James Stewart Neill opened station 10AD on January 12, 1923. The station operated from the Neill home on Waterloo Row in Fredericton. 10AD’s power was 10 watts. The frequency was 250 meters. In later years in became CFNB Radio Atlantic.
J. S. Neill was running James S. Neill & Sons Ltd., a hardware business founded by his grandfather in 1838. (A January 1958 issue of Broadcaster magazine that dealt with CFNB’s 35th anniversary states that J. Stewart Neill switched his 10 watt transmitter on for the first time on January 23).
In 1927 CFNB moved to a larger facility at the James S. Neill & Sons Ltd., hardware store on Queen Street.
A new transmitter site was selected on the campus of the University of New Brunswick on Maryland Hill, overlooking the city. The two wooden towers were place atop the university’s Forestry Building. Power increased to 50 watts with the change of site.
In 1969, the corporate name changed to Radio Atlantic (1970) Ltd. Studios were now at 125 Hanwell Road with the transmitter at Smithfield.
Here is a timeline of the history of CFNB, Radio Atlantic from the Canadian Communications Foundation.
James Stewart Neill opened station 10AD on January 12. The station operated from the Neill home on Waterloo Row. 10AD’s power was 10 watts. The frequency as 250 meters. J. S. Neill was running James S. Neill & Sons Ltd., a hardware business founded by his grandfather in 1838. (A January 1958 issue of Broadcaster magazine that dealt with CFNB’s 35th anniversary states that J. Stewart Neill switched his 10 watt transmitter on for the first time on January 23).
Power increased in March, to 15 watts.
Neill received a regular broadcasting licence and 10AD became CFNB. The frequency was changed to 1210 kHz and power increased to 25 watts. Studios were now at 67 York Street. Call letter meaning: the C was for Canada, the F for Fredericton and the NB for New Brunswick.
CFNB moved to a larger facility at the James S. Neill & Sons Ltd., hardware store on Queen Street. A new transmitter site was selected on the campus of the University of New Brunswick on Maryland Hill, overlooking the city. The two wooden towers were place atop the university’s Forestry Building. Power increased to 50 watts with the change of site.
Power was now listed at 100 watts.
CFNB increased power to 500 watts.
Power remained 500 watts when CFNB switched from 1210 to 1030 kHz.
CFNB switched to 550 kHz. Power remained at 500 watts.
Power increased to 1,000 watts during the daytime and 500 watts at night. The station was using the first 1,000 watt transmitter in New Brunswick.
CFNB became the first station in the region to affiliate with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Malcolm Neill, son of CFNB owner J. S. Neill, was assistant station relations supervisor with the CBC.
Slogan: There’s more for your money at CFNB Fredericton, N.B. – 1,000 watts – Basic CBC outlet.
CFNB became a subscriber of the British United Press news service.
Under the Havana Treaty, CFNB was one of the few station allowed to hold on to its existing frequency. CFNB was operating on 550 kHz (Class III-B) with power of 1,000 watts. On March 29, hundreds of stations across North America had to change their dial positions.
Verva True was traffic manager.
CFNB lost its 300 foot tower in a February gale. Even though the antenna was completely destroyed, there was little loss of on-air service. A new tower was erected a short time later.
CBC Trans-Canada Basic stations: CJCB, CBH, CBA, CHSJ, CFNB, CBO, CKWS, CBL, CKSO, CFCH, CJKL, CKGB, CKPR, CBM, CKY, CBK, CJCA, CFAC, CJOC, CFJC, CKOV, CJAT, CBR.
In what may have been a first in Canadian radio, a station was expected to be passed on from father to son. The first step took place September 1 when Stewart Neill handed over the management of CFNB to his son Malcolm. The younger Neill resigned his post as CBC assistant supervisor of station relations to return home. He quickly became involved in the community as well as the industry for by 19 he was on the Board of CAB and later became president.
CFNB was expected to soon increase its power to 5,000 watts.
Cleve G. Stillwell left CFNB after 12 years of announcing and program arranging. He moved on to CHSJ in Saint John.
Doris Sherwood became CFNB’s secretary. She had worked at WBEN Buffalo (NY) and was at one time with the Department of Finance. Bob Wallace joined the engineering staff while Jack Fenety became a CFNB announcer.
Control room operators included Myrtle Gunter, Phyllis Seymour and Bernice Huestis.
Slogan: The Doorway to New Brunswick.
CFNB officially increased power to 5,000 watts on March 19. Power had been a thousand watts. Premier J.B. McNair, K.C., officially put the new Marconi transmitter in operation during a special broadcast. Night power remained at 1,000 watts. The transmitter was now at New Maryland.
