CHNB-DT, Global New Brunswick, Saint John
|Corus Entertainment Inc.
|Canwest Global Communications
|CanWest Global Communications
|New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd. announced it would seek four new television stations to serve the Maritimes. The Irving family owned company was also the licensee of CHSJ-AM and TV. The proposal called for transmitters at Saint John (134,000 watts on channel 23) and Halifax (128,200 watts on channel 20). Rebroadcast transmitters would be located at Moncton (channel 27 with 108,000 watts) and Fredericton (85,700 watts on channel 41). President Ken Clark said the plan would resolve the long-standing complaint of too little CBC-TV service in New Brunswick. The new network would carry many local productions now on CHSJ-TV and its rebroadcasters. This would allow CHSJ to schedule virtually all CBC network programs. Estimated costs for the new service: $6 million. MITV would create 97 new jobs – 69 of those in Halifax.
On January 22, the CRTC approved by majority vote, New Brunswick Broadcasting Company’s applications for a third television service in the Maritime provinces. Maritime Independent Television or MITV would operate on UHF channels 23 – Saint John (effective radiated power of 134,000 watts), 41 – Fredericton (53,600 watts), 27 – Moncton (108,000 watts) and 20 – Halifax (128,200 watts). Co-owned CHSJ-TV agreed to a ten-year contract with the CBC, by which the station and its rebroadcasters would remain affiliated with the network. MITV would broadcast 116 hours a week. 21 hours of that time would be devoted to local productions. News would be complemented with the Global National news feed. Regional production would include business, sports and community affairs programs. The MITV service would be extended in time to the rest of the Maritimes, especially Prince Edward Island over time. The licences would expire August 31, 1990.
MITV was successful in its bid to switch from UHF to VHF channels in Saint John and Fredericton. A third application to change from channel 20 to channel 8 (10,800 watts) in Halifax was denied. Expecting to launch September 8, MITV would now broadcast with 18,300 watts on channel 12 (instead of 134 kw on ch. 23) at Saint John, and with 9,000 watts on channel 11 (instead of 53.6 kw on ch. 41) at Frederiction.
On September 5, 1988, CIHF-TV signed on the air. MITV was the region’s only over the air independent television station. With studios and operations centered in Halifax (Dartmouth), and all other functions located in Saint John, the new station offered separate newscasts to each province, and an opportunity for advertisers to buy one or both provinces within the same program schedule.
It should be noted that New Brunswick Broadcasting had applied for a Halifax station in 1981 (channel 20 with effective radiated power of 192,800 watts). The application was turned down in 1982.
MITV’s early news team included: Laura Lee Langley, Kelly Ryan and Carol McDade from ATV Halifax; Robin Smyth from CKPR-TV Thunder Bay and Ray Cormier from CKY-TV Winnipeg.
Transmitters were added in Truro (channel 18), Wolfville (channel 20), and Bridgewater (channel 9), Nova Scotia, bringing the MITV signal to the Valley and part of the south shore.
CIHF-TV-3 Moncton was given permission to increase effective radiated power from 108,000 watts to 124,700 watts and to decrease antenna height.
MITV’s seven station network was given a 4-year licence renewal. Expenditures on Canadian programming during the first year of the new term were expected to reach $2.6 million at Halifax and $1.5 million at Saint John.
CIHF-TV received approval to decrease effective radiated power from 10,800 watts to 8,190 watts. The change was due to the relocation of CIHF-TV’s antenna to a new tower recently erected by the CBC.
On December 13 Kenneth Colin Irving passed away at the age of 93. He formed Irving Oil as a young man and went on to build an empire that included New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (CHSJ-AM-TV and MITV).
CanWest Global Communications was having a look at the New Brunswick Broadcasting Company’s television properties. General manager Larry Nichols said CanWest expressed an interest in CHSJ-TV and MITV, the Maritime network that carried many of the same programs as the CanWest Global group.
