in the mid-1990s.

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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