CKMI-DT

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CKMI-DT-1
Globalmontreal.svg
Montreal, Quebec
Canada
Branding Global Montreal (general)
Global News (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 15.1 (PSIP)
Translators see below
Affiliations Global (secondary c. 1982-1992, primary since 1997)
Owner Shaw Media
(Shaw Television Limited Partnership)
First air date March 17, 1957 (in Quebec City; moved to Montreal in 2009)
Former callsigns CKMI-TV (1957–2009)
CKMI-TV-1 (2009–2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (1957–1997, Quebec City)
46 (1997–2011, Montreal)
Former affiliations CBC (1957–1997)
Transmitter power 8 kW
Height 298 m
Transmitter coordinates 45°30′19″N 73°35′29″W / 45.50528°N 73.59139°W / 45.50528; -73.59139 (CKMI-DT-1)
Website Global Montreal

CKMI-DT-1, UHF channel 15, is a Global owned-and-operated television station located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The station is owned by the Shaw Media division of Shaw Communications. CKMI's studios are located inside the Dominion Square Building in Downtown Montreal, and its transmitter is located atop Mount Royal. This station can also be seen on Vidéotron cable channel 8 and in high definition on digital channel 608, and on Bell TV channel 234. On Shaw Direct, the channel is available on 330 (Classic) or 059 (Advanced), and in high definition on channel 043 (Classic) or 530 (Advanced).

History[edit]

The station launched on March 17, 1957, broadcasting on VHF channel 5, and was the second privately owned station in Quebec. CKMI was originally owned by Télévision de Québec, along with the province's first private station, CFCM-TV. It was originally licensed to Quebec City, and the station's studios were located alongside CFCM's facilities in Sainte-Foy, then a suburb of Quebec City. Télévision de Québec was a consortium of cinema chain Famous Players and Quebec City's three privately owned radio stations, CHRC, CKCV and CJQC. It immediately became Quebec City's CBC Television affiliate, taking all English language programming from CFCM. In 1964, following the opening of CBVT, CFCM disaffiliated from Radio-Canada (the French language arm of the CBC) and joined the loose association of independent stations that evolved into TVA, while CKMI remained with CBC.

MI-5 logo, used in 1980s while the station was still a CBC affiliate.

Télévision de Québec was nearly forced to sell its stations in 1969 due to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) new rules requiring radio and television stations to be 80% Canadian-owned. The largest shareholder, Famous Players, was a subsidiary of American film studio Paramount Pictures. Eventually, Famous Players reduced its shares to 20% by 1971, allowing Télévision de Québec to keep CKMI and CFCM.[1] The company renamed itself Télé-Capitale in 1974. CKMI and CFCM were bought by Pathonic in 1979, and then by Télé-Metropole (which changed its name to TVA) in 1989. For many years, CKMI was known on-air as "MI-5."

CKMI faced severe financial problems for much of its history as a CBC affiliate, in large part because the area's anglophone population was just barely large enough for the station to be viable as a privately owned CBC affiliate (Quebec City, unlike Montreal, is a virtually monolingual francophone city). For most of its first 40 years on the air, it stayed afloat only because of the revenues from CFCM, long the dominant station in Quebec City. Much of its viewership came from anglophone members of the National Assembly and anglophone provincial government employees. For many years, its only newscast was a five-minute update, as its viewership was deemed too small to justify a full-fledged news department.

First logo as a Global station, used from 1997 to 2006.

It began airing Global shows in the 1980s, and was picked up by most cable providers in Montreal as a result. By 1992, however, growing financial trouble forced CKMI to drop all non-CBC programming and become a de facto repeater of Montreal's CBC O&O, CBMT. It also carried CBMT's newscasts, though CKMI aired its own five-minute newscast, Inside Quebec, before CBMT's Newswatch on weeknights.

Relief did not come until 1997, when TVA sold a 51% controlling interest in the station to Izzy Asper's Canwest Global Communications, while retaining 49% interest. TVA and Canwest formed a joint venture that assumed ownership of CKMI. CKMI then added semi-satellites in Montreal and Sherbrooke, reappearing on Montreal cable systems as a result. The purchase of CKMI gave Canwest's stations enough coverage of Canada that on August 18, 1997 - the day Canwest officially closed on its purchase of CKMI – it rebranded all its stations as the Global Television Network. On that date, CKMI disaffiliated from CBC and became the Quebec affiliate of the newly-minted network.

Global had wanted a station in Montreal for years. The original plans for Global's network of transmitters in Southern Ontario called for a transmitter in Maxville, near Hawkesbury. However, it would have provided a strong grade B signal to Montreal. The CRTC rejected this transmitter, since it was believed Montreal's anglophone population wasn't large enough for what would have essentially been three privately-owned English-language stations.

As part of the deal, CKMI moved from VHF channel 5 to UHF channel 20 using a transmitter at the Quebec City tower farm atop Mount Bélair. The CBC took over CKMI's old transmitter and site in Sainte-Foy and used it to set up CBVE-TV, a full-time repeater of CBMT (following the digital transition in 2011, the station relocated to channel 11, using CBVT's old analogue frequency and transmitter atop Mount Bélair; CBVE-TV would close on July 31, 2012, due to the CBC's budget cuts).[2][3]

Global had spent almost a quarter-century trying to get a transmitter in Montreal. When the network originally launched in 1974 as an Ontario-based network, original plans called for a transmitter in Maxville, near Cornwall. While it would have primarily served Hawkesbury, it would have provided a strong grade B signal to Montreal. However, the CRTC vetoed it. In 2002, Global bought out TVA's remaining interest in CKMI.

