Québec, Montréal et Ouest du Québec / Montréal and Western Québec

CFTM-DT (TVA Network), Montreal

, Groupe TVA Inc.

1960
Paul L'Anglais & Associates were among the applicants for a new French-language television station at Montreal. The applicant proposed using channel 10 with an effective radiated power of 325,000 watts video and 195,000 watts audio. Antenna height (EHAAT) would be 964 feet and an omni-directional signal would be transmitted. Paul L'Anglais was director of production and sales at Tele-International Corp. Inc. and would be vice president and business manager for channel 10. J.A. Deseve was VP and GM of Tele-International and would be president and general manager of the new TV company. Andre Ouimet, controller general of Compagnie France Film and affiliated companies and former director of CBC Quebec region and the French TV network, would be vice president and assistant general manager. Others involved in the company: Maurice D. Dodbout (attorney), Jean-Paul Ladouceur (artistic director, Compagnie France Film), Marcel Pche (lawyer and labor consultant), Lionel Leroux (notary public). For the record, L'Anglais, 52, had 28 years experience as a producer, working for stage, music hall, radio, television and films.

The new station would program 55 hours per week - 30 ½ would be live with 24 ½ to be film. Canadian content would be 69.4%. Programming would increase to 65 hours a week after the first six months of operation. L'Anglais said program policy was to compliment, not compete with the service now provided by the CBC and to win back a large segment of the Montreal audience that now watched American TV. There would be two hours a week of live drama and possibly stage productions by two prominent theatrical groups in Montreal. Launch date dependent on construction of multi-channel TV transmission equipment atop Mount Royal to be shared by private broadcasters and the CBC.

On March 22, Joseph Alexandre DeSève received an operating licence from the Board of Broadcast Governors for the first private television station in Montreal. DeSève represented the L'Anglais group. Competing applications for the French licence: Raymond Crepault (OBCI), La Compagnie de Publication de "La Presse" Ltee, and Radio Station CKVL Ltd. (with partner United Amusement Corp. They were all turned down. Canadian Marconi received approval for the operation of an English-language TV station in Montreal, on channel 12. Both stations would offer second service in Montreal for their respective language - the CBC had operated French CBFT and English CBMT for a few years now. 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.

The company now had a corporate name - Tele-Metropole Corp. Some staff and management of CFTM-TV: J.A. DeSeve (president), Paul L'Anglais (vice president), Andre Ouimet (second VP and controller general), Maurice D. Godbout (secretary-treasurer), Roland Giguere (manager), Maurice Bastien (film director) and Maurice Doucet (chief engineer).

Members of the newly licensed second television stations 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).

Ad: To sell French Montreal...take 10 CFTM-TV - reach the 2,970,000 French-speaking viewers who are going to make 10 part of their lives. On the air early 1961. Tele-Metropole Corporation. Studios and offices 1405 de Maisonneauve, Montreal.

In the fall, CFTM-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. Initially, CFTM would operate with two studios and a mobile vehicle, and expand to four studios and two mobile units once in full operation. The station would also be ready for colour telecasting whenever the BBG gave the go-ahead.

Canadian General Electric received a $500,000 order to provide equipment to CFTM-TV. Some of the equipment would be entirely new in Canadian television, according to CGE. The order included 12 EMI Type 203 image orthicon camera channels; a continuous motion TV film projector; a transistorized video switcher; special effects generator; video tape recorders, and other equipment.

1961
CFTM Channel 10 began broadcasting on February 19. The "TM" in the calls: Télé-Métropole – owner of the station.

The inaugural evening featured a pre-eminent gala program called “Du Neuf au Dix!”

The official launch was attended by the Archbishop of Montreal, Mgr. Paul-Émile Léger, Mayor Jean Drapeau, and Premier Jean Lesage, who declared that television had “enormous power and thus, enormous responsibilities -- we are confident that Télé-Métropole will serve the interests of French Canada.”

Amongst the programs that were broadcast during its first day on the air, one may note “Poivre et Sel”, at 16:30, and “Je me souviens”, at 19:30. CFMT-TV was the biggest private French language television station operating in the Province of Quebec with a signal covering over a 100-kilometre radius around Montreal.

1965
CFTM-TV had an effective radiated power of 325,000 watts video and 160,000 watts audio.

1966
CFTM-TV broadcast its first TV program in colour.

1967
Slogan: The colourful world of French Montreal.

1968
Claude Lapointe was news director.

Joseph Alexandre de Seve died September 3. He would have been 72 on september 14. He was president and founder of Tele-Metropole Corp. Inc., operator of CFTM.

The municipal government of the City of Montreal decided to change the name of the street alongside the Télé-Métropole building to Alexandre-DeSève Street, in memory of the TVA founder.

Paul L'Anglais, commercial manager and head of his own sales rep firm, was named chairman of the board of Tele-Metropole. Roland Giguere, assistant manager, was named president and general manager.

