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CHEK-TV (channel 6) is a television station based in Victoria, British Columbiamarker and broadcasting to all of southwestern BC (including Vancouvermarker). The station has been operating since December 1956 and is the first and oldest privately-owned station in British Columbiamarker (only CBC-owned CBUTmarker in Vancouver is older).

CHEK is currently owned and operated by CHEK Media Group, a consortium of station employees and local investors, and broadcasts a schedule consisting of infomercials, news, movies, and other local programming. CHEK is currently operating as an independent station.

The station is also carried on Bell TV channel 255 and Shaw Direct channel 358.

History

CBC and CTV affiliation

CHEK's first logo, used from 1956 to the early 1960s
CHEK (which changed its call sign from CKTV prior to going on the air) launched on December 1, 1956 as a CBC affiliate, operating from studios on Epson Drive in Saanichmarker and under the ownership of David Armstrong, who also owned Victoria radio station CKDA. Initially, the radio and television stations shared staff such as Andy Steven (who was CHEK's first news director) and Kieth MacKenzie (sports director). CHEK was the only local television station operating on Vancouver Islandmarker before CHUM Limited'smarker CIVI-TVmarker launched in October 2001.

Logo used from early 1960s to 1963; it is the first known case of CHEK using a "check mark" as its logo.
CHAN-TV and CHEK-TV shared this logo in the 60s, it was often used when they simulcasted programming.
In 1963, CHEK was purchased by businessman Frank Griffiths, who also owned CTV-affiliated CHAN-TVmarker (BCTV) in Vancouver. By September of that year, CHEK's schedule consisted of some CTV programming and simulcasts of CHAN-originated shows mixed in with the CBC network schedule, along with CHEK-based local productions and syndicated programs not aired on CHAN; this setup continued into the late 1960s/early 1970s, when CHAN started to time-shift network shows. CHEK would also air CBC programmes in the afternoon and prime-time while running CTV shows like University of the Air and Canada AM in the morning (simulcast with CHAN).

In 1972, CHEK, which had simulcast CHAN's News Hour since the Griffiths purchase (and would continue to do so until 2001), began producing its own news program, Vancouver Island News Hour. It aired at 5:30 p.m. before the CHAN News Hour, and at 11:15 p.m. following CBC's The National. At one stage, CHEK used the same flower logo as CHAN, but later reverted back to its own logo.

Logo from 1976 to 1978
Starting around the 1978-1979 season, CHEK gradually added more CTV shows in prime-time (time-shifted from CHAN). On January 5, 1981, when CBC launched CBUTmarker repeater stations at Sookemarker and Mount McDonald, CHEK-TV disaffiliated from CBC and became a full-time CTV station.

Logo from 1978 to early 1980s.
A variant of BCTV's dogwood logo was used from in the early 70s and early 80s.
In 1982, Western International Communications (WIC) bought 59% of CHEK. They bought the remaining 41% from Selkirk Communications in 1989 when that company sold most of its broadcasting assets.

On January 8, 1984, CHEK moved from its original studios in Saanich to its present location at 780 Kings Road, a studio which was to have been used by a proposed Victoria CBC Television station (which ultimately never went to air due to lack of funding).

Logo from mid-1990s to 1997, meant to resemble a checkerboard.
Logo from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s.
Prior to 2001, CHEK also broadcast many of the same programs as CHAN on a time-shifted basis; as with CHAN, this was a mixture of CTV network programming and WIC-owned programming (usually drawn from the schedule of CHCHmarker Hamiltonmarker), although the WIC programming usually differed from that aired on CHAN. The launch of Baton Broadcasting's CIVTmarker in 1997 further complicated the distribution of CTV network programming in southwestern British Columbia, with CIVT becoming the area's third station (after BCTV and CHEK) to carry CTV programming. However, after BCTV strengthened its own morning newscast around 2000, CHEK became the only station in B.C. airing Canada AM, as CIVT aired its own local morning program.

Canwest takes ownership



CHEK came under ownership of Canwest in 2000 after that company's acquisition of WIC. This acquisition set off a major affiliation switch among TV stations in southwestern BC in 2001, with both CHEK and BCTV disaffiliating from CTV, and CIVT becoming the sole CTV station in British Columbia. BCTV and CHEK's affiliation agreements with CTV were originally due to end in 2000; they were extended to expire on September 1, 2001 in view of the uncertainty surrounding the local media landscape.

After disaffiliating from CTV, CHEK became part of Canwest's new CH system. It rebranded as CH Vancouver Island, and took on a schedule similar to CH Hamiltonmarker. CHEK aired 15–20 hours of news programs a week, and often programs usually shown on CHAN that were moved to accommodate their news programming. It also took Sports Page from former Global O&O CKVUmarker, but the program continued to be produced at CHAN until its cancellation in September 2005.

After 19 years at the station, news anchor Hudson Mack left CHEK in 2004. He joined CIVI as its news director on September 1, and became CIVI's 5pm news anchor on October 11. As a result, Sophie Lui returned from CHAN-TV and joined CIVT's former Victoria bureau chief Ed Watson as the pair became the station's main anchors.

