CTC (TV station)

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CTC
ACT & Southern New South Wales
City Canberra
Branding Nine
Channels Digital: 6 (VHF)
Affiliations Nine
Owner Southern Cross Austereo
(Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd)
Founded 19 May 1958
First air date 2 June 1962
Call letters' meaning Capital
Television
Canberra
Former affiliations Independent (1962–1989)
Network Ten (1989–2016)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Website www.nineon5.com.au

CTC is a television station in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. The station was the tenth to begin transmission in regional Australia, and the 26th station in Australia as a whole.[1] CTC has an affiliation agreement to show content from the Nine Network. Just as it has had a number of owners, CTC has also had many different identities on-air – including CTC-TV, Super 7, Capital 7, 10 TV Australia, Capital Television, Ten Capital, Southern Cross Ten and Channel 9.[2] The station is owned and operated by Southern Cross Nine.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The station's history can be traced back to 19 May 1958, when Canberra Television Limited (or CTL), a public company, was formed by executives of The Federal Capital Press of Australia Pty. Ltd. (owner of The Canberra Times newspaper) and Canberra Broadcasters Pty. Ltd. (owner of local radio station 2CA).[3] Both companies injected 45,000 (A$A90,000) into the business in order to apply for the Canberra-area commercial television licence.[3] The first chairman of the newly formed company was Arthur Shakespeare, founder of The Canberra Times. Alongside four other applicants, CTL submitted their licence application to the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in April 1959. The company went public in September of the same year, on the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney, offering 100,000 shares which were immediately oversubscribed, ending up with a total subscribed capital of A£300,000 (A$600,000).[3] The two key shareholders in CTL made an agreement with all other shareholders that all shares were to be bought back in the event that they were unsuccessful in their licence bid — they need not have worried, since after a hearing of considerable length, the ABCB decided to grant CTL the licence in November 1960. The callsign for the station was to be CTC and the new service was to transmit on VHF channel 7.[3]

Prior to the acquisition of the licence, CTL needed to find suitable sites for both a studio and a transmitter. Initially, Mount Ainslie (approximately 10 km north-east of Canberra's city centre, at an elevation of 842 m above sea level) was considered as a potential transmitter site.[4] It was turned down, however, because it was already under the control of the Department of Civil Aviation (who would be unwilling to surrender or lease the site due to its proximity to the Airport and the Air Force base).[4] It was also determined that a transmitter located atop Mount Ainslie would not provide ample coverage of the entire Canberra area (notable black-spots would have included the Woden and Belconnen districts), nor would there be enough room for the ABC's television transmitter (whose service was due to commence in December 1962) as well as CTC.[4] Other sites considered included Mounts Gray, Bowning, Ginini and Bull's Head.[3]

Ultimately, the site chosen for both the transmitter and the studio was Black Mountain, approximately 5 km west of the city centre at 812 m above sea level. Extensive tests from the site proved that it was the ideal location for the transmitter, with signals adequately covering the Canberra area. The ABC also decided to place their transmitter atop Black Mountain — both would be perched atop guyed masts (as opposed to towers) with each rising to 126 metres and 152 metres, respectively.[5] ABC's studio would be located in Canberra city proper. In order to access the transmitters and studio, a road needed to be built up to the summit — construction commenced in July 1961. CTL were granted the lease to the Black Mountain site on 26 September 1961.[5]

The studio complex, which, in later years, would be affectionately known as 'the tin shed' was planned, designed and constructed by Civil and Civic Pty. Ltd. over a period of 28 weeks (from September 1961 – March 1962) at a total cost of £77,912 (A$155,824). Occupying a 9400 square metre (101,000 square feet) site, the complex featured a 140-square-metre studio area and was fitted out with RCA equipment — two 4½" image orthicon cameras were purchased for use in the studio at a cost of £8,000 (A$16 000) each. The transmitter (whose mast was erected in March 1962) was custom-designed by Co-El of Italy, and the mast EPT Limited in Sydney.[3]

Opening night[edit]

CTC-7 launches on 2 June 1962

By April 1962, both the studio and transmitter was completed and the first test patterns were transmitted. On 23 May 1962 at 5:45pm, the first live test transmission took place with the Safety Bureau Officer, Senior Constable T. A. M. Cooper presenting a 13-minute public service announcement on the proper use of fireworks.[6]

