CBLT-DT, CBC-TV, Toronto
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
|Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
|Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
|Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
|Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation started to plan for television. By the end of the year it had chosen five sites for TV stations and the CNR and CPR were working on a microwave relay system. The corporation had proposed two stations for Montreal and one each for Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton. TV programs from the U.S. would be piped into Canada via the Hamilton station. The first station would likely be in Montreal and there would be two outlets in that city because of the two distinct languages – English and French. One difficulty for the establishment of a Toronto outlet would be the use of 25 cycle power service which presented several technical issues. Ontario Hydro had plans for conversion to 60 cycles current to be implemented within a “few years”.
The CBC announced television production centres would be established in Montreal and Toronto, and if possible, would be designed for progressive expansion if and when required. Each of the stations would be equipped with 5,000 watt transmitters with provision for a second one in Montreal to provide French language service. The CBC’s plans for a television network would go ahead as soon as communications companies established links between different centres. The first link would likely be between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, through either coaxial cables or short wave.
Fergus Mutrie and Aurele Seguin, two experienced CBC executives, were appointed directors fo the corporation’s television activities in Toronto and Montreal respectively.
Early in the year, the CBC started installing equipment in temporary television quarters in Toronto. The first equipment received included two camera chains on loan from Canadian Marconi. The temporary television facility included a studio of about 35 by 27 feet, a control room and offices, located at the CBC’s existing building on Jarvis Street. The facilities were to be used for training until completion of the permanent TV building, now under construction on the same property.
The CBC announced that television in Canada would be started sometime in January of 1952 in Toronto. It had earlier been hoped that September would see the first TV transmissions in Toronto. In Montreal, final confirmation of the use of the Mount Royal antenna site came in May. The Montreal station would likely be on the air next spring, but would be subject to change due to building shortages, particularly in steel. Toronto would have two studios – one with 5,000 square feet and one with 2,000 square feet – plus a film library and transmission rooms. The estimated cost was $2,000,000 for studios and equipment in Toronto. Toronto would be the main production centre in English at the outset, producing some three hours of programming per day, of which about two hours would have to be supplied to Montreal. The Montreal station would be bilingual, but most of its originations would be French. In the future, it was hoped that some English productions would be made in Montreal.
The CBC and Bell Telephone Co. signed a five year contract for the establishment of a TV network service. The plan called for the extension of the existing co-axial cable in Buffalo to Montreal and Toronto. The project was announced jointly by the New York and Canadian Bell companies. The Canadian phone company would undertake to lay cable between the two cities and a border point, where it would be connected to the Buffalo cable.
There were some 146,000 television sets in Canada at this time, and in the Toronto area, rooftop antennas were pointed toward Buffalo to receive the only available TV signal in the region – WBEN-TV Channel 4 – owned by the Buffalo Evening News.
On August 22 at 2:30 p.m., CBC television staff put CBLT on the air for the first time with test pattern telecasting and the opening of the 73rd edition of the Canadian National Exhibition by Governor General Vincent Massey. Things went pretty well except for the fact the CBC insignia slide was put in to the projector upside down. The airing of two hours of programming each afternoon and evening in the last week of August and first week of September from the Ex continued, with signals being fed two and a half miles from a mobile unit on the CNE grounds to the Jarvis street transmitter. During the test period, it became clear that CBLT was having favourable reception up to 100 miles away. However, when CNE video replaced the test pattern card, the area of good reception was reduced. CBLT was operating from a temporary antenna tower less than half the height of the 500 foot permanent one which was not expected to be operational until October.
Television finally came to Canada on September 6 when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation launched CBFT-TV in Montreal. That station broadcast in English and French. The CBC would open Toronto’s first station two days later – CBLT-TV. It was the country’s first English-language television station and the country’s second TV station. CBLT got its call sign by adding a “T” to the end of the existing CBC AM station’s (CBL) call letters. Before CBLT Channel 9’s official opening on September 8, the station was on the air with pictures of four bank robbers (Edwin Alonzo Boyd, Leonard Jackson, Steve Suchan and William Jackson) who sawed their way out of the death row cell block at the Don Jail. At 7:15 p.m., CBLT broadcast “Let’s See”, a review of the evening’s programs followed at 7:30 by “News Magazine”. The station’s opening ceremonies took place at 8:00 p.m. Those ceremonies included a message from Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and an hour-long entertainment program that featured Glenn Gould, Don Harron, Barbara Hamilton and Jan Rubes. There was a half hour of music from the Leslie Bell Singers then good luck greetings from CBC Montreal. Before signing off for the night at 10:30, the station repeated the earlier news broadcast, read by the “voice of doom”, Lorne Greene. CBC and government officials were on hand for the opening of both CBLT and CBFT.
