|Victoria/Vancouver, British Columbia|
|City of license||Victoria, British Columbia|
CHEK News (news)
|Slogan||Your Island's Own|
|Channels||Digital: 49 (UHF)
Virtual: 6.1 (PSIP)
|Owner||CHEK Media Group
(0859291 B.C. Ltd.)
|First air date||December 1, 1956|
|Call letters' meaning||CHEcK|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1956–2011)
|Former affiliations||CBC (1956–1981)
CTV (secondary 1963–1981; primary 1981–2001)
CH / E! (2001–2009)
|Transmitter power||28 kilowatts|
CHEK-DT, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 22), is an independent television station located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, which serves the southwestern part of the province (including Metro Vancouver). The station is owned by CHEK Media Group, a consortium of station employees and local investors. CHEK's studios are located on Kings Road in Victoria, and its transmitter is located atop Mount Warburton Pike on Saturna Island. This station can also be seen on Shaw Cable channel 6, Bell TV channel 255 and Shaw Direct channel 358 (Classic) or 007 (Advanced), 005 (Classic) or 505 (Advanced) for high definition. There is also a high definition feed available on Shaw Cable digital channel 215.
- 1 History
- 2 News operation
- 3 Programming
- 4 Broadcast format and technical information
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
CBC and CTV affiliation
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 Epsom Drive in Saanich 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 Island before CHUM Limited's CIVI-TV launched in October 2001. The station was the first (and is currently the oldest) privately owned television station in British Columbia (only CBC-owned CBUT-DT in Vancouver has been on the air longer, operating since December 1953).
In 1963, CHEK was purchased by businessman Frank Griffiths, who also owned CTV affiliate CHAN-TV (channel 8, then known as "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 primetime 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 point in time, CHEK used the same Pacific dogwood logo as CHAN, but later reverted to its own logo.
Starting around the 1978-1979 season, CHEK gradually added more CTV shows during the primetime hours (timeshifted from CHAN). On January 5, 1981, when CBUT launched repeater stations at Sooke and Mount McDonald, CHEK disaffiliated from CBC and became a full-time CTV station.
In 1982, Western International Communications (WIC) bought 59% of CHEK and CHAN. WIC bought the remaining 41% interest 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).
Prior to 2001, CHEK also broadcast many of the same programs as CHAN on a timeshifted basis; as with CHAN, this was a mixture of CTV network programming and WIC-owned programming (usually drawn from the schedule of CHCH in Hamilton), although the WIC programming usually differed from that aired on CHAN. The launch of Baton Broadcasting's CIVT (channel 32) in 1997 further complicated the distribution of CTV network programming in southwestern British Columbia, with CIVT becoming the area's third station (after CHAN and CHEK) to carry CTV programming. However, after CHAN 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 the Vancouver-Victoria market's television stations in 2001, with both CHEK and CHAN disaffiliating from CTV, and CIVT becoming the sole CTV station in British Columbia. CHAN 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 CHCH in Hamilton. CHEK aired 15–20 hours of local news programs each week, and often programs usually shown on CHAN that were moved to accommodate their news programming. It also took Sports Page from former Global owned-and-operated station CKVU (channel 10), but the program continued to be produced at CHAN until its cancellation in September 2005.
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 its original in 1956 to its then-current logo as "CH Vancouver Island". On September 7, 2007; CHEK's newscasts were rebranded as CHEK News, a partial reversal of the current trend for Canadian television networks and systems to use solely network branding for their owned-and-operated stations as a result of the rebranding of CH to E!. Non-news programs on CHEK was branded simply as E!. 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 former sister station's programming since the affiliation switch of September 1, 2001.
Ownership by CHEK Media Group
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 shutting down CHEK on August 31, 2009, issuing layoff notices to staff. This would have resulted in CIVI-TV then becoming the sole broadcast television station in Victoria. Shortly after this, the employees of CHEK announced a proposal 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 5 p.m. 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 (known as CHEK Media Group) 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 with the assumption of various station liabilities. The sale was approved by the CRTC on November 9. After the sale's announcement, station manager John Pollard revealed to CBC News that CHEK would operate as a local independent station (one of two such stations in Canada that began as a CBC Television affiliate, and then later a CTV affiliate, alongside CJON-DT in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador), with no plans to simulcast any American programs.
CHEK Media Group took control of the station's programming after that announcement on that date, CHEK disaffiliated from E! (which shut down a few days prior), adopted a 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 10 p.m. newscast that launched on September 1, 2009), and reverted to branding itself as simply CHEK. With no plans to simulcast U.S. programming at some point, CHEK would add, in sparse amounts, additional programming during the 2009-2010 season, including Let's Get It On, a mixed martial arts program; Ed the Sock's This Movie Sucks!, a movie show featuring the former MuchMusic character alongside co-host Liana Kerzner and comedian Ron Sparks; and infomercials.
