1944: The beginnings of campus radio
In 1944, the Students’
Representative Council took steps towards a campus radio station, a dream that
would take another twenty years to fully achieve, by establishing the Radio
Directorate. (Earlier university radio
broadcasts, under the auspices of The Sheaf,
had taken place as early as 1932; it is not clear how regular the programming
was.) Programming was for many years
broadcast on CFQC with “The Voice of the Green and White” as one of the first
weekly programs. Programming included
roundups of campus interviews, campus reviews, football reports, and student
entertainment “with piano renditions and song stylings” and various campus
orchestras. A second program, “Greystone Calling,” was being broadcast in
Prince Albert and Regina by 1947. Also
in 1947, $2,500 worth of radio equipment was purchased. The Sheaf
reported on 16 September 1947 that “[w]hen operating, the equipment will be
used for rehearsing and recording radio programs. Broadcasts will be made direct from the campus by running a line
to local outlets.” A temporary studio
was subsequently set up in Convocation Hall.
By 1956, the radio directorate
had become relatively inactive, but that year a radio station with all but a
transmitter – described as “one of the most modern university radio setups” –
was opened in the Memorial Union Building, laying the groundwork for the
“revival” of campus radio. In 1960, the
radio director reported in the Greystone
that “the long talked of college lounge network is now in operation.” (A photograph of radio staff taken in 1964
includes a sign in the background: “If University Radio is not heard in your
lounge, why?”) By 1962, there were nine
hours of regular programming per day.
The next year, a two-year expansion program had been completed,
including the upgrading of facilities to include two fully equipped control
rooms, an equipment repairs department, a news and continuity department, and a
well-stocked library. The director’s Greystone report of 1963 confidently
stated: “This year’s operation has proven that students on this campus are
capable of operating a radio station of their own, and within a few years this
ambition will no doubt be realized.”
This was indeed the case.
Campus Radio fonds, MG 128.
1944a: Al Hooker, first radio director. The Greystone, 1945.
The Sheaf, 28
January 1932; 16 September 1947; 24 February 1956; 2 March 1956.