CBUT-DT, CBC-TV, Vancouver
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
|Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
|Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
CBC engineers from Toronto were in Vancouver to look over potential television transmitter sites. It was said the initial costs in Vancouver would be around $1,000,000 and that contracts would be let in three months. The engineers said the transmitter would be at least as powerful as CBFT Montreal and would give coverage of up to 80 miles. (CBFT Montreal and CBLT Toronto had gone on the air in September)
The CBC announced plans for a $1,000,000 TV studio and transmitter development in Vancouver. The plan would include two buildings downtown and a transmitter on the North Shore Mountain. Engineers felt the CBC-TV signal would reach the east coast of Vancouver Island as far north as Comox, as well as Nanaimo and Victoria, and could put a strong signal at least to Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley. The CBC would take over two buildings, only blocks from their existing radio studios in the Hotel Vancouver. The transmitter site, 1,400 feet above the harbour across from downtown, would have a 270 foot tower, putting the antenna three times as high as the CBLT Toronto facility. A channel had not yet been decided upon but the Vancouver-New Westminster area had channels 6, 8, 10, 14, 30 and 36 available. The CBC had opened the country’s first television stations last September – CBFT Montreal and CBLT Toronto – and in addition to Vancouver, had plans at this point for stations in Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg.
Around the same time, Rogan Jones, president of KVOS-TV in Bellingham, Washington, was talking about his soon to open station and how it would use Canadian talent to quite an extent. Jones had just received a licence from the Federal Communications Commission and work on channel 12 was to begin immediately. Bellingham was about 30 miles from Vancouver and KVOS was expected to put a satisfactory signal into the area.
The Department of Transport came out with a national assignment of television channels for Canada. The CBC’s Vancouver station would operate on channel 2 and could have a maximum video power of 100,000 watts.
The CBC applied to the municipality of Burnaby (adjacent to Vancouver) for permission to put up a TV and FM transmitter on Burnaby Mountain. The original plans for a tower at North Shore were scrapped due to protests from local residents. Burnaby Council approved the application in principle but it would have to go to a public hearing because part of the land involved was in a park area. CBC regional director Kenneth Caple said equipment could not be designed until the location was definite.
KVOS-TV in Bellingham, WA, signed on the air May 1. Manager Rogan Jones said he had originally planned on a low power, low cost TV station. However, his chief engineer stumbled upon some war surplus transmitting equipment at bargain prices, so they were able to construct a high-powered station. Jones said that of the slightly over one million people expected to be encompassed by KVOS-TV’s grade B (good) signal contour, at least 880,000 would be Canadians. Vancouver would be within that range. Victoria was not expected to receive as good a signal. Three half hour shows a week of the homemaker-kitchen school type variety would be filmed in Vancouver and broadcast from KVOS. CJOR sportscaster Jack Short would give a weekly 15-minute description of horse-racing on film from a Vancouver track. Jones had other programs in mind for Vancouver viewers as well. It was estimated that there were 9,000 TV receivers in Vancouver and another 3,000 around Victoria, with antennas all aimed in the direction of KING-TV in Seattle, which had been putting a reasonable signal into these areas for some time.
Eight lots on Burnaby Mountain, outside Vancouver city limits, were leased to the CBC for $1,000 a year for a TV transmitter site. Burnaby council finally approved the application when no protests were voiced at a public hearing. The lease would run for 20 years but rent could be reviewed every five years.
The CBC’s Ken Caple said there were no plans for the CBC to broadcast the coronation on TV from a temporary transmitter on Little Mountain, in the centre of the city. Liberal MP Art Laing had proposed the idea.
William Inglis joined CBUT as a producer from CBU-AM.
At the end of its first year, CBUT upped its power from 2500 watts to 100kw V and 1500w to 60 Kw A. This was made possible by the erection of 265′ tower on the station’s site at the 2700′ level on Mt. Seymour.
Walter J. Blackburn (CFPL-TV) announced the formation of a co-operative organized to exchange TV news film among CBC and private stations. Founding members of the Canadian Television News Film Co-operative were CFPL-TV, CFQC-TV, CKCW-TV and the CBC. Membership was open to all stations.
