CBET-DT, CBC-TV, Windsor

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

StationYearChannelNetwork AffiliateOwner/Info
CBET-DT20109.1 (9)CBCCanadian Broadcasting Corp.
CBET-TV19759CBCCanadian Broadcasting Corp.
CKLW-TV19709CBCBaton Broadcasting Inc.
CKLW-TV19569CBCRKO Distributing
CKLW-TV19549CBCWestern Ontario Broadcasting


Windsor was to be serviced by American television following an announcement that DuMont receivers would be manufactured for adaptability to 25 cycle power used in certain areas of Canada. The Detroit News, owner of WWDT-TV (later WWJ-TV), revealed that service would be made available to Canadians within 35 miles of WWDT, located in the Penobscot Building in Detroit. ABC’s Detroit station (WDLT, later WXYZ) was also nearing completion, giving Windsor another possible station to view. Two downtown Detroit studios were ready for use at the end of the year and a 355 foot tower for FM and TV was available for use.


CKLW submitted a television application to the Department of Transport. The Windsor Chamber of Commerce officially backed the proposal. The chamber told the CBC that while the area was widely served by American TV stations, it was felt the area should have the competitive services of a Canadian station so that telecasts of a Canadian nature may be transmitted within the area as extensively as possible. Western Ontario Broadcasting Co.’s application proposed the use of channel 9 with an effective radiated power of 103,000 watts video and 61,800 watts audio with an antenna 619.5 feet above average terrain. The CBC Board of Governors approved the CKLW proposal, saying it recommended this station for approval on the understanding that it would be fully obligated to carry available national program service at times specified. The proposed station would provide an adequate service in the region it was intended to serve. CKLW president and general manager J.E. Campeau said he had originally applied for a TV licence in 1949 but no action had been taken by the CBC Board. The CBC pointed out that a survey revealed 85% of the station’s programs were American. Campeau responded by saying he hoped to have considerable Canadian programming on TV.

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 but approved by the end of the year.

Plans for the development of a national TV network composed of privately-owned and CBC stations were tentatively agreed to in June. Present licensees agreed to carry a minimum of 10 1/2 hours of CBC-produced programs weekly.

CKLW was granted an increase in effective radiated power from 103,000 watts video and 61,800 watts audio to 250,000 watts video and 140,000 watts audio. Maximum power would be 325,000 watts video and 220,000 watts audio. Antenna height would increase from 619 to 631 feet and a directional antenna would be used. The changes would bring Sarnia withing CKLW-TV’s coverage area. The technical changes still required American approval.

Ad: By 1954 Canada’s most powerful television station – covering the nation’s best TV market.

Just before Christmas a joint ground breaking ceremony was held by Canadian and American officials to start the $1,250,000 project to erect the 670 foot CKLW-TV tower in combination with new AM-FM and TV studios on the Windsor waterfront. RCA would supply the new TV tower. Among those on hand for the ceremony were Detroit Mayor Albert E. Cobo, Windsor Mayor Arthur J. Reaume and the Honorable Paul Martin, Minister of National Health and Welfare. Manager J.E. Campeau said he expected CKLW would be on the air seven hours daily from 4 to 11 p.m. starting in July (1954) although no programming plans would be completed until March. He added that much of the current radio personnel and talent would be utilized to build local shows in respect to news, sports and features, all to be augmented by an extensive film program. The new building and tower would be located at Sandwich and Crawford Streets, facing the Detroit River. CKLW-TV would be the first Canadian TV station to operate on maximum allowable power (325,000 watts video ERP). Audio power would be 220,000 watts ERP.

In addition to J.E. Campeau (president and general manager), other members of the CKLW board of directors were Harry Sedgwick, J.E. Rogers, Samuel Rogers, Q.C., and John Campbell. E. Wilson Wardell was commercial manager. 