CHEK celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006; as part of the celebrations, it aired vignettes of station promos from the pre-CH era during commercial breaks. Another short vignette was also introduced consisting of CHEK's logos and station IDs through the years, from their first in 1956 to the CH logo it used up until September 2007.

The logo used for newscasts since 2007.
It was the de facto branding of the station from 2007-2009
On September 7, 2007, CH rebranded to E!, while CHEK's news programming adopted the "CHEK News" brand, a partial reversal of the current trend for Canadian TV networks and systems to use solely network branding for their owned stations.

On August 25, 2008, news production for CHEK News shifted from Victoria to Vancouver, with the addition of a new virtual set, and a launch of a new program, CHEK News: Island 30. On January 3, 2009, CHEK began simulcasting CHAN's broadcast of Global National at 5:30 p.m., the first time CHEK has simulcast its sister station's programming since the affiliation switch of September 1, 2001.

Threatened closure and sale of station

On February 5, 2009, Canwest announced it would explore "strategic options", including possible sale, for CHEK and its other E! stations, saying "a second conventional TV network is no longer key to the long-term success" of the company.

On July 22, 2009, after failing to find a buyer, Canwest announced it would be closing CHEK as of August 31, 2009, issuing layoff notices to staff. CIVI-TVmarker would then become the sole terrestrial station in Victoria. Shortly after this, the employees of CHEK announced a takeover plan to acquire 25% of the station and find local investors to own the remaining 75%. They also organized a campaign to support the plan and save CHEK.

On August 27, 2009, CHEK employees announced that they had raised $2.5 million for the buyout plan; however, the following day, Canwest announced that the employee buyout did not meet Canwest's guidelines to keep the station on the air, and the station had no programming and advertising lined up beyond August 31, at which date Canwest would permanently shut down the station. CHEK would have closed down following the late newscast and a retrospective on the station's history.

On its 5PM newscast of August 31, 2009, however, CHEK-TV announced that its shutdown would be put on hold, and that it would continue broadcasting while negotiations between Canwest and the prospective new owners continue. Facing a new deadline of September 4, Canwest announced on that date that it had reached a deal to sell the station to CHEK employees and local investors for $2. Canwest would continue to provide transitional support for CHEK, including some programming, use of its Vancouver studios, and leasing, at "favourable rates," the 780 Kings Road studios to the new owners.

After the sale's announcement, station manager John Pollard revealed to CBC News that CHEK would operate as a local independent station, with no plans to simulcast US programming. The new schedule includes a mix of movies and older programming (both Canadian and American in origin); syndicated programming; and a greater emphasis on local news, including a new 10PM newscast that launched on September 1, 2009.

The sale was approved by the CRTC on November 9.

Current personalities

Anchors

  • Alicia Asquith - BC News and Weather Update
  • Scott Fee - CHEK News at Five, CHEK News at Six, BC News and Weather Update (Weekdays)
  • Dana Hutchings - Island 30 (Weekdays)
  • Stacy Ross - CHEK News at Ten, BC News and Weather Update (Weekdays)
  • Skye Ryan - CHEK News at Five (Weekends; on maternity leave)
  • Tess Van Straaten - CHEK News at Five, CHEK News at Ten, BC News and Weather Update (Weekends)


Weather

  • Ed Bain - CHEK News at Five, Six & Ten, BC News and Weather Update (Weekdays)
  • Tess Van Straaten - CHEK News at Five, BC News and Weather Update (Weekends)
  • Gordie Tupper - CHEK News at Five (substitute for Ed Bain)


Sports

  • Jeff King (Weekdays)
  • Paul Haysom (Weekends)


Reporters

  • Mary Griffin
  • Kendall Hanson
  • Dana Hutchings
  • Bruce Kirkpatrick
  • Kristen Robinson
  • Skye Ryan
  • Dean Stoltz
  • Gordie Tupper
  • Tess Van Straaten


Alumni

The following is a partial list of CHEK alumni:
  • Andy Stephen
  • Keith MacKenzie
  • Bob Gillingham
  • William Bill
  • Ralph Pashley
  • John Ackermann
  • Marisa Adair
  • Robin Adair
  • Bob Aylward
  • Harry Barisoff
  • Jonathan Bartlett
  • John Barton
  • Kait Burgan
  • Meribeth Burton
  • Phillip Campbell
  • Paul Carson
  • Clem Chapple
  • Coleen Christie
  • Ida Clarkson
  • Jennifer Crosby
  • Bert Dodd
  • Dawn Draper
  • Kim Emerson
  • Kristin Eriksen
  • Mark Jan Vrem
  • Lyle Jenish
  • Rich Jones
  • Bob Kendrick (Terry Roberts)
  • Jill Krop
  • Lara Lauzon
  • Susan Long
  • Sophie Lui
  • Catherine MacDonald
  • Hudson Mack
  • Keith MacKenzie
  • Howard Markson
  • Pamela Martin
  • Jenny Matechuk
  • Harry Maunu
  • Bruce McAlister
  • John Mitchell
  • Julie Nolin
  • Harvey Oberfeld
  • Doris Page
  • Bruce Payne
  • Michaela Pereira
  • Patty Pitts
  • Wally Rawcliffe
  • Dale Read
  • Mike Roberts
  • Alex Robertson
  • Bev Sinclair
  • Zack Spencer
  • Andy Stephens
  • Judi Tyabji
  • Ed Watson
  • Ron Way
  • Norma Wick
  • Bill Williams
  • Joan Wright
  • Keith Wells