Although CTC 7 commenced transmission at 6pm on 2 June 1962 with various program promotions and a documentary on the construction of the CTC studios, the official opening was not to take place until 7pm — as well as Postmaster-General Davidson, CTL chairmen A. T. Shakespeare, Sir Patrick McGovern and station manager George Barlin also assisted with the opening proceedings.[7] An introduction to CTC's on-screen personalities was followed by a news summary. Viewers were then treated to a film of the Queen's Birthday Procession from the military barracks at Duntroon (filmed earlier that day), followed by an hour of variety with The B.P. Super Show hosted by Margaret Fonteyn.[7] The detective series Michael Shayne made its premiere on CTC then a kinescope of the opening ceremony was screened. The first night's programming concluded with an epilogue and a preview of the following day's programmes before ending transmission at 10:30pm.[7]

1970s – Colouring the Capital[edit]

CTC was a pioneer of colour television, commissioning the first purpose-built colour production studio and film laboratory in Australia. The new facility in Watson, North Canberra opened in October 1974 costing over A$2,000,000[8] and boasted sales and administration, a full size production studio supplemented by two smaller studios for commercial recordings and on-air presentation.[9] As the facility was fully equipped only with colour equipment over 80% of the broadcasts were in colour, five months before the official commencement date of 1 March 1975. Technically in breach of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board rules, CTC was the first television station in Australia to broadcast the majority of its output in colour.[8] A rare piece of CTC colour news film from 21 October 1974 can be seen at the National Film and Sound Archive.

1980s – From Super 7 to Channel 10[edit]

"Telecom Tower" a film by CTC, 1980

Kerry Stokes bought the station in July 1980 and at the same time operators of WIN 4 Wollongong increased their stake from 5 to 14 per cent. At the time Kerry Stokes owned a share in the Golden West Network in Western Australia.[10]

Capital 7 identity 1981

The succeeding period is broadly seen as golden era for local television in Canberra with an increase in staff, resources and production. Though the quality of some of the station's output would be somewhat debated by viewers. The station shrugged off its decidedly 70s Super 7 branding and the call sign letters CTC were reintroduced to the station identity.

The 1980s were an exciting time in Canberra a new, but maturing city. Telecom Tower, a 195.2 metres (640 ft) broadcasting facility atop Black Mountain opened on 15 May 1980 and quickly became a major Canberra landmark. A vital link for television and telephone connections between Sydney and Melbourne, the tower also became the transmission site for CTC's primary VHF 7 signal alongside ABC on VHF 3 and ABC FM 101.9.[11] CTC's original studio building was demolished to make way for the tower and the station produced a 12 minute film on the construction of Telecom Tower which was shown at the visitor's centre.

No sooner had Telecom Tower opened, work commenced on Canberra's other most prominent landmark – a new Parliament House. A building so large it would have its own postcode. In the winter of 1981 CTC embarked upon a massive rebrand. A new logo emulating the iconic flag that would eventually fly above the new Parliament House was introduced and Capital 7 burst on to screens. Reflecting Canberra's status as the heart of the nation, the station produced a 60 second feel-good promo Song for Canberra which featured early earthworks at Parliament House and showcased a vibrant and young capital.

Under Stokes the number of broadcast hours increased and the local news bulletin was scaled up from a 15 minute auxiliary to a full local, national and international service. In 1982 breakfast television commenced on CTC, with a relay of Nine Network programming. Canberra's only television station beginning to more closely resembling a metropolitan station and in 1983 CTC turned 21. The station celebrated with a slight re-brand and the introduction of a new jingle Look at Us. A one-minute promo explaining to the viewers how professional the new image was went to air that year.

In 1987 the Broadcasting (Ownership and Control) Act replaced the Two TV Station rule – which had capped ownership of Metropolitan TV stations at two – with a 60% Reach rule.[12] This would pave the way for major changes in television ownership in Australia as the three television networks expanded beyond Sydney and Melbourne, buying their affiliates in other capitals. At the time Kerry Stokes owned ADS 7 Adelaide, CTC 7 in Canberra and had just won the licence for NEW 10 in Perth. Stokes had planned to buy the Seven Network from John Fairfax which would have seen CTC align with ATN 7 Sydney and HSV 7 Melbourne. Stokes offered $100 million more than rival Christopher Skase for Seven, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Not able to build a metropolitan television network and with the costs associated with regional television aggregation looming, Stokes decided to sell. On 7 August 1987 Kerry Stokes sold CTC to Northern Star Holdings, owners of Network Ten along with ADS Adelaide and the licence for NEW Perth.[13] In Adelaide, ADS 7 swapped frequencies later that year with SAS 10. CTC was already broadcasting on VHF 10 in the Tuggeranong Valley, Cooma and Goulburn (around a third of the potential audience), so a swap to VHF 10 wasn't viable. CTC would continue to be known as Capital 7 for another 18 months.

