CFRN-DT, CTV, Edmonton
|CTV Television Network
|Baton Broadcasting Inc.
Sunwapta Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CFRN-AM), William Rea Jr. (CKNW New Westminster) and Edmonton Television Ltd. (financed equally by CHED Ltd. [CHED-AM] and Edmonton Broadcasting Co. Ltd. [CJCA-AM] which was 40% owned by Taylor & Pearson Broadcasting Ltd. and 60% by Southam Co. Ltd.) all applied for a television station at Edmonton, using channel 3. Sunwapta proposed an effective radiated power of 23,900 watts video and 14,300 watts audio. Antenna height would be 480 feet above average terrain. The Rea application called for an ERP of 4,530 watts video and 2,260 watts audio. Edmonton Television sought approval for 32,800 watts video and 19,700 watts audio. The CBC Board of Governors deferred all three applications to a later date. The board said the applications required further study but a decision would be reached following its next meeting. Later in the year the CBC re-heard the Edmonton TV applications again. The Board approved the Sunwapta application…mainly because the company was entirely locally owned and operated. Sunwapta was the Stony Indian word meaning “radiating waves”. Dick Rice, head of Sunwapta, was a pioneer Edmonton broadcaster who put the city’s first radio station on the air – CJCA – in 1922. He later moved on to start CFRN-AM in 1934 and then CFRN-FM in 1951.
In May, Dr. G.R.A. “Dick” Rice hoped the first test signals from CFRN-TV would take place sometime in August and regular telecasting of programs would start in September. A late spring break-up in northern Alberta had delayed the start of construction. Rice proposed a daily program schedule to start at 1:30 p.m. with test pattern, running through to 11:00 p.m. Live studio broadcasts, newscasts and sports programs would be a major part of the schedule.
Ad for General Electric regarding CFRN-TV: 1st in Northern Alberta. 27.4 kW video 13.7 kW audio. There were 200,000 potential viewers in the main coverage area.
CFRN Television began broadcasting at 3:00 p.m. on October 25th. It operated on channel 3. The station’s launch featured a live presentation from the transmitter room, using a single camera. CFRN-TV was Alberta’s second television station. The transmitter and tower were located beside the one-storey studio building, six miles west of Edmonton. The tower was 488 feet high and a six-bay antenna was used. The main studio was 45 x 55 feet with a 20 foot ceiling. Being far from the U.S. border there were no other TV signals available and receiver set sales soared as the station began programming as a basic affiliate of the CBC, receiving these programs on a delay basis via kinescope film.
Frank Harris entered the television business in August, with CFRN-TV, just as the station was getting ready to open. He was an account executive.
Sidney S. Lancaster was named CFRN-TV program director and Bruce D. Alloway was appointed sales manager. Some of the other staffers: Isobel McDonald (publicity), Eric Candy (producer/writer for radio and TV), Al Shaver (sports), Ernie Afaganis (sports), and Frank Ivy (Edmonton Eskimos coach – hosted a weekly show). When CFRN-TV opened, there was a staff of 15. There were now over 30 employees.
Canadian Professional Football games, including the Grey Cup final, would be seen live from Vancouver on inter-connected Eastern stations. Delayed telecasts would be seen on all other stations on either the Sunday or Monday following the game. The 10 connected stations in the East were: CBLT, CBOT, CBMT, CHCH, CFPL, CKCO, CKLW, CKWS, CHEX, and CKVR. These stations would carry 20-26 games. Fourteen games would be seen on CKSO, CJIC and CFPA…stations not connected to the microwave. In the West, seven stations would carry kinescopes of the games to be played in Western Inter-provincial Football: CBWT, CKX, CKCK, CFQC, CHCT, CFRN and CBUT.
George Kidd became program manager at CFRN-TV. He had been with CFRN radio since 1954.
In December, two years after its inaugural telecast, CFRN-TV increased power to 180,300 watts video and 90,400 watts video. With this increase, CFRN-TV claimed to be the most powerful VHF all-directional television station in the world. Its new signal area increased from a radius of 60 miles to 90 miles and the fringe coverage area extended to a radius of 120 miles.
S. S. (Sid) Lancaster was appointed manager of CFRN-TV. He had been actively supervising the TV station since it opened. He had been with CFRN Radio.
In May, CFRN-TV fed the first Alberta network program – the official opening of the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
The live network arrived via microwave in time for the World Series of Baseball.
