The Moose Jaw Curling Centre was electric on Friday night, as Golden West Broadcasting and the community honoured 800 CHAB for 100 years on the airwaves, as they hosted an anniversary event.
A number of past and present 800 CHAB radio personalities, dignitaries, loyal listeners, and special guests were in attendance sharing stories and memories of the iconic radio station.
Golden West Broadcasting CEO, Elmer Hildebrand expressed his excitement about CHAB’s illustrious career.
“I think CHAB was the fourth radio station to go on the air in Canada,” says Hildebrand. “They have a lot of history! There are some stories that one could write a book on some of the things that took place at CHAB.”
Hildebrand went on to say that he enjoyed watching the careers of radio personalities that got their start at 800 CHAB.
“Barrie Vice was one, Rob Carnie, Vern Traill was another. Allan Slaight, who worked at CHAB as an announcer, got to Toronto and built a broadcasting empire. There is a long list of well know household names in Canada today in the media that worked at CHAB at one time.”
The story started in 1922 - April 23rd, 1922 when, after many meetings, planning and anticipation, 10-AB began broadcasting. According to Broadcasting-History.com, the Moose Jaw Amateur Radio Association "had planned originally to operate the station, but found they couldn't afford to run it, so handed it over to the Kiwanis Club. 10-AB was licensed as a non-commercial station at 1200 kHz with 50 watts of power."
Golden West purchased CHAB 30 years ago, back in 1992, from then-owners Moffat Communications. They brought a new outlook and a new culture to CHAB in 1992 with a focus on local news, local weather and local sports - a mindset that remains to this day, 30 years later.
"If you keep it local, nobody else is doing it and so you have a product that is unique. That's what we've been able to do over the years. It's the kind of thing that just sets us apart from many other broadcasters and from my perspective, that's the only reason we're still around," Hildebrand said.
It was in 2002 when CHAB switched from country music back to rock 'n roll with the format "The Greatest Hits of All Time", as Golden West expanded its operation with the addition of a new FM country station, CILG - Country 100 - 100.7 FM.
Here’s to 100 more years of 800 CHAB!