CitySt. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Broadcast areaSoutheastern Newfoundland
Frequency640 kHz (AM)
BrandingCBC Radio One
OwnerCanadian Broadcasting Corporation
First air date
November 14, 1932[1]
Former call signs
VONF (1932-1949)
Former frequencies
1195 kHz (1932-1939)
Call sign meaning
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Newfoundland
Technical information
ClassA (clear-channel)
Power10,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
47°34′08″N 52°48′45″W / 47.56889°N 52.81250°W / 47.56889; -52.81250
Repeater(s)CBN-1-FM 88.5 MHz
WebsiteCBC Newfoundland and Labrador

CBN (640 kHz) is a public AM radio station in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It carries a news, talk and information format and is the local Radio One network affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

CBN is powered at 10,000 watts, and is a Class A station broadcasting on a clear-channel frequency, shared with KFI Los Angeles, the dominent station on 640 AM. CBN uses a non-directional antenna located off Thornburn Road near Exit 44 of the Outer Ring Road on the Trans-Canada Highway.[2] With its non-directional signal and clear-channel frequency low on the AM dial, CBN can be heard by day around most of Southestern Newfoundland. At night, with a good radio, it can be picked up through much of the Maritime Provinces and Eastern Quebec.

CBN programming is also heard in St. John's on CBN-1-FM at 88.5 MHz.[3] For listeners who have trouble picking up CBN AM 640's signal clearly in the downtown area, this "nested rebroadcaster" provides an alternative. CBN-1-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 3,162 watts.[4] This station is not to be confused with CBN-FM at 106.9 MHz, which carries the CBC Music network.


The station began broadcasting at 8 p.m. on November 14, 1932 as VONF (Voice Of NewFoundland), broadcasting at 1195 kHz, and was owned and operated by the Dominion Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of the Avalon Telephone Company (a predecessor of Bell Aliant).[1][5] In 1934, it merged with a former competitor, VOGY 840, which had also launched in 1932. The VONF call sign was retained.

On March 13, 1939, the Dominion Broadcasting Company was absorbed by the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland, the pre-Confederation public broadcaster, as its first radio station. The frequency was eventually changed to its current 640 AM.

BCN was absorbed by the CBC on March 31, 1949 when Newfoundland joined Canada.[1] The call sign was then changed to CBN.[1]

CBN used to operate 10,000-watt rebroadcaster CBNM in Marystown on 740 AM (previously 570), but this station was converted to 90.3 FM in the 1980s.

CBN is currently the largest Radio One station in eastern Canada that is still located on the AM band, along with CBY in Corner Brook, which also operates at 10,000 watts and has clear channel designation. CBN's daytime signal covers much of the Avalon Peninsula, at night, it reaches much of the eastern half of North America.

Until April 27, 2007, CBN's operations were located on 342 Duckworth Street. Those operations are currently located on 95 University Avenue, where the television operations are also based.

Local programming

The station's local shows include The St. John's Morning Show with Krissy Holmes and Ramraajh Sharvendiran, Cross Talk with Ramona Dearing, On The Go with Ted Blades, The Fisheries Broadcast with Jane Adey, and Weekend AM with Heather Barrett.

The province's other five Radio One stations (CBG Gander, CBT Grand Falls-Windsor, CBY Corner Brook, CFGB-FM Happy Valley-Goose Bay and CBDQ-FM Labrador City) simulcast most of CBN's local programming during Radio One's local programming blocks. However, some of these Newfoundland and Labrador CBC stations have their own morning show or share one with another station.

One of CBN's most popular shows in the 1930s and 1940s was The Barrelman, hosted by future Premier Joey Smallwood.

Shortwave relay

By 1940, VONF operated a shortwave relay for remote areas of Newfoundland using the call sign VONG and operating on a frequency of 9.47 MHz (later 9.48, both in the 31-meter band). A second frequency of 5.98 MHz (later 5.97, both in the 49-meter band) was launched using the call sign VONH. Eventually, VONG left the air and only VONH remained. The call sign changed to CBNX in 1949 when the AM station became CBN. The frequency was changed to 6.16 MHz in 1963. In 1965, the call sign was changed to CKZN, recognizing that, technically, the CB call sign prefix was assigned to Chile on an international basis.

In 1989, the shortwave relay began to rebroadcast CFGB-FM in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, part-time as well as CBN. Eventually, in 1994, the station no longer relayed CBN, and became a full-time rebroadcaster of CFGB-FM. Most of Newfoundland had reliable AM or FM reception by that time, so the relay's main use was now limited to the remote areas of Labrador.


CBN has the following rebroadcasters:

Rebroadcasters of CBN
City of license Identifier Frequency RECNet
Clarenville[6] CBNL-FM 93.7 FM Query
Marystown CBNM-FM 90.3 FM Query
Swift Current CBNO-FM 104.3 FM Query
Ramea CBNR-FM 95.5 FM Query
St. Alban's CBNS-FM 99.1 FM Query
Trepassey CBNQ-FM 95.3 FM Query
Fermeuse[7] CBNU-FM 104.3 FM Query
Placentia[8] CBNV-FM 94.1 FM Query
St. Vincent's[9] CBNX-FM 92.1 FM Query
Burgeo CIBB-FM 89.3 FM Query
St. John's CBN-1-FM 88.5 FM Query

CBND was used by a former low-power AM rebroadcasting transmitter in Flower's Cove, which had operated at 790 kHz in 1972 to rebroadcast the programming of CBN.[10] In 1968, CBND was approved to move from 600 to 920 kHz according to the Canadian Communications Foundation's CBN website. Its unknown when CBND signed on and when it left the air, however, there's a CBND-FM currently operating at 105.1 MHz in Postville which rebroadcasts CFGB-FM Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

CIBB-FM rebroadcasts programming of CBN, although it is owned by the Burgeo Broadcasting System.[11]

In March 2016, The CBC made the decision to put a nested rebroadcaster in St. John's. It would broadcast at 88.5 MHz with an ERP of 3,612 Watts. On July 5, 2016, the station went on-air for testing. On August 1, 2016, the CRTC approved the decision to put a nested rebroadcaster in St. John's.[12] CBN-1-FM began broadcasting on October 28, 2016.


  1. ^ a b c d "A Public Voice: Celebrating 75 Years in Public Broadcasting", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "CBC Radio One expanding to FM service in St. John's". 9 September 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "North American B.C. Stations By Calls", Radio Index. December 1935. p. 103. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-146
  7. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-105
  8. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2005-34
  9. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-145
  10. ^ Communication World Spring-Summer 1972 - Canada's Low-power Relay Transmitters - see page 47.
  11. ^ Decision CRTC 89-423
  12. ^ [1]