Ownership of Sunwapta Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: G. R. A. Rice 99.8%, Mrs. J. C. Rice 0.1% and D. Atkinson 0.1%. Dick Rice was president of the company. Sid Lancaster was CFRN-TV’s manager. Don Brinton was production manager and Bill Hogle was news director.
George Kidd hosted Talk of the Town. Walter Hartwig was director of photography. Laura Lindsay was a program hostess (Homemaker Show) and Dave Neima was an announcer. Harry Farmer, organist, pianist, orchestra leader, joined CFRN as musical director. He would co-ordinate every phase of the music activities of CFRN Radio and Television.
CFRN-TV took cameras into the Alberta Legislature on February 18 and telecast live, the legislative session, and fed it to a network of other private Alberta TV stations (via microwave)…CHCA-TV, CHCT-TV, CJLH-TV and CHAT-TV.
Ad slogans: CFRN Radio (Dial 1260 – Channel 3) Television. / Canada’s best for television test – CFRN-TV channel 3 Edmonton.
President and general manager G.R.A. Rice said CFRN-TV completed an engineering study into the possibility of operating satellite station in northern Alberta. The technical briefs would be presented to the CBC and Department of Transport. Rice said that the plan had a two-fold purpose…of improving service to fringe areas and carrying television to more remote, rural areas.
139 microwave units across Canada went into operation on July 1, carrying TV signals 3,900 miles over the longest microwave network in the world. The CBC’s Dominion Day program “Memo to Champlain” inaugurated the system. The network linked together Canada’s 40 privately owned TV stations and 8 CBC stations, providing live TV to 80% of the Canadian population between Victoria, B.C. and Sydney, N.S. Newfoundland was expected to be on the network in 1959. The CBC, in cooperation with CFRN-TV Edmonton, CKCK-TV Regina, CKLW-TV Windsor and CHSJ-TV Saint John, used the inaugural program as an electronic travelogue to visit 15 Canadian cities. The microwave network was called the Trans-Canada Skyway.
Frank Harris left for CJDC-TV Dawson Creek in August.
Ad: Now 48.5% of all Alberta homes view CFRN-TV Edmonton.
CFRN-TV purchased a new Ampex VR-100B VTR and promoted it on-air as “3 TV Goes VTR”.
Ted Wadson was CFRN-TV’s chief engineer.
The CBC received approval for a television station in Edmonton. As a result, CFRN-TV would become an independent station.
Dick Rice was president and general manager. Sid Lancaster was manager. George Kidd was program director. Ted Wadson was chief engineer. Dan Kauffman joined CFRN-TV as production manager.
CFRN-TV purchased an Ampex Videotape television recorder, enabling the station to show all current events conveniently.
Members of the newly licensed second television stations formed the Independent Television Organization with the expectation of creating a second television network in competition with the CBC. ITO officers: Richard E. Misener of CFCF-TV (president), Ralph Misener of CJAY-TV (vice president), Charles Baldour from CFTO-TV (secretary) and E. L. Bushnell of Bushnell Broadcasting (treasurer). Elected directors: Finlay MacDonald (president of CJCH), Paul L’Anglais (vice president of CFTM-TV), Gordon Love (chairman of CFCN), G.R.A. Rice (president of CFRN) and Art Jones (president of CHAN-TV).
The BBG turned down colour telecasting for now. There was mixed reaction to the decision. CFRN’s Sid Lancaster said, “I do not see much point in pressing the introduction of colour television into Canada at the present time”.
In June, re-broadcasting stations were established at Edson and Carrot Creek.
September 30th, was the last telecast as a CBC affiliate, with that network establishing its own station in Edmonton.
October 1st, CFRN-TV became an affiliate of the CTV Network via microwave network in hours when the CBC was not using it, and time-delaying programs via videotape.
In August, a second channel on the microwave became available with the time-delay videotaping being done by CFCN-TV in Calgary.
Bruce Alloway became CFRN-TV’s station manager. He had been general sales manager.
William H. (Bill) Hogle died February 13. He was CFRN-TV’s news and public affairs director. Hogle joined the station in 1957 from the newspaper business.
CFRN-TV received approval for a rebroadcast transmitter at Whitecourt. The Board of Broadcast Governors liked the fact that CFRN and CBXT may possibly use a common tower for the retransmitters proposed by both stations.