Among the other staff members on hand for opening night: Norman Jewison, David Greene, Harvey Hart, Sydney Newman, Murray Chercover (studio director), Norman Campbell, Ross McLean, Percy Saltzman and Mavor Moore. Toronto Mayor Allan Lamport was a special guest. Don Robertson joined CBLT from CBC Edmonton. He was one of 26 technicians hired to help with the launch of CBLT. Stuart Griffiths was the station’s first program director.
CBLT had one large studio with 3 camera chain, smaller 2 camera studio, transmitter room for audio, video and CBL-FM, carpentry and paint shops, property room, dressing rooms, 2-car garage (now being used to shoot commercials), film rooms, telecine rooms, offices, announce booths, control rooms and repair shops. 916,400 square feet, 4-storey brick and steel building on Jarvis St. (similar extension made to the Radio-Canada building in Montreal). The giant studio A – 73′ x 58′ – was three storeys high – for large productions. Studio B where cameras picked up interview-type shows, dramas with small casts and commercials – was 37- x 58′ and two storeys high. Two motor vans house the generator, cameras and transmitter which made up each city’s mobile unit. Operating range was about 10 miles.
There was approximately 3 hours of programming per evening – a small portion exchanged by kinescope recording between CBLT and CBFT – likely to be this way for some time to come. In the first week of program service, the facilities combined to air a total of 4 hours of revue and preview, 1 hour of news and documentaries, 30 minutes of musicale, 1 hour of sports actuality and discussion, 2 1/2 hours of drama, 2 3/4 hours of interviews and miscellaneous items. Films took up five and a quarter hours. The CBC was also negotiating with U.S. networks CBS and NBC to bring some programs north of the border. Those talks were at a stalemate though.
After one week of Canadian television, WBEN-TV in Buffalo was still getting the largest slice of the Ontario audience. CBLT was credited with 36% while WBEN captured 64% of the total audience.
A boom in the sale of television receivers was experienced in Toronto and Montreal in August, according to the Radio-Television Manufacturers Association of Canada. During the month 12,790 sets were sold in Canada, more than twice the figure for the previous month.
Televised election results were seen for the first time in Canada when CBLT and the Globe & Mail teamed up for evening-long coverage of the vote which returned Mayor Allan Lamport to office for a second term.
Norm Marshall and Larry O’Brien shared broadcast duties for the first televised CFL Grey Cup football game, which aired on CBLT.
On September 29, Johns Hopkins Science Review started airing on CBLT and Montreal’s CBFT as the first U.S. network (DuMont) show regularly scheduled by the CBC stations. On October 1, CBLT aired another DuMont program, supplied on kinescope recording – a one hour boxing show.
The first educational program was telecast October 3 in a televised debate between two high school teams at Toronto. It was the first of eight such unsponsored Friday evening half hour programs to air on CBLT. Other televised programs for schools were being studied by the CBC, the Toronto Board of Education and the National Advisory Council on School Broadcasting. The CBC was also planning religious programs.
In December, WBEN-TV tripled its coverage area when it began operating from the second highest TV tower in this part of the world. It also increased its power. The changes meant a considerable improvement in the pictures received in about 100,000 Canadian homes in the region. The 1,057 foot tower was located 20 miles south of Buffalo. In comparison, CBLT’s tower was 500 feet.
NBC-RCA loaned the 26 episode series “Victory at Sea” to the CBC. It began airing on CBLT in December and was schedule to begin on CBFT Montreal on January 5 (1953).
The audience of CBLT dropped from over one-third to less than a quarter of the total audience available during its first month of operation. The average share of audience for the station during the first week of October was 22.2%. The only other station available here – WBEN-TV – had the remaining 77.8%. Westinghouse’s The Big Revue was CBLT’s top rated show. In the first week of November, CBLT saw a slight shift in its favour. It now had an average share of audience of 25.9%. CBLT saw a drop again in the first week of December. The average share of audience for the station was 22.9% with the remaining 77.1% going to WBEN. The two favourite Canadian shows were “The Big Revue” and “NHL Hockey”. The top show on WBEN: “I Love Lucy”. In comparison, Canada’s other TV station – CBFT – had no real competitors because there was only spotty and unreliable reception from the closest American stations.
Fergus Mutrie was CBLT’s program director.
At 10 p.m., January 19, network television service came to the Toronto area with the inauguration of a 66-mile microwave radio-relay system between Buffalo, N.Y. and Toronto. The system delivered American network programming obtained by the CBC for telecasting over CBLT. The first program, “Studio One”, from CBS, went on the air at 10 p.m.
