CHEK-DT

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CHEK-DT
CHEK logo.jpg
Brand CHEK
City of License Victoria, British Columbia
Market Southwest British Columbia
Channel 49 digital, 6 virtual
Formerly: 6 analog (1956-2011)
Network Affiliation Current: Independent
Historic: CBC (1956-1963),
CBC/CTV (1963-1981),
CTV (1981-2001),
CH/E! (2001-2009)
Founded December 1, 1956
Company CHEK Media Group
President Roy Gardner
Current Popular Non-Network Shows Wheel of Fortune
Jeopardy!
Bones
Hart of Dixie
CSI: Miami
Supernatural
The Originals
The Twilight Zone
Cheers
Poltergeist: The Legacy
60 Minutes

CHEK-DT is a Canadian local station in Victoria, British Columbia, owned by CHEK Media Group, a local consortium of the station's employees and several local investors, and running as an independent station. It broadcasts on digital channel 49, displaying on tuners as virtual channel 6.

Contents

History

CHEK first signed on as British Columbia's first private TV station on December 1, 1956. The station was originally assigned the call letters CKTV, but it changed to its present call sign prior to sign-on. It was originally an affiliate of CBC Television under the ownership of David Armstrong, the owner of Victoria radio station CKDA, with its studios at 3963 Epsom Drive in the Victoria suburb of Saanich.

In addition to CBC shows, CHEK also produced local programming and aired some syndicated shows during its early years. In 1957, Bill Rea, the original owner of New Westminster radio station CKNW, bought a 20% interest in the station. CHEK became a full-powered station on June 1, 1960 when it increased its transmission power to 100,000 watts, and Armstrong sold his majority interest in the station that year to Vantel Broadcasting, the owner of new Vancouver independent station CHAN-TV, making CHEK a sister station to CHAN. In 1963, CHEK began adding rebroadcast transmitters to extend its signal up Vancouver Island, and Frank Griffiths, who had purchased CKNW from Rea in 1956, bought an interest in Vantel Broadcasting, bringing CHEK and CHAN under the majority ownership of his Western Broadcasting Company. In September 1963, CHEK became a dual CBC/CTV affiliate.

With the arrival of color TV in Canada in September 1966, CHEK began carrying network programs in color that year, followed by local color programming in 1973. When CHAN began producing its flagship program, News Hour, in 1968, CHEK simulcast that program (and continued to do so until 2001), then started its own news show, Vancouver Island News Hour, in 1972. In 1977, CHEK made an application to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to drop its CBC affiliation and become a full-time CTV affiliate due to plans for the CBC to sign on its own station in Victoria. The CBC later scrapped its plans to put its Victoria CBC Television outlet on the air due to not having the funding available, so Vancouver's CBUT instead added rebroadcasters at Sooke and Mount Macdonald on January 5, 1981 when CHEK disaffiliated from CBC and became a full-time CTV affiliate. On January 8, 1984, the station moved to its present studio at 780 Kings Road in Victoria; that studio had originally been built for the proposed (but ill-fated) Victoria CBC Television station.

In 1982, the Griffiths family's Western Broadcasting Company obtained full ownership of CHEK and CHAN. In 1989, Western Broadcasting established Westcom TV Group (which became WIC Television in 1997) to operate the stations. In 1999, WIC Television parent Western International Communications was split up in a sale that saw Canwest acquire WIC's broadcast television assets (including CHEK), while Corus Entertainment received the WIC radio and cable-TV assets. The Canwest purchase of CHEK and its sister TV stations was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in 2000.

On September 1, 2001, CHEK disaffiliated from CTV and joined a new Canwest-owned system called CH, operated as a secondary service to Global Television. As part of the new system, CHEK rebranded on-air as simply CH, falling in line with CH flagship CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ontario (which first adopted the new brand in February 2001). When the CH system was revamped as E! in September 2007 with the addition of programs from the American E! cable channel, the E! brand was adopted for those shows, while local programming on CHEK returned to the use of a local identity with the introduction of the CHEK News brand.

