Re: Most Canadian OTA "E!" stations will be rebranded, 2 will fade to black permanently
- From: Taylor <lukebenward@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 17:23:53 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 28, 8:18 pm, Taylor <lukebenw...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Canadian E! stations will be rebranded
CRTC clears Channel Zero for takeover this weekend
By Etan Vlessing | THR, NLSN TLVSN
Aug 28, 2009, 02:29 PM ET
TORONTO -- The Canadian E! network, licensed by Comcast with the E!
Entertainment brand name and U.S. programming, will fade to black to
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on
Friday gave the go-ahead for two of the original E!-branded TV
stations, CHCH-TV in Hamilton and CJNT-TV in Montreal, to be acquired
and rebranded by indie broadcaster Channel Zero.
The deal to acquire the stations for only $12 is expected to be
completed late Friday, and Channel Zero will flick the switch on new
channel formats at the Hamilton and Montreal stations at some point
after midnight Monday.
Another E! station in Red Deer, Alberta, CHCA-TV, will sign off at
midnight Monday, when the broadcast licenses for all the E! network
stations expire, and Kelowna, British Columbia, station CHBC-TV will
be rebranded by Canwest Global as one of its Global Television
And the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group secured a new U.S. series
pipeline from Rogers Broadcasting for three affiliate E!-branded TV
stations -- CFJC-TV, CKPG-TV and CHAT-TV stations in western Canada --
starting Sept. 1 as part of a new output deal. Canwest Global in 2007
signed a multiyear program supply deal with the U.S.-based E!
Entertainment Network to rebrand its secondary CH network.
The bet failed to pay off, however, as the Canadianized E! network ran
into the current TV ad downturn, leading Canwest Global to phase out
the loss-making secondary network and shift its E! Entertainment
Network program pipeline to Global Television and its cable channels.
The end to the E! network up north also comes as parent Canwest Global
on Friday faced yet another deadline in talks with U.S. bondholders
and senior lenders to refinance its $4 billion debt load. The debt-
laden broadcaster has received a series of extensions from the lenders
as it attempts to stave off bankruptcy protection.
CHEK-TV closing Aug. 31
By Carla Wilson, Times ColonistJuly 23, 2009
Victoria’s CHEK-TV, the first private television station in British
Columbia, is closing at the end of August.
Owner Canwest Global, which also owns the Times Colonist, announced
Wednesday that CHCA-TV, of Red Deer, Alta., is also shutting down at
the end of next month.
About 40 staff members at CHEK were informed of the decision Wednesday
“We recognize that today’s decision is difficult not only on the
employees and their families, but on the community that has been
served for a long time by that station,” said John Douglas, a
spokesman for Canwest.
However, there were no “viable options” for the Victoria and Red Deer
stations, part of the company’s smaller, five-station secondary
network, Douglas said.
Kelowna’s CHBC-TV, one of the other stations in the secondary network,
will be rebranded to become an affiliate within Canwest’s Global
network. Last month, Canwest agreed to sell stations in Montreal and
Hamilton to specialty operator Channel Zero Inc. for $12.
The recession has exacerbated a trend for conventional TV broadcasters
that has seen advertising revenue flow away to specialty channels,
cable and satellite operators as well as online sources.
Douglas said the company tried hard to improve CHEK’s profitability or
to find a buyer for the station.
“But the reality is that those stations (in Victoria and Red Deer)
have had significant losses and were simply not able to continue on.”
In a landmark decision last month, Canadian regulators said digital TV
operators such as Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications that
carry the signals of broadcasters like Global and CTV must begin
preparations on compensation proposals as part of Ottawa’s plan to
protect locally produced over-the-air content made by smaller-market
The announcement to CHEK employees Wednesday afternoon was a shock,
but not a total surprise, said Richard Konwick, the station's
assignment editor and president of the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 815M.
The loss of CHEK will leave a “big gap” in terms of news coverage and
support for community organizations, he said.
Fans include the 2,800-plus people who have signed up to the Facebook
site, Save Cheknews.
When CHEK-TV officially went on the air in December 1956, it was
B.C.’s first private television station. Originally based on Epsom
Drive in Saanich, it was owned by David Armstrong, who headed up CKDA
radio station, Charlie White, television personality and fishing
expert, and a New Westminster dentist.
It established itself in the community with names such as Andy
Stephen, who covered the legislature, and Ida Clarkson, who hosted her
own show for many years.
Jim Blundell, general manager of the A channel, Victoria’s other
independent television station, said the CHEK announcement is sad from
a human perspective, referring to the employees.
From a business viewpoint, Blundell said he does not believe that theVictoria and Vancouver Island market is big enough to support two
independent television stations.
Hudson Mack, news director and senior news anchor at A channel, spent
19 years at CHEK, leaving in 2004.
He said news of the closing is “terribly sad.”
“The people who are affected are friends and colleagues, and although
we are terribly competitive with each other, we respect each other.”
-with file from Canwest News Service
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
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