Ontario, Northern Ontario

CKNY-TV (CTV Network), North Bay

, Bell Media

 

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1955
Two groups filed applications with the CBC Board of Governors for the operation of a television station at North Bay, using channel 10. The applicants were G.A. Alger and J.F. Grainger. The latter was in partnership with the North Bay Nugget and CFCH-AM. The Alger application was approved - channel 10 with effective radiated power of 21,000 watts video and 12,500 watts audio.

In September, the studio, transmitter and administration building - all on one site - was being constructed atop Buford Hill, near Callendar, about ten miles south of North Bay. It was hoped that CKGN-TV would be on the air just before Christmas. Gerry Alger said the station would broadcast on channel 10 with video ERP of 28,500 watts and audio ERP of 14,250 watts. Antenna height would be 1,221 feet above sea level. (At this point, some stories said the video ERP would be 51,500 watts) The station would serve sizable portions of four districts: Nipissing, Parry Sound, Temiskaming and Sudbury. Russ J. Eastcott was named General Manager.

CKGN-TV (not yet on the air) became a member of CARTB (CAB).

Gerry Alger and Gerry Stanton, using a feasibility study by Bruce McLeod (who later became general manager), put CKGN-TV on the air on December 15. The station was a basic CBC (Mid-Eastern Region) affiliate.

1957
By this time, CKGN-TV was operating with 28,500 watts video and 14,250 watts audio (also listed with 51,500 watts video and 25,750 watts audio). The station was owned by Tel-Ad Co. Ltd. (J.L. Shaw 21.1%, C.H. Hewitt 21.1%, C.D. Stanton 20.7%, C.A. Alger 19.6%, 29 other shareholders 17.5%). Gerald Alger was president of the company.

Instead of showing old movies, CKGN-TV decided to use live, local shows in the evening. Those programs were "Studio Wrestling", "In Town Tonight" and from 11:23 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., "Midnight Jamboree".

Prominent Northern Ontario businessman Ced Price was appointed managing director (general manager and operations manager) of CKGN-TV. At one time, he was mayor of North Bay. Other members of the management team at the time: Harry Williams (news director), Bill Bennett (sports director) and Sid Tompkins (chief operator).

1958
Bruce McLeod joined CKGN-TV as general manager after 14 years as manager of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce. He succeeded Ced Price, who left because of pressure of other business in the city. McLeod had worked at one time as announcer and program director of CFCH radio. Bill Hart was production manager.

CKGN-TV sought a licence for an AM station at North Bay - 930 kHz with 1,000 watts. The CBC Board of Governors denied the application as it was not convinced there was a neeed for a second radio station in the area.

"Clock Watchers" was a new live early morning show starting on CKGN-TV on September 15. It featured news, music, cartoons, weather, time checks, ad-lib chatter and women's features. The show was on the air from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Jo-Ann Jackson was women's director. Tom Bilenkey was director/producer. Dave Patrick and Wilf Davidson were on staff. Paul Trudel was a cameraman. Sid Tomkins was a program director.

According to a print ad, CKGN-TV now served over 19,000 captive TV homes.

1959
In May, CKGN-TV became the first TV station Canada to produce a breakfast program, "The "Clock Watchers" from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Roger Des Loges joined the station as announcer and salesman.

1960
Bruce McLeod, general manager of Tel-Ad Co. was named general manger of Intercity Broadcasting by Roger M. Seguin, president. Intercity was one of five applicants for a second Ottawa TV licence. G.A. Alger replaced McLeod as GM of Tel-Ad. Roger Des Loges left for CJSS Radio-TV in Cornwall. Al Fogle was CKGN-TV comptroller.

Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. announced that it had reached agreement with Tel-Ad Co. Ltd. to acquire CKGN-TV, subject to BBG approval. Tel-Ad was made up of North Bay businessmen and was granted the TV licence by the CBC in 1955. Northern had operated CFCH-AM in North Bay since 1931. The BBG approved the application at mid-year.

Ad: CKGN-TV North Bay now boasts a weekly circulation of 18,400 homes (Spring BBM 1960).

Bill Lewis was news director. Harvey C. Freeman was appointed manager of CKGN-TV. He would also continue to act as manager of CFCH Radio.

