CBC Radio One

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CBC Radio One
Type Radio network
Country Canada
Availability AM/FM: Canada
Satellite: Canada, United States
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Launch date
Former names
CBC Radio (1936–44, 1962–97)
Trans-Canada Network (1944–62)
Official website
CBC Radio One

CBC Radio One is the English-language news and information radio network of the publicly owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is commercial-free and offers both local and national programming. It is available on AM and FM to 98 per cent of Canadians, and is also available overseas through Radio Canada International, over the Internet, and through mobile apps.

A modified version of CBC Radio One, with local content replaced by additional airings of national programming, is also available on Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel 169. It is downlinked to subscribers via both Sirius XM Canada and its U.S.-based counterpart, Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Current listening figures for CBC Radio One stand at 4.3 million listeners each week. It is the largest radio network in Canada.[1]


CBC Radio began in 1936, and is the oldest branch of the Corporation. In 1949, the facilities and staff of the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland were transferred to CBC upon Newfoundland's entry into Canadian Confederation.

Beginning in 1944, the CBC operated two English-language radio services: the original network became the Trans-Canada Network, and a second network, the Dominion Network, was established with CJBC in Toronto as its flagship. With the exception of CJBC, all 35 stations on the CBC Dominion Network were privately owned affiliates. Its programming tended to be lighter than that of the Trans-Canada Network, carrying more American programming in its schedule. As well, the Dominion Network operated only in the evenings, freeing affiliates to air local programming during the day.

In 1962, the Dominion Network was dissolved and within a few years CJBC became a French-language station broadcasting the programming of Radio-Canada.

In 1960, the CBC began running distinct programming on its three existing FM English-language stations, which were previously providing simulcasts of programming on its AM stations. The stations, located in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, broadcast a monoaural FM signal. Programming consisted mostly of classical music. The stations were linked by CN/CP Telecommunications via land-line and microwave. This service was discontinued in 1962, but resumed in 1964 in stereo. Eventually, a national satellite-distributed network of stereo FM stations was established. In 1975, the FM network was branded CBC Stereo, and the AM service was designated CBC Radio.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CBC Radio increased its current affairs and documentary content with an initiative known as the "Radio Revolution", using more ambitious, live coverage of news and current affairs including listeners as well as experts. The change began with national shows such as As It Happens.[2] The change spread to CBC regional morning shows which developed three hours of live radio combining "survival information", about news, weather and traffic, with interviews and documentaries about local and national issues. CBC Radio Winnipeg was the first to embrace the format followed by Information Morning in Halifax, a move which increased audience and attracted coverage in Time Magazine.[3]

CBC Radio stopped running commercial advertising in 1974. Until 1995, the network signed off the air between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. daily – in that year, it launched an overnight program, CBC Radio Overnight, which airs international news and documentary programs.

Radio One logo, 1997–2007

Until 1958, the CBC was not only a broadcaster, but the principal broadcast regulator in Canada. It used this dual role to snap up most of Canada's clear-channel frequencies on the AM dial. However, in the 1990s, many of the CBC's AM stations moved to FM in response to complaints of poor AM reception. This meant that the old distinction between the AM "Radio" network and the FM "Stereo" network was no longer accurate, even though many of the FM "Radio" stations broadcast in mono only. As a result, in 1997 CBC Radio became CBC Radio One and CBC Stereo became CBC Radio 2. Although several Radio One stations still broadcast on AM as of 2008, most also have FM rebroadcasters in major urban centres within their broadcast area. The channel was added to the Sirus lineup in 2005 and the XM lineup in 2013.

CBC Radio One today

Until early 2007, CBC Radio One promotional spots were announced by Canadian actress Shauna MacDonald, also known as "Promo Girl". Until fall 2005, promos ended with one of two slogans: either "Because sometimes a picture needs a thousand words" or "Hear the big picture". Until early 2015, the slogan was "Canada Lives Here." Currently, there is no slogan.

Some CBC Radio One programs, such as As It Happens, air in the United States on some stations associated with Public Radio International. Definitely Not the Opera, Quirks & Quarks, The Vinyl Cafe and Q are heard on some public stations in the northern United States. Some CBC-SRC programs are relayed on Radio Canada International for listeners abroad and others, such as the 2010 summer program Promised Land, have aired on Sirius Satellite Radio.

