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Broadcasting giant trying to elbow its way into Kelowna

Sunday, April 11th, 2010 | 10:19 am

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A screen shot of what Kelowna's version of LOCAL1 would look like. (Photo contributed)

By Joe Fries

A Canadian media heavyweight is trying to elbow its way into three Okanagan cities with a promise of new “hyper-local” TV channels.

Corus Entertainment has applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to begin broadcasting in 64 cities and towns across Western Canada, including Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon.

Currently dubbed LOCAL1, the proposed stations would provide a mix of news, weather and community information all on a “multi-zoned layout.” The parent company has sent a letter to Kelowna city council asking that it support the CRTC application at a time when “some broadcasters are reducing or cancelling local TV programming.”

A website set up to explain the station claims it “will also benefit local merchants in each community.

“The purchase of advertising time on conventional radio and television services is not a viable option for most small businesses. LOCAL1 with its locally tailored content represents an exciting new opportunity for these businesses to reach their customers on a cost-effective basis.”

The website adds, though, that the CRTC dropped the LOCAL1 application from its list of hearings scheduled for April for unspecified reasons. A sidebar on the site says the company’s legal name is Corus Audio and Advertising Services, but “our viewers and advertisers know us as the operators of the TV Listings Channel and EyesOn TV.”

However, that company is owned by Corus Entertainment, a media heavyweight with assets that include YTV, Nickelodeon Canada, Cosmopolitan TV and Movie Central, while its stable of 50 radio stations includes Vancouver’s CFOX and CKNW.

Corus Entertainment took in revenue totalling $789 million in 2009, and its shares trade on stock exchanges in Toronto and New York. The company was spun off from Shaw Communications in 1999.

Meanwhile, Shaw has made a bid to buy the assets of bankrupt Canwest Global Communications, which controls Kelowna’s CHBC-TV. That bid isĀ  awaiting approval from the courts, creditors and the CRTC. Shaw also operates community news channels across Western Canada, including here in the Okanagan.

Broadcasting giant trying to elbow its way into Kelowna5.051

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One Response to “Broadcasting giant trying to elbow its way into Kelowna”

  1. fred says:
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    Good ole CHORUS a huge outside corporation about to bill
    itself as local 1. This is like having Wal-Mart move into
    the communications business and claim it a corner convenience store. There is a problem though with our local stations, some not all. More and more especially in
    TV we see less and less local programing. Oh there are a
    few features but not much. What used to be the Okanagan’s
    Very Own is actually owned by interests far away from here.
    In my view radio wise Astral Media is a great source for
    local content, this media outlet is excellent,
    and Shaw TV are more geared to local.
    We should be supporting our information outlets that are
    already here, rather than supporting outlets that will kill
    jobs already here. What I like about this outlet, kelowna
    .com is you get a great balance of news and you have the
    opportunity to comment and communicate with others as to what it means. now needs to make a major drive
    to get more of us using this as their home page just like
    papers seek subscriptions. It would be a great profile
    raiser. Not enough people know its here and how good it is

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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