CFRN’s proposal for a repeater at Ashmont was delayed because CKSA-TV had also applied for a transmitter at this location. CFRN’s application was later approved.
At this time, CFRN-TV had an effective radiated power of 180,300 watts video and 90,400 watts audio, and operated rebroadcast transmitters CFRN-TV-1 at Carrot Creek (channel 9), CFRN-TV-2 Edson (channel 12) and CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt (channel 7). Dr. G. R. A. Rice was President of Sunwapta Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
Network colour transmission started September.
The rebroadcasting stations at Whitecourt and Ashmont went on the air.
CFRN-TV received approval for a rebroadcast transmitter at Lac la Biche, operating on channel 6 with a transmitter power of 5 watts (directional). It would receive its programming off air via CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont.
Slogan: The largest audience of any Western Canadian television station.
CFRN-TV received approval to operate rebroadcast transmitters at Grande Prairie (channel 13 with 32 watts video and 6.4 watts audio, directional) and Peace River (channel 3 with 2,400 watts video and 240 watts audio, directional). The Grande Prairie transmitter would receive programming over-the-air from CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt, while the Peace River transmitter would have the new Grande Prairie repeater as it’s program source. Programming would be received over-the-air.
The Grande Prairie and Peace River transmitters went on the air.
Local colour facilities for program and commercial production were installed.
Ad: CFRN-TV Edmonton, Alberta. Now 12% more coverage. Western Canada’s largest television audience.
The Red Deer rebroadcast transmitter went on the air.
When CFRN-TV’s licence was renewed, the following transmitters were included: CFRN-TV-1 Grande Prairie, CFRN-TV-2 Peace River, CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt, CFRN-TV-4 Ashmount and CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer.
CFRN-TV-5 (not included in the above renewal) at Lac La Biche, received approval to increase effective radiated video power from 49 watts to 1,225 watts and to change from channel 6 to channel 2.
Over the years, the original building housing the TV studios has been expanded three times, and by 1975, “Broadcasting House” contained all of Sunwapta Broadcasting Limited stations, CFRN-AM, CFRN-AM and CKXM-FM.
The mobile colour television unit became operational.
Bruce Alloway became vice president of Sunwapta Broadcasting. He had been station manager of the company’s CFRN-TV.
A rebroadcaster was approved for Lougheed, operating on channel 7 with power of 5,000 watts (video).
Sunwapta started sponsoring the Edmonton Symphony “Pops” concerts, and in 1980 was awarded the Financial Post Business in Arts Award.
Bruce Hogle was news director. He’s been with the station for 23 years.
The CRTC urged CFRN-TV and Calgary’s CFCN-TV to develop quality productions for national broadcast on the CTV network. The two stations had established a joint production fund, with each contributing $50,000. CFCN-TV had also increased its local programming budget and planned to spend additional money on new equipment. The Commission wanted the two stations to allocate further resources to production, including pilots of network caliber, to reflect the changing social and cultural environment of Alberta.
CFRN news was known as Eyewitness News.
Warren Michaels was a reporter. Allan Watson was a news cameraman.
Bruce Alloway became vice president and general manager of CFRN-AM-TV and CKXM-FM. George Kidd was named manager of CFRN-TV.
George Thomas Kidd, station manager at CFRN-TV, died February 18 at the age of 52. He had been associated with CFRN Radio and Television since 1954.
George Churchill was named manager of CFRN.
Jack Little was named station manager. He had been general sales manager.
Alan Mabee became national sales manager.
Five western CTV affiliates announced they would join forces for the production of quality TV dramas. Initially, resources of up to $2 million would be pooled by CFRN Edmonton, CFCN Calgary, CFQC Saskatoon, CKCK Regina and CKY Winnipeg. The stations hoped to obtain additional funds from Telefilm Canada for ongoing drama production in the prairie region.
CFRN-AM-TV/CKXM-FM news director Art Kennard became vice-chairman of the national editorial committee at Broadcast News.
Alan Mabee was promoted from retail sales manager to general sales manager.
Jack Little was station manager.
Bruce D. Alloway, president of Sunwapta Broadcasting, announced the appointment of Stan Knaga as manager of engineering. Knaga had been with the company since 1977 as assistant director of engineering. He succeeds E.W. (Ted) Wadson upon his retirement from the company on June 1.
