CFRE-DT, Global, Regina
|CFRE-DT||2011||11.1 (11)||Global||Global Television Network|
|CFRE-TV||1987||11||Global||Global Television Network|
SaskWest Television Inc. (CanWest Broadcasting Ltd.) filed an application for a new TV station to cover the Regina/Moose Jaw area. Later in the year the CRTC called for new television applications for both Regina and Saskatoon. Two other companies filed applications – Harvard Developments and Allarcom Ltd.
All three applicants had planned to use channel 13 in Regina, which the CBC planned to relinquish when it had built a new transmitter site at Belle Plaine. However, in January of 1985, the CBC postponed that project due to financial restraints making channel 13 unavailable. As a result, revised applications were filed and the CRTC held a public hearing in Regina in June.
The broadcast regulator announced the approval of the SaskWest application. The company would use channel 11 at Regina (effective radiated power of 159,000 watts) and channel 4 at Saskatoon (ERP of 57,000 watts). It was expected the new stations would launch in September of 1986. Don Brinton said the company would spend $6 million to establish the two stations which would operate 24 hours a day and employ about 120 people. It was estimated the two stations would reach 500,000 viewers in the province. Allarcom and Harvard had proposed relaying the signal of CITV Edmonton via satellite, adding local programs and ads for distribution on cable TV. Allarcom would run the Saskatoon operation while Harvard would participate and supply studio facilities in Regina. Only the SaskWest application called for the use of over-the-air transmitters.
Harvard and Allarcom appealed the decision to both the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Cabinet. The Cabinet instructed the CRTC to reconsider its SaskWest decision – a first in CRTC history.
The CRTC held a two-day hearing in Regina to reconsider its decision and re-hear arguments.
After appropriate reconsideration, the CRTC again approved the application by SaskWest Television Inc.
Over the next 16 months, a team of CanWest/SaskWest technical, operational and programming personnel, headed by President Don Brinton, built two new Television stations, with all-new production, news, administration and transmitting facilities in Regina and Saskatoon. The studios and offices were identical in both cities. They were officially named in the broadcast licences as CFSK-TV Saskatoon and CFRE-TV Regina.
Rick Friesen, formerly assistant manager at CKBI-TV Prince Albert, and SaskWest’s project co-ordinator, was named station manager of STV Saskatoon. Fred Filthaut, previously assistant manager of CFAC-TV Lethbridge, was appointed station and operations manager of STV Regina. Both stations were scheduled to go on the air September 6, 1987.
On September 6th at 7:00 pm, both stations were officially opened simultaneously by Chairman/Owner I. H. Asper.
A half-hour news magazine – Eyes West – was now airing on STV Regina and Saskatoon. The bi-weekly show, a tri-production of two STV stations as well as co-owned CKND-TV Winnipeg, dealt with topics of concern to western Canadians.
Promoted on the air initially as SK Regina and SK Saskatoon and then changed a few years later to “Global Regina” and “Global Saskatoon”.
Fred Filthaut was CFRE-TV’s station manager. Doug Fraser was news director.
The National Edition of Global News – renamed The World Tongiht – was now airing on STV.
Peter Liba became president of Sask West Television and Winnipeg’s CKND-TV.
Stan Thomas was appointed vice-president of programming for Sask-West Television and for Winnipeg’s CKND-TV.
Don Brinton was named president and CEO of CanWest Broadcasting, CanWest Pacific Television Inc., and Western Approaches Ltd. Peter M. Liba, executive vice president, succeeded Brinton as president of SaskWest TV and CKND-TV.
Ron Mittelholtz was appointed operations manager at STV Regina and Dean Parker was named program manager.
Len Kinzel, former media director and merchandizing manager of the Saskatchewan roughriders, was appointed assignment editor for STV Regina.
Greg James was named assignment editor for STV Regina.
On March 10, the CRTC announced an amendment for CFRE-TV concerning the airing of infomercials. 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.
Peter Liba, CanWest Global Communications executive vice president and executive director, became Manitoba’s newest Lieutenant-Governor, effective in February. Liba was honored in 1998 as the Western Association of Broadcasters Broadcaster of the Decade and by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in November when he was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Approval was granted for the transfer of ownership of CanWest MediaWorks Inc. through the transfer of the beneficial ownership of CanWest Global Communications Corp., the parent corporation of CMI, from Mrs. Ruth Asper to David, Gail and Leonard Asper, holding together, through their personal holdings, 88.95% of the voting rights of CGCC.
On May 15th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for all of CanWest’s Over-The-Air stations, including CFRE-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.”
The new weather specialist at Global Regina was Jaclyn Whittal. Her first forecast was October 14 at 6:00 p.m.
On October 22, the CRTC approved an application by Shaw Communications Inc., on behalf of Canwest Global Communications Corp., for authority to change the effective control of Canwest Global’s licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, which will henceforth be exerciced by Shaw. This change would be effected through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shaw known as 7316712 Canada Inc. Upon the closing of the proposed transaction, Shaw, through its wholly-owned subsidiary 7316712 Canada, would become the sole owner of Restructured Canwest and of CWI, and would acquire control of all broadcasting undertakings currently controlled by Canwest Global. Shaw ascribed a total value of $2.005 billion for the acquisition of all broadcasting assets controlled by Canwest Global and initially proposed a tangible benefits package in the amount of $23 million.
