Québec, Montréal et Ouest du Québec / Montréal and Western Québec
CFJP-DT (TQS Network), Montreal, Remstar Diffusion Inc
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.