CFCF-DT, CTV, Montréal
Bell Media Inc.
|CFCF-DT||2011||12.1 (12)||CTV||Bell Media|
|CFCF-TV||1998||12||CTV||WIC (In Trust)|
|CFCF-TV||1997||12||CTV||WIC Television Ltd.|
|CFCF-TV||1979||12||CTV||CFCF Inc. (Jean Pouliot)|
|CFCF-TV||1972||12||CTV||Multiple Access Ltd.|
|CFCF-TV||1961||12||CTV||Canadian Marconi Company|
Canadian Marconi Co. first applied for a television license in 1938. The request was denied. Applications were filed by the company every year following World War II. Each was rejected. In a 1948 print ad, Canadian Marconi promoted CFCF-AM as having 5,000 watts at 600 on the dial, CFCF-FM had 3,000 watts at 106.5, and the fact that an application had been filed for CFCF-TV. In this particular year, Marconi competed with La Presse Publishing Co. (CKAC) for a licence.
It was now 1960 and Canadian Marconi Co. was again among the applicants for new television stations in Montreal – one French and one English. The Marconi application called for the use of channel 12 with an effective radiated power of 325,000 watts video and 160,000 watts audio. Antenna height (EHAAT) would be 970 feet and an omni-directional signal would be transmitted. Representing Canadian Marconi at the Board of Broadcast Governors hearing: Stuart M. Finlayson, president of the company; W.V. George, general manager of the company; Richard Misener, manager of CFCF Radio; Vincent Dittmer, commercial manager of CFCF Radio; and J.C. Douglas, Canadian Marconi’s chief engineer. A background of Finlayson showed he joined Canadian Marconi in 1919 with the opening of CFCF-AM, as apprentice engineer, took four years leave to get his degree at McGill University in electrical engineering, advanced thru various positions to president in 1951.
A good deal of the planning for the station was done at the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. in Chelmsford, England. MWTC was the parent company of Canadian Marconi. The company originally planned to install the studios, transmitter and antenna at the Sun Life Building in downtown Montreal. At the time, it was the tallest building in the city. Two small studios were suggested and heavy reliance would be placed on telecine and mobile production. Those original plans only included one studio camera in addition to those in the mobile unit. The early thinking called for 5,000 watts of video power and 3,000 watts of FM audio power. A coverage map contour showed the signal would barely cover the island of Montreal. In the end, Mount Royal was chosen as the transmitter site and transmitter power was increased to 36,000 watts with an effective radiated power of 325,000 watts – the maximum allowed.
The new station would offer 91 ½ hours of programming per week. Live studio productions would make up 42 hours and 30 minutes (46.6%), remote pick-ups – 6 hours and 30 minutes, film transmission 40 hours, other sources 2 hours and 30 minutes. A launch date was dependent on construction of multi-channel TV transmission equipment atop Mount Royal to be shared by private broadcasters and the CBC.
The BBG awarded the English-language licence to Canadian Marconi. A competing application from Mount Royal Independent Television Ltd. was denied. An earlier application by Sovereign Film Distributors was withdrawn. Paul L’Anglais & Associates won approval for the French-language TV station at Montreal (channel 10). Both stations would offer second service in Montreal for their respective languages – the CBC had operated French CBFT and English CBMT for a few years by that time. Neither applicant planned to telecast in the morning hours at first but hoped to put on educational programs specifically for university students in the late morning hours.
CFCF-TV ordered two Ampex VR-1000C console model videotape recorders.
Bud Hayward, former manager of CKPT-AM Peterborough, joined CFCF-TV. Bert Cannings was CFCF-TV’s first news director. He retained the same title with CFCF Radio where he had worked for some time.
R.E. Misener, manager of the broadcasting division of Canadian Marconi, announced the following appointments at CFCF-TV: Misener would be general manager, Vin Dittmer (business manager), J.C. Douglas (chief engineer), John Logan (controller), S.B. “Bud” Hayward (program manager), Jim Boyd (operations manager), P.A. Tweedie (promotion manager) and Bob Johnston (sales manager).
CFCF-TV’s start-up hours of operation would be: 9:55 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., seven days a week.
