CHWI-TV, CTVtwo, Wheatley/Windsor
|re-broadcaster at Windsor – ch 60
South Western Ontario Broadcasting Inc. (subsidiary of Baton Broadcasting Inc.) announced that it wanted a rebroadcast transmitter at Wheatley, operating on channel 16 with an effective radiated power of 183,000 watts (video). Much of the transmitter’s programming would come from CFPL-TV in London, but some programs would be produced specifically for the Chatham-Windsor area. The proposal was contingent on the CRTC approving South Western’s application to acquire CFPL-TV London and CKNX-TV Wingham.
On January 26, South West Ontario Broadcasting Inc.’s purchase of CFPL-TV and CKNX-TV from The Blackburn Group Inc. was approved. At the same time, approval was given for South West to operate a new independent TV station at Wheatley, operating on channel 16 with an effective radiated power of 183,000 watts. The new station would broadcast a minimum of six hours per week of programming specifically produced for, and directed to, residents of the Chatham-Windsor area. The remainder of the station’s programming would originate from CFPL-TV London. Baton would invest $23.8 million over the next 7 years in South West’s operations.
Just before 6:00 p.m. on October 18, CHWI-TV began broadcasting. The transmitter was in Romney Township, Kent County.
News anchor Jennifer Reid joined from CFPL-TV.
On September 1, CFTO-TV Ltd., Nation’s Capital Television Inc., South West Ontario Broadcasting Inc. and Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. amalgamated to become BBS Ontario Inc. a division of Baton Broadcasting Inc.
On March 24, the CRTC renewed the licences for CFPL-TV, CKNX-TV and CHWI-TV to August 31, 2002. The Commission expected the licensee to adhere to the commitments made in its licence renewal applications to broadcast a minimum weekly average of 17 hours original, or first play, local news programming on CFPL-TV, 5 hours and 40 minutes on CKNX-TV and 10 hours on CHWI-TV during the new licence term. The Commission commended the licensee for its performance in the areas of “one time” specials, documentary and Town Hall specials and drama productions. In this regard, it was noted that the station met or exceeded its commitments regarding locally-produced drama in each year of the past licence term and in year 5, almost tripled its commitments through its involvement in 13 hours of “The Red Green Show”. In its application, the licensee proposed to amend the specific condition of licence that authorized the licensee to broadcast a maximum of 40% of the commercial availabilities on the Wheatley station separately from those on CFPL-TV, provided that it produced a minimum of six hours of original station programming broadcast exclusively each week. The licensee submitted that it presently provided 11 hours of local production and proposed to change the percentage of commercial availabilities from 40% to 100% to reflect the full measure of local service now being provided. The Commission noted that most of the programming provided by the Wheatley station would be a rebroadcast of material originating from and produced by CFPL-TV. Therefore, the Commission did not consider there to be a “full measure of local service” provided by the Wheatley station. Consistent with its policy linking the authority to solicit local advertising with the provision of local programming, the Commission decided to authorize the licensee, by condition of licence, to broadcast a maximum of 6.5% of the commercial availabilities on CHWI-TV separately from those broadcast on CFPL-TV London, for each hour of original, station-produced programming broadcast exclusively on CHWI-TV each week.
CHWI-TV was granted a rebroadcaster on channel 60 at Windsor. The transmitter would be located approximately 1 km east of the CBET tower, east of Windsor.
On June 21, approval was given for Rogers Communications Inc’s. sale of CFCN-TV Calgary to Baton Broadcasting Inc. and for Baton’s sale of 50% of CFCN and a half interest in six of its Saskatchewan stations to Electrohome, and the trading of 50% of Baton’s CFPL-TV, CKNX-TV and CHWI-TV to Electrohome in exchange for 50% of Electrohome’s CKCO-TV stations. A 50-50 joint venture company would be formed.
On August 28, the Baton-Electrohome partnership and CHUM Ltd. were given approval to swap certain television properties. Baton would trade 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). CHUM Limited took ownership of CHWI-TV on November 1.
Jennifer Reid (news anchor) left for CFPL-TV.
On September 8, CHWI Television became known as “The New WI” (CFPL, “The New PL” and CKNX, “The New NX”).
Some on-air names: Ron de Roo (anchor). Bob Bellacicco joined in February as a reporter. Lorna McCormack joined as assignment editor.
Bob Bellacicco moved from reporting to “New Day” when it launched in October.
On September 13, the CRTC approved a power increase for CHWI-TV-60 Windsor from 580 to 5,800 watts.
Michelle Godin was a news writer on New Day in 1999. She became a reporter in September 2000.
