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The origins of public broadcasting in Newfoundland and Labrador can be traced back 75 years to November 14, 1932. The Dominion Broadcasting Company - a subsidiary of the Avalon Telephone Company Limited - opened a 5,000 watt station in St. John's. The frequency was 640 on the AM dial.

At eight o'clock that evening, radio station VONF (Voice of Newfoundland) signed on the air. Ten minutes later, the Dominion Orchestra performed a concert. At 9:15, the station presented The Ridgeway Tea Program. A piano recital followed at 9:27 and at 9:43, Frank L. Barclay (aka W.F. [Bill] Galgay, the station manager) read the first edition of the Gerald S. Doyle News Bulletin.

In 1939, the Government of Newfoundland established the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland (BCN) and acquired the plant and equipment of the Dominion Broadcasting Company.

Ten years later, Confederation brought the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to Newfoundland and on April 1, 1949, VONF began broadcasting as CBN.

Throughout November, Radio Noon celebrated the 75th anniversary. Associate Producer Christine Davies joined host Ramona Dearing each Thursday for a chat about the history, the programs, and the personalities of early public broadcasting in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Voice of Newfoundland: A Social History of the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland, 1939-1949 by Jeff A Webb was published in 2008 by the University of Toronto Press.

Images below courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives and CBC Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Listen
 

Part I

Nov.1, 2007 - Background to early public broadcasting

Listen (Runs 8:17)

 

Part II

Nov.8, 2007 - Gerald S. Doyle News Bulletin
Listen (Runs 9:57)

Part III

Nov.15, 2007 - Calling from Britain to Newfoundland
Listen (Runs 7:18)

Part IV

Nov.22, 2007 - The Barrelman
Listen (Runs 10:40)

Part V

Nov.29, 2007 - The National Convention
Listen (Runs 11:15)

   

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