CHFD-DT, Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Electronics Ltd.

StationYearChannelNetwork AffiliateOwner/Info
CHFD-DT20114.4 (4)GlobalThunder Bay Electronics Ltd.
CHFD-TV19724CTVThunder Bay Electronics Ltd.


On July 28, Thunder Bay Electronics Ltd. (owner of CKPR-AM-FM-TV) was given approval to operate a new TV station in the city to provide CTV network service. It would broadcast on channel 4 with effective radiated power of 520 watts video and 104 watts audio (non-directional) with antenna height of 180 feet. The applicant was however advised to apply for higher power for the station by the end of August as there was no reason for the CTV station to have a smaller coverage area than company’s CBC station.

CHFD-TV Channel 4 signed on the air October 14. The “HFD” in the call sign – Hector Fraser Dougall – owner of Thunder Bay Electronics. With the launch of this station, the CKPR-TV/CHFD-TV combination became the first “twin-stick” TV facility in Canada


On March 21, CHFD-TV was authorized to increase effective radiated video power from 520 watts to 30,000 watts and increase antenna height from 180 feet to 1,197 feet. These changes would allow 12,000 additional people to view the station and would bring CHFD-TV into compliance with the CRTC’s original condition that its (CTV) signal not be weaker than the co-owned signal of CKPR-TV (CBC).


CKPR-TV and CHFD-TV, both owned by Thunder Bay Electronics, were given approval to combine their news resources. The stations were to acquire ENG equipment and provide complete colour and mobile capability.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed CHFD-TV’s licence until September 30, 1985


When CKPR-TV and CHFD-TV had their licences renewed, it was noted that Thunder Bay Electronics Limited owned in addition to the TV stations, radio stations CKPR and CJSD-FM in Thunder Bay. The company is 100% owned and controlled by local resident, H.F. Dougall through H.F. Dougall Company Limited. CHFD-TV produces a daily news program at 5:30 p.m. The station receives its CTV programs via microwave from CKY-TV Winnipeg, and that the one-hour time zone difference results in the broadcast of CTV’s 11:00 p.m. newscast at midnight in Thunder Bay. TBE stated at the hearing that it has raised this matter with network representatives and may, in the future, receive the CTV programs via satellite which would permit it to be broadcast at 11:00 p.m.

Ethnic programming is scheduled on both stations on Sundays. CKPR-TV broadcasts programs to the Finnish and Ukranian communities while CHFD-TV’s three programs, including the partly locally-produced program “Panorama”, are directed to persons of Italian heritage. CHFD-TV committed to broadcast a minimum of 11 hours 8 minutes per week of original local programs.


The CRTC approved the application for authority to effect a change in the effective control of Thunder Bay Electronics Limited, through the transfer of all the issued and outstanding shares from H. F. Dougall Co. Ltd. to Thunder Bay Television Inc. Thunder Bay Electronics would continue to be ultimately controlled by Hector Fraser Dougall a Canadian citizen and resident. The Commission notes that the share transfer occurred without its prior approval.


It should be noted that CHFD-TV’s programming is rebroadcast over CKAR-TV Channel 8 at Armstrong.


Fraser Dougall was presented with an Order of Ontario. Dougall, the owner of Dougall Media, was the first Canadian to create a TV operation that held two licences in the same market. Thunder Bay Television carried CTV on one station and CBC on the other. The media owner and philanthropist actively promoted community interests and supported local projects through his radio stations’ and TV programming.


On January 11th, it was reported that CHFD had been unable to negotiate a new deal with CTV to continue to carry some of its programming, and had applied to the CRTC to disaffiliate from the network and align itself with the CanWest Global network instead.

On March 16, the CRTC approved an application by Thunder Bay Electronics Limited to amend the broadcasting licence for CHFD-TV by deleting the condition of licence that reads as follows: The licensee shall operate this undertaking as an affiliate of the television network operated by CTV Television Inc. CHFD-TV would operate as an independent local station and would receive its non-local programming from Canwest Global.

The CRTC approved a Change to the ownership structure of Thunder Bay Electronics Limited for estate planning purposes, through the transfer of the Class A Voting Preferred shares held by Mr. H.F. Dougall in Thunder Bay Television Inc., the parent corporation of the licensee, to a joint ownership of these shares by Mr. Dougall and Ms. E.C. Dougall. The transaction would not affect the effective control of the broadcasting undertakings as it continued to be exercised by Mr. H.F. Dougall. Thunder Bay Electronics Limited was the licensee of CHFD-TV and CKPR-TV Thunder Bay.


On February 21, the CRTC approved the applications by Thunder Bay Electronics Limited to amend the licences for CKPR-TV and CHFD-TV to add post-transition digital transmitters to serve the population of Thunder Bay. The transmitter associated with CHFD-TV would operate on channel 4 with an effective radiated power of 1,200 watts (effective height of antenna above average terrain of 366.2 metres).

On July 12, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CHFD-DT until August 31, 2013.

The deadline for conversion from analog to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CHFD-TV made the transition to digital in early August. The digital channel was 4 (virtual 4.4), the same channel used by the analog operation (now discontinued).


In August, Fraser Dougall passed away at age 73. He was president of Dougall Media and joined the company in 1958.

Tony (Antoine) Seuret died at age 74. He spent 25 years as VP/GM at twin-stick Thunder Bay Television and later, Rock 94.3/CKPR 91.5.

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.

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