At 7:30 p.m. on May 14, CBLT, CBFT (Montreal) and the not yet on-air CBOT (Ottawa) were linked by a 340-mile microwave relay system. For the record, CBOT signed on the air on June 2.
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.
The CBC announced plans to acquire a roller rink in August for use as a studio. An increase in daily hours of operation was the reason for an increase in needed studio space. The rink was located on Christie Street. When renovated it would provide a studio with more than the normal overhead and floor space and could accommodate an audience of about 500.
A September report on television viewing for the three Canadian stations on the air showed an audience increase where there was competition from American border stations. The report showed that about a third of the audience in the Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara area now looked at CBLT while two-thirds still favoured US stations. Until now, the percentage had been about 1/4 viewing the Canadian station. The most popular shows on CBLT: Holiday Ranch (Canadian), Wrestling, and Playbill (Canadian).
Importation of more American network programs improved audiences of Canadian television stations where there was competition from U.S. border stations. A November ratings report showed sets-in-use figures were down slightly in the Toronto area but up slightly in Montreal and Ottawa. The most popular programs in the Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara area on CBLT: NHL Hockey (Canadian), Dennis Day Show, Jackie Gleason Show, Toast of the Town and Kraft Theatre. The latest estimate for television receivers in Canada was 445,000 sets. The major number of sets – 222,500 – was in the Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara area, within range of CBLT and Buffalo’s WBEN-TV.
CBC board chairman A. Davidson Dunton said that CBLT was running into the toughest competition for audience in the world. He said it was a bit discouraging to know that more people were watching WBEN-TV than CBLT. Dunton said that a lot of WBEN’s programming was network material, originating from New York and Hollywood.
The Bell Telephone Company’s Adelaide Street office was the terminal point in the new 407 mile microwave relay system – the recently inaugurated heart of Canada’s three station TV network. Rising 392 feet above the street (compared with the Bank of Commerce’s 400 feet and the tower of CBLT at 500 feet), this was one of 15 such units constructed by Bell to carry television programs and telephone conversations from Buffalo to Montreal via Toronto and Ottawa or any points in between. Engineering plans for a Montreal-Quebec City expansion were already prepared and others were being worked out to reach London. The Buffalo-Toronto hop needed only one relay site – at Fonthill, near Welland. The Toronto-Ottawa section had 8 stations (Uxbridge, Bethany, Hastings, Stirling, Enterprise, Westport, Smiths Falls and Stanley Corners). Three stations connect with Montreal – at Leonard, Maxville and Rigaud. The Ottawa installation is also on top of the Bell building there. Mount Royal was chosen for the Montreal station.
The CBC was expected to soon finish the 4th and 5th floors of the Toronto TV building. It was to be completed in September. The floors would house a variety of television equipment, air conditioning, and film recording units. When completed, CBC TV would have double the existing space.
CBLT was scheduled to increase its regular program schedule in October to include afternoon telecasting. Matinee Party would be a new afternoon program. It would also air on CBOT and CBFT. The program would originate from the 1,300 seat Eaton Auditorium. The regular cast would include fashion expert Rosemary Boxer and radio personalities Monty Hall and Larry Mann.
Harry Boyle was named director of programs for CBC Ontario – radio and television. He had been program director of the Trans-Canada network for eight years.
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.
Dick MacDougall was emcee of the early evening show, Tabloid. Percy Saltzman did weather.
Bell Telephone Co. of Canada was awarded the contract to extend CBC-TV network service to Peterborough via microwave. Bell had now completed the extention to Kingston for the soon to open CKWS-TV. The addition of the two private stations would bring to ten, the number of points on the network.
Bob McGall became program director in October.
H.G. Walker was appointed CBC assistant director for Ontario by the province’s director, Ira Dilworth.
The CBC had plans for power increases at CBLT and CBFT and for new studio and film recording equipment for both stations.
Walter J. Blackburn (CFPL-TV) announced the formation of a co-operative organized to exchange TV news film among CBC and private stations. Founding members of the Canadian Television News Film Co-operative were CFPL-TV, CFQC-TV, CKCW-TV and the CBC. Membership was open to all stations.
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.
Newscaster Rick Campbell left CBLT when he was appointed by the government of Burma to establish a national radio network and film board.
On August 27, CBLT moved from channel 9 to channel 6 and increased effective radiated power from 25,600 watts video to 100,000 watts video and 50,000 watts audio. The station had been operating on channel 9 on a temporary antenna for the past three months while a new three bay bat-wing Canadian General Electric antenna was put on its 450 foot Jarvis Street tower. The antenna was 491 feet above ground level in downtown Toronto. The new transmitter was also from Canadian General Electric, and was a 5 kW air cooled unit with 35 kW water-cooled amplifier.