CBC Radio One stations

Although each Radio One station broadcasts to a large geographic region through a network of rebroadcasting transmitters, only stations which are licensed as separate broadcast undertakings are listed here. Rebroadcasting frequencies are noted in each station's separate article. Most of these stations are primary production centres (that is, stations which directly produce at least one local program), while other stations' local programming simply consists of local news updates.


† Station has a "nested" FM rebroadcaster in home market


CBC Radio One schedule

Most schedules include hourly news readings that run from 6–12 minutes on the top of the hour except for major programming like the 6 p.m. news show and Cross Country Checkup. Some mid-day programs include only brief 90-second "information updates".

On statutory holidays, local programming is replaced by special provincial programming or regional programs are broadcast provincewide on a rotating basis. In the summer months of July and August, some programming is temporarily shortened and/or replaced by special summer series. During the CBC's recent labour dispute, most of the schedule was temporarily replaced by a mix of repeat airings of recent CBC programs, BBC World news programming and music from the CBC service Galaxie.

Stations in the Canadian territories air a significantly different schedule with expanded local programming that includes a number of programs in local Aboriginal languages. They still air most, but not all, of the core CBC Radio One schedule, although some programs may air in abbreviated versions. See CBC North for further information.

On January 17, 2007, the CBC announced some changes to the network's schedule to begin in April. Among them, Freestyle and The Arts Tonight were merged into Q, an arts magazine show hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, Global Village was discontinued and some of its features were merged into Dispatches, and Between the Covers moved exclusively online as a podcast.[4] Reasons given for the schedule changes are said to be based on audience research, however some negative reaction has been seen.[5][6]

It was announced in March 2009 that The Inside Track, Outfront, The Point and In the Key of Charles would be cancelled, and that the noontime local shows would be reduced to one hour.[7]

More recently, the network has also begun airing some programming syndicated from American public broadcasting services such as National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Public Radio Exchange, including This American Life,[8] Radiolab and the news series The World and The State We're In.

Sirius XM

The Radio One feed on Sirius XM Satellite Radio largely follows the Eastern Time schedule, and has no local programming, with repeats of other shows in time slots that would normally be occupied by local programming. As a consequence of using a single feed, most national programming outside the Eastern Time Zone is heard earlier or later than the regional outlet on terrestrial radio - for example: The World at Six is heard on Sirius XM as early as 3 p.m. Pacific Time in Vancouver, and as late as 7:30 p.m. Newfoundland Time in St. John's.

Programs produced by NPR and PRI are not heard on CBC Radio One's Sirius XM service, as these are covered by channels programmed by NPR and PRI. In addition, the programs featured on CBC Radio Overnight are not heard on the Sirius XM feed. In these cases, as with the regional programming slots, repeats of earlier national programs are heard, as well as some CBC Radio 2 programming (such as Deep Roots).


Many CBC Radio programs are also distributed in podcast versions. In addition, the service has also created several programs which are distributed exclusively as podcasts. Current original podcasts include Campus, a program devoted to stories about college and university student life, and Back Story, in which foreign correspondents talk about the news stories they have covered.[9] Selected episodes from the podcast programs may also sometimes air terrestrially on CBC Radio One as substitute programs, such as when a regularly scheduled program is preempted due to a statutory holiday.