On February 5, 2009, Canwest announced that it had looked into the possibility of selling CHEK and its other E!-branded stations as one of several options for the stations' future operations. Canwest President and CEO Leonard Asper announced that the possible sale of CHEK, CHBC, CHCA, CHCH and CJNT would allow Canwest to focus on its specialty cable channels and their synergy with the company's flagship operation, Global TV. [1][2][3] On May 15, 2009, Canwest's broadcast TV stations, including CHEK, were given short-term licence renewals of one year (to take effect on September 1, 2009) by the CRTC. [4] However, as a result of its operations review, Canwest announced on July 22, 2009 that it would be closing CHEK's operations as of August 31, 2009. [5][6]

Public response to the announced closure of CHEK was immediate, with respondents ranging from regular CHEK viewers to businesses, charities and public officials expressing regret over the announcement and hoping that the station could be saved, [7] while in the wake of the recent announcement, membership increased for a "Save CHEK News" Facebook page, created several months earlier by station staff following the Canwest announcement of the closure of its E! system. [8] On August 1, 2009, CHEK staff announced that the station's employees would be looking into the option of buying out CHEK, with assistance from local private investors and the approval of the CRTC, from Canwest and returning it to local ownership for the first time since Canwest bought the station in 2000. [9]

On August 28, 2009, it was announced that Canwest had rejected the CHEK employees/private investors' bid to purchase the station. The official report from Canwest claimed that the purchase bid had been made too late, that the operation plans and funding for an employee-owned CHEK was not sufficiently adequate and that a formal transfer of the licence and ownership of the station by the CRTC "would take several months", during which time Canwest management also claimed the company would be responsible for operating costs for the station, which it was unwilling to undertake. [10][11]

CHEK had been slated to sign off on August 31 as scheduled at 10 p.m. PDT, following a final two-hour retrospective of the station's history. Despite Canwest's rejection of the purchase bid, representatives for the CHEK employees stated that they were in discussions with the CRTC and the Canadian government to pursue other options to buy the station. [12] However, during CHEK's 5 p.m. newscast on August 31, it was announced that thanks to further talks held between CHEK employees, Canwest, the CRTC and the Canadian government, CHEK would remain on the air while talks continued to facilitate the sale of the station to its staff and participating private investors. As part of its granted reprieve, CHEK's late newscast, which had aired at 11 p.m., moved to 10 p.m. beginning on September 1, the same date the station became independent after E! ceased operations. [13] On September 4, 2009, it was announced that Canwest had approved a resubmitted bid by the employee consortium (now known as CHEK Media Group) to purchase CHEK. [14] Following the sale, Canwest temporarily continued to program CHEK's schedule (primarily with content from its specialty channels), which ended when the station took over programming its schedule on September 21, beginning with the return of a noon newscast and reruns of several locally-produced syndicated shows:

  • Get Up & Grow (gardening), nightly at 7:00 p.m.
  • Home Check with Shell Busey (home improvement), nightly at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nice Fish (outdoor activities, which began on CHEK years earlier as Gary Cooper's Fishing Diary), nightly at 11:30 p.m.

The CRTC officially approved the sale of CHEK to CHEK Media Group on November 9, 2009. On the same day, the CRTC also granted a seven-year licence renewal to the station. [15][16] On March 15, 2010, former CHAN news anchor Tony Parsons, who anchored that station's flagship News Hour newscast from 1975 until he stepped down with his final newscast at CHAN on December 16, 2009, began anchoring CHEK's 10:00 p.m. newscast, which also expanded to a full hour Monday to Friday, [17] while the 5:00 p.m. newscast expanded to 90 minutes and Global TV's supper-hour national newscast, Global National (which CHEK had carried in simulcast with CHAN since January 3, 2009), was dropped by CHEK. On March 31, 2010, CHEK began a news-sharing agreement with CBC Television [18]; as part of this deal, beginning on April 12, Parsons began co-anchoring CBC News: Vancouver at CBUT from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (the 6:00 p.m. segment of that newscast is now also simulcast on CHEK), after which Parsons originally commuted back to Victoria to anchor CHEK's 10:00 p.m. newscast. [19] More recently, to cut down on travel costs, Parsons began anchoring the 10:00 p.m. newscast from Vancouver through the use of a green screen studio (which he continued to do until he stepped down as the CHEK late-news anchor on June 14, 2012). The news-sharing agreement with CBC Television marks the first time that CHEK has been associated with that network in some capacity since the station disaffiliated from CBC in 1981, although CHEK will otherwise maintain its status as an independent station.

On September 1, 2010 (on its first anniversary of becoming an independent station), CHEK began airing some American shows for the first time since the demise of E!, airing two ABC shows, the newsmagazine Nightline and the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. CHEK also added Smallville, Supernatural, Chuck and 60 Minutes to its lineup upon the season premiere dates for those shows, and later added a show produced by CHCH, This Movie Sucks!, hosted by puppet personality Ed the Sock[20], as well as simulcasts of selected coverage of ABC's NBA basketball games.