An adapted version of the TEN X logo was created for CTC, 1988

In 1988, CTC's programming began to evolve closer to Ten stations while still airing content from all three networks. In January Nine's Today Show was replaced with Network Ten's Good Morning Australia and the half hour evening news was re-branded Eyewitness News. In September Eyewitness News launched a new a one-hour bulletin, bringing it in to line with the rest of the network.[14] By the end of 1988 the news was branded Ten News and with that Capital 7 disappeared and Capital TEN Television had arrived;[15] CTC's new identity emulated that of its new sister stations TEN Sydney, ATV Melbourne, TVQ Brisbane, ADS Adelaide and NEW Perth. The X logo was adopted denominated with Capital Television in place of TEN used for the other network stations. Network promos remained branded as TEN and the station began to be known locally as 'Capital 10'.

On 1 January 1989 CTC commenced daily 24-hour broadcasting for the first time.[16] A revelation to Canberrans for whom television had ceased shortly after midnight each evening, not commencing until 6am the following day. Now armed with Network Ten's stream of programs and branding, CTC was able to stay on the air all night, taking a feed from Sydney for the midnight-dawn shift.

In 1989 Ten's ratings were in decline so on 23 July, the recently recruited network boss Bob Shanks relaunched the network as 10 TV Australia. CTC became 10 TV Australia with the denominator Capital in place of the city name used in the metropolitan markets.

Meanwhile owners Northern Star Holdings were having financial and regulatory problems. The company was subject to an inquiry by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal in relation to media ownership rules[17] and had run into financial difficulties following the 1987 stock market crash two years earlier. On 1 September 1989, Northern Star Holdings announced a major restructure to pay off debts and help restore profitability. The proposals included selling off the network's three smaller stations; ADS Adelaide, NEW Perth and CTC Canberra to Charles Curran's Capital Television Group. The sale was complete on 27 October 1989, effectively splitting Northern Star's Network Ten in half[18] and ending CTC's brief stint as a fully fledged member of Network Ten.

1990s – A Capital idea[edit]

The financial difficulties continued for Northern Star Holdings and on 14 September 1990 Network Ten, which by then consisted only of TEN Sydney, ATV Melbourne and TVQ Brisbane, went into receivership. By this time the TV Australia moniker had all but disappeared from network branding.[19] On 13 January 1991 TV Australia was replaced with the launch of The Entertainment Network, a backronym that repositioned the network toward a younger demographic. At this time CTC dropped all Channel 10 branding in favour of Capital Television, the name of its parent company. The station took on an original ribbon logo for Capital Television reminiscent of the iconic Capital 7 flag of the 1980s. The station ID was a modified version of The Entertainment Network identity of Network Ten.

It was at this time that CTC ceased 24-hour broadcasting after only two years. CTC's branding no longer matched Network Ten, so rather than confuse Capital Television viewers with Channel 10 after midnight, the station would go off air around 1am.

By 1993 Charles Curran was planning to expand his regional television holdings in NSW and bid to buy NRTV. The move could have trebled the reach of Capital Television in the state taking in Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and Taree. Curran was unsuccessful and NRTV was bought by a consortium made up of Jack Cowin (Hungry Jacks), Kerry Stokes and Telecasters North Queensland.[20] With little opportunity to expand his regional television holdings, Curren sold CTC to Southern Cross Broadcasting in December 1994, retaining ADS Adelaide and NEW Perth.[21]

CTC's new owners, Southern Cross were quick to rationalise resources at CTC, much as they had done at their existing stations in Victoria. By early 1995 staff cuts had been announced, the local weekend news bulletin had been cancelled and on 6 February CTC was rebranded Ten Capital in a move that would eliminate resources required to rebadge Network Ten station promos and IDs. Interestingly, just five years earlier the station had been known colloquially as Capital Ten. CTC re-commenced 24-hour broadcasting at this time.

2000s – A Star is born[edit]

In the spring of 2001, following a year of rapid growth, Southern Cross cancelled the station's one-hour weekday news bulletin ending 40 years of local news production. CTC was rebranded Southern Cross Ten as the company had acquired Ten affiliate stations in North Queensland from Telecasters Australia and all Ten stations, including CTC, were brought into line with the generic Southern Cross Ten brand. The branding was light, with a simple denominator below the Network Ten logo. For viewers, CTC was for the first time a 100% relay of TEN Sydney, with the only differentiator the insertion of local advertisements and the occasional local weather update.

In 2004 Southern Cross Ten was forced to reintroduce local news content following a ruling by the Australian Broadcasting Authority. The CTC studios in North Canberra became a news hub, with a small team of journalists pre-recording news updates to be broadcast across the Southern Cross Ten network.