Studios and offices were being set up at 7200 Hutchison Street. There would be three studios – one would be 20 x 30 feet and be used for sports, news, panel and interview shows. The other two would be 50 x 70 feet and be used interchangeably for productions of more elaborate live programs. One would have a built-in theatre-type auditorium for audience seating of about 150. CFCF-TV would also have two mobile units.
Members of the newly licensed second television stations across the country formed the Independent Television Organization with the expectation of creating a second television network in competition with the CBC. ITO officers: Richard E. Misener of CFCF-TV (president), Ralph Misener of CJAY-TV (vice president), Charles Baldour from CFTO-TV (secretary) and E. L. Bushnell of Bushnell Broadcasting (treasurer). Elected directors: Finlay MacDonald (president of CJCH), Paul L’Anglais (vice president of CFTM-TV), Gordon Love (chairman of CFCN), G.R.A. Rice (president of CFRN) and Art Jones (president of CHAN-TV).
Sam Pitt joined CFCF-TV as executive producer. He had been production manager at CJLH-TV in Lethbridge.
It was announced that Canadian Marconi Ltd. would be one of the participants in the purchase of CJSS Radio and Television in Cornwall (ON). The purchase team was being led by Ernie Bushnell who was getting ready to open CJOH-TV in Ottawa. The Cornwall purchase still needed regulatory approval.
In the fall, CFCF-TV was working on the construction of its studios and offices. The station was expected to have a staff of more than 150 by next year. Richard Misener said local news would be emphasized and, with weather and sports, this programming would fill 15 to 20% of the total program schedule. He said sports would be a major plank with spectaculars on weekends. The station was also negotiating for the rights to televise Montreal Canadiens home games on Thursday nights.
CFCF-TV planned to go after news stories with a mobile videotape (Ampex) unit. The combination of the mobile tape van and the mobile studio would give the station complete mobile facilities for remote production of both programs and commercials.
23 year old Christine Donaghy was named hostess of CFCF-TV’s late night show, Pajama Playhouse.
CFCF-12 began broadcasting at 5:45 p.m., January 20, from a temporary studio above the former Avon Theatre on Laurier at Park Avenue. The theatre had been converted to a dance hall. The station’s main studios on Ogilvy Avenue were not ready in time. Canadian Marconi chose to use a parallel transmitter installation. During the inaugural broadcast, Stuart Finlayson, the president of the company, told viewers that with this type of transmitter it would be possible for the station to go off the air due to a transmitter fault. Just after he made the statement, CFCF-TV was off the air when the single transmitter failed. Finlayson was not aware that the parallel transmitter had in fact been loaned to CJOH-TV in Ottawa because of a delay in the delivery of their transmitter. Finlayson was able to tell viewers that the finest equipment and newest technology were used, most of it Marconi, to bring them a clear, reliable picture. Later in the evening, the Dance Hall downstairs was raided by police, with sirens blaring and a number of people being arrested. The big news story of the day – John F. Kennedy was inaugurated president of the United States. It cost Canadian Marconi $4.5 million to put CFCF-TV on the air. The company also owned CFCF-AM and FM in Montreal. Richard Misener was the TV station’s general manager.
The opening program was “Carte Blanche” with host Jimmy Tapp, a lively magazine program which was popular for almost ten years in the 5:00 to 6:00 pm time slot Monday through Friday.
Pulse News was in the schedule at 6:00 pm from day one and continued for forty years. Children’s programs “Surprise Party” with Magician Tom Auburn, and “Lunchtime Little Theatre” with host and main character, Johnny Jellybean, played by Ted Zeigler, joined the daily fare.
The station officially started broadcasting from its 405 Ogilvy Avenue studios on May 19. However, as long-time CFCF-TV personality Jim McKenna later recalled, “Actually, the first show broadcast from there was Like Young on April 1st 1961. I know because I was one of the co-hosts, and we had to wear construction helmets to get into the studio because construction was still under way in other sections of the facility.”
Like Young, a music show featuring recording artists and current pop hits, was for a while CFCF-TV’s highest rated Canadian show, and stayed on the air from 1961 to 1973.
