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CJBN-TV is a Canadianmarker television station. It is a CTV affiliate, broadcasting on channel 13 and cable 4 in Kenoramarker, Ontariomarker. It can also be seen on the Bell TV (channel 224) and Shaw Direct (channel 320) satellite services. The station adopted the CJTV brand in the early 2000s, but switched back to "CJBN" in January 2007. CJBN went on the air for the first time on 1980.

The station is owned by Shaw Communications, which acquired the station in 2006 as part of its purchase of local cable company Norcom Telecommunications. It is one of only three CTV-affiliated stations in Canada that are not owned and operated directly by CTV. The station is Canada's lowest powered television station affiliated with a major network, with just 178 watts of power. Its main method of distribution is via Shaw's (and others') cable and satellite services.

Programming

Despite being a CTV affiliate, the station has always aired a fair bit of Global programming. Rumours had been circulating that CJBN would disaffiliate from CTV, which would have meant Winnipeg's CKY-TVmarker would have to build a repeater for the Kenora area. However, none of this has happened.
CJTV logo (1998-2006)
The station was examined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for not airing enough Canadian content. Since this occurred in 1999, the station has aired the required amount of Canadian programming.

Since its launch, the station's programming has been primarily sourced from CTV, with the remainder of the schedule rounded out by Global and syndicated programming, although the exact balance has varied from season to season. As with many smaller independently-owned Canadian stations, there are also several infomercials throughout any given day's schedule.

News and local programming

CJBN logo (early 2007)
Despite being the only full-fledged station in the area, CJBN does not produce much local content. A daily news service isn't considered feasible for the station due to the market's small population. For many years, the station aired two-minute segments of news and combined them into a weekly review programme, "Northwest Newsweek."

In 2008, CJBN began airing a news and issues show called Points North which airs eight times per week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6:30pm & 11:30pm and Saturday & Sunday at 6:30pm. It also airs other special programs aimed at tourists and local residents.

TruTV anchor Ashleigh Banfield began her career at the station.

History

CJBN's "CJTV" alternate logo.
CJBN-TV was started by local businessman Carl Johnson, and started in 1980, with a power output of 17.5 watts. It was co-owned with Norcom Telecommunications, whose cable systems served Kenora and surrounding areas. With a potential audience of only 5,800 households, it was Canada's smallest television market. It remains the smallest DMA in Canada, and the second smallest in North America (behind Glendive, Montanamarker).

The station came about after Norcom applied to operate a Central Time Zone Satellite Relay Distribution System (SRDU), and as such, needed a CTV signal. Winnipeg's CKY, which was the closest CTV affiliate to Kenora, was unavailable, so Norcom applied for, and was successful in gaining their own CTV station. The company also planned to set up a series of rebroadcasting stations to expand into nearby areas, but when Cancom secured the main licence for the Northern Service uplink, Norcom was left with just CJBN. With the local economy dependent on the pulp and paper industry, the station's future remained precarious, especially with the increase of competing satellite services available in the area.

In 1983, the station proposed setting up rebroadcast transmitters in nearby communities:

In 1988, the station told the CRTC that they could not afford to construct the rebroadcast transmitters, and would remain with just one transmitter in Kenora. In place of the rebroadcast transmitters, the station is carried on cable in Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Ear Falls.

In 1985, CJBN-TV increased its power to 177.5 watts. In 1999, the station was brought before the CRTC to explain the lack of Canadian content, but two years later, its licence was renewed, once evidence of renewed effort toward Canadian content was proven. In 2000, CJBN started to brand itself as CJTV but would revert back to the CJBN-TV designation after their purchase by Shaw Communications. And in 2004, cable systems in nearby areas and national satellite services began to carry CJBN. In June 2004, the CRTC renewed the licence for another seven years, until 2011.

On August 9, 2006, Shaw Communications announced an agreement to purchase Norcom, including CJBN. As Shaw itself did not previously own any broadcast assets, there was some speculation that the struggling CJBN would be resold to CTV to become a repeater of CKY-TVmarker (Shaw had itself sold CKY to CTV following a similar acquisition in 2001). However, the company has apparently decided to maintain CJBN. CRTC approval to this sale was announced in November 2006.

Digital Television

As of 2009, no Kenora TV station has applied for digital TV stations.

During the analogue shutdown and digital conversion for Canadian TV stations on August 31, 2011, CJBN-DT is scheduled to broadcast on channel 13; however, before the transition, the station should broadcast on channel 16.

Footnotes

  1. It is tied KJWY channel 2 of Jackson, Wyoming, also at 178 watts, for being the lowest-powered television station on a regular licence in North America. However, KJWY is a repeater of Pocatello, Idaho's KPVI. This distinction also excludes repeaters of Canadian networks, especially those affiliated with CBC Television and CBC North.
  2. Shaw Communications to Acquire Norcom Telecommunications Limited, Shaw press release, August 9, 2006
  3. The Shaw family, however, controls Corus Entertainment, which owns three broadcast TV stations, all CBC affiliates.
  4. Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-152


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