CJWC-AM, Saskatoon

A. A. Murphy (Closed Down)

CJHS-AM1930329.5299A. A. Murphy (Closed Down)
CJHS-AM1928329.5200J. H. Speers
CJWC-AM1925329.5200Wheaton Electric Company


CJWC began broadcasting on September 28th owned by the Wheaton Electric Company with power of 50 watts on  329.5 Metres. The transmitter was at Avenue A and 33rd Street with two 80 foot towers constructed of two by two’s and lath.  The station’s engineer was Carl O’Brien. Shortly after the first broadcast it was decided to increase the power to 250 watts in order to reach the farmers of the area.

All programming was live, arranged by Miss Martha Bowes, a former nurse.  She was the first female radio announcer in Saskatchewan.  The first program was an orchestra from the Grey Room of the King George Hotel. 


By this time CJWC was broadcasting six days a week 11:45 am – 1:00 pm  Monday though Saturday and evenings varying  between 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  Sunday’s – special church services.  Wednesdays the station was silent for the first few years.  Live programming continued to be organized by Miss Bowes.

During the 1927-28 season, The Western Producer. a Saskatchewan newspaper ran a contest for readers to vote for their favourite Saskatchewan announcer and was to run for several months. After a few weeks it was decided to announce who was in the running and how many votes they had received to that date.  CJWC was chosen to announce the standings (Saskatoon was The Western Producers headquarters).

Carl O’Brien, CJWC’s engineer got together with Bert Hooper, CKCK Regina’s engineer and announcer, and they rigged up a telephone connection so that both stations carried the program. This was the first network of radio stations in Western Canada.

By the time voting was closed some weeks later, more than 17.000 votes were recorded.

Bert Hooper of CKCK Regina was first with 6,154 votes Miss Bowes was second with 3,721 and Cliff Jones of CFQC Saskatoon was third with 3,233.  The rest of the votes were spread between the other 6 six Saskatchewan stations at that time. 

Miss Bowes left for the United States shortly after the contest ended.  Later, she returned to Canada and settled in Whitby, Ontario. She did not pursue a career in broadcasting.

Later that year, the station was sold to Radio Service Limited, owned by J. H. Speers. Engineer Carl O’Brien moved to the new company to continue operating the station.


Less than a year later, A. Murphy bought CJWC and shut it down. In 1925, Murphy was co-founder of CFQC Saskatoon.

Carl O’Brien  moved to CFQC.

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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