CISA-DT, Global, Lethbridge

Corus Entertainment Inc.

StationYearChannelNetwork AffiliateOwner/Info
CISA-DT20167.1GlobalCorus Entertainment Inc.
CISA-DT20117.1 (7)GlobalShaw Media
CISA-TV20007GlobalCanWest Global
CISA-TV19997IndependentShaw/CanWest Global
CISA-TV19907IndependentWestern International Communications
CFAC-TV719897IndependentWestern International Communications
CFAC-TV719767IndependentSelkirk Holdings
CJOC-TV19727CBCSelkirk Holdings
CJLH-TV19677CBCSelkirk Holdings
CJLH-TV19557CBCLethbridge Herald/Taylor Pearson Carson


Norman Audley Botterill
Norm Botterill

Channel 7 was allocated to Lethbridge, Alberta. A station here could operate with an effective radiated power of 182,500 watts video / 61,260 watts audio with antenna height of 668 feet above average terrain.

Lethbridge Television Ltd. applied for a television licence at Lethbridge and received approval by the CBC Board of Governors for the operation of a new television station. It would broadcast on channel 7 with an effective radiated power of 102,800 watts video and 57,500 watts audio. A directional antenna pattern would be used, with antenna height of 668 feet.

CJLH-TV went on the air November 20th, on channel 7 (167 kW video and 33.4 kW audio) from studios and a 638 foot tower outside what was then Lethbridge city limits. Norman Botterill was Geneal Manager. The station was a joint venture of CJOC-AM and the Lethbridge Herald. Management was supplied by Taylor Pearson & Carson, the owners of CJOC. The “CJ” in the call sign came from CJOC and the “LH” represented the Lethbridge Herald. A CBC affiliate, the network programs (about two thirds of their schedule) arrived via kinescopes a few days or up to a week after they had originated live in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver or from the U. S. Networks (CJLH joined CBS as a secondary affiliate).

Local programming consisted of News Weather and Sports, along with shows such as “Channel 7 Spotlight” showcasing area talent; “Remember When”, a series of programs hosted by Harry Baalim using slides, pictures and relics to tell the history of Southern Alberta. Many old timers were guests on that show; “Home Gardener” featured many experts in the field demonstrating proper horticultural technique.

Ad: We are ON! CJLH-TV Lethbridge, Alberta – channel 7 – 171,500 watts video, 79,700 watts audio. More than 2500 sets at air date. Full live camera facilities now operating. Are you with us?

Three months after the station went on the air, the BBM measurement service showed that CJLH-TV had a potential audience of 9,400 homes, but within a year that number had grown to 19,200, – and of those, 16,000 had already acquired TV sets. The station was the only signal available in the area at the time.


CJLH-TV had one studio at this time – 48 feet by 68 feet. The station was on the air for seven and a half hours a day. About one hour of that daily programming was devoted to live production. Channel 7 had a staff of 35 full-time employees plus six free-lancers, coming mostly from the local radio station and newspaper.


Ownership of Lethbridge Television Ltd. – Lethbridge Broadcasting Ltd. 48.5%, Lethbridge Herald Co. Ltd. 48.5%, H. P. Buchanan 0.5%, D. W. Buchanan 0.5%, G. M. Bell 0.5%, H. E. Pearson 0.5%, H. R. Carson 0.5% and N. A. Botterill 0.5%. Lethbridge Broadcasting Ltd. was controlled by H. R. Carson, H. E. Pearson and J. M. Taylor (Taylor, Pearson & Carson) while Lethbridge Herald Co. Ltd. was controlled by members of the Buchanan family.

Hugh P. Buchanan was president of the company and Norman Botterill was CJLH-TV’s manager. The station was a basic affiliate of the CBC and had an effective radiated power of 171,000 watts video and 85,500 watts audio.


The microwave arrived with a connection to the CBC network and the Calgary time-delay centre, which eliminated the Eastern Time problem for network programs, except for live sports events such as hockey and football. 

Georgia Fooks hosted “With Georgia” on CJLH-TV. 

Ad slogan: To “hit home” in Alberta you must reach third base! CJLH-TV Lethbridge…where green acres turn gold. 


Ad: Mr. Media Buyer looks at the Lethbridge market and finds it ripe for picking! CJLH-TV Lethbridge.

Kay MacLeod was host of The Kay MacLeod Show. CJLH-TV had a teen program: Bob & Talk.