1961
CFCH-AM, also owned by Thomson, moved into the Callander TV building in January.

1962
On January 1, CKGN-TV became CFCH-TV.

1965
CFCH-TV still had an effective radiated power of 28,500 watts video and 14,250 watts audio. Reg Carne was president of Tel Ad Co. Ltd.


1968
David Shulman was appointed promotion manager at CFCH-AM-TV. He had been with CKKW Kitchener. Shulman would be responsible for promotions CFCH-TV and Trinor Radio (CFCH, CKGB, CJKL and CJTT). Reg Carne was manager of Northern Broadcasting Ltd. and CFCH-AM-TV.

CFCH-TV art director Lawrence Malaney, 24, was killed in a car crash. Reg Carne was manager.

1969
It was announced that the broadcast interests of Lord Roy Thomson and the late Senator Rupert Davies' families would be sold to Bushnell TV Co. Ltd. of Ottawa (CJOH-TV). The plan was subject to CRTC approval. The sale would include CKWS-AM-FM-TV Kingston, CHEX-AM-FM-TV Peterborough, CFCH-AM-TV North Bay, CKGB-AM-FM Timmins and CJKL Kirkland Lake.

1969-70
In the fall of 1969, the CRTC considered four competing applications to establish second television service at Sudbury. These specific applications were denied on the grounds that, in view of the market's limited broadcasting base, the licensing of such service, at Sudbury only, would have rendered the extension of second service to other parts of the region unlikely for many years.

Accordingly, the Commission proposed an alternate framework to provide for the early introduction of second television service in Northern Ontario, which was predicated upon co-operation between the region's existing broadcasters and designed to preserve a balance between them. On the basis of this co-operative approach, J. Conrad Lavigne and Cambrian Broadcasting were subsequently licensed to provide CBC and CTV service respectively at each of Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay and other surrounding communities.

1970
On July 6, the Thomson and Davies families were given permission to sell their stations to Bushnell Communications Ltd. of Ottawa. The sale included stations in Timmins, Peterborough, Kingston, and North Bay. The sale was conditional on the transfer of CFCH-AM-TV North Bay & Cablevue to another party. The sale to Bushnell was never completed.

1971
On September 29, Cambrian Broadcasting Ltd. was given permission to acquire CFCH-TV from Tel-Ad Co. Ltd.

J. Conrad Lavigne Ltd. received approval to operate a television station at North Bay. CHNB-TV Channel 4 signed on the air in October. It became the CBC affiliate. As a result, CFCH-TV changed its affiliation to CTV.

1972
On March 28, CFCH-AM was authorized to move studios and offices from Callander to North Bay.

On December 28, the sale of Northern Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (including CFCH-AM) by Lord Thomson to Jack Schoone, J. Irving Zucker and Robert Ancell  (Eastern Broadcasting) was approved.

1975
On May 16, Tel-Ad Co. Ltd. (Cambrian) had its application for a rebroadcast transmitter at Huntsville denied. The transmitter would have operated on channel 10 with effective radiated video power of 92,000 watts. The licence for Huntsville was awarded to CKCO-TV Kitchener. On the same date, Tel-Ad’s application to move CKNY-TV from channel 10 to channel 6 denied. Effective radiated video power would have been reduced with the change, from 119,000 watts to 51,000 watts.

1976
Cable brought in U.S. signals and the Global television signal.

The purchase of CKNY-TV by Cambrian Broadcasting Ltd. of Sudbury (CKSO) was approved.

1980
The viability of local services was the focus of a CRTC decision which approved applications whereby the competing CTV and CBC affiliated stations licensed to Cambrian and Lavigne came under the ownership of Mid-Canada, and under the ultimate control of Northern Cable Services Limited which owns 95.8% of Mid-Canada.

The Commission acknowledged the various factors which make Northern Ontario a difficult and unusually expensive market to serve. The marginal profitability and frequent financial losses encountered by Lavigne and Cambrian in the operation of their CBC and CTV television affiliate services provided clear evidence of these difficulties. The relatively slow growth rate of the area's economy, the escalating costs of program production and acquisition, increasing cable penetration and the introduction of additional television services were identified as placing further strains on the viability of over-the-air broadcasting services in the region.

