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Acadia Broadcasting   /   A Historic Overview

CFBO, the first commercial radio station in Saint John, NB, is established by C.A. Monro Ltd. owned by Charles Monro. While its licence may have been given in late 1927 the first public broadcast by CFBO was a hockey game between teams from Saint John and Truro, NS from the Nova Scotia rink by telephone in March 1928. CFBO’s studios were in Imperial Theatre on King’s Square.


The Canadian Broadcasting Commission comes into existence on January 18, 1933, with the mandate to set up a national broadcasting network.


Saint John Publishing Company Ltd. (Telegraph-Journal and Evening Times-Globe) purchases CFBO from C.A. Monro on February 1, 1934. Two months later the station call letters are changed to CHSJ and the station moves into new premises in the Admiral Beatty Hotel. Principal shareholder was Howard P. Robinson. Other shareholders were J.D. McKenna, T.F. Drummie and L.W. Bewick, all four of whom become directors of the renamed station.


CHSJ radio’s most enduring program, the Empty Stocking Fund is established in partnership with the Evening Times-Globe.


CHSJ radio moves into new studios at 14 Church Street, connected to the premises of the Telegraph-Journal and Evening Times-Globe. A more powerful 1000-watt transmitter tower is built for CHSJ outside the city centre at Coldbrook Marsh. In the same year CHSJ, on the leading edge of technology, invests in a recording machine so portable that two men can lift it into the back of a taxi.


K.C. Irving purchases Saint John Publishing, including the company it controlled, New Brunswick Broadcasting, from its principal shareholder, Howard P. Robinson, and incorporates them under the name New Brunswick Publishing Company later that year.


Acadia Broadcasting (CKBW), a voice for Nova Scotia’s South Shore, is founded in Bridgewater by Lester Rogers, Donald Hill and John Hirtle. In the same year, CHSJ in Saint John installs a new 5,000-watt transmitter and building at Coldbrook Marsh. The first FM transmitter in eastern Canada is installed by CHSJ on the roof of the Admiral Beatty Hotel.


CHSJ-TV owned by New Brunswick Broadcasting begins broadcasting the first television in the Maritimes on March 22, 1954. Its transmitter tower has been built on Mount Champlain, the highest peak overlooking the Bay of Fundy just 15 miles from the centre of Saint John, in 11 months.


CHSJ-TV connects to the continent-wide microwave broadcasting network with the rights to rebroadcast both Canadian and American network shows.


CHSJ-TV installs magnetic videotape equipment in its studios, a technology that changes the entire television operation. Because the TV station needs all the space at the Church Street studios for production, CHSJ radio moves to new premises at 89 Germain Street on August 1, 1959.


CHSJ-TV begins operating a second transmitter at Bon Accord in Victoria County to provide service to north-western New Brunswick.


CHSJ-TV moves into the biggest broadcasting studio east of Montreal with the completion of the new Broadcast Centre at the corner of Union and Crown Streets in Saint John. It is the first all-transistorized television operation in Canada. CHSJ radio moves into new studios there later in the year. In Nova Scotia, CKBW moves into new studios in the Bridgewater Shopping Plaza.


CRTC authorizes New Brunswick Broadcasting to add a third transmitter in Riverside to rebroadcast CHSJ-TV to the Moncton area with CBC programming.


Special Senate Committee on the Mass Media criticizes Irving print media ownership in New Brunswick, which in 1971 leads to charges under the Combines Investigation Act.


Forest Fire wipes out CKBW’s transmitter site at Hebbville but the station gets back on the air within 36 hours with the help of borrowed equipment.


Supreme Court of Canada rejects as unfounded the Combines Investigation Act charges against Irving print media ownership in New Brunswick. In the same year CHSJ-TV begins broadcasting to north-eastern New Brunswick from its transmitter on Mount St. Joseph in Carleton, Quebec.


CRTC grants CKBW permission to rebroadcast its programming to Liverpool and Shelburne on the FM network.


CHSJ radio switches its studios to stereo broadcasting, which at the time was seen as the future of AM radio.


CIHF-TV, the new television station in Halifax, NS, known as MITV, goes on the air September 5, 1988, broadcasting to the Halifax area, and also, through the CHSJ-TV network, to Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, NB. MITV was built and owned by New Brunswick Broadcasting.


New Brunswick Broadcasting buys radio station Acadia Broadcasting Company Ltd. (CKBW) of Bridgewater, NS, which also operates repeater station in Liverpool and Shelburne, NS. Former shareholder Robert A. MacLaren remains as station manager. In the same year MITV adds several transmitters in Nova Scotia, which provide the station with coverage of 90 per cent of the province.


New Brunswick Broadcasting sells MITV to CanWest Global Communications Corp. on August 29. At the same time, during parallel negotiations, CHSJ-TV, a CBC affiliate since MITV went on-air in 1988, is sold to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC affiliate operations move to Fredericton, and the station is renamed CBAT-TV.


CHSJ radio moves out of the now-empty Broadcast Centre to new premises at 58 King Street in Saint John.


New Brunswick Broadcasting and Acadia Broadcasting Co. Ltd. merge operations. In the same year the company launches two new stations in New Brunswick, CHWV-FM the WAVE in Saint John, and CHTD-FM the Tide in St. Stephen.


CKBW in Shelburne converts to FM.


New Brunswick Broadcasting Co Ltd. and Acadia Broadcasting Co Ltd. merge under the simpler name Acadia Broadcasting Limited.


John E. Irving becomes sole owner of Acadia Broadcasting Limited


In May 2007 Acadia Broadcasting Limited acquired Fawcett Broadcasting limited consisting of three radio stations in northern Ontario: CKDR-FM in Dryden, CJRL-FM in Kenora and CFOB-FM in Fort Frances. Through a series of repeaters, CKDR-FM in Dryden also served 6 other northern communities: Sioux Lookout, Hudson, Ear Falls, Red Lake, Atikokan and Ignace.


Acadia Broadcasting begins a major renovation of its flagship stations CHWV and CHSJ in Saint John. The first two floors of their heritage location on King Street undergo extensive renovations and modernization in a project led by FCC Engineering and Commercial Properties Limited.


In January 2010 Acadia acquired CJUK-FM and CKTG-FM in Thunder Bay, Ontario from Newcap Broadcasting.


On July 22, 2010 Acadia Broadcasting launched CJHK-FM, also known as HANK-FM, that was added to sister station CKBW-FM in Bridgewater, NS.


In 2012 the Dryden repeater in Atikokan was changed to carry the signal from CKDR to CFOB-FM in Fort Frances.


On March 14, 2014 Acadia acquired CKNI-FM, Moncton, NB from Rogers Broadcasting.


On June 1st, 2016 Acadia Broadcasting Limited acquired CJLS in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.