In March 2005 CHUM announced that in the Fall, CFPL-TV, CKNX-TV, CHRO-TV and CHWI-TV would be among six CHUM owned stations to be re-branded as A-Channel stations, to facilitate cross-promotional opportunities.
On August 2, The New WI was re-branded as A Channel (Windsor).
Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited, owner of A-Channel Windsor, passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.
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 November 22, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CHUM Limited from Mr. Allan Waters to his estate, following his death in December 2005. The approval represented the preliminary step to enable the transfer of CHUM’s shares to a trust, which received approval on July 12. This transfer was not related to the pending sale of CHUM to Bell Globemedia. Prior to his death, Mr. Waters was the sole shareholder of Allan Waters Ltd., which in turn, owned approximately 87% of CHUM’s voting shares. The executors of the estate were James Allan Waters, Ronald Allan Waters, Sheryl Bourne and Robert Sutherland.
On December 12, 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 the 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, including CHWI-TV, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations, including CIDR-FM, CIMX-FM, CKLW-AM and CKWW-AM.
CTV decided to rebrand the “A Channel” stations as “A”. The transition began in June with newscasts (ie: “A News”). The change to “A” officially took place at 6:00 p.m., August 11.
On February 25, CTV Inc. announced that, given the ongoing structural problems facing the conventional television sector in Canada and the current global economic crisis, it would not be applying for renewal of the CKNX-TV Wingham and CHWI-TV Wheatley licences (and its rebroadcaster in Windsor). CTV said as a result of today’s announcement, Wingham and Windsor would no longer be provided with their own distinctive local programming. News related to the broader Southwestern Ontario region would be provided through CFPL-TV London. The CKNX-TV and CHWI-TV licences would expire at the end of August.
On March 3, CTV confirmed further steps in its on-going efforts to address the grave financial reality facing its conventional ‘A’ stations by announcing the restructuring of its local program operations and significant staff layoffs. Effective immediately, ‘A’ Morning, the three-hour local morning show produced separately in Victoria, London and Barrie, would be cancelled. In Ottawa, the evening, late night and weekend newscasts would be cancelled. A total of 118 positions were eliminated at ‘A’ stations in Victoria, London, Barrie and Ottawa, representing approximately 28% of the ‘A’ stations’ overall staff count.
On April 27th the CRTC began hearings on to consider CTVglobemedia’s applications for various OTA licence renewals, along with similar applications from several other major broadcasting entities. During the hearing, CTVglobemedia reaffirmed its wish not to renew the Wingham, Wheatley/Windsor and Brandon stations, and its willingness to sell them for a dollar apiece.
On April 30th, in a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail, Shaw Communications CEO and Vice Chair Jim Shaw announced that Shaw was prepared to buy the three CTV stations at $1 each. On the opposite page in the Globe and Mail, in a half page ad, CTVglobemedia announced its acceptance of Shaw’s offer, and thanked the cable operator for ‘stepping up’. The proposed transaction would of course be subject to CRTC approval.
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 CHWI-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 June 30th, CTVglobemedia announed that the deal whereby Shaw Communications would buy CHWI-TV Wheatley/Windsor had fallen through.
On July 6th, the CRTC announced one-year licence renewals, from September 1st 2009 to August 31st 2010, for all the private conventional television programming undertakings operated by CTVglobemedia Inc, including CHWI-TV. The decision included requirements for a minimum of 14 hours of local programming per broadcast week in certain designated major markets, and seven hours of local programming per week in certain markets specified as ‘non-metropolitan’, which would include CHWI-TV.
In addition, despite CTVglobemedia not having applied to renew its licences for CKX-TV Brandon, Man, (which it planned to close down), and CKNX-TV Wingham and CHWI-TV Wheatley/Windsor (which it proposed to convert to rebroadcasters for CFPL-TV London), the CRTC gave one-year renewals to these stations “…in order to avoid jeopardizing any potential discussions, as well as to keep all options open and prevent any premature closing of the stations involved..”.
On August 13, the CRTC approved the application by CTV Corp. for authority to acquire from CTV Limited, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of the English-language television programming undertakings CIVI-TV Victoria and its transmitter CIVI-TV-2 Vancouver, CFPL-TV London and its transmitter CKNX-TV Wingham, CHRO-TV Pembroke, CHRO-TV-43 Ottawa, CHWI-TV Wheatley and its transmitter CHWI-TV-60 Windsor, as well as CKVR-TV Barrie and its transmitter CKVR-TV-1 Parry Sound. CTV Corp. was a wholly owned subsidiary of CTV Limited. The latter was a wholly owned subsidiary of CTV Inc., which in turn was wholly owned by CTVglobemedia Inc. (CTVgm). This transaction would be effected through the transfer of the assets of the above-mentioned undertakings from CTV Limited to CTV Corp. As a result of the transaction, CTV Corp. would become the licensee of the undertakings. The applicant stated that this transaction served administrative and tax planning purposes. The Commission noted that the transaction would not affect the ultimate control of the undertakings, which would continue to be exercised by CTVgm.
