CKWX is a clear-channel Class A radio station serving the Greater Vancouver area. Owned by Rogers Media, it broadcasts an all-news radio format branded as News 1130. CKWX's studios are located at 2440 Ash Street in the Fairview neighbourhood of Vancouver, and its transmitters are located on Lulu Island near Richmond.
|City||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Broadcast area||Greater Vancouver|
|Slogan||Vancouver's Breaking News, Traffic and Weather Station|
|Frequency||1130 kHz (AM)|
96.9 MHz HD2
|First air date||April 1, 1923|
|Class||A (clear channel)|
|Former callsigns||CFDC (1923-1927)|
|Former frequencies||430 metres (1923-1925)|
730 kHz (1925-1933)
1010 kHz (1933-1941)
980 kHz (1941-1957)
|Affiliations||ABC News Radio|
|Owner||Rogers Media |
(Rogers Media, Inc.)
|Sister stations||CISL, CJAX-FM, CKKS-FM, CKVU-DT, CHNM-DT|
CKWX first began broadcasting in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on April 1, 1923, as CFDC, owned by Arthur "Sparks" Holstead (1890-1971), operator of an automotive battery business, and transmitting on 430 meters (670 kHz) with 10 watts of power (later increased to 50 watts). In 1925, the station switched frequencies to 730 AM and cut its power back to 10 watts to share time with Vancouver stations CFCQ, CKCD, CKFC  and CJKC.
Holstead had a branch business at 1220 Seymour Street in Vancouver and decided to relocate CFDC there; the station was regularly on the air in its new locale by Sunday, September 20, 1925 as it is in the radio listings that day of the Victoria Daily Colonist. The Department of Marine and Fisheries (which then regulated broadcasting in Canada) had not authorized CFDC's move to Vancouver and revoked the station's license as a result, but listener complaints led to the department granting a new license to the station. Programming included baseball games from Athletic Park and piano recitals from the mezzanine of the Hotel Belmont. By October 1926, the station was broadcasting sponsored programmes for the Hudson's Bay Company daily (except Wednesday), from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., as well as the Kelly-Douglas Company, Dominion Battery Company, Canadian National Carbon Company and Moorite Products of Canada. H.W. Paulson was the announcer and R. Burgess the sales representative. The station transmitted through an 80-foot-high aerial on 411 metres at 10 watts. The station's final broadcast from Nanaimo appears to have been a special programme on April 1, 1927, which was claimed at the time of having established a world record for the furthest distance of a transmission over a submarine telephone cable; Holstead asked Nanaimo City Council to bear part of the $125 cost of any similar broadcasts because of the publicity to the city.
The station first used the call-letters CKWX on Monday, August 1, 1927 in conjunction with the opening of its new studios, though the official opening wasn't until August 19th, marked by a four-hour all-star programme, including the band of the H. M. S. Colombo. Other local stations remained off the air as a courtesy. The station was operating from the Hotel Georgia, 801 West Georgia Street, and sharing air time at 411 metres (730 kilocycles) with CFCQ and CKCD, then with CHLS, CKFC and CKMO in 1929. The station was permitted to use a special wave-length of 340.7 metres for a speech by M.P. Henri Bourassa for one occasion in 1927.
Harold William Paulson, who had been a storage battery engineer in the U.S. before coming to British Columbia, left CKWX by 1933 and eventually became commercial manager at the CBC Vancouver. He died in White Rock on February 24, 1983.
In 1933, CKWX moved to 1010, then to 950 in 1938 before settling at 980 in 1941 following the Havana Treaty, which took effect on March 27 that year to settle problems with AM radio interference. Arthur Halstead later sold a 40% share of the station to Taylor, Pearson & Carson, which took over station management, moved the studios to Seymour Street and increased its transmitting power to 1000 watts. By 1947, CKWX's power further increased to 5000 watts and it became an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System, while its transmitter was moved to Lulu Island (now part of Richmond).
CKWX went to 24-hour operation on January 1, 1954, at 12:30 a.m., with a program called "Concert Under the Stars." In 1956, the studios moved to 1275 Burrard Street, and on August 15, 1957, CKWX switched from 980 (soon taken by CKNW) to its present 1130. The station adopted a rock and roll/Top 40 music format in the same year when Red Robinson joined the station's on-air staff (CKWX was, in fact, the first Vancouver radio station to use that format full-time). In 1958, CKWX became the first non-CBC station in Western Canada to operate with 50,000 watts.
