CJCB-TV, CTV, Sydney

Bell Media Inc.

StationYearChannelNetwork AffiliateOwner/Info
CJCB-TV20114CTV CTVCTV Television Network
CJCB-TV19974CTVBaton Broadcasting Inc.
CJCB-TV19544CBCCJCB Radio Ltd.


CJCB filed an application for the operation of a television station, operating on channel 4 with an effective radiated power of 24,000 watts video and 12,000 watts audio through an antenna 299.2 feet above average terrain. Although there were 3 VHF channels for Sydney (including channel 4), the Department of Transport’s TV plan listed only channel 2 for this area.

The CBC opened Canada’s first television stations in September of 1952 – CBFT Montreal, followed two days later by CBLT in Toronto. The corporation had plans for a number of additional stations of its own, across the country. In March, the CBC, which was also the broadcast regulator, recommended for approval (to the Department of Transport), television licences for the private sector at Hamilton, London, Quebec City, Saint John, Sudbury, Sydney and Windsor. An application for Kitchener was denied. The board said the station would extend the national service in addition to providing local coverage. The CBC also announced that private stations would be required to carry programs produced by the CBC. The stations would be paid by the CBC part of the revenue the corporation received from commercial programs, while sustaining and other programs would be supplied free of charge. Marven Nathanson’s CJCB application called for an estimated capital cost of $600,000. He said it was most desirable to have TV stations operated by radio broadcasters, since radio profits could be invested in TV to tied it over in the lean years. He said he wanted to go all out in establishing a TV station because he felt that in a few years radio would become merely an appendage of the television industry. The application was opposed by a new company, Cabot Television Co. Ltd., composed partly of some of the shareholders of CJFX radio in Antigonish. The company said it was trying to raise $500,000 and if it was unsuccessful in the next few weeks, the group would recommend to the CBC board that the licence go to CJCB.

In May it was announced the target launch date would be next spring. The primary coverage area would have a radius of about 40 miles…within which, some 110,000 people would have a grade A service available. Marven Nathanson was manager and Norris Nthanson was in charge of programming. T.C. Robertson headed the technical staff. No equipment had been acquired yet but Marven Nathanson said plans called for complete live studio, film and live remote facilities…likely a mobile unit. A total cost of about $600,000 was announced. 

CJCB-TV received approval to increase effective radiated power from 24,000 watts video and 12,000 watts audio to 99,500 watts video and 59,700 watts audio. Antenna height would increase from 299.2 feet to 322 feet above average terrain. A directional antenna would be used.

It was announced that the studios would be located in the same building as the transmitter, on the outskirts of the city.


The first 10,000 watt television transmitter to be built in Canada was nearing completion for CJCB-TV. The TT-10 AL/AH was the work of RCA Victor of Montreal. It was contained in six small easily handled cubicles occupying about half the floor space of earlier 5,000 watt TV models.

Cape Breton Broadcasters Ltd. (owner of CJCB Radio – owned by the Nathanson family) opened CJCB-TV Channel 4 on October 9. The CBC affiliate broadcast with 27,200 watts video. CJCB was the first private television station in Nova Scotia. It operated from its own building, separate from CJCB Radio. The new building was designed specifically for television. 


CJCB-TV purchased a rear screen projector to provide realistic backgrounds.


CJCB-TV now had an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts video and 60,000 watts audio. Ownership of Cape Breton Broadcasters Ltd.: J. Marven Nathanson 49.9%, Norris L. Nathanson 49.9%, Jennie Nathanson 0.2%. J. Marven Nathanson was president of the company and manager. Mrs. M. C. MacQuarrie was program director. Norris Nathanson was music director. 

ERP was listed at the end of the year as 180,000 watts video and 108,000 watts audio. 

CJCB-FM signed on the air. 


CJCB-TV applied for a rebraodcast transmitter at Inverness, N.S. – channel 6 with effective radiated power of 6,000 watts video and 3,200 watts audio. Just like a previous application, this one was also deferred. CFCY-TV Charlottetown opposed the application on both occasions. 


By this time, CJCB-TV-1 Inverness (channel 6) was on the air.


