CKPG-TV, Prince George
|Jim Pattison Industries Ltd.
|Monarch Broadcasting Ltd.
|Q Broadcasting Ltd.
|CKPG Radio Ltd.
CKPG Television Ltd. received BBG approval for the operation of a television station at Prince George. The new station would broadcast on channel 3 with an effective radiated power of 210 watts video and 114 watts audio. CKPG won out over a competing application by Aurora TV Ltd., whose original application was set aside by BBG a year earlier, on the grounds it had not obtained a firm commitment for the supply of CBC programs. Since then the CBC had announced its willingness to supply films of its programs to a Prince George station on a regular basis. Previously, the CBC service was only to have been on a one year experimental basis. Aurora went ahead and built its own transmitter on a mountain site near the town and made tentative plans for rebroadcast transmitters. The BBG went with CKPG because it felt, “in the relatively small market in Prince George, better service could be provided through the economies effected by the combined radio and television services proposed by CKPG Television Ltd.” (the company also owned and operated CKPG Radio)
The BBG asked the minister to delay action on its recommendation for approval of CKPG’s application for a TV station because of agitations made by competing applicant, Aurora TV. The BBG later recommended the government proceed with granting the licence to CKPG-TV Ltd. The board originally approved CKPG’s application in May but in July, recommended a deferral.
CKPG-TV signed on August 20 on channel 2 with a power of 8300 watts. The station was a CBC affiliate and co-owned with CKPG radio in Prince George. President and General Manager Bob Harkins was one of the first local people seen by viewers when CKPG-TV first went on the air.
CKPG-TV started operation of a re-broadcaster on channel 13 in Quesnel.
Slogan: Serving North Central B.C.
On November 19, Q Broadcasting Ltd. (Vancouver Broadcasting Associates Ltd.) was authoirzed to purchase Radio Station CKPG Ltd. Q Broadcasting’s W. E. Bellman and J. E. Stark would also each hold one common qualifying share. CKPG Television Ltd. (CKPG-TV and its two rebroadcast transmitters) were owned by Radio Station CKPG Ltd.
R.T. (Bob) Harkins was president and manager.
Gord Leighton became General Manager of CKPG Radio and TV.
By this time rebroadcast stations were operating in Hixon, Mackenzie and Quesnel along with CBC-owned rebroadcasters in Vanderhoof, Fort Fraser and Ft. St. James.
Bob Harkins was awarded the Jeanne Clarke Memorial Local History Award on November 2 for his exceptional dedication to local history and the community. He also served two terms as an alderman and was with the station until moving to CJCI radio Prince George in 1969. He returned to CKPG-TV in the early 90s. He was seen regularly on “Community Close-up” and on news segments “Harkins Comment” and “Harkins History”. The station also produced a video on his life entitled “Portraits: Bob Harkins”.
The CRTC renewed the licence for a network operated by CKPG-TV Prince George and CFTK-TV Terrace, both CBC affiliates, allowing the stations to use the Corporation’s microwave facilities to transfer syndicated programming, when it was not being used for CBC programming.
On October 11, the sale of Radio Station CKPG Ltd. (which included subsidiary CKPG Television Ltd.) from Q Broadcasting Ltd. (99.99%) and J.E. Stark in trust for Q Broadcasting Ltd. (0.1%) to Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. was approved.
Douglas Elphick left CKPG-TV as general sales manger to become sales manager at CBUT-TV in Vancouver.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKPG-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 CKPG-TV Prince George and its transmitters CKPG-TV-1 Hixon, CKPG-TV-4 Mackenzie and CKPG-TV-5 Quesnel, to August 31, 2002. At the time of CKPG-TV’s last licence renewal (1989), the licensee made a commitment to broadcast 9 hours and 6 minutes of original local news each week. According to the Commission’s monitoring of CKPG-TV’s programming logs, the station achieved 9 hours and 58 minutes of original local news each week in the 1991-1992 broadcast year but dropped to only 6 hours and 30 minutes per week in the 1992-1993 broadcast year. When asked to explain the shortfall occurring in 1992-1993, the licensee stated that, beginning in June 1992, it reduced CKPG-TV’s local, weekday supper-time newscast from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. The licensee stated that a decrease in local advertising revenues affected the station’s capacity to maintain an hour-long supper-time newscast. Nevertheless, the licensee maintained that CKPG-TV’s thirty-minute, local newscast actually provided more local news because it offers in-depth coverage of local stories, whereas the previous hour-long broadcast had contained only 20 minutes of local news and sports with the remainder of the program consisting of national and provincial stories. The licensee further stated that it did not reduce its budget for local news during the current licence term and noted that it was projecting to increase its expenditures on local news beginning in the fourth year of the new licence term. The Commission expected the licensee to adhere to the commitment made in its licence renewal application to broadcast, at a minimum, an average of 6 hours 12 minutes of original local news each week during the new licence term. During the new licence term, the licensee would continue to produce other local programs such as “Toon Raiders”, a series of locally-produced vignettes combining entertainment, music, variety and educational programming aimed at children. The licensee would also continue to produce local specials about events that affect its viewing public in the music, drama and documentary categories.
Gordon Leighton was General Manager.
Mike Woodworth was News Director at CKPG-AM-TV.
Bob Harkins died on November 28 at the age of 69. On December 21, the CRTC approved Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. acquisition of the subsidiary companies of Monarch Broadcasting Ltd., which included CKPG-TV and its re-broadcasting stations.
CKPG-TV and its affiliated radio stations were among many prominent sponsors of the Prince George 24-hour Relay for a Friend held May 5 and 6. The event attracted 2,832 participants and raised $260,000 for research and services for cancer patients.
Rob Cooper left CKPG-TV (news) for CKVR-TV Barrie, Ontario.
In the fall, ExpressVu satellite TV added the station to its basic service. Star Choice made the addition in February 2004.
In May CKPG-TV news received the special program of the year award from the BC Association of Broadcasters for its softwood lumber feature “Crossing the Line”. On August 27, the CRTC renewed the broadcast licence of CKPG-TV, noting that the station was offering over six hours of local news programming per week, and that an agreement had been signed to extend CBC affiliation to August 31, 2009. Over a period of months, starting in September, CKPG-TV and its radio affiliates were moved to a new broadcast centre at 1810 3rd Avenue in Prince George.
On February 28 the CRTC approved application by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group to delete CKPG-TV’s affiliation with the CBC English language TV network. Pattison indicated that it had come to a programming agreement with Canwest Media Inc. A commitment was made to continue broadcasting a weekly average of 6 hours and 30 minutes of original local programming on CKPG-TV. The CBC supported the move, but stated it was not in a position to add terrestrial analog transmitters to the areas served, as a majority of viewers could receive the network via cable or satellite.
Shaun Peterson was the new Chief Engineer at CKPG-TV/CKKN-FM/CKDV-FM. His background was IT and he was new to broadcasting.
On July 12, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CKPG-TV and its transmitters until August 31, 2013.
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).
CKPG-TV senior account manager Kelli Moorhead, who’d been with the Jim Pattison operation for eight and a-half years, was promoted to general sales manager, responsible for CKPG-TV, 99.3 The Drive and 101.3 The River.
Rodd Crandall (Peter Clemente) died in February. The former CKPG news director and anchor in the ‘70s spent 25 years after that at CKVU Vancouver.
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.