1969
Roland Giguere, president and general manager of Tele-Metropole, announced the appointments of Robert L'Herbier as vice president of programs and production; G.W. Belanger as vice president of sales and promotion; and Robert Trudeau as vice president and general administrator. All of these appointments were at the corporate level.

On December 11, approval was granted for the transfer of 77.6% of the voting shares of Tele-Metropole Corp. from the Estate of the late J.A. DeSève. Executors were appointed by the will of the deceased president: Messrs. Marcel Faribault, Roland Giguere, Leo Lavoie, Lionel Leroux and J. Emile Maheu (testamentory executors and trustees). The executors would control the board of directors. This decision only approved the transfer of control of the company to the current group of executors.

1970
Slogan: 10 CFTM - the most "tuned-in" television station in Canada.

CFTM's facilities were now fully up-to-date for colour operations.

Local productions totalled 83 1/2 hours every week - 71% of the weekly air time of 118 hours. Starting in the fall, 8 1/2 hours was invested in public affairs programming.

1971
The TVA network began operations on September 12, linking CFTM Montréal, CFCM-TV Québec and CJPM-TV Chicoutimi.

1974
Télé-Métropole was listed on the Montreal Stock Exchange.

1975
The construction of the new 11-storey building was completed and housed the offices of the station and Network, as well as three (3) studios, and was located at 1600 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East.

1977
CFTM-TV continued its expansion, as construction of studios "G" and "H" were underway. At this time, Télé-Métropole had 650 employees and was producing some 70 hours of local programming every week.

1979
The licence of the TVA network was renewed to September 30, 1982. TVA had only three stations when first licenced in 1971. The network had now grown to nine stations plus four rebroadcasters, reaching over 98% of Quebec's French-speaking population. The CRTC suggested TVA should increasingly be oriented towards providing a viable programming alternative on a national basis to the Radio-Canada network. The Commission again called for greater decentralization of the network, with more production from its affiliates, especially CFCM-TV in Quebec City. Service should also be extended to Gaspe and other areas of Quebec not yet served. CFTM's licence was renewed at the same time.

1979-80
Gaston W. Belanger moved up from vice president and general manager to the post of president and general manager of Tele-Metropole.

1981

J. Richard Genin was named vice president of sales at CFTM-TV. He was also chair of the TVB at this time.

1982
175 technicians walked off the job after their contract expired and Tele-Metropole turned down union demands for a 12% wage increase.

1984
Claude Veillet was named director of program development for Tele-Metropole Inc.

On March 7, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHEM-TV Trois-Rivières by authorizing the licensee to broadcast programs originating part-time from CFTM-TV Montreal and CHLT-TV Sherbrooke instead of programs originating part-time from CHLT-TV. In addition, the licensee would continue to broadcast programs originating from its studios in Trois-Rivières.

Tele-Metropole technicians voted 86% in favour of accepting a back to work agreement. The bitter 15 month lockout ended what union president Serge Bouchard called "the longest conflict in the history of television in North America."

Yolande Lecuyer was a reporter at CFTM.

1985
Power Corp. announced plans to purchase 99.6% of the Class A voting shares and 38% of the Class B shares of Télé-Métropole. T-M owned CFTM-TV Montreal, CJPM-TV Chicoutimi, and had a 33.5% interest in Pathonic Communications (CHLT-TV Sherbrooke and CHEM-TV Trois-Rivieres). All four were part of the TVA network which was anchored by CFTM-TV - Canada's largest and most profitable French language TV station and a major production centre. Media cross-ownership was seen be an issue for Power when the applications went before the CRTC.

1985-86
Richard Genin was vice president of sales.
 
1986
CFTM-TV installed twelve SK-97's from Hitachi Denshi as part of its studio camera replacement program.

Power Corporation failed in its bid to acquire Télé-Métropole. Cross-ownership and concentration of ownership dominated the March hearing but the commission rejected the proposal because Power did not demonstrate that the deal was clearly in the public interest.

Le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée announced plans to acquire Télé-Métropole.

1987
On January 27, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of Télé-Métropole Inc. from the Estate of J.A. DeSève, the J.A. DeSève Foundation and Ciné-Monde Inc. to le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée. The Vidéotron proposal included substantial investment in programming and the renovation of existing T-M facilities. In approving the application, the CRTC said Vidéotron's dynamism, combined with the expertise of Canada's largest private French-language television station, would ensure continuity while opening new horizons for Canadian French-language productions.

1988
Michel Heroux was named chief executive officer of the TVA Television Network after a short term as interim CEO. He was also elected to the TVA board of directors.

Michel Heroux, general manager of TVA since February, was appointed president of the network, succeeding Gilles Lauzon, who remained chairman of the board.

