CBI was launched on November 1, 1948, at AM 1570. Prior to its launch, CBC Radio programming was aired by private affiliate CJCB 1270 and its shortwave relay CJCX-SW 6010 kHz (in the 49 m band). In 1954, CBI moved to AM 1140.
On July 9, 2007, CBI was given approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to convert the station to the FM band at 97.1 MHz under the calls of CBIT-FM and shut down the AM transmitter. In a license renewal submission to the CRTC in June 2011, CBC stated that it did not have the resources to implement the transmitter before the authorization lapsed.
The station's local programs are Information Morning in the mornings and Main Street in the afternoons. Although both programs have the same name as mainland counterpart CBHA-FM in Halifax, they are distinct programs produced in Sydney.