A second expansion was completed, adding transmitters in Sydney (channel 11 with ERP of 52,800 watts), New Glasgow (channel 34), Shelburne (channel 10), and Yarmouth (channel 45), Nova Scotia. This brought coverage to 90% of the province.
After losing an average of $5 million dollars per year since sign-on, CIHF-TV was sold to CanWest Global Communications Corp. on August 29, 1994, in a three way sale involving the CBC purchasing CHSJ-TV and moving it to Fredericton, renaming it CBAT-TV, as a full CBC station.
Halifax became the operational and business centre for CIHF-TV later in the year.
After two years as MITV’s general manager, Ted Billo resigned. This followed the purchase of the stations by CanWest Global. Billo left on September 28.
On March 10, the CRTC announced an amendment for CIHF-TV concerning the airing of infomercials. In addition to the 12 minutes of advertising material permitted by subsection 11(1) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the licensee might 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.
CIHF-TV Saint John relocated from the old CHSJ location on Union Street to a new facility in Brunswick Square in the downtown area.
Within one year of the new ownership the reorganization and marketing focus had made CIHF-TV profitable for the first time in its history.
The station changed its on air image, dropping the “MITV” label, and became “Global”, as part of a national coordinated effort to brand the company across Canada.
It was announced that five new transmitters would be added to MITV’s eleven-transmitter network in a $1.7 million expansion plan. The transmitters would be located at Antigonish (NS), Glen Valley (PE), St. Stephen (NB), Rogersville/Miramichi City (NB), and Hartland, (NB).
Rick Friesen was general manager, Ken Hauschildt was dir of engineering, and Patricia Wourms was promotions manager. Prime time newscasts were anchored by Bruce Graham and Judy Pal. Doug Vaessen anchored “Sportsline”. Nelson Hansen was a reporter.
Anchor Judy Pal left MITV to return to the PR field. Carol McDade was news director.
Dan MacLellan joined MITV’s newsroom. Stacey Jones had been filling in as news anchor. Nancy Sheppard remained on maternity leave.
A third expansion was undertaken, adding transmitters in Charlottetown – channel 14, Mulgrave – channel 28, Antigonish – channel 21, Woodstock – channel 38, Miramichi City – channel 40, and St. Stephen – channel 21. This brought over the air coverage up to 90% of the Maritime population.
Global Halifax news anchor Bruce Graham left that post on November 6 after 10 years but continued to do commentaries and to host a business affairs program.
Carol McDade, former news director of Global Atlantic, became senior producer. Michael Fulmes took over as news director on April 5, arriving in Halifax from news director duties at Global Regina. Global Atlantic’s new co-anchor was Janet Stewart, former weekend anchor/reporter at ATV Halifax.
Barry Saunders was appointed general manager of Global Atlantic (CIHF-TV). He had been general sales manager. Former GM Rick Friesen moved to CanWest Global New Zealand.
Greg Murphy, long-time New Brunswick radio and TV broadcaster died. He spent most of his career in sports, first at CHSJ-AM, then moved to CHSJ-TV. He was considered one of the first TV personalities in the province, beginning his career in the early 1960’s. He retired as sales manager of CHSJ/MITV in 1995.
On October 27, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CanWest MediaWorks Inc. and its subsidiaries, licensees of various broadcasting undertakings across Canada, from the late Mr. Israel Asper to Mrs. Ruth Miriam Asper, and subsequently from Mrs. Ruth Miriam Asper to the children, through their control of the board of directors of CanWest Global Communications Corp., pursuant to a nomination agreement between them and CanWest Communications Corporation, a corporation controlled by Mrs. Ruth Miriam Asper. (Note: CanWest Mediaworks was now the parent of Global Television)
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 May 15th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for all of CanWest’s Over-The-Air stations, including CHIF-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 October 20, the CRTC approved the application by Canwest Television GP Inc. (the general partner) and Canwest Media Inc. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Canwest Television Limited Partnership, to amend the licence for CIHF-TV to add a post-transition digital transmitter (CIHF-DT) in order to serve the population of Halifax. The new transmitter would operate on channel 8 with an average effective radiated power of 410 watts (maximum ERP of 1,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 241 metres). The Commission noted that CIHF-DT would operate on a channel that is different than the one allotted in the Department of Industry’s DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan.