The Commission said that it viewed the purchase of the CBC related assets by Mid-Canada as being a realistic interim measure towards achievement of the goal of improved television service in the region, and noted the applicant's statement that this was an "in trust" arrangement until the CBC had sufficient funds to purchase the transmitters and associated equipment. The Commission also noted the applicant's commitment to offer the CBC the opportunity to buy or rent surplus equipment for the production of a CBC regional news service.

As stated above, Mid-Canada is owned 95.8% by Northern. The largest shareholder of Northern is CUC Limited with 48.3% of the outstanding voting shares. CUC Limited has extensive cable television interests across Southern Ontario and is deemed to be controlled by G.R. Conway and its other founding shareholders. The remaining 51.7% of Northern's voting shares are owned by Northern Ontario investors who also form a majority on Northern's Board of Directors. The largest of these is The Sudbury Broadcasting Company Limited, which owns 20.1% of Northern's voting shares and is controlled by F. Baxter Ricard. Mr. Ricard has been involved in broadcasting in Northern Ontario since the late 1940's and is a long-time associate of G.R. Conway.

1982
On May 12, Cambrian Broadcasting Ltd. received approval to decrease CKNY-TV’s effective radiated power from 119,000 watts to 70,500 watts and to move the transmitter site from Callander to Powassan, and to increase antenna height.

1987-88
James Tuckett became news director for CKNY-TV/CHNB-TV (and CHUR-AM). He had held the same post at CKPC-AM-FM in Brantford.

1989
When CKNY-TV had its licence renewed, the CRTC noted that the CTV affiliate committed to broadcast an average of 10 hours and 46 minutes of original local programs per week during the new licence term. CKNY-TV currently produces the weekday morning access/talk show "Everyday People" and the evening news magazine "Mid North Focus", and produces "Counterpoint" and "Business Week" in co-operation with other Mid-Canada stations. It is also involved in "Image North", which is produced in co-operation with Huron Broadcasting Limited. In addition, CKNY-TV acquires a number of programs produced by the licensee's other CTV affiliates, including "The World Around Us", "Sonja and Co." and "Fishing the North".

1990
Baton Broadcasting Inc. of Toronto purchased Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. from Northern Cable Holdings Ltd. The purchase included CHRO-TV (CBC) Pembroke, CICI-TV (CTV) and CKNC-TV (CBC) Sudbury, CITO-TV (CTV) and CFCL-TV (CBC) Timmins, and CHNB-TV (CBC) and CKNY-TV (CTV) North Bay and their respective rebroadcasters. At the same time, Mid-Canada (Baton) purchased CHBX-TV (CTV) and CJIC-TV (CBC) Sault Ste. Marie from Huron Broadcasting Ltd. The CRTC approved these transactions on October 22. Baton, is controlled by members of the Eaton family of Toronto through their indirect ownership of a majority of Baton's voting shares.

1994
On September 1, Nation's Capital Television Inc. amalgamated with CFTO-TV Ltd., South West Ontario Broadcasting Inc. and Mid-Canada Communications (Canada) Corp. to become BBS Ontario Inc. (All were Baton subsidiaries)

1995
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKNY-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.

Baton Broadcasting laid off 25 employees at MCTV in Northern Ontario. Local news was replaced with regional coverage on weekends. City councillors in Sault Ste. Marie asked BBS to reconsider the layoffs.

1996-97
Mid-Canada Television's George Lund was named vice president of Baton Broadcasting's Ontario stations.

1998
On January 27, the Eaton family sold its 41% interest in Baton.

John White Hughes Bassett (longtime head of Baton) passed away on April 27.

After purchasing the CTV Television Network, Baton Broadcasting Inc. changed its name to CTV Inc. The name change was effective December 21.

1999
On July 8, CTV Television Inc. (formerly BBS Incorporated) received approval to operate its Huntsville transmitter as a rebroadcaster of CKNY-TV. The transmitter is now a rebroadcaster of co-owned CKCO-TV Kitchener (as CKCO-TV-4). News directed to the Huntsville region would appear in the newscasts of the North Bay station. The licensee stated that news and other programming from North Bay would have more relevance for residents of the Huntsville area than the programming currently delivered from Kitchener.

