Southern Manitoba Broadcasting Company (Altona, Manitoba, Canada)

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Southern Manitoba Broadcasting Company, operating radio station CFAM at Altona, Manitoba, was organized in 1956 to provide good music, agricultural information, religious services for shut-ins, and an opportunity for ethnic groups to have services in their own languages. Good music meant that no country or top ten music was played. First licensed in November 1956 for 1,000 watts, in 1958 the power was increased to 10,000 watts and CFAM could be heard by 95 per cent of all Manitobans, the second most powerful station in Manitoba.

The company was owned by 28 shareholders, with Abe J. Thiessen, the largest shareholder, serving as president and radio station manager. Walter E. Kroeker was commercial manager, Les Garside was operations supervisor and Dennis Barkman was production manager.  Other prominent shareholders were D. K. Friesen, P. Brown, J. M. Froese, J. Hooge, C. C. Neufeld, Walter E. Kroeker, and G. H. Fast.  In 1964 the company opened CHSM in Steinbach and in the following year, Walter Kroeker, by now president of the company, appointed Elmer Hildebrand station manager of CFAM and CHSM, succeededing Dennis Barkman who had acquired an interest in some British Columbia radio stations.

By 1974 the company had expanded beyond Manitoba and changed its name to Golden West Broadcasting. During the 1970s the company was purchased by Elmer Hildebrand, who served as president until 2008. In 2008 the company owned 28 radio stations.


Wedge, Pip. "Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.: Station Group History." Canadian Communications Foundation. April 2008. (accessed 2 October 2008).

Author(s) Peter Brown
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published October 2008

Cite This Article

MLA style

Brown, Peter and Richard D. Thiessen. "Southern Manitoba Broadcasting Company (Altona, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2008. Web. 17 May 2021.,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=85137.

APA style

Brown, Peter and Richard D. Thiessen. (October 2008). Southern Manitoba Broadcasting Company (Altona, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 May 2021, from,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=85137.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 589. All rights reserved.

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