Nate Nathanson, the founder of CJCB-AM-FM and TV passed away on February 28. His sons Marven and Norris took control of the company.


On December 20, the CRTC announced some major changes regarding television service in the Maritimes.  CKCW-TV Moncton would fully affiliate with the CTV network, with rebroadcaster at Saint John/Fredericton. Present CKCW-TV rebroadcast facilities at Campbellton and Upsalquitch and of CKAM-TV-1 Newcastle would remain licenced to Moncton Broadcasting Ltd. and remain affiliated with the CBC, supplemented by local CKCW programs. The CBC would be expected to establish transmitters at Fredericton. CHSJ-TV Saint John would remain affiliated with the CBC and would establish a rebroadcaster at Moncton.

CJCH-TV Halifax, a CTV affiliate, would extend service to cover fully, the southern part of Nova Scotia, namely the counties of Lunenberg, Queens, Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby.

CJCB-TV Sydney would extend service to Prince Edward Island and would be fully affiliated with CTV. The CBC would be expected to establish rebroadcasters to cover Antigonish and areas of Cape Breton presently serviced by CJCB-TV. Radio-Canada would be expected to extend service to Yarmouth, Saint John-Fredericton, Halifax and Cape Breton. 

Bill Jessome was news director.


CKAM-TV-1 at Newcastle, N.B., was authorized to move from channel 7 to channel 9. Power would remain five watts.


On February 5, approval was granted for the transfer by CJCH Ltd. of CJCH-TV Halifax, CJCH-TV-1 Canning, and CJCH-TV-6 Caledonia to CHUM Ltd. (60%), Frederick G.Sherratt (20%), Gloria Sherratt (5%), Finlay MacDonald (5%), Dr. Clarence L. Gosse (2 1/2%), W. J. MacInnis (2 1/2%), Dr. F. Gordon Mack (2 1/2%), and Dr. S. C. Lannon (2 1/2%). CHUM Limited held the 40% interest on behalf of the seven other shareholders.

On April 29, approval was granted for the issuance of 686 common shares from the treasury of CJCH Ltd. to Celtic Investments Ltd. and for the transfer of 200 common shares from the present shareholders to CHUM Limited.

CHUM’s CJCH Limited acquired CJCB-TV Sydney (with rebroadcasters at Inverness and Antigonish) from Cape Breton Broadcasters. Cape Breton and CJCH Ltd. merged and CJCB-TV became a wholly-owned subsidiary of CJCH Ltd.


CKCW-TV Moncton, New Brunswick was purchased by CJCH Limited in April.

CJCH Ltd. was given permission to add a rebroadcaster at Charlottetown.

The ATV (Atlantic Television Network) launched September 13. CJCH-TV, CJCB-TV and CKCW-TV were connected by microwave to provide the new service.

CJCB-TV received approval to add a number of rebroadcast transmitters: New Glasgow (channel 2, five watts, directional – to receive programs via CJCB-TV-2 Antigonish), Dingwall (channel 9 – 5 watts – directional – programs received directly from CJCB-TV Sydney), and Bay St. Lawrence (channel 7, one watt, directional). 

CJCB-TV-2 Antigonish (channel 9) received permission to increase effective radiated power from 73,000 watts video and 37,000 watts audio (directional) with antenna height of 921 feet to 140,000 watts video and 28,000 watts audio (directional) from antenna height of 902 feet.


ATV’s Charlottetown rebroacaster (channel 8) signed on in February.

Rebroadcast transmitters were approved for Bay St. Lawrence, Dingwall, New Glasgow and Yarmouth

Upgrading of studios at Halifax, Sydney and Moncton were completed. The Halifax studios were now operational in full colour.


ATV’s entire system was now broadcasting in colour as of the summer as colour equipment had now been installed at CJCB-TV Sydney. 


Randy MacDonald was appointed news director of ATV Cape Breton.

Marven Nathanson was vice-president of operations of the Atlantic Television System, present owners of CJCB-TV, and president of Celtic Investments, owners of CJCB and CKPE-FM. Norris Nathanson was vice-president of Celtic and general manager of the radio stations.