2000
In February, Bell Canada Enterprises through its subsidiary BCE Media, proposed to purchase CTV Inc. for $ 2.3 billion. In June BCE submitted their brief to the CRTC with the largest "benefits package" ever presented to the regulative body. The benefits, money allocated over the proposed seven year licence term, were almost entirely to be spent on new Canadian programming. Ivan Fecan agreed to stay with the network under BCE ownership. The CRTC hearing was held in September and the ownership application was approved on December 7th.

In October, CKNY-TV, known on air as CTV North Bay, added coverage of the Muskoka/Parry Sound area, taking over the channel 11 re-broadcasting station of CKCO-TV Kitchener in the Huntsville area. The station maintains a News Bureau and sales office just south of Gravenhurst. CKNY coverage was extended to 21,000 square miles.

2001
BCE entered into an agreement with The Woodbridge Company Limited and The Thomson Corporation (owners of The Globe and Mail newspaper). Bell Globemedia Inc. was formed by these companies. Bell Globemedia became the parent of CTV Inc.

In November, MCTV stations in North Bay and Timmins lost their local newscasts. All news now came from CICI-TV Sudbury. Short local inserts were produced for the other two stations.

In November, MCTV stations in North Bay and Timmins lost their local newscasts. All news now came from CICI-TV Sudbury. Short local inserts were produced for the other two stations.

2002
On October 10, the CRTC approved the sale by CTV Television Inc. of its CBC affiliated stations (CFCL-TV-3 Kapuskasing, CFCL-TV-2 Kearns, CHNB-TV North Bay, CJIC-TV Sault Ste. Marie, CKNC-TV Sudbury, and CFCL-TV Timmins) to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. These transmitters became rebroadcasters of CBLT in Toronto. CKNY-TV North Bay and the other CTV affiliated stations in the north remained in CTV’s hands.

2005
On February 14, CTV Television Inc. was authorized to amend the broadcasting licence for CICI-TV Sudbury, in order to operate a transmitter in Huntsville. The transmitter to be added is CKNY-TV-11. CTV indicated that CKNY-TV-11 rebroadcasts the programming of CICI-TV, and has ceased to provide separate news programming directed to Huntsville. The applicant expressed the view that it is therefore no longer necessary for it to hold a separate licence for CKNY-TV-11. CTV further indicated that, if this application were approved, the broadcasting licence to operate a separate television programming undertaking at Huntsville should be revoked. CTV committed to continue to serve the Huntsville community by maintaining locally-based reporting staff in the Huntsville area, and by the on-going inclusion, in the regional newscasts on CICI-TV, of news stories of relevance to Huntsville.The new transmitter will continue to operate on channel 11 with an average effective radiated power of 178,900 watts, providing viewers in Huntsville with programming originating from CICI-TV Sudbury.

2006
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.


2010
On October 7, the CRTC denied an application by CTVglobemedia Inc., on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary CTV Television Inc., to reduce the overall minimum level of Canadian programming broadcast by its conventional television stations from 60% to 55%.

2011
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.

2011
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence of CKNY-TV until August 31, 2016. Additional condition of licence for CICI-TV Sudbury and its transmitter CICI-TV-1 Elliot Lake; CKNC-TV Sudbury; CKNY-TV North Bay; CHNB-TV North Bay; CKNY-TV-11 Huntsville; CITO-TV Timmins and its transmitters CITO-TV-1 Kapuskasing, CITO-TV-2 Kearns, CITO-TV-3 Hearst and CITO-TV-4 Chapleau; CFCL-TV Timmins and its transmitters CFCL-TV-2 Kearns and CFCL-TV-3 Kapuskasing; CHBX-TV Sault Ste. Marie and its transmitter CHBX-TV-1 Wawa; and CJIC-TV Sault Ste. Marie: with respect to CKNY-TV-11 Huntsville, the licensee may broadcast no more than 6.5% of the commercial availabilities on this station separately from those broadcast on CKNY-TV North Bay for each hour of station-produced programming broadcast exclusively on the Huntsville station each week. Additional commitment for CHBX-TV Sault Ste. Marie, CICI-TV Sudbury, CITO-TV Timmins and CKNY-TV North Bay: the Commission noted the licensee's commitment to broadcast 7 hours of local programming per week between all four stations, averaged over the broadcast year, to the communities served by these stations.

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.

                                               Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated Feb, 2012