|Jim Pattison Industries Ltd.
|CFJC Radio Ltd.
|CFJC Radio Ltd.
An application by Twin Cities Television Ltd. for a television station at Kamloops (Channel 4 with 100 watts video and 50 watts audio) was deferred by the CBC Board of Governors for further study.
CFCR-TV went on the air on April 8th, on channel 4 with 4,000 watts of power. The station was an affiliate of the CBC Network using film and kinescope, with a one-camera, small-studio operation giving live news and sports.
The station was owned by Ian Clark’s CFJC Radio. The staff from that station pitched in to help make the new “baby” work. As an example, even before the TV station was on the air, Ian Clark’s secretary, Jean Ross, started taking 16 mm film of events in the area. If there was a news-worthy story, they would send the film to CBC in Vancouver. Hockey was a dominant sport in the area, with the local team reaching the Memorial Cup, so sending sports and news stories to CBC became a regular occurrence. One story, the last sailing of the steamer “Lady Minto” on the Arrow Lakes, not only made it to the full CBC Network but also was carried on the full CBS Network in the U.S. These news clips carried no sound, so the script went along with the raw film.
During the first year, the station was on the air 8 hours daily, with network via kinescope film, with the Saturday Night Hockey and other shows such as Bonanza and Don Messer running a week late. Local productions included a daily newscast, “Agriculture Today” and “Let’s Visit Awhile”, which was on the air for 21 years.
The Board of Broadcast Governors gave CFCR-TV permission to boost power.
Co-operation played a large role in the expansion of CFJC’s signal which was unique. Perhaps no other area in the world had TV like central British Columbia. Communities on the fringe of the main station’s coverage approached CFJC-TV for them to increase power so their residents could also enjoy TV. CFJC-TV just could not afford it and the mountainous terrain made it very difficult to reach communities just behind that next mountain. They reached agreements with many of these areas to establish low power re-broadcasting stations on a split cost basis, where the station would install the 5 watt transmitter if the residents of the area could raise half the money. CFJC-TV has 28 such re-broadcasting transmitters which were established in this manner and cover 37,000 square miles. At the time this microwave network was established in the ‘50s and ‘60s, it was the largest private network in existence and still ranks as one of the largest.
On September 1, call letters were changed to CFJC-TV, in line with its affiliated radio station.
CFJC-TV along with CFJC-AM and CIFM were sold to The Jim Pattison Group of Vancouver.
Rick Arnish was appointed General Manager.
On February 17, the CRTC approved the applications to amend the licence for CFJC-TV Kamloops, 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 24, the CRTC renewed the licence for CFJC-TV Kamloops and its transmitters CFJC-TV-3 Merritt, CFJC-TV-4 Clinton, CFJC-TV-5 Williams Lake, CFJC-TV-6 100 Mile House, CFJC-TV-8 Chase, CFJC-TV-11 Quesnel, CFJC-TV-12 Nicola and CFJC-TV-19 Pritchard, to August 31, 2002. The Commission noted that CFJC-TV produced 16 hours and 15 minutes of local programming weekly, including news, information and human interest programming. It was noted that over the past two broadcast years, CFJC-TV’s programming featured over 650 local individuals and groups. In addition, the Commission was pleased to note the success of “Midday”, CFJC-TV’s current affairs program broadcast Monday to Friday. The licensee said it would continue to co-produce two weekly half-hour programs, namely “Inside Trax”, a music showcase, and “Plus Generation”, a program targeted to seniors.
Three full-time employees were laid off and hours were cut for two part-time staff members at CFJC-TV and AM. Three other employees were given notice that their jobs would disappear in the fall because of technical change. General Manager Rick Arnish blamed the drop in national and local sales along with the downturn in the B.C. economy for the cuts.
