CKBI-AM, 900 CKBI, Prince Albert

Pattison Media Ltd.

CKBI-AM201490010,000Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership
CKBI-AM200090010,000RAWLCO Radio Ltd.
CKBI-AM195790010,000RAWLCO Radio Ltd.
CKBI-AM19469005,000E. A. Rawlinson
CKBI-AM19419001,000citizens group
CKBI-AM19331210100citizens group
10BI-AM1925250 metres50citizens group


A radio minded group of residents formed the P.A. Radio Club and station 10BI.


The P.A. Radio Club finally received a licence and the station was now officially on the air. This, after several years of hit and miss broadcasting.


Radio Club’s “10 BI” was falling apart and Lloyd Moffat and Bob Price bought the station for $500,00 Lloyd was Cheif Engineer and Bob was Business Manager.


Local artists were heard on-air, remote broadcasts became common, and in time, the Saskatchewan Government network came into operation. 10 BI operated on 250 metres with a power of 50 watts. New eqipiment was puchased and the station


A commercial licence was granted and 10BI became CKBI. New Northern Electric equipment was purchased and installed. The station was operated by Pete and Walter Dales. It had a new operating frequency – 1210 kHz and power increased to 100 watts.


CKBI moved to new studios.

Power increased from 100 watts to 250 watts.


CKBI became a United Press subscriber.


Gus Carrier left CKBI for the announcing and news staff at CFQC Saskatoon.


Under the Havana Treaty, CKBI was to move from 1210 to 1240 kHz (Class IV) with 250 watts of power. The treaty was adjusted and on March 29, CKBI moved to 900 kHz (Class II) instead on March 29.

A power increase to 1,000 watts was authorized.

In July, power increased from 250 watts to 1,000 watts. The station moved to a new transmitter site located seven and a half miles south of Prince Albert, and featured a new 1,000 watt Northern Electric transmitter and a new Ajax tower.

CKBI was now offering a daily bulletin service that reported on the condition of sick people in hospitals to their relatives in outlaying areas. The station also broadcast twice a month from the local airport to bring news of the “boys” to their parents.

Robert Evans Price, 48, joint owner of CKBI, died suddenly April 2 after a long illness. He had been connected with the station since he bought it jointly with Lloyd Moffat in 1930.


CKBI was chosen top station in Canada by “Billboard” in its fifth annual Station Exploitation Survey. The award was based on the station’s value to the community and clients.

The local militia took over CKBI on July 3 as part of “Army Week”. A selected group announced and handled the entire day (6 a.m. to midnight). All station identifications read: This is CKBI, the Canadian Army Station, Prince Albert.

Gerry Tonkin joined CKBI’s sales department. He had worked at CFAR Flin Flon and at Northern Broadcasting in Toronto. Art Holmes joined the army. He had been CKBI’s farm broadcaster and an announcer.


Lloyd Moffat was CKBI’s manager. Announcer Wilf Smith joined CKBI from CKCK Regina. Vaughn Bjerre started his radio career at CKBI.


David M. Armstrong left CKBI for the soon to open CKNW New Westminster, where he would be commercial manager.

Jack Coalston was CKBI’s production manager. Mary Davidson became CKBI’s publicity director, succeeding Jerry Prest who left for CKFI Fort Frances. Prest returned later in the year to be sales manager. Roy Reber joined CKBI as an announcer. He had been with CJOC Lethbridge. Corrine Edwards joined CKBI’s traffic department.



Mark Starbird joined the CKBI staff.

Power increased to 5,000 watts in July.

CKBI made the move to 940 kHz in November. The slogan for the new dial location: In The Centre Of Good Listening.


Jack Coalston was production manager.

CKBI was purchased by the Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd. President of the new company was H.M. Sibbald, former mayor of Prince Albert. E.A. Rawlinson was managing director. Former owner Lloyd Moffatt remained in Prince Albert to direct other business interests. Moffatt and the late Bob Price opened 10BI. The station went commercial in 1934 as CKBI. Power was 100 watts. Power increased to a thousand watts in 1941. In July of 1945, power increased to 5,000 watts.


E.A. Rawlinson was appointed manager of CKBI, which was now operating at 5,000 watts.


CKBI received approval to operate an emergency transmitter.

Slogan: Covering Northern and Central Saskatchewan.


Jerry Johnson was special events announcer. G. Prest was commercial manager.


Nick Roche was a sportscaster.


Bill Hart was a staff announcer.


CKBI was now operating from new studios and offices on 10th Street West. A related print ad: More drive in 55! – Now operating from new $75,000.00 studios in the CKBI Building. 

Nick Roche did sports and Francis Church did news.


CKBI 900 applied for federal approval to increase full-time power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts.


CKBI received CBC approval for a power increase – from 5,000 to 10,000 watts.

Power was increased from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts (different directional patterns for day and night operation), making CKBI the first private station in the province to operate at this power level. As a result, it was able to claim that it was “Saskatchewan’s Most Powerful Private Station”.

CKBI was a CBC Dominion affiliate. Ownership of Central Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: E. A. Rawlinson 51.0%, H. M. Sibbald 33.4% and F. F. Rawlinson 15.6%. Edward A. Rawlinson was president of the company and Frank F. Rawlinson was manager.