Global Quebec logo, 2006-2009

The station shifted most of its operations, as well as the focus of its news coverage, to Montreal soon after the launch of the Montreal transmitter. This made sense, since Montreal is home to almost three-fourths of Quebec's anglophones. It also began sending its signal to the Montreal transmitter first. While for all intents and purposes it has been a Montreal station since joining Global, until 2009 it remained licensed to Quebec City, and its "official" main studio remained in Sainte-Foy.

CKMI's financial situation has not improved much since joining Global, though in recent years it has waged a spirited battle with CBMT for second place behind long-dominant CFCF-TV (channel 12). It has been argued that the station's poor financial performance was due to Canwest not being able to sell local advertising in Montreal. Until 2009, it was officially classed as a "regional" station, even though for all intents and purposes it has been a Montreal station ever since moving to Global. However, when the station moved its license to Montreal in 2009 (effectively making the Montreal rebroadcaster the station's primary transmitter), it gained local advertising rights in Montreal for the first time.[4] As it was now officially a Montreal station, it rebranded from "Global Quebec" to "Global Montreal." Despite this, CKMI remains the only English-language Montreal station that is unavailable to American cable viewers in northeast New York and northern New England. This is likely to protect the rights of stations in the Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York market.

As part of a number of cutbacks to Global operations across the country, Canwest closed the station's Sherbrooke bureau and halved the number of employees working at the Quebec City bureau in February 2008. Sherbrooke is now covered by reporters based at the Montreal and Quebec City bureaus. In 2009, CKMI's main production facilities and news operations relocated from a building shared with TVA on De Maisonneuve Boulevard East in Montreal to the Dominion Square Building, home of The Gazette, in Downtown Montreal. The station also aired programming from The Score such as WWE Raw until the fall of 2009.

On October 27, 2010, Shaw Communications completed its purchase of Canwest's television assets after Canwest had entered into creditor bankruptcy protection in late 2009. As a result, Canwest's television division became Shaw Media.[5]

News operation[edit]

The studios of Global Montreal in the Dominion Square Building at the corner of Peel Street and Saint Catherine Street.

CKMI-DT presently broadcasts 25 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours on weekdays, one hour on Saturdays and 1½ hours on Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output out of any English-language television station in the Montreal market. The Saturday evening edition of the station's 11 p.m. newscast, News Final (which otherwise airs for one hour on Sunday through Fridays), is shortened to a half-hour to allow the broadcast of Saturday Night Live. In addition, CKMI also airs a half-hour program called Focus Montreal, looking at the events in Montreal during the past week. CKMI-DT is currently the largest Global owned-and-operated station in Canada that does not carry local newscasts at noon or 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Along with a number of other Global stations, Global Quebec introduced a Greenscreen virtual studio in 2008. The cameras, lighting and reports are remotely controlled (like other regional Global news studios) from Global's broadcast centre in Edmonton. A number of Montreal-based employees were made redundant with the introduction of this technology, however all Global Montreal anchors are still based out of Montreal.

Meteorologist Anthony Farnell is no longer based in Montreal with CKMI, and presents weather forecasts remotely for CKMI from the studios of sister station CIII-TV in Toronto; other than Farnell, Global Montreal does not have any other meteorologists on-staff nor does it operate a sports department.

On August 29, 2011, Global Montreal began broadcasting their local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. The station later switched to high definition broadcasts in February 2012. As part of Shaw Communications's offer to take over Canwest's television assets, Shaw promised to launch local morning newscasts on several Global stations, including CKMI. On January 28, 2013, CKMI-DT launched a three-hour weekday morning newscast, airing from 6:00-9:00 a.m.[6][7]

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Discontinued programming[edit]

This Morning Live[edit]

After being rebranded as Global, the station aired a live 2½ hour (and subsequently three) hour weekday morning magazine program from Montreal called This Morning Live, hosted by Andrew Peplowski and Tracy McKee. It was aired in place of cartoons that aired weekday mornings on most Global stations, because Quebec provincial law requires children's programming to be shown commercial-free over the air on weekdays. A side benefit of this was that it added enough Canadian content to the station's schedule that it could air American talk shows in the afternoon.

This Morning Live was last cancelled in late 2007 and the last program was broadcast on February 27, 2008. News Final, which had been off air due to low ratings since June 2006, but was brought back after This Morning Live was canceled to help maintain the number of locally produced broadcast hours.

Global Tonight[edit]

An evening lifestyle program that suffered poor ratings and was succeeded by Global News @ 5:30.

QC Magazine[edit]

A weekly program covering the week's news in Quebec City; cancelled when the Quebec City bureau was scaled down in 2007.

Transmitters[edit]

Semi-satellites are in bold italics

Station City of licence Digital channel ERP HAAT Transmitter Coordinates
CKMI-DT Quebec City 20 (UHF) 18 kW 446.3 m 46°49′21″N 71°29′43″W / 46.82250°N 71.49528°W / 46.82250; -71.49528
CKMI-DT-2 Sherbrooke 11 (VHF) 1.0 kW 613.1 m 45°18′43″N 72°14′30″W / 45.31194°N 72.24167°W / 45.31194; -72.24167 (CKMI-DT-2)

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8]
15.1 1080i 16:9 CKMI-HD Main CKMI-DT programming / Global

Analogue-to-digital conversion[edit]

In August 2011, CKMI converted all three of its transmitters to digital.[9] CKMI-DT-2 Sherbrooke began broadcasting on August 10, CKMI-DT Quebec City started broadcasting on August 13, and CKMI-DT-1 Montreal started broadcasting on August 17. The deadline to convert to digital in these markets was August 31. The main transmitter, CKMI-DT-1, began broadcasting its digital signal on UHF channel 15.

References[edit]

External links[edit]