CHBC-TV, Global, Kelowna
|CanWest Global Communications
|CanWest Global Communications
|Maclean Hunter Ltd.
|BCTV/Okanagan Valley TV
|Okanagan Valley Television Ltd.
CHBC-TV went on the air on September 21, covering the central Okanagan Valley from channel 2 with an effective radiated power of 3,700 watts. The station also operated unattended rebraodcast transmitters at Vernon (channel 7 – 310 watts) and Penticton (channel 13 – 300 watts). They went on the air three weeks after the main Kelowna transmitter. The repeaters were necessary due to the mountainous terrain. The studios and offices were in the old Smith Garage which was converted into a broadcast facility. The main studio was 45 x 55 feet. The station had ordered two studio cameras, but supplies were limited due to so many TV stations coming on the air in North America, that they had to do with a single camera on loan for almost a year before the order was filled. The station relied on 16 mm film developed first by a local photo lab and then in-house. The station had an original staff of 12.
Three Okanagan Valley radio stations formed a company in 1955 to construct and operate a television station to serve the valley. The Okanagan Valley Television Co. Ltd. was owned by CKOV Kelowna, CKOK Penticton and CJIB Vernon. The television company’s board of directors had two members from each radio station: Jim Browne of CKOV was president. Mrs. J.W.B. Browne, president of CKOV was on the board. Charles Pitt of CJIB was vice president and Richard Peters was treasurer. Maurice Finnerty of CKOK was vice president and Roy Chapman was managing director. CHBC-TV key staff: Dick Sharp was sales manager (formerly with the Penticton Herald). Stan Lettner (ex of CFUN) was program director. Tom Wyatt (formerly with RCA) was chief engineer. Al Johnson (ex of CKWX and CKOC) was chief announcer. Norman Williams was promotion manager (formerly with CFUN and CKNW). Russ Richardson (late of CJOB and CKOK) was film editor.
There were only 500 homes with television receivers when CHBC began broadcasting, but a year later that number had risen to 10,000 homes.
Ad slogan: The Okanagan Television Network. “One gets you three on channels 7 Vernon, 2 Kelowna, 13 Penticton.
CHBC offered one hour a day of live shows, including news, weather, sports, a children’s quiz show, sports panel and Western and Pop musicals.
CHBC-TV and Okanagan Radio offered a special stereo hour on December 7. People were asked to tune in their local radio station (CJIB, CKOV or CKOK) and tune their TV sets to either channel 2, 7 or 13 (depending on where they lived). Both sets were needed to hear stereo and the best effect could be obtained if the radio set was placed about eight feet to the right of the television set. The broadcast originated with the TV station and went out by phone lines to each of the radio stations.
The arrival of the microwave brought live CBC Network programming.
The station had been a CBC affiliate since sign-on, with all network programs received on kinescope or 16 mm film, with regular shows running a week late and a one-day delay on the National News.
In those early days all local programs were live, such as “Kids Bids”, “The Three R’s” and “Romper Room”. As technical facilities expanded, shows such as “Let’s Visit”, “Midday”, “Focus” and “Okanagan Magazine” became regular features.
CHBC-TV received approval to operate a satellite transmitter at Oliver.
Maurice P. Finnerty, president and managing director of CKOK Radio and vice president of Okanagan Television Co. was elected president of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.
The first video tape machine arrived, greatly aiding in local production of both programming and commercials.
Colour TV arrived via the network, and the station gradually added colour equipment over the years, as well as telecine and videotape.
By this year the station’s staff had increased to 33.
On August 27, approval was given for the transfer of Okanagan Valley Television Co. Ltd. (CHBC-TV) to British Columbia Television Broadcasting System Ltd.
When CTV service came to the Okanagan , CHBC co-operated with the installation, and worked out a “protective service” for local advertisers to avoid Vancouver sales competition with cut ins for local CHBC advertisers.
In June, colour studio cameras completed the change to full colour.