CFCF-TV had three studios. Studios 1 and 2 were 50 x 70 feet and each was equipped with four Marconi Mark IV cameras. Studio 3 was 30 x 40 feet and had two Mark IV cameras. The studios and master control were all equipped with Marconi 10 input relay switched vision mixers. The audio consoles were designed at CFCF and built at a nearby Marconi workshop. The telecine room had two Mark IV telecine cameras with a Marconi slide projector and Eastman Kodak 275-16 mm projectors. The VTR room had two Ampex VR-1000 videotape recorders.
CFCF-TV also built a mobile production unit. It was equipped with four Mark IV cameras, a Marconi switcher and a portable GE audio console.
Sam Pitt became Program Manager. The station announce team included Nick Hollinrake, Jack Curran and Ron Hill.
CFCF joined the new CTV network on October 1.
CFCF-TV had an effective radiated power of 325,000 watts video and 160,000 watts audio. W. V. George was President of Canadian Marconi Co.
While much of CTV’s Canadian entertainment programming was being produced in Toronto, CTV also rented CFCF’s studios for several network-produced series during this period. Among them were B.A. Musical Showcase, It’s Your Move, Fractured Phrases and Words and Music. CTV also carried People In Conflict and Doctor’s Diary, which were produced at CFCF by Screen Gems Canada.
Bert Cannings was news director of CFCF-AM-FM-TV. In addition to his title, Canning also appeared on “Pulse 6:30 News” with “Canning’s Comments”. Babs Pitt was promotion manager. Bud Hayward was vice president of the broadcast division of Canadian Marconi. Walter Machny was appointed sales manager. He had been with CFCF-Radio-TV for ten years prior to 1965 when he moved to RTVR (sales rep firm). D.W.G. Martz was general manager.
A CFCF/CTV co-production, “CAF CONC”, a weekly musical variety program was produced in the elegant dinner theatre at Montreal’s Chateau Champlain Hotel with host Daniele Dorice, who welcomed guest performers such as Mel Torme and Jonathan Winters. This program was featured on the CTV Network for two seasons.
CFCF-TV introduced Mininews – instant news throughout the day in a one minute format.
Magic Tom (Auburn)’s program had been on the station since 1961 – the magician hosted a children’s show.
Sam Pitt was program director. Babs Pitt was Promotions Director
Stephen Boyd (Bud) Hayward, vice president of Canadian Marconi Co. and manager of the broadcasting division, died July 13 at the age of 43. Before joining Canadian Marconi, he had helped to co-found CKPT-AM in Peterborough.
D.W.G. Martz was appointed president of the broadcasting division of Canadian Marconi. He had been general manager of CFCF-TV and sales manager before that. He joined the company in 1962 from CKCR in Kitchener.
John Krug was appointed production services manager. He had been with the station since it opened in 1961.
Walter Machny was named radio general manager. He had been sales manager of CFCF-TV and with the company for 11 years.
E.L. (Lee) Hambleton was named sales manager. He had held the same position with CKCK-TV in Regina.
It was announced that Bushnell Television Co. of Ottawa (CJOH-TV) would purchase CFCF-AM-TV/CFQR-FM, subject to regulatory approval.
As of January, Pulse (news) was now on at 6:00 p.m. and was one hour long (it had been 30 minutes), with anchor and reporter Andrew Marquis, former news director of CHAN-TV Vancouver. The newscast featured expanded news, weather and sports, plus features. Sports director Dick Irvine handled the program’s sportscast. Don McGowan did the weather. Marquis, Irvine and McGowan also anchored the late-night Pulse newscast from 11:18 to 11:45 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Pulse on TV-12 was directed by Lou Albert.
Ron Hore was appointed director of advertising and promotion for CFCF-AM/CFQR-FM. He had been promotion supervisor for CFCF-TV. Gail Morrell joined the station as a promotion writer.
Jack Oldham was appointed deputy director of news and public affairs for the CFCF stations.
Because of the CRTC’s new foreign ownership regulations, Canadian Marconi Co. was forced to sell its stations. Canadian Marconi was an ineligible owner because slightly more than 50% of its shares were owned by Canmar Investment Co. Ltd. which was controlled by English Electric of The United Kingdom. The remaining shares were owned by some 22,000 shareholders, some of whom were non-Canadian.
