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Headline, Industry News

CTV to close station in Brandon, Man., after 6 p.m. newscast Friday

TORONTO — One of Canada’s most troubled local television stations will sign off for good Friday after a would-be buyer backed out of a deal to buy 54-year-old broadcaster CKX-TV Brandon for the purchase price of $1 – for the second time in three months. CKX learned of the collapsed deal late Thursday by way of a dejected-sounding memo from Ivan Fecan, the chief executive of CTV Inc.

“Two knowledgeable buyers, two cratered deals,” Fecan wrote – a reference to Shaw Communications Inc., which had initially agreed to purchase the station for $1, only to back out in June. This time, it was Bluepoint Investments Corp., which decided it couldn’t proceed with the deal if Canada’s satellite TV companies weren’t willing to carry the station’s signal.

“I have talked with Alan Cruise, the general manager of CKX-TV Brandon, and we agreed it was in the best interest of everyone, including the employees, to get on with life, close immediately and pay out severances.”

The station is to shut down following Friday’s supper-hour newscast, said Fecan, who is also president and chief executive of CTV parent CTVglobemedia (TSX:BCE, TSX:TS.B).

“Brandon, like many of our smaller stations, is not carried by satellite companies, who say they don’t have room for all of Canada’s local TV stations, while finding plenty of room for foreign channels.”

Cruise said the development will have a huge impact on the community.

“Now there’s a market of 124,000 people that will no longer have a face on their politician,” he said Thursday night.

“Take a good look at who your mayor is, because you won’t see your next mayor because he won’t be on TV. You think a station’s coming out from Winnipeg to cover a big issue in Brandon? That’s not going to happen.”

“I shudder to think what happens if there’s a killer winter storm. I don’t know where people are supposed to turn for information.”

Bluepoint chief executive Colin Berrie said at the time he saw an opportunity to scoop up the unwanted TV stations that national broadcasters are selling, and form a mini-media empire for pocket change.

The deal for the Brandon station, which employs 39 people, was expected to be completed by Dec. 31. But CTV spokesman Paul Sparkes said the station will go dark at the end of its 6 p.m. newscast.

“I guess at the end of the day they just didn’t see a business there,” said Sparkes. “It just speaks volumes for the future of local TV in this country.”

Indeed, as stations like CKX have been hanging in the balance, a debate has been raging in Ottawa over the prospect of a so-called fee-for-carriage system – a scheme that would allow TV networks to charge cable and satellite companies for using their local signals.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission last year rejected the request from the networks for fee-for-carriage, which they argue is the only way they can remain competitive with specialized channels, video-on-demand and new media.

The networks, hard hit by falling ad revenues, want to collect millions of dollars from companies that deliver their signals to subscribers by cable or satellite. The future of local television depends on it, they argue.

The cable and satellite firms don’t want to eat the fees themselves, but are loath to pass them on to subscribers. They say customers don’t want to pay for signals that can be pulled in free over the airwaves. The networks say people will pay because they appreciate local TV.

Cruise said he wasn’t totally surprised at Bluepoint’s decision.

“I’d been working very closely, diligently with Bluepoint on the application to the CRTC and I certainly got the sense they were looking to perhaps back away, they were in over their heads.”

However, he said there is still a shock at realizing the end of an institution.

“I’ve been there 26 years and am very close to all of these people,” he said.

“Many of them, if not all of them, I call friends and know their kids’ names and spouses’ names. There’s not very many people who can say everybody who works for them is there because it’s what they love to do.”

CTV has been struggling to keep stations afloat in some local markets. Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) had agreed to buy the CTV stations in Brandon, Windsor, Ont., and Wingham, Ont., but pulled out in late June.

The decision left CTV scrambling to find alternative solutions for the three stations. Earlier this month, the broadcaster announced that it would keep its A Channel station in Windsor, Ont. open until at least Aug. 31, 2010.

Meanwhile, it had also applied to the CRTC to turn its Wingham, Ont. station into a full re-broadcast of the A Channel station in London, Ont.

Separate from its local stations, CTV’s parent company CTVglobemedia signed a deal with Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX:CJR.B) this week to sell its specialty television services Drive-In Classics and SexTV for $40 million.

Canwest Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS) sold its CHEK-TV station in Victoria to a group of private investors last month.

Canwest had planned to close the station that it said had been a money-loser since it purchased it in 2000, but sold the station for a “nominal purchase price.”

“The writing’s on the wall for conventional television, make no mistake,” said Cruise. “It’s in big trouble.”

“I personally believe the CRTC will do the right thing at the end of the day – they’ll put a value for carriage fee in that will hopefully save some stations. Too late for ours. Too late for Red Deer. I hope it’s not too late for Victoria and Hamilton and a few others.”

