CJCH-DT, CTV, Halifax
|CTV Television Network
|Baton Broadcasting Inc.
|CTV Atlantic Ltd.
The Board of Broadcast Governors gave the go ahead for second television service for Halifax by approving the application by CJCH Ltd. A competing application by Peter Herschorn (CHAL Television Ltd.) was denied. Finlay MacDonald, manager of CJCH Radio, represented CJCH Ltd. at the hearings. He said CJCH-TV would aim at capturing at least 40% of the Halifax and area TV viewing audience in competition with CBHT. The new station would broadcast on channel 5 with an effective radiated power of 47,600 watts video and 23,700 watts audio. A directional antenna would be used, with a height (EHAAT) of 793 feet. Of 72 hours a week proposed, 39 hours would consist of local live productions. Television staff would total 62. Of these, 45 would be in the charge of the TV supervisor and the rest would be involved in the integrated radio-TV operation.
In addition to applying for the new television station, CJCH also sought approval for the transfer of 400 shares to Canastel Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. of Toronto, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated Television (ATV) of the U.K. Under the proposed ownership structure Canastel would hold 22.45% of CJCH Ltd. Major shareholder under the corporate revision would be 62 year old Gerald E. Martin, a Halifax chartered accountant, with 44.96%. Finlay MacDonald would hold 22.51%. Other shareholders: Harry M. Standish, William Jones and members of the CJCH staff.
Members of the newly licensed second television stations formed the Independent Television Organization with the expectation of creating a second television network in competition with the CBC. ITO officers: Richard E. Misener of CFCF-TV (president), Ralph Misener of CJAY-TV (vice president), Charles Baldour from CFTO-TV (secretary) and E. L. Bushnell of Bushnell Broadcasting (treasurer). Elected directors: Finlay MacDonald (president of CJCH), Paul L’Anglais (vice president of CFTM-TV), Gordon Love (chairman of CFCN), G.R.A. Rice (president of CFRN) and Art Jones (president of CHAN-TV).
Finlay MacDonald made agreements with Canadian General Electric for transmitter, tower and antenna equipment; and with Annapolis Valley Construction Co. for studio building.
Print Ads: The big news in Halifax is CJCH-TV – on the air January 1. / A new channel charted…Seeway to the Maritimes’ biggest market. Channel 5 CJCH Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Canadian General Electric was building a new antenna for CJCH-TV.
On January 1st, CJCH-TV began broadcasting on channel 5, with a schedule that boasted 45 % live production. Owned by a group of Nova Scotians headed by Finlay Macdonald who would be later named to the Canadian Senate.
The CHUM Group of Toronto purchased CJCH Radio.
CJCH-TV had an effective radiated power of 52,800 watts video and 26,400 watts audio, and operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CJCH-TV-1 Canning (channel 10), CJCH-TV-2 Bayview (6) and CJCH-TV-3 Amherst (8).
CJCH sought a rebroadcaster at Amherst to provide CTV service to parts of New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and part of Prince Edward Island, using ch 8. The CBC emphasized the economic situations of stations like CKCW Moncton in markets where alternate service was being planned. They hoped if a licence was granted to CBC, CKCW would join the CTV network. CBC was also opposed to CJCH’s use of channel 8 because it would block the corporation’s plans to use channel 7 in Moncton.
The BBG denied the CJCH application to enter Moncton and would decide later on CKCW’s application to offer alternative service.
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 re-broadcaster 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 re-broadcaster 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 re-broadcasters 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.
On March 21, permission was granted for the transfer of 320 common shares of CJCH Ltd. (CJCH-TV, CJCH-TV-1 Canning, CJCH-TV-2 Bayview, CJCH-TV-3 Amherst) to CTV Television Network Ltd. and to transfer 504 common shares in CTV Atlantic Ltd. (a shareholder in CJCH) to CTV Television Network Ltd. This increased the holdings by CTV Television Network Ltd. in CTV Atlantic Ltd. from 50 to 75%. CTV Atlantic Ltd. in turn held 55% of CJCH Ltd.
Famous Players Canadian Corp. was a controlled subsidiary of Paramount International Films Inc. Famous wanted to transfer its broadcasting operations into a new corporation -Teltron Communications Ltd.. This application was denied April 17 because effective ownership of Teltron would have remained essentially the same as before. Famous Players had interests in CJCH Ltd., Television de Quebec Ltee, Central Ontario Television Ltd., British Columbia Television Broadcasting System Ltd., and numerous cable companies.
