Alberta’s longest running country radio station CFCW changes addresses



After receiving approval over 8 years ago from the CRTC,  Alberta’s longest running country music radio station CFCW finally made a change of address from 790 on the AM dial, up to 840 AM. This historic moment took place yesterday, Saturday August the 1st, at 8:40 in the AM.


Hal Yerxa


This isn’t the first time the Hal Yerxa founded radio station has changed frequencies.

Puget Sound Radio thanks Bill Dulmage for helping fill in some of these historical dates….

Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was granted a licence for a new AM station at Camrose, operating on 1230 kHz with a power of 250 watts
Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. opened CFCW at 1:00 p.m. on November 2. The station operated with 250 watts of power on a frequency of 1230 kHz, covering the Wetaskiwin, Camrose and East Central section of Alberta with a radius of 25 miles. The transmitter and single tower were located a mile and a half east of town. Studios and offices were located at 4832-50th Street in Camrose.
The opening broadcast was a presentation of the story of CFCW’s listening area…the builders of the district, including the pioneers of the past and the service club members of past and present who helped mould the growth of the district. The station’s music format covered a full range, from heavy classics to hot boogy and hill-billy.
Tom Shandro was Managing Director of Camrose Broadcasting and Manager of CFCW.  Hal Yerxa handled sales promotion and was production manager. He was already known to residents as “Uncle Hal” of the “Sunny Boy” program and for being MC at bingos and wrestling matches. He started in radio in Regina in 1936, was associated with the CBC in Toronto and later joined CJCA Edmonton as news editor. He was a former director of Central Alberta Broadcasting Co. (CKRD) Red Deer. Yerxa was a member of the Edmonton Stock Exchange, and was a partner in the brokerage firm of Yerxa & Mills, Ltd. in Edmonton.
CFCW was owned by Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Hal J. Yerxa 61.2%, R. C. Byers 5.0%, E. W. Schnell 5.0%, J. E. Stuart 5.0 and 24 other shareholders 23.8%). Hal Yerxa was president of the company and CFCW’s manager.
CFCW became Canada’s first full-time country music station in October.
CFCW received approval to increase power to 10,000 watts from 1,000 day and 250 at night, to change dial position from 1030 to 790 kHz, and to change the transmitter site. The board said the station needed the increase to expand its service to city and rural broadcast areas and to overcome increasing static interference from industrial establishments in the area.
CFCW’s frequency changed from 1230 kHz to 790 kHz. Power was raised from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts.
On December 20, Camrose Broadcasting Co. Ltd. was given permission to increase CFCW’s power from 10,000 to 50,000 watts (directional).
Power increased to 50,000 watts (day and night).
CFCW Limited launched an FM station in Edmonton – CKRA-FM.
On June 23, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CFCW Ltd., (CKRA-FM Edmonton, CFCW Camrose and CHRK-FM Kamloops), through the transfer 90% of the Class “A” common voting shares held by CFCW Radio Ltd., which in turn was controlled by Harold J. Yerxa of Camrose, and 10% of the Class “A” common voting shares held by Warren H. Holte to Newcap Broadcasting Ltd.  NewCap was 100% owned and controlled by Newfoundland Capital Corp. Ltd. whose President and principal shareholder (43%) was Mr. Harry Steele. Mr. Yerxa, who founded CFCW Radio Ltd., stated that he has been seeking a purchaser for the stations for a couple of years, and that he considered that NewCap would ensure that the quality and level of local service would be maintained and enhanced in the years ahead. Warren Holte, who was Vice-President and General Manager of CFCW Ltd., would assume the role of President under a five-year management contract and Mr. Yerxa would become Chairman of the Board of Directors, which will be western based and include representation from Edmonton, Camrose and Kamloops.
Hal Yerxa died at the age of 76 on April 12. He started in radio in the 1930’s with the CBC. After serving in the war, he joined CKCK Regina. Yerxa then moved on to CJCA Edmonton and was involved with the launch of Red Deer’s CKRD in 1949. He then became morning announcer at CKNW New Westminster. In 1953, Yerxa founded CFCW, which became one of the country’s leading country music stations. Hal Yerxa was inducted into Alberta’s Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991.
On November 14, the CRTC approved the change of frequency for CFCW – from 790 kHz to 840 kHz. The proposed change would restore night time coverage to listeners in north-central Alberta, which has been reduced by noise and interference over time.
thanks again to  Bill Dulmage and
There’s much more on the link HERE
 CFCW Website


  1. Has just the frequency changed from 790 to 840 or has the wattage also changed/increased. Much clearer. Love it. Thanks , Art

  2. I am 66 years young. I have been listening to CFCW almost all that time when my Dad first tuned in the big 790 CFCW & do not touch that dial if you value your life. I grew up with you and come to greatly appreciate the content that CFCW broadcasts. The only problem since the switch to 840 is I can not tune in your station “840” from just before sunset until just before sunrise. So in my world your BIG FLIP turned into a BIG FLOP. I live just 30 to 40 minutes southwest of Camrose. Now I have to listen to overnight static. Way to go Team. Now I am force to listen to CBC and developing appreciate for it’s content (boring). Thanks Bill

  3. Hi, I would like to mention that your switch over has not been good for us. I turn the radio on at 5:00 am and it is very staticy and does not come in clear until after 8:00. Makes for a poor morning. In the evening, it is already staticy about 7:30 on my way home. We live 5 miles south of Wetaskiwin and hopefully you can fix this problem as I would hate to have to look for another station to listen to. I really enjoy your station and will probably not find one like it.

  4. Your big switch over is terrible. Now worse by far than 790. After 6 p.m. you are gone, not to return till 8.17am. the next morning. By that time School Busses, commuters, and the general public are all in place.
    Get your act together and give us radio. Funny how we get 660 Calgary, 910 Drumheller, and880 Edmonton and fizzle out on 840 even though we are at Hardisty 75 miles away.

  5. I agree with Mr. Manning, what the hell happened to CFCW. There is no reception till 8:20 when someone turns on the switch. Am only an hour & half from Camrose & I get better radio from the States. Do your advertisers want our business? We need to get their ads before we can give them our business. Fix it or go back to 790…………..

  6. We also are not very happy since the switch to 840. We live in the town of Blackfalds and cannot get radio reception from exactly 4:30 pm through to mid-morning. Very disappointing. We have listened to CFCW all of our adult lives but have had to change our dial in the evenings. Some mornings we forget to change it back as well, so quite often miss out on your great music simply because it’s not convenient to always be changing stations. If your frequency doesn’t improve I’m afraid we may have to become loyal to an alternate station.


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