Source: Variety

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Headline, Industry News

CTV to close station in Brandon, Man., after 6 p.m. newscast Friday

TORONTO — One of Canada’s most troubled local television stations will sign off for good Friday after a would-be buyer backed out of a deal to buy 54-year-old broadcaster CKX-TV Brandon for the purchase price of $1 – for the second time in three months. CKX learned of the collapsed deal late Thursday by way of a dejected-sounding memo from Ivan Fecan, the chief executive of CTV Inc.

“Two knowledgeable buyers, two cratered deals,” Fecan wrote – a reference to Shaw Communications Inc., which had initially agreed to purchase the station for $1, only to back out in June. This time, it was Bluepoint Investments Corp., which decided it couldn’t proceed with the deal if Canada’s satellite TV companies weren’t willing to carry the station’s signal.

“I have talked with Alan Cruise, the general manager of CKX-TV Brandon, and we agreed it was in the best interest of everyone, including the employees, to get on with life, close immediately and pay out severances.”

The station is to shut down following Friday’s supper-hour newscast, said Fecan, who is also president and chief executive of CTV parent CTVglobemedia (TSX:BCE, TSX:TS.B).

“Brandon, like many of our smaller stations, is not carried by satellite companies, who say they don’t have room for all of Canada’s local TV stations, while finding plenty of room for foreign channels.”

Cruise said the development will have a huge impact on the community.

“Now there’s a market of 124,000 people that will no longer have a face on their politician,” he said Thursday night.

“Take a good look at who your mayor is, because you won’t see your next mayor because he won’t be on TV. You think a station’s coming out from Winnipeg to cover a big issue in Brandon? That’s not going to happen.”

“I shudder to think what happens if there’s a killer winter storm. I don’t know where people are supposed to turn for information.”

Bluepoint chief executive Colin Berrie said at the time he saw an opportunity to scoop up the unwanted TV stations that national broadcasters are selling, and form a mini-media empire for pocket change.

The deal for the Brandon station, which employs 39 people, was expected to be completed by Dec. 31. But CTV spokesman Paul Sparkes said the station will go dark at the end of its 6 p.m. newscast.

“I guess at the end of the day they just didn’t see a business there,” said Sparkes. “It just speaks volumes for the future of local TV in this country.”

Indeed, as stations like CKX have been hanging in the balance, a debate has been raging in Ottawa over the prospect of a so-called fee-for-carriage system – a scheme that would allow TV networks to charge cable and satellite companies for using their local signals.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission last year rejected the request from the networks for fee-for-carriage, which they argue is the only way they can remain competitive with specialized channels, video-on-demand and new media.

The networks, hard hit by falling ad revenues, want to collect millions of dollars from companies that deliver their signals to subscribers by cable or satellite. The future of local television depends on it, they argue.

The cable and satellite firms don’t want to eat the fees themselves, but are loath to pass them on to subscribers. They say customers don’t want to pay for signals that can be pulled in free over the airwaves. The networks say people will pay because they appreciate local TV.

Cruise said he wasn’t totally surprised at Bluepoint’s decision.

“I’d been working very closely, diligently with Bluepoint on the application to the CRTC and I certainly got the sense they were looking to perhaps back away, they were in over their heads.”

However, he said there is still a shock at realizing the end of an institution.

“I’ve been there 26 years and am very close to all of these people,” he said.

“Many of them, if not all of them, I call friends and know their kids’ names and spouses’ names. There’s not very many people who can say everybody who works for them is there because it’s what they love to do.”

CTV has been struggling to keep stations afloat in some local markets. Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) had agreed to buy the CTV stations in Brandon, Windsor, Ont., and Wingham, Ont., but pulled out in late June.

The decision left CTV scrambling to find alternative solutions for the three stations. Earlier this month, the broadcaster announced that it would keep its A Channel station in Windsor, Ont. open until at least Aug. 31, 2010.

Meanwhile, it had also applied to the CRTC to turn its Wingham, Ont. station into a full re-broadcast of the A Channel station in London, Ont.

Separate from its local stations, CTV’s parent company CTVglobemedia signed a deal with Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX:CJR.B) this week to sell its specialty television services Drive-In Classics and SexTV for $40 million.

Canwest Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS) sold its CHEK-TV station in Victoria to a group of private investors last month.

Canwest had planned to close the station that it said had been a money-loser since it purchased it in 2000, but sold the station for a “nominal purchase price.”

“The writing’s on the wall for conventional television, make no mistake,” said Cruise. “It’s in big trouble.”

“I personally believe the CRTC will do the right thing at the end of the day – they’ll put a value for carriage fee in that will hopefully save some stations. Too late for ours. Too late for Red Deer. I hope it’s not too late for Victoria and Hamilton and a few others.”

