CITV-DT, Global, Edmonton
|Corus Entertainment Inc.
|Western International Communications
For the record, Dr. Charles Allard formed Northgate Broadcasting Co. Ltd. in 1960 and filed an application with the BBG for a licence to operate Edmonton’s second television station. The licence was awarded to the CBC.
Edmonton Video Ltd. was granted a licence for a new Edmonton television station on the condition that Selkirk Holdings Ltd. withdraw its interest in the company. Competing applications from Continental Communications (Alberta) Ltd, Noral Communications Ltd., A.M. Shoults (CHQT Radio), and Western Coded Television Ltd. were denied.
Edmonton Video Ltd. (Dr. Charles Allard) was authorized to change the channel for its proposed station from 7 to 13, increase antenna height from 618 to 880 feet (non-directional) and to use a different transmitter site. Effective radiated power would remain 325,000 watts video.
CITV, Channel 13, began broadcasting on September 1. During the inaugural broadcast, a technical problem caused a video of Lloyd Robertson wishing good luck to the new station on behalf of the CBC to be shown with audio only, and a video of CRTC chairman Pierre Juneau to be shown with video only. It took 19 minutes to trace the problem, and it turned out that a transmitter wire had burnt out. The two videos were rebroadcast with both audio and video.
Dr. Allard had applied for a television license many years earlier but lost out to the CBC which was licensed to operate CBXT.
CITV’s licence was renewed for only 18 months and the station received a sharp warning from the CRTC. The commission said CITV failed to provide the essentially local service for which it was licensed and has failed to meet many of its major commitments. The station was directed to meet its original commitments to local production or risk non-renewal of licence.
The station was given a four year renewal and was commended for its efforts in local production. The CRTC noted that while expenditures were high, revenues were also above original forecasts.
Douglas Holtby became General Manager of CITV.
CITV aired local news weekdays at noon and 6 p.m. ITV News at Noon was anchored by Bill Hutchison (later of CFTO), and ITV News at 6 iwas anchored by Doug Main and Nancy Studer.
Edmonton Video Ltd. became known as Allarcom Ltd.
On May 13, Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. and Allarcom Ltd. as a co-venture, were authorized to add a transmitter for CITV-TV at Red Deer, operating on channel 10 with an effective radiated power of 180,000 watts. The CITV-TV Edmonton signal would be received at Red Deer via satellite from the CANCOM network. The new transmitter would be known as CITV-TV-1. Monarch would own and operate the station, in return for being allowed to sell 50% of the availabilities between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. It was estimated that the new station would make CITV’s signal available to twice as many people in the coverage area as now receive it via cable. At least 2.5 hours of local programming would broadcast, starting with the second year of operation. The CRTC ruled the station would not be entitled to priority carriage on cable systems serving Calgary. The joint venture had proposed a transmitter at Medicine Hat (channel 13 with ERP of 7,600 watts) as well, but the application was withdrawn.
On September 27, CITV-TV became Edmonton’s first stereo television station, with the airing of the pilot episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Previously, local TV and FM stations had teamed up to simulcast selected music concerts in stereo. And Edmonton cable companies offered an audio simulcast of the MuchMusic music video cable channel in stereo as part of their cable FM service.
On April 6, Allarcom was given approval to acquire the interest in CITV-TV-1 held by Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. Allarcom would also acquire Monarch’s CKRD-TV Red Deer and CKRD-TV-1 Coronation. CITV-TV-1 would become known as CITA-TV.
Doug Holtby left Allarcom Ltd. where he was president. He moved to Vancouver-based Western International Communications as executive vice-president. He had been with Allarcom for 16 years. Holtby was replaced at Allarcom by Chuck Allard, the lawyer son of Dr. Charles Allard.
Harold Roozen was named president of Allarcom and Charles (Chuck) Allard became president of Allarcom’s pay-TV division.
Dr. Charles Allard agreed to sell Allarcom Ltd. to WIC Western International Communications for cash and WIC shares (pending CRTC approval). Allard and his son Peter would become WIC directors. Allard said he worried about CITV surviving as a single independent station. It was felt CITV would be a natural fit with WIC’s CFAC-TV Calgary.
