CHEK-TV (channel 6) is a television station based in Victoria, British Columbia and broadcasting to all of southwestern BC (including Vancouver). The station has been operating since December 1956 and is the first and oldest privately-owned station in British Columbia (only CBC-owned CBUT in Vancouver is older).
CHEK is currently operating as an independent station, broadcasting a schedule consisting of infomercials, news, movies, and other local programming. The station is owned and operated by CHEK Media Group, a consortium of station employees and local investors.
The station transmits its main terrestrial signal from a tower atop Mount Warburton Pike on Saturna Island. The station is also carried on Bell TV channel 255 and Shaw Direct channel 358 on the classic lineup and 7 on the advanced lineup.
CBC and CTV affiliation
CHEK's first logo, used from 1956 to the early 1960sCHEK (which changed its call sign from CKTV prior to going on the air) launched on December 1, 1956 as a CBC affiliate, operating from studios on Epsom Drive in Saanich and under the ownership of David Armstrong, who also owned Victoria radio station CKDA. Initially, the radio and television stations shared staff such as Andy Steven (who was CHEK's first news director) and Kieth MacKenzie (sports director). CHEK was the only local television station operating on Vancouver Island before CHUM Limited's CIVI-TV launched in October 2001. Logo used from early 1960s to 1963; it is the first known case of CHEK using a "check mark" as its logo.CHAN-TV and CHEK-TV shared this logo in the 60s, it was often used when they simulcasted programming.In 1963, CHEK was purchased by businessman Frank Griffiths, who also owned CTV-affiliated CHAN-TV (BCTV) in Vancouver. By September of that year, CHEK's schedule consisted of some CTV programming and simulcasts of CHAN-originated shows mixed in with the CBC network schedule, along with CHEK-based local productions and syndicated programs not aired on CHAN; this setup continued into the late 1960s/early 1970s, when CHAN started to time-shift network shows. CHEK would also air CBC programmes in the afternoon and prime-time while running CTV shows like University of the Air and Canada AM in the morning (simulcast with CHAN).
In 1972, CHEK, which had simulcast CHAN's News Hour since the Griffiths purchase (and would continue to do so until 2001), began producing its own news program, Vancouver Island News Hour. It aired at 5:30 p.m. before the CHAN News Hour, and at 11:15 p.m. following CBC's The National. At one stage, CHEK used the same flower logo as CHAN, but later reverted back to its own logo. Logo from 1976 to 1978Starting around the 1978-1979 season, CHEK gradually added more CTV shows in prime-time (time-shifted from CHAN). On January 5, 1981, when CBC launched CBUT repeater stations at Sooke and Mount McDonald, CHEK-TV disaffiliated from CBC and became a full-time CTV station. Logo from 1978 to early 1980s. A variant of BCTV's dogwood logo was used from in the early 70s and early 80s.In 1982, Western International Communications (WIC) bought 59% of CHEK. They bought the remaining 41% from Selkirk Communications in 1989 when that company sold most of its broadcasting assets.
On January 8, 1984, CHEK moved from its original studios in Saanich to its present location at 780 Kings Road, a studio which was to have been used by a proposed Victoria CBC Television station (which ultimately never went to air due to lack of funding). Logo from mid-1990s to 1997, meant to resemble a checkerboard.Logo from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s.Prior to 2001, CHEK also broadcast many of the same programs as CHAN on a time-shifted basis; as with CHAN, this was a mixture of CTV network programming and WIC-owned programming (usually drawn from the schedule of CHCH Hamilton), although the WIC programming usually differed from that aired on CHAN. The launch of Baton Broadcasting's CIVT in 1997 further complicated the distribution of CTV network programming in southwestern British Columbia, with CIVT becoming the area's third station (after BCTV and CHEK) to carry CTV programming. However, after BCTV strengthened its own morning newscast around 2000, CHEK became the only station in B.C. airing Canada AM, as CIVT aired its own local morning program.
Canwest takes ownership
Last logo before becoming part of CH, used from 1997 to 2001. For logos used as CH and E!, see E! (Canada)CHEK came under ownership of Canwest in 2000 after that company's acquisition of WIC. This acquisition set off a major affiliation switch among TV stations in southwestern BC in 2001, with both CHEK and BCTV disaffiliating from CTV, and CIVT becoming the sole CTV station in British Columbia. BCTV and CHEK's affiliation agreements with CTV were originally due to end in 2000; they were extended to expire on September 1, 2001 in view of the uncertainty surrounding the local media landscape.
After disaffiliating from CTV, CHEK became part of Canwest's new CH system. It rebranded as CH Vancouver Island, and took on a schedule similar to CH Hamilton. CHEK aired 15–20 hours of news programs a week, and often programs usually shown on CHAN that were moved to accommodate their news programming. It also took Sports Page from former Global O&O CKVU, but the program continued to be produced at CHAN until its cancellation in September 2005.
After 19 years at the station, news anchor Hudson Mack left CHEK in 2004. He joined CIVI as its news director on September 1, and became CIVI's 5pm news anchor on October 11. As a result, Sophie Lui returned from CHAN-TV and joined CIVT's former Victoria bureau chief Ed Watson as the pair became the station's main anchors.
