|Broadcast area||Greater Montreal area|
|Branding||Ici Radio-Canada Première|
|Frequency||95.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||December 11, 1937|
|HAAT||298.9 meters (981 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation French|
|Former callsigns||CBF (1937-1998)|
910 kHz (1937-1941)|
690 kHz (1941-1998)
|Owner||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|
|Sister stations||CBFX-FM, CBM-FM, CBME-FM, CBMT-DT, CBFT-DT|
|Website||Ici Radio-Canada Première|
Owned and operated by the government-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it transmits on 95.1 MHz from the Mount Royal candelabra tower with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna. Its studios and master control are located at Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal.
The station has a non-commercial news/talk format and is the flagship of the Ici Radio-Canada Première network which operates across Canada. Like all Première stations, but unlike most FM stations, it broadcasts in mono. In the summer of 2018, the Montreal 95.1 station started to broadcast in FM multiplex.
CBF went on the air on December 11, 1937, as the CBC launched its French-language network, known as Radio-Canada. CBF replaced CRCM, a station operated by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission on 600 kHz, alternating with private broadcaster CFCF. CBF operated on 910 using 50,000 watts full-time with an omnidirectional antenna as a clear channel Class I-A station. The transmitter was located in Contrecoeur.
The station moved to 690 on March 29, 1941, as a result of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement. In 1978 the CBC consolidated its two Montréal AM broadcast transmitters and the station moved to a new transmitter site shared with CBM in Brossard (Now known as CBME-FM on 88.5 FM).
CBF started to broadcast from the Maison Radio-Canada in November 1971. Commercial advertising on the station was eliminated in 1974 except for Montreal Canadiens hockey games. (CBF was the Canadiens' radio flagship since its opening in 1937 and would remain so until 1997.)
CBF applied to move to FM and was authorized to do so by the CRTC on July 4, 1997. The AM signal covered much of the western half of Quebec, and was strong enough to be heard in Ottawa and the National Capital Region, as well as parts of New York State and Vermont. Indeed, until CBOF signed on in 1964, CBF doubled as the Radio-Canada outlet for Ottawa as well. Its nighttime signal covered most of the eastern half of North America, including much of Eastern Canada. However, radio frequency interference rendered it almost unlistenable in parts of Montreal during the day, which prompted the decision to move the station to the FM dial.
The FM transmitter was put on the air ahead of schedule on January 22, 1998, and initially had special programming targeting people affected by the 1998 Ice Storm (i.e., people without electricity). The AM signal was shut down on January 21, 1999. (English-language sister station CBM got permission to move to FM and started FM operations at the same time, retaining its AM signal until May 14, 1999.) CBF became CBF-FM when it moved to the FM dial. The existing station with the CBF-FM call letters at 100.7 MHz was renamed CBFX-FM. The station's old home at 690 was taken over by CKVL, which moved from 850 under the new call letters CINF. That station closed down in 2010, and the frequency remained dark until 2012, when English-language sports station CKGM moved there.
To improve reception, CBF was authorized to increase its power from 17,030 watts to 100,000 watts on June 2, 2000. The power increase was implemented in mid-2001.
In recent years the popularity of the station has increased significantly. The station is now usually one of the top five stations in Bureau of Broadcast Measurement ratings (using shares), after decades of being an also-ran.
The station's current local programs are Info matin (also heard in Ottawa and in Quebec City) from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., Gravel le matin hosted by Alain Gravel, from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., and Le 15-18 (named after Montreal's rush hour using the French 24-hour clock) 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Its Saturday morning local program is Samedi et rien d'autre ("Saturday and Nothing Else"), heard from 7:00 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Samedi et rien d'autre is broadcast on all Première outlets in Quebec, except the Outaouais region.
|City of license||Identifier||Frequency||Power||Class||RECNet||CRTC Decision|
|L'Annonciation||CBF-FM-15||88.3 FM||4,600 watts||B||Query|
|Mont-Laurier||CBF-FM-9||91.9 FM||38,000 watts||B||Query||85-523|
|Radisson||CBF-FM-7||100.1 FM||199 watts||A||Query|
|Saint-Donat (Matawinie RCM)||CBF-FM-20||89.7 FM||5,460 watts||B||Query||2008-280|
|Saint-Jovite (Mont-Tremblant)||CBF-FM-14||95.5 FM||835 watts||A||Query|
|Saint-Michel-des-Saints||CBF-FM-13||90.9 FM||466 watts||A||Query|
|Parent||CBF-FM-18||99.9 FM||60 watts||B||Query|
On October 17, 1986 the CRTC approved the CBC's application to change CBF-3's frequency from 1400 to 650 kHz. (Now part of CHLM-FM).
CBF-FM-10 in Sherbrooke and CBF-FM-8 in Trois-Rivières were once full satellites of CBF, but began airing some local programming in 1998. They have both been licensed as full-fledged stations since 2000, despite still having rebroadcaster-like call signs. Both stations have their own local programs and news bulletins; otherwise, their schedules are similar to CBF.
On July 5, 2010, the CBC applied to decrease the effective radiated power of CBF-20, and also on the same date, the CBC also applied to broadcast, on the rebroadcasting transmitters CBF-16, CBF-17 and CBF-18, the programming of CBF-8 instead of the programming of CBF. All technical parameters of the rebroadcasters would remain unchanged.
On October 30, 2012, the CBC received approval to change the source of programming from CBF to CBFG-FM Chisasibi on the following repeaters: CBFA-1 Manawan, CBFA-2 Obedjiwan, CBFW Wemindji, CBFM Mistissini, CBFA-3 Wemotaci, CBFH Waskaganish and CBFV Waswanipi.
As of 2015, the entirety of CBF's schedule is broadcast live throughout North America via Sirius XM Canada on channel 170. In effect, CBF is one of four terrestrial stations in North America to be broadcast on Sirius XM, and the only one broadcast using the same feed as the local station (KIIS-FM Los Angeles, and WHTZ and WBBR New York City, are the others, though any local commercials are switched to national commercials and promos).
- Decision CRTC 97-293
- https://communiques.radio-canada.ca/radio/8278/ICI-MUSIQUE-CLASSIQUE-ACCROIT-SON-RAYONNEMENT-POUR-SON-PREMIER-ANNIVERSAIRE (in french)
- Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-454 numbers 3 and 4
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-527
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-599 CBFG-FM Chisasibi – New transmitters and revocation of licences, CRTC, October 30, 2012
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-602-1 CFFB Iqaluit – New transmitters in Puvirnituq, Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Salluit and Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo) – Correction, CRTC, November 5, 2012
- Retrieved 01-02-2014