On July 6, Stuart W. Griffiths on behalf of a company to be incorporated (representing Bushnell Communications of Ottawa) was given approval to purchase the stations.
On March 31, the licences for the Canadian Marconi stations were extended to December 31 because Bushnell was unable to proceed with purchase for various reasons, including the inability to arrange the necessary financing. The contract between Marconi and Bushnell expired on February 26 and the licences would have expired March 31. The extensions gave Canadian Marconi time to find a new buyer.
A new purchaser was found and on December 23, CFCF Limited was authorized to purchase the stations. CFCF Ltd. was 80% owned by CHUM Ltd. of Toronto and 20% by Canadian Marconi. There was a catch however…CFCF Ltd. would have to sell CFCF-AM (and CFCX-SW) and CFQR-FM in Montreal and CHUM Ltd. would have to sell CKVR-TV in Barrie, Ontario.
On September 1st, Bill Callender replaced Sam Pitt as Program Director. Lee Hambleton was appointed Director of Marketing, and John Krug became Production Manager.
On July 20, Multiple Access Ltd. was given federal approval to acquire the CFCF radio and television stations. The new owner was controlled by the Bronfman family.
Goodson-Todman, premier American producer of game shows, produced the popular show, “Beat the Clock” at CFCF-TV and this show was carried on the CTV Network for several seasons.
Don Martz, General Manager of CFCF-TV became Senior Vice-President of Multiple Access Ltd. in charge of the Broadcast Division, and President of Champlain Productions, which was formed to optimize the use of CFCF-TV’s facilities.
Babs Pitt, Director of Advertising and Promotion for CFCF-TV, left the station to become VP Promotion at the CTV Network. Gail Morrell was promoted to replace her.
Champlain Productions offered the production of television programs and commercials, educational and industrial programs, sports events closed-circuit presentations and video cassettes. Post production, syndication and distribution were all included in Champlain’s service.
The CFCF-TV/CTV comedy production, “Excuse My French” centered around members of a family that included both English and French Canadian members portrayed by talented English and French actors. The program reflected, in a light-hearted way, the cross-culture of Quebec.
Champlain Productions produced many programs in the 70’s both for CTV and for syndication. For the network: “Kid Stuff”, “Excuse My French”, “Celebrity Dominoes”, and “The John Allen Cameron show”. For syndication – “Art of Cooking” with Pol Martin, “Grand Prix Wrestling” with ringside host Jack Curran, “As it Is”, “Sing a Good Song” with Cliff Edwards, “McGowan & Co.” with Don McGowan, “Know your Sports” with Dick Irvin and “Magic Tom’s Road Show” with Tom Auburn.
Multiple Access acquired a 45% interest in Toronto independent station CITY-TV.
On October 12, the CRTC denied the sale of 54.4% of Multiple Access Ltd. by Mainvest Communications Ltd. and others to Baton Broadcasting Inc. (owner of CFTO-TV inToronto). If the deal had been approved, Baton would have controlled CTV licensees reaching 30% of the Canadian population, received almost 40% of total air time sales revenues of all CTV stations, and accounted for over 70% – in dollar terms – of all production for the network.
The CRTC ruled that Baton had failed to demonstrate how proposed advantages would outweigh the significant concentration of ownership which would result if the sale were approved. For the first time in CRTC history, a minority opinion was published. It expressed the view that approval would not have resulted in undue concentration of ownership, but would have provided a clear opportunity for making Montreal one of the primary sources of English language prime time network programming in Canada.
On July 6, Multiple Access was given permission to sell the CFCF stations to CFCF Inc. The new owner was headed by Jean Adelard Pouliot, who was President and CEO of Tele-Capitale Ltd. He also owned approximately 25% of Tele-Capitale’s shares. With the purchase of the CFCF stations, he committed to selling some of his T-C shares so that his interest in that company would be much smaller. He also planned to continue working for T-C as a consultant. The CRTC felt it would be best if he resigned his position with Tele-Capitale.
