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ICI Radio-Canada Première.svg
City Montreal, Quebec
Broadcast area Greater Montreal area
Branding Ici Radio-Canada Première
Frequency 95.1 MHz (FM)
First air date December 11, 1937
Format public broadcasting
Language(s) French
ERP 100 kW
HAAT 298.9 meters (981 ft)
Class C1
Transmitter coordinates 45°30′20″N 73°35′30″W / 45.5056°N 73.5917°W / 45.5056; -73.5917
Callsign meaning Canadian Broadcasting French
Former callsigns CBF (1937-1998)
Former frequencies 910 kHz (AM) (1937-1941)
690 kHz (AM) (1941-1998)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Website Ici Radio-Canada Première

CBF-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station licensed to Montreal, Quebec.

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.


CBF went on the air on December 11, 1937, as the CBC launched its French-language network (Radio-Canada). CBF replaced CRCM, a station operated by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission on 600 kHz, alternating with CFCF. CBF operated on 910 kHz using 50,000 watts full-time with an omnidirectional antenna as a clear channel (class A) station. The transmitter was located in Contrecoeur.

The station moved from 910 kHz to 690 kHz 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 940 kHz in Brossard.

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 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on July 4, 1997.[1] 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. 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.

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 was renamed CBFX-FM. The station's old home at 690 AM was taken over by CKVL, which moved from AM 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-FM 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.


Rebroadcasters of CBF-FM
City of license Identifier Frequency Power Class RECNet CRTC Decision
L'Annonciation (Rivière-Rouge) 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 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

CBF-FM-10 in Sherbrooke and CBF-FM-8 in Trois-Rivières were once full satellites of CBF-FM, 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-FM.

On July 5, 2010, the CBC applied to decrease the effective radiated power of CBF-FM-20, Saint-Donat and also on the same date, the CBC also applied to broadcast, on the rebroadcasting transmitters CBF-16 Clova, CBF-17 Lac Edouard and CBF-18 Parent, the programming of CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivieres instead of the programming of CBF-FM. All technical parameters of the rebroadcasting transmitters would remain unchanged.[2]

On July 29, 2010, the CRTC approved the application to transfer transmitters CBF-1 Senneterre, CBF-3 Lebel-sur-Quévillon and CBF-4 Matagami from CBF-FM to CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda.[3]

On October 30, 2012, the CBC received approval to change the source of programming from CBF-FM to CBFG-FM Chisasibi on the following repeaters:[4][5] CBFA-FM-1 Manawan, CBFA-FM-2 Obedjiwan, CBFW-FM Wemindji, CBFM-FM Mistissini, CBFA-FM-3 Wemotaci, CBFH-FM Waskaganish, and CBFV-FM Waswanipi.

Sirius XM[edit]

As of 2015, the entirety of CBF-FM's schedule is broadcast live throughout North America via Sirius XM Canada on channel 170.[6] In effect, CBF-FM 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 (Bloomberg Radio) New York City, are the others, though any local commercials are switched to national commercials and promos).


  1. ^ Decision CRTC 97-293
  2. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-454 numbers 3 and 4
  3. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-527
  4. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-599 CBFG-FM Chisasibi – New transmitters and revocation of licences, CRTC, October 30, 2012
  5. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-602-1 CFFB Iqaluit – New transmitters in Puvirnituq, Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Salluit and Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo) – Correction, CRTC, November 5, 2012
  6. ^ Retrieved 01-02-2014

External links[edit]