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 Interprovincial Football: CBWT, CKX, CKCK, CFQC, CHCT, CFRN and CBUT.
The CBC would not allow Bill Rea’s CKNW-AM to advertise on CBUT. The network said it was not the type of advertising acceptable for the CBC. Rae called the decision, “bureaucratic discrimination”.
Marc Munro was CBUT-TV’s program director.
Robert H. Buhr became regional sales manager for CBC British Columbia.
At this time, CBUT was operating on channel 2 with an effective radiated video power of 47,600 watts and an audio ERP of 25,400 watts. The transmitter was located on Mt. Seymour.
William Inglis returned to CBU Radio.
Doug Dixon left CBC British Columbia after seven years. He had been program director. Dixon was now CBC assistant director of radio network planning (English) in Toronto.
For the first time, a nation wide audience would be able to watch the CBC’s federal election coverage. CBC-TV was now connected to Calgary and Edmonton in the west and the four Maritime Provinces in the east. U.S. facilities would complete extension to British Columbia.
CBUT opened its first rebroadcaster at Courtenay, operating on channel 9 as CBUT-1.
In May, CBUT-2 Chilliwack (channel 3) commenced operations.
The CBC Television Network began broadcasting in colour in September.
Robert H. Buhr left the CBC (BC) where he had been regional sales manager.
On December 13, the CRTC approved the CBC’s application to change the channel of the yet-to-be-launched transmitter CBUBT-5 in Radium Hot Springs from 82 to 75, and to increase power for yet-to-be-launched CBUCT-2 Creston from 5 watts to 42 watts. Two days later, the CRTC approved new transmitters at Fruitvale, Erie, and Salmo (CBUAT-3, -4, and -5, respectively). These would rebroadcast CBUAT Trail. A transmitter for Mount Baker, to rebroadcast CBUBT Cranbrook, was approved on December 20.
On November 24, CBUT moved to the new CBC Vancouver Broadcasting Centre at 700 Hamilton Street. It was a time of decentralizing at the CBC and there was a need for a lot of studios. Most of the studios were underground, with five storeys above ground. The top two floors were filled with technical systems.
The CBC (Radio-Canada) opened its French-language television station – CBUFT.
CBUT was authorized to increase effective radiated video power from 47.6 to 50 kw as the result of changes to the antenna.
With CHEK-TV Victoria’s switch to the CTV network, CBUT opened transmitters at Sooke and Mount McDonald.
On February 13, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CBUT-12 Gold River by increasing the transmitter power from 1 watt to 10 watts, relocating the transmitter from approximately 3 kilometres south of Gold River to a site located within the city limits, and changing the program feed from CBUT Vancouver to the CBC Northern Television Service. These changes were expected to provide a better quality and a more reliable signal. The CBC indicated that it would monitor any complaints concerning loss of coverage resulting from the changes and take any necessary corrective action.
Ron Jacques was appointed regional sales manager and Helen fisher was named business development co-ordinator.
Anchorman Bill Good Jr. left CBUT after 11 years. He moved on to open-line work at CKNW-AM.