Harold Carson, one-third of the Taylor, Pearson & Carson firm that owned CKWX, died in 1959; the firm would change its name to Selkirk Holdings Ltd. later in the year. CKWX switched formats from Top 40 to MOR music in 1962, and Red Robinson left the station at that time to join CFUN. Selkirk became a publicly traded company in 1965, and it purchased 100% ownership of CKWX (with approval from the Board of Broadcast Governors) on October 10, 1966.
On March 7, 1973, CKWX underwent a major change as it dropped its mixed MOR/talk radio format for the country music format the station would become famous for. On February 13, 1979, the CRTC granted CKWX parent Selkirk Holdings a license for an FM station with a jazz format. Selkirk originally wanted 93.7 FM, but were advised to find a different frequency; after doing so, CJAZ signed on at 92.1 on March 1, 1980, as the first Canadian station with an all-jazz format. CJAZ later moved to 96.9, then switched call letters and formats in 1985 as it became CKKS with an adult contemporary format.
CKWX and CKKS moved to their present studios on 2440 Ash Street on June 17, 1988, with the official opening on July 20. On September 28, 1988, Maclean-Hunter Ltd. purchased Selkirk Communications and its stations (including CKWX and CKKS) and also received approval from the CRTC to transfer the former Selkirk stations to Rogers Communications Inc..
On February 8, 1996, at 8 a.m., after playing "For the Good Times" by Ray Price, CKWX ended its country music format after almost 23 years and switched to its present all-news format. Tom Mark signed on the new format. Other daytime anchors when the station went on the air were Brian Decker, Dianne Newman, Kevin Rothwell, Andrea Ring, Terri Theodore and Jack Marion, who was also the morning newsman at CKKS. Reporters included Jim Goddard and Treena Wood, with Garry Raible as sports director, Russell Byth and Herb Hamm as the business editors, and Bruce Williams and Kim Larsson reporting on traffic. Brian Brenn, Ted Schellenberg and Eric Westra joined the station within the first year as anchors, shortly followed by Jim Bennie and veteran Andy Walsh.
A fairly extensive personnel shuffle took place at CKWX on September 2, 2003. Program Director George Gordon replaced Andrew Dawson as morning co-anchor, joining Kenya Anderson, while Dianne Newman moved to the midday slot joining Brian Brenn. That same day, Jim Bennie joined Joanna Mileos to co-anchor the p.m. drive. In 2006 Don Lehn would rotate in Mid Days with Brian Brenn and Andy Walsh until 2010. Pamela McCall became the newest afternoon anchor, replacing Joanna Mileos, in the Spring of 2007. McCall would later leave the station and be replaced by Karen Thomson in 2008. Following the departure of Kenya Anderson in 2005, Treena Wood and Tammy Moyer alternated in the anchor chair only to be replaced by Dianne Newman in 2006. Ben Wilson was named permanent evening anchor with Tom Bricker in November 2007. That same month, Brian Brenn took early retirement and was replaced in the midday anchor chair by Reaon Ford. George Gordon was terminated July 15, 2009. Reaon Ford was promoted from midday anchor to morning anchor in August 2009. Currently, the anchor team is: John Ackermann and Amanda Wawryk (mornings), Alison Bailey and Tim James (middays), Jim Bennie and Ria Renouf (afternoons), and Ben Wilson and Bailey Nicholson (evenings).
The license for shortwave transmitter CKFX (6.08 MHz, 10 watts) was deleted on June 8, 2007, after an extended silence. The CKFX calls are now on an FM radio station in North Bay, Ontario. The shortwave service had been in operation since 1929 and had been inherited from CKFC. The shortwave outlet was intended to serve coastal communities that had no existing AM service, in particular Queen Charlotte Islands and upper Vancouver Island. A 10 watt transmitter (output power) and new antenna sent the CKFX signal in a north westerly direction. CKFX operated in the 49 metre band at 6080 kHz.
- Historical information on CKCD at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Historical information on CKFC at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Vancouver Daily Colonist, Sept. 20, 1925, pg. 28
- CFCD-AM (1923-1927) history at Canadian Communications Foundation
- Victoria Daily Colonist, Wed. August 18, 1926, page 7
- Vancouver Sun, October 21, 1926, Page 14
- Nanaimo Daily News, Tuesday, April 12, 1927, Page 1
- Vancouver Sun, July 30, 1927, pg. 17
- Vancouver Sun, Friday, August 19, 1927, Page 22
- Vancouver Sun, October 17, 1927, Page 7
- CRTC broadcasting decision 2007-171, deleting silent shortwave transmitter CKFX-SW 6080kHz at licensee's request
- "CKWX-AM - History of Canadian Broadcasting". www.broadcasting-history.ca.
- "Canadian Radio News". www.facebook.com.