1970 – 80s
During these years, ownership of the station gradually changed, with General Manager Roy Chapman purchasing CKOK’s one third ownership, which he later sold to BCTV, Vancouver. Selkirk Holdings of Toronto bought CJIB Vernon and along with it, its one third interest. CKOV Kelowna sold its one third equally to BCTV and Selkirk, making it a 50/50 split ownership. When Maclean Hunter took over Selkirk in 1989, WIC Western International Communications, the parent of BCTV bought the shares of the former Selkirk to own 100% of CHBC – TV.
Roy Chapman, a co-owner of CKOK Penticton was General Manager of CHBC from July, 1957 until his death in 1974. Dick Sharp, former Advertising Manager of the Penticton Herald also joined the station in July of 1957 as Sales Manager and became Assistant General Manager in the mid 1960’s. He became President and General Manager on the death of Roy Chapman. He retired in 1985. Former Sales Manager, Ron Evans took over as President.
Tom Walters left CHBC-TV as news director to become news anchor at CKVU-TV in Vancouver.
Robert Duffus took over as news director.
CHBC-TV made a commitment to become “The Okanagan’s Very Own CHBC” and differentiate the company from the forty TV signals being distributed by cable in the market. A direction was set to produce quality local programs and commercials, as well as being involved more than any other media in the fifty-five communities served by the station. The company has been recognized and rewarded for this direction with increased ratings, and in 1995 alone won 13 TVB Retail Commercial Competition Awards, one CAB Gold Ribbon Award for promotions, 3 CanPro Gold Awards for Eco Watch, Okanagan Magazine and Weather Bears Food Bank Promotion, as well as the RTNDA award for the best newscast in Canada for medium-size markets.
On February 3, the CRTC approved the application for a licence for an English-language television station at Apex Mountain, on channel 13 with a transmitter power of 1 watt, to rebroadcast the programs of CHBC-TV. On the same date, the Commission approved the application for a licence for an English-language television station at Princeton, on channel 4 with a transmitter power of 10 watts. This station would rebroadcast the programs of CHBC-TV, received from the new television retransmitter at Apex Mountain. The Commission noted that this application was the result of studies undertaken by the CBC in cooperation with Okanagan Television Company Limited to find means of restoring the CHBC-TV signal to this area. As an interim measure, Princeton Television Ltd. was authorized to retransmit the CBC English-language Northern Service, received via satellite, “until such time as a more appropriate CBC service was provided to Princeton” (Decision CRTC 85-70 dated 5 February 1985). The licences for these new transmitters would expire August 31, 1988. The Commission would consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of CHBC-TV.
Gord Dizzutti became news director at CHBC-TV.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHBC-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 24, the CRTC renewed the licence for CHBC-TV Kelowna and its transmitters CHBC-TV-1 Penticton, CHBC-TV-2 Vernon, CHBC-TV-3 Oliver, CHBC-TV-4 Salmon Arm, CHBC-TV-5 Enderby, CHBC-TV-6 Celista, CHBC-TV-7 Skaha Lake, CHBC-TV-8 Canoe, CHBC-TV-9 Apex Mountain and CHRP-TV-2 Revelstoke, to August 31, 2002. Over the current licence term, the licensee fulfilled and, during two broadcast years, surpassed its commitment made at the time of CHBC-TV’s last licence renewal approved in 1989, to broadcast a minimum average of 13 hours 45 minutes of original local news each week. According to the Commission’s monitoring of CHBC-TV’s programming logs, the station broadcast 15 hours 15 minutes of original local news each week in the 1991-1992 broadcast year, and an average of 15 hours 30 minutes each week in the 1992-1993 broadcast year. During the current licence term, the licensee conducted a research project in the communities served by CHBC-TV, to determine the needs and preferences of its viewers with regard to local, national and international news. Based on the results of that research, the licensee implemented a new approach to CHBC-TV’s news programming, combining local news coverage throughout the station’s service area with national and international news portrayed, when relevant, from a local perspective. The licensee also instituted a weekly news report to track news coverage devoted to and originating from the three major geographical areas within CHBC-TV’s market. These reports provided data on the number of news stories produced during the week as well as the number of stories produced on-location using one of the station’s ENG units. The Commission expected the licensee to adhere to the commitment made in its licence renewal application to broadcast, at a minimum, an average of 12 hours of original local news each week during the new licence term. The Commission also expected the licensee to maintain, during the new licence term, the local newscasts broadcast at 11:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, which were added to CHBC-TV’s schedule during the current licence term.