Bob McGall was named head of CBC Variety in August. He had been CBLT’s program director.
Telegram columnist Alex Barris hosted Barris Beat on CBLT.
For the first time, a nation wide audience would be able to watch the CBC’s federal election coverage. CBC-TV was now connected to Calgary and Edmonton in the west and the four Maritime Provinces in the east. U.S. facilities would complete extension to British Columbia.
Before CBLT opened in 1952, the CBC seemed able to get by with its converted girls’ school at 354 Jarvis Street and two or three concert studios as its Toronto home. Since television came along, two studio buildings were constructed on Jarvis Street and up to 17 buildings had been rented across the city. As of now, there were 13 buildings used at 11 different locations. There was still hope for a single establishment in Toronto but it would be some years yet according to press reports.
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.
H.G. Walker was named director for Ontario and for English networks, succeeding Ira Dilworth who became director of program evaluation.
According to Elliott-Haynes CBLT reached a total of 757,989 adult viewers every day.
The CBC opened Studio 7 at 263 Mutual Street in Toronto. Programs to be produced here: General Motors Presents, The Wayne & Shuster Hour, Music Makers ’59, Showtime and One of a Kind.
Keith Morrow was director of CBC English networks and the Toronto area. William F. Cooke was appointed manager of CBC English TV sales, responsible for TV network and national selective TV sales, local (CBLT) sales and the sales service unit of the CBC’s sales department. He joined the CBC in 1955. In January 1957 he was named head of CBLT sales. A year later Cooke was assigned to organize CBC’s national selective sales unit. In September of 1959, he was appointed supervisor of CBC-TV network sales.
Michael Hind-Smith was appointed to the newly created position of manager of CBLT. The appointment was made by J.W.R. Graham, CBC director of TV operations (Ontario).
CBLT planned to back up network programming material with a “local look” built around eight new live shows. Since going on the air in 1952, CBLT had been the centre of the network and carried the heaviest load in establishing the network across the country. As a result, it wasn’t always possible to serve the local audience. That was to change.
A.K. Morrow, director of the CBC’s English networks and the Toronto area, announced the appointment of Don MacDonald as public relations officer for the Toronto area, as of November 1.
Michael Hind-Smith left for CTV.
CBLT-TV had a listed effective radiated power of 99,500 watts video and 53,500 watts audio.
On April 14, CBCU-TV opened at Chapleau.
CBLAT-1 Manitouwadge and CBLGT Geraldton signed on the air on October 15.
On December 2, CBLAT-2 was opened at White River.
CBLAT-3 Wawa was launched on December 8.
On May 16, CBLAT-4 opened at Marathon.
The CRTC was looking at moving CBLT from channel 6 to channel 5. This would open up channel 6 for the CBC in London and also make the channel available in the Kingston-Belleville area for a new station with expanded coverage. The CBC said the channel change would not happen until the station moved its antenna in downtown Toronto, which it intended to do due to poor reception in many sections of the city, caused by the mushrooming growth of high-rise buildings. Two antenna sites were being considered: Don Mills, and a projected waterfront development. A decision was expected before year’s end. The CRTC approved the re-allocation of channels so the CBC would have to move from channel 6 to 5.
Terry Kyne was a producer.
On March 18, CBLT was authorized to add a transmitter at Beardmore. It would broadcast on channel 9 with a transmitter power of 5 watts (non-directional). The new transmitter would receive programming off-the-air from CBLAT.
CBLAT-5 Beardmore went on the air January 30.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission gave CBS permission to continue delivering its radio and television programs to Canadian stations. Buffalo’s WBEN-TV opposed this on the grounds that some U.S. programs were being broadcast by Canadian stations and heard/viewed in the U.S. prior to their broadcast in that country. WBEN-TV referred to competition from CBLT, CFTO and CHCH but did not seek to bar the broadcast of CBS programs on Canadian stations, but sought prohibition of the pre-release practice so it could compete on an equal basis. The FCC said available data did not indicate that pre-release had any impact on WBEN-TV or any other American station. The FCC also said the CRTC’s new 60% prime time Canadian Content regulations would likely reduce the percentage of U.S. audiences watching Canadian stations.
CBEC-TV Elliot Lake was opened on October 8.
On October 29, CBLT was authorized to move from channel 6 with effective radiated power of 99,500 watts video and 9,950 watts audio, to channel 5 with ERP of 77,000 watts video and 7,700 watts audio. Antenna height would remain 444 feet but the station would switch from a non-directional signal to a directional pattern.
