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ICI Radio-Canada Première.svg
City Windsor, Ontario
Branding Ici Radio-Canada Première
Frequency 1550 kHz (AM)
Format News/Talk
Power 10,000 watts
Class A
Transmitter coordinates 42°12′56″N 82°55′15″W / 42.2156°N 82.9208°W / 42.2156; -82.9208
Callsign meaning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Essex County French
Former frequencies 540 kHz (1970-2013)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Sister stations CBEW-FM, CBE-FM, CBET-DT
Website Radio-Canada

CBEF is a Canadian radio station, broadcasting at 1550 AM in Windsor, Ontario. It airs the programming of Radio-Canada's Première network. CBEF is a Class A station broadcasting on the clear-channel frequency of 1550 AM, and is the only full power station on this frequency in Canada.

CBEF was launched in 1970. It originally broadcast at 540, until taking over English sister station CBE's frequency in 2013 after that station converted to the FM band.


The station's regional morning program is Matins sans frontières and the station airs the pan-regional afternoon program L'heure de pointe Toronto from CJBC in Toronto. On Saturday mornings, the station airs the provincewide morning program Grands Lacs Café, Hosted and produced in Sudbury, with additional contributions from staff in Toronto.[1] The provincewide programs airs on CBON and CJBC, as well as CBEF in Windsor. On all public holidays, the morning show Matins sans frontières airs as usual and afternoon shows L'heure de pointe Toronto from CJBC, or Ça parle au Nord from CBON-FM in Sudbury are heard provincewide (except Ottawa).

In the CBC's programming cuts announced on March 26, 2009, almost all of the station's local programming was slated for cancellation, meaning that the station had become effectively a rebroadcaster of Toronto's CJBC except for a skeleton staff of two anchors to present local news updates during the day and report on breaking news.[2] A local lobby group, SOS-CBEF, organized to oppose the cutbacks,[2] but their request for an injunction against the change was denied in July due to the presiding judge ruling that she did not have the appropriate legal jurisdiction to issue an injunction.[3]

Matins sans frontières, a one-hour local morning program hosted by Charles Lévesque, was reinstated from September 7, 2010, and in May 2013 was expanded to two hours; as of Summer 2015, it expanded to three hours. The station continues to rebroadcast CJBC in other local programming blocks.

At the CRTC's license renewal for the CBC's services in 2013, the commission directed the network to maintain at least 15 hours per week of local programming on CBEF during the 2013-18 license term, due to the lack of other French-language radio services in Windsor.[4]


The station also has a rebroadcast transmitter (CBEF-1-FM) in Leamington, on 103.1 FM. Due to AM reception issues in downtown Windsor, CBEF was also approved by the CRTC to operate a 620-watt rebroadcaster in Windsor at 105.5 MHz, provided that does not interfere with stations at or near this frequency, such as WQQO in Toledo, Ohio or WWCK-FM in Flint, Michigan. The callsign for the new rebroadcaster at 105.5 FM is CBEF-2-FM. As of April 1, 2012, CBEF-2-FM is on the air.

In May 2012, the CBC filed with the CRTC seeking permission to move CBEF to CBE's previous transmitter and frequency of 1550 AM at 10,000 watts,[5] and to establish a low-powered FM rebroadcaster (CBEF-3-FM) at 98.3 MHz in Sarnia.[6] The change was requested due to concerns that rust may be affecting the now-obsolete facility, and that nearby hydro (electric) lines were also affecting its signal. The move, as requested, was approved by the CRTC on October 16, 2012; the station was given until October 16, 2014 to either implement the move or request an extension beyond that date.[7] CBEF began simulcasting on, and transitioned entirely to 1550 AM in November 2012.

Despite the Class A designation and a clear-channel frequency, CBEF broadcasts on a directional signal to the northeast, to protect another Class A clear-channel, XERUV-AM Xalapa, Mexico, as well as smaller stations operating on that frequency (the closest being WLTI in New Castle, Indiana and WDLR in Delaware, Ohio).

On September 1, 2016, the CBC applied for permission to move their transmitter in Sarnia (CBEF-3-FM) from 98.3 to 101.5 MHz. The technical parameters for the move include a constant power of 1886 watts and a height of 107.4 meters EHAAT on the same tower as CKCI-FM. This would improve the station's coverage throughout Sarnia and the immediate Port Huron area, though it may be subject to co-channel interference from WWBN from Flint, Michigan in the fringes of its listening area to the west of Port Huron. The station would also become short-spaced to WRVF in Toledo, Ohio also on 101.5, as well as CKNX-FM in Wingham, Ontario on 101.7 and CKOT-FM in Tillsonburg, Ontario on 101.3 MHz.[8] The CBC's application to move CBEF-3-FM to 101.5 MHz (with a change in power from 2320 to 1,886 watts) was approved on February 3, 2017.[9] On May 28, 2018, CBEF-3-FM moved to 101.5 MHz.


Rebroadcasters of CBEF
City of license Identifier Frequency Power Class RECNet CRTC Decision
Leamington CBEF-1-FM 103.1 FM 1,000 watts A Query
Windsor CBEF-2-FM 105.5 FM 620 watts A Query
Sarnia CBEF-3-FM 101.5 FM 1,886 watts A Query

See also


  1. ^ Grands Lacs Café
  2. ^ a b "CBEF backers fighting cutbacks". Windsor Star, June 20, 2009.
  3. ^ "French CBC backers lose court case". Windsor Star, July 16, 2009.
  4. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-263 and Broadcasting Orders CRTC 2013-264 and 2013-265". Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, May 28, 2013.
  5. ^ https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/DocWebBroker/OpenDocument.aspx?AppNo=201206318
  6. ^ https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/DocWebBroker/OpenDocument.aspx?AppNo=201206558
  7. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-568 CBEF Windsor – Technical change and new transmitter in Sarnia, CRTC, October 16, 2012
  8. ^ https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/DocWebBroker/OpenDocument.aspx?AppNo=201608986
  9. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-36, CBEF-FM Windsor – New FM transmitter in Sarnia, CRTC, February 3, 2017

External links

  • Radio-Canada
  • CBEF AM historyCanadian Communications Foundation
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for CBEF
  • Radio-Locator Information on CBEF (technical parameters still reflect CBEF's old frequency at 540 AM)
  • Radio-Locator Information on CBE (features technical parameters for 1550 AM)
  • Query the REC's Canadian station database for CBEF
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