Acadia Broadcasting, on the air for 94 years

Posted on May 17, 2022 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments

The nearly century-old tale of Acadia Broadcasting starts with the establishment of the CFBO radio station in New Brunswick. After years of acquisition, innovation and a merger, the company now has stations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario.


Historic photo of CFBO radio station, founded in 1928 (photo credit: Acadia Broadcasting).


Live on the air

CFBO was the first commercial radio station in Saint John, N.B. Founded by C.A. Monro Ltd. in 1928, the station’s first broadcast was a hockey game between Saint John and Truro teams. Saint John Publishing Company Ltd. purchased CFBO in 1934 and renamed it CHSJ. Under the new direction, the station began investing in innovative technologies. A more powerful transmitter tower was built and an ultra-portable recording machine was acquired.

In 1944, CHSJ became part of the Irving Group of Companies when K.C. Irving purchased Saint John Publishing (which also owned the Telegraph-Journal and the Evening Times-Globe newspaper). The company was incorporated as New Brunswick Publishing Co. Ltd. later that year.


Acadia Broadcasting signage (photo credit: Acadia Broadcasting)


Making waves

New Brunswick Publishing Co. expanded operations in the broadcasting space. In 1947, they established CHSJ-FM and installed the first FM radio transmitter in Eastern Canada. Next, New Brunswick Publishing broke into television. CHSJ-TV was created and resulted in the first television broadcast in the Maritimes in 1954. By 1957, CHSJ-TV was connected to networks across the continent, with the ability to rebroadcast Canadian and American networks.

Growth continued in the television space over the years. New technologies and transmitters were added to expand coverage across New Brunswick. New Brunswick Publishing also built a new television network in Nova Scotia in 1988 — CIHF-TV (a.k.a. MITV). MITV covered the Halifax area and cities in New Brunswick through CHSJ-TV connections.

In 1989, New Brunswick Publishing Co. purchased Acadia Broadcasting Company Ltd., (established in 1947 in Nova Scotia) and its CKBW radio station

Opting to focus on radio operations, in 1994, New Brunswick Publishing sold MITV to CanWest Global Communications Corp and CHSJ-TV to Canadian Broadcast Corporation.


Chris Pearson, appointed President of Acadia Broadcasting in 2016 (photo credit: Acadia Broadcasting)


Strengthening Signals

New Brunswick Publishing Company and Acadia Broadcasting Company merged operations in 2001. That same year, the company launched two new radiation stations in New Brunswick. In 2003, the company was renamed Acadia Broadcasting.

Acadia Broadcasting continued to expand its reach through acquisitions. In 2007, the business acquired Fawcett Broadcasting in Ontario, adding three radio stations to its roster, and purchased an additional two stations in Ontario from Newcap Broadcasting in 2010. Also in 2010, Acadia launched CJHK-FM (a.k.a. HANK-FM) in Nova Scotia. Since then, the business has continued to acquire stations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario.


Acadia Broadcasting Corporate video, posted in 2021 (credit: Acadia Broadcasting)


Live on the air

Today, Acadia Broadcasting owns 15 radio stations across Atlantic Canada and Ontario, with over 400,000 monthly listeners according to their website. Still part of the Irving Group of Companies, Acadia Broadcasting is owned by Ocean Capital Investments.

94 years on the air and counting.

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