In 2005 the Southern Cross Ten Star arrived on screen differentiating the regional stations more clearly from metropolitan Network Ten. Southern Cross Ten continued to largely use Network Ten IDs and promos unchanged, but mixed in Southern Cross Ten versions of network IDs. Community Service Announcements and local news updates were branded with the Southern Cross Ten Star.

2016 – The switch to Channel 9[edit]

On 1 July 2016, Southern Cross changed its programming alliance from Network Ten to the Nine Network in Canberra, southern NSW, Victoria and Queensland as part of a five-year agreement. CTC, along with almost all Southern Cross Ten stations rebranded as Channel 9 ending a 27-year affiliation with Ten.[22] (In Northern NSW Southern Cross Ten continued its Ten affiliation due to Nine owning their existing affiliate, NBN). The change was reminiscent of the 'frequency swap' between ADS and SAS Adelaide in 1987 which became Channel 10 and Channel 7 respectively. CTC is the only television station in Australia that has been known as Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 10.

2017 – Demolition[edit]

In December 2016 Southern Cross Austereo lodged a planning application with the ACT Government to demolish the CTC studios, administration and playout facility to make way for a residential development.[23] The proposed studio campus demolition comes just over a year after WIN television closed its Canberra studios at Kingston, moving its offices to the industrial suburb of Fyshwick.[24] The trend of vast television estates making way for residential developments has been seen in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. In 2009 however, a planned redevelopment of the original ATV studios at Nunawading in Melbourne – the home of Neighbours – was canned due to a slump in property prices.

News and current affairs[edit]

CTC has a long and rich history of quality local news and current affairs production. News bulletins aired for almost 40 years until being axed at the end of 2001. The news format varied over the years but from the early 1970s was a separate 10–20 minute local bulletin followed by national news taken from ATN 7 in Sydney.[25]

Australian Capital News Update title card 1983

In 1980, under new owner Kerry Stokes, CTC scaled up its local news bulletin to 30 minutes at 6pm on weekdays, followed by Seven National News from Sydney.[26] In October 1981 CTC launched its first one-hour local, national and international bulletin, airing at 6pm weeknights presented by Tony Campbell and John Bok.[27] By 1982, John Bok was presenting alongside Laurie Wilson and Australian Capital News was also airing for 30 minutes on weekends.[28]

1982 also saw a big change for CTC's morning newscasting with the introduction of breakfast news television. CTC began broadcasting the Nine Network's National News Today (which would become the National Today Show on 28 June of that year) presented by Canberra broadcasting veteran Steve Liebmann at 7am weekdays.[29] Perhaps in a nod to his local Canberra profile, CTC opted to broadcast Nine's breakfast program rather Network Ten's Good Morning Australia which had been on air for over a year. For the first time in its 20 year history the station was broadcasting daily before 9am.[30]

By 1985 the CTC newsroom boasted 14 journalists, 3 sports journalists and a sports presenter.[31] The nightly bulletin also had the luxury of three camera operators during transmission. On 10 January 1986 John Bok, who had become a high profile personality for CTC in the Canberra community, read his last bulletin to take up a role with ABC in Adelaide.[32] David Allen took over as the station's chief news anchor as the bulletin was scaled down to a half-hour composite.[33]

Having acquired CTC in 1987, Network Ten began an overhaul of the news service. Ken Begg was appointed News Director, joining from ABC replacing Bill Muldrew, with the clear brief to 'make the news better'. The news bulletin was rebranded Eyewitness News aligning with the rest of the network [34] and a late night locally produced half-hour current affairs program called This Week commenced, hosted by David Allen and Niree Creed. The program aired at 10.30pm Thursday evenings and boasted 'international content' which at the time was a point worth making owing to the expensive satellite equipment required to air news from overseas.[35]

Eyewitness News Canberra May 1988

In January 1988 CTC's programming began to more closely emulate that of Network Ten. Nine's Today Show, which CTC had broadcast on weekday mornings for nearly six years, was replaced with Ten's Good Morning Australia, while National Nine Morning News gave way to Ten Eyewitness News This Morning.

Face to Face[edit]

In August 1988 Network Ten launched its own Sunday morning political news program Face to Face. Hosted by then Political Editor for the network, Kerry O'Brien, Face to Face had an identical set at CTC Canberra, ATV Melbourne and TEN Sydney with the program broadcast from whichever city the main guest was in at the time.[36] Face to Face would run until 1989 and was the first national program to be produced and broadcast from CTC.

