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Cbc radio one watrous.svg
City Watrous, Saskatchewan
Broadcast area Southern and Central Saskatchewan (Regina and Saskatoon)
Branding CBC Radio One
Frequency 540 kHz (AM)
First air date July 29, 1939
Format public broadcasting
Power 50,000 watts
Class A
Transmitter coordinates 51°40′48″N 105°26′48″W / 51.68000°N 105.44667°W / 51.68000; -105.44667
Callsign meaning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Henry Kelsey (the first explorer to reach the Canadian Prairies)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Website CBC Saskatchewan

CBK is a Canadian clear-channel station, broadcasting the CBC Radio One network at 540 AM to most of southern Saskatchewan. The AM transmitter is located in Watrous, the city of licence, but its studios are located at the CBC's broadcast centre in Regina, with an additional bureau in Saskatoon. This facility also houses CBK-FM and CBKT.

The station operates as a 50,000-watt clear-channel station. Due to its location near the low end of the AM dial, transmitter power and Saskatchewan's flat land (with superb soil conductivity), CBK's daytime signal reaches most of the southern two-thirds of the province, including Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Swift Current, Lloydminster, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. It also provides grade B coverage as far west as Calgary and as far east as Winnipeg, and reaches across the border into North Dakota and Montana. At night, it can be heard across much of the western half of North America. However, it is strongest in western and central Canada, North Dakota, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Minnesota.


The station was launched by the CBC in 1939, serving most of Saskatchewan from the single transmitter site. It was originally intended as the CBC's clear-channel operation for the Prairies (CKY in Winnipeg, now CBW, was also a clear-channel, but was a private CBC affiliate at the time). However, it initially aired no local programs. All programming was initially fed from Toronto, then after 1948 from Winnipeg. A local studio didn't open until 1954, on Broad Street in Regina.

For most of World War II, it aired programming in both English and French.

CBK was almost forced to move dial locations in 1947, when the International Telecommunications Conference considered designating 540 for a group of low-powered stations. Eventually, the ITC agreed to allow CBK to use 540 until an alternate location could be found.

In 1975 the original tube powered transmitter built by RCA was replaced by a solid state transmitter. The following year on June 4, 1976 CBK's transmitter tower was toppled by plow wind during a thunderstorm. CBK staff put station back on the air by taking over CBC's low powered FM transmitters airing French language programming in the cities of Regina and Saskatoon. Within a few days service 540 kHz was restored using a temporary tower while a new permanent transmitter tower was built.

One of the station's distinctive features was its Art Deco style transmitter building in Watrous. The transmitter building featured a studio to keep the station on the air in the event of an emergency, living quarters for station staff, a map of Canada showing CBC stations and private affiliates, and an underground fallout shelter with a studio to broadcast news in the event of a nuclear attack. In 2007 the transmitting equipment was moved from the original transmitter building to a steel shed next to the tower. There was an effort by the town of Watrous to designate the transmitter a historic site. In recent years that the original transmitter building has been vacant it has fallen into significant disrepair. Due to the cost to high cost of restoration due to the cost of removing dangerous materials such as asbestos and lead paint, CBC Saskatchewan decided to demolish the transmitter building in August 2015.


In 2000, the CBC opened a local FM repeater of CBK in Regina, CBKR-FM 102.5, due to problems with urban AM reception during the day. In 2006, a second repeater was added—CBK-1-FM 94.1 in Saskatoon.

CBK has the following rebroadcasters; except for its Regina, Saskatoon and Meadow Lake transmitters, all are licensed to rebroadcast CBKA-FM La Ronge (see below):

Rebroadcasters of CBK
City of license Identifier Frequency RECNet CRTC Decision
Beauval CBKB-FM 101.5 FM Query
Buffalo Narrows CBKD-FM 103.5 FM Query
Cumberland House CBKV-FM 94.9 FM Query
Denare Beach CBKO-FM 94.3 FM Query
Fond du Lac CBKG-FM 100.1 FM Query
Île-à-la-Crosse CBKC-FM 105.1 FM Query
Island Falls CBKN-FM 105.1 FM Query
La Loche CBKE-FM 95.5 FM Query
Meadow Lake CBKM-FM 98.5 FM Query
Montreal Lake CBKL-FM 93.3 FM Query
Patuanak CBKK-FM 105.5 FM Query
Pelican Narrows CBKW-FM 105.9 FM Query
Pinehouse Lake CBKJ-FM 94.1 FM Query
Regina CBKR-FM 102.5 FM Query 99-459
Saskatoon CBK-1-FM 94.1 FM Query 2006-84
Southend CBKP-FM 91.7 FM Query
Stanley Mission CBKI-FM 95.5 FM Query
Stony Rapids CBKH-FM 93.3 FM Query
Uranium City CBDH-FM 105.1 FM Query

Community-owned rebroadcasters[edit]

Rebroadcasters of CBK
City of license Identifier Frequency RECNet CRTC Decision
Wollaston Lake VF2040 91.9 FM Query
Athabasca Hydro Station VF2280 88.1 FM Query 94-614

Though separately licensed, CBKA-FM in La Ronge is a full-time satellite of CBK. Until 2009, that station produced its own noon-hour show and regional news updates, although it aired both The Morning Edition and The Afternoon Edition.[1]

Local programming[edit]

The station's local programs are The Morning Edition in the mornings from 6 a.m.-8:30 a.m. CST, Blue Sky from 12 noon-1 p.m. CST and The Afternoon Edition in the afternoons from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. CST.

In Saskatoon, CBK-1-FM 94.1 has carried its own local morning program, Saskatoon Morning, in place of The Morning Edition, since 2013. It airs from the CBC's Saskatoon bureau in the Affinity building at 100-128 4th Avenue South in downtown Saskatoon. Saskatoon Morning began streaming online on April 29, and began airing on 94.1 in September after the CBC won Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approval to move the program over-the-air. For the rest of its broadcasting day, it carries the same programming as CBK.[2]


External links[edit]