Infobox Radio Station

airdate=August 15, 1944
frequency=980 kHz (AM)
area=Vancouver, BC
owner=Corus Entertainment
erp=50 kW
branding=CKNW AM 980
website= [ CKNW AM 980]
callsign_meaning=C K New Westminster (the station's original location)|

CKNW, owned by Corus Entertainment, is the highest-rated talk radio station in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It broadcasts on AM 980.

The station's content is based on news and current events. It features call-in shows with mostly Vancouver-based hosts.


CKNW began in New Westminster, BC, on August 15 1944 at its original frequency of 1230 AM, under the ownership of Bill Rea's International Broadcasting Company. It was Vancouver's first country music station, the first in the region to provide hourly newscasts (between 6:00 a.m. and midnight) and the first in the province to broadcast 24 hours a day, beginning in 1947.

In 1947, Rea purchased a half-interest in Port Alberni radio station CJAV. Several personalities who started there would move to CKNW. These included Joe Chesney, who became morning show host until moving on to establish Langley station CJJC (now CKST in Vancouver) in 1963, and Jim Robson, who would provide play-by-play for the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL in 1970). On January 2 1949, CKNW switched frequencies to 1320 AM and increased its power from 250 watts to 1000. It gained even more power, increasing to 5000 watts, on November 5 1954.

WIC ownership

In February 1956, Bill Rea, experiencing health problems, sold CKNW to Frank Griffiths and the Ballard family, who went on to form Western Broadcasting Company, which later became Western International Communications (WIC). On November 17 1958, the station switched to its present frequency of 980 AM. On February 22 1960, its transmission power was increased to 10,000 watts, and it was further increased to 50,000 watts in 1965. On January 15 1969, CKNW moved into larger studio space in a former Safeway store in New Westminster. Parent company Western Broadcasting put FM sister station CFMI on the air on March 22 1970.

CKNW founder Bill Rea died on April 15 1983 in Santa Barbara, California at age 74. On October 3 1983, the station began broadcasting in AM stereo. On June 18 1984, it became the flagship station of the Western Information Network, broadcasting programs via satellite to affiliate stations throughout British Columbia. In 1986, CKNW and CFMI moved from New Westminster to a new Vancouver studio on the Expo 86 site.

During the 1990s, CKNW made a gradual transition from the mixed format of news, sports, talk shows and MOR music it had adopted in the 1960s to full-time news, talk and sports. In 1996, CKNW and CFMI moved again to their current studios in the TD Bank tower at Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver.

Corus ownership

In 2000, both stations were purchased by Corus Entertainment as part of the splitting of WIC's broadcasting assets. Corus also acquired WIC's pay-TV assets; WIC's broadcast TV stations were purchased by Canwest Global.

In February 2001, Corus Entertainment launched an all-news sister station, NW2. This new station (CJNW AM730, formerly CKLG) was branded as "24 hour news radio, powered by CKNW." NW2 shared newsroom resources with CKNW, including several anchors and reporters. However, NW2 did not achieve broad appeal, and was shut down in May 2002.

Since 2001, CKNW has gone through two significant restructurings focused on reducing costs, which resulted in dozens of lay-offs. Several senior reporters have left CKNW for other opportunities. The cost-cutting decisions made by Corus, along with the increase in infomercials, has correspondingly resulted in CKNW suffering a steady erosion of its listening audience.Fact|date=July 2007

CKNW lost the BC Lions CFL broadcast rights to Team 1040 in 2004. The station had broadcast the games continuously since 1985. In 2006, CKNW lost the rights to broadcast Vancouver Canucks games to Team 1040 after broadcasting every one of the club's games since 1970. The loss of the Canucks games may have resulted in the station losing nearly a third of their cumulative audience in the Fall ratings of 2006. Fact|date=July 2007

However, the station continues to lead the market in overall ratings, as it has for nearly every ratings period for over 40 years. [{ [] }]


The station continues to have a line up of Vancouver's top talk-show hosts, news anchors and sports reporters:

Morning and Afternoon show hosts include Philip Till (The Morning News with Phillip Till, 5:30 am - 8:30 am) and Jon McComb (The World Today, 3 pm - 7 pm). Both these programs follow a similar format and broadcast strictly on CKNW.

