CHBX-TV, CTV, Sault St. Marie

Bell Media Inc.

StationYearChannelNetwork AffiliateOwner/Info
CHBX-TV20115CTVCTV Television Network
CHBX-TV19905CTVBaton Broadcasting Inc.
CHBX-TV19775CTVHuron Broadcasting Ltd


Applications were submitted to the CRTC by Huron Broadcasting Ltd., a new syndicate headed by Carmen Greco, owner of CKCY, to acquire all of the broadcast facilities in the Sault Ste. Marie area. The new company would purchase Hyland Radio-TV (CJIC-AM-FM-TV and CJWA Wawa) and Algonquin Radio-TV (CKCY-AM-FM, CJNR Blind River, CKNR Elliot Lake and CKNS Espanola).
Huron would then sell CJIC-AM-FM to a group headed by Russ Hilderly, the present program director of CKCY. CJIC-AM-FM would assume new call letters while CJWA would become part of the CKCY network. CJIC-TV would continue as a CBC affiliate and Huron would seek a twin stick operation with a new station to be known as CKCY-TV to bring CTV service to the area.

The CRTC approved the applications by Huron for changes in broadcast facilities in the Soo. The approval was conditional on Huron agreeing to provide CTV service no later than September 1, 1978. Huron was warned it must meet its commitments to provide better TV news and public affairs programming. CJWA was to become a full CBC affiliate with separate programming from Wawa.


Gilder Broadcasting Ltd. was authorized to purchase CFYN-AM and FM from Huron Broadcasting. Gilder was headed by longtime CKCY personality (and most recently, program director) Russ Hilderly. CJIC-AM became CFYN, CJIC-FM changed to CHAS-FM, and CKCY-FM became CJQM-FM.

Huron received permission to operate a new television station (to be known as CKCY-TV) on channel 2 with an effective radiated video power of 100,000 watts, to provide CTV service to the area. CJIC-TV (CBC) would move from channel 2 to channel 5, increase effective radiated video power from 28,000 watts to 100,000 watts and operate from a new transmitter site.

Huron was authorized to increase power for its proposed new CTV station and to change the transmitter site location.

CKCY-TV went on the air on November 5.


Work was underway on new combined TV-FM site for CJIC-TV, CKCY-TV and CKCY-FM. A 400 foot tower and 100 foot antenna mount were completed. A specially built EMI antenna was being designed to transmit both channels 2 and 5. The transmitter building was now completed and ready for the new CCA TV and FM transmitters. It was hoped CKCY-FM would be ready in March with TV to follow in the late spring or early summer.


Huron Broadcasting employees became unionized in June.


Bill Schofield became director of engineering. He had been with the CKSO stations in Sudbury. Schofield replaced Stan Corbett who had retired.


On March 21, the CRTC approved the transfer effective control of Huron Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CJIC-TV, CKCY-TV, CJQM-FM, CKCY Sault Ste. Marie, CKNR Elliot Lake, CKNS Espanola, CJNR Blind River, CJWA Wawa, and its Sault Ste. Marie cable operation, through the transfer of 1,000 common shares (16.7%) from each of J.S. Hinds, J.O. Hinds and P.D. Edwards to Soo Mill Holdings Limited, the transfer of 1,000 common shares from C.P. Greco and 400 common shares from G.E. Nori (16.7% and 6.7% respectively) to James R. McAuley Investments Inc. and the transfer of 600 common shares (10.0%) from G.E. Nori to James F. Kelleher (in trust for a company to be incorporated), Patrick J. Mahon and Joseph Anthony Martella. As a result of these proposed share transfers, Huron would be owned as follows: Soo Mill Holdings Limited 50.0%, James R. McAuley Investments Inc. 23.3%, W.A. Elgie 16.7%, F. KelLeher, OBCI 5.8%, Patrick J. Mahon 2.1% and Anthony Martella 2.1%. Soo Mill Holdings Limited was owned by three trusts, each having an equal interest and having as its beneficiary one of three brothers, Fremlin Simpson Hollingsworth, Edward Hollingsworth and Ian Woolner Hollingsworth, all of whom were residents of Sault Ste. Marie. James R. McAuley Investments Inc. was effectively controlled by James R. McAuley of Sault Ste. Marie. The Commission considered that approval of these applications would result in a substantial increase in the amount of local ownership in Huron from 50 to 100 per cent.

The Commission noted the applicant’s plans to expand local and national news coverage on CJIC-TV and CKCY-TV by introducing 30-minute newscasts at noon Monday to Friday and 15-minute newscasts at 11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, in addition to the five-minute newscasts that werecurrently offered on these stations Monday to Friday at 5:00 p.m.




The CRTC approved a stock transfer that would ensure local ownership of Huron Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CHBX-TV and CJIC-TV. The plan provided for 30.3% of the common voting stock held by nine minority shareholders to be purchased by a company controlled by the Hollingsworth family, who already held 50% of Huron’s shares. The remainder of the Huron common voting shares would continue to be held by four local shareholders. The stock transfer plan resulted after a bid by an outside company to purchase the shares.