CJLH was owned by Selkirk Holdings & FP Publications. Under a share transfer arrangement, station manager Norman Botterill would become a director of Lethbridge Television Ltd. to avoid the theoretical impass that could result from the 50-50 ownership deal. This change was approved by the BBG. 

Bill Matheson was a program host. Sam Pitt, CJLH-TV’s production manager, left in October for the new CFCF-TV in Montreal. He joined CJLH-TV in 1957 from CHCH-TV in Hamilton. 

The BBG turned down colour telecasting for now. There was mixed reaction to the decision. Norm Botterill said, “The origination of colour is expensive. It would be considerable time before sufficient colour sets in the area would warrant even film or tape colour shows”.


CJLH-TV expanded its coverage to the south and west – into the Crow’s Nest Pass area – with a re-broadcasting station at Burmis on channel 3.


CJLH-TV applied for a transmitter at Brooks, operating on channel 3 with a directional transmitter power of five watts. The application was approved later in the year.

CFCN Television Ltd. applied for a rebroadcast transmitter at Lethbridge. CJLH-TV (Lethbridge) offered conditional rental of their facilities for CFCN for its proposed operation. Stipulation: CJLH wanted to tie itself to CHCT so the Calgary station could feed much of the CBC’s programming to Lethbridge. CJLH said in this way an alternative service could be provided and the Lethbridge studios could become a production centre for two stations. The CBC requested that CHCT use channel 10 in Lethbridge so channel 13 could be reserved for future CBC plans. The applications were deferred. The BBG wanted to hear an application by CJLH to operate as a part-time rebroadcaster of CHCT.


CFCN again applied for a Lethbridge transmitter which would receive programming over the air from Calgary. It would also offer programming on a part-time basis from studios in Lethbridge. They proposed to operate on channel 13 with an effective radiated power of 36,700 watts video and 7,340 watts audio. Antenna height would be 582 feet (EHAAT) and a directional pattern would be used. Lethbridge Tvsn Ltd. (CJLH) propoased to operate as a part-time rebroadcaster of CHCT Clagary. It would continue to offer local programming and take CBC programs from CHCT, plus some feature films and syndicated material. It was likely to keep its staff and studios functioning. The close tie-in with CHCT would save money for the small station by eliminating duplication in many areas. CFCN would produce six hours and 45 minutes of local programming for Lethbridge. CJLH now turned out 14 hours a week of regularly scheduled local programs. This might be trimmed slightly when sharing facilities with CFCN begins. CJLH did not expect local content to fall below 10 hours per week.
CJLH also submitted an application to transfer 37,601 shares to Selkirk Holdings Ltd., a holding company which also operated CJOC-AM in Lethbridge. The shares would be sold by the Lethbridge Herald, the daily newspaper which held a majority control of CJLH. The transfer was approved. At this time, CJLH also operated CJLH-TV-1 Coleman and CJLH-TV-3 Burmis.

CFCN-TV Lethbridge signed on the air on September 3. CFCN-TV and CJLH-TV had a five year agreement that would allow CFCN to share space for technical equipment on the CJLH tower and in the CJLH building.

The first 2″ black and white video tape recorder was installed.

A rebroadcast transmitter at Brooks (channel 3) extended the signal north and east.


The station became operational, greatly increasing production with a two-camera set-up.


CJLH-TV changed its call sign to CJOC-TV, and continued to develop local programming with shows like “Time Out”, Ski Reports”, “Our Town”, “Sunday Hour”, “Thought for the Day”, “Focus on University”, “College Campus” and numerous specials.


The joint operation of CFCN-TV-5 Lethbridge by CJOC-TV and CFCN-TV came to an end. CFCN took full control of CFCN-TV-5.


CJOC-TV went full colour with two studio cameras and three colour one-inch VTRs. CFCN moved out of the building into its own quarters.


CFAC-TV in Calgary, a sister station also owned by Selkirk was granted independence from the CBC Network, and there was great cooperation between the two stations when CFAC Calgary was put on cable in Lethbridge to protect the national advertisers.

The CBC applied for rebroadcast transmitters at Lethbridge and Waterton Park to replace CJOC-TV which intended to disaffiliate from the network.


In September, CJOC-TV disaffiliated from the CBC Television Network. It would become known as CFAC-TV-7. The station increased its power to 167,000 watts video and 33,400 audio.