Local programs formerly aired on CHEK

The following is a partial list of local programs that formerly aired on CHEK:
  • At Eleven (talk)
  • Barton & Company (talk)
  • BC Business Spotlight (business news)
  • Body Moves (exercise)
  • Capital Comment (political affairs)
  • CH News at Noon (news)
  • CHEK Around (lifestyles)
  • CHEK at Noon (news & lifestyles)
  • Club Six (teen dance show)
  • Daily Edition (news)
  • Daybreak (variety)
  • For The Record (political affairs)
  • Foufouli (children)
  • GO! Magazine (lifestyles)
  • Government Street (political affairs)
  • Island Country Garden (gardening)
  • Island Places, Island Faces (lifestyles)
  • Island Good Morning (talk)
  • Island Morning (talk)
  • Island News Report (news)
  • Island Sports Report (sports highlights)
  • Learning for Leisure (educational)
  • Maturity: The Golden Years (seniors' issues & lifestyles)
  • Mixed Company (current affairs)
  • Nanaimo Report (news)
  • "Now Playing", with Howard Markson (film reviews, entertainment)
  • Shake It Up (teen dance show)
  • Sports Page (sports highlights - produced at CHAN)
  • Student Forum (student issues)
  • Talk Back (current affairs call-in)
  • The Ida Clarkson Show (talk)
  • The Noon Show (news and talk)
  • The Senior Chef (cooking)
  • Tyabji (current affairs call-in)
  • Vancouver Canucks hockey (sports)
  • Vancouver Grizzlies basketball (sports)
  • Victoria Scene (arts and entertainment magazine)
  • Wake Up (morning newscast)
  • What's Cooking (cooking)
  • Woman to Woman (women's issues)
  • World of Travel (travel)


Previously aired US programs



Broadcast format and technical information

CHEK-TV on FM

Because the frequency range for analog television channel 6 is at the lower end of the FM broadcast band, CHEK-TV can be heard at 87.7 MHz on FM radios, though at a slightly lower volume than other FM stations - due to technical reasons.

Transmitters

Station City of licence Channel ERP HAAT Transmitter Coordinates
CHEK-TV-1 Sookemarker 13 (VHF) 0.01 kW N/A
CHEK-TV-3 Port Albernimarker 11 (VHF) 0.01 kW N/A
CHEK-TV-5 Campbell Rivermarker 13 (VHF) 3 kW 455 m
CHWM-TV-1 Whistlermarker 18 (UHF) 0.001 kW N/A


Videotape Format

CHEK-TV uses shoots on DVC-Pro tapes for all its programming and pre-recorded parts of its CHEK News broadcasts.

Digital television and high definition

As of October 2009, CHEK-DT has not signed on the air.

After the analogue television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on August 31, 2011, CHEK-DT is required to begin broadcasts on its current assigned channel number, 49. If CHEK begins digital transmission before the analog shut-off date, the station will broadcast on channel 43.

Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display CHEK-DT's virtual channel as 6.1.

See also



References

  1. CRTC approves sale of WIC Western International to CanWest, Leanne Yohemas-Hayes, Canadian Press. Accessed online September 5, 2009 (via Friends of Canadian Broadcasting).
  2. Public Notice CRTC 2000-94, July 6, 2000. Accessed online September 5, 2009.
  3. "Canwest may sell TV stations". cbc.ca, February 5, 2009.
  4. "Canwest closing TV stations in Alberta, B.C.". cbc.ca, July 22, 2009.
  5. http://www.viewers.ca/discuss/showthread.php?t=3578
  6. 'A' | NEWS | Victoria's Longest Running TV Station Fades to Black www.atv.ca, July 22, 2009.
  7. 'A' | NEWS | Reaction To CHEK Closure Comes Swiftly www.atv.ca, July 22, 2009.
  8. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2009/08/12/bc-ckek-tv-employee-offer.html
  9. The Victoria Times Colonist: "CHEK TV employee bid fails to save local station", 8/28/2009.
  10. Employees buy CanWest TV station in Victoria for $2
  11. "Local investors, staff buy CHEK", from Victoria Times-Colonist, September 5, 2009
  12. "CHEK employee group has plan to save local TV", from cbcnews.ca, September 9, 2009.
  13. CHEK signoff - 10PM PDT - Liveblog
  14. CHEK TV staying on air for at least one more day
  15. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-699.htm
  16. http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/oca-bc.nsf/en/ca02336e.html
  17. Industry Canada: "DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan", December 2008


External links




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