At this time, CBUT Vancouver operated the following transmitters: CBUT-16 Alert Bay, CBUDT Bonnington Falls, CBUT-4 Bowen Island, CBUT-34 Brackendale, CBUT-8 Campbell River, CBUBT-1 Canal Flats, CBUAT-2 Castlegar, CBUT-2 Chilliwack, CBUT-25 Chilliwack, CBUAT-7 Christina Lake, CBUT-20 Coal Harbour, CBUT-1 Courtenay, CBUBT-7 Cranbrook, CBUCT-1 Crawford Bay, CBUCT-4 Crescent Valley, CBUCT-2 Creston, CBUBT-4 Donald Station, CBUAT-4 Erie, CBUBT-8 Fernie, CBUBT-9 Fernie, CBUAT-3 Fruitvale/Montrose, CBUBT-2 Golden, CBUT-37 Grand Forks, CBUT-31 Greenwood, CBUT-23 Harrison Hot Springs, CBUT-21 Holberg, CBUT-6 Hope, CBUBT-3 Invermere, CBUT-36 Madeira Park, CBUT-32 Midway, CBUT-27 Mount McDonald, CBUBT-14 Moyie, CBUCT Nelson, CBUCT-6 New Denver, CBUT-30 Phoenix, CBUT-3 Port Alberni, CBUT-17 Port Alice, CBUT-19 Port Hardy, CBUT-18 Port McNeill, CBUBT-5 Radium Hot Springs, CBUT-33 Rock Creek, CBUT-26 Ruby Creek, CBUAT-5 Salmo, CBUT-35 Sechelt, CBUCT-5 Slocan, CBUT-28 Sooke, CBUBT-10 Sparwood, CBUBT-6 Spillimacheen, CBUT-5 Squamish, CBUT-14 Tahsis, CBUHT-4 Tête Jaune, CBUAT Trail, CBUAT-6 Trail, CBUWT Whistler, CBUCT-3 Winlaw, and CBUT-13 Woss Camp.
On November 12, CBUT was awarded a transitional digital television licence for operation from Mount Seymour on channel 58S with an effective radiated power of 15,600 watts.
On December 12, CBUT-DT began broadcasting CBC’s transitional high definition digital signal on channel 58
On February 24, the CRTC approved the application by the CBC to amend the licence for CBUT Vancouver, in order to change the channel of its transmitter CBUT-35 Sechelt from 19LP to 18LP. The CBC stated that the use of channel 18LP would provide a better quality signal to viewers in the Sechelt area who were experiencing poor reception of CBUT.
On February 28, the Commission approved the CBC’s application to amend CBUT’s licence in order to operate transmitters in Kelowna (channel 45 with effective radiated power of 8,200 watts), Braeloch (channel 15LP and 100 watts), Penticton (channel 17B and 1,500 watts), Vernon (channel 18B with 1,824 watts), Oliver (channel 6 with 115 watts), Salmon Arm (channel 3 with 55 watts), Enderby (channel 26A with 886 watts) and Celista (channel 5LP with 2.65 watts), British Columbia1. Residents of these communities already received some CBC television programming from CBC affiliate CHBC-TV Kelowna and its transmitters. On this same date, the CRTC approved an application by Global Communications Limited to amend the licence for CHBC-TV in order to permit that station to disaffiliate from the CBC television network. The new CBC transmitters would replace the CBC programming services formerly provided by CHBC-TV, and would provide the full CBC English-language television network and regional service to residents of Kelowna, Braeloch, Penticton, Vernon, Oliver, Salmon Arm, Enderby and Celista.
CBUT operated the following transmitters: CBUT-DT Vancouver, CBUAT Trail, CBUAT-2 Castlegar, CBUAT-3 Fruitvale/Montrose, CBUAT-4 Erie, CBUAT-5 Salmo, CBUAT-6 Trail, CBUAT-7 Christina Lake, CBUBT-1 Canal Flats, CBUBT-10 Sparwood, CBUBT-13 Field, CBUBT-14 Moyie, CBUBT-2 Golden, CBUBT-3 Invermere, CBUBT-4 Donald Station, CBUBT-5 Radium Hot Springs, CBUBT-6 Spillimacheen, CBUBT-7 Cranbrook, CBUBT-8 Fernie, CBUBT-9 Fernie, CBUCT Nelson, CBUCT-1 Crawford Bay, CBUCT-2 Creston, CBUCT-3 Winlaw, CBUCT-4 Crescent Valley, CBUCT-5 Slocan, CBUCT-6 New Denver, CBUDT Bonnington Falls, CBUGT Fort Nelson, CBUHT-1 Purden Lake/Sinclair Mills, CBUHT-3 McBride, CBUHT-4 Tete Jaune, CBUHT-5 Valemount, CBUIT-1 Bella Bella, CBUIT-3 Bella Coola, CBUIT-4 Hagensborg, CBRG-TV Princeton, CBUJ-TV Blue River, CBUO-TV Bamfield, CBUPT Pemberton, CBUT-1 Courtenay, CBUT-10 Sayward, CBUT-12 Gold River, CBUT-13 Woss Camp, CBUT-14 Tahsis, CBUT-16 Alert Bay, CBUT-17 