Programming was still the most important item on the station’s books. “Ski West”, which began life as a talking-heads in-studio show had grown in scope and stature, and was syndicated to CHCH-TV Hamilton and BCTV Vancouver. It was judged best syndicated show in the country, which prompted CFCF-TV Montreal to buy it. Three of the station’s proudest productions were “We Won’t Let Him Die” (in 1983 won the CanPro Founders award) and its productions of “Kids Belong Together” in 1990 and “Key to Literacy” in 1992, each won the CAB Gold Ribbon Award for community involvement.


CFAC-TV-7 had its licence renewed but the CRTC suggested the station re-instate its late evening local newscast.


CFAC-TV-7 began to market itself with sister station CFAC-TV Calgary. They were known simply as “2&7” for channel 2 Calgary and channel 7 Lethbridge.


CFAC-TV-7 received approval for a an increase in effective radiated video power from 96,100 watts to 167,000 watts and a change of antenna site.

Operations from the new transmitter site began later in the year. Effective radiated power was now 167,000 watts video and 33,400 watts audio.


On July 21, approval was granted for the transfer of 200 Class B voting shares of Selkirk Communications Ltd. from Southam Inc. to John T. Ferguson, and subsequently, the transfer of these shares from Mr. Ferguson, together with 200 Class B shares from each of seven other individual shareholders, to the Canada Trust Co., pursuant to a voting trust agreement. Southam held 20% of the voting shares and approximately 28% of the non-voting shares of Selkirk Communications. Selkirk owned the following broadcast companies: Selkirk Broadcasting Ltd., Lethbridge Television Ltd., Calgary Television Ltd., and Niagara Television Ltd.


Fred Filthaut left CFAC-TV Lethbridge as assistant general manager to become station and operations manager of STV Regina.

Doug Fraser left CFAC-TV Lethbridge as news director to become associate editor at CKND-TV Winnipeg.


Kendall Gibson was operations manager at CFAC-TV7.

CFAC-TV7 won three awards at Can Pro ’87: news (mini-series), Newsfirst – Branding; specials (music/concert/variety), Stille Nacht; and series (sports and outdoors), 2&7 Battleground.


When Maclean Hunter bought Selkirk Communications ltd., CFAC-TV7 was purchased by WIC Western International Communications Ltd. to join the Westcom TV Group Ltd.


In March, the call sign was changed to CISA-TV (Independent Southern Alberta Television).

In October, construction began on expansion and renovation of CISA-TV’s facilities.


The construction/renovation work and equipment upgrades were completed, at a cost of $1.8 million. Another $500,000 was to be spent on the equipment upgrading program during the remainder of license term.

With all of the changes over the years, CISA-TV now reached far beyond Lethbridge, covering southwestern Alberta and reaching into southeastern British Columbia for a total audience of about 225,000.


Norman Botterill, the first General Manager of CJLH-TV died.


On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CISA-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.

On March 8, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CISA-TV by authorizing the licensee to add the transmitter CHPC-TV-1 Pincher Creek. The programs of CISA-TV had been broadcast in Pincher Creek on CHPC-TV-1 licensed to The Pincher Creek Community Centre Hall Society, which requested revocation of its licence. The Commission noted that as a result of this approval, the residents of Pincher Creek would continue to receive this service.


Doug MacArthur left CISA-TV. He had been news director.


Westcom TV announced plans to cut 95 jobs as part of “restructuring” following the licensing of new competitors in B.C. and Alberta. Following the elimination of 46 positions already, 51 would be cut at BCTV in Vancouver and Victoria; another 44 would be lost at WIC’s four Alberta stations. CEO Art Reitmayer said the jobs would be phased out gradually and he hoped most affected workers would take early retirement or buyouts.

Marcia Morash was named news director of CISA-TV.

Emily Griffiths, president of Western Broadcasting and controlling shareholder of WIC, retired on the third anniversary of her husband Frank’s death. She said she had always intended to leave at age 75. Mrs. Griffiths remained with the company as chairman emeritus. She was succeeded on the board of directors by Edmondo Giacomelli.


The Griffiths family holdings in WIC Western International Communications Ltd. were sold, subject to CRTC approval, to Shaw Communications Inc. and CanWest Global Communications Corp.


Following months of negotiation, agreements were filed with the CRTC on the split of WIC assets between CanWest Global, Corus Radio (formerly Shaw Radio), and Shaw Communications. 

WIC Television Alberta restructured RDTV Red Deer and CISA Lethbridge, resulting in the loss of 19 full-time positions at CISA (by mid-June) and 13 full-time slots at RDTV. At CISA, general manager Jim McNally, a 19-year veteran at the station, was included. He planned to start his own commercial production company. Most other CISA jobs affected were from local sales and commercial production. At RDTV they were primarily from production. 

