CHCA-TV, Red Deer, CanWest Global (Left the air August 31st)
On August 20, construction of the building and tower began. The studios and offices were being built atop a hill on Highway 11 on the outskirts of Red Deer. Effective radiated power was now expected to be 5,750 watts video and 2,875 watts audio.
The launch of the station was planned for November 15, but CHCA-TV didn't get on the air with its official launch until December 11. The station broadcast with an effective radiated power of 13,000 watts video and 6,600 watts audio. Antenna height was 714 feet.
The "CA" in the call sign represented Central Alberta. CHCA-TV was a Basic CBC affiliate. Fred Bartley was president of the company and manager of CHCA-TV. Ray D. Torgrud was operations manager.
On September 19, Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. received permission to acquire CKRD-TV Red Deer and its rebroadcasters CKRD-TV-1 Coronation and CKRD-TV-2 Banff from C.H.C.A. Television Limited. C.H.C.A. Television Limited was a wholly owned subsidiary of Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. which, in turn, is owned 75% by Mr. W.H. Yuill of Medicine Hat. There would be no change in the effective control of these stations as a result of this transaction.
On May 13, Monarch Broadcasting Ltd. and Allarcom Limited, as a co-venture, were awarded a licence for a new TV station at Red Deer to rebroadcast the programcs of Allarcom’s CITV-TV Edmonton. The new station would operate on channel 10 with an effective radiated power of 180,000 watts.
Steve Legault left CKRD-TV to become news director at the new STV Saskatoon (CFSK-TV). Brent Matheson replaced Legault at CKRD-TV.
Dwaine Dietrick became vice president of operations for Monarch Broadcasting. He succeeded vice president and general manager Merv Phillips, who retired.
Dale Meyer was appointed retail advertising sales manager.
On April 6, Allarcom Ltd. was given permission to purchase CKRD-TV Red Deer and its rebroadcaster CKRD-TV-1 Coronation and CKRD-TV-2 Banff owned by Monarch Broadcasting Ltd., and to acquire the undivided ownership and control of the assets of the third service television station in Red Deer (to be known as CITA-TV), currently jointly licensed to Monarch and Allarcom. Allarcom, the licensee of CITV-TV Edmonton, is an Alberta-based company entirely owned by residents of Alberta. It is indirectly controlled by Dr. Charles A. Allard through Cathton Holdings Ltd. Monarch is indirectly controlled by W.H. Yuill through Monarch Communications Inc. Monarch also owns CKRD-AM in Red Deer.
CKRD-TV-2 Banff was deleted because the signal quality was less than acceptable and the costs associated with the improvement of its delivery would be prohibitive. The programming that was carried on CKRD-TV-2 was largely duplicated in Banff on the CBC's transmitter, CBRT-1.
Dr. Charles Allard agreed to sell Allarcom Ltd. to WIC Western International Communications for cash and WIC shares (pending CRTC approval). Allard and his son Peter would become WIC directors. Allard said he worried about CITV surviving as a single independent station. It was felt CITV would be a natural fit with WIC's CFAC-TV Calgary.
Dr. Charles Allard died at the age of 71. He was the founder of Allarcom Ltd. He left medicine in the late 1960's to enter the business world. By 1978 the assets of Allarco Ltd. (predecessor to Allarcom), included extensive real estate holdings in western Canada and in the U.S. He sold those interests in 1980 to concentrate on his broadcast holdings. Dr. Allard sold the broadcast properties to Western International Communications in 1990.1992
Barry Duggan began managing CKRD-TV.
Frank Griffiths, head of WIC, passed away at the age of 77 on April 7…the day he was to be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKRD-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.
Art Reitmayer, president and CEO of RDTV was given added duties by WIC Television. He would also be president and CEO of CITV-TV Edmonton, and head Allarcom Studios and Studio Post & Transfer.
Westcom TV Group became WIC Television.