On August 1, CBCO-TV-1 opened at Moosonee.
CBLT moved from channel 6 to channel 5 with 77,000 watts video and 7,700 watts audio (444 feet directional) on September 11.
On December 22, CBLAT-6 signed on at Hornepayne.
Peter Emmerson joined CBLT from CKVR Barrie for weather and anchor work. Elwood Glover, host of “Luncheon Date” departed for CKEY Radio.
On December 14, most of Toronto’s FM and TV stations (including CBLT) were authorized to transmit from the new CN Tower once its construction was completed.
Bill Lawrence joined the CBLT staff.
Peter Emmerson left for CJOH-TV in Ottawa.
Valerie Elia joined CBC Toronto.
CBLT began testing from the CN Tower on May 24. With the start of its broadcast day on May 31, CBLT was now officially broadcasting from the tower, located at 301 Front Street West. Effective radiated power was now 84,000 watts video and 16,800 watts audio with antenna height of 1,520 feet.
CBLT’s Studio 6 on Jarvis Street was completely rebuilt. Pat Newman, senior engineer for Toronto projects was in charge. New equipment included a audio console, intercom system, cameras, production switcher and colour monitors.
With the launch of the new Fall season, CBLT stopped using its call sign and became identified simply as CBC Toronto.
On December 19, CBLCT Fraserdale signed on.
In a review of television licences in the Toronto region, the CRTC suggested for CBLT that local scheduling should reflect a strictly regional service. It also determined resistance from the CBC to get detailed financial data for CBLT.
News anchor Valerie Elia left CBLT for the new CFMT Television in Toronto.
Sharon Dunn was a news anchor at CBLT.
Ivan Fecan became CBLT’s program director. He had been news director at CITY-TV
On January 16, CBCQ-TV-1 opened at Temagami.
Fraser Kelly joined CBLT from CFTO-TV to host the new news program, Newshour.
The CRTC issued short-term renewals to television stations in the Toronto area, again complaining that the stations had failed to develop quality Canadian programs, particularly drama, musicals and children’s shows. CBLT’s licence was renewed for two years and nine months. Bilingual production facilities in Sudbury to cover northern Ontario remained a priority. The CBC was commended for programming and closed-captioning efforts.
News anchor Jan Tennant left CBLT for Global.
Valerie Elia returned to CBLT from CFMT-TV.
Henry Kowalski left CBLT to be producer of CTV’s national news.
CBCC-TV was opened at Hearst on March 27.
Sharon Dunn was anchor of CBLT’s “Nightfinal” newscast.
Don Martin replaced Earl McRae as sportscaster on “Nightfinal”. McRae was assigned to reporting and other duties.
Susan Harada, seen on CBC’s “Newshour”, became an anchor on CBLT’s “Newsfinal”.
Valerie Elia left “Newshour”.
Ona Fletcher joined CBLT Morning from the Bermuda Broadcasting Corp.
Leslie Jones left CBLT as morning news co-host, for Global news.
Ona Fletcher became news anchor at CBLT.
Ken Daniels joined CBLT sports. He had been with CJCL-AM.
On January 27, CBCE-TV opened at Little Current.
News anchors were Hilary Brown, Fraser Kelly and Ona Fletcher. Ken Daniels and Don Martin did sports. Fraser Kelly left the station.
CBLT’s first program director passed away November 7. Stuart W. Griffiths was 68.
Fraser Kelly left CBLT’s “Newshour”.
Brian Yasui was a reporter at CBLT.
Elizabeth Stanis was named co op sales coordinator at CBLT.
Ernest (Ernie) Leslie Bushnell died on April 30 at age 86. In November of 1933, he was hired to be program director at the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, which became the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation three years later. As head of the CBC’s English-language broadcasting, he oversaw the launch of CBLT in 1952. In 1958, after the resignation of A. Davidson Dunton as chairman, the CBC was re-organized with J. Alphonse Ouimet as president and Bushnell as vice president. At the end of 1959, he left the CBC to prepare his successful bid for Ottawa’s second television station – CJOH-TV (went on the air in 1961).
Alex Frame, CBLT’s program director for four years, became CBC Radio’s head of current affairs.
Howard Bernstein left for CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning. He had been CBLT’s news chief.
Jim Byrd replaced Alex Frame as CBLT’s program director. He had been director of TV for CBNT St. John’s.
Slawko Klymkiw became producer of news and current affairs at CBLT. He had been with CBWT Winnipeg.