An application had been made by British Columbia Broadcasting System Ltd. and CJCH Ltd. to transfer 20,905 common shares of Canastel Broadcasting Corp. Ltd. from Associated Television Corp. Ltd. to Selkirk Holdings Ltd. and 25, 655 common shares in Canestel from Associated to Western Broadcasting Co. Ltd. Canestel had substantial interests in CHAN-TV, CHEK-TV and CJCH-TV. On July 23, the CRTC approved the application by British Columbia Broadcasting but deferred the CJCH application.
On September 2, CJCH-TV channel 5 was authorized to increase effective radiated power from 52,800 watts video and 26,400 watts audio to 100,000 watts video and 20,000 watts audio. Antenna height would incrrease from 179 to 846 feet. Antenna site would change from the existing location to the CBHT-TV tower and CJCH would change antenna pattern from directional to omnidirectional.
CJCH-TV received approval to add a transmitter at Caledonia, operating on channel 6, with an effective radiated power of 51,500 watts video and 10,300 watts audio. It would use a directional pattern from a 633 foot tower. Programming would be received from Halifax via microwave.
The CRTC said channel 8 would be used at a later time for second television service to Prince Edward Island. The channel had been used to rebroadcast CJCH-TV in the Amherst area until September 14, one week before two-channel television service was introduced in the Moncton area. On September 21, CKCW-TV, now a CTV affiliate, began transmitting its signal into the Saint John area over CKLT-TV. At the same time, CHSJ-TV, now a full CBC affiliate, beamed its service into Moncton, via CHMT-TV on channel 7.
Finlay MacDonald, president of Nova Scotia’s Industrial Estates Ltd., resigned as president of CJCH Television Ltd.
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%). 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.
CJCH-TV received approval to add a transmitter at Yarmouth, operating on channel 13 with 5 watts of power (directional). It would receive programming via CJCH-TV-6 Caledonia.
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.
When CJCH-TV had its licence renewed, it was told by the CRTC that improved service is to be provided for Annapolis Valley, Truro and Canso areas and Yarmouth, where a change of channel is under consideration.
Atlantic Television System Ltd. applied for but was denied, a licence to operate a new television station at Halifax (channel 22 with effective radiated video power of 140,000 watts). The CRTC was not satisfied that proposals for local and regional programming, and particularly for educational programming, were sufficiently developed. The Commission also felt the region could not support another station.
ATV did receive approval though, to operate new rebroadcast transmitters at Port Hawkesbury (5,600 watts on channel 3), Truro (8.4 watts, channel 12), Valley (8.4 watts, channel 12), and to make the following changes to the Yarmouth transmitter – increase ERP from 5 watts to 12,000 watts and to change the channel of operation from VHF 13 to UHF 40.
Blanchard Pearson McCurdy died at age 76. He founded CJCH-AM and was former Managing Director of CJCH-TV and was a senior executive with the Halifax Chronicle & Star prior to its merger with the Herald & Mail in 1949.
When these purchases were complete, CHUM formed what was to become the region’s most watched network known simply as ATV.
In April, the CRTC approved a license for ASN – the Atlantic Satellite Network. ASN’s mandate was to provide an educational and news/entertainment format to some of Canada’s under-served areas. The footprint of the ASN signal reaches from Maine to the Eastern Arctic.
ATV and ASN broadcast from a state of the art facility located in the CJCH-TV building in Halifax. A series of news bureaus and local stations in Moncton and Sydney supplied the Maritime audience with CTV Network and many local programs, and most importantly, extensive news programming.
Paul Lethbridge, who had worked in radio at CHUM-FM and CILQ-FM in Toronto, and at CKVR-TV in Barrie, was now head of the sports department at ATV.
CJCH-TV received approval for a rebroadcast transmitter at Bridgetown. It would broadcast on channel 13.
On April 20, Atlantic Television System Ltd. had its application for a brand new television station at Halifax denied. Other applications by New Brunswick Broaddcasting Co. Ltd. and C. A. Patterson (CFDR-AM) were also denied. ATV had a similar application denied on December 11, 1978. If approved, this would have been a new television service, offering different programming than that of CJCH (Halifax).