When CHBX-TV and CJIC-TV had their licences renewed, the CRTC noted that Huron Broadcasting Ltd. was 100% locally-owned and is ultimately controlled by members of the Hollingsworth family. CJIC-TV was one of the oldest privately-owned television stations in Canada. According to the licensee, CJIC-TV broadcast approximately 90% of the CBC network schedule, supplemented by some Canadian and non-Canadian acquired programming and an average of 71/2 hours per week of original local production. CHBX-TV was a supplementary CTV affiliate. As such, it shares in neither the costs nor the revenues of the CTV network. The licensee complemented its CTV network programming with a certain amount of Canadian and non-Canadian acquired programs, and an average of 13 hours 45 minutes per week of original local programming. The licensee noted that CHBX-TV and CJIC-TV competed for this potential audience against the three major U.S. commercial television networks, the signals of which “can be received off-air with a modest antenna”.


On July 26, Pelmorex Broadcasting Inc. was given approval to acquire effective control of Mid-Canada Radio Inc. through the transfer of 100% of that company’s issued and outstanding common voting shares from Northern Cable Holdings Limited. Mid-Canada was a company formed from the amalgamation of CKCY 920 Ltd. with The Ottawa Valley Broadcasting Co. Ltd. in January 1990. It was licensee of 14 radio stations in northeastern Ontario. Northern was also the 100% shareholder of Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. the licensee of 7 television stations and their rebroadcasters in northeastern Ontario, including CBC and CTV twin-stick operations at Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins.

Baton Broadcasting Inc. of Toronto purchased Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. from Northern Cable Holdings Ltd. The purchase included CHRO-TV (CBC) Pembroke, CICI-TV (CTV) and CKNC-TV (CBC) Sudbury, CITO-TV (CTV) and CFCL-TV (CBC) Timmins, and CHNB-TV (CBC) and CKNY-TV (CTV) North Bay and their respective rebroadcasters. At the same time, Mid-Canada (Baton) purchased CHBX-TV (CTV) and CJIC-TV (CBC) Sault Ste. Marie from Huron Broadcasting Ltd. The CRTC approved these transactions on October 22. Baton, is controlled by members of the Eaton family of Toronto through their indirect ownership of a majority of Baton’s voting shares.

The Sault Ste. Marie TV stations would now operate as part of the Mid-Canada TV system which included most of the TV stations in Northern Ontario.

Also on October 22, Baton Broadcasting Inc., on behalf of Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. was authorized to operate a transmitter at Wawa, on channel 7 with an effective radiated power of 33,000 watts, to rebroadcast the programs of CHBX-TV.


The city’s two AM stations – CFYN and CKCY – left the air.


On September 1, Nation’s Capital Television Inc. amalgamated with CFTO-TV Ltd., South West Ontario Broadcasting Inc. and Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. to become BBS Ontario Inc. (All were Baton subsidiaries).


On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHBX-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 was permitted to 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 laid off 25 employees at MCTV in Northern Ontario. Local news was replaced with regional coverage on weekends. City councillors in Sault Ste. Marie asked BBS to reconsider the layoffs.


On January 27, the Eaton family sold its 41% interest in Baton.

John White Hughes Bassett (longtime head of Baton) passed away on April 27.

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


Randy Ravlich, a news producer for MCTV Sault Ste. Marie, was killed in a two-car crash near Sturgeon Falls.


In February, Bell Canada Enterprises through its subsidiary BCE Media, proposed to purchase CTV Inc. for $ 2.3 billion.

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 the ownership application was approved on December 7th.


BCE entered into an agreement with The Woodbridge Company Limited and The Thomson Corporation (owners of The Globe and Mail newspaper). Bell Globemedia Inc. was formed by these companies. Bell Globemedia became the parent of CTV Inc.

In November, MCTV stations in North Bay and Timmins lost their local newscasts. All news now came from CICI-TV Sudbury. Short local inserts were produced for the other two stations.


CJIC-TV Sault Ste. Marie, CKNC Sudbury, CHNB North Bay and CFCL Timmins were purchased from CTV Inc. by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. They became full re-broadcasters of CBLT-TV Toronto. CHBX-TV remained in the hands of CTV. For the record, CJIC-TV became CBLT-5.


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 was to 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 CHBX-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 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 portal.

On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CHBX-TV and its transmitter CHBX-TV-1 Wawa, until August 31, 2016. Additional commitment for CHBX-TV Sault Ste. Marie, CICI-TV Sudbury, CITO-TV Timmins and CKNY-TV North Bay – the Commission noted the licensee’s commitment to broadcast 7 hours of local programming per week between all four stations, 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.


John Meadows died at age 83. He had worked at CJIC-AM and CKCY-AM-TV for over 60 years as a news director, talk show host and on-air personality. Meadows was also part-owner of CKCY 920 Ltd. in the late 1980s.


When the CHBX licence was renewed in May, CHBX-TV-1 Wawa was removed from the licence at the request of Bell Media. The existing licence would expire August 31, 2017.

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.

Contact this station