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Cbc radio one st-johns.svg
City St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Broadcast area Southeastern Newfoundland
Branding CBC Radio One
Frequency 640 kHz
First air date November 14, 1932
Format News/Talk
Power 10,000 watts
Class A (clear-channel)
Transmitter coordinates 47°34′08″N 52°48′45″W / 47.56889°N 52.81250°W / 47.56889; -52.81250
Callsign meaning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Newfoundland
Former callsigns VONF (1932-1949)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Sister stations CBN-FM, CBNT-DT
Website CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

CBN is a clear-channel radio station broadcasting at 640 kHz from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and is the local Radio One station of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBN broadcasts with 10,000 watts, unlike most other clear-channel, Class A stations, which broadcast with 50,000 watts. Per international agreement (NARBA), CBN is grandfathered at 10 kW and Class A, whereas the dominant station on this frequency throughout the Americas is KFI Los Angeles, which operates with 50 kW and Class A.

CBN also broadcasts at 88.5 FM in the St. John's area.[1]


The station was founded in 1932 as VONF (Voice Of NewFoundland), broadcasting at 1195 kHz, and was owned and operated by the Dominion Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of the Avalon Telephone Company (a predecessor of Bell Aliant). In 1934, it merged with a former competitor, VOGY/840, which had also launched in 1932. The VONF call sign was retained.

On March 13, 1939, the Dominion Broadcasting Company was absorbed by the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland, the pre-Confederation public broadcaster, as its first radio station. The frequency was eventually changed to its current 640 AM.

BCN was absorbed by the CBC on March 31, 1949 when Newfoundland joined Canada. The call sign was then changed to CBN.

CBN used to operate 10,000-watt rebroadcaster CBNM in Marystown on 740 AM (and previously on 570), but this station was converted to 90.3 FM in the 1980s.

It is currently the largest CBC Radio One station in eastern Canada that is still located on the AM band. A clear-channel station, it reaches much of the eastern half of North America at night.

Until April 27, 2007, CBC Radio's operations in St. John's were located on 342 Duckworth Street. Those operations are currently located on 95 University Avenue, where the television operations are also based.

Shortwave relay[edit]

By 1940, VONF operated a shortwave relay for remote areas of Newfoundland using the call sign VONG and operating on a frequency of 9.47 MHz (and later 9.48, both in the 31-meter band). A second frequency of 5.98 MHz (and later 5.97, both in the 49-meter band) was launched using the call sign VONH. Eventually, VONG left the air and only VONH remained. The call sign changed to CBNX in 1949 when the AM station became CBN. The frequency was changed to 6.16 MHz in 1963.

In 1965, the call sign was changed to CKZN, recognizing that technically, the CB call sign prefix was assigned to Chile on an international basis.

In 1989, the shortwave relay began to rebroadcast CFGB Happy Valley-Goose Bay, part-time as well as CBN. Eventually, in 1994, the station no longer relayed CBN, and became a full-time rebroadcaster of CFGB. Most of Newfoundland had reliable AM or FM reception by that time, so the relay's main use was now limited to the remote areas of Labrador.

For all intents and purposes, the province's other three Radio One stations are semi-satellites of CBN, simulcasting most of CBN's local programming (other than the morning show on weekdays) during Radio One's local programming blocks.

One of the station's most popular shows in the 1930s and 1940s was The Barrelman hosted by Joey Smallwood.


CBN has the following rebroadcasters:

Rebroadcasters of CBN
City of license Identifier Frequency RECNet
Clarenville [2] CBNL-FM 93.7 FM Query
Marystown CBNM-FM 90.3 FM Query
Swift Current CBNO-FM 104.3 FM Query
Ramea CBNR-FM 95.5 FM Query
St. Alban's CBNS-FM 99.1 FM Query
Trepassey CBNQ-FM 95.3 FM Query
Fermeuse [3] CBNU-FM 104.3 FM Query
Placentia [4] CBNV-FM 94.1 FM Query
St. Vincent's [5] CBNX-FM 92.1 FM Query
Burgeo CIBB-FM 89.3 FM Query
St. John's CBN-1-FM 88.5 FM Query

CIBB Burgeo rebroadcasts programming of CBC Radio One, although it is owned by the Burgeo Broadcasting System.[6]

In March 2016, The CBC made the decision to put a nested rebroadcaster in St. John's. It would broadcast at 88.5 MHz with an ERP of 3,612 Watts. On July 5, 2016, the station went on-air for testing. On August 1, the CRTC approved the decision to put a nested rebroadcaster in St. John's.[7]


External links[edit]