From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from CBWT)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
CBC Television 2009.svg
Winnipeg, Manitoba
BrandingCBC Manitoba (general)
CBC Winnipeg News (newscasts)
SloganCanada's Public Broadcaster
ChannelsDigital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 6.1 (PSIP)
AffiliationsCBC Television (O&O)
OwnerCanadian Broadcasting Corporation
First air dateMay 31, 1954; 65 years ago (1954-05-31)
Call letters' meaningCanadian
Broadcasting Corporation
Sister station(s)CBW, CBW-FM, CKSB, CKSB-FM, CBWFT-DT
Former callsignsCBWT (1954–2011)
Former channel number(s)4 (VHF, 1954–1958)
3 (VHF, 1958–1964)
6 (VHF, 1964–2011)
Former affiliationsSecondary:
Paramount Television Network (1954-1956)
Transmitter power42 kW
Height138.6 m
Transmitter coordinates49°53′43″N 97°08′17″W / 49.89528°N 97.13806°W / 49.89528; -97.13806
WebsiteCBC Manitoba

CBWT-DT, virtual channel 6.1 (UHF digital channel 27), is a CBC Television owned-and-operated television station located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The station is owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as part of a twinstick with Ici Radio-Canada Télé outlet CBWFT-DT (channel 51 Virtual Channel 3.1), which is operated through its Société Radio-Canada arm. The two stations share studios located on Portage Avenue and Young Street in Downtown Winnipeg, and CBWT's transmitter is located near Red Coat Trail/Highway 2 in Macdonald.

This station can also be seen on Shaw Cable and MTS TV channel 2, and Bell TV channel 226. There is a high definition feed offered on Shaw Cable digital channel 209, MTS TV channel 416, and Bell TV channel 1090. On Shaw Direct, the channel is available on 332 (Classic) or 032 (Advanced), and in high definition on channel 028 (Classic) or 528 (Advanced). CBWT can also be seen on several American cable TV systems in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota including cities such as Grand Forks, North Dakota and Bemidji, Minnesota. It is the only CBC Television station in the province of Manitoba, since Brandon station CKX-TV closed on October 2, 2009; since approximately 1998, it has been available on cable in Brandon on digital channel 62, and since the demise of CKX-TV, it can now be seen on analogue cable channel 6.


CBC Winnipeg Building at 541 Portage Avenue

Planning for CBWT started in November 1952, when the Government of Canada announced its intention of setting up a television station in Winnipeg.[1] The station was announced by J. R. Finlay at a Cosmopolitan Club meeting at the Marlborough Hotel on September 16, 1953. At the time, the station was projected to become western Canada's first television station (before Vancouver's CBUT), but was delayed.[2] There was an entry for CBWT in the 1953 MTS telephone book.[3] In September 1953, CBC Winnipeg moved into a new 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) facility at 541 Portage Avenue,[4] from its former location within the Manitoba Telephone Building on Portage Avenue East. It is still there today, and it shares this location with CBW and CBW-FM.

A few months later, on May 31, 1954,[5] CBWT began as a bilingual station on channel 4 with an EIRP of 60,000 watts.[6] In the same year that CBWT went to air, another station, KXJB-TV (Valley City/Fargo, North Dakota) also began broadcasting on channel 4. There were doubts from the start whether there would be interference between the two stations.[7] Its first equipment consisted of an RCA Victor TT10AL Television Transmitter and a 196-foot 6-section Super Turnstile Type TF-6AM Television Antenna, located atop the station's roof.[8]

One of CBWT's first big mobile production was Ice Revue, which was broadcast from the Winnipeg Winter Club in March 1956.[9] However, as a mobile production, the equipment was different from that present in the studio. Several people had phoned the station complaining that their television set would get stuck in vertical or horizontal hold. This would occur when the switcher at the mobile unit went from one camera to another. Older (tube) television sets had a sync. generator and this was blamed for the reception problem.[10]