In approving the purchase, the CRTC called for a new promise of performance to be submitted by October 31; increased input by CFCF-TV to the CTV network, and more emphasis on local production with improved weekend news coverage. Associated with Pouliot were Don Martz, Lee Hambleton, Douglass Hanson and John Krug of CFCF. The Dofasco Employees’ Fund would own 12.5% of the voting shares of CFCF Inc.
Multiple Access also sold its 45.50% interest in Toronto’s CITY-TV. In approving the sale, the CRTC took note of the interesting programming connections that had been forged between CITY and CFCF-TV.
On August 19th, a management shuffle resulted in the departure of Lee Hambleton, John Krug and Bill Callender.
An estimated $10,000 damage was caused to the CFCF Building by an intruder on February 6. A man gained access to the building, proclaimed himself the mayor of the world and then went on a rampage.
CFCF Inc. announced plans to expand its facilities with a $12 million addition that would accommodate CFCF-AM-TV, CFQR-FM, CF Cable and Champlain Productions.
CFCF-TV marked 25 years on the air. Two dozen people with the station in year one, were still with ‘CF in 1986. Jimmy Tapp, who recently retired from CFQR-FM, was the first person seen on CFCF-TV. Bill Merrill was now vice president of programming. Sportscaster Brian McFarlane was now with CFTO-TV in Toronto. Weather forecaster Marge Anthony was now vice president of promotion at CTV. Sportscaster Dick Irvin was still at CFCF-TV. Bob Findlay joined the station as a technician from CBMT, was today in charge of technical maintenance.
Gail Morrell left the station to become Director of Advertising and Promotion at CJOH-TV Ottawa.
A $12 million expansion of the CFCF building was underway.
Jean A. Pouliot became chairman of the board and chief executive officer of CFCF Inc. Don W.G. Martz became vice-chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee. Adrien D. Pouliot became president and chief operating officer.
Don McGowan (McGowan’s World) was named executive producer at CFCF-TV.
Rudy Stefanik was vice president of sales for CFCF-TV and CFJP-TV.
CFCF-AM and CFQR-FM were sold to Mount-Royal Broadcasting.
Christo Georges was appointed vice-president and general manager. He had been v. p. of operations and engineering. Earlier, John Murphy was appointed director of promotions and advertising.
Bob Lamle was named vice-president of sales and marketing. Bob Findlay was named vice-president of engineering, and Les Crosbie became vice-president of operations. Ken Cogan was appointed engineering manager and Rick Kelly was named VTR manager.
CFCF Inc. purchased what it believed was the first Canadian satellite news gathering (SNG) vehicle. The unit would be shared by the news departments of CFCF-TV and Television Quatre Saisons.
CFCF-AM was airing CFCF-TV’s evening newscast, Pulse News, on radio. It was a distinct package, local, personality oriented, with weather and sports. The first half hour was all local.
John Murphy, with CFCF-TV for 20 years, became the station’s director of promotions and advertising.
Gerry Dixon, who had been CFCF’s advertising and promotions director was now doing the same job at co-owned TQS.
CFCF-AM and CFQR-FM vacated the CFCF-TV building.
Christo Georges was named president and chief operating officer of CFCF-TV.
CFCF-TV celebrated 30 years of service on January 20. CFCF-TV was owned by CFCF Inc., the station’s third owner. Jean Pouliot was CEO, Adrien Pouliot was president, and Christo Georges was COO.
CFCF-TV laid off more than 40 people or about 12% of its staff. The station also closed its Ottawa bureau. CFCF Inc. was looking to cut costs at its Quatre-Saisons network whose huge losses have put the parent company in the red and had laid off a dozen network employees.
On January 9, Mike Donegan former vice president of news and current affairs for CFCF-TV passed away. He had been with channel 12 for 30 years, starting out as a reporter. Donegan was among those let go in cost cutting measures in 1991.
Charles Belanger was appointed to the post of president and CEO of CFCF Inc.’s broadcast group.
On February 15, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFCF-TV by adding the following condition of licence: In addition to the 12 minutes of advertising material permitted by subsection 11(1) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the licensee may broadcast more than 12 minutes of advertising material in any clock hour in a broadcast day, in order to broadcast infomercials as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1994-139 and in accordance with the criteria contained in that public notice, as amended.