The News Hour Returns[edit]

Ten News Canberra 1990 (L-R) Christine Kininmonth, Geoff Hiscock, Greg Robson

On Monday 19 September 1988 CTC's new one-hour Eyewitness News bulletin went to air at 6pm – just in time to cover day two of the Seoul Olympics.[37] Anchored by veteran ABC newscaster Geoff Hiscock and TV8's Christine Kininmonth alongside weather presenter Mike Larkin and sports presenter Greg Robson. The team would steer CTC through the impending launch of two rival commercial stations which would see the viewing audience split into three within six months. A new set was constructed at the CTC studios in North Canberra in the same style as other Network Ten stations. During construction the news had been temporarily broadcast from Black Mountain Tower.[38]

By March 1989 the bulletin had be re-branded Ten News and CTC was a fully fledged Network Ten station in time for the arrival of Prime and WIN.[39]

The station's commitment to metropolitan quality news saw CTC defy other Network Ten affiliates in Australia, maintaining a number one position in the ratings for three years after Prime and WIN commenced broadcasting in Canberra.[40] The one-hour locally produced bulletin would remain on screens almost unchanged for 13 years. For a time, the bulletin was also shown across the entire southern NSW licence area, before it was scaled back to Canberra due to low ratings.

In 1991 the news bulletin was re-branded Capital Eyewitness News, following CTC's name change back to Capital Television.

The First at Five Failure[edit]

Following suit with the rest Network Ten, CTC moved Capital Eyewitness News an hour earlier to 5pm in 1992.[41] The 'First at Five' slogan was emblazoned across Canberra on buses and in newspaper ads. The move to 5pm gave Network Ten an edge in other cities against its rival news bulletins. In Canberra there were no other local/national/international bulletins on air, but the half-hour 6pm local news on rival WIN was proving popular. However, in both a testament to the loyalty of its audience and a question mark over the wisdom of management, the 'First at Five' move was met with fierce protest by viewers. Not only had the beloved 'Channel 7 News' as it was colloquially known been moved an hour earlier, but the 6pm-7pm slot had been filled by the tabloid current affairs programme Hinch and the low-budget American dating show Studs. Canberra was having none of it and CTC restored the bulletin to 6pm within a matter of weeks. Bus ads were hastily amended with stickers covering the timeslot noting the news was 'First at Six'.

The 1993 Canberra TV News War[edit]

Four years after aggregation, Prime, which had had a stop/start approach to local news in Canberra, decided to take on CTC head-to-head with a one-hour local/national/international 6pm news bulletin. Prime's first attempt at news in Canberra saw the station lure CTC alumnus John Bok back from Adelaide in 1989 to produce and front a 30-minute local news bulletin. However Prime couldn't drag the audience from CTC and by the middle of 1991 was scaled back to a five-minute update shown at the end of Seven Nightly News from Sydney.[42] In 1993 Prime decided to try again and a team of 26 including Ken Begg and Geoff Hiscock, both poached from CTC, were brought together to upgrade Prime's news. The now nationally known faces of Melissa Doyle and Jessica Rowe would also join Prime's news team. Meanwhile, sports presenter Greg Robson took over from Hiscock anchoring Capital Eyewitness News at CTC alongside Kininmonth and WIN maintained its half-hour local news bulletin anchored by veteran Canberra broadcaster Peter Leonard. Prime's 6 O'clock News commenced on 1 March 1993 amid a high-profile advertising campaign.[43] For the first time since aggregation, viewers had the choice of three locally produced television 6pm news bulletins, two of which were composite local, national and international. 1993 would go down in history as the pinnacle of local TV choice for Canberra, with buses and newspapers plastered with the faces of three newsrooms. But it wasn't to last and by Christmas 1993[44] Prime had scaled back its one-hour composite to a half-hour local bulletin. Capital Eyewitness News prevailed as the number one news program followed by fierce rival WIN. The newscast, with the purchase of Southern Cross Broadcasting of the channel, became Ten Capital Eyewitness News in 1994, and later on as Ten News on Capital[45] that same year, in line with the Network Ten news rebrand, moving back to 5PM after 2 years.

1995 – The beginning of the end[edit]

Ten Capital News promo with team circa 2000

The newsroom on CTC was subject to extensive staff cuts and the cancellation of the half-hour weekend bulletin was the most obvious sign things were changing. Over the next five years, limited resources were invested into the newsroom and technical glitches were becoming more obvious to viewers. Ten year old camera tapes were having to be reused with tape wear showing on screen. Sound desks from the early 1970s were also beginning to fail leading to breaks in audio on-air. Despite the lack of investment in technical equipment, the CTC newsroom maintained its legacy of quality news through its selection of local and national stories and broad coverage of international news.

