CHWC-AM, Regina

Bought by CKCK

CHWC-AM19361010500Bought by CKCK
CHWC-AM192696015R. H. Williams & Sons Department Store


As Regina’s first station was only able to provide part-time service, it occurred  to the owners of Williams Department Store (which had begun to sell radio receivers) that they should establish a station. This they did in the winter when CHWC went on the air with 15 watts of power, pending the installation of a 50 watt transmitter. CHWC was assigned the same frequency as that of CKCK, and a non-conflicting schedule was observed.

To provide a continuous service, CKCK  and CHWC worked out a rather novel schedule –

Monday – Saturday                Sundays

07:00 – 09:00  CHWC            09:00 – 03:00  CKCK
09:00 – 10:00  CKCK             03:00 – 09:00  CHWC
10:00 – 11:00  CHWC            09:00 – 10:45  CKCK
11:00 – 12:00  CKCK
12:00 – 01:00  CHWC
01:00 – 03:30  CKCK
03:30 – 05:30  CHWC

05:30 – 11:00  MWS  CHWC
05:30 – 10:45  TTF  CKCK

Because CKCK’s transmitter was located in the heart of the city, and with CHWC’s transmitter 15 miles away, listeners had to adjust their sets each time the transmitters were switched off and on.

The first two CHWC transmitters were installed in a corner room on the top floor of Williams’ 5-story building – about 500 feet from CKCK’s towers located on the roof of the Leader building. The same room served as a studio. Barney Williams, one of the four sons of the owner, R.H. Williams,  was the first manager, engineer and announcer. When  CHWC received permission to increase power to 500 watts,  newly licensed  transmitters had to be located at least 10 miles from the centre of the city. R.H.Williams and Sons Limited also owned the Kitchener Hotel  – a building that once served as Williams Department Store. Behind the hotel, Williams also owned a series of sample rooms which were rented to traveling salesmen who could set-up displays of their merchandise. The unit next to the back alley was rebuilt to accommodate a very small office, a control room and a studio,  Programs were fed to the Pilot Butte transmitter over a dedicated telephone line.
At the same time, four huge letters – C H W C – were erected atop Williams store just a block away. It was the second neon sign that Reginians had seen.
Around 1932, new studios replaced a suite on the second floor of the Kitchener Hotel. CHWC now boasted 2 studios, one contrtol room and two offices. A.C.-powered audio equipment did away with the two sets of wet batteries that had to re-charged around the clock. CHWC carried on at the Kitchener until Williams sold its assets to the Leader-Post in 1936
The staff was comprised of a sales manager, a secretary, two – sometimes three announcers, a chief engineer and an assistant who alternated shifts at Pilot Butte and the studio.
Over the years, the announcers, mostly recruited locally and “trained” on  the job, included Wilf Woodill, Myron J. Bennett, Dave Robertson, Jack Fairley Jr, Jack Kemp, Charlie Busse, Bill Speers, Robert Anderson and Lyman Potts. When CKCK began operating from 7 am until midnight in 1936, Speers and Potts joined the CKCK announcer/writing staff which, as the result of departures had been reduced to one-man – Peter d’Aoust – who had got his start at CJRM when in Moose Jaw. Lloyd Westmoreland and Don MacMillan were added shortly thereafter.


In the fall, CHWC was acquired by CKCK and CHWC went silent.

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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