On August 31, 2011, CHEK's channel 6 analog signal went off the air while CHEK-DT's digital signal began operating on channel 49. On June 25, 2012, CHEK began carrying overnight programming from American home shopping channel the Liquidation Channel, airing LC's programming from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on Monday to Saturday mornings, and from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. On August 2, 2012, an announcement was made that CHEK would be airing coverage of games by the Canadian version of the Lingerie Football League on Saturday nights.[21] The LFL debuted on CHEK on September 1, 2012.

On March 1, 2013, CHEK parent CHEK Media Group announced that the company's president and general manager, John Pollard, had stepped down from both positions in a shakeup of management at the station. He was replaced by Roy Gardner, who had previously worked as GM at CHEK for a 15-year period during the 1970s and 1980s before leaving to take a job as GM and vice-president of programming at CHAN from 1987 to his retirement in 2008. [22] The change in management at CHEK was indicated to be part of a strategy to improve the station's programming schedule.

CHEK currently airs The Originals, Hart of Dixie, Supernatural, 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes and reruns of Bones and CSI: Miami in its primetime lineup, and now carries popular syndicated game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (recently acquired from former carrier CBC Television). All the shows listed above are being sourced by CHEK from CHCH, continuing an arrangement dating back to when both stations were commonly owned by WIC in the 1990s. In addition to those shows, CHEK also has a program supply agreement with CBS Television Distribution, carrying reruns of classic shows from the CTD library such as The Twilight Zone (which airs whenever regular programming on CHEK is pre-empted due to American network pre-emptions), Cheers and Mork and Mindy.

Current Prime-Time Schedule

Note: Schedule is subject to change due to live sports coverage and special programming.

Day 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30
Monday Wheel of Fortune Jeopardy! Hart of Dixie CSI: Miami CHEK Late News Cooking on the Coast CBC News: Vancouver at 11 Get Connected TV
Tuesday Wheel of Fortune Jeopardy! The Originals Supernatural CHEK Late News Slopestyle: The Mountain Lifestyle CBC News: Vancouver at 11 Realty Reality
Wednesday Wheel of Fortune Jeopardy! CSI: Miami Bones CHEK Late News Design District CBC News: Vancouver at 11 Cooking on the Coast
Thursday Wheel of Fortune Jeopardy! CHEK Movie CHEK Late News The Aviators CBC News: Vancouver at 11 Aboriginal Adventures Canada
Friday Wheel of Fortune Jeopardy! CHEK Movie CHEK Late News CHEK Around CBC News: Vancouver at 11 The Travel Guys
Saturday Wheel of Fortune Jeopardy! Spin Off Callout: Search & Rescue Poltergeist: The Legacy 48 Hours Mystery Elvira Kurt The Stand-Up Comedian
Sunday 60 Minutes CHEK Movie Game On! CBC News: Vancouver at 11 Driving Television

References

  1. Canwest announces strategic review of five conventional television stations at Canwest corporate website
  2. Canwest may sell TV stations at CBC.ca
  3. Canwest considers sale of CHEK TV at Victoria Times Colonist website
  4. CRTC begins short-term licence renewal hearings at CBC.ca
  5. CHEK-TV closing Aug. 31 at CHEK News
  6. Canwest closing TV stations in Alberta, B.C. at CBC.ca
  7. CHEK-TV Ch-6 Victoria BC To Go OFF AIR? at YouTube
  8. Save CHEK News at Facebook
  9. CHEK employee takeover proposed at the Victoria Times Colonist
  10. CHEK TV employee bid fails to save local station at the Victoria Times Colonist
  11. Canwest rejects employee bid to buy CHEK TV at CKWX (News1130) Vancouver
  12. CHEK staff say fight's not over at the Victoria Times Colonist
  13. CHEK TV gets last-minute extension to stay on air at the Victoria Times Colonist
  14. Employee-backed group buys CHEK TV at the Victoria Times Colonist
  15. Seven-year licence approved for Victoria's CHEK TV at the Victoria Times Colonist
  16. Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-699
  17. Legendary broadcaster Tony Parsons makes his debut as an Island anchor Monday at the Victoria Times Colonist
  18. Sharing is caring at Monday Magazine
  19. Tony Parsons to host CBC newscast, remains on with CHEK too at the Victoria Times Colonist
  20. Ed the Sock official website
  21. Lingerie Football League signs first Canadian broadcaster
  22. [http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/veteran-broadcast-executive-roy-gardner-returns-to-chek-1.83484 Veteran broadcast executive Roy Gardner returns to CHEK] at the Victoria Times Colonist

External Sites