By 1997, the bulletin had simplified its name to Ten Capital News. The 1990s had been a decade of soft ratings for Network Ten and the legacy of CTC's 'Channel 7' glory days had long been forgotten. Owners Southern Cross Broadcasting tapped the final nail in the coffin of the locally produced news bulletin in 2001 blaming declining audience and the expense of upgrading equipment for digital broadcasting. The axing, in the same year as Prime cancelled its half-hour local bulletin in Canberra, sparked an Australian Broadcasting Authority investigation into regional television news.[46] No news bulletins were restored as a result.

Southern Cross Ten Canberra news update with Jared Coote 2016

Local news was re-introduced to the station in 2004 in the form of three-minute updates at various times of the day. The news updates were produced by Southern Cross News and aired from the CTC Canberra studios. A local half-hour magazine program called State Focus also commenced production at this time to contribute to minimum local content rules. State Focus aired on Sunday mornings before Meet the Press.

CTC aired the one-hour weekday state and half-hour weekend national Ten Eyewitness News bulletins from TEN Sydney at 5pm as well as The Project and The Bolt Report. State level and national news updates from TEN Sydney were also broadcast.

2016 – Nine News[edit]

On 1 July 2016, Southern Cross Austereo changed its on air affiliation deal for its Southern Cross Ten stations to align with the Nine Network. Today, CTC broadcasts Nine News editions from Sydney (national and state, now only on weekends) as well as A Current Affair and 60 Minutes, and for the first time since 1988, Today and Today Extra plus the Sydney national and state updates.

Locally produced news updates continued on CTC after the change to Channel 9, however owners Southern Cross Austereo announced they would 'scale up' the three-minute 'rip and read' news updates with the re-introduction of full news bulletins at the earliest opportunity ending years of dependence on national and state newscasts.[47]

Nine News Canberra with Vanessa O’Hanlon promo January 2017

In November 2016 the Nine Network announced it would commence production of 15 localised news bulletins including a one-hour service for Canberra. While journalists will be based at the CTC offices in North Canberra, the bulletin would read from TCN studios in Sydney, contrary to earlier speculation the Watson news studios would be brought back to life.[48] The weather segment is pre-recorded at NBN in Newcastle.

Former ABC weather presenter Vanessa O’Hanlon was announced as the anchor for the service at the Nine Network's 2017 program launch.[49] On 18 January 2017, News Director Mike Dalton announced the first bulletin reporters for CTC in 15 years as Harry Frost and Rosana Kingsun (both from WIN News Canberra), Emma Larouche (from GTS/BKN Southern Cross News presented from Canberra) and Mike Lorigan (NBN News Central Coast).

On 6 February 2017 the first edition of Nine News Canberra went to air. The bulletin is produced in the same way as NBN News in Newcastle, where a generic bulletin framework is read live, with a 12–15 minute local opt-out window inserted for local markets. The Nine News Canberra bulletin framework will be shared with Illawarra, Riverina and Central West markets, each with its own local news window. The weather segment for Canberra is pre-recoded at NBN studios in Newcastle. The historic first broadcast marked a return to local news for the station after 15 years.

Presenters[edit]

  • Venessa O'Hanlon
  • Mike Lorigan (Sport)
  • Gavin Morris (Weather)

Reporters[edit]

  • Harry Frost
  • Emma Larouche
  • Rosana Kingsun

Former Presenters[edit]

  • Jared Coote
  • Amy La Porte
  • Ali Drower
  • Greg Robson
  • Penelope Heath
  • Pepita Bulloch
  • Andrea Close
  • Peter Champan
  • Greg Hughes
  • Mike Larkin
  • Christine Kininmonth
  • Geoff Hiscock
  • Mal Grieve
  • Frank Jones
  • David Brice
  • Karen Barlin
  • Laurie Wilson
  • John Bok
  • Karen Milliner
  • David Allen
  • Niree Creed
  • Brian Shrowder
  • Sonja Allitt
  • Rosemary Church
  • Kathryn Robinson

Former Reporters[edit]

  • Craig Allen
  • Mark Corcoran
  • Jeremy Flynn
  • Andrew Messenger
  • Anthony Robertson
  • Suzanne Mostyn
  • Donna Cole
  • Jo Mazzochi
  • Stephen Taylor
  • Craig Norenbergs

Entertainment Programs[edit]

An Evening With[edit]

An Evening With was a variety program which aired from 1966 to 1967. Co-produced by Jack Sluyters and David Brice, who was also the host, An Evening With was broadcast monthly featuring both Canberra-based and interstate talent. The first episode went to air at 9.30pm on Tuesday 23 August 1966 and was entitled An Evening With Treblefolk, a local trio formed by Brian Triglone who is still involved in folk music in Canberra today. Little Pattie appeared as the main performer in a 1967 episode.

