Some background on CKXU
CKXU began as CKUL in 1972, when a public address system was set up in Section A of University Hall at the University of Lethbridge to broadcast musical content inside the building from mid-morning to early afternoon. The station was managed by a three-member executive under the auspices of the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union.
The CKUL Radio Society was incorporated in October 1977, to govern the affairs of the station, and a year later the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted the society a licence to broadcast at 530 AM. Even in those early days, the Board of Directors of the station began examining the possibility of a move to the FM band by increasing the number of daily broadcast hours and developing the long-term income streams necessary to fund such an operation.
At the time, broadcasting at a mere 25W, the AM transmitter was of such low power that it was drowned out by the time it reached the parking lot of the university, by a station originating in Montana. However, the move to AM still represented a major step forward in the development of the station. CKUL was now a bona fide radio station, broadcasting 65 hours per week with 25 DJs rather than irregularly with only a handful of programmers.
Although the station began broadcasting on cable FM in 1988, a switch to FM was considered ideal and the CKUL Radio Society began this process. In 2003, the CRTC approved the application to operate a new English-language community-based campus FM radio station in Lethbridge. CKUL’s call letters were changed to CKXU, and on April 8, 2004, the station began to broadcast at 88.3 FM to the city of Lethbridge and the surrounding area from a 125W transmitter located on top of the Students’ Union Building at the University of Lethbridge. CKXU 88.3 FM now broadcasts for more than 168 hours per week, year-round, with a volunteer core of over 100 members.
In 2012 CKXU officially became a partner of the Alberta Emergency Alert and now provides emergency news updates to listeners during an emergency with information provided by AEMA. During this year CKXU also received a license renewal to extend their ability to transmit to the Lethbridge area on 88.3 FM.