On the same date the commission approved the application by Canwest Television Limited Partnership for the addition of a post-transitional Digital Television transmitter for CIHF-TV-2 in Saint John. The new transmitter would operate on channel 12 with an average effective radiated power of 2,600 watts (maximum ERP of 6,000 watts), using a directional antenna. Antenna height would be 354 metres and the existing Canwest-owned tower would be used. Programming would be fed via satellite.
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 CIHF-TV-3 Moncton to add a digital transmitter (post transitional). CIHF-DT-3 would operate on channel 27 with an average effective radiated power of 47,000 watts (maximum ERP of 86,000 watts), using a directional antenna. Effective antenna height above average terrain would be 311.5 metres and the existing CBC tower would be used. Programming would be received via microwave. The Commission also approved an amendment to the licence for CIHF-TV-14 Charlottetown to add a digital transmitter (post-transitional). CIHF-DT-14 would operate on channel 42 with an average effective radiated power of 4,100 watts (maximum ERP of 6,400 watts), using a directional antenna. Effective height of the antenna above average terrain would be 146 metres and the existing Bell Alliant tower would be used. CIHF-DT-14 would receive its programming off-air from CIHF-DT-3.
BNN executive producer Mike Omelus moved to Global News as Eastern regional director. He would oversee all editorial and production teams at Global Maritimes, Global Montreal, and Global Winnipeg’s newsrooms.
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence of conventional television station CIHF-TV-1 Fredericton, to add a post-transition digital television transmitter on channel 44 with a maximum effective radiated power of 28,000 watts (average ERP of 15,000 watts) with directional antenna.Effective height above average terrain would be 163.5 metres and the existing CanWest tower would be used. Programming would be sent to the transmitter by microwave.
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licences for CIHF-DT Halifax and its transmitters CIHF-TV-4 Truro, CIHF-TV-5 Wolfville, CIHF-TV-6 Bridgewater, CIHF-TV-7 Sydney, CIHF-TV-8 New Glasgow, CIHF-TV-9 Shelburne, CIHF-TV-10 Yarmouth, CIHF-TV-15 Antigonish, and CIHF-TV-16 Mulgrave; CIHF-DT-2 Saint John and its transmitters CIHF-DT-1 Fredericton, CIHF-DT-3 Moncton, CIHF-TV-11 Woodstock, CIHF-TV-12 St. Stephen, CIHF-TV-13 Miramichi, and CIHF-DT-14 Charlottetown, until August 31, 2016. The Commission noted the licensee’s commitment to broadcast 2.5 hours a week of distinct local programming for each of the following markets: Halifax and Saint John.
The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. From the CIHF-TV Halifax feed, only the Halifax transmitter converted to digital. The analog transmitter was shut down (channel 8) and digital transmitter turned on (also on channel 8 – virtual 8.1) before the deadline. From the Saint John feed, the conversion to digital took place at Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton and Charlottetown. CIHF-TV-2 Saint John made the conversion from analog (ch 12) to digital (ch 12 – virtual 12.1) before the deadline. CIHF-TV-1 Fredericton turned on its digital transmitter (ch 11 – virtual 44.1) early and shut down the analog transmitter (ch 44) on August 31. CIHF-TV-3 Moncton operated on channel 27 in analog and then in digital (virtual 27.1). The transition to digital for this transmitter took place on August 16. The Charlottetown transmitter – CIHF-TV-14 made the change on August 15 and continued to use channel 42 (analog to digital – virtual channel 42.1).