On March 24, the CRTC renewed CFCF-TV’s licence to August 31, 2002. The Commission noted the commitment made by the licensee to broadcast a minimum weekly average of 14 hours and 50 minutes of original local news. The Commission also noted CFCF-TV’s excellent performance in producing local programming that reflected the interests and concerns of area viewers, including such programs as the weekday magazine program “Montréal AM Live” and the consumer advocacy program “Fighting Back”.
On August 22, the CRTC approved the sale by Le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée of CF-12 Inc., to WIC Television Ltd. (70%) and by Capital Communications CDPQ Inc. (30%). Vidéotron retained CFCF’s cable systems.
CFCF-TV announced it would cut 45 staff – about one sixth of its workforce. President Rene Desmarais said the cuts were part of a significant restructuring as CanWest Global prepared to enter the Quebec market. Four of six locally produced shows were to be cancelled, leving only local news and a phone-in show.
Suzanne Gouin was news director.
The Griffiths family holdings in WIC Western International Communications Ltd. were sold, subject to CRTC approval, to Shaw Communications Inc. and CanWest Global Communications Corp.
Following months of negotiation, agreements were filed with the CRTC on the split of WIC assets between CanWest Global, Corus Radio (formerly Shaw Radio), and Shaw Communications.
Pierre Rousseau left CFCF-TV for CKGM/CHOM-FM in Montreal. At CFCF-TV he had developed and sold the station’s promotions to retail and national clients.
George Goulakos was vice president of sales and marketing.
Following an April hearing in Vancouver, in July, the CRTC announced the approval of the purchase, with the exception of CFCF-TV Montreal where the Commission instructed CanWest Global to find a suitable buyer for the station.
On September 21, CTV Inc. was authorized to purchase CFCF-TV. The station had been held in trust by Mr. L.R. Sherman on behalf of Global Communications Limited (70%) and Capital Communications CDPQ Inc. (30%).
In December, Don Bastien was appointed senior vice president and general manager of CFCF-TV. He would oversee all operations at the station, including news, programming, sales, marketing, community relations, operations and administration.
On October 3rd, CFCF-TV was rebranded as CTV Montreal.
On November 30, Bill Haugland retired from CFCF-TV. He joined the station in 1961, when it signed on the air. After being a reporter for a number of years, Haugland became an anchor for CFCF’s nightly newscast, Pulse. That was in 1977. He was also a host of the public affairs programs, As It Is and On Assignment.
On July 21, the CRTC approved an application for ownership restructuring by Bell Globemedia (BGM), parent company of CTV, stemming from a deal in December 2005 that saw two new investors added to the company. Thomson family’s Woodbridge Co. Ltd. increased its stake in BGM to 40 per cent from 31.5 per cent, while BCE Inc. reduced its holding to 20 per cent from 68.5 per cent. Two other investors were added to the deal, including Torstar Corp. and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, each with 20 per cent.
On December 14th, it was announced that effective January 2007, Bell Globemedia would be renamed CTVglobemedia Inc.
On May 15th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for all of CTVglobemedia’s Over-The-Air stations, including CFCF-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.”
George Goulakos, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CTV Montreal, was no longer with the station he served for 23 years. He left in February, said Senior Vice President/ General Manager Don Bastien, “upon mutual agreement between George and CTV”.
Ted Bird, former Morning man at CHOM-FM joined CTVMontreal March 1 for a weekly sports column. Every Monday, he presented a “Bird’s Eye View” on the 6 and 11:30 p.m. news packages.
On August 20, the CRTC approved the application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its subsidiary CTV Television Inc., to amend the broadcasting licence for CFCF-TV Montréal in order to add a digital transmitter in Montréal (CFCF-DT). The new transmitter would operate from the existing CFCF-TV tower on channel 12 with an average effective radiated power of 10,600 watts (maximum ERP of 10,600 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 299.6 metres).
Journalists Herb Luft and John Grant retired in the summer from CTV Montreal. Luft, who left at the end of June, started working at CFCF as a radio newscaster in 1971 and joined the TV station full-time in 1977, was the longest-serving reporter at CTV Montreal. Grant, who’d been the station’s Quebec City bureau chief since 1996, left in August.