Port Alice, CBUT-18 Port McNeill, CBUT-19 Port Hardy, CBUT-2 Chilliwack, CBUT-20 Coal Harbour, CBUT-23 Harrison Hot Springs, CBUT-25 Chilliwack, CBUT-26 Ruby Creek, CBUT-27 Mount McDonald, CBUT-28 Sooke, CBUT-3 Port Alberni, CBUT-30 Phoenix (Greenwood), CBUT-31 Greenwood, CBUT-32 Midway, CBUT-33 Rock Creek, CBUT-34 Brackendale, CBUT-35 Sechelt, CBUT-36 Madeira Park, CBUT-37 Grand Forks, CBUT-38 Kelowna, CBUT-39 Braeloch, CBUT-40 Penticton, CBUT-41 Vernon, CBUT-42 Oliver, CBUT-43 Salmon Arm, CBUT-44 Enderby, CBUT-45 Celista, CBUT-46 Revelstoke, CBUT-4 Bowen Island, CBUT-5 Squamish, CBUT-6 Hope, CBUT-7 Ucluelet, CBUT-8 Campbell River, CBUT-22 Tofino and CBUWT Whistler.
On December 4, the CBC held an open house to show off its revamped Vancouver headquarters at 700 Hamilton Street. The renovations took four years and $65 million to complete. The corporation considered selling the building and constructing a new facility, but that would have cost $100 million or more. It also would have been difficult to find a new location as central as the existing facility. The old building was still there, but it was kind of hidden behind a new wing in front. The new 25,000-square-foot space housed all local news gathering operations – TV, radio, English, French, and internet.
Johnny Michel was CBC Vancouver’s managing director.
Thomas J. Robinson died at the age of 91. He was the first on-camera news reader when CBUT went on the air.
Ian Hanomansing became a regular west coast contributor for CBC’s The National, moving from his co-host gig at CBC Vancouver. Succeeding him was Tony Parsons, the long-time BCTV/Global News Anchor who retired from that position a few months earlier. In recent weeks, he’d been anchoring CHEK TV Victoria’s news package and would continue doing the 10 p.m. package. CBC now had a content-sharing deal with CHEK in which the Victoria station would simulcast the 6:00 p.m. CBC Vancouver show.
Two CBC staffers have moved to Al Jazeera English: Imtiaz Tyab, who worked at CBC Vancouver and Jet Belgraver, formerly of CBC Toronto. Tony Burman, the former Editor in Chief of CBC News was managing the service.
Kenneth Berube died at age 61. Born in St. Catharines, Berube, after working at a radio station in London, England, returned to Canada and began working as an audio engineer at CBC Vancouver in 1976. He retired in 2007.
Belle Puri, most recently a Senior Reporter with CBC News Vancouver, was appointed Press Secretary to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell. She began her career at CKNW and worked with BCTV. In 2006 she was named CBC’s legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Just days after Puri made the decision, Premier Campbell announced his resignation. Puri decided to remain with CBC. She said she hadn’t been looking to leave the CBC but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be Gordon Campbell’s press secretary.
The IEEE presented CBC Vancouver with its IEEE Global History Network Milestone Award. A plaque presented at the CBC transmitter site on Mount Seymour acknowledged CBUT as originating Western Canada’s first televised broadcast on December 16, 1953. IEE said: “The engineering experience gained here was instrumental in the subsequent establishment of the more than one thousand public and private television broadcasting sites that serve Western Canada today.”
The Commission 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. In addition, the Commission imposed the following condition of licence on stations that operated 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 CRTC also noted that pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-69, it did not intend to renew authorizations to operate transitional digital transmitters included in these licences, beyond August 31, 2011.