CFNB received federal approval to operate an emergency transmitter.
Austin Moore, program director and local sales supervisor at CFNB, was named sales manager for the station. Announcer Jack Fenety was promoted to the position of program director. Keith Dancy joined CFNB.
Keith Dancy left CFNB for CFCF in Montreal. Anita Thompson left CFNB for CKWS Kingston where she became women’s editor.
CFNB, CKCW (Moncton) and CFBC (Saint John) formed Radio Press Ltd., a co-operative news service.
Malcolm Neill was manager and Austin Moore was commercial manager.
CFNB was listed as operating with a full-time power of 5,000 watts (directional at night).
Slogan: Use Radio – Choose CFNB in New Brunswick.
Slogans: CFNB has a line on the New Brunswick market. / Reach ’em where they work or play in New Brunswick. CFNB is your salesman! The station most listened to in New Brunswick.
Slogans: CFNB covers New Brunswick like a blanket. / New Brunswick’s most listened-to station.
Anniversary ad: The Maritimes first station. Celebrating 3 decades of public service. 30th anniversary – New Brunswick’s No 1 station – CFNB. In 1923 CFNB first went on the air. From these pioneer days through 3 decades of constant growth CFNB prestige has been built upon superior service to listener and advertiser alike. Engineering perfection, quality programming and adequate power continue to gain an ever increasing audience of interested listeners. Through this policy of operational superiority we shall continue to grow.
Slogan: New Brunswick’s most listened-to station.
Slogans: In New Brunswick CFNB dominates. / Keep ahead of the game in New Brunswick – CFNB – New Brunswick’s most listened to station.
Jack T.H. Fenety was appointed CFNB station manager. His position as program director was taken over by H.L. “Hymie” McFee. G.W. “Bud” Brown was appointed retail sales manager. Larry Knowles was a newscaster.
CFNB was a CBC Trans-Canada affiliate. Ownership of James S. Neill & Sons Limited: J. Stewart Neill 47.5%, J. Gordon Neill 47.5%, D. Malcolm Neill 2.0%and H. H. Pickard 1.0%. J. Stewart Neill was president of the company and D. Malcolm Neill was CFNB’s manager.
Slogan: CFNB – Serving New Brunswick’s expanding economy.
Dan Trout (Dan Fish) joined CFNB from CHOV in Pembroke.
Anniversary ad slogan: 35 years to Now! The Maritimes first station. New Brunswick’s No. 1 station.
George W. Brown was CFNB’s first announcer. His son George Jr. was now the station’s retail sales manager.
Ad slogan: If you want to make your sales impression at the right place…try us, because it’s a well known fact that CFNB means B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S.
Malcolm Neill accepted the presidency of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in June after CFQC’s Vern Dallin stepped down. Neill had been chairman of the association in 1951-52.
In October, CFNB increased power to 50,000 watts full-time, using different day and night patterns, and two towers.
The Board of Broadcast Governors approved the formation of the Atlantic Broadcasting System with affiliates CKCW Moncton, CFNB Fredericton, CFCY Charlottetown, CHNS Halifax, CFBC Saint John and CJCB Sydney.
Ad: We’re “powerful” BIG. No matter how you look at us: big new pulling power!Big new audience! Big new market! Big listener sales action! CFNB Fredericton … first and only independent 50,000 watt station in the Maritimes!
CFNB was now known as “Radio Atlantic”. To go along with the name was a new logo that featured a sea gull perched on a piece of driftwood. The change followed the huge response to the station’s power increase to 50,000 watts in October of 1959.
Ads – There’s only one Radio Atlantic and it’s CFNB Fredericton – the only independent 50,000 watt station in the Maritimes! There’s only ONE Powerful 50,000 watt independent station in the Maritimes and it’s CFNB Radio Atlantic -Fredericton, N.B.
CFNB, CKCW, CFCY, CFBC and CJCB were members of the Atlantic Broadcasting System, a privately-owned network, established by the stations.
From an ad: CFNB increases 22.6% for a total of 51,500 (listeners) (Spring 1960 BBM).
The CBC consolidated the Trans-Canada and Dominion networks into a single service. CFNB had been the Trans-Canada station. It remained a CBC affiliate after the merger.
One of the first Canadians to put a radio station on the air died January 29. James Stewart Neill established CFNB in the living room of his home on January 12, 1923. He was 77.
The corporate name changed to Radio Atlantic Ltd.
D. Malcolm Neill was president of Radio Atlantic Ltd. and Jack T. H. Fenety was vice president and general manager of CFNB.
CFNB managed to stay on the air during a fire that caused heavy smoke and water damage to the Neill Building, where the station had its operations on the third floor.
