|Fredericton, New Brunswick
|Branding||CBC New Brunswick (general)
CBC New Brunswick News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 4.1 (PSIP)
|Owner||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|
|First air date||March 22, 1954 (in Saint John, moved to Fredericton in 1994)|
|Call letters' meaning||Canadian
|Sister station(s)||CBA-FM, CBAM-FM, CBD-FM, CBZ-FM, CBZF-FM|
|Former callsigns||CHSJ-TV (1954-1994)|
|Former affiliations||Global (1988-1994; Secondary)|
|Transmitter power||7.36 kW|
|Website||CBC New Brunswick|
CBAT-DT is the CBC Television owned-and-operated television station for the province of New Brunswick. Licensed to Fredericton, its studios are located on Regent Street and Vanier Highway in downtown Fredericton.
It broadcasts a high-definition over-the-air digital signal on UHF channel 31 (or virtual channel 4.1 via PSIP). There is a high definition feed offered on Rogers Cable digital channel 514 and Bell Aliant TV channel 400. This station can also be seen on Rogers Cable, Bell Aliant TV channel 3 and Bell TV channel 196. It originally broadcast from a transmitter located on Mount Champlain near Saint John, its city of licence until 2011, and operated a network of rebroadcasters throughout the province.
The station first went on the air on March 22, 1954 as CHSJ-TV, owned by the Irving family's New Brunswick Broadcasting Company along with CHSJ radio (AM 1150, now at FM 94.1) and located in Saint John. The Irvings also owned Saint John's main newspaper, The Telegraph-Journal. Its network of rebroadcasters was built up between 1961 and 1978.
Originally, CHSJ was the CBC affiliate for southern New Brunswick while CKCW-TV in Moncton served the northern and eastern portion. However, in 1969, CKCW switched to CTV and signed on a full-time satellite in Saint John, CKLT-TV. Since CHSJ needed time to build rebroadcasters in the southern part of the province, three of CKCW's rebroadcasters continued to air some CBC programming until 1976.
Over the years, CHSJ had a tendency to pre-empt large blocks of network programming, forcing an entire province to miss several of CBC's most well-known shows. This was the subject of complaints to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which in 1988 mandated that CHSJ clear the base 35-hour block of CBC programming when MITV came along that year with stations in Halifax and Saint John.
Although CBC's Fredericton and Moncton studios (also radio stations) had produced programming for CHSJ as early as the 1970s which New Brunswick remained the final province to get a CBC owned-and-operated television station in 1994, when CBC bought CHSJ-TV from the Irvings, recalled it as CBAT-TV, and relocated its operations to Fredericton and the Transmitter, 17 years ago. (CBAT's master control has since been consolidated with those of CBC's other Atlantic Time Zone O&Os into a main facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia.) Until the end of analog broadcasting in Canada, CBAT was the only CBC-owned station with a "-TV" suffix in its callsign.
The station's flagship 6 p.m. newscast has been broadcast from Fredericton since the 1980s, first as the CBC News for New Brunswick, then as NB Now. This arrangement continued until 2000, when the national restructuring of CBC local news led to the creation of Canada Now, which consisted of a half-hour national and international news segment produced from Vancouver airing at 6 p.m., and a locally-produced half-hour segment airing at 6:30 p.m.
Following the cancellation of Canada Now in 2007, the station's local news reverted to a full-hour format as CBC News: New Brunswick at Six. On August 31, 2009, CBC New Brunswick expanded the supper-time newscast from 60 to 90 minutes and pushed it back an hour (from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) in compliance with CBC News' mandate for more local news coverage.
The 5:30 p.m. portion was titled CBC News: Maritimes at 5:30, and was also seen on Prince Edward Island on CBCT. In January 2010, CBC News: Maritimes at 5:30 was replaced with an extra half hour of the provincial newscasts on CBAT and CBCT. As of September 2012, CBAT carries regional Maritime newscasts at 11 p.m. on Sunday - Friday and at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
CBAT-TV was also the only CBC owned and operated television station to simulcast a local CBC Radio One station's morning program until other O&Os began doing the same in 2014. CBAT-TV's New Brunswick First is a simulcast of CBZF-FM's Information Morning, airing on weekday mornings from 6-8 a.m.
The current local anchor on CBAT is Harry Forestell. Past anchors have included Andy Wilson, Todd Battis, Carole MacNeil, Geoff Britt, Anita Sharma, Terry Seguin and Genevieve Tomney. Weathercaster Rose Arseneault was popular with viewers until she lost her job due to budget cutbacks in 2000. The weather forecast is now done by meteorologist Kalin Mitchell via satellite from CBC Halifax.
Due to federal funding reductions to the CBC, in April 2012, the CBC responded with substantial budget cuts, which included shutting down CBC's and Radio-Canada's remaining analog transmitters on July 31, 2012. None of CBC or Radio-Canada's rebroadcasters were converted to digital.
The analog transmitter had covered Fredericton and Saint John. On March 23, 2011, the CRTC denied an application by the CBC to install a digital transmitter that provided coverage to Fredericton, but not Saint John. A few months later, the CRTC approved the application in conjunction with maintaining the existing analog transmitter at a reduced power to maintain coverage in Saint John. The CBC stated that this decrease in coverage was due to financial reasons and the CBC did not commit to restoring this coverage at a future date.