The X Turns 20!! [part 1]

On April 2, 2021 CFBX 92.5 FM, the home of campus/community radio in Kamloops, will be turning 20, after launching FM operations in 2001. Station Manager, Brant Zwicker tells us, “CFBX actually started out with a campus-only closed-circuit broadcast in 2000, using the following months for a CRTC application, facility renos and equipment acquisition. When the ‘switch’ was thrown the next year – that was probably the biggest rush in the station’s history to date – the station boasted the first campus developmental (‘learner’) FM licence in Canada, and output of a monstrous five watts.

Brant Zwicker Station Manager at CFBX

“The X applied for and received its full FM licence in 2004, though financial constraints did not allow for a new transmitter at the time. Cable carriage and website streaming followed soon after., and the boost in power to the station’s current 420 watts was happily made in 2008.”

Program Coordinator Steve Marlow picked his favourite moment from these twenty years. “My favourite memory of the past 20 years at CFBX is probably the first day we went on the air. I remember getting up early that day, Monday, April 2nd, 2001 around 7:30 AM, so I could listen to the station go on the air for the first time. I turned on my radio at 7:45, listening to the static and “splatter” from other stations nearby on the FM band.

Steve Marlow Program Coordinator

Then, around 7:55, the static and splatter disappeared as CFBX turned on its transmitter. At 8:00 AM, CFBX broadcast its very first station ID then the first song ever played live on CFBX, “Lakes of Ponchartrain” by the Be Good Tanyas. I was doing my journalism degree at the time, so I went to class, then dropped by the station to see everyone. The entire volunteer base hanging out at the station were happy and grinning ear to ear. “Sign on” was a great day, and set the scene for the next 20 years!”

Another big evolution in terms of the community service provided by CFBX was the 2013 addition of an automation system to keep the station on the air overnight and to maintain programming on a 24/7 basis. No more shutting down at midnight. In 2020, of course, CFBX was not spared by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the station moved to fully automated status at noon on March 18th. We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel in early 2021, however, and the station is slowly returning to limited live programming [as of Feb 1, 2021], ever mindful of the protocols that are required for safe operation.”

So, on April 2, 2021 CFBX-FM, 92.5 The X, will turn 20. Bring on the balloons, cake and bubbly as we look forward to the next twenty years! Part 2 will look at content and events provided by CFBX over the years.