800 CHAB Moose Jaw, SK is marking a milestone, celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday, April 23.
CHAB’s history is rooted in community radio, launching in 1922 as 10AB. The Moose Jaw Amateur Radio Association originally planned to operate the station, but short on funds, handed it over to the area Kiwanis Club which broadcast from the local YMCA.
The 50-watt, non-commercial station was handed back over to the Radio Association two years later and moved to the top floor of Norman Bellamy’s furniture store, and later the Grant Hall Hotel.
Struggling to garner financial support, 10AB went off the air in November 1933, with CHAB signing on one month later with a commercial licence, increasing its power to 100 watts and later daytime power of 250 watts. Carson Buchanan, secretary of the Amateur Radio Association, was named the station’s first General Manager, in addition to being an owner.
In 1947, CHAB was sold to John E. Slaight, then Manager of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald, and Bill Davis, who was involved with the Prince Albert Daily Herald. By 1952, Bill Davis had taken sole ownership of the station and following his death, his wife Lulu Davis assumed that role. A CBC affiliate through most of the 1940s and ’50s, that affiliation ended in 1958 when CHAB was acquired by Jack Moffatt. The station was now broadcasting at 10,000 watts during the day and was also granted a television licence. The Moffatt family continued to operate CHAB until 1992 when Moffatt Communications sold to Golden West Broadcasting.
Over the years, the station has carried many formats – from Top 40 throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s – to Country and Classic Hits. The station has played a mix of Oldies and Classic Hits since 2006.
“CHAB is one of the oldest radio stations in Canada and has a heritage position in serving much of Saskatchewan from its base in Moose Jaw,” said Elmer Hildebrand, Chief Executive Officer of Golden West, in a release. “Many well-known Canadian broadcasters had their start in radio at CHAB.”
Announcers who have come through the CHAB studios notably include media mogul Allan Slaight, who started his broadcasting career there in 1948, working for his father. Others that came through the station include names like Spence Bozak, Earl Cameron, Mal Faris, Barry Nesbitt, Ken Newans, Bill Rapanos, “Humble” Howard Glassman, Danny Kingsbury, programmers Brad Phillips and Pat Bohn, and former General Manager Vern Traill.
Anniversary wishes, including photos, audio and video, can be left for CHAB here.
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