Events leading up to the October 22, 2010 decision: On October 6, 2009, Canwest Global, along with its operating subsidiary Canwest Media Inc. and certain other subsidiaries, filed for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, R.S.C. 1985 c. C-36, as amended. At the beginning of November, Canwest Global, with the assistance of RBC Capital Markets, initiated an equity solicitation process to identify potential new Canadian investors. On February 19, 2010, after arm’s length negotiations between Shaw, Canwest Global and the Ad Hoc Committee (comprised of holders of over 70% of the 8% senior subordinated notes issued by Canwest Investments Co., due 2012), Canwest Global’s board approved Shaw’s offer. On March 31, Shaw filed an application with the CRTC for approval of its acquisition of effective control of the conventional and specialty television undertakings indirectly owned by Canwest Global. Under that original offer, Shaw was to subscribe for Class A Voting shares representing a 20% equity and 80% voting interest in Restructured Canwest for a minimum $95 million in the aggregate. On May 3, Shaw scquired from Goldman Sachs & Co. affiliates 29.9% of the voting shares and 49.9% of the common non-voting shares in the capital of CWI. On May 4, Shaw advised the CRTC that, pursuant to an amendment to the March 31 application, Shaw’s indirect equity interest would be 100% of Restructured Canwest. Shaw also advised that, in addition to acquiring the shares of CWI indirectly held by Canwest Global, it would acquire, by way of an option, the remaining shares in the capital of CWI, held by Goldman Sachs entities, immediately following Commission approval of the application. On May 18, Canwest Global filed an application for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization for restructuring purposes, as contemplated in the document entitled “Plan of Compromise, Arrangement and Reorganization”, of the Canwest Global licensed broadcasting subsidiaries pursuant to the CCAA, resulting in the issuance of new broadcasting licences. On July 28, at the end of the CCAA Proceedings, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rendered an Order approving the Plan.
On October 27, Shaw Communications announced it had reached the final stage in its purchase of Canwest’s television operations. There would be a gradual shift of branding to Shaw Media, and the company would gradually retire the Canwest name. Shaw would also close the Canwest corporate headquarters in Winnipeg. Shaw announced a new management team for the broadcasting division. It would be headed by Paul Robertson, who previously served as president of Shaw-controlled Corus Entertainment’s television division and oversaw the purchase of the Canwest assets.
Regan Tate returned to Global Regina as assignment editor. When she left, she had been senior reporter and anchor. Ian Haysom was now regional director of news for Global Saskatchewan and British Columbia, based in Vancouver where he had been news director for the last nine years.
Global Regina took delivery of a new HD transmitter in November. It would use less power (down to 1,500 watts from 20,000) yet service the same area. As part of Shaw’s purchase of Canwest Global, the Fort Qu’Appelle transmitter would also be converted.
Danelle Boivin, former Anchor at Global Saskatoon, began as the Co-Anchor of CTV Regina’s News at Six December 13, joining Manfred Joehnck.
August 31 was the deadline for the conversion of analog to digital for television stations in mandatory markets. CFRE-TV made the transition to CFRE-DT on August 10, well ahead of the deadline. The station used channel 11 (virtual 11.1) for digital broadcasting, the same channel it had used for its analog operation.
Regan Tate left Global Regina as Assignment Editor to become News Director at CHAT-Radio-TV/MY96FM Medicine Hat.
Jacob Zehr became assignment editor at Global Regina. He moved from Newcap Television Lloydminster where he was senior anchor and senior news producer.
Senior Global News team changes: Boston Kenton, the Senior Director, National News and Global Vancouver Station Manager, was promoted to VP, BC and National News; Mike Omelus, the Eastern Regional Director responsible for Global Maritimes, Global Montreal and Global Winnipeg, was promoted to Senior Director, Southern Alberta; Tim Spelliscy, the Regional Director, News, AB and Station Manager at Global Edmonton, was promoted to Senior Director, Edmonton and Prairie Region; and Ward Smith was promoted from News Director/Station Manager at Global Toronto to Senior Director, Eastern Region. Boston continued responsibility for all national and foreign news operations, including the Ottawa Bureau and The West Block, as well as all BC news operations, including CHBC/Global Okanagan; Omelus moved to Calgary and was responsible for all Global News operations in Calgary and Lethbridge, and would work with Shaw on community engagement strategies and develop models for delivering Global News to new markets; Spelliscy continued to oversee operations at the Edmonton production centre, and had new responsibilities for Global Saskatoon, Global Regina and Global Winnipeg; and Smith remained in charge of Global Toronto as well as Global Montreal and Global Maritimes, as well as the Network Resource Centre based in Toronto. Moving to Vancouver and reporting to Boston was Jeff Bollenbach, the Station Manager/News Director at Global Calgary. He would work preparing the new BC regional 24/7 news channel (BC-1) for its anticipated launch on March 1.
On March 23, the CRTC approved an application by Shaw Communications Inc. on behalf of Shaw Media Inc. and its licensed subsidiaries, for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization by transferring all of Shaw Communications’ shares in Shaw Media to Corus Entertainment Inc. or one of its subsidiaries. Since the creation of Corus in 1999, the Commission had regarded the two companies to be effectively controlled by J.R. Shaw and this reorganization wouldn’t change that. The deal was expected to close on April 1. In early April, Corus Entertainment completed its $2.65 billion acquisition of Shaw Media. Corus now had 45 specialty TV services, 15 conventional TV channels, 39 radio stations, a global content business, and a portfolio of digital assets.
Mitch Bozak retired from Global Regina after 30 years, but stayed on in a consulting role. Bozak was station manager and Saskatchewan GSM since 2004, and joined the station in 1987 when it was known as STV. Before that, Mitch worked in sales at Harvard Broadcasting and Rawlco Radio.
On June 13, the CRTC approved the deletion of the following CFRE-DT rebroadcast transmitter at the request of Corus Entertainment Inc. – CFRE-TV-2 Fort Qu’Appelle.
Michael Fulmes retired from Global News Regina on August 30. Fulmes started his 41-year career in broadcasting at CKCK-TV Regina. He also worked at Global Maritimes and Global Edmonton.
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.