Joseph E. Ted Campeau
Joseph E. Ted Campeau

In January CFPL-TV became the fourth and newest link in Canada’s network of TV stations as the microwave relay system constructed and operated by Canadian National-Canadian Pacific was completed to the city. The network now stretched from Toronto to Montreal, via Ottawa, servicing CBC TV stations in each city, and four new microwave transmitters (Milton, Galt, Woodstock and London) completed the span from Toronto to London. The new transmitters would carry long distance phone calls and some 22 hours of network TV programs a week to CFPL-TV. Plans called for the extension of the system with short hops to CHCH-TV Hamilton and from the Galt unit to Kitchener’s CKCO-TV. From London the system would also be extended to CKLW-TV in Windsor. UPDATE: The link to Kitchener was to be completed on February 21. On this date it was expected that CKCO-TV would begin telecasting as a basic station in the CBC’s mid-eastern TV network. Completion of the link to CHCH-TV Hamilton was expected in April, and to CKLW-TV Windsor, early next year. There were also plans to link Montreal with CFCM-TV in Quebec City.

S. Campbell Ritchie, for several years program director of CKLW, was appointed director of operations for CKLW and CKLW-TV, which was planning to debut in early September. The appointment was announced by J.E. (Ted) Campeau, president. Arthur MacColl, film director at WJBK-TV Detroit assumed the same position with CKLW-TV. Don Sharon would be his assistant. Bruce Chick, continuity director for radio, was now TV traffic director. Don Grant, assistant chief photographer for the Windsor Daily News for 15 years was named TV news photographer. These TV directors were named: Al Venning, Charles Broadhead and Bernard Holland. Frank Quinn, formerly of Chrysler Corp., was assigned to TV production. Charles Knight would be art director and Giles McMahon would devote a large part of his time to program promotion. John Gordon was transferred from chief announcer to radio program director. Margaret Marshall would be in charge of CKLW traffic and continuity. Art Turnbull, staff announcer for the past 12 years, would assume responsibilities as director of production facilities. W.J. (Bill) Carter was director of engineering for CKLW Radio and Television.
CKLW-TV signed on the air on September 16. Studios, offices, antenna and transmitter were located at 825 Sandwich Street West (later became 825 Riverside Drive). The station’s 650 foot tubular tower was the tallest structure in Southwestern Ontario. The tower was a new design that saw the actual tower conducting power to the top of the mast, cutting out the need for transmission lines. The antenna was an RCA 12-slot high gain wavestack. RCA supplied all transmitter and studio equipment. The new studio and transmitter represented an investment of $1,250,000. The station’s opening was a two-nation affair with both Mayor Arthur Reume of Windsor and Mayor Albert E. Cobo of Detroit on hand. Two networks – 12 hours of CBC and 16 hours from the American network, Dumont. There would be 15 hours of local programming and 30 hours of motion pictures per week. 

CKLW-TV began transmitting on a permanent basis in late September / early October. 


The labor relations board certified NABET as bargaining agent for the technical employees of CKLW radio and television. 

Slogan: Channel 9 CKLW TV with maximum selling power. 

Ad: A MUST on your Radio-TV schedules in one of Canada’s RICHEST markets – CKLW-TV and AM – Serving Windsor and Southwestern Ontario. 1st in audience, in programming, in power (325,000 watts video), with first-run movies. Typical CKLW-TV features – Million Dollar Movies, starring the biggest names in show business. All are first-run pictures. Local stars in the fields of fashions, home economics, news, adventure and comedy including: Justice Colt, Uncle Toby, Myrtle Labbitt, Mary Morgan, Austin Grant and others. 

Canadian Professional Football games, including the Grey Cup final, would be seen live from Vancouver on inter-connected Eastern stations. Delayed telecasts would be seen on all other stations on either the Sunday or Monday following the game. The 10 connected stations in the East were: CBLT, CBOT, CBMT, CHCH, CFPL, CKCO, CKLW, CKWS, CHEX, and CKVR. These stations would carry 20-26 games. Fourteen games would be seen on CKSO, CJIC and CFPA…stations not connected to the microwave. In the West, seven stations would carry kinescopes of the games to be played in Western Interprovincial Football: CBWT, CKX, CKCK, CFQC, CHCT, CFRN and CBUT. 

The CBC Board of Governors recommended for denial, an application that would have seen the transfer of CKLW-AM-FM and TV from Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to Paramount Windsor Theatres Ltd. The application was denied because control would have gone to Famous Players Corp., owner of Paramount Windsor Theatres. This company already owned interests in other Canadian TV stations.