The station later reversed its stance on running recent American programs; in September 2010, CHEK, for the first time since its purchase by station employees and local investors, began airing American network television series. Many of the added shows, including Smallville, Supernatural, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Chuck and 60 Minutes were previously seen in the Vancouver/Victoria market on CHNU-DT and Toronto/Hamilton's CKXT-TV (that station's owner, Quebecor, which was in the process of replacing its licence with one for an all-news cable channel, with CKXT's apparent sign off in 2011). CHEK will also air I Hate Hollywood produced by CHCH-DT, which has picked up all of the shows mentioned above. On January 25, 2013, CBCV-FM opened a new studio facility in the CHEK building.
CHEK-DT presently broadcasts 12 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with two hours on weekdays and an hour on Saturdays and Sundays); the station also produces news updates between entertainment programs at the top of each hour between 1 and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Unlike most news-producing television stations in major Canadian markets, the station does not broadcast a late evening newscast on weekends (its only weekend newscast is a half-hour 5 p.m. news program). In addition, the station produces a half-hour public affairs program CHEK Point. CHEK-TV uses shoots on DVC-Pro tapes for all its programming and pre-recorded parts of its CHEK News broadcasts.
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 5 p.m. 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. On August 25, 2008, production for CHEK's newscasts shifted from Victoria to CHAN's facility in Burnaby with the addition of a new virtual set, and a launch of a new program, CHEK News: Island 30 focused on news stories outside of Victoria. The program was retooled months later into a newsmagazine and renamed to simply Island 30.
On December 16, 2009, Tony Parsons anchored his final newscast at CHAN after 35 years of being the anchor of the News Hour. On March 15, 2010, Parsons debuted as the anchor of CHEK's 10 p.m. newscasts.
In April 2010, CHEK and the CBC entered into a news sharing agreement, in which CHEK and CBUT would share news stories, staff and resources. Tony Parsons also joined the CBC to anchor CBUT's evening newscast, CBC News: Vancouver, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Parsons will fly to Victoria after that program to anchor CHEK's 10 p.m. newscast. A simulcast of the 6 p.m. half-hour of CBC News: Vancouver was also added to CHEK's schedule. On June 15, 2012, Parsons began anchoring only the 6 p.m. newscast on both CBUT and CHEK as he left CHEK's 10 p.m. newscast to a rotation of anchors and reporters.
- News Hour (1968–2001?; early evening newscast)
- Noon News Hour (1970s?; noon newscast)
- Early News (1980s?; 5 p.m. newscast)
- Morning News (1990s?; morning newscast)
- Wake Up! (1997–2001; morning newscast)
- CHEK-TV News (1997–2001)
- CH News (2001–2007)
- CHEK News (2007–present)
- "Island Television, Channel 6 from Victoria" (1981?)
- "Changing, You Belong!" (1985?)
- "Come on Over! CHEK 6 First" (1986–1997?)
- "It's Here" (1998–2001)
- "CH Has it All" (2001–2005)
- "Closer to You!" (2001–2007)
- "Everything Entertainment" (2007–2009; localized version of E! ad campaign)
- "Your Island's Own" (2007–present)
- Jim Beatty - weeknights at 5 and 6:30 p.m.
- Dana Hutchings - host of CHEK Point; also general assignment reporter
- April Lawrence - weeknights at 10 p.m.
- Stacy Ross - weekdays at noon
- Skye Ryan - weekends at 5 p.m.
- Tess van Straaten - fill-in anchor; also general assignment reporter
- Ed Bain - weather anchor; weeknights at 5, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
- Gordie Tupper - weather anchor; weekdays at noon and CHEK News Update (weekdays from 1-1:30, 2-2:30 and 3-3:30 p.m.)
- Tess van Straaten - weather anchor; weekends at 5 p.m.
- Jeff King - sports director; weeknights at 5 p.m., and co-host of Game On!
- Paul Haysom - sports anchor; weeknights at 10 and weekends at 5 p.m., and co-host of Game On!
- Mike Walker - sports reporter and substitute sports anchor
- Jonathan Bartlett - general assignment reporter
- Vee Cooper - general assignment reporter
- Mary Griffin - general assignment reporter
- Kendall Hanson - Mid-Vancouver Island video journalist
- Bruce Kirkpatrick - senior reporter
- Monica Martinez - video journalist
- Andy Neal - fill-in reporter and anchor
- Skye Ryan - general assignment reporter
- Dean Stoltz - North Vancouver Island video journalist
- Gordie Tupper - general assignment reporter
- Keith Vass - general assignment reporter
- Mike Walker - general assignment reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Scott Fee (now at CICT-DT in Calgary)
- Mi-Jung Lee (now at CIVT-DT in Vancouver)
- Sophie Lui (now morning anchor at CHAN-DT in Vancouver)
- Hudson Mack (now at CIVI-DT in Victoria, British Columbia)
- Pamela Martin
- Harvey Oberfeld
- Michaela Pereira (now at CNN as anchor for New Day)
- Kristen Robinson
- Judi Tyabji
- Tony Parsons
As an independent station, CHEK's programming features a mix of newscasts and other locally produced programs, syndicated programming, movies and infomercials.
