CFTK-TV (CBC Network), Terrace, Astral Media Inc.
On November 1, CFTK-TV channel 3 signed on along with its rebroadcaster CFTK-TV-1, channel 6, Prince Rupert. The station, which was a CBC-TV affiliate, was owned by Skeena Broadcasters Ltd., founded in 1960 by engineer and entrepreneur J. Fred Weber, owner of CFTK-AM. To cover remote areas, Weber designed a transmitter that fit inside a protective plastic pipe, which was delivered by helicopter to mountain peaks. The signal was then relayed from mountaintop to mountaintop.
| Fred Weber
The fledgling television station earned the gratitude of neighbouring Alaskans following its coverage of the assassination of U.S. president John Kennedy on November 22. Live reports were not possible at the time, so Weber had tapes flown from Vancouver and dedicated a day’s broadcasting to the historic events.
Fred Weber was elected mayor of Terrace and served until the following year.
Fred Weber, recognizing the necessity of providing further entertainment and education to the people of northern B.C., started cablevision services to Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat, which were expanded later to the Bulkley Valley and Hazelton.
The corporate name changed to Okanagan Skeena Group Limited.
Rick Webber returned to CFTK-TV-AM/CJFW-FM as news director.
Fred Weber was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
The CRTC commended the station for its local public affairs and dramatic productions when it released its licence renewal on April 6. The Commission particularly noted "Northwest Playhouse" along with its hour-long weekday news program and its weekly news magazine entitled "Skeena Journal". The Commission also noted that CFTK-TV had co-operated with the Northern Native Broadcasting Society on several occasions during the licence term by providing personnel, mobile technical facilities and post-production services.
Tara Nelson started her television career at the station as a news reporter and anchor. After positions at Global TV Edmonton and CHEK-TV Victoria, she became a news reporter for “Global National” from Vancouver in 2001 and anchor of Saturday and Sunday editions when they were launched in 2005.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CFTK-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.
On March 24, the CRTC renewed the licence for CFTK-TV Terrace and its transmitter CFTK-TV-1 Prince Rupert, to August 31, 2002. At the time of CFTK-TV's last licence renewal, the licensee made a commitment to broadcast a minimum average of 6:00 hours of original local news each week. According to the Commission's monitoring of CFTK-TV's programming logs, the station broadcast an average of only 3 hours and 30 minutes of original local news each week in the 1991-1992 broadcast year and dropped to an average of 3 original hours per week in the 1992-1993 broadcast year. When asked to explain the shortfall during these years, the licensee explained that a decline in audiences and revenues forced it to reassess its approach to CFTK-TV's local news programming. As a result, the licensee reduced the international and national content of its local news and introduced a shorter, local news telecast scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, that focused on regional news and public affairs. The licensee claimed that this new strategy had generated larger audiences and greater advertising revenues for this time period. In addition, the licensee broadcasts local news briefs scheduled in prime-time, Monday to Friday. The Commission said it expected the licensee to adhere to the commitment made in its licence renewal application to broadcast, at a minimum, an average of 3 hours 31 minutes of original local news each week during the new licence term. In addition, the Commission encouraged the licensee to expand its local news coverage by introducing, in the first year of the new licence term, additional local news programming broadcast during the weekend. The Commission noted that, during the new licence term, the licensee would continue to produce its local public affairs program "Skeena Journal" which was telecast in the evening during the week and repeated on Saturday afternoon. In addition, the licensee would continue to broadcast "Kids Biz", two-minute information segments produced with local students and aimed at students throughout CFTK-TV's coverage area.
Marg Van Herd passed away. She had been with Skeena Broadcasters for nearly 30 years until her retirement in November of 1992. Van Herd had been accountant/controller/VP, finance, and general historian, prior to and for a period after, the amalgamation of the company with Okanagan Holdings Ltd.
Telemedia Radio Inc. purchased Okanagan Skeena Group Ltd.
CFTK-TV linked up with CKPG-TV Prince George, which allowed commercials and programming to be shared by the two stations. Shared programming continued until 2004.
Station founder Fred Weber died in West Vancouver on May 7 at the age of 80.
Standard Radio Inc. purchased the Western and Ontario operations of Telemedia. Some stations were then sold to other companies but SRI retained the Okanagan Skeena group. CFTK-TV now claimed coverage of 250,000 square kilometres from the Queen Charlotte Islands to Burns Lake and from Kitimat to Alaska through its terrestrial transmitters, cable systems and satellite providers Bell ExpressVu and Starchoice.
On September 27,, Astral Media Radio G.P. received CRTC approval to acquire the assets of the radio and TV undertakings owned by Standard Radio Ltd., subject to certain conditions. The purchase included CFTK-TV and CFTK-AM.
On July 12, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CFTK-TV and its transmitter until August 31, 2012.
On April 26, the CRTC renewed the licences for CJDC-TV Dawson Creek and its transmitters CJDC-TV-1 Hudson Hope and CJDC-TV-2 Bullhead Mountain, and CFTK-TV Terrace and its transmitter CFTK-TV-1 Prince Rupert. Given the pace of change in the broadcasting environment and its desire to assess the impact of its approach on all services, the Commission renewed these licences for a five-year term, to August 31, 2017.
Written by Bill Dulmage, Gord Lansdell - Updated October, 2012