On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CJCB-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.


Baton Broadcasting swapped CFPL-TV London, CKNX-TV Wingham, CHWI-TV Wheatley and CHRO-TV Pembroke/Ottawa for CHUM’s Atlantic Television System stations (CJCH-TV Halifax, CJCB-TV Sydney, CKCW-TV Moncton/ Charlottetown and CKLT-TV Saint John/Fredericton). This transaction gave Baton an additional 14.3% interest, and control of the CTV Television Network.

After purchasing the CTV Television Network, Baton Broadcasting Inc. changed its name to CTV Inc. The name change was effective December 21.


Bell Globemedia (Bell Canada Enterprises, Thomson Canada Ltd., and The Woodbridge Co. Ltd.) purchased CTV Inc.

By this time, CJCB-TV operated the following transmitters: CJCB-TV-1 Inverness, CJCB-TV-2 Antigonish, CJCB-TV-3 Dingwall, CJCB-TV-4 New Glasgow, CJCB-TV-5 Bay St. Lawrence and CJCB-TV-6 Port Hawkesbury.


On July 21, the CRTC approved an application for ownership restructuring by Bell Globemedia (BGM), parent company of CTV, stemming from a deal in December 2005 that saw two new investors added to the company.  Thomson family’s Woodbridge Co. Ltd. increased its stake in BGM to 40 per cent from 31.5 per cent, while BCE Inc. reduced its holding to 20 per cent from 68.5 per cent.  Two other investors were added to the deal, including Torstar Corp. and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, each with 20 per cent.

On December 14th, it was announced that effective January 2007, Bell Globemedia would be renamed CTVglobemedia Inc.


On May 15th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for all of CTVglobemedia’s Over-The-Air stations, including CJCB-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. 


On October 7, the CRTC denied an application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary CTV Television Inc., to reduce the overall minimum level of Canadian programming broadcast by its conventional television stations from 60% to 55%.


On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control.

On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc. 

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 CRTC noted that it did 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.

BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the Sympatico.ca portal. 

The CRTC approved the deletion of the transmitter CJCB-TV-4 New Glasgow. This transmitter initially serviced a limited number of viewers in the New Glasgow area who were also being serviced by another transmitter associated with the Sydney station, namely CJCB-TV-2 Antigonish. The transmitter had not been operational for some time and this had not caused any disruption to viewers in the areas served by CJCB-TV Sydney.

See CJCH-TV Halifax for more on ATV. 

On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licences for CJCB-TV and its transmitters CJCB-TV-1 Inverness, CJCB-TV-2 Antigonish, CJCB-TV-3 Dingwall, CJCB-TV-5 Bay St. Lawrence, and CJCB-TV-6 Port Hawkesbury, to August 31, 2016. The Commission noted the licensee’s commitment to broadcast 7 hours of local programming per week between CJCB-TV, CJCH-TV, CKCW-TV and CKLT-TV, averaged over the broadcast year, to the communities served by these stations.

The CRTC approved a change to the ownership of Bell Media Inc., from BCE Inc. to Bell Canada. This transaction would not affect effective control of Bell Media Inc. and of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which continued to be exercised by BCE Inc. Bell Media Inc. held, directly and through its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, various radio and television programming undertakings as well as specialty and pay-per-view television services.


Bill Jessome died at age 88. A founding figure of Maritime television, was the evening anchor at CJCB-TV Sydney. He also hosted the Maritime Mysteries series and was the face of the annual Cape Breton broadcast of the CTV Christmas Daddies Telethon. Jessome was honoured by the RTDNA with a lifetime achievement award earlier this year. 


When the CJCB-DT licence was renewed in May, CJCB-TV-5 Bay St. Lawrence was removed from the licence at the request of Bell Media. The existing licence would expire August 31, 2017.


On July 30, the CRTC gave Bell Media permission to delete 28 analog rebroadcasting transmitters across the country. Bell stated the transmitters did not generate any incremental revenue and generally attracted little to no added viewership. CJCB-TV-3 Dingwall would close down on December 3, 2021.

The story continues elsewhere…
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