CITY-DT (CITY Network), Winnipeg, Rogers Television Inc
On May 8, Western Manitoba Broadcasters Ltd. was issued a licence to operate a new television station at Portage La Prairie / Winnipeg. W.M.B.L was the owner of CKX Radio and Television in Brandon and was in turn owned by Stuart Craig (president) and family. A competing application by Manitoba Public Television (Jack R. London) was denied. The new station would use the last VHF allocation for the Winnipeg market - channel 13 - and transmit an effective radiated video power of 287,000 watts. The new station would essentially be the fourth English-language service in the Winnipeg market. MTN (Manitoba Television Network) planned to be on the air in October.
Studios and offices would be on a 1.5 acre site in south-east Portage La Prairie with a news bureau in Winnipeg. The studio facility would include four complete video edit suites, eight ENG units, three studio cameras, two video switchers, a digital effects unit and semi-automatic commercial play-back unit. The transmitter and new 1,100 foot tower would be located on a 40 acre site near Elie. Weekly local production would include over 25 hours from Portage La Prairie and 11 hours from Brandon. There would be 27 staffers in the news department, and MTN would not
solicit local advertising in Winnipeg.
On October 8, Western Manitoba was authorized to relocate the transmitter site approximately 2.7 kilometers north-east of the currently authorized site.
CHMI-TV went on the air on October 17th as an independent station with studios in both Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg that were also linked to Brandon, forming the only regional network in Manitoba. CHMI was known on-air as MTN (Manitoba Television Network).
On February 5, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for the English-language television station at Portage La Prairie/ Winnipeg, authorized in Decision CRTC 86-433, by decreasing the effective radiated power from 287,000 watts to 195,000 watts.
Mark Evans was MTN's news director.
Al Thorgeirson became MTN's news director, replacing Mark Evans.
CHMI-TV had its licence renewed to August 31, 1994, but its bid to be allowed to sell local advertising in Winnipeg was denied. The CRTC agreed that there had been a significant decline in the real revenues of CKY-TV and CKND-TV in the last five years while CHMI-TV's revenues in 1989 and 1990 corresponded closely with its projections.
The corporate name changed from Western Manitoba Broadcasters Ltd. to Craig Broadcast Systems Inc.
Cam Cowie was appointed general sales manager for the Manitoba Television Network.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHMI-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.
Craig Broadcast Systems was granted TV licenses for both Calgary and Edmonton.
In the Fall, MTN was rebranded A-Channel after its sister stations in Alberta.
Stuart Craig died October 30.
On January 19, Craig Broadcast System Inc. was given approval to add a transmitter for CHMI-TV at Dauphin, operating on channel 6, with an effective radiated power of 44,000 watts. It would serve viewers in Dauphin, Swan River and the surrounding area.
The corporate name changed from Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. to Craig Music & Entertainment Inc. (becoming a publicly-traded company).
On February 1, Standard Radio Inc. was given approval to purchase Craig’s radio properties in Winnipeg and Brandon.
Craig was given an extension of time to construct the Dauphin rebroadcast transmitter. An extension had also been granted in 2001.
Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. became Craig Media Inc.
On November 19, CHUM Limited of Toronto was given CRTC approval to purchase Craig Media Inc., including CHMI-TV. Craig’s Toronto station (CKXT - Toronto One) was in turn sold to TVA and its subsidiary Sun Media.
On August 2, A Channel Winnipeg was re-branded as City-tv Winnipeg.
On November 22, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CHUM Limited from Mr. Allan Waters to his estate, following his death in December 2005. The approval represented the preliminary step to enable the transfer of CHUM's shares to a trust, which received approval on July 12. This transfer was not related to the pending sale of CHUM to Bell Globemedia. Prior to his death, Mr. Waters was the sole shareholder of Allan Waters Ltd., which in turn, owned approximately 87% of CHUM's voting shares. The executors of the estate were James Allan Waters, Ronald Allan Waters, Sheryl Bourne and Robert Sutherland.
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, including CKX-TV, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations.
Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CHMI-TV, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.
On May 15th, following a hearing that began on April 27th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for the Rogers Citytv stations, including CHMI-TV, Winnipeg, "....to give these broadcasters some flexibility during the current period of economic uncertainty." Group-based licence renewals would then be addressed in the spring of 2010. The Commission also stated that it recognized the impracticability of imposing any conditions relative to 1-1 ratios between Canadian and non-Canadian programming in the ensuing year, given the programming commitments that were already in place.
The Commission would however continue to explore various regulatory measures "...to ensure that English-language television broadcasters devote an appropriate proportion of their expenditures to Canadian programming."
Tom Scott was the new general manager at Rogers-owned CKY-FM/CITI-FM Winnipeg, moving from Citytv (CHMI-TV) Winnipeg where he would remain GM until a successor could be found. Scott moved to Citytv in October of 2008 after working at MTS TV Services and at Global Specialty Services in Winnipeg.
Rogers cut newscasts at Citytv stations across the country, dismissing 60 staffers - including many on-air personalities, writers, producers, editors and camera people. A Rogers spokesperson said over the air stations had been bleeding ad revenues since the recession began. Citytv in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver would no longer produce a 6 p.m. newscast.
On January 19th, CITY-TV head office in Toronto announced that it was "restructuring its operations", with about 60 staffers being laid off across the country. The 6pm and 11pm newscasts would continue, but would be produced only in Toronto. Breakfast Television would be cut back from four hours to three in those cities where it played. The staff cuts represented approximately 6 per cent of the CITY-TV work-force.
Laurie Jolicoeur was now the Promotion Director at Clear FM. She moved from sister Rogers property Citytv Winnipeg where she was the Marketing Events Co-ordinator.
It was announced that CKY/CITI-FM General Manager Tom Scott would return to Citytv Winnipeg in the fall, again as GM. Scott, who joined Citytv in 2008 moved to the radio side to be GM at the Rogers-owned radio stations after the previous manager was transferred to Vancouver. A new GM for the radio cluster was being sought.
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 Commission said it would consider the applications for renewal of the broadcasting licences for the major English-language private conventional television ownership groups, by taking into account the determinations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167. These applications were announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2010-952 and would be heard at a public hearing to be held on 4 April 2011 in Gatineau, Quebec. The CRTC noted that it does 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. In addition, the Commission imposed the following condition of licence on the stations that operate in mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets: Unless otherwise authorized by the Commission, the licensee shall not transmit analog television signals after 31 August 2011 in mandatory markets designated as such by the Commission in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-184 or transmit television signals on channels 52 to 69. The Commission also noted that, pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-69, it does not intend to renew, beyond 31 August 2011, authorizations for the transitional digital transmitters included in the broadcasting licences of the licensees set out in the appendix to this decision.
On July 27, the CRTC renewed the licence for CHMI-DT until August 31, 2014. This short-term renewal would permit the Commission to reassess the applicability of the group-based policy and Rogers Media's commitments to spending on Canadian programming and programs of national interest.
August 31 was the deadline for the conversion of analog to digital for television stations in mandatory markets. CHMI-TV made the switch on that date, using channel 13 for digital (virtual 13.1), the same channel it had used for analog broadcasting.
Citytv Winnipeg named news anchor Courtney Ketchen as co-host of its Breakfast Television. She paired with current host Jeremy John who continued to anchor the morning newscasts. Ketchen's career path included CTV News Saskatoon, CHCA News Red Deer and TBT News Thunder Bay.
Tom Scott, Manager, Local Content/Station Lead at Citytv Winnipeg was no longer with the Rogers Media property. He was succeeded as General Manager on an interim basis by Scott Armstrong, the GM/Program Director at Rogers Radio Winnipeg.
Effective with the start of the new year, Citytv quietly dropped the 'TV' from the end of its brand name - right across the country. The stations were now simply known as City. Rogers, noting that it wasn't just TV anymore, revamped the on-air imagery, advertising and logos.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated May 2013