RKO Distributing became primary owner of the CKLW stations. through Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd. when the transfer of a one-third interest in Western Ontario was approved on condition that there be no further transfers to non-Canadian control, specifically that the company gives an undertaking that any change in the distribution of shares of affiliated Essex Broadcasters Inc. be submitted for approval.


CKLW Channel 9 had an effective radiated power of 178,000 watts video and 107,000 watts audio. It was a CBC basic affiliate.

Ownership of Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd.: RKO Distributing Corporation of Canada Ltd. 33.4%, Essex Broadcasters Inc. 32.4%, Estate of E. S. Rogers 11.8%, Estate of M. G. Campbell 6.5%, J. E. Campeau 5.9%, S. Rogers 3.2%, S. C. Ritchie 0.4%, J. L. Labow 0.1%, K. Laird 0.1%, A. D. Rogers 0.1%, 15 other shareholders 6.1%. Ownership of RKO Distributing Corp. of Canada Ltd.: RKO Teleradio Pictures Inc. 92.0%, J. Miller Walker 1.0%, William H. Clark 1.0%, Joseph J. Lamb 1.0%, Garrett Van Wagner 1.0%, 4 other shareholders 4.0%. Essex Broadcasters Inc. – Subsidiary company incorporated in the United States and owned in direct proportion by all shareholders of licensee company.

W. J. (Bill) Carter retired after 25 years in the business. He designed and built CKLW and Toronto’s CFRB. He had been chief engineer and director of engineering for CKLW Radio & Television. Carter was replaced by Stewart Clark who had been with CKLW since 1937, working in technical and maintenance supervisory capacities.

 J. E. Campeau was president of the company and manager of the CKLW stations. S. Campbell Ritchie was operations manager. Wally Townsend was music director, Austin Grand was news director and Stewart Clark was director of engineering.

A station ad promoted CKLW-TV’s effective radiated power of 325,000 watts video and 180,000 watts audio. 


139 microwave units across Canada went into operation on July 1, carrying TV signals 3,900 miles over the longest microwave network in the world. The CBC’s Dominion Day program “Memo to Champlain” inaugurated the system. The network linked together Canada’s 40 privately owned TV stations and 8 CBC stations, providing live TV to 80% of the Canadian population between Victoria, B.C. and Sydney, N.S. Newfoundland was expected to be on the network in 1959. The CBC, in cooperation with CFRN-TV Edmonton, CKCK-TV Regina, CKLW-TV Windsor and CHSJ-TV Saint John, used the inaugural program as an electronic travelogue to visit 15 Canadian cities. The microwave network was called the Trans-Canada Skyway.


Toby David hosted the children’s show, Captain Jolly. T.J. Sutton was production manager. Bill Kennedy was a program host at CKLW-TV.

Ad: Now playing to the largest Canadian audience in our history! CKLW-TV .. channel 9 .. 325,000 watts / Radio .. 800KC .. 50,000 watts. Windsor, Ontario.


CKLW Radio and Television started self-selling its commercial time in the United States rather than using a sales representation firm.


Ritchie S. Campbell
Ritchie S. Campbell

CKLW Radio-TV dropped All-Canada Radio & Television as its national sales rep firm and opened its own sales office in Toronto. This was based on the huge success of selling its own ad time in the U.S. since 1961. 

At the same time, S. C. Ritchie, President of Western Ontario Broadcasting Co.announced the appointments of Edwin C. Metcalfe as general manager of CKLW-TV and Bob Buss (formerly of CHAT-TV Medicine Hat), GM of CKLW-AM-FM. 


LeGrand S. Fedfield resigned as GSM and was replaced by Paul R. Litt, former account executive with RKO national sales in Chicago.

Robert J. (Bob) Buss was appointed vice president. He would continue to be AM-FM general manager, a position held since June of 1965. Elmer F. Jaspan was named director of operations (programming and production). He had been with WMIL Milwaukee.

CKLW announcer Tom Shannon was named to host “The Lively Spot” on CKLW-TV. He would replace Robin Seymour’s “Swingin’ Time”. Shannon’s new TV show would air from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays (The Tom Shannon Show). He would continue to host his weekday morning show (6-9 a.m.) on CKLW Radio.