Ron Kronstein became the new senior anchor at Global Maritimes. His appointment marked the re-launch of the Atlantic stations’ evening news programs. He began June 13 as host of both the New Brunswick Evening News and the Nova Scotia Evening News. Russ White announced his retirement, effective November 8. He’d been with Global Maritimes as its Cape Breton bureau chief in Sydney for the past 12 years and was with CJCB Sydney for 25 years before that, the last few years as news director. Bill Albert, general manager/general sales manager at Global Maritimes (Halifax) was no longer with the company.
Jim Haskins became Global Maritimes Station Manager/News Director, in the fall. He moved from Edmonton where he was responsible for Alberta sales and marketing of CBC-TV and cbc.ca. Before that, Haskins was VP/GM of Craig Media’s A-Channel Edmonton and A-Channel Calgary. He began his career as a reporter/anchor at CJIC-TV/CKCY Sault Ste. Marie.
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 Maritimes moved to new facilities on Gottingen Street in Halifax. The last news package from the temporary facility took place December 7, then from the mobile truck over the weekend. On Monday (the 10th), General Manager Jim Haskins said, Global Maritimes became the first fully HD television service in Atlantic Canada and would launch its new morning show late in the month.
Global Maritimes launched a morning news show January 28. Called Morning News, the program aired weekdays from 6-9 a.m.
Global News rebranded Global Maritimes as Global Halifax and Global New Brunswick, the intention being to put an increased focus on local news. The rebranding included the launch of new programming and the hiring of on-air talent. The one-hour regional News Final broadcast was succeeded by a local 30-minute News Final newscast at each of Halifax and New Brunswick.
CIHF-DT-2 Saint John became CHNB-DT.
Shelley Steeves was Global New Brunswick’s new senior correspondent, based in Moncton. Before joining Global, she was a reporter and producer at CBC News Moncton as well as the Atlantic bureau chief for the Weather Network.
On October 9, the CRTC approved the applications by Shaw Television Limited Partnership to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language conventional television programming undertaking CIHF-DT Halifax in order to add digital transmitters to replace its existing analog transmitters CIHF-TV-4 Truro (channel 18, maximum effective radiated power of 3,500 watts), CIHF-TV-5 Wolfville (ch. 20, max. ERP 166,000 watts), CIHF-TV- 6 Bridgewater (ch. 35, max ERP 17,500 watts), CIHF-TV-7 Sydney (ch. 36, max, ERP 65,000 watts), CIHF-TV-8 New Glasgow (ch. 34, max ERP 3,700 watts), CIHF-TV-9 Shelburne (ch. 28, max ERP 11,300 watts) and CIHF-TV-10 Yarmouth (ch. 45, max ERP 4,900 watts).
On March 4, the CRTC approved the applications by Shaw Television Limited Partnership to amend the broadcasting licence for CIHF-DT Halifax to add digital transmitters to replace its existing analog transmitters CIHF-TV-15 Antigonish (ch. 21, ERP of 7,000 watts) and CIHF-TV-16 Mulgrave (ch. 28, 96 watts). On the same date, the Commission approved the same for CHNB-DT Saint John…to add digital transmitters to replace its existing analog transmitters: CIHF-DT-11 Woodstock (ch. 38, ERP of 4,470 watts), CIHF-DT-12 St. Stephen (ch. 21, 2,200 watts) and CIHF-DT-13 Miramichi (ch. 40, 4,400 watts).
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.
In February, Global News announced the elimination of nearly 80 positions across the country, in a move away from producing television news content. The changes included a move to have the Global Halifax and New Brunswick 6:00 p.m. newscasts anchored out of Toronto.
On June 13, the CRTC approved the deletion of the following CIHF-DT rebroadcast transmitters at the request of Corus Entertainment Inc. – CIHF-DT-11 Woodstock, CIHF-DT-12 St. Stephen, and CIHF-DT-13 Miramichi.
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.