CFJP-DT, TQS, Montréal
Remstar Diffusion Inc
Remstar Diffusion Inc
Remstar Diffusion Inc
Television Quatre Saisons Inc.
On September 6, Four Seasons Television Network Inc. was authorized to operate a French-language television station in Montreal, on channel 35, with an effective radiated power of 566,000 watts. The application to operate a rebroadcast transmitter at Quebec City was denied. The CRTC felt the market could not stand increased competition at this time. Four Seasons was owned by CFCF Inc. which also owned CFCF AM & Television and CFQR-FM. The new station would broadcast 77 hours weekly. Production, with the exception of news and public affairs, was to be assigned to independent producers.
On March 4, Four Seasons was given approval to operate a television station in Quebec City, on channel 2, with an effective radiated power of 23,700 watts to rebroadcast in full the programs of CFJP-TV Montreal. It was a condition of licence that no local advertising be carried in Quebec City. Four Seasons was also granted authority to operate a French-language television network to rebroadcast the programs of CFJP-TV Montreal in the major regional markets of the province.
On the same date, the following corporations were issued "twin-stick" licenses to operate new TV stations to broadcast the programming of CFJP-TV: Télévision Saint-Maurice Inc. (CKTM-TV), Trois-Rivières (channel 16 with effective radiated power of 703,100 watts), Télévision St-François Inc. (CKSH-TV), Sherbrooke (channel 30 with ERP of 125,900 watts), and Radio Nord Inc. (CHOT-TV), Hull (channel 49 with ERP of 16,200 watts); Radio Saguenay Ltee (CKRS-TV), Jonquiere, operating on channel 4 with effective radiated power of 24,550 watts. The rebroadcaster for CKRS-TV at St-Fulgence would move from channel 4 to channel 27. The new station would originate 2.5 hours a week and carry some of CKRS-TV's present programming, allowing that station to broadcast nearly all of the Radio-Canada network schedule. The applicants for Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivieres undertook to sell time for national advertising only.
On April 11, Radio Nord Inc. was authorized to operate television stations at Val d'Or, on channel 25 with ERP of 102,000 watts, and at Rouyn, on channel 20, with ERP of 81,000 watts. The Val d'Or station would rebroadcast the programs of CFJP-TV Montreal and certain local programs, whereas the Rouyn station would rebroadcast in its entirety the programming of the Val d'Or station.
CJFP-TV purchased $4 million in audio and video equipment from Sony. The arrangement would make it the world's first TV station based mainly on component signal sources rather than composite signal.
CFJP-TV and the TQS (Television Quatre Saisons) network began broadcasting on September 7 at 5:30 p.m. A gala extravaganza was televised that evening from Place des Arts. Studios and offices were located in the CFCF building at 405 Ogilvy Avenue. The "JP" in the call sign: Jean Pouliot, owner of CFCF Inc. The CFJP-TV signal was made available throughout eastern Canada via Telesat's Anik C3 Ku band satellite. The signal was transmitted to the affiliates via this method.
On launch day, the following transmitters went on the air: Montreal CFJP-TV (channel 35 / 668,000 watts video / 67,000 watts audio), Quebec City CFAP-TV (channel 2 / 23,700 watts / 2,400 watts), Sherbrooke CFKS-TV (channel 30 / 92,300 watts / 9,200 watts), Trois-Rivieres CFKM-TV (channel 16 / 115,600 watts / 23,000 watts), Hull-Ottawa CFGS-TV (channel 49 / 16,200 watts / 1,600 watts), Jonquiere CFRS-TV (channel 4 / 100,000 watts / 10,000 watts), Val d'Or CFVS-TV (channel 25 / 102,000 watts / 10,200 watts), and Rouyn CFVS-TV-1 (channel 20 / 81,000 watts / 8,100 watts). These transmitters gave TQS some 88% coverage of the population of Quebec and additional affiliates and transmitters were planned for the future.
The Montreal antenna was co-located with co-owned CFCF-TV on the CBC-owned FM-TV tower on Mount Royal (CBC owns the tower while CFCF owns one of the two transmitter buildings). Because of space considerations, a combined antenna was installed for channels 35 (TQS) and 17 (Radio Quebec). A Thomson CSF 30 kw model TRE 3482 with Valvo Klystrons, was chosen as the main transmitter. A 10 kw model TRE 8431 tube-type transmitter was chosen as the backup.
CFJP-TV had four studios. Studios A and B were 50 x 60 feet and shared a control room. Studio D was 40 x 40 feet and was the news studio. The largest TQS studio was "C". It was 90 feet x 60 feet.
Major programs included newscasts at 5:30 p.m., anchored by Pascale Nadeau, and 10:00 p.m., anchored by Stephane Boisjoly. A Montreal magazine-style show aired from 6-7 p.m., hosted by Gaston L'Heureux. A late night talk show aired from 10:45 to 11:30, with Chantal Jolis. Danielle Rainville would air a sportscast at 11:30 p.m. The network would sign on at 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 3:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 a.m. on Sundays.