CHEK celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006; as part of the celebrations, it aired vignettes of station promos from the pre-CH era during commercial breaks. Another short vignette was also introduced consisting of CHEK's logos and station IDs through the years, from their first in 1956 to the CH logo it used up until September 7, 2007 when CHEK's news programming adopted the CHEK News brand, a partial reversal of the current trend for Canadian TV networks and systems to use solely network branding for their owned stations as a result of the rebranding of CH to E!. The logo used for newscasts since 2007. It was the de facto branding of the station from 2007-2009.On August 25, 2008, news production for CHEK News shifted from Victoria to Vancouver, with the addition of a new virtual set, and a launch of a new program, CHEK News: Island 30 focused on news stories outside of Victoria. The program was retweaked months later into a newsmagazine and renamed to simply Island 30. On January 3, 2009, CHEK began simulcasting CHAN's broadcast of Global National at 5:30 p.m., the first time CHEK has simulcast its former sister station's programming since the affiliation switch of September 1, 2001.
Ownership by CHEK Media Group
On February 5, 2009, Canwest announced it would explore "strategic options", including possible sale, for CHEK and its other E! stations, saying "a second conventional TV network is no longer key to the long-term success" of the company.
On July 22, 2009, after failing to find a buyer, Canwest announced it would be closing CHEK as of August 31, 2009, issuing layoff notices to staff. CIVI-TV would then become the sole terrestrial station in Victoria. Shortly after this, the employees of CHEK announced a takeover plan to acquire 25% of the station and find local investors to own the remaining 75%. They also organized a campaign to support the plan and save CHEK.
On August 27, 2009, CHEK employees announced that they had raised $2.5 million for the buyout plan; however, the following day, Canwest announced that the employee buyout did not meet Canwest's guidelines to keep the station on the air, and the station had no programming and advertising lined up beyond August 31, at which date Canwest would permanently shut down the station. CHEK would have closed down following the late newscast and a retrospective on the station's history.
On its 5PM newscast of August 31, 2009, however, CHEK-TV announced that its shutdown would be put on hold, and that it would continue broadcasting while negotiations between Canwest and the prospective new owners continue. Facing a new deadline of September 4, Canwest announced on that date that it had reached a deal to sell the station to CHEK employees and local investors (known as CHEK Media Group) for $2. Canwest would continue to provide transitional support for CHEK, including some programming, use of its Vancouver studios, and leasing, at "favourable rates," the 780 Kings Road studios to the new owners with the assumption of various station liabilities. The sale was approved by the CRTC on November 9.
After the sale's announcement, station manager John Pollard revealed to CBC News that CHEK would operate as a local independent station, with no plans to simulcast US programming.
CHEK Media Group took control of the station's programming after that announcement on that date,  CHEK disaffiliated from E! (which shut down a few days prior), adopted a new schedule includes a mix of movies and older programming (both Canadian and American in origin); syndicated programming; and a greater emphasis on local news, including a new 10PM newscast that launched on September 1, 2009. and reverted to branding itself as simply CHEK. With no plans to simulcast US programming at some point, CHEK would add, in sparse amounts, additional programming during the 2009-2010 season, including Let's Get It On, a mixed martial arts program; Ed the Sock's This Movie Sucks!, a movie show featuring the former MuchMusic character alongside co-host Liana Kerzner and comedian Ron Sparks; and infomercials.
On December 16, 2009, Tony Parsons anchored his final newscast at Global BC after 35 years of being the anchor of the News Hour. Tony Parsons began anchoring the 10 PM newscast at CHEK on March 15, 2010.
In April 2010, CHEK and the CBC started a news sharing agreement, in which both stations would share news stories and resources. Tony Parsons also joined the CBC to anchor CBUT's evening newscast, CBC News: Vancouver, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM; Parsons will fly to Victoria after that program to anchor CHEK's 10 PM newscast. The 6 PM portion of CBC News: Vancouver will be simulcasted on CHEK. 
In September 2010, CHEK, for the first time since its purchase by station employees and local investors, began airing American network television series; many of the added shows, including Smallville, Supernatural, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Chuck, and 60 Minutes were previously seen in the Vancouver/Victoria market on CHNU-TV and Toronto/Hamilton's CKXT-TV (that station's owner, Quebecor, which is in the process of replacing its licence with one for an all-news cable channel, with CKXT's apparent sign off in 2011) . CHEK will also air I Hate Hollywood produced by CHCH-TV, which has picked up all of the shows mentioned above.
Current on-air staff
- Scott Fee - CHEK News at Noon, CHEK News at Five, CHEK News at 6:30 (Weekdays)
- Dana Hutchings - Island 30 (maternity leave)
- Tony Parsons - CHEK News at Ten (Weekdays)
- Stacy Ross - Island 30
- Skye Ryan - CHEK News Update (Weekends), CHEK News at Five, CHEK News at Ten (Weekends)
- Tess Van Straaten - CHEK News Update (Weekends)
- Ed Bain - CHEK News at Five, CHEK News at 6:