On April 8, the CRTC approved the sale of CFRN-TV-AM and CKXM-FM by Sunwapta Broadcasting Ltd. to CAP Communications Ltd. of Kitchener, ON. Sunwapta was controlled by Dr. G.R.A. Rice, who has had a distinguished history in Canada’s broadcasting industry. He was involved in Edmonton broadcasting since 1922, placing him amongst the earliest pioneers in Canadian broadcasting. Both Sunwapta and Dr. Rice have won a number of awards over the past 54 years, including several Gold Ribbon awards from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Under Dr. Rice’s leadership, Sunwapta established a reputation of public service and involvement in the local community. CAP was the licensee of CKKW, CFCA-FM CKCO-TV Kitchener, and was indirectly effectively controlled by Mr. J.A. Pollock. Dr. Rice retired when Sunwapta was sold but would continue to serve as honorary chairman.
W.D. McGregor, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Sunwapta Broadcasting, announced the appointment of Bruce E. Cowie as president and chief operating officer of Sunwapta. Cowie had been with CKCK-TV in Regina where he had been president. He was also president of Harvard Communications. Cowie was a director of the CTV Television Network; past president of both the Saskatchewan and Western Association of Broadcasters; and founding chairman of Can Pro. He was the WAB Broadcaster of the Year in 1981. Cowie succeeded Bruce D. Alloway who was retiring after 33 years with Sunwapta. He became president of the company earlier this year.
Manager George Churchill left the CFRN stations to start Churchill Marketing.
Doug Main left CFRN-TV to try out politics.
Large scale renovations of the Sunwapta Broadcast Centre begun two years ago were completed at a cost of about $9 million. Electrohome chairman John Pollock was on hand for the grand opening on June 1. The staff of 250 had worked in 5,000 square metres on three floors. That was expanded to 7,400 square metres on three floors. The original building was started over 30 years ago and just kept growing. First it was a TV studio and a few offices, then more offices, another studio, then radio control rooms, more offices, FM control rooms, new equipment connected to old, and building additions and subdivisions… Over time an Edmonton landmark emerged – a huge log cabin style building housing TV and AM. FM had outgrown the main building in 1971 and was relocated to an outbuilding that was over 50 years old. While the recent project was underway, FM control and studios were moved to the lobby of the Convention Centre in downtown Edmonton. It stayed there until January. AM and AM-FM production kept their basement locations. All that really remains of the old building is the foundation and the central core of two TV studios.
Soon after the purchase by Electrohome, the Sunwapta name disappeared and the station was legally CFRN Television – a division of Electrohome. Long time Edmontonians still reminisce about such programs as the Noon Show of the 1950s-60s with Don Brinton, Ed Kay, Norris MacLean and George Kidd. Morning Magazine started when the station went on the air in 1954 with Laura Lindsay who was followed by Virginia Macklin. It became Day by Day with Terry Lynne Meyer who was replaced in 1994 by Seanna Collins. This show halted production June 30, 1996. CFRN-TV is proud of its news heritage and the fact they were the first TV station to do editorials. They were started by news manager, Bill Hogle and continued by Bruce Hogle.
CFRN-TV established regional newscasts with reporters/photographers located in Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray and Red Deer. Twice each weeknight, regional newscasts within the body of Eyewitness News were simultaneously directed to the three aforementioned areas of Alberta. Thus the fine philanthropic pattern established by Dick Rice continued under the Electrohome umbrella.
George Churchill, former manager of CFRN, died in January at age 57.
Electrohome sold the two radio stations CFRN-AM and the former CKXM-FM, now CFBR-FM to Standard Broadcasting of Toronto.
Dr. G.R.A. Rice died in Edmonton on February 25 after a short illness. He was 92. In addition to helping build CJCA-AM, and then his own Edmonton radio and television stations (CFRN), Rice served as president of the Western Association of Broadcasters, and was chosen Broadcaster of the Half Century by the WAB in 1984. He also served a term as chairman of the CAB. In 1984 he was selected to the CAB’s Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and received RTNDA Canada’s President’s Award for his contributions to the industry.
CFRN-TV-11 Jasper signed on the air.
Seanna Collins joined CFRN-TV to succeed Terry Lynne Meyer as host of Day By Day, an hour long program about entertainment and other happenings in the provincial capital. Collins had been with CHED Radio for six years, the last four as co-host of the morning show.