The Canadian Radio-Television Commission introduced foreign ownership regulations. CKLW Radio & Television were owned by Western Ontario Broadcasting Co. Ltd., which was owned by RKO Distributing Corp. of Canada Ltd. That company was owned by RKO General Inc. of the U.S. RKO in turn was owned by Akron, Ohio based General Tire & Rubber Co. As a result, Western Ontario Broadcasting was not an eligible corporation for licence. CKLW-AM-FM and TV had their licences renewed only until September 1, 1970. They had until that time to conform to the new   rules as their petition for exemption from the foreign ownership rules was denied.

Baton Broadcasting of Toronto (CFTO-TV) proposed to purchase CKLW-TV only. Baton’s John Bassett then decided his company may also acquire CKLW-AM and FM from RKO.


Austin Grant, former news director at CKLW radio and television died on July 1. He was 64. Grant first joined CKLW in 1949.

Baton Broadcasting Ltd & Maclean-Hunter Ltd. had proposed to jointly buy CKLW-TV (50% each). The CRTC turned the application down. Instead, the CRTC awarded a licence jointly to Baton and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A five year licence was granted to St. Clair River Broadcasting Ltd. (25% interest, owned by CBC) and Baton (75%). The CBC would become full owner of the station prior to the expiration of this licence. CKLW-TV was to remain affiliated with the CBC, but could add CTV and other programs to complete its schedule. It was June 24 that the CRTC approved this arrangement. Originally Baton Broadcasting had no plans to acquire CKLW-AM and FM but changed its mind after the TV purchase was approved. An application was submitted to the CRTC and Baton received permission to acquire the radio stations.

The following CKLW-TV appointments were made by the new Baton ownership: Gordon V. Ashworth (president), John F. Ruttle (vice president, programming) and Douglas Brock (vice president, sales).


CKLW-AM and FM received approval to move to new facilities at 1640 Ouelette Avenue. CKLW-TV remained at 825 Riverside Drive West.


On May 31, St. Clair River Broadcasting Ltd. (CBC) was authorized to acquire the interest in CKLW-TV held by CFTO-TV Ltd. (Baton). 


On July 18, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (formerly known in this case as St. Clair River Broadcasting Ltd.) was authorized to acquire 100% of CKLW-TV as of September 1, and to change the combined CBC-CTV affiliation to CBC only.


Global Television had to apply to the CRTC for permission to run slides when certain U.S. programming aired on its Cottam (Windsor) transmitter. It was noted at this time that the CBC also could not carry many of its programs on CBET because program contracts protected the Detroit market. This included many hockey games and even some Canadian productions considered suitable for distribution in the U.S.


Sue Prestedge left CBET for CBC Sports.


Neil Stevens left CBET to handle anchor duties at CFPL-TV in London. 


Budget cuts forced the elimination of locally-produced weekend news and other programs. The 90-minute weekday early evening local news package remained. The late-evening weekend newscast now originated out of CBLT Toronto. CBET did retain  reporters and crews to provide coverage of weekend happenings.


Retired CKLW Radio and Television chief engineer Stuart Clark passed away May 13 at the age of 73. Before joining the CKLW stations, Clark worked for CFCO Chatham (starting in 1929), CFPL London, CKTB St. Catharines and CKOC Hamilton. He joined CKLW Radio in 1937, and moved to television in 1953 with the construction of CKLW-TV. Clark became director of engineering for CKLW-TV in 1957. He retired in 1973, two years before CKLW-TV became CBET.


Norma Kent left CBET as a news anchor to join the CBC network’s “Market Place”. 


At the station’s licence renewal hearing, it was noted that CBET offered station-acquired Canadian and foreign programs to replace the CBC-acquired U.S. programs that are protected by U.S. broadcast rights and may not be aired on CBET because Detroit, Michigan is located within its coverage area.


S. Campbell Ritchie passed away at age 75. The former president of the C.A.B. joined CKLW in 1936 as a staff singer, later becoming an announcer. He eventually became operations manager for CKLW and, later, CKLW-TV, becoming president and general manager in 1961. 