On September 30, 1956, it connected to the Trans-Canada Microwave Relay System, which allowed Winnipeggers to watch television programing from CBC television on the same day it was broadcast in Toronto and Montreal.[11] To celebrate this link CBC Television produced a special one-hour program, Along the Tower Trail, the Winnipeg segment featured a view of the CPR's Marshalling Yards, the Saint Boniface Cathedral, a prairie harvest clip, and a musical piece sung by the Andrew Mynarski School choir.[12] By late 1957, it was decided to move CBWT from channel 4 to channel 3.[13] The changeover occurred in April 1958.

Eye-To-Eye was a weekly local current affairs program broadcast from 10.15 to 11 p.m. every Tuesday, and was the predecessor to 24Hours. It debut on October 20, 1959, and was similar in style to Close-Up on the national network. The first topics covered were: "The Slums of Winnipeg", "Civic Politics – A Sick Joke" and "Interview – Two Young Ladies".[14] Eye-To-Eye was produced by Ken Black and Warner Troyer.

On April 24, 1960, the station became English-only, while French programming moved to the newly launched CBWFT. At the same time two VTRs, worth $75,000 each were installed at the station to replace the kinescope system used previously.[15] The local version of Reach for the Top debut in 1962 and was hosted by Bill Guest, alternately by Ernie Nairn. The program ran until 1985.

On November 16, 1964, it swapped channels with CBWFT and higher powered transmitters were installed on a new antenna mast 1,064 ft (324 m) high near Starbuck, Manitoba. Reception as far as 113 kilometres would now be possible.[16] This had the effect of improving reception of the station in the towns of Portage la Prairie, Gimli, Carman, Winkler, Morden, Morris, Letellier, Emerson, Altona, and Dominion City. It continues to be the tallest free-standing structure in the province.[17] The move to VHF channel six also permitted people in the coverage area to hear the English feed's audio on FM radios tuned to 87.7; this option was no longer available after the station shifted to digital and shut down the analog transmitter.

There was a large NABET strike throughout the CBC organization in the Spring of 1981, and production of 24Hours was halted. Strike action began at 10:30 p.m. on May 3, 1981.[18] Shortly after the Mulroney government came to power in 1984, they made major cuts to the CBC, and as a result 86 staff members were let go at CBWT.[19] There was a second round of major cuts in December 1990, which had a negative effect on local production, especially on the resources of 24Hours.

On February 27, 1997, CBC Manitoba announced that it would update and expand by 2,700 m² its studio facilities for the cost of $2.8 million.[20] In 1998, CBC Manitoba's newsroom and studios were expanded into a new building, after essentially using portables and an abandoned church as its news operations for many years. The television studio now features a window looking down onto Portage. A new digital Betacam SX format was introduced, one of the first CBC stations to transition to make use of it. The first television broadcast from the new studio occurred on Monday, September 21, 1998.

Previous programs produced at CBWT include Fred Penner's Place, It's a Living, and Disclosure. Disclosure was canceled in 2003. Peter Mansbridge, former anchor of The National, began his career at CBWT.


CBWT is CBC Television's flagship station for the Central Time Zone, airing the main CBC schedule one hour after the CBC Television stations in the Eastern Time Zone (for example, The National airs at 10 p.m. ET on CBLT-DT/Toronto and 10 p.m. CT on CBWT). This is different from the other Canadian television networks, whose stations in the Eastern and Central time zones air programs simultaneously in both time zones.

Country Canada, CountryWide and a local edition of CBC News at Six (formerly the local segment of CBC News: Canada Now from 2000 to 2006 and 24Hours from October 5, 1970 to 2000) have been produced out of CBWT. In addition The National has an investigative unit based at the station.