Barry Duggan resigned as president and CEO of BCTV Vancouver, where he succeeded Ron Bremner a short time earlier. Art Reitmeyer, who was in charge of WIC's CITV Edmonton and CKRD-TV Red Deer, succeeded Duggan, and Jim Bagshaw, who was in charge of CICT-TV Calgary, became president and CEO of all of WIC's Alberta TV operations.
Westcom TV announced plans to cut 95 jobs as part of "restructuring" following the licensing of new competitors in B.C. and Alberta. Following the elimination of 46 positions already, 51 would be cut at BCTV in Vancouver and Victoria; another 44 would be lost at WIC's four Alberta stations. CEO Art Reitmayer said the jobs would be phased out gradually and he hoped most affected workers would take early retirement or buyouts.
WIC Television cut the position of sales manager Larry Forster.
The Griffiths Family holdings in WIC Western Communications Ltd were sold, subject to CRTC approval, to Shaw Communications Inc. and CanWest Global Communications Corp.
Following months of negotiations, agreements were filed with the CRTC on the split of WIC assets between CanWest Global and Corus Radio Co. (formerly Shaw Radio Co.) and Shaw Communications.
WIC Television Alberta restructured RDTV Red Deer and CISA Lethbridge, resulting in the loss of 19 full-time positions at CISA (by mid-June) and 13 full-time slots at RDTV. The losses at RDTV were primarily in the production department.
Glen Young was Vice President of Sales for ITV (Edmonton), RDTV (Red Deer), Calgary7 and CISA-TV (Lethbridge).
CanWest Global Communications purchased WIC Television in July.
CanWest proposed to transfer CKRD-TV and CKRD-TV-1 to the CBC at virtually no cost to them. These facilities would be used to broadcast the full CBC schedule to the region. CanWest also proposed the licensing of two new transmitters of CKRD-TV to serve Edmonton and Calgary. If approved, the CKRD signal would carry the “CH” television service.
On February 26, CKRD-TV was given federal approval to disaffiliate from the CBC network and to give CKRD-TV-1 Coronation to the CBC. CKRD’s associated application to operate new stations at Edmonton and Calgary were denied.
On September 5, CKRD-TV disaffiliated from the CBC and became the fourth station in the CH television system. The call letters changed back to the original CHCA-TV.
On June 8, CanWest MediaWorks Inc. received approval to add transmitters for CHCA-TV at Calgary and Edmonton. CanWest had to submit, within three months from the date of this decision, an amendment to its Calgary application proposing the use of technical parameters that were acceptable to both the Commission and the Department of Industry. CanWest’s proposed technical parameters for Calgary were technically mutually exclusive with those proposed by Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. The Edmonton transmitter would operate on channel 17 with an effective radiated power of 92,000 watts.
On August 20, CHCA-TV received permission to operate the proposed Edmonton transmitter (channel 17) with an effective radiated power of 7,500 watts, to be used at an alternate transmitter location, on a temporary basis. CanWest indicated that, due to uncertainty caused by various ownership transactions in the Canadian broadcasting system, access to the transmitter tower it originally proposed to use in Edmonton is not certain. The licensee stated that it will continue to negotiate for a permanent transmitter location, and that the authority sought would be required only until 8 June 2008.
On the same date, CanWest MediaWorks was granted the use of channel 44 for CHCA-TV at Calgary. Effective radiated power would be 79,000 watts. However, on a temporary basis and for the same reasons outlined above for Edmonton, this transmitter would operate with an ERP of 6,300 watts, using an alternate transmitter location.
On September 7, CHCA-TV was rebranded as E! This change was in line with the other CH Network affiliates in Canada, and followed a content-sharing agreement earlier in the year with the U.S.-based E! Networks. Much of the primetime programming was retained, with the balance a mix of celebrity news and lifestyle shows. One of the most significant changes was the renaming of local newscasts to “CHCA News”, returning to identification with the station’s historic call letters.
A change in the authorized contours of CHCA-TV-2 Edmonton was also approved