A rebroadcaster was added at Athabasca…operating on channel 13 with a power of 4,000 watts.
Electrohome moved Alan Brooks from CKCO-TV Kitchener to CFRN-TV as program manager. Barry Close became marketing and promotion manager.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFRN-TV by adding to the licence the following condition of licence: In addition to the 12 minutes of advertising material permitted by subsection 11(1) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the licensee may broadcast more than 12 minutes of advertising material in any clock hour in a broadcast day, in order to broadcast infomercials as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1994-139 and in accordance with the criteria contained in that public notice, as amended.
Electrohome and Baton Broadcasting entered into a Strategic Alliance which saw both groups receiving CRCT approval to share ownership of the CFCN-TV operations in Calgary and Lethbridge: the six Saskatchewan TV stations previously owned by Baton alone; and Southern Ontario stations in Kitchener, London and Windsor, all previously solely-owned by Electrohome or Baton.
Leslie Miller joined CFRN’s Eyewitness News team as co-anchor on September 11. She had been with CICT-TV Calgary. Hockey announcer Dennis Beyak joined CFRN-TV on the same date.
CFRN-TV expanded its lunch time news show to one hour on September 5.
CFRN-TV laid off 20 employees in the closing of Panther Productions, its commercial production unit. Vice president and general manager Fred Filthaut said CFRN-TV would no longer do higher-end commercial work or technical production of Edmonton Oilers games.
CFRN-TV vice president and general manager Fred Filthaut was appointed acting president of Electrohome Broadcast Group, and executive president/general manager of Electrohome-Baton TV West Inc. He continued to be based in Edmonton. Sales Manager Allan Mabee became acting general manager of CFRN-TV.
News anchor Katherine Mistol left the station after eight years to anchor the news at KFSN-TV in Fresno, California. Reg Thomas became news director. He had been with Global Toronto.
CFRN-TV closed its in-house Evergreen Productions. Producer Fred Vos and five others were laid off as a result.
Baton and Electrohome merged, with Baton assuming Electrohome’s stations in exchange for Baton Shares.
CTV cut 131 full-time jobs (199 people and 12 vacant positions), about 6% of its workforce. Most were from local stations, including CJOH, CKCO, CFRN and CFCN-5 (Lethbridge). About 65% were in management, administrative, and operations.
CFRN-TV announced that it was keeping the first half of its late night newscast live then re-running the 6 p.m. show. New director Reg Thomas said, “… if nothing has changed in a news story since 6 p.m., we’ll repeat the story in the second half of the late-night news.” CBXT said they’d pre-taped the late-night news for the past year because of cutbacks. Sports was live, but most of the late night news was taped after finishing the 6 o’clock show. There was a news crew on call if something happened. At ITV and A-Channel, late news shows ran live.
Rumours had many of the big media companies eyeing CTV.
In a surprise move, late in February, BCE (Canada telephone giant) through its subsidiary BCE Media, proposed to purchase CTV Inc. for $ 2.3 billion, the largest transaction in Canadian broadcasting.
Later in March the CTV board approved the deal, which required CRTC approval.
In June BCE submitted their brief to the CRTC with the largest “benefits package” ever presented to the regulative body. The benefits, money allocated over the proposed seven year licence term, were almost entirely to be spent on new Canadian programming. Ivan Fecan agreed to stay with the network under BCE ownership.
The CRTC hearing was held in September and was approved on December 7th.
By this time, CFRN-TV operated CFRN-TV-7 Lougheed; CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt and its transmitters CFRN-TV-1 Grande Prairie, CFRN-TV-2 Peace River, CFRN-TV-8 Grouard Mission, CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake and CFRN-TV-11 Jasper; CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont and its transmitters CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche and CFRN-TV-12 Athabasca; and CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and its transmitter CFRN-TV-10 Rocky Mountain House.
Co-anchor Shawna Randolph, after 11 years with CFRN-TV, decided to leave the station and the business.
On October 3rd, CFRN-TV was rebranded as CTV Edmonton.
On July 21, the CRTC approved an application for ownership restructuring by Bell Globemedia (BGM), parent company of CTV, stemming from a deal in December 2005 that saw two new investors added to the company. Thomson family’s Woodbridge Co. Ltd. increased its stake in BGM to 40 per cent from 31.5 per cent, while BCE Inc. reduced its holding to 20 per cent from 68.5 per cent. Two other investors were added to the deal, including Torstar Corp. and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, each with 20 per cent.