Key personnel included Jean A. Pouliot as president and CEO; H. Paul Chamberland was executive vice president and chief operating officer; Gilles Gregoire was director of commercial production and promotion; Guy Fournier was vp of programming; Rudy Stefanik was vp of sales; Hugues Beaudoin was sales director; and Allan Schofield was traffic manager.
The following Television Quatre Saisons appointments were announced: Chief operating officer H. Paul Chamberland was promoted from vice president to president; Jean A. Pouliot became chairman of the board; Real Barnabe was named vice president of information; Denis Belanger became vice president of engineering; and Guy Demers was named vice president of administration.
On December 22, Four Seasons Television Network Inc. was given approval to operate a TV station at Rimouski (would be known as CJPC-TV), on channel 18, with an effective radiated power of 88.7 watts to rebroadcast the programs of CFJP-TV Montreal.
TQS was off to a slow start. A series of staff firings and resignations took place. The NFL's Super Bowl aired on TQS on January 25, indicating a change to the ‘no live sports' policy. News camerapersons were now being used. This was a move away from reporters doubling as camera operators. VP of programming Guy Fournier was satisfied with improved ratings results. TQS had 8% of the francophone audience and 15% of the target 18-34 age group.
Rudy Stefanik was vice president of sales for CFJP-TV and CFCF-TV.
On March 10, CFCF Inc. (formerly Four Seasons Television Network Inc.) was given approval to increase ERP for CJPC-TV Rimouski, from 88.7 to 458 watts.
Local production and advertising was approved June 28 for three rebroadcasters of the Quatre Saisons network, and a new affiliate would be added at Rivière-du-Loup. Starting in the spring of 1989, CFAP-TV Quebec would produce 6.5 local hours per week. That would increase to 12 hours weekly by September of 1990. 70 jobs would be created in the first year, growing to 114 by 1994. CFKM-TV Trois-Rivières and CFKS-TV Sherbrooke were also given the go ahead for local production. The two rebroadcasters, owned by Cogeco, would spend some $3 million over the next five years and hire 13 people to provide the service, which would begin immediately. By 1990, five hours of local programming would be produced. At Rivière-du-Loup, CKRT-TV Ltee and Gregoire Thibault, operating Société de Télévision MBS were given approval to operate a TQS rebroadcaster. It would operate on channel 29, with an effective radiated power of 18,100 watts. With this transmitter, Quatre Saisons coverage of Quebec would be increased to 93%. It was expected to be on the air by September 1.
Germain Blancent received approval to operate a television transmitter at Chute St-Phillippe to rebroadcast the programs of CFJP-TV. It would operate on channel 10 and have a transmitter power of ten watts.
Applications by Comite des loisirs des Employees Forestiers for licenses for television transmitters at Camp Manic and Camp Vallant were approved. The transmitters would rebroadcast CFJP-TV, received via satellite, on channel 6 with transmitter power of one watt.
Gerry Dixon, who had been CFCF's advertising and promotions director was now doing the same job at co-owned TQS.
TQS appointments: Diane Legris was named vice-president of programming. Francois Laurin was appointed v-p of administration. Gerald Dixon became director of advertising and promotion.
CFAP-TV Quebec was authorized to increase effective radiated power from 23,700 watts to 69,000 watts.
Hugues Beaudoin was appointed vice-president of sales; Louise Gordon was named director of sales; and Carole Boudreault became director of the film department.
Daniel Asselin was appointed news director and editor-in-chief, and Rudy Stefanik became vice-president and special counsel.
When CFJP-TV started in 1986 it had a permanent staff of 35. That number had now grown to over 200 permanent staffers and up to 240 temps. The station's audience had also grown. It had 6% of the viewing audience in 1986. In the summer of 1988 that number had grown to 20.9%. The TQS broadcast day begins at 11:00 a.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. on weekends. The station signs off the air at about 2:30 a.m. on a daily basis. TQS produces or has outside producers supply 95 hours of programming per week. Of that, 35 hours originate from the CFJP-TV studios or edit suites. The remainder comes from outside film and videotape productions. In 1986 only two of the four studios was operational - one for news and the other for production. TQS now fully utilizes all of its own studios and at times up to half CFCF-TV's studios next door.
TQS Quebec City now had a licence to operate as a local station instead of as a rebroadcaster of Montreal. The company was finishing up construction of studio facilities in that city. The new facilities would be home to a staff of 65. Local programming was expected to begin on September 3 from two studios, one for news and the other for production. Construction of the facility at 500 Rue Bouvier, began in September of 1988.
The nine station TQS network was now reaching 85% of Quebec's population of seven million.
CFCF Inc. was looking to cut costs at its TQS network whose huge losses had put the parent company in the red. A dozen network employees were laid off. Co-owned English-language CFCF-TV had to lay off more than 40 people and close its Ottawa bureau.