Tonight in Canberra[edit]

Frank Jones talks with journalist Sue Smith and Seven National News presenter Roger Climpson during Tonight circa 1975

Tonight in Canberra was a short-lived series which aired in 1968 from April to August on Mondays at 10.05pm. The series presented a mix of interviews and variety acts. It was hosted by David Brice, who was assisted by Steve Liebmann. The content varied in entertainment quality with one episode featuring an interview with Christmas card designer Gordon Fraser and an interview with an inspector for the RSPCA while a different episode featured an interview with NSW Minister for Lands, Tom Lewis, and an interview with chairman of the ACT Advisory Council, Jim Pead.

While working for CTC, presenter David Brice optioned the rights of a book by Don and Elizabeth Coleman about a student protest against an Asian security conference to be held in Canberra. Demonstrator commenced filming in September 1970. The film was released the following year and achieved some success in Canberra but was a commercial and critical disappointment.

Tonight with Frank Jones[edit]

Tonight with Frank Jones was a revival of the variety show format produced at CTC, airing on Saturday nights at 9.30pm in the mid-1970s.

Meeting in the Middle[edit]

Meeting in the Middle was an innovative early Sunday evening chat show hosted by Canberra teenagers that ran for 26 weeks from 17 June 1979. Teenagers interviewed celebrities asking questions they devised themselves. The show was the brain child of Desmond Bishop, who ran the Canberra Children’s Television Workshop at CTC and aimed 'to bridge the generation gap'.

Constable Kenny Koala on Duty with Sergeant Bully 1985

Constable Kenny on Duty[edit]

In the 1980s Constable Kenny on Duty was essential viewing, appearing during the afternoon program Children's Hour. Alongside the ever grumpy Sergeant Bully, Kenny would teach Canberra boys and girls important life lessons, such as how to cross the road safely. The program also included trips to the local zoo and letters from viewers. Constable Kenny had previously appeared in a programs called Constable Kenny's Casebook and Junior Police 7.

Rock Till Dawn[edit]

At the end of 1985 CTC followed the trend of metropolitan stations and introduced a midnight till dawn music video program running on Friday and Saturday night. Hosted by local radio DJ Rob Duckworth, Rock Till Dawn featured studio performances and interviews as well as standard music videos.[50] A clip of Rock Till Dawn can be seen today featuring the Doug Anthony All Stars in which host Rob incorrectly refers to the studio location as Dickson, when in fact he was further up Northbourne Avenue in Watson.

The Up-Late Game Show hosted by Simon Deering

Up-Late Game Show[edit]

In 2005 the first regular, nationally broadcast TV program in 16 years was produced at CTC studios in Canberra. The Up-Late Game Show was a 90-minute late night interactive television quiz program shown across Network Ten, written and hosted by Big Brother contestant Simon Deering, commonly known by the nickname Hotdogs. The show's format had the host presenting simple puzzles which viewers could attempt to solve over the phone. Successfully solving a puzzle would result in a cash prize for the contestant. The program had two series and went to air for the final time on time on Friday 15 December 2006.

Community and Sport[edit]

1987 Canberra Birdman Rally on CTC, background shows an unfinished Parliament House

CTC's Community Billboard was synonymous with early evening viewing in Canberra in the 1970s and 1980s. Read by a member of the news team, Community Billboard was a five-minute presentation of upcoming not-for-profit community events around the Capital. When the station was acquired by Network Ten in 1987, Community Billboard was scaled back to three minutes so it could run within commercial breaks during the day. The mini-program ran on CTC for 30 years until the format was adopted by local rivals WIN and Prime and subsequently dropped by CTC.

In the 1970s and 80s CTC's weekend schedule was heavily padded with local and national sport coverage. A four-hour program Sports Action dominated the schedule on Saturday afternoons, showing a selection of sporting events from around the country. With only one commercial television station in Canberra, whether to show AFL or Rugby League matches was always a hotly contentious issue.

The Canberra Birdman Rally broadcast by CTC from 1985–1992 during the Canberra Festival was possibly the most visible community event run by the station. At its peak, over 100,000 spectators would line Lake Burley Griffin to watch contestants jump from a 10 metre platform, aiming to glide 50 metres to win the $10,000 prize.