Local programming[edit]

Country Canada was one of the longest running programs in Canadian television history, and is broadcast nationally. It began as Country Calendar in 1954. The program name was carried over to a new digital specialty channel called CBC Country Canada, which first launched in September 2001. Spotlight was one of CBWT's first news interview programs, which aired Monday through Saturdays between 7:15 and 7:30 p.m.[21]

3's Company was a local program broadcast in the early 1960s and was similar to Living Winnipeg. The title was a play on both the number of on-air hosts (Mary Liz Bayer, Bill Guest, Jose Poneira), and the channel that CBWT had broadcast on in Winnipeg at the time.[22] However, Bayer became host of her own show, The Mary Liz Show, one year earlier. The Medicine Show was a local production shown nationally, which ran from January 1980 to August 1982. Show Business, hosted by Tom McCulloch, and Ten O'Clock Live, a music program from a local bar, were two local programs produced by CBWT in 1981.[23]

In Search of the Perfect Summer was a summertime series produced by Sean Sullivan and was co-hosted by Anne Harding and Laurie Mustard in the 1982 season. It was nominated Best Variety Program on Television in the (2nd annual) 1982 Winnipeg Broadcast Awards.[24] Mustard won Best Host/Interviewer for the series.[25]

Between 1983 and 1986, Laurie Mustard hosted a Sunday morning local program for kids called Switchback, which was the title used for similar programs across the main CBC network. By 1989, the Winnipeg program was cancelled and amalgamated with the CBKT Regina version of Switchback, where Winnipeg contributed a portion of the program content.

The end of regional non-news programming came in 2000-01, when Breakaway, aired since June 1987[26] and was co-hosted by Sandi Coleman, a program profiling different Manitoba towns[27] was canceled in the last round of budget cuts to the CBC. Sandi now hosts the morning program on CBC Radio One Yukon.

On January 15, 2007, CBWT began airing its first regional (non-news) television program since 2000, Living Winnipeg. The program was seen weekdays at 3 p.m. and replayed at 3:30 a.m. On March 26, 2009, the CBC announced that Living was being cancelled on all its stations.

News operation[edit]

CBWT-DT presently broadcasts ten hours and 40 minutes of locally produced newscasts each week (with two hours on weekdays, a half-hour on Saturdays and ten minutes on Sundays). Today, CBWT airs a 90-minute supper hour newscast from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and a ten-minute late night summary at 11 p.m. on weeknights, and weekend evening newscasts on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. in the form of a half-hour newscast and Sundays at 11 p.m. in the form of a ten-minute bulletin.

The first big story CBWT covered happened on June 8, 1954, about one week after the station opened, where the Time Building at 333 Portage Avenue caught fire. The Time Building was across from the Eaton's building.

At one time, Western Manitoba Broadcasters (a subsidiary of Craig Media) and CBC Manitoba had an agreement where the Dauphin retransmitter (CBWST 8) would carry a local newscast in place of the Winnipeg one.[28] The program was called IMTV The Report and was broadcast at 5:30 PM. IMTV The Report ran in the 1980s and 1990s.[29]

News at Noon was CBWT's half-hour news program that ran until January 1985, when the network program Midday took up the timeslot.[30] It had been previously called Noon Hour, which was a 60-minute program.[31] Midday ran till 2000, but local news programming has not returned during the noon hour. 24Hours, an hour-long news and current affairs program, ran from 1970 to 2000.