CFNB was known as “Radio Atlantic”.
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. CFNB was one of those stations.
The corporate name changed to Radio Atlantic (1970) Ltd. Studios were now at 125 Hanwell Road with the transmitter at Smithfield.
Paul Morris was an announcer at CFNB. Larry Dickinson was and announcer and later became Music Director.
CFNB Staff produced a yearbook to celebrate its history. It included an “Honour Roll” of announcers employed at the station since it’s beginnings in 1923.
Malcolm Neill, who had taken over CFNB from his father, James Stewart Neill, sold the station to Bill Winton’s Bathurst Broadcasting Co. Ltd. CFNB had been owned by the Neill family of Fredericton since going on the air in 1923.
Roger Snowden was now news director at CFNB. He had been with CHNS Halifax. Former news director Ron Caldwell left the business.
Jack Fenety retired on January 30 after 12,818 episodes of his morning show, Fact and Fancy. He was 68. When he left, so did the program Fact and Fancy, an institution that began September 22, 1947. The program featured birthday announcements, recipes and household hints, poems and a morning prayer. Fenety joined CFNB as a young man and worked his way through the ranks at the station, eventually becoming vice president and general manager.
On November 3, approval was granted for authority to transfer effective control of Radio Atlantic (CFNB) Ltd. licensee of CFNB Fredericton, Radio Atlantic (CKBC)Ltd. licensee of CKBC Bathurst, and Radio Atlantic (CKCL) Ltd. licensee of CKCL and CKTO-FM Truro, through the transfer of 40% of the common voting shares of Radio Atlantic Holdings Ltd. from Win Trust Ltd. to Force Holdings Ltd. Radio Atlantic is the sole shareholder of Radio Atlantic Management Ltd. which in turn is the sole shareholder of the three licensee companies mentioned above. Force Holdings presently owns 46.7% of Radio Atlantic. As a result of this transaction, Radio Atlantic will be directly controlled by Force Holdings (86.7%), which is ultimately controlled by the Eddy family.
Robert Burns left CFNB for CKCW Moncton. Brent Roy joined CFNB as program director and afternoon host. He had been with CFGM Toronto.
Following the change of ownership, CFNB fired five long-time employees during a one week period.
Mike Allard became CFNB’s program director. He had been with CKCW in Moncton. Brent Roy left CFNB. In the 1989-91 period, Roger Snowdon was News Director. Cheryl Appleby did mid-days and Rob Szo was swing announcer.
On May 3, the CRTC approved the transfer of control of Radio Atlantic (CFNB) Ltd. from the Eddy family to John F. Eddy.
On March 31, CFNB merged operations with CIHI/CKHJ. CFNB moved its administrative offices to 206 Rockwood Avenue (CIHI/CKHJ) later in the year. This was not a change of ownership but a management agreement. CIHI/CKHJ would maintain the signals of all three stations, but newsroom operations would be kept separate.
On January 16, CFNB was given approval to move to the FM dial, operating on a frequency of 106.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.
CFNB 550 signed off the air June 11 after 73 years of service. It was replaced by CIBX-FM 106.9. CFNB was Atlantic Canada’s oldest radio station.
On October 2, CIBX was granted a power decrease from 100,000 to 78,000 watts.
On September 17, the sale of Radio Atlantic (CIBX) Ltd. to Telemedia Communications Inc. was approved. Telemedia had also acquired Radio One’s CIHI-AM and CKHJ-FM.
Randy McKeen was news director for CIBX-CFXY-CKHJ.
On April 19, approval came for the purchase by Astral Media Inc. of Telemedia Radio Atlantic Inc (CFXY-FM, CIBX-FM and CKHJ Fredericton).
On July 28 the CRTC renewed CIBX-FM’s licence until August 31, 2012.
John Eddy passed away at age 56. His family bought CFNB in 1989, and in 1993 he took sole control of CFNB’s owner Radio Atlantic. Eddy later sold his company to Astral Media. At the time of his death, Eddy was Astral’s Atlantic region vice president.
Ryan Zimmerman became operations manager at Astral Fredericton. He had been with Astral Regina. Astral Fredericton’s Group brand manager, Tom Blizzard, was no longer with the operation. He was a 34-year veteran at the Astral stations in New Brunswick.
Hugh Morrisson returned to Astral Atlantic Fredericton October 3 as head of technical services after a decade at MBS Saint John. He succeeded Dick Cleveland who retired October 20.
On August 8, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CIBX-FM until August 31, 2013.
On June 27, 2013, after a previous such application had been denied in 2012, the CRTC approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including CIBX-FM.
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