CFPL-TV London and CKNX-TV Wingham dropped their CBC affiliation. As a result, the Corporation opened transmitters at the following locations on August 31 (officially on September 4): CBLN-TV London, CBLN-TV-1 Kitchener, CBLN-TV-2 Sarnia, CBLN-TV-3 Chatham, CBLN-TV-4 Wingham, and CBLN-TV-5 Wiarton.
In addition to Hilary Brown and Ona Fletcher, Susan Harada and Jim Wycks were also news anchors. Bruce Dowbiggin was now in the sports department. Reporter Kelly Crowe joined from CFTO and Robert Fisher left for Global.
Denise Harrington became CBLT’s Queen’s Park reporter, replacing Robert Fisher who moved to Global. Harrington had held the same post with the Toronto Star.
Rudi Carter was appointed program director, replacing Jim Byrd who returned to Newfoundland as CBC regional director.
Jay Mowat was appointed senior news producer for CBC at Six, replacing Cynthia Kinch who moved to The National.
Naomi Loeb returned to CBLT. Jim Wycks left for PBS in the U.S. Christina Pochmursky left.
Barb Ondrusek was now doing sports. Jeffrey Kofman and Naomi Loeb left.
On April 27, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CBLN-TV-3 Chatham by decreasing the effective radiated power from 4,000 watts to 2,000 watts. The CBC stated that this reduction in power conformed with the current technical facilities and that it would not affect the coverage of the station. The Commission also approved the application to amend the licence for CBLN-TV-l Kitchener by decreasing the effective radiated power from 268,000 watts to 130,170 watts. The CBC stated that this reduction in power conformed with the current technical facilities and that coverage would not be affected since CBLT Toronto and CBLN-TV London both provided service to the area.
Paul Hunter and Noelle Richardson were now part of the news anchor team. Brandan Connor was doing sports. Beth Harrington and Justin Smallbridge did entertainment. Anchor Hilary Brown left the station on May 24.
Approval was given for CBLT to add a transmitter at Normandale (CBLN).
Bill Cameron became a news anchor at CBLT. He had been with the national TV network. Steve Paikin left for TV Ontario.
CBLT closed its Hamilton news bureau. Staffers Stu Patterson and Bob Cole were moved to the Toronto newsroom.
Wei Chen left CBLT for CTV’s Canada AM.
CBLT made its last telecast from historic Studio One on March 18. Following that broadcast, “Midday” moved to the new Broadcast Centre. CBLT’s first broadcast in 1952 was from Studio One. Only network master control remains in the Jarvis Street studios. It will be relocated to the Broadcast Centre by the end of the year. CBC Radio had been operating from the new facility since last year.
CBLN-TV-6 Normandale was opened on June 6.
News anchors now included Ron Izawa and Jeffrey Kofman.
Private affiliate CKVR-TV received permission to disaffiliate from the CBC. As a result, the network had to fill in the gap that would result from the loss of the Barrie station. The Corporation received approval for rebroadcast transmitters of CBLT at Barrie (channel 16 with effective radiated power of 180,000 watts), Huntsville (the former CKVR low-power rebroadcast transmitter, upgraded to full power – channel 8 with ERP of 43,000 watts) and Parry Sound (channel 18 with power of 50 watts).
Bill Walker died on June 25. He joined CBLT in 1954 from CKRC Radio in Winnipeg where he had been morning man.
On September 1, CKVR Barrie disaffiliated from the CBC network, and CBLT opened rebroadcasters CBLT-TV-1 Barrie, CBLT-TV-2 Huntsville, and CBLT-TV-3 Parry Sound.
Bill Cameron, host of CBLT’s evening newscast, moved to the morning anchor position at CBC Newsworld as of September 11. The morning broadcast originated in Halifax. Cameron succeeded Henry Champ who returned to Washington for Newsworld.
John Northcott was doing entertainment reports. Suhana Meharchand was now a news anchor at CBLT.
CBLT operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBLAT-1 Manitouwadge, CBLAT-2 White River, CBLAT-3 Wawa, CBLAT-4 Marathon, CBLAT-5 Beardmore, CBLAT-6 Hornepayne, CBLGT-TV Geraldton, CBLN-TV London, CBLN-TV-1 Kitchener, CBLN-TV-2 Sarnia, CBLN-TV-3 Chatham, CBLN-TV-4 Wingham, CBLN-TV-5 Wiarton, CBLN-TV-6 Normandale, CBLT-TV-1 Barrie, CBLT-TV-2 Huntsville, CBLT-TV-3 Parry Sound, CBET Windsor.
Reporter Adam Vaughan left for CITY-TV in February.