Francois Laganiere joined TQS as vice president of marketing and sales.
Jean Fortier was named vice president of programming for TQS.
On February 15, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFJP-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 15, the CRTC renewed the licences issued to CFCF Inc. for the Quatre-Saisons television network and for television station CFJP-TV Montréal and its transmitter CJPC-TV Rimouski to August 31, 1997. This short-term renewal reflected the Commission's serious concerns regarding the licensee's non-compliance with subsection 4(6) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 relating to the broadcast of Canadian programming, and would enable the Commission to conduct an early review of the manner in which the licensee addressed the various concerns, expectations and requirements set out in this decision. It would also enable the Commission to consider the renewal of these licences at the same time as that of most French-language television networks and stations in the province of Quebec.
Jean Mongeau became vice president of sales and marketing at TQS. He succeeded Francois Laganiere.
Groupe Videotron announced it had reached an agreement to sell Television Quatre-saisons to a company controlled by Quebecor. Videotron had acquired TQS a year when it purchased CFCF Inc. Quebecor's partner in the purchase would be Canadian Satellite Communications, a subsidiary of WIC, which had agreed to buy CFCF-TV in Montreal. The purchase of TQS, with owned and operated stations in Montreal, Quebec and Rimouski, would be subject to CRTC approval.
On August 22, Consortium Quebecor was authorized to acquire effective control of TQS inc. Communications Quebecor inc. would hold 58.52% in Consortium Quebecor. The other shareholders were Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. (19.49%), Cogeco inc. (19.99%), and the other affiliates of the "Télévision Quatre Saisons" network.
Télévision Quatre Saisons wanted something that stood out from the usual news or sports at 11:00 p.m., so, in January, it launched two "blue" (soft porn) shows. The shows drew upwards of 200,000 viewers during the week, and 350,000 on Saturday nights.
On December 7, Cogeco Radio Television Inc. (60%) and Bell Globemedia Inc. (through subsidiary CTV Television Inc.) (40%) were given approval to acquire TQS Inc. The shares had been held in trust by Mr. Pierre Hébert. The sale of TQS came about because of the purchase of TVA by Quebecor Média Inc. The CRTC imposed a condition precedent requiring that the control of TQS be transferred to a third party not associated with Quebecor.
On December 19, TQS inc. was authorized to add a transitional digital television undertaking in association with CFJP-TV Montréal. The digital station would operate from the CBC tower on Mont Royal, on channel 42C, with an effective radiated power of 7,000 watts.
CFJP-DT was authorized to increase power from 2,000 watts to 13,900 watts, decrease antenna height from 302 metres to 77.2 metres and change the location of the antenna site.
On June 26 the CRTC approved the application to change the effective control of TQS inc., licensee of CFJP-TV Montréal, CFJP-DT Montréal, CFAP-TV Québec, CFKM-TV Trois-Rivières, CFKS-TV Sherbrooke and CFRS-TV Saguenay, and of the TQS network, through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares of 3947424 Canada Inc., the parent corporation of TQS, currently held by Cogeco Radio-Télévision inc. (60%) and CTV Television Inc. (40%), to Remstar Diffusion inc., a corporation owned and controlled by Julien and Maxime Rémillard. The Commission also renewed the licences for these stations until August 31, 2015.
V Interactions inc. received CRTC approval to add a post-transition digital television transmitter for CFJP-TV at Montreal.
The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CFJP-TV channel 35 shut down on that date and was replaced by CFJP-DT which moved from transitional channel 42 to post-transitional channel 35 (virtual 35.1).
On April 26, the CRTC reviewed certain conditions of licence for V Interactions inc.'s television stations (CFJP-DT Montréal, CFAP-DT Québec, CFKM-DT Trois-Rivières, CFKS-DT Sherbrooke and CFRS-DT Saguenay) and network. The Commission noted that this process represented a review solely of V Interactions' conditions of licence regarding local programming and priority programming. In light of the expectation set out in Broadcasting Decision 2008-129 that the licensee could improve its news offering for the remainder of its licence terms, the Commission maintained the same conditions of licence with respect to local programming and priority programming until August 31, 2015.
In November, Henri Audet, founder of Cogeco cable died at age 94. Trained as an engineer, Audet left a job at the CBC to launch a TV station in Trois-Riviéres. He sold his house and raised $100,000 from friends and other investors as seed money. From that single television station the company became Canada's fourth-largest cable company and one of Quebec's largest media companies. Audet served as president of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters from 1961 to 1964, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1984. Control of Cogeco Inc. and its direct and indirect subsidiaries was held by Gestion Audem Inc., a holding company whose shares were held entirely by the members of the family of Henri Audet.
The CRTC approved an increase in average ERP to 17,710 watts (non-directional antenna), increase in EHAAT to 297.8 metres, and relocation of antenna site.