On December 5, 1990, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced its intention to implement, effective immediately, various reductions in service and other measures intended to address an estimated budget shortfall of approximately $108 million for the coming fiscal year. Among the cuts announced was the elimination of local programming on CBET Windsor. It would receive its programming from CBLT Toronto. The CRTC approved these changes on June 28, 1991.


In October, CBET resumed production of a local newscast totaling 2 hours and 30 minutes per week. An agreement with CWSG and NABET will allow news people to combine reporting and camera work. CBET newscasts had ended in December of 1990 due to budget cuts. 

Toby David died at the age of 79. He joined CKLW Radio in the 1930’s and became “Captain Jolly”, a popular children’s program personality on CKLW-TV when it went on the air in 1954. 


It was announced that the CBC would equip CBET with state-of-the-art news gathering, editing and production equipment, and that new staff will be added to the Windsor operation.


On September 6, CBET began operating from a new transmitter site at McGregor, northwest of Amherstburg and southwest of Essex (CBEFT tower).

On October 29, CBET was authorized to decrease effective radiated power from 182,000 watts to 80,700 watts. This change was due to the CBC’s plan to relocate the existing CBET broadcasting facility from downtown Windsor to co-site with sister station CBEFT, located near McGregor.   


On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBET’s licence.


Gary Cunliffe, formerly the Managing Editor of Radio and TV at CBC Windsor, moved to CBC Edmonton where he was now News Director.

Donald Nelson, the Senior Broadcast Technologist at CBC Yellowknife, transferred to CBC Windsor as of June 1 in the same capacity.

On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBET to March 31, 2011.


On March 29, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBET-TV until August 31, 2012. The Commission 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. In addition, the Commission imposed the following condition of licence on stations that operated in mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets: Unless otherwise authorized by the Commission, the licensee shall not transmit analog television signals after 31 August 2011 in mandatory markets designated as such by the Commission in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-184 or transmit television signals on channels 52 to 69. The CRTC also noted that pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-69, it did not intend to renew authorizations to operate transitional digital transmitters included in these licences, beyond August 31, 2011. 

The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence for conventional television programming undertaking CBET-TV, to add a post-transition digital transmitter in Windsor. CBET-DT would operate on channel 9 with maximum effective radiated power of 25,820 watts (average of 12,940 watts). Antenna height (EHAAT) would be 191.1 metres, directional, using the existing tower. Programming to the transmitter would be via microwave. 

The deadline for conversion from analog to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. At 11:58 p.m. on that date, CBET turned off its analog channel 9 signal. At midnight, September 1, CBET-DT channel 9 (virtual channel 9.1) began broadcasting.

On October 6, the CRTC approved the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to change the technical parameters of CBET-DT by increasing the average effective radiated power from 12,940 to 13,030 watts (maximum ERP from 25,820 to 26,000 watts), by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 191.1 to 186.1 meters and by relocating its transmitter. The CBC stated that the relocation of its transmitter was necessary in order to match the technical parameters approved by the Department of Industry.

Kalyan Chilkamarri became manager of media operations & technology at CBC Windsor. He transferred from Toronto to succeed the retired Joanne Hoppe. Adrian Bateman joined CBC Windsor as managing editor from CHWI-TV. Dan Appleby became managing editor at /A Windsor as of February 22, succeeding Adrian Bateman who moved to CBC Windsor. 

Shawna Kelly, Communications & Partnership Manager at CBC Calgary, took over the position of Managing Editor at CBC Windsor on November 28. She succeeded Adrian Bateman who held the position for less than a year after crossing the street from /A Windsor. 


On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBET-DT until August 31, 2013.

Louis Saint-Cyr was the new Regional Operations Manager at CBC Windsor, responsible for stations at London and Kitchener-Waterloo. The 28-year CBC vet had been with CBC Toronto where he was Supervisor for Post Production at CBC Media Post Production Services. He began in Windsor on September 24.


On May 28, the CRTC renewed CBET-DT’s licence for a five year term, to August 31, 2018.


The CBC sold its 32,000 square-foot building on Riverside Drive. The broadcaster would lease 13,000 square feet from the new owner and maintain its operations there. 


Neil Cornwall retired from CBC Windsor after four decades. The switcher-director held various technical positions over the years including camera operator, editor, and supervising technician.

The story continues elsewhere…
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