The Commission was pleased to note that, during the current licence term, the licensee fulfilled the commitment made at the time of its last licence renewal to broadcast 15 hours 45 minutes weekly of local programming in categories other than news. The Commission noted that CHBC-TV continued to produce high-quality, award-winning local programs in virtually all categories including documentary, music, children’s, variety, informal education, community access and numerous specials. During the new licence term, the licensee would continue to broadcast its local children’s production “Rattlebag”, the music video program,”Inside Trax”, as well as other local programs such as “Okanagan Magazine”, “CHBC-TV Midday”, “Gold Trials” and “This Week in the Okanagan”. The Commission commended the licensee on its participation during the current licence term in co-operative programming projects with members of the native communities within CHBC-TV’s service area. Specifically, the licensee hired a correspondent from each of the three First Nations communities in CHBC-TV’s service area to report regularly on native issues and events. Each of these correspondents provided, at a minimum, one major report per month for the 5:00 p.m. local news program, and contributed one live segment per month for broadcast on the “CHBC Midday” news program. In its licence renewal application, the licensee indicated that members of the native communities within CHBC-TV’s service area would continue to participate in the station’s local programs during the new licence term.
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.
Ron Evans retired as president and CEO of CHBC-TV on June 1. He’d been CEO at the station since 1985. Keith Williams took over as president and general manager (from Ron Evans).
Following an April hearing in Vancouver, in July, the CRTC announced the approval of the purchase of WIC Television by CanWest Television, which included CHBC-TV Kelowna.
Starting with a staff of 12 in 1957, up to 33 in 1967 and in 1999 a full time complement of 81 and 3 part time employees, illustrates the strength of CHBC-TV in the community, and their commitment to truly be “The Okanagan’s Very Own CHBC”.
On February 28, the CRTC approved the application by Global Communications Limited to amend the licence for CHBC-TV in order to delete the condition of licence affiliating CHBC-TV with the CBC television network. Global would only be able to disaffiliate from the CBC at such time as the CBC implements new transmitters in Kelowna, Braeloch, Penticton, Vernon, Oliver, Salmon Arm, Enderby and Celista, approved this date. Global made a commitment that, upon disaffiliation from the CBC, it would continue to broadcast, in each broadcast week, a minimum of 18.5 hours of local programming on CHBC-TV. In addition, Global stated that it would accept a condition of licence requiring that it close caption 90% of all programs aired during the broadcast day, and 100% of all category 1 News programming. The commission noted that Global filed this application following notification by the CBC that it would not renew its affiliation agreement with Global with respect to CHBC-TV after August 31, 2005.
The CBC disaffiliation took place upon completion of the CBC transmitters. Although CHBC did not identify as “CH” along with its counterparts in other cities, it took on the CH network affiliation. It was the only CH station owned by CanWest that did not identify on air with the CH brand, opting to use its call letters instead.
On September 7, CHBC-TV was rebranded as E! This change was in line with the other CH network affiliates in Canada, and followed a content-sharing agreement earlier in the year with the U.S.-based E! Networks. Much of the primetime programming was retained, with the balance a mix of celebrity news and lifestyle shows. The station continued to identify its newscasts as “CHBC News – The Okanagan’s Very Own”.
The early months of the year saw CanWest needing to renegotiate many of its lending agreements in an effort to avoiding having to seek creditor protection, as the Canadian economy weakened, and economies had to be effected.. On February 5th, CanWest said it was exploring the possibility of selling off some its stations, including CHBC.