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

  • Maurice Burchell, CBWT's first news reader
  • Sandy Cushin, former host of Country Canada (1975–2000)
  • Garth Dawley, former 24Hours newsreader October 5, 1970–August 1983
  • Arvel Gray, former 24Hours weather forecaster
  • Liz Grogan co-hosted Noon Hour in the 70s.
  • Bill Guest, former station announcer, host of Reach for the Top quiz show, co-hosted Tandem (early 1960s)
  • John Harvard, former 24Hours interviewer
  • Peter Herrndorf, worked for CBWT from 1965–?
  • Peter Jordan, former host of It's a Living and W six segment every Tuesday on CBC News Winnipeg.
  • Lee Major, former CBWT alternate/weekend anchor
  • Terry Matte, former 24Hours reporter,
  • Mike McCourt, former 24Hours interviewer 1986–1991
  • Tom McCulloch, hosted Show Business in the early 80s.
  • Bill Morgan, former (original) Producer (1970–71) & Exec. Producer (1971–?) of 24Hours
  • Scott Oake, former 24Hours and CBC Sports anchor and reporter
  • Fred Penner, children's entertainer
  • Anne Petrie, former host of 24Hours Late Night (1985–1989)
  • Aarti Pole, CBC News Winnipeg news reporter and substitute anchor
  • Üstün Reinart, former 24Hours interviewer/reporter
  • John Robertson, former 24Hours interviewer September 1977–September 1981
  • Lloyd Robertson, began his television career here from 1954 to 1957
  • Ed Russenholt, CBWT's first weather person on Spotlight
  • Murray Parker (1966 - 1992 & 2007 - 2008) longtime staff announcer, "Let's Go!", "Reach For The Top", host of "Around Town" (late 60s), CBC Sports (anchored nightly national round-up during '76 Olympics), and best known as the "24Hours" weatherman until his retirement in 1992.
  • Diana Swain, former 24Hours news anchor and interviewer (1995–2000)
  • Marv Terhoch, former CBWT news & current affairs Producer and Executive Producer (June 1, 1981–?)
  • Warner Troyer, former Eye-To-Eye Producer
  • Rosemary Thompson former 24Hours reporter, now national reporter with CTV News.
  • Judy Waytiuk, former 24Hours reporter
  • Jack Wells, former sports anchor of Spotlight (Deceased)
  • Bob Willson, former (original) host of Spotlight


CBWT operated approximately 50 analog television rebroadcasters throughout the province of Manitoba (e.g. The Pas and Thompson, the Central Time Zone portion of Northern Ontario (e.g. Kenora) and portions of Saskatchewan. 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.[32] None of CBC or Radio-Canada's rebroadcasters were converted to digital.

CBWT began extending its signal using various methods, beginning in June 1962 with CBWBT in Flin Flon and CBWBT-1 in The Pas using kinescope recordings from CBWT Winnipeg. Later on, CBTA in Lynn Lake became part of the Frontier Coverage Package in September 1967. From 1968 onwards, CBWT used the province-wide microwave system to provide live television signals.[33]

At one time, CBWAT in Kenora offered separate local news programming from CBWT Winnipeg, although this was discontinued in 1979/80 when CJBN-TV went on the air.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[34]
6.1 720p 16:9 Main CBWT-DT programming / CBC Television

Analogue-to-digital conversion[edit]

CBWT switched from analogue to digital television broadcasting on December 9, 2011, from its Winnipeg transmitter atop the Richardson Building, after several delays, due to "unforeseen delay that is outside of the Corporation's control," involving antenna erection.[35] CBWT's former analog transmitter was located southwest of Winnipeg at 49°53′43″N 97°08′17″W / 49.89528°N 97.13806°W / 49.89528; -97.13806. CBWT's digital signal operates on UHF channel 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display CBWT's virtual channel as 6.1.