On January 20th, CFCF-TV, now rebranded as CTV Montreal, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on the air. A documentary special* and a series of one-minute vignettes** were produced and broadcast to mark the occasion.
CFCF-DT began broadcasting on transitional digital channel 51 on January 28.
On March 7, the CRTC approved an application by BCE Inc. on behalf of CTVglobemedia Inc., for authority to change the effective control of CTVgm’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries to BCE. The Commission concluded that the transaction would be beneficial to the Canadian broadcasting system by ensuring the long-term stability of a significant Canadian television network and advancing the Commission’s objective of providing relevant high-quality Canadian programming to Canadians through conventional and new media distribution channels. BCE was a public corporation and controlled by its board of directors. Before this approval, BCE held 15% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm. The other shareholders were 1565117 Ontario Limited (a corporation ultimately controlled by Mr. David Kenneth R. Thomson) (40% of the voting interest), Ontario Teacher’s Plan Board (25% of the voting interest) and Torstar Corporation (20% of the voting interest). Under the transaction agreement dated September 10, 2010, BCE would acquire the remaining 85% of the voting interest in the capital of CTVgm and would therefore exercise effective control.
On March 15, CTV Inc., CTV Corp., CTV Limited and CTVglobemedia Inc. amalgamated to continue as CTV Inc.
On March 29, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for a number of conventional television and transitional digital television stations until August 31, 2011. The CRTC noted that it did not intend to renew authorizations for full-power analog transmitters operating in the mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets beyond August 31, 2011. By that time, the Commission expected licensees to have the necessary authority to broadcast in digital.
BCE Inc. announced on April 1 that it had completed its acquisition of CTV and that it had launched Bell Media (replacing CTVglobemedia), a new business unit that would make CTV programs and other Bell content available on smartphones and computers as well as traditional television. In addition to CTV and its television stations, Bell Media now also operated 29 specialty channels, 33 radio stations, Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of high-traffic news, sports and entertainment websites, including the Sympatico.ca portal.
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence for conventional television programming undertaking CFCF-TV, in order to add a post-transition digital television transmitter in Montréal, operating on channel 51 with maximum effective radiated power of 5,500 watts (average of 2,700 watts), directional. The existing CTV-owned tower would be used and programming would be received by fibre-optic. Effective antenna height above average terrain: 196 metres.
On July 4, Catherine Sherriffs became CTV Montreal’s new late news anchor, succeeding Debra Arbec who moved to CBC Montreal. Sherriffs had been a reporter for CTV Montreal for the past two years and worked as a newscaster on Montreal radio. Ms. Sherriffs was the niece of veteran Q92.5 The Q Montreal morning show news anchor Murray Sherriffs.
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CFCF-DT 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.
The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. Analog CFCF-TV (channel 12) and transitional digital CFCF-DT (channel 51) shut down on this date just after the late night newscast. CFCF-DT then began broadcasting at full power on post-transitional digital channel 12 (virtual 12.1).
After 13 years with CTV Montreal, Debra Arbec moved to CBC Montreal to co-anchor CBC News 5, 5:30 and 6 with Andrew Chang. She was expected to debut at CBC in July.
Paul Karwatsky became co-anchor of CTV News At Six, as well as CTV News At Noon, alongside Mutsumi Takahashi. For the past three years, Karwatsky had anchored the weekend editions of the station’s news programming.
On January 20, Don Bastien retired as senior vice president and general manager of CTV Montreal. Before this position, Bastien led CTV’s national sales in Quebec for ten years as senior VP of sales, based in Montreal. After joining CTV Inc. (previously known as Baton Broadcasting Inc.) in 1972 as director of sales, radio, he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility including director of sales, television in Eastern Canada (1976) and vice-president, sales (1980). Louis Douville moved from CTV Ottawa to become vice president and general manager at CTV Montreal.