ATV received approval to operate rebroadcast transmitters for CJCH-TV at Sheet Harbour (480 watts on channel 2) and Marinette (16 watts on channel 69 – this was later revised to channel 23).
Dave Wright created and hosted ATV’s “Live at Five” news program.
ATV launched the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN) on May 29. The service was delivered to cable companies throughout the Atlantic region via the Eastern spot beam of Anik C-3. ATV president Fred Sherratt described ASN as a conventional, independent TV station, delivered exclusively by satellite. Programming originated from the ATV (CJCH-TV) facilities in Halifax which had been extensively rebuilt.
Doug Huskilson, news director at ATV Saint John moved to ATV Halifax. He was replaced in Saint John by Pat Ryan of ATV Charlottetown.
Former CJCH owner Finlay MacDonald was appointed to the Senate of Canada.
Dave Wright, popular host of ATV’s “Live At Five” regional news broadcast, left for WNEV-TV (CBS) in Boston, MA.
Laura Lee Langley, Kelly Ryan and Carol McDade left ATV’s news department for the new MITV.
Breakfast Television debuted in the 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. time slot on ATV on September 14, live from the Halifax Sheraton. BT features Jill Krop (from ASN), Mike Gligor (ex-Rogers Toronto), and Cape Breton’s Scott Boyd.
CHUM moved Greg Mudry from CITY-TV Toronto to the Atlantic Television System. At CITY, he was general sales manager. In his new posting, he would be vice president and general manager.
Dave Wright left the ATV Evening News anchor desk. He had left for a Boston station for a time and then returned to host the evening news after doing ATV’s Live At Five, starting in 1982.
There were some labour troubles at ATV. Eighteen women employees were locked out by the company and that was followed by the laying off of 45 employees in Moncton and Sydney to effect consolidation in Halifax.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CJCH-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.
Fred Sherratt was inducted into the CAB’s Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. He joined CHUM Toronto in 1960, became manager of CKPT Peterborough, then vice president and general manager of CJCH-AM Halifax, five years later. In 1969, Sherratt became vice president of CHUM Ltd. In 1971, he joined with CHUM and others to purchase CJCH-TV. At the time of his induction, Sherratt was vice president and CEO of CHUM Ltd., and president of ATV Television.
On February 25, the Baton-Electrohome alliance announced a deal with CHUM Ltd., involving the swapping of some TV stations, to give Baton control of CTV. Baton got CHUM’s 14.3% interest in CTV. Baton swapped CFPL-TV London, CKNX-TV Wingham, CHWI-TV Wheatley and CHRO-TV Pembroke/Ottawa for CHUM’s Atlantic Television Network (CJCH-TV Halifax, CJCB-TV Sydney, CKCW-TV Moncton/ Charlottetown and CKLT-TV Saint John/Fredericton). ATV was a CTV affiliate. Baton also gets CHUM’s Atlantic Satellite Network. Baton then owned 57% of CTV. The next largest shareholder is Western International Communications with 28.6%. The CRTC approved the application on August 28, 1997.
Fred Sherratt was president of ATV and executive vice president of CHUM Limited.
Bob McLaughlin left ATV Halifax to become vice president of news and current affairs at CIVT-TV Vancouver. He had been news director at ATV/ASN, and joined the stations in October of 1995.
ATV Evening News had a 22 share for its 6:00 p.m. news. That compared to a 7 for CBC’s First Edition and a 3 for MITV’s Metro at 6.
Jay Witherbee succeeded Bob McLaughlin as news director at ATV/ASN. He was an executive producer with CBC Alberta.
J.C. Douglas joined ATV/ASN’s Breakfast Television from CFRQ-FM in Halifax.
After purchasing the CTV Television Network, Baton Broadcasting Inc. changed its name to CTV Inc. The name change was effective December 21.
Richard Zurawski did weather at ATV Halifax. ATV reporter Janet Stewart left for Global Atlantic.
Rumours had many of the big media companies eyeing CTV.
In a surprise move, late in February, BCE (Canada telephone giant) through its subsidiary BCE Media, proposed to purchase CTV Inc. for $ 2.3 billion, the largest transaction in Canadian broadcasting.
Later in March the CTV board approved the deal, which required CRTC approval.