CTC Identity[edit]

Logos and visual identity history
CTC TV
CTC TV 1960s 
7 CTC TV
7 CTC TV circa 1975 
Super 7
Super 7 late 1970s 
CTC-TV 7
CTC-TV 7 1980–1981 
Capital 7
Capital 7 1981–1988 
CTC X
Capital 10 1988–89 
Capital 10 TV Australia
Capital 10 TV Australia 1989–1991 
Capital Television Ribbon
Capital Television 1991–1995 
Ten Capital
Ten Capital 1995–2001 
Southern Cross Ten
Southern Cross Ten 2001–2005 
Southern Cross Ten
Southern Cross Ten 2005–2016 
Channel 9
Channel 9 2016 

Main transmitters[edit]

Region served City Channels
(Analog/
Digital)
First air date ERP
(Analog/
Digital)
HAAT
(Analog/
Digital)
1
Transmitter Coordinates Transmitter Location
Canberra Canberra 7 (VHF)2
6 (VHF)
2 June 1962 200 kW
50 kW
345 m
335 m
35°16′32″S 149°5′52″E / 35.27556°S 149.09778°E / -35.27556; 149.09778 (CTC) Black Mountain
Central Tablelands Orange 33 (UHF)2
43 (UHF)
30 December 1989 2000 kW
570 kW
627 m
628 m
33°20′32″S 148°59′1″E / 33.34222°S 148.98361°E / -33.34222; 148.98361 (CTC) (analog)
33°20′31″S 148°58′59″E / 33.34194°S 148.98306°E / -33.34194; 148.98306 (CTC) (digital)
Mount Canobolas
Central Western Slopes Dubbo 35 (UHF)2
46 (UHF)
30 December 1989 1000 kW
150 kW
648 m
653 m
31°20′32″S 149°1′22″E / 31.34222°S 149.02278°E / -31.34222; 149.02278 (CTC) Mount Cenn Cruaich
Illawarra & Regional Sydney Wollongong 62 (UHF)2
37 (UHF)
31 March 1989 950 kW
250 kW
619 m
600 m
34°37′23″S 150°41′39″E / 34.62306°S 150.69417°E / -34.62306; 150.69417 (CTC) (analog)
34°37′8″S 150°41′49″E / 34.61889°S 150.69694°E / -34.61889; 150.69694 (CTC) (digital)
Knights Hill
South Western Slopes and Eastern Riverina Wagga Wagga 35 (UHF)2
51 (UHF)
30 December 1989 1600 kW
600 kW
525 m
540 m
34°49′13″S 147°54′5″E / 34.82028°S 147.90139°E / -34.82028; 147.90139 (CTC) Mount Ulandra

Notes:

  • 1. HAAT estimated from http://www.itu.int/SRTM3/ using EHAAT.
  • 2. Analogue transmissions ceased as of 5 June 2012 as part of the national shutdown of analogue television

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "50 years of TV in Canberra". TelevisionAu.com. 
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  4. ^ a b c "Canberra's Highest Building Finished In Record Time". The Canberra Times. 28 May 1962. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "Black Mountain Ideal As Site Of TV Transmitter". Goulburn Evening Post. 5 June 1962. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  6. ^ "First Live Transmission". The Canberra Times. 24 May 1962. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  7. ^ a b c "CTC-7 Station Opened". The Canberra Times. 4 June 1962. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Barnett, Bronwyn. "Regional television: from colour to digital". National Film & Sound Archive. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 
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  12. ^ "Media Ownership Regulation Australia". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
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  16. ^ . 31 December 1988 https://www.myheritage.com/research/record-10450-8912227/canberra-times-act. Retrieved 23 December 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ "Sydney Morning Herald". 1 June 1988. 
  18. ^ "Northern Star Holdings Ltd.". Worldwide Company Profile. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "Ten News Canberra (Sept 1990)". You Tube. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
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  22. ^ Joyce, James. "The Canberra Times". Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  23. ^ Planning Alerts https://www.planningalerts.org.au/applications/759930. Retrieved 20 January 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  31. ^ "The Canberra Times". 18 February 1985. Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
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  34. ^ "Canberra TV 1988 – Opening of Australia's Parliament House (Capital 7, Canberra)". You Tube. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
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  37. ^ "The Canberra Times". 19 September 1988. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
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  39. ^ "Thursday 30 March 1989 — CANBERRA". Television AU. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
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  43. ^ "Monday 1 March 1993 — CANBERRA". Television AU. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  44. ^ Rosenberg, Jen (3 October 1994). "Hiscock sensed the axe would fall". The Canberra Times: The Guide p 12. 
  45. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-PfJtpGPjI
  46. ^ "Adequacy of local news and information programs on commercial television services in Regional Queensland, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Regional Victoria" (PDF). ACMA. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  47. ^ Joyce, James (1 May 2016). "Southern Cross Austereo to increase local TV content following Nine deal". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
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  49. ^ McIlwain, Kate (8 November 2016). "Three new faces of Nine's regional news revealed". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  50. ^ "Billboard". 9 November 1985: A24.