Peter Deyes was promoted from News Director to General Manager. Glen Young was Vice President of Sales for CISA-TV, ITV Edmonton, RDTV Red Deer and Calgary 7.


Following an April hearing in Vancouver, in July, the CRTC announced the approval of the purchase of WIC Television by CanWest Television, which included CISA-TV Lethbridge.


Approval was granted for the transfer of ownership of CanWest MediaWorks Inc. through the transfer of the beneficial ownership of CanWest Global Communications Corp., the parent corporation of CMI, from Mrs. Ruth Asper to David, Gail and Leonard Asper, holding together, through their personal holdings, 88.95% of the voting rights of CGCC.


On May 15th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for all of CanWest’s Over-The-Air stations, including CISA-TV,  “….to give these broadcasters some flexibility during the current period of economic uncertainty.” Group-based licence renewals would then be addressed in the spring of 2010. The Commission also stated that it recognized the impracticability of imposing any conditions relative to 1-1 ratios between Canadian and non-Canadian programming in the ensuing year, given the programming commitments that were already in place.

The Commission would however continue to explore various regulatory measures “…to ensure that English-language television broadcasters devote an appropriate proportion of their expenditures to Canadian programming.” 


The CRTC approved an application by Canwest Television GP Inc. (the general partner) and Canwest Media Inc. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Canwest Television Limited Partnership for the addition of a post-transitional Digital Television transmitter for CISA-TV at Lethbridge. The new transmitter would operate on channel 7 with an average effective radiated power of 10,100 watts (maximum ERP of 19,700 watts). A directional antenna would be used. Antenna height (EHAAT) would be 201.4 metres. The existing Canwest-owned tower would be used. Programming would be delivered by microwave.

On October 22, the CRTC approved an application by Shaw Communications Inc., on behalf of Canwest Global Communications Corp., for authority to change the effective control of Canwest Global’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which will henceforth be exerciced by Shaw. This change would be effected through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shaw known as 7316712 Canada Inc. Upon the closing of the proposed transaction, Shaw, through its wholly-owned subsidiary 7316712 Canada, would become the sole owner of Restructured Canwest and of CWI, and would acquire control of all broadcasting undertakings currently controlled by Canwest Global. Shaw ascribed a total value of $2.005 billion for the acquisition of all broadcasting assets controlled by Canwest Global and initially proposed a tangible benefits package in the amount of $23 million. 

Events leading up to the October 22, 2010 decision: On October 6, 2009, Canwest Global, along with its operating subsidiary Canwest Media Inc. and certain other subsidiaries, filed for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, R.S.C. 1985 c. C-36, as amended. At the beginning of November, Canwest Global, with the assistance of RBC Capital Markets, initiated an equity solicitation process to identify potential new Canadian investors. On February 19, 2010, after arm’s length negotiations between Shaw, Canwest Global and the Ad Hoc Committee (comprised of holders of over 70% of the 8% senior subordinated notes issued by Canwest Investments Co., due 2012), Canwest Global’s board approved Shaw’s offer. On March 31, Shaw filed an application with the CRTC for approval of its acquisition of effective control of the conventional and specialty television undertakings indirectly owned by Canwest Global. Under that original offer, Shaw was to subscribe for Class A Voting shares representing a 20% equity and 80% voting interest in Restructured Canwest for a minimum $95 million in the aggregate. On May 3, Shaw scquired from Goldman Sachs & Co. affiliates 29.9% of the voting shares and 49.9% of the common non-voting shares in the capital of CWI. On May 4, Shaw advised the CRTC that, pursuant to an amendment to the March 31 application, Shaw’s indirect equity interest would be 100% of Restructured Canwest. Shaw also advised that, in addition to acquiring the shares of CWI indirectly held by Canwest Global, it would acquire, by way of an option, the remaining shares in the capital of CWI, held by Goldman Sachs entities, immediately following Commission approval of the application. On May 18, Canwest Global filed an application for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization for restructuring purposes, as contemplated in the document entitled “Plan of Compromise, Arrangement and Reorganization”, of the Canwest Global licensed broadcasting subsidiaries pursuant to the CCAA, resulting in the issuance of new broadcasting licences. On July 28, at the end of the CCAA Proceedings, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rendered an Order approving the Plan. 