Todd van der Heyden, the anchor of CTV Montreal’s noon and 6 p.m. newscasts, joined CTV News Channel January 16 as co-anchor with Amanda Blitz of Express. van der Heyden’s last newscast at CTV Montreal was December 30 (2011). Paul Karwatsky was the new co-anchor of CTV Montreal’s CTV News at Six and CTV News at Noon alongside veteran broadcaster Mutsumi Takahashi. For the past three years, Karwatsky had anchored the weekend editions of the station’s news programming.
Neil McKenty died at age 87. McKenty, an editorialist and talk show host at CJAD during the 1970s and ’80s, saw his midday numbers become top-rated. McKenty’s signature line, “the lines are blazing”, became part of Montreal radio lore. He left CJAD to write a book in 1985 but returned to broadcasting in 1987, this time at CFCF-TV Montreal (now CTV Montreal) where his popular phone-in program ran until 1990.
Max Harrold of the Montreal Gazette joined CTV Montreal December 3 as Quebec City Bureau Chief. He’d been with the English language Gazette for eight years. Before that, he had stints at Global Montreal and CBC News Montreal.
Gerry Dixon was now Manager, Creative Services at CTV Montreal. Dixon, who had been with the station on contract, succeeded the retired Michael Curran.
Marjorie Anthony Linden (Marge Anthony) passed away at age 77. The former Vice President at the CTV network in the 1980s became one of the earliest performers on the CFCF-TV show, Carte Blanche.
CTV Montreal reporter Camille Ross was hired by Global to join its new Montreal morning show set to launch in the spring.
John (Travers) Coleman died at age 80. He worked in sales at CKGM and held several positions at CTV over the years.
Lenore ‘Babs’ Christina Pitt passed away at age 89. She was one of the first female executives at CFCF-TV, CTV and CBC.
At the end of the year Dave Maynard retired from CTV Montreal after 40 years. He was manager of operations and production, and joined CTV in February 1977.
Canadian actor Alan Thicke died suddenly on December 14 at the age of 69. He worked in television on both sides of the border and was best known for his acting role as the father on the sitcom Growing Pains. One of his early roles was host of the game show First Impressions on CFCF-TV.
Mike Piperni retired from RDS after 40 years in Montreal television. He joined RDS in 2008 as news executive producer, and before that was news director at CTV Montreal. He also
previously did stints in sports at both SRC and TQS.
Former CFCF-TV investigative reporter Pierre Pascau (78) passed away on February 28. His background included work at CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup, CBC Television’s Hourglass, CTV’s Canada AM, CKLM-AM, CKAC-AM and CKVL-AM.
It was announced in June that CTV Montreal would begin airing a 5:00 p.m. weekday newscast in the fall. This move was being made by all CTV stations not already airing news in this time period.
In June, CTV Montreal cancelled local sportscasts with long-time anchor Randy Tieman, reporter Brian Wilde and weekend anchor Sean Coleman laid off.
Gretta Chambers died September 9 at age 90. She hosted The Editors, a weekly public affairs show on CFCF-TV, from 1977 to 1980. Chambers also hosted CBC Radio’s (CBM) The Province in Print from 1966 to 1980.
Former CFCF-12 Pulse News National Assembly reporter Ralph Noseworthy died December 26. During his career he also worked at the Chronicle-Telegraph, UPI, CJMF-FM and CFOX-AM.
John Laberge retired from CTV Montreal. Laberge started out in 1977 in commercial production at CJAD-AM, then CFCF-AM producing Montreal Expos broadcasts. He moved over to CFCF-TV in 1987 as a videotape operator and had been a video editor with the station for the last 20 years.
Randy Tieman, 64, passed away November 16. Tieman had a 34-year career with CTV Montreal, up until this past June, when he was part of layoffs at Bell Media. Over his career, Tieman worked at CKY Radio-TV Winnipeg, CFGO-AM and CJOH-TV Ottawa. He joined CFCF Radio in 1983 and later moved to the TV side. He also hosted a show on CKGM between 2009 and 2012.
Bob Gillies (84) passed away on December 15. He started out in radio in the early 1950s and worked at stations like CJOR and CKWX Vancouver, and CKGM, CFCF Montreal. He was one of the first on-air personalities on CFCF-TV Montreal when the station signed on the air.
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.