On September 29, CBLT produced its last local newscast (for now). As a result, weatherman Bill Lawrence retired and anchor Suhana Meharchand moved to Newsworld. On October 2, a new national/regional newscast (Canada Now) began airing at 6:00 p.m. The national portion came from Vancouver and was hosted by Ian Hanomansing. Carole MacNeil hosted the regional portion from Toronto at 6:30 p.m.
On August 24 after years of not being used, the old CBC TV/FM tower at 354 Jarvis Street was toppled to make room for a new building.
The CBC purchased the MCTV CBC affiliated stations in Northern Ontario from CTV Inc. CFCL-TV-3 Kapuskasing (on the air since January 30, 1958), CFCL-TV-2 Kearns (August 15, 1958), CHNB-TV North Bay (October 15, 1971), CJIC-TV Sault Ste. Marie (November 19, 1954), CKNC-TV Sudbury (October 8, 1971) and CFCL-TV Timmins (July 1, 1956), became rebroadcasters of CBLT.
The call signs were changed as follows: CFCL-TV-3 Kapuskasing became CBLT-9, CFCL-TV-2 Kearns = CBLT-8, CHNB-TV North Bay = CBLT-4, CJIC-TV Sault Ste. Marie = CBLT-5, CKNC-TV Sudbury = CBLT-6 and CFCL-TV Timmins = CBLT-7.
CBLT was given approval to add rebroadcast transmitters at Elliot Lake, Little Current, Attawapiskat, Chapleau, Fraserdale, Fort Albany, Hearst and Moosonee. These transmitters were radiocommunication distribution undertakings, which rebroadcast the programming of the former MCTV stations. Transmitters were also approved for Temagami and Fort Hope. These transmitters were radiocommunication distribution undertakings, which rebroadcast the programming of the CBC Northern Television Service.
On January 30, CBLT was granted a transitional digital television licence. The digital undertaking would operate from the CN Tower on channel 20VL with an effective radiated power of 38,000 watts.
CBLT began digital operations on channel 20 from the CN Tower. The inaugural weekend schedule on March 5 and 6 included a premiere of the Nature of Things: Nature Bites Back – The Case of the Sea Otter. CBC HD then broadcast highlights from past and upcoming HD projects, including Hockey: A People’s History (still in production). HD programming is based on the regular network schedule, with HD and wide-screen programming simulcast when available.
On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBLT’s licence, including the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBLT-DT Toronto, CBCC-TV Hearst, CBCE-TV Little Current, CBCO-TV-1 Moosonee, CBCQ-TV-1 Temagami, CBCU-TV Chapleau, CBEC-TV Elliot Lake, CBLAT-1 Manitouwadge, CBLAT-2 White River, CBLAT-3 Wawa, CBLAT-4 Marathon, CBLAT-5 Beardmore, CBLAT-6 Hornepayne, CBLCT Fraserdale, CBLDT Fort Albany, CBLET Attawapiskat, CBLGT Geraldton, CBLHT Fort Hope, CBLN-TV London, CBLN-TV-1 Kitchener, CBLN-TV-3 Sarnia, CBLN-TV-3 Chatham, CBLN-TV-4 Wingham, CBLN-TV-5 Wiarton, CBLN-TV-6 Normandale, CBLT-1 Barrie, CBLT-2 Huntsville, CBLT-3 Parry Sound, CBLT-4 North Bay, CBLT-5 Sault Ste. Marie, CBLT-6 Sudbury, CBLT-7 Timmins, CBLT-8 Kearns and CBLT-9 Kapuskasing.
Alan Dark was the new Executive Director, Sales & Marketing at CBC Toronto. For the past three years, he was Director of Sales for CTV Digital Media in Toronto.
On July 28, the CRTC approved the applications by the CBC to amend the licenses for CBLT Toronto by adding the transmitter CBLIT Armstrong and for CBMT Montréal by removing the transmitter CBLIT. CBLIT will rebroadcast the programming of CBLT instead of that of CBMT in order to adequately serve the population of Armstrong.
Two CBC staffers moved to Al Jazeera English: Imtiaz Tyab, who worked at CBC Vancouver and Jet Belgraver, formerly of CBC Toronto. Tony Burman, the former Editor in Chief of CBC News was managing the service.
Former CBLT manager Michael Hind-Smith passed away at the age of 80.
Diana Swain was appointed to Senior Correspondent of the CBC News investigative unit. The CBC Toronto Anchor assumed the new position August 9 and continued to be an occasional fill-in Anchor on The National.