The station added a weekend morning show (6 am - 8:30 am) back in March which follows a similar format to weekday mornings - but without traffic updates every four minutes and news headlines at :15 and :45 (The Weekend Morning News with Tom Jefferies). Jill Benett is currently filling in for Tom Jefferies.

Other talk-show hosts include Bill Good and Christy Clark who broadcast during mid-day on CKNW and along the Corus Radio Network in BC. In 2006, Charles Adler was added to the lineup, broadcasting the evening pre-recorded slot from Winnipeg, Manitoba from 7 pm to 9 pm. On weekends, Sean Leslie hosts CKNW's afternoon talk program (The Sean Leslie Show) from 3 pm - 5 pm. Guest talk-show hosts include Michael Smyth (Vancouver Sun Columnist) and Michael Campbell (Global BC's financial analyst).

The CKNW News department runs major newscasts at 8 am (Mon - Sun) and at Noon, 5 pm & 6 pm (weekdays only), with news on the hour and half hour major headlines (except during the Morning News & The World Today where there is a full newscast every half hour and news headlines at :15 & :45). Well-known voices in the market anchoring the news include Tom Mark (AM), Gord McDonald (AM), Terry Schintz (PM), Jill Bennett, Marcella Bernardo and Terry Bell (Overnight).

The station's traffic department provides extensive reports with traffic every 10 minutes on the :4's during the morning and afternoon shows with Sgt. Rick Mulder in the CKNW Traffic Helicopter and Vancouver's most experienced traffic reporters, Anita Krishna (AM) and Neil O'Brien (PM). Combined with the resources from sister station, CHMJ AM730 which also provides traffic reports during evenings and weekends, CKNW is one of the leaders in the market for traffic.

Senior Meteorologist, Mark Madryga is CKNW's weather forecaster whose reports can be heard during the morning news and The World Today. Global BC's Kristi Gordon is the primary relief forecaster.

Even without the Canucks broadcasts, the CKNW sports department plays an important role in programming. Sports director Rick Dhaliwal came from CKST Team1040 in 2005 to his current role. Additionally, Dhaliwal also handles the sports on the Morning News with Phillip Till. Jim Mullin (The World Today), Rick Quinton, Brook Ward and Bob Addison (Weekend Mornings) also work as relief sports anchors/reporters. Sports commentator Neil McCrae can be heard on the Morning News during the major sports update at 8:15 am and his opinion at 7:10 am.

Additionally, Dan Russell's "Sportstalk" is the longest running sports talk show in Canada, running Monday thru Friday from 9 pm -midnight. Sportstalk Weekend runs in the same time slot and is hosted by Rick Quinton.

On Saturday nights during hockey season, CKNW broadcasts Vancouver Giants WHL games. Dan Russell and Joey Kenward provide commentary.

Broadcast code violation

In 2007, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council faulted CKNW for airing "potentially dangerous information" during the Dawson College shooting. During the incident, CKNW had simulcast content from its sister stations in Montreal which included students speaking by cellphone from inside the school. A Vancouver man complained that the content could have told the gunman where the students were. The council said that as a result of modern technology reducing geographic distance as a barrier, CKNW had breached Section 10 (coverage of violent situations) of the broadcast code. The station broadcast the decision as required, but did not air an apology and the station manager said it was a "one-off situation" that would not affect CKNW's policies. [Harv|Eustace|2007|]



title=CKNW report on college shootings breached code
newspaper=The Vancouver Sun
publication-place=Vancouver, BC
date=July 21, 2007

External links

* [ CKNW]
* [ CKNW history at Canadian Communications Foundation website]

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