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Local television employees optimistic following news that station has sold

Saturday, February 13th, 2010 | 5:00 am

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By Kathy Michaels

The atmosphere at Global Okanagan was a lot lighter today than it’s been in awhile, says the representative of the station’s unionized employees.

“Generally among our members here, there’s a lot of optimism,” said Jim Failes, president of CEP M1 Okanagan, on news that a deal to sell the station was underway.

“The mere thought that we may sometime soon be talking to an employer that has bagloads of money, rather than bagloads of debts has made it a happier day here than it’s been in quite some time.”

This morning it was announced that Canwest Global Communications struck a deal that will see Global TV and a handful of specialty channels move under the control of Calgary-based Shaw Communications.

As of today, no price had been announced but in October Canwest went into creditor protection as a means to manage the massive amount of debt it acquired, and that’s led industry experts to speculate that  Shaw would have negotiated a discount.

Today’s events are a nice change of pace for CHBC employees, who have otherwise had a tumultuous year. They had  been dealing with potential closure for the better part of a year and those who are there today survived an earlier cut that saw 22 employees losing their jobs.

Failes noted that there’s no way to tell how the change of ownership will impact employees, but he doesn’t believe it will be negative.

kathy@kelowna.com

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