On February 1, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for
CFJC-TV and its transmitters in order to delete the condition of licence related to its affiliation with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s national English-language television network. CFJC-TV was broadcasting an average of 13 hours of original local programming, and approximately 43 hours of CBC programming in each broadcast week. For many years, CFJC-TV had operated under a joint sales agreement with CHBC-TV Kelowna. Until February 2005, CHBC-TV was also licensed to operate as an affiliate of the CBC television network. CFJC-TV made a commitment that, upon disaffiliation from the CBC, it would continue to broadcast, in each broadcast week, an average of 13 hours of original local programming. It would acquire its non-local programming through CanWest MediaWorks Inc., which was now the licensee of CHBC-TV. In support of its application, Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner) (CFJC-TV’s owner) submitted that CHBC-TV’s impending disaffiliation from the CBC’s television network would terminate the longstanding joint sales agreement between the two stations, an agreement that Pattison claimed had enabled both stations to attract national advertising revenues and to operate at a profit. Pattison explained that the joint sales agreement could not continue if both stations were not authorized to disaffiliate at the same time because the programming offered by CFJC-TV would be completely different from that offered by CHBC-TV. Pattison further contended that, without the joint sales agreement, CFJC-TV would experience a substantial reduction in national advertising revenues, a reduction that, in the applicant’s view, could potentially cause the station to become unprofitable by 2007, and jeopardize its ability to continue providing 13 hours of local programming in each broadcast week. The Commission was persuaded by Pattison’s argument that its joint sales agreement with CHBC-TV, which enabled each station to attract national advertisers, was essential for maintaining CFJC-TV’s financial viability and enabling it to continue providing local programming. In view of the fact that the joint sales agreement required that both stations offer a common program schedule to national advertisers, particularly during the peak viewing hours, the Commission considered that it would be impossible for CFJC-TV to continue its joint sales agreement with CHBC-TV unless both television stations disaffiliate from the CBC’s network. The Commission was also persuaded by the CBC’s argument that, given the unique circumstances of the present case, the most appropriate and efficient means of making its full network and regional services available to viewers in the Kamloops market at this time was by the distribution of CBUT by BDUs operating in the market.
Dave Somerton, the Operations Manager at CFJC-TV/CIFM-FM/CKBZ-FM – who had been with the operation for 40 years – retired at the end of April. Doug Collins took on the responsibilities of TV operations at the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group facility. Collins continued in news and information at all three stations as Director of News, Information & Television Operations.
On July 12, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFJC-TV and its transmitters until August 31, 2013.
Jim Pattison, Managing Director and CEO, the Jim Pattison Group announced the promotion of two key executives of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP, effective July 1. Rick Arnish was promoted to Chairman of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP, following a very successful 14 years as President. Rod Schween was promoted to assume the role of President of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group LP. He had been general manager/general sales manager for the Pattison Lethbridge/Cranbrook division with 6 stations in 3 different communities. He would move to the Kamloops, B.C. Head Office of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, where he would be responsible as General Manager of Broadcast Centre – CFJC TV, CIFM FM & CKBZ FM.
On May 3, Rogers Media and the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group announced an affiliation agreement that would see the delivery of Citytv programming on all three of Pattison’s television stations. Beginning September 1, the Pattison stations would air 90% of Citytv programming throughout prime time and the majority of the morning and daytime hours, and would follow the Citytv Vancouver programming grid, including the airing of the popular morning show Breakfast Television. Pattison would continue to produce and broadcast its award-winning local newscasts (at 12 noon and the dinner hour). The affiliate agreement was with all three of Pattison’s television stations: CFJC TV7 (Kamloops, BC), CKPG TV (Prince George, BC), and CHAT TV (Medicine Hat, AB).
Gordon Rye passed away at age 90. Rye was employed at what was now the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group’s Kamloops operation for over 50 years, from 1939 through to the ’90s. After his official retirement, the newsman still contributed stories.
Jack Pollard died on February 18 at the age of 88. He started his career at Regina’s CKCK, moved on to CJIB Vernon and then Kamloops in 1961. He started at operations manager of CFCR-TV and CFJC-AM. In time Pollard became a co-owner and managing partner. He retired in 1987.
In June, Doug Collins announced he would step back from his management duties at CFJC in September, but would stay on to read morning news. Collins, director of News, Information and Television Operations, had been on-air in Kamloops since April 1970.
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.