On December 14th, it was announced that effective January 2007, Bell Globemedia would be renamed CTVglobemedia Inc.
September 7 marked Steve Hogle’s last day and the end of an era. Up to then, there had been a Hogle at CFRN-TV since 1956. Grandfather Bill Hogle was News Director until his death in 1965, when his son Bruce took over, and Steve was already in the News department when Bruce retired in 1996. Steve left the station to become Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs of the Alberta Research Council.
Norris McLean died at age 76. The former CFRN-TV announcer and weatherman joined the AM/TV combo in 1963 and stayed until the early ’80s, then moved across the road to CITV and stayed through to his retirement in 1993.
It was expected that, by summer, CTV Calgary would host master control for most of the Western Canadian CTV stations: four in Saskatchewan, three in Alberta, CTV Vancouver and BC Interior feeds.
On August 6, the CRTC approved an application by CTV Television Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language television programming undertaking in Red Deer (CFRN-TV-6) and a transmitter in Rocky Mountain House (CFRN-TV-10). The transmitter serving Red Deer would operate on channel 8 with an average effective radiated power of 22,000 watts (maximum ERP of 71,000 watts with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 289.9 meters). The transmitter serving Rocky Mountain House would operate on channel 12 with an average ERP of 420 watts (maximum ERP of 1,600 watts with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 168.5 meters). The applicant stated that it would offer one hour each week of distinct local programming on CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and rebroadcast the programming of CFRN-TV Edmonton the rest of the time. The Commission noted that the transmitters CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and CFRN-TV-10 Rocky Mountain House were attached to the licence of CFRN-TV Edmonton. Accordingly, the Commission would remove those transmitters from CFRN-TV Edmonton’s licence upon issuance of the licence for the television station approved in this decision. An amended licence reflecting this change would be issued to CFRN-TV Edmonton.
On August 12, the CRTC approved the application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its subsidiary CTV Television Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the television programming undertaking CFRN-TV Edmonton in order to add a digital transmitter in Edmonton. The new transmitter would operate from the existing CFRN-TV tower on channel 12 with an average effective radiated power of 16,000 watts (maximum ERP of 25,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 228.1 metres).
On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control. Condition: enhance local news in Western markets – incremental new local morning newscasts and programming content in Edmonton – 3 hours x 5 days per week; additional incremental news programming in Edmonton – 5 p.m. local newscast, 1 hour x 5 days per week.
On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.
On March 29, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for a number of conventional television and transitional digital television stations until August 31, 2011. The CRTC noted that it did not intend to renew authorizations for full-power analog transmitters operating in the mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets beyond August 31, 2011. By that time, the Commission expected licensees to have the necessary authority to broadcast in digital.
BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the Sympatico.ca portal.
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CFRN-DT Edmonton and its transmitters: CFRN-TV-1 Grande Prairie, CFRN-TV-2 Peace River, CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt, CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont, CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche, CFRN-TV-7 Lougheed, CFRN-TV- 8 Grouard Mission, CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake, CFRN-TV-11 Jasper, and CFRN-TV-12 Athabasca. The renewal also included CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and its transmitter CFRN-TV-10 Rocky Mountain House. The licence would expire August 31, 2016. Additional condition of licence for CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont and its transmitters CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche and CFRN-TV-12 Athabasca; CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and its transmitter CFRN-TV-10 Rocky Mountain House; and CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt and its transmitters CFRN-TV-1 Grande Prairie, CFRN-TV-2 Peace River, CFRN-TV-8 Grouard Mission, CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake and CFRN-TV-11 Jasper: the licensee may substitute on CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont, CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt, for each hour of original station-produced programming broadcast exclusively on the undertaking each week, separate commercial messages in that hour, on each undertaking, for those broadcast by CFRN-TV Edmonton, up to a maximum of 6.5% of the commercial availabilities. Additional commitment for CFRN-TV Edmonton The Commission notes the licensee’s commitment to broadcast 14 hours of local programming per week, averaged over the broadcast year.
The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.
August 31 was the final day for analog television broadcasting in mandatory markets and CFRN-DT channel 12 (virtual channel 3.1) was to replace CFRN-TV channel 3 by this date.
Glenn Kubish, director of news & public affairs at CTV Edmonton, was no longer with the station. Kubish began there five years ago as managing editor. A year later, he was promoted to succeed Steve Hogle as director of news & public affairs.