  1. ^ Nash, Knowlton (1994). The Microphone Wars: A History of Triumph and Betrayal at the CBC. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc. p. 241. ISBN 0-7710-6712-7.
  2. ^ "Winnipeg's TV Station Goes Into Acton Starting Monday". Winnipeg Free Press. May 29, 1954. p. 1.
  3. ^ "TV To Storm City Homes In Winter". Winnipeg Free Press. September 16, 1953. pp. 1, 9.
  4. ^ "Winnipeg Is Hub of CBC System". Winnipeg Free Press. May 6, 1958. p. 47.
  5. ^ Henry, Ann (June 1, 1954). "CBWT Makes A Triumphant Debut Here: Two Years Of Plans Pays Off". The Winnipeg Tribune. p. 15.
  6. ^ Finlay, J. R. (May 30, 1954). "Television ... Another CBC Service". CBC Times.
  7. ^ "Winnipeg Fears Valley City TV Will Fog Theirs". Bismarck Tribune. May 29, 1954. p. 7.
  8. ^ "CBWT-Manitoba's First Television Station goes on the air with RCA Victor". Winnipeg Tribune. May 31, 1954. p. 24.
  9. ^ Petrie, Anne (May 31, 1989). 24Hours LateNight: CBWT's 35th Anniversary Look Back (television news). Winnipeg, Manitoba: CBWT (CBC).
  10. ^ "Tv Flip-Flop? Here's an Answer". Winnipeg Free Press. March 14, 1956. p. 8.
  11. ^ "CBC Archive - 1956 - Micro-wave of the future". CBC News. Retrieved September 8, 2006.
  12. ^ "Opening Show Hops Half A Continent". Winnipeg Free Press. September 29, 1956. p. 34.
  13. ^ "CBWT To Switch TV Channel In New Year". Winnipeg Free Press. November 20, 1958. p. 3.
  14. ^ "CBWT Turns It's 'Eye-To-Eye' On Manitoba". Winnipeg Free Press. October 20, 1959. p. 10.
  15. ^ "Viewers To Get Choice Of Channels This Year". Winnipeg Free Press. April 26, 1960. p. 31.
  16. ^ "October Set As Target Date For Change In CBC Channels". Winnipeg Free Press - TV-Radio. April 15, 1964. p. 15.
  17. ^ "CBWT Will Switch to Channel 6". Winnipeg Free Press. November 5, 1964. p. 3.
  18. ^ "CBC Struck, pickets out in Winnipeg". Winnipeg Free Press. May 4, 1981. pp. 1, 4.
  19. ^ "CBC Manitoba loses 86 staff jobs in province". Winnipeg Free Press. December 12, 1984.
  20. ^ MacKenzie, Glen (January 27, 1997). "CBC to erect new quarters, combine into two buildings". Winnipeg Free Press. p. A4.
  21. ^ "Here's A Week Of TV Viewing". Winnipeg Free Press. June 2, 1954.
  22. ^ "February 1961 National Electrical Week". Winnipeg Free Press. February 6, 1961. p. 12.
  23. ^ McIlroy, Randal (May 9, 1981). "Local TV is in 'slow lane'". Winnipeg Free Press. p. 14.
  24. ^ MacKinnon, Marilyn (September 27, 1982). "Broadcast awards nominees selected". Winnipeg Free Press. p. 17.
  25. ^ MacKinnon, Marilyn (October 6, 1982). "Awards show goes on despite technical snafus". Winnipeg Free Press. p. 31.
  26. ^ "Coleman new co-host for CBC's Breakaway". Winnipeg Free Press. June 12, 1987. p. 33.
  27. ^ "Spirit of Breakaway rises: Coleman starts new series of folksy features". Winnipeg Free Press. October 28, 1993. p. C7.
  28. ^ "CRTC Decision 89-114". April 6, 1989.
  29. ^ "CRTC Decision 89-111". April 6, 1989.
  30. ^ "Terhoch cautious about noon news". Winnipeg Free Press. July 31, 1984.
  31. ^ Floyd, Donald (June 13, 1977). "Tough training pays off for CBC's Murray Parker". Winnipeg Free Press. p. 17.
  32. ^ Speaking notes for Hubert T. Lacroix regarding measures announced in the context of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan
  33. ^ "Microwave Hook-Up Gives North Live TV". Winnipeg Free Press. April 29, 1969. p. 28.
  34. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for CBWT-DT
  35. ^ CBC (n.d.), "CBC Television Winnipeg Archived 2011-11-21 at the Wayback Machine" at cbc.radio-canada.ca, accessed 2011-10-04, 2011-12-09.

External links[edit]