Past local programming
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)
- Newscience (science and factoids)
- Now Playing, with Howard Markson (film reviews, entertainment)
- Shake It Up (teen dance show)
- Sports Page (sports highlights - produced at CHAN-TV)
- 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)
Notable past foreign programming
- From August 1995 to August 1999, CHEK carried the Late Show with David Letterman weekday afternoons at 4:30 p.m. Other channels which have carried the show, including originating U.S. network CBS, have aired the program in the late evening (11:35 pm ET/PT).
Broadcast format and technical information
CHEK-TV on FM
Before the transition from analog to digital, CHEK-TV's audio signal could be heard on FM radios. The frequency range for analog channel 6 is at the lower end of the FM broadcast band, making it possible to hear CHEK-TV on 87.7 MHz, though at a slightly lower volume than other FM stations - due to technical reasons. CHEK-TV shut down its analog transmitter on October 26, 2011. CHEK-DT cannot be decoded by radios because digital television signals cannot be decoded by analog FM radio and because CHEK-DT occupies UHF channel 49, which cannot be normally received by FM radios.
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CHEK-TV-3||Port Alberni||11 (VHF)||0.01 kW||N/A|
|CHEK-TV-5||Campbell River||13 (VHF)||3 kW||455 m|
|CHWM-TV-1||Whistler||18 (UHF)||0.001 kW||N/A|
Note: On November 18, 2011, CHEK-TV received approval from the CRTC to shut down its Sooke transmitter.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||1080i||16:9||CHEK-HD||Main CHEK-DT programming|
On August 31, 2011, the official date in which Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts, CHEK began broadcasting its digital signal on UHF channel 49. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display CHEK-DT's virtual channel as 6.1. Due to technical issues with the digital transmitter, the analogue transmitter did not shut down until October 26, 2011; it was the last television station in the Vancouver-Victoria market to continue operating its main transmitter in analogue, making Calgary Western Canada's largest market to have one of the analogue stations operating over-the-air and also unseating Edmonton as Canada's second-largest market to be digital-only. While all Vancouver and Victoria area television stations continued operating analogue signals until August 31, CHEK-TV was the only analogue station in the Vancouver/Victoria market, as all of the other transmitters in these markets shut down by 12:00 a.m. on September 1, 2011, as required. Bellingham, Washington's KVOS-TV (channel 12) shut down its analogue signal on February 17, 2009; it was the first in Vancouver to do so.
CHEK-TV was not the last analog transmitter shut down as part of Canada's August 31, 2011 digital conversion deadline in mandatory markets. A handful of other transmitters in Canada were also late to shut down, though unlike CHEK-DT, the other stations did not have their digital transmitters on-air by August 31, 2011.
- CRTC approves sale of WIC Western International to CanWest, Leanne Yohemas-Hayes, Canadian Press. Accessed online September 5, 2009 (via Friends of Canadian Broadcasting).
- Public Notice CRTC 2000-94, July 6, 2000. Accessed online September 5, 2009.
- "Canwest may sell TV stations". cbc.ca, February 5, 2009.
- "Canwest closing TV stations in Alberta, B.C.". cbc.ca, July 22, 2009.
- 'A' | NEWS | Victoria's Longest Running TV Station Fades to Black www.atv.ca, July 22, 2009.
- 'A' | NEWS | Reaction To CHEK Closure Comes Swiftly www.atv.ca, July 22, 2009.
- The Victoria Times Colonist: "CHEK TV employee bid fails to save local station", 8/28/2009.
- Employees buy CanWest TV station in Victoria for $2
- "Local investors, staff buy CHEK", from Victoria Times-Colonist, September 5, 2009
- "CHEK employee group has plan to save local TV", from cbcnews.ca, September 9, 2009.
- CHEK signoff - 10 pm PDT - Liveblog
- CHEK TV staying on air for at least one more day
- Channel Zero loads up on U.S. network series, THR, 14 June 2010
- ed the sock
- Tony Parsons and Global News part ways - Vancouver Sun
- Legendary broadcaster Tony Parsons makes his debut as an Island anchor Monday - Times-Colonist
- Tony Parsons joins CBC News Vancouver
- CHEK-TV News @ 5 - Opening 2001
- CHEK - CH News Final - Opening 2001
- CHEK News Open January 24 2009
- Personalities, CHEKNews.ca
- Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-109
- RabbitEars TV Query for CHEK
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CHEK-DT History
- Vancouver Radio Museum - CHEK-DT
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHEK-DT
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CHEK-DT