Meteorologist Richard Ozero moved from CTV Edmonton to Global Edmonton.
Jacqueline Janelle joined CTV Edmonton April 9 as the new Managing Editor. She had spent the bulk of her broadcast career at CBC Edmonton in roles that included producing the morning show.
Scott Roberts left CTV Edmonton to become CTV British Columbia reporter and back up anchor.
Jacqueline Janelle, who joined CTV Edmonton back in April as the Managing Editor, was no longer with the station. Before moving to CTV she’d spent the bulk of her broadcast career at CBC Edmonton in roles that included producing the morning show.
On October 1, CTV Edmonton launched its first full day of high-definition broadcasting.
David Fisher was the new Vice President/General Manager of CTV Saskatchewan, overseeing the CTV stations in Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and Prince Albert. Most recently, he was manager of promotions and advertising for CTV Edmonton and CTV Two Alberta.
Al McCann passed away at age 85. He was the play-by-play sports announcer was with CFRN-TV/CTV for 30 years before his retirement in 1993. Robert Daly Scott died at age 88. For over 50 years, he was a technician at CFRN Radio and Television and was a transmitter expert as well as the one to call when it came to the EMI cameras.
Peter Leonard died at age 84. He was director of art and design at CFRN-TV for over 30 years and was also a colour commentator for the NASL Edmonton Drillers.
When the CFRN-DT licence was renewed in May, CFRN‐TV‐2 Peace River, CFRN‐TV‐ 8 Grouard Mission and CFRN‐TV‐10 Rocky Mountain House were removed from the licence at the request of Bell Media.
Antonio Biamonte died in late December. He started his career in 1949 as an announcer at CKUA Edmonton. He moved on to CKXL Calgary, and later CFRN-Radio-TV, where he worked for over 20 years. One of the highlights of his career was hosting one of the first TV shows to air across the country, “Cross-Canada Barndance” with Gaby Haas, where he also appeared as a sometime vocalist. Biamonte retired from broadcasting in 1973.
George Kelso passed away on January 25. He started his career at UBC Radio, moved on to CFJC Kamloops, CHQM and CKLG Vancouver (as host of shows like “Jukebox Saturday Night” and “Lunchtime Oldies,” sometimes using the name “Jockey G”) before joining CFRN in 1964. Kelso worked both in front of the camera and in management until his retirement in 1992.
CRTC approval was given for CFRN-DT to delete CFRN-TV-11 at Jasper. CN Rail, owner of the transmitter site, told Bell to vacate the land. Because of this and the difficulty in finding replacement parts for the transmitter, it was decided that the transmitter should be shut down.
Audrey Nelson (83) passed away on April 16. She was the longtime engineering secretary for CFRN, retiring in the late 1990s.
Arvi Liimatainen (68) died on May 19. Over 40 years, he held numerous roles from studio tech to story editor, actor, broadcaster, producer and director. He was best known for producing TV series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, and Intelligence. His directing work included episodes of The Beachcombers, Jake and the Kid and Breaker High, in addition to CFRN-TV productions 3 Blondes and a Brownie, Into The Fields and Down Came The Rain.
Walter Hartwig (88) died on June 7. Hartwig was the long-time director of photography at CFRN-TV dating back to the darkroom era. He joined CFRN in the late 1950s.
Fred Hodson passed away July 5 at the age of 76. Hodson worked for more than 20 years at CFRN-TV as a producer/director. He left the station in 1977 and went on to work with former CTV Operations Manage Bill Duncan at post-production facility Video Pack, which was eventually acquired by CITV-TV.
Victor Krushell died at age 78 on September 11. Krushell spent many years at CFRN-TV as a studio cameraman. He was with the station from 1967 to 1976, and then part-time up until the early 1990’s. Krushell worked on the popular local children’s show Popcorn Playhouse, among other programs.
On July 30, the CRTC gave Bell Media permission to delete 28 analog rebroadcasting transmitters across the country. Bell stated the transmitters did not generate any incremental revenue and generally attracted little to no added viewership. The following CFRN-DT transmitters would be shut down on February 26, 2021: CFRN-TV-12 Athabaska, CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt, CFRN-TV-4 Ashmount, CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche, and CFRN-TV-7 Lougheed. CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake would close July 16, 2021.
The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.