The CRTC approved the amendment to the licence of CBUT-TV to add post-transition digital television transmitter on channel 43 with maximum effective radiated power of 103,340 watts (60,290 watts average). Effective antenna height would be 615.4 metres from the existing CBC site. Programming would be received by STL microwave.
The analog to digital conversion deadline for mandatory markets was August 31. CBC/SRC made the change on September 1 with CBUT-DT broadcasting on channel 43 (analog CBUT-TV had been on channel 2). The virtual channel was 2.1. CBUT-DT had been operating on transitional channel 58 until the move on September 1 to channel 43.
The CBC received CRTC approval to delete the following CBUT transmitters: CBUT-1 Courtenay, CBUBT-6 Spillimacheen, CBUAT-4 Erie, CBUAT-6 Trail, and CBUT-TV-27 Mount MacDonald.
Marc Lefebvre was now CBC B.C.’s manager of operations for TV news, based in Vancouver. He had been the production services manager for Radio-Canada in the B.C./Yukon region.
Former CBC Vancouver Regional Operations Manager Marc Turenne died at age 54. He began his CBC career in Regina, transferring to Vancouver in the late 1980s, where he stayed for 17 years. He then moved to Winnipeg and began a home inspection company.
Long-time CBC-TV Vancouver sportscaster Steve Armitage moved to Nova Scotia’s south shore at the end of April. Armitage, with 48 years in, hoped to make it to 50 as he would continue with CBC assignments.
On July 17, the CRTC announced that effective 1 August 2012, it would revoke the broadcasting licences
John “Jack” Thorne died at 91. He was with CBC Radio Vancouver in the 1930s, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force for WWII’s duration, pursued a liberal arts degree specializing in theatre at Northwestern University and returned to Vancouver. Thorne was hired as one of CBC’s first TV producers and remained with the Corporation for the rest of his career, a highlight of which was giving the first cue when CBC-TV Vancouver joined the national network. In 1970, he moved to CBC Montreal and became responsible for children’s and music programming.
In February, Jason Coleman announced he would retire from the CBC after 31 years, effective March 31. After starting in sales and marketing at CBC in 1986, he moved to the Transmission Division in 2000.
Tony Wade (68) died in April. He worked at CBC-TV Vancouver in the 1970s and 80s, as executive producer of the newsmagazine Pacific Report.
Fred Engel died at age 85 on May 23. He was a long-time CBC Vancouver staple, starting as a film editor and promoted to manager, Film Services, then TV production manager and producer. He retired from CBC in 1984.
George Vipond (90) died on November 2. He spent 30 years at CBC Vancouver as a supervising technician, colour coordinator and TV/quality control officer.
Ray Renning died at age 82 on March 28. He was CBC Vancouver’s senior electronics maintenance technician for many years and eventually started his own electronics/TV design company.
Liz Hughes died at age 67 on May 4. At CBC Vancouver, Hughes played a big role in helping bring shows like Canada Now to life and acted as executive producer on current affairs programs Pacific Report and Monitor. One of the first internal consultants at the CBC, she was involved in helping implement mobile first strategy at before her retirement in 2014.
Roy Luckow died at age 90 on October 13. Luckow joined CBC Vancouver in 1953 and was one of the first cameraman at CBUT. Over the next 34 years, he did a variety of studio and location cinematography work in drama, variety, current affairs and documentaries. Luckow retired from the CBC in 1987.
Dan Tohill died October 27. He was key grip on The Beachcombers for a number of years, and was also a studio production assistant at CBC Vancouver.
Len Chapple, 96, passed away on January 2. Chapple began his broadcasting career at CKMO Vancouver and eventually became an executive producer at CBC Vancouver. In 1978, he led CBC as host broadcaster for the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.
Elie Savoie died at age 84 on June 28. Savoie started his broadcasting career in the 1960s at CFCR-TV Kamloops (now CFJC). He moved on to CHAN-TV, joined CBC Vancouver in 1964, CBC Regina in 1977 and then CBC Windsor. Savoie returned to CBC-TV Vancouver as PD in 1983 and went on to head Program Project Development. Elie notably served as a director and executive producer of The Beachcombers. He retired from CBC in 1991.
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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.