Central Broadcasting brought television to Prince Albert with the launch of CKBI-TV.

According to Elliot-Haynes, CKBI reached a total of 93,344 adult listeners every day.


Ads: In Saskatchewan, the big one is CKBI! / In Saskatchewan CKBI hits the bullseye! / In Saskatchewan the big one is CKBI. CKBI now has the lowest cost per thousand in Saskatchewan. CKBI – 10,000 watts – 900 KCS. Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.


The Dominion and Trans-Canada networks consolidated into a single CBC Radio network. CKBI’s affiliation with the network came to an end.


Jack Cennon was at CKBI in the sixties.


Broadcast News was the main source of news for radio stations in Canada but only a handful at this time were subscribing to BN’s voice (audio) service. CKBI was one of those stations.


Morley Jaeger was working at CKBI.


CKBI lanched its FM service – CFMM.


Jim Scott was appointed news director for CKBI/CFMM-FM. He had been morning news anchor for two years at CFMM.


On May 1, Central Broadcasting was granted a licence for a new FM station at Prince Albert. When the new station went on the air, it was known as CHQX-FM.


On July 26 the CRTC approved applications by Rawlco Capital Ltd., submitted on behalf of 614546 Saskatchewan Ltd., Central Broadcasting Company Limited and Rawlco Radio Ltd., to effect an intracorporate reorganization within the Rawlco Group of corporations. The corporate reorganization involved the following transactions: a) the transfer of 100% of the Common A voting shares of 614546 from Rawlco Inc. to Lobstick Investments Inc., a corporation ultimately owned and controlled by Gordon S. Rawlinson; b) the transfer of 100% of the Common A voting shares of CBCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of G. Rawlinson, to Lobstick; and c) the transfer of 100% of the Class B voting shares of RRL from G. Rawlinson to Lobstick. RRL is currently owned equally by G. Rawlinson and Lobstick, each holding a 50% interest. Following these transactions, the applicant proposed to amalgamate the licensee corporations 614546, CBCL and RRL under a new licensee corporation, Rawlco Radio Ltd.; and to wind up Rawlco Inc. into Rawlco Capital Ltd., which currently owns 89.18% of Lobstick. These two transactions do not require Commission approval. 614546 is the licensee of CJDJ-FM Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. CBCL is the licensee of CKBI (AM), CFMM-FM and CHQX-FM Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. RRL is the licensee of CFMC-FM, CKOM (AM) Saskatoon; CIZL-FM, CJME (AM) and CKCK-FM Regina, Saskatchewan. The Commission notes that the transactions will result in a transfer of effective control of 614546, CBCL and RRL to Lobstick. However, ultimate control will remain in the hands of Gordon S. Rawlinson.


On April 5, Rawlco Radio Ltd. (formerly Central Broadcasting Ltd.) was authorized to add a transmitter for CKBI at La Ronge, operating on 95.9 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 31 watts (53 watts maximum). The Cable Ronge Inc. tower would be used and antenna height would be 11.7 metres.

CKBI studios and offices were noted at this time as being at 1316 Central Avenue.


On November 19, CKBI received approval to add an FM transmitter at Big River. It would operate on a frequency of 92.5 MHz and have an average effective radiated power of 1,200 watts.


On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CKBI (and its transmitters CKBI-FM La Ronge and CKBI-FM-1 Big River) until August 31, 2016.


Gemma Howard left Rawlco Radio Prince Albert as engineering assistant to become station engineer at MIX 103 FM Fort McMurray.


On January 7, the CRTC approved CKBI’s application to relocate the transmitter site, decrease the night-time power from 10,000 to 2,800 watts and to changing the antenna radiation pattern from directional to non-directional.

On December 16, the CRTC approved the application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership, for authority to acquire from Rawlco Radio Ltd. the assets of the following radio stations: CKNO-FM Edmonton, CIUP-FM Edmonton, CKBI Prince Albert and its transmitters CKBI-FM La Ronge and CKBI-FM-1 Big River, CFMM-FM Prince Albert and its transmitter CFMM-FM-1 Waskesiu Lake, CHQX-FM Prince Albert and its transmitters CHQX-FM-1 Waskesiu Lake, CHQX-FM-2 La Ronge and CHQX-FM-3 Big River, CJCQ-FM North Battleford and its transmitter CJCQ-FM-1 Meadow Lake, CJHD-FM North Battleford, CJNB North Battleford and CJNS-FM Meadow Lake.


On March 3 the CRTC approved CKBI’s application to increase the ERP of CKBI-FM-1 Big River from 1,100 to 1,400 watts, decrease EHAAT and to relocate the transmitter.

The CRTC gave CKBI approval to increase ERP for CKBI-FM-1 Big River from 1,100 to 1,400 watts (1,900 to 1,400 watts Max. ERP), lower antenna height, relocate the transmitter site, and change the radiation pattern from directional to non-directional.


Jack “J.J” Cennon died at age 93 on January 29. The well-known CKBI on-air host started his radio career in 1936 at CFQC Saskatoon. In 1941, he began service in World War II. After the war, Cennon moved to Prince Albert and became the host of the CKBI Wake Up, Shake Up show, a post he would hold for the next 40 years.

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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