On April 27th the CRTC began hearings to consider CanWest’s applications for various OTA licence renewals, along with similar applications from several other major broadcasting entities.
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 CHBC-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 July 22nd, Canwest announced that effective September 1st, CHBC-TV would no longer be part of the E Channel group, but would be rebranded as a Global Network station. It became Global Okanagan. Canwest Broadcasting President Peter Viner said that the company had concluded that CHBC-TV could “…be viable as a part of the Global network”.
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.
Ron Evans passed away on November 14. “The Okanagan’s Very Own Ron Evans” was the longest-running president and CEO of CHBC-TV, manager of BCI-TV, and director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Evans joined CHBC-TV in 1964 and retired in 1999.
On July 27, the CRTC approved applications by Shaw Television G.P. Inc. (the general partner) and Shaw Media Global Inc. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Shaw Television Limited Partnership (Shaw), to amend the broadcasting licence for the conventional television programming undertaking CHBC-TV Kelowna and its transmitters CHBC-TV-1 Penticton and CHBC-TV-2 Vernon in order to add post transitional digital transmitters to replace its existing analog transmitters.
The new transmitter CHBC-DT Kelowna would operate on channel 27 with an average effective radiated power of 23,300 watts (maximum ERP of 32,600 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 509.6 metres). CHBC-DT-1 Penticton would operate on channel 32 with an average ERP of 2,000 watts (maximum ERP of 3,000 watts with an EHAAT of 365.3 metres). CHBC-DT-2 Vernon would operate on channel 20 with an average ERP of 2,200 watts (maximum ERP of 3,000 watts with an EHAAT of 184.6 metres). The Commission noted that CHBC-DT, CHBC-DT-1 and CHBC-DT-2 would each operate on a channel that was different than the channel allotted in the Department of Industry’s DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan.
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.
Dennis Gabelhouse, who had been General Manager/General Sales Manager at Global Okanagan/CHBC News Kelowna, retired. Succeeding him as GSM was Ron Eberle, who was once the GM at CHEK-TV Victoria and then worked for Shaw Cable Victoria. Before that, Eberle’s career saw him as GM at CHCH-TV Hamilton.
Mike Roberts, the Global Okanagan weather specialist, having just celebrated his 40th year on the air, retired September 6.
On April 30, the CRTC approved the application for CHBC-DT to add a digital transmitter to replace its existing analog transmitter CHRP-TV-2 Revelstoke. The new transmitter CHRP-DT-2 would operate on channel 9 with an average ERP of 11 watts (max. ERP of 80 watts with an EHAAT of 1,166 metres). After 43 years, Larry Marty retired from CHBC-TV. He joined the station March 27, 1972. Larry had various duties over the years but spent the last 27 in sales.
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 September 21, Global News Okanagan celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special live broadcast from Stuart Park in Kelowna. CHBC-TV signed on the air September 21, 1957 after Okanagan radio stations CKOV Kelowna, CKOK Penticton and CJIB Vernon joined together to build and operate the CBC affiliated station. CHBC started out with an ERP of 3.7 kW and had rebroadcasters in Vernon and Penticton. The original 45’ x 55’ studio was located in the old Smith Garage on Leon Street.
Blaine Gaffney retired as senior reporter at Global Okanagan after 27 years with the station. He started his broadcasting career in 1986 with CFTK radio and TV in Terrace.
In the summer, Derek Hinchliffe retired from Global Okanagan. He was station manager and news director, and spent 35 years with the station.
On June 13, the CRTC approved the deletion of the following CHBC-DT rebroadcast transmitters at the request of Corus Entertainment Inc. – CHBC-TV-3 Oliver, CHBC-TV-4 Salmon Arm, CHBC-TV-5 Enderby, CHBC-TV-7 Skaha Lake (Ni’kwalla)/Penticton, CHBC-TV-8 Canoe, and CHBC-TV-9 Apex Mountain.
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.