On February 6, the CRTC approved the applications by WIC Western International Communications Ltd., on behalf of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Westcom TV Group Ltd., for authority to acquire CITV-TV Edmonton and CITV-TV-1 (CITA-TV) Red Deer, as well as CKRD-TV Red Deer and its rebroadcaster CKRD-TV-1 Coronation, from Allarcom – effectively controlled by Dr. C. Allard of Edmonton, through his ownership of approximately 79% of Cathton. Dr. Allard had been involved in television broadcasting in Alberta for a period of almost 18 years, beginning with his establishment of the Edmonton independent television station CITV-TV. Dr. Allard, through Allarcom, acquired effective control of the Red Deer independent station CITV-TV-1, and of CKRD-TV Red Deer (CBC) and its rebroadcaster CKRD-TV-1 Coronation, in April 1989. Dr. Allard stated that the decision to divest of his interests in Allarcom was taken, in part, for estate planning purposes, but indicated that his wish to sell was also based on his concern that Allarcom, as the operator of a stand-alone independent television station, was becoming vulnerable in an industry where ownership of independent stations had seen increasing concentration and audiences had become increasingly fragmented. It was noted at the hearing, however, that Dr. Allard would continue to be involved in broadcasting as a director of WIC and as Chairman of the Divisional Boards of the Alberta television stations. Under the terms of the transaction, Dr. Allard would also acquire approximately 22.4% of the issued non-voting Class B shares of WIC. Westcom and its parent company WIC were indirectly controlled, through a voting trust agreement, by Mr. Frank A. Griffiths of Vancouver. Westcom was the licensee of the CTV-affiliated stations CHAN-TV Vancouver, CHEK-TV Victoria and their numerous rebroadcasters which, together, provided service virtuallly throughout British Columbia. Westcom was also the licensee of independent stations CKKX-TV Calgary, CISA-TV Lethbridge and their rebroadcasting stations serving much of southern Alberta. WIC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Douglas M. Holtby, was President of Allarcom for several years prior to his move to the WIC organization in 1989. At the hearing, Mr. Holtby stressed that approval of the current applications would accomplish a goal long-shared by the WIC and Allarcom organizations, that being the establishment of “a strong western broadcasting company to counterbalance eastern Canada’s dominance of the Canadian broadcasting system.”
The transfer of ownership was completed March 22. The acquisition of Allarcom made WIC Western International Communications the country’s 4th largest private television operation in terms of viewing and revenue. The company was now awaiting CRTC approval to purchase CHCH-TV in Hamilton from Maclean-Hunter.
Dr. Charles Allard died at the age of 71. He was the founder of Allarcom Ltd. He left medicine in the late 1960’s to enter the business world. By 1978 the assets of Allarco Ltd. (predecessor to Allarcom), included extensive real estate holdings in western Canada and in the U.S. He sold those interests in 1980 to concentrate on his broadcast holdings. Dr. Allard sold the broadcast properties to Western International Communications in 1990.
George Young, vice president of engineering at ITV, passed away April 17 at the age of 47. He joined Dr. Charles Allard from the CBC to help build CITV-TV. He also designed the facilities for Allard’s SuperChannel and the Allarcom soundstage.
Barry Duggan became president of CITV-TV. He had been with co-owned CKRD-TV in Red Deer since 1992.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CITV-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.
WIC named CITV’s Barry Duggan to the post of president and CEO of BCTV in Vancouver.
Art Reitmayer, president and CEO of RDTV in Red Deer was given extra duties by WIC Television. He would now be president and CEO of CITV as well. Reitmayer would also head up Allarcom Studios and Studio Post & Transfer. Wally Kirk, executive VP and GM at CITV, added the post of executive VP of programming for WIC’s four Alberta TV stations.
Jim Bagshaw became President and CEO of WIC’s Alberta television stations, splitting time between CITV and CICT. His promotion followed Art Reitmayer’s move to the position of President/CEO of BCTV.
Barry Duggan resigned as president and CEO of BCTV Vancouver, where he succeeded Ron Bremner a short time earlier. Art Reitmeyer, who was in charge of WIC’s CITV Edmonton and CKRD-TV Red Deer, succeeded Duggan, and Jim Bagshaw, who was in charge of CICT-TV Calgary, became president and CEO of all of WIC’s Alberta TV operations.
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.
WIC Television cut the following jobs at CITV: operations vice president Tom Climie, engineering vice president Mike Footz and sales vice president Craig Roskin.
Vice president of news Mark Jan Vrem was also looking after operations at CITV.
Former vice president of news, Peter Tadman, won the Progressive Conservative nomination for Elk Island.
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.
Glen Young was Vice President of Sales for ITV, RDTV (Red Deer), Calgary 7 and CISA (Lethbridge).
Following an April hearing in Vancouver, in July, the CRTC announced the approval of the purchase of WIC Television by CanWest Television, which included CITV Edmonton.
Global Edmonton news director Tim Spelliscy added station manager responsibilities. He began his career at the station 22 years ago and had been news director for about four years.
On February 26, Global Communications Limited was authorized to change the channel for CITV-TV-1 Red Deer from 10 to 2, and decreae effective radiated power from 180,000 to 15,930 watts. This would be done because Global had arranged to donate CKRD-TV-1 Coronation and CITV-TV-1 to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. At the same time, CKRD-TV would disaffiliate from the CBC network.