The network's base schedule is noted here, and applies only to CBC Radio One's regional outlets. Scheduling of weekend programs highlighted in red varies from station to station due to time zone differences created by the fact that Cross-Country Checkup airs live across Canada.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
6:00 Local morning programs
World Report at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00
Local weekend programs
World Report at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00
8:30 The Current
9:00 The House The Sunday Edition
10:00 q Day 6
11:00 Because News The 180
11:30 Because News
(3:30 NT)
The Doc Project
(3:30 NT)
The Debaters
(3:30 NT)
This Is That or The Irrelevant Show
(3:30 NT)
Q cont'd except Newfoundland
This Is That or The Irrelevant Show
12:00 Local noon-hour programs Quirks & Quarks The Vinyl Cafe
National Research Council Time Signal (1:00 ET)
1:00 The Next Chapter Unreserved The Story from Here The Vinyl Cafe Stories Ideas in the Afternoon White Coat, Black Art Spark
1:30 The Debaters
2:00 The 180 Your DNTO Spark Rewind Canada Live Podcast Playlist Tapestry
3:00 Cross Country in an Hour Writers & Company Quirks & Quarks Tapestry My Playlist Definitely Not the Opera Writers & Company
4:00 Local afternoon programs
The World This Hour at 4:00 and 5:00
The Next Chapter Cross Country Checkup
(Live at 4 p.m. ET)
5:00 Regional arts magazines
6:00 The World at Six The World This Weekend
6:30 As It Happens Laugh Out Loud White Coat, Black Art
7:00 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Unreserved
8:00 The Current Review Rewind
9:00 Ideas Saturday Night Blues Inside the Music
10:00 Q Backstage with Ben Heppner
11:00 Quirks & Quarks The Vinyl Cafe The Story from Here Podcast Playlist Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap À Propos This American Life
12:00 As It Happens: The Midnight Edition The House Sunday Edition: Round Midnight
1:00 Monocle 24 Day 6 Deutsche Welle's World Link
2:00 The World The Science Hour Future Tense
2:30 Body Sphere/All in the Mind
3:00 The Current Fifth Floor Living Planet
3:30 Africa Link
4:00 Asia Pacific Inside Europe Philosopher's Zone Asia Pacific
4:30 Heart and Soul Off Track World in Progress First Bite DW Spectrum In the Balance
5:00 World Report Rear Vision RTÉ Documentary Hour World Report
Business Daily BBC Trending Business Daily Science in Action The Why Factor
5:30 Local morning programs begin in some large markets. World Football Local morning programs begin in some large markets.
Hardtalk The Documentary Assignment Hardtalk From Our Own Correspondent

Other schedule notes

  • Weekdays: Some stations in major markets begin their local morning programs at 5:30 a.m., preempting the final half-hour of CBC Radio Overnight. Most of the same stations also begin their local afternoon programs at 3 p.m., preempting the strip of programs in the 3:00-hour.
  • Saturdays: Due to scheduling issues created by time zone differences, stations in Atlantic Canada air À Propos at 6:00 (all times Atlantic Time), The World This Weekend at 7:00, Laugh Out Loud at 7:30, Vinyl Tap at 8:00, and Saturday Night Blues at 10:00. The remainder of the Saturday schedule continues from 11:00 onward.
  • Sundays: Sunday afternoon scheduling varies from station to station, as Cross Country Checkup airs live across Canada at 4 p.m. Eastern time. Additional local arts programming is aired in Atlantic Canada during the 4:00 – 5:00 (AT) hour. The remainder of the day's schedule is pushed back by one hour, with the first hour of that night's edition of CBC Radio Overnight pre-empted.
  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, because Radio Noon starts immediately after Q, the final half-hour on Fridays does not air. Instead, an abbreviated localized version of Deep Roots airs at 3:30/3:00. Also, because On the Go starts at 4:00/3:30, the programs listed in the 3:30/3:00-hour are pre-empted. However, except for The Choice and And the Winner Is..., those pre-empted shows can be heard at other times throughout the week. And finally, the second edition of The World This Hour does not air at 5:30/5:00, instead going straight into The Fisheries Broadcast.

Shortwave relays of Radio One

Proposed CBC Radio One shortwave relay site at http://CBC.am/cbc-src.html

Two CBC Radio One stations operate shortwave relay transmitters:

Both transmitters broadcast 1 kW ERP signals on a fixed frequency of 6160 kHz. Some DXers have been able to log both transmitters simultaneously, but this is a rare occurrence due to the distance between the transmitters.

The objective of the CBC transmissions on SW is also provide information to listeners in isolated and distant parts of the country which other usual forms of broadcast or communications are not well covered. During appropriated periods of radio propagation, the signals can reach other countries, as well the reception can turn difficult in dense populated areas due Electromagnetic interference.

Notes and references

  1. "Millions of people tune into CBC Radio" Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. August 2010.
  2. Morris Wolfe, Fifty Years of Radio, CBC Enterprises (1986), p. 36
  3. "New Sounds", Time Magazine (June 1971)
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  7. "CBC cuts hit news, drama, sports, radio". cbc.ca, March 26, 2009.
  8. "CBC Radio One to air This American Life". Toronto Star, January 4, 2011.
  9. "CBC Radio One Unveils Fall Lineup". Broadcaster, September 3, 2015.

See also

External links

Live streams