At CBC News Toronto, two new anchors took over delivery of the local TV supper hour newscasts beginning October 12. Anne-Marie Mediwake moved from the morning anchor desk at CBC News Network and Dwight Drummond moved, after 20 years, from Citytv Toronto.
On March 29, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBLT-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 the amendment to the licence of CBLT-TV to add a post-transition digital television transmitter, operating on channel 20 with an effective radiated power of 106,900 watts (non-directional). Effective antenna height on the CN Tower would be 491 metres. Programming would be received by STL fibre-optic.
On August 16, the CRTC approved applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to continue to operate 22 analog television rebroadcasting transmitters until August 31, 2012 in markets that the Commission identified as mandatory for conversion to digital transmission, and to make associated technical changes.
With respect to CBLT, this approval included CBLN London and CBLN-1 Paris. In addition, to maximize coverage while avoiding interference to protected services, the CBC also applied to change the channel and make associated technical changes to CBLN-TV-1 Paris and CBLN-TV London. The CBC further applied to reduce the power of these stations so that they would change in status from protected to low-power unprotected while continuing to operate on the same channels. CBLN-TV-1 Paris (serving Kitchener-Waterloo) would operate on channel 29 with an average effective radiated power of 14,000 watts (maximum ERP of 60,000 watts). A directional antenna would be used with effective antenna height above average terrain of 259.9 metres. CBLN-TV London would broadcast on channel: 23 with average ERP of 16,000 watts (maximum 24,000 watts). A directional antenna would be used with EHAAT of 262.9 metres. Approval of the CBC’s proposal, and related technical amendments, would provide additional time for affected households that rely on over-the-air service in mandatory markets to find other means to access the CBC’s television services. Approval of the proposal would also provide an opportunity for the Commission to discuss the CBC’s plans for its over-the-air transmitter system at the time of the CBC’s licence renewal hearing, now scheduled for June 2012.
On the same date, the CRTC approved applications by the CBC to amend the licence of CBLN-3 Chatham in order to change the status from protected station to low-power unprotected station. Since the technical parameters approved in this decision were for low-power unprotected television services, the Commission reminded the applicant that it would have to choose another channel if ever the Department of Industry so required.
The deadline for conversion from analog to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CBLT-DT had been operational for some time and on August 31, analog channel 5 was shut down and the station continued operation on its digital channel of 20 (virtual channel 5.1). CBLT transmitters in the mandatory markets of London and Kitchener-Waterloo were allowed to continue analog operation until August 31, 2012. CBLN-TV London moved from channel 40 to channel 23 with reduced power. CBLN-TV-1 Paris (K-W) moved from channel 56 to channel 29 with reduced power. CBLN-TV-3 Chatham reduced power on existing channel 55. CBLT-TV-1 Barrie (channel 16) was shut down. For the record, CBLN-TV London left channel 40 at 11:58 p.m. on August 31 and did not turn on channel 23 until the afternoon of September 1.
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence for CBLT-DT Toronto by deleting the transmitter CBLT-TV-1 Barrie.
CBC Toronto anchor/reporter Muhammad Lila left for ABC News as the new digital correspondent responsible for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the region. Before joining CBC in 2008, Lila worked at CP24 and Citytv Toronto.
Dorothy Elizabeth “Dodi” Robb died at age 91. Robb’s career in television began when CBC first aired in 1952. She went on to become head of both daytime and children’s programming. She wrote musicals for children’s theatre, created award-winning shows at CBC, TVO and CFTO, and continued to work as an on-air commentator for Vision TV after her retirement from CBC in 1985.
On July 17, the CRTC announced that effective 1 August 2012, it would revoke the broadcasting licences for CBIT Sydney and CBKST Saskatoon and their transmitters. The Commission also approved the request to amend the licences for 23 English- and French-language television stations operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in order that reference to all analog transmitters be deleted. MORE…
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation requested the revocation of its broadcasting licence for its radiocommunication distribution undertaking CBLK-TV Nipigon. The licensee stated that this revocation was linked to the cessation of operation of its analog conventional television transmitters approved earlier in the year. Given the licensee’s request and pursuant to sections 9(1)(e) and 24(2) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission revoked, effective August 1, 2012, the broadcasting licence issued to the CBC for CBLK-TV. (Decision date July 26, 2012)
Michael Dorn passed away at age 60 on July 5. Dorn worked for more than three decades at CBC-TV Toronto as a video producer and editor. Michael’s late father was CBC Toronto designer and artist Rudi Dorn.
See also the detailed history of CBLT-TV News personalities at:
http://www.attheplate.com/cbc/ (courtesy of compiler Jay-Dell Mah)
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.