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 March 5, the CRTC approved an application by Canwest Television Limited Partnership to operate an English-language transitional digital television programming undertaking associated with CITV-TV Edmonton. The applicant proposed that the station simulcast the current analog programming service of CITV-TV, with the exception of up to 14 hours per week of programming that would not be duplicated on the analog service. The digital undertaking would operate from the existing CITV-TV tower on channel 47C with an average effective radiated power of 3,700 watts. The Commission did not receive any interventions in connection with this application.
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 CITV-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.”
On June 29, CITV-DT channel 47 began broadcasting.
The new General Manager/General Sales Manager at Newcap Lloydminster was Tim Weinberger, formerly of Global Edmonton. Former GM Wayne Frolick, who had been away on sick leave, fully recovered but decided to move his vocation in another direction. As well, Brian Labrie’s Regional Retail Sales Manager position was eliminated.
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.
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence for CITV-TV Edmonton to add a digital transmitter (post transitional). CITV-DT would operate on channel 13 with an average effective radiated power of 16,000 watts horizontal and 4,700 watts vertical (maximum ERP of 25,000 watts horizontal and 10,700 watts vertical) with an effective antenna height above average terrain of 228.1 metres. The existing Canwest tower would be used and programming would be received by microwave.
There was a new Senior Management Team at Global News which included station management. People with new responsibilities included: Tim Spelliscy, Regional Director, News, Alberta, and Station Manager, Global Edmonton.
It was announced that Lynda Steele, Global Edmonton’s longtime supper hour co-anchor, would leave the station in mid-2011. Steele’s husband, Edmonton’s Deputy Police Chief, would be moving to Vancouver in the new year to become the RCMP’s Assistant Commissioner responsible for British Columbia’s lower mainland. At midsummer, after Steele’s contract with Global Edmonton was up, she would also make the move.
On March 29, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for a number of conventional television and transitional digital television stations until August 31, 2011. MORE…
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CITV-DT Edmonton and its transmitter CITV-TV-1 Red Deer until August 31, 2016.
CITV completed the transition from analog to digital (CITV-DT) on August 22, when it moved from channel 47 to channel 13 (13.1) and closed down its analog transmitter. The deadline for the transition to digital in mandatory markets was August 31.
It was announced that Lynda Steele, Global Edmonton’s longtime supper hour news co-anchor, would leave the station. As of May 16, she was CTV British Columbia’s consumer reporter.
Ryan Ellis left Global Edmonton to become news director at Global Regina as of January 16. Meteorologist Richard Ozero moved from CTV Edmonton to Global Edmonton where he now worked with Nancy Carlson on the 11:00 p.m. news.
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.
Global Edmonton manager and director of the prairie region, Tim Spelliscy, received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for the “significant contributions” he’s made to the community over the nearly 40 years he’d been in the broadcast business.
Jim Elliott died at age 71. Elliott began in broadcasting as a library assistant at CKRD Red Deer while still going to school and later on, on the air. He moved to Lethbridge in the early ‘60s and worked at, first, CHEC and later at CJOC. In the ‘70s, he did drive at both CFRN and CJCA Edmonton, eventually moving into sales at CJCA. Later, he went to ITV Edmonton. In the mid ‘80s, he moved back to CHEC Lethbridge/CKTA Taber as General Manager and, in the early ‘90s (still with Shaw), Elliott was GM at CKDK Woodstock. In the late ‘90s, he went back west to the OK Group where he was in sales both in Kelowna and Fort St. John. And, it was in 2004 that he joined Newcap’s engineering group in Edmonton. Elliott and the Alberta engineering team won the Rohde & Schwarz Excellence in Engineering Award in the fall of 2011 at the annual Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) convention.
On May 9, the CRTC approved the application by Shaw Television to amend the licence for CITV-TV Edmonton in order to add a digital transmitter to replace its existing analog transmitter CITV-TV-1 Red Deer. The new transmitter would operate on channel 28 with a maximum effective radiated power of 132,000 watts (average ERP of 70,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 263.5 metres).
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.
Tim Spellicy retired as Global Edmonton station manager in the summer. He began his career in 1975 at CFGP Grande Prairie, later working at CJME Regina before a stint at CFRN-TV Edmonton. Spellicy joined ITV in 1979 as a reporter and served as the host of Oiler hockey telecasts. He went on to become news director, and then vice-president and general manager.
In March, Geoff Stickle retired from Global Edmonton after 42 years as a news photographer with the station. ENG photographer Bradley Gowan also left. He’d been with Global since 2006.
It was announced in June that Lorraine Mansbridge would say goodbye to Global Edmonton after 36 years with the station.
James “Jim” Wallace (77) died on July 4. He began his more than 50-year career in TV at CKCK-TV Regina. He went on to be hired as head of the lighting department at CITV prior to the station’s sign-on in 1974. His career also included stops at CFCN Calgary and BCTV Vancouver. Following his retirement, he continued to provide lighting expertise on commercial shoots, feature film and documentary productions in Alberta and beyond.
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.