Source: Variety

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

CTV to close station in Brandon, Man., after 6 p.m. newscast Friday

TORONTO — One of Canada’s most troubled local television stations will sign off for good Friday after a would-be buyer backed out of a deal to buy 54-year-old broadcaster CKX-TV Brandon for the purchase price of $1 – for the second time in three months. CKX learned of the collapsed deal late Thursday by way of a dejected-sounding memo from Ivan Fecan, the chief executive of CTV Inc.

“Two knowledgeable buyers, two cratered deals,” Fecan wrote – a reference to Shaw Communications Inc., which had initially agreed to purchase the station for $1, only to back out in June. This time, it was Bluepoint Investments Corp., which decided it couldn’t proceed with the deal if Canada’s satellite TV companies weren’t willing to carry the station’s signal.

“I have talked with Alan Cruise, the general manager of CKX-TV Brandon, and we agreed it was in the best interest of everyone, including the employees, to get on with life, close immediately and pay out severances.”

The station is to shut down following Friday’s supper-hour newscast, said Fecan, who is also president and chief executive of CTV parent CTVglobemedia (TSX:BCE, TSX:TS.B).

“Brandon, like many of our smaller stations, is not carried by satellite companies, who say they don’t have room for all of Canada’s local TV stations, while finding plenty of room for foreign channels.”

Cruise said the development will have a huge impact on the community.

“Now there’s a market of 124,000 people that will no longer have a face on their politician,” he said Thursday night.

“Take a good look at who your mayor is, because you won’t see your next mayor because he won’t be on TV. You think a station’s coming out from Winnipeg to cover a big issue in Brandon? That’s not going to happen.”

“I shudder to think what happens if there’s a killer winter storm. I don’t know where people are supposed to turn for information.”

Bluepoint chief executive Colin Berrie said at the time he saw an opportunity to scoop up the unwanted TV stations that national broadcasters are selling, and form a mini-media empire for pocket change.

The deal for the Brandon station, which employs 39 people, was expected to be completed by Dec. 31. But CTV spokesman Paul Sparkes said the station will go dark at the end of its 6 p.m. newscast.

“I guess at the end of the day they just didn’t see a business there,” said Sparkes. “It just speaks volumes for the future of local TV in this country.”

Indeed, as stations like CKX have been hanging in the balance, a debate has been raging in Ottawa over the prospect of a so-called fee-for-carriage system – a scheme that would allow TV networks to charge cable and satellite companies for using their local signals.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission last year rejected the request from the networks for fee-for-carriage, which they argue is the only way they can remain competitive with specialized channels, video-on-demand and new media.

The networks, hard hit by falling ad revenues, want to collect millions of dollars from companies that deliver their signals to subscribers by cable or satellite. The future of local television depends on it, they argue.

The cable and satellite firms don’t want to eat the fees themselves, but are loath to pass them on to subscribers. They say customers don’t want to pay for signals that can be pulled in free over the airwaves. The networks say people will pay because they appreciate local TV.

Cruise said he wasn’t totally surprised at Bluepoint’s decision.

“I’d been working very closely, diligently with Bluepoint on the application to the CRTC and I certainly got the sense they were looking to perhaps back away, they were in over their heads.”

However, he said there is still a shock at realizing the end of an institution.

“I’ve been there 26 years and am very close to all of these people,” he said.

“Many of them, if not all of them, I call friends and know their kids’ names and spouses’ names. There’s not very many people who can say everybody who works for them is there because it’s what they love to do.”

CTV has been struggling to keep stations afloat in some local markets. Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) had agreed to buy the CTV stations in Brandon, Windsor, Ont., and Wingham, Ont., but pulled out in late June.

The decision left CTV scrambling to find alternative solutions for the three stations. Earlier this month, the broadcaster announced that it would keep its A Channel station in Windsor, Ont. open until at least Aug. 31, 2010.

Meanwhile, it had also applied to the CRTC to turn its Wingham, Ont. station into a full re-broadcast of the A Channel station in London, Ont.

Separate from its local stations, CTV’s parent company CTVglobemedia signed a deal with Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX:CJR.B) this week to sell its specialty television services Drive-In Classics and SexTV for $40 million.

Canwest Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS) sold its CHEK-TV station in Victoria to a group of private investors last month.

Canwest had planned to close the station that it said had been a money-loser since it purchased it in 2000, but sold the station for a “nominal purchase price.”

“The writing’s on the wall for conventional television, make no mistake,” said Cruise. “It’s in big trouble.”

“I personally believe the CRTC will do the right thing at the end of the day – they’ll put a value for carriage fee in that will hopefully save some stations. Too late for ours. Too late for Red Deer. I hope it’s not too late for Victoria and Hamilton and a few others.”

Source: Variety

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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