This week in Canadian media history: First French-language radio station in North America launches
The Canadian government began granting radio broadcasting licences to private enterprises in the 1920s.
By Aeman Ansari, Reporter
The Canadian government began granting radio broadcasting licences to private enterprises in the 1920s. The introduction of radio was gradual with poor transmission reception and a limited number of receivers. CKAC, the first French-language radio station in North America, was inaugurated by La Presse on Oct. 2, 1922, although regular programming began on Sept. 27. Movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were present when this station—a combination of news and talk—hit the air on the 730 AM frequency. This opened the door for other daily newspapers in Canada to obtain broadcasting licences. Publications such as the London Free Press, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald went on to start their own radio stations.
With research from the Canadian Communications Foundation and the Encyclopedia of Radio, edited by Christopher H. Sterling.