In June BCE submitted their brief to the CRTC with the largest “benefits package” ever presented to the regulative body. The benefits, money allocated over the proposed seven year licence term, were almost entirely to be spent on new Canadian programming. Ivan Fecan agreed to stay with the network under BCE ownership.
The CRTC hearing was held in September and was approved on December 7th.
On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval. On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM. The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC.
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 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, inluding CJCH-AM, CIOO-FM and CKUL-FM.
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%.
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence for CJCH-TV Halifax, to add a digital transmitter (post transitional). CJCH-DT would operate on channel 48 with an average effective radiated power of 210,000 watts (400,000 watts maximum), using a directional antenna from an effective height above average terrain of 211.5 metres. The existing CJCH-TV analog transmitter was at the CBC site. CJCH-DT would operate from a site owned by CTV. Fibre optics would be used for the studio to transmitter link.
Assistant news director Peter Mallette was no longer with CTV Atlantic.
Some technical positions at CTV Atlantic were to be affected come September as a result of centralization of control work, a similar situation at other CTV locations. The job categories included master control operators and videotape operators. It was not certain how many would lose their jobs.
Former ATV news anchor Dave Wright passed away in February at the age of 82.
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.
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licences for CJCH-DT Halifax and its transmitters CJCH-TV-1 Canning, CJCH-TV-2 Truro, CJCH-TV-3 Valley Colchester County, CJCH-TV-4 Bridgetown, CJCH-TV-5 Sheet Harbour, CJCH-TV-6 Caledonia, CJCH-TV-7 Yarmouth, and CJCH-TV-8 Marinette, until August 31, 2016. The Commission noted the licensee’s commitment to broadcast 7 hours of local programming per week between CJCH-TV, CJCB-TV, CKCW-TV and CKLT-TV, averaged over the broadcast year, to the communities served by these stations.
The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CJCH-TV channel 5 (analog) ended its broadcasting on August 31 and became CJCH-DT channel 48 (virtual channel 5.1) on the same date. CKCW-TV Charlottetown and CKLT-TV Saint John were scheduled to go digital on the same date with CKCW-TV Moncton following suit September 8. The Moncton analog transmitter was on channel 2 – the digital channel was 29 (virtual 2.1). The Charlottetown transmitter operated on channel 8 (analog and then digital – virtual 8.1), and the Saint John transmitter broadcast on channel 9 (analog and digital – virtual 9.1).
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.
Steve Murphy at CTV Atlantic Halifax expanded his involvement in editorial matters as executive editor and senior anchor. He would now lead the overall daily production of all CTV news programs and directing the editorial process in the selection of stories and features. Murphy would continue as anchor of “CTV News at 6” and “CTV News at Noon” on /A, however, he would step down as anchor of the Noon newscast effective next spring. Joanne Clancy was promoted at CTV Atlantic Halifax to assistant ND/senior producer. Clancy had worked as reporter, anchor and producer in radio and television, at station and network levels.
CTV Atlantic news director Jay Witherbee joined Dalhousie University as director of communications and PR. His last day in the Halifax newsroom was March 2. He led the CTV Atlantic news department for 15 years, the youngest person at the time to hold such a CTV post.
Andy LeBlanc, President of the RTDNA and a TV instructor at the New Brunswick Community College’s Woodstock campus, became News Director at CTV Atlantic in Halifax. LeBlanc’s history with CTV included having started his career with it in New Brunswick as a Reporter and eventually moving up to become Assistant News Director at Halifax before accepting a job as ND at CTV Southwestern Ontario in Kitchener.
Joe King passed away in October at the age of 90. He joined the station when it first went on the air and was CJCH-TV’s first news director.
CTV Halifax shut down its Charlottetown bureau. It would cover P.E.I. from its Moncton office.
When the CJCH-DT licence was renewed in May, CJCH-TV-2 Truro and CJCH-TV-8 Marinette were removed from the licence at the request of Bell Media. The existing licence would expire August 31, 2017.
Rob Beck, 73, died on March 9. He was a 30-year employee of CTV Atlantic. Beck first joined what was then ATV in October of 1984 as an account executive. In 1986, he took a one year break to work in sales for a local car dealership, before returning to the station. Beck retired in 2015.
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. The following CJCH-DT transmitters would be shut down December 3, 2021: CJCH-TV-3 Valley/Colchester and CJCH-TV-4 Bridgetown.
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.