Vincent Gabriele left CFTM-TV where he had been vice president of programming and production.

1988-89
Huguette Marcotte was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer of CFTM-TV. He joined Tele-Metropole from Radio-Canada.


1989
Télé-Métropole Inc. acquired control of Pathonic Network Inc. Pathonic owned or controlled TVA affiliates CFCM-TV Quebec City, CFER-TV Rimouski and CFER-TV-2 Gaspé-Nord, CHLT-TV Sherbrooke, CHEM-TV Trois-Rivières, CIMT-TV Rivière-du-Loup; CBC affiliates CKMI-TV Quebec City (English), CKRT-TV Rivière-du-Loup (French); and CFTF-TV Rivière-du-Loup (Quatre-Saisons affiliate). Le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée owned 99.7% of the voting shares and 40.8% of all of the outstanding shares in Télé-Métropole at this time. In addition to CFTM, Télé-Métropole also owned CJPM-TV Chicoutimi and CJPM-TV-1 Chambord. Télé-Métropole was a founding member of the TVA network and at this time owned 20% of the voting rights in the Réseau de Télévision TVA Inc.

Andre Provencher was appointed programming director and Robert Lauzon was named director of regional and local sales for Tele-Metropole.

Guy Crevier, Tele-Metropole vice-president of news and current affairs was appointed chairman of the board.

1990
Bernard Fabi was named president and general manager of Tele-Metropole's regional stations.

The corporate name was now Groupe TVA Inc.

1991
Mario Bertrand was named president and CDO of Tele-Metropole Inc. Serge Goudin became chairman of Tele-Metropole and president of Groupe Videotron Ltee, Tele-Metropole's controlling shareholder.

1992
On August 13, Télé-Métropole Inc. was given approval to acquire 75% of Le Réseau de télévision TVA Inc. from Radio Nord Inc., Télé-Inter Rives Ltée and Télévision de la Baie des Chaleurs Inc. (25% each). This purchase gave Télé-Métropole 100% of the network.

1993
Télé-Métropole vice president of marketing Guy Crevier succeeded Mario Bertrand as president.

1995
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFTM-TV by adding to the licence 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.

1996
Groupe Videotron appointed Jean Gariepy as president of its Tele-Metropole subsidiary, succeeding Claude Chagnon.

1996-97
Claude Chagnon became president and COO of Groupe Videotron and chairman of its subsidiary, Tele-Metropole. He succeeded Serge Gouin, who left the company after five years in the posts. Andre Chagnon continued on as CEO and chairman.

1998-99
Gaétan Girouard, 33, a household name to more than a million Quebecers, was found dead in his suburban Quebec City home. He was co-host on TVA's show, J.E.
1999
André Provencher was appointed President of TVA International. He would remain as a programming advisor to the TVA Group's management team, while François St-Laurent would manage TVA International's Los Angeles-based production unit.

2001
Quebecor inc. subsidiary Quebecor Média inc. acquired Le Groupe Vidéotron ltée. Because Quebecor would now own two networks – TVA and TQS – the company was told to divest itself of TQS inc. Later in the year, TQS was sold to Cogeco Radio Television Inc. and Bell Globemedia Inc. 

2006

On March 15, the CRTC approved the application by TVA Group Inc. for a licence to operate a transitional digital television undertaking in association with CFTM-TV Montréal. The applicant proposed that the station simulcast the current analog programming service of CFTM-TV with the exception of up to 14 hours per week of programming that would not be duplicated on the analog service. The digital undertaking would operate from a tower on the roof of CFTM-TV's studio on channel 59VU with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 6,140 watts.

2009
On May 15th, following a hearing that began on April 27th, the CRTC announced a two-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for the TVA Group stations, including CFTM-TV Montreal, "....to give these broadcasters some flexibility during the current period of economic uncertainty."

2010
The CRTC approved the change to the ownership of Quebecor Media Inc. through the transfer of the shares held by Capital d'Amérique CDPQ inc. in QMI to CDP Capital d'Amérique Investissement inc., another CDPQ subsidiary. This transaction does not affect the effective control of QMI and of its licensee subsidiaries. QMI owns, through TVA Group Inc. and Videotron Ltd., broadcasting distribution undertakings, television programming undertakings, a pay-per-view undertaking, specialty services and a video-on-demand undertaking.

2011
On July 12, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFTM-DT until August 31, 2012.

The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. At 12:01 a.m., September 1, CFTM-TV channel 10 left the air and was replaced by CFTM-DT - also on channel 10 (virtual 10.1).

Jean Neveu died at the age of 70. He was chairman of the board at Quebecor, chairman of TVA Group and a director of Quebecor Media Inc. He joined Quebecor in 1969 as controller and occupied several management positions, including senior vice president.


(For more information on CFTM and TVA, see “TVA Television Network” history on the General Directory). 

                                                 Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated March, 2012