/A Windsor announced that Arms Bumanlag would take on the role of weather host for the station’s flagship 6 p.m. newscast in addition to his on-air work (on the street reporter and program host) for AM800 CKLW.
On October 27, the CRTC approved the application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its subsidiary CTV Corp., to amend the broadcasting licence for CHWI-TV-60 Windsor in order to change the channel of its transmitter CHWI-TV-60 from 60 to 26 and to change its authorized contours by increasing the average effective radiated power from 5,800 to 6,200 watts. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The licensee requested this amendment in order to expedite CHWI-TV-60’s departure from the block of UHF channels above 51. The licensee said it intended to file a separate application for a post-transition digital television transmitter associated with CHWI-TV-60. The Commission noted that the population served within its regional service area would increase from 303,620 to 308,049 (an increase of 1.48%).
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence of conventional television station CHWI-TV to add a post-transition digital television transmitter on channel 16 with a maximum effective radiated power of 3,400 watts (average ERP of 1,300 watts), directional antenna. Effective height above average terrain would be 168.2 metres. The existing CTV tower would be used. Programming would be sent to the transmitter by microwave.
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. Condition: Maintain the local programming that airs on all of CTV’s A-Channel stations for at least three broadcast years starting on 1 September 2011.
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 amendment to the licence for CHWI-TV to add a post-transition digital television broadcasting transmitter at Windsor (CHWI-DT-60) on channel 26 with a maximum effective radiated power of 200 watts (38 watts average). A directional antenna would be used at the existing site with effective height of 93.8 metres. Programming would be received by microwave.
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CHWI-DT Wheatley and its transmitter CHWI-DT-60 Windsor, until August 31, 2016.
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.
On August 29, the /A stations were re-branded as CTV Two.
The deadline for conversion from analog to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. On that date, CHWI-TV channel 16 Wheatley shut down its analog operation and turned on its digital transmitter, also operating on channel 16 (virtual 16.1). CHWI-TV-60 in Windsor also switched from analog (channel 60) to digital, using channel 26.
Dan Appleby became managing editor at /A Windsor as of February 22, succeeding Adrian Bateman who moved to CBC Windsor. Appleby had been working in Denver television.
Bell Media created four new regional vice president positions for radio and local television. They would report to Chris Gordon, president of radio & local TV. Don Mumford, VP and general manager at CTV Two London and Windsor would be VP for Ontario. Local GM’s at radio and TV stations in Ontario would now report to Mumford. Radio operations in Toronto would continue to report directly to Gordon.
Mark Schembri of CTV London became Regional Manager, Engineering and IT, with input at CTV Barrie, CTV Kitchener, CTV London and CTV Windsor operations, as well as the 13 radio properties. Tom Fitz-Gerald, Sales Manager at CTV London and Windsor, became Regional Retail Sales Manager, overseeing all local retail advertising and commercial production at CTV Barrie, Kitchener, London and Windsor. Tom Green at CTV London/Windsor was promoted to Regional Commercial Production Supervisor at CTV (Ontario). John Cordiner, most recently Creative Services Director at CTV London/Windsor, was promoted to Regional Manager, Promotion and Digital Media, focusing on the integration of digital services throughout the four CTV stations (Wingham, London, Kitchener and Barrie). Janet Taylor, the Program Promotion Manager at CTV Kitchener, became Regional Manager, Programming and Community Relations, assuming local responsibilities for sponsorship, public relations, communications, as well as local program production oversight. Michael Melling, the News Director at CTV Kitchener, was appointed as Regional News Director, overseeing the news operations at Barrie, Kitchener, London, and Windsor, as well as effecting the integration of the CTV News brand into the daily newscasts on those four stations. Dan Appleby, with experience most recently at CNN and Fox in Denver, was the new News Director at CTV Windsor.
Cal Johnstone, the former News Director for the CTV stations in London and Windsor, returned to Global Television in Toronto as senior manager of digital resources. Johnstone had worked at Global from 1994 to 2003.
It was announced that CTV Windsor would be moving to an historic Bell Canada facility in the city’s core – 1149 Goyeau Street. The move was expected to be completed by the end of the year.
CTV stations, including Windsor saw cuts to local sports and other programming in the spring. More layoffs were expected countrywide.
On April 29, as part of the digital repack, CHWI’s Windsor transmitter moved from digital channel 26 to channel 17 but retained the virtual channel 26.1.
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.