CBNLT-TV, Labrador City/Wabush

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CBNLT-TV197313CBCCanadian Broadcasting Corp.


CJCL-TV began broadcasting.


On July 28, the licences for the Iron Ore Co. of Canada Aviation Ltd. stations CFKL-TV Schefferville, QC and CJCL-TV Labrador City, NL were renewed for two years only. The Iron Ore Co. of Canada Aviation Ltd. was considered an ineligible company because of its ownership and financial arrangements with the Iron Ore Co. of Canada. About 60% of the shares of the latter company were owned by American companies. The entire program schedule for both stations came from the CBC – provided on video tape. 73% of the programs on CJCL-TV were in English and 27% in French. It was considered unlikely another company would be willing to buy these stations so the licences were renewed for a short-term under the existing ownership.


On March 30, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was given approval to acquire CJCL-TV and CFKL-TV from Iron Ore Co. of Canada Aviation Ltd. CJCL-TV would continue to operate on channel 13 with power of 214 watts video and 43 watts audio (directional). Full CBC network programming would now be received via satellite.

The CBC took over and the station became CBNLT on November 7.

A rebroadcast transmitter at Churchill Falls, on the air since December 25, 1968 was added to the CBNLT licence as CBNLT-1.


By this time, CBNLT-TV channel 13 was still operating with an ERP of 214 watts video and 43 watts audio.


The CRTC considered an application to amend CBNLT’s licence in order to permit it to receive all of its programs from CBNT St. John’s, thereby relieving it of the requirement that it provide local programming from Labrador City. In its application, the Corporation advised the Commission that, as a cost-cutting measure, it was closing CBNLT’s local studio facilities and that, as of March 31, it would cease the production of 15 minutes per day, Monday to Friday, of local public affairs and information programming. For ten years the CBC television station at Labrador City had prepared this local material for insertion in the provincial weekday supper-hour news program, “Here and Now”. The closure also resulted in the elimination of approximately 230 minutes per week of public service announcements. The CBC proposed that a news reporter, supported by a technical crew, would prepare news stories about Labrador City and Western Labrador and send the tapes directly to St. John’s, where the program editor would select which material would be broadcast.


The CRTC expressed serious concern that the CBC had discontinued the production of 75 minutes per week of local live television programming in Labrador City as of March 31, 1985, without prior notification to the community or authorization from the Commission. It was determined that it would be unreasonable to expect the CBC to reinstate completely the former level of local origination at CBNLT, given the budget cuts the CBC had sustained. The station was directed though, to continue to originate programming from Labrador City. The CRTC maintained that the programs broadcast by CBNLT and CBNLT-1 be received from studios located at Labrador City.


The CBC notified the CRTC that it intended to introduce regular weekday local newscasts on CBNLT as of August 4.


On September 13, CBMRT Fermont, QC was authorized to change its program source from CBMT Montreal to CBNLT Labrador City.


On February 22, CBNLT-1 Churchill Falls was authorized to change its program source from CBNLT Labrador City, to the CBC television network received via satellite and local programs produced by CBNT St. John’s. The CBC indicated the change was necessary because the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Company Inc. would abandon its microwave facilities on February 9. These facilities provided the feed to Churchill Falls.

CBNLT Labrador City and CFLA-TV Goose Bay became rebroadcasting transmitters of CBNT.

The story continues elsewhere…
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