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For the Brazilian rugby union also known as CBRu, see Brazilian Rugby Confederation.
City of license Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast area South Coast
Branding CBC Radio One
Frequency 690 kHz (AM)
First air date 1925
Format public broadcasting
Power 50,000 watts
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 49°08′19″N 123°11′56″W / 49.138744°N 123.198774°W / 49.138744; -123.198774 (CBU 690 / CKZU 6160 Vancouver)
Callsign meaning CB VancoUver
Former callsigns CNRV (1925-1933)
CRCV (1933-1936)
CBR (1936-1951)
Former frequencies 1100 kHz (1925-1941)
1130 kHz (1941-1951)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Webcast Listen live
Website CBC British Columbia

CBU is a Canadian radio station, which broadcasts the programming of the CBC Radio One network in Vancouver, British Columbia. The station broadcasts from Steveston on 690 AM and from Mount Seymour on 88.1 FM. The station broadcasts from the CBC Regional Broadcast Centre on Hamilton Street in Downtown Vancouver.


The station was launched in 1925 as CNRV "The Voice of the Pacific" on AM 1100, owned by the Canadian National Railway radio network.[1] CNRV was acquired by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission in 1933, becoming CRCV. In 1936, the CBC was created, taking over the CRBC's operations, and CRCV became CBR. The station moved to AM 1130 in 1941 (see Canadian allocations changes under NARBA), and to 690 in 1952 when the call sign was changed to its current CBU. Power was increased from 10,000 watts to its present 50,000 watts in 1967 with a transmitter site move to the Steveston shoreline.

In 1947, an FM simulcast was launched on CBU-FM. Distinct programming on the FM station was aired for the first time in 1964.

In early 2008, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved CBU's application for a simulcast of its programming on the FM band.[2] On October 10, 2008, CBU began testing its FM simulcast on 88.1 FM as CBU-2-FM with an ERP of 19.5 kW and officially signed on soon after. Around the same time, the CBC also applied to broadcast on separate transmitters into Nanaimo, as well as the Sunshine Coast, with the intent to shut down the AM transmitter on 690 kHz if approved. The CRTC denied these other two transmitters due to the lack of available frequencies in the region.

It is also the CBC Radio One station on the AM dial to serve the largest area of population ever since CBM-AM in Montreal became CBME-FM 88.5 in 1998, followed by CBL-AM Toronto's move to the FM dial back in 1999 as CBLA-FM on 99.1 FM.

In 2011, CBC applied to the CRTC to increase the coverage area of CBU's 88.1 FM transmitter. CBC has proposed to increase the height of the antenna and to increase the ERP to 97.6 kW. The ability of increasing the signal coverage area is made possible by the fact that CHEK-DT moved from channel 6 to channel 49, as part of the over-the-air digital television transition. This CBC transmitter application was approved September 13, 2012.[3] It is not known when these changes will be implemented.

Shortwave relay[edit]

By 1946, CBR operated a shortwave relay for remote areas of British Columbia using the call sign CBRX and operating on a frequency of 6160 kHz (in the 49m band). The call sign changed to CBUX in 1952 when the AM station became CBU. In 1965, the call sign changed to CKZU, recognizing that the ITU prefix CB was not assigned to Canada, but to Chile. The transmitter operates at 1000 W and is located adjacent to CBU's AM transmitter.

Local programming[edit]

CBU's local programs are Early Edition in the mornings and On the Coast in the afternoons. It also originates the lunch-hour program BC Almanac as well as the weekend programs North By Northwest in the morning and Hot Air on Saturday afternoon, all broadcast province-wide to Radio One's stations in Victoria (CBCV-FM), Kelowna (CBTK-FM), Kamloops (CBYK-FM), Prince Rupert (CFPR) and Prince George (CBYG-FM) and their rebroadcasters.


Rebroadcasters of CBU
City of license Identifier Frequency Power Class RECNet CRTC Decision Notes
Abbotsford CBU-1-FM 88.5 FM 7400 watts B1 Query 2007-348 2010-298 49°3′8″N 122°14′58″W / 49.05222°N 122.24944°W / 49.05222; -122.24944 (CBU-1-FM 88.5 Abbotsford)
Moved to 88.5 FM August 10, 2011.
Chilliwack CBYF-FM 91.7 FM 500 watts A Query 49°6′35″N 121°50′52″W / 49.10972°N 121.84778°W / 49.10972; -121.84778 (CBYF-FM 91.7 Chilliwack)
Harrison Hot Springs CBYH-FM 96.7 FM 90 watts A1 Query 49°17′37″N 121°46′40″W / 49.29361°N 121.77778°W / 49.29361; -121.77778 (CBYH-FM 96.7 Harrison Hot Springs)
Hope CBUE-FM 101.7 FM 105 watts A1 Query 49°23′14″N 121°25′21″W / 49.38722°N 121.42250°W / 49.38722; -121.42250 (CBUE-FM 101.7 Hope)
Pemberton CBU-3-FM 91.5 FM 260 watts LP Query 50°19′39″N 122°49′20″W / 50.32750°N 122.82222°W / 50.32750; -122.82222 (CBU-3-FM 91.5 Pemberton)
Squamish CBRU-FM 98.3 FM 3,000 watts A Query 84-282 2006-275 2002-432 49°46′24″N 123°7′44″W / 49.77333°N 123.12889°W / 49.77333; -123.12889 (CBRU-FM 98.3 Squamish)
Originally 1350 AM, then 1260 AM from 1984 to 2002, then 1270 AM from 2002 to 2006.
Vancouver CBU-2-FM 88.1 FM 19,500 watts C Query 2008-252, (2012-494 for increase to 97,600 W) 49°21′11″N 122°57′23″W / 49.35306°N 122.95639°W / 49.35306; -122.95639 (CBU-2-FM 88.1 Vancouver)
Whistler CBYW-FM 100.1 FM 470 watts A Query 50°4′45″N 123°1′4″W / 50.07917°N 123.01778°W / 50.07917; -123.01778 (CBYW-FM 100.1 Whistler)

CBU's signal on 690 AM also directly broadcasts to Nanaimo and Gibsons.

Former CBU personalities[edit]

  • Anne Petrie, former host of CBU radio program 3's Company.


External links[edit]