On October 27, Shaw Communications announced it had reached the final stage in its purchase of Canwest’s television operations. There would be a gradual shift of branding to Shaw Media, and the company would gradually retire the Canwest name. Shaw would also close the Canwest corporate headquarters in Winnipeg. Shaw announced a new management team for the broadcasting division. It would be headed by Paul Robertson, who previously served as president of Shaw-controlled Corus Entertainment’s television division and oversaw the purchase of the Canwest assets. 


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 Commission said it would consider the applications for renewal of the broadcasting licences for the major English-language private conventional television ownership groups, by taking into account the determinations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167. These applications were announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2010-952 and would be heard at a public hearing to be held on 4 April 2011 in Gatineau, Quebec. Shaw Television G.P. Inc. (the general partner) and Shaw Media Global Inc.(the limited partner), carrying on business as Shaw Television Limited Partnership (The limited partner changed name on 3 December 2010 from 7509014 Canada Inc. to Shaw Media Global Inc.). The CRTC noted that it does 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. In addition, the Commission imposed the following condition of licence on the stations that operate in mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets: Unless otherwise authorized by the Commission, the licensee shall not transmit analog television signals after 31 August 2011 in mandatory markets designated as such by the Commission in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-184 or transmit television signals on channels 52 to 69. The Commission also noted that, pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-69, it does not intend to renew, beyond 31 August 2011, authorizations for the transitional digital transmitters included in the broadcasting licences of the licensees set out in the appendix to this decision. 

On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CISA-DT Lethbridge and its transmitters CISA-TV-1 Burmis, CISA-TV-2 Brooks, CISA-TV-3 Coleman, CISA-TV-4 Waterton Park, and CISA-TV-5 Pincher Creek, until August 31, 2016.

CISA-TV channel 7 left the air on July 27 and was replaced the following day by CISA-DT channel 7 (virtual channel 7.1). CISA was the first TV station in Alberta to convert to digital – well ahead of the mandatory market deadline of August 31. 


Senior Global News team changes: Boston Kenton, the Senior Director, National News and Global Vancouver Station Manager, was promoted to VP, BC and National News; Mike Omelus, the Eastern Regional Director responsible for Global Maritimes, Global Montreal and Global Winnipeg, was promoted to Senior Director, Southern Alberta; Tim Spelliscy, the Regional Director, News, AB and Station Manager at Global Edmonton, was promoted to Senior Director, Edmonton and Prairie Region; and Ward Smith was promoted from News Director/Station Manager at Global Toronto to Senior Director, Eastern Region. Boston continued responsibility for all national and foreign news operations, including the Ottawa Bureau and The West Block, as well as all BC news operations, including CHBC/Global Okanagan; Omelus moved to Calgary and was responsible for all Global News operations in Calgary and Lethbridge, and would work with Shaw on community engagement strategies and develop models for delivering Global News to new markets; Spelliscy continued to oversee operations at the Edmonton production centre, and had new responsibilities for Global Saskatoon, Global Regina and Global Winnipeg; and Smith remained in charge of Global Toronto as well as Global Montreal and Global Maritimes, as well as the Network Resource Centre based in Toronto. Moving to Vancouver and reporting to Boston was Jeff Bollenbach, the Station Manager/News Director at Global Calgary. He would work preparing the new BC regional 24/7 news channel (BC-1) for its anticipated launch on March 1.


On March 23, the CRTC approved an application by Shaw Communications Inc. on behalf of Shaw Media Inc. and its licensed subsidiaries, for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization by transferring all of Shaw Communications’ shares in Shaw Media to Corus Entertainment Inc. or one of its subsidiaries. Since the creation of Corus in 1999, the Commission had regarded the two companies to be effectively controlled by J.R. Shaw and this reorganization wouldn’t change that. The deal was expected to close on April 1.

In early April, Corus Entertainment completed its $2.65 billion acquisition of Shaw Media. Corus now had 45 specialty TV services, 15 conventional TV channels, 39 radio stations, a global content business, and a portfolio of digital assets.


On June 13, the CRTC approved the deletion of the following CISA-DT rebroadcast transmitters at the request of Corus Entertainment Inc. – CISA-TV-1 Burmis, CISA-TV-2 Brooks, CISA-TV-3 Coleman, CISA-TV-4 Waterton Park, and CISA-TV-5 Pinchere Creek.

In the fall, Global Lethbridge officially opened the doors to new studio space in the city’s downtown core on 7th Street South. The station moved from its original home on 28 Street North, where it had been broadcasting from since November 1955.

The story continues elsewhere…
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