Infobox Radio Station
name = CBLA-FM
airdate = 1925| on AM; moved to FM in 1999 frequency = 99.1
area = South-Central
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
erp = 98,000
CBC Radio One
class = B
former_callsigns = CKGW (1925-1932)
website = [http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/ CBC Radio One]
callsign_meaning = Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Great Lakes A
CBLA-FM is a Canadian radio station. It is the
CBC Radio Onestation in Toronto, Ontario, broadcasting at 99.1 FM.
The station originally aired in 1925 as AM 910 CKGW, a commercial station owned by
Gooderham and Worts. Due to the instability of frequency allocations in North America at the time, the station's frequency changed several times over the next number of years, to 960, 690, and finally clear channel840. In 1932, the station was leased by the CBC's predecessor, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission. It used the call letters CRCT until 1937, when the station was purchased outright by the CBC and adopted the callsign CBL, moving to a new transmitter facility in rural Hornby. With NARBAin 1941, the station moved to 740 kHz; its former channel, now 860, went to CFRB. (See Canadian allocations changes under NARBA.)
Between 1938 and 1943, CBL had a rebroadcaster CBY to supplement coverage in Toronto. CBY broadcast on 960, switching to 1420 in 1939 and then to 1010 in 1941. CBY is now CJBC 860, Toronto's SRC station.
CBL-FMwas launched, bringing the CBC's FM network (now known as CBC Radio Two) to Toronto. It originally broadcast on the same 99.1 frequency now used by CBLA, but moved to 94.1 in 1966. (The 99.1 frequency was vacant until 1977, when it was assigned to the CKOradio network. CKO ceased operations in 1989, and the frequency was again vacant until it was assigned to CBLA.)
The CBC's transmitter tower on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto, built in 1952, was for many years the tallest structure in Canada. The facility was used by CBL (studios only), CBL-FM, CBLT,
CBLFT, CJRT and TVOntario. In 1976, almost all broadcast signals in Toronto moved to the CN Tower; although the Jarvis St. transmitter was no longer in use, the CBC continued to use the studio facilities at that site until moving to the Canadian Broadcasting Centrein 1992.
CBL established a large low-power relay transmitter (LPRT) network in Northern and Central Ontario during the 1950s and 60s. These transmitters, all on AM frequencies, mainly rebroadcast the CBL signal but also offered some separate regional programming directed towards the regions served by the LPRT network in place of some local Toronto programming. One example of this was the daily "Northern Ontario Report", which aired in the late afternoon. Most of these LPRT network transmitters now rebroadcast CBCS in Sudbury or CBQT in Thunder Bay. Some of these transmitters have switched to FM as well, or have been shut down as FM transmitters covering areas served by multiple AM transmitters have signed on.
In 1997, CBL applied to the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissionfor conversion to FM, citing radio frequency interferencethat made the station nearly unlistenable in some parts of downtown Toronto. In a controversial decision, the CBC was awarded the 99.1 frequency [ [http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/1997/DB97-362.HTM Decision CRTC 97-362] ] over Milestone Radio, who had applied to open an urban musicstation, which would have been the first station operating under that format in Canada, to serve the city's large black community. Expanding the controversy, 99.1 was believed at the time to be the last available FM frequency in the city.
June 18, 1999, the station completed its move to FM, adopting the CBLA calls. CBL remained in operation for an additional day, broadcasting a recorded loop listing alternative FM frequencies for any remaining listeners. The final announcement ran thus:
The CBC subsequently surrendered two relay transmitters outside the city which overlapped with the CBLA signal. In 2000, the CRTC awarded one of the new frequencies to Milestone, who launched CFXJ in 2001, and the other to
Aboriginal Voices, who launched CFIE in 2002. The Hornby transmitter was leased to the new occupant of 740, CHWO, in 2001.
The Jarvis Street transmitter site was demolished in 2002 to make way for the RadioCity
The station's local morning program is "
Metro Morning", hosted since 1994 by Andy Barrieand Toronto's most popular radio show in the ratings since 2004 [Renhart, Anthony, "Andy Barrie battles Parkinson's; Popular CBC radio host comes out ‘as a guy with a disability'", "Globe and Mail", June 29, 2007] . "Here and Now", hosted by Matt Galloway, airs in the mid-to-late afternoon slot. On weekend mornings the station produces "Fresh Air", hosted by Jeff Goodes, heard throughout Ontario except in the Ottawa region. Saturday afternoons the station broadcasts an arts and culture magazine, "Big City, Small World", hosted by Garvia Bailey.
The station also produces a second morning program, "
Ontario Morning", which airs on most of the network's transmitters in Southern Ontariooutside of the Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor metropolitan areas. "Ontario Morning" is currently hosted by Wei Chen.
As of October 2005, "Here and Now" begins at 3 p.m. on CBLA's main station in Toronto, unlike most CBC Radio One stations whose local afternoon programs begin at 4 p.m. However, the station's rebroadcast transmitters outside of Toronto air regular CBC network programming for the first hour and join "Here and Now" in progress at 4.
CBLA-FM has the following rebroadcasters.
Bancroft, Ontariois one of the last remaining AM rebroadcasters of CBLA-FM. There are possibilities that this repeater may switch to the FM band in the future.
* [http://www.cbc.ca/toronto CBC Toronto]
* [http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listings_and_histories/radio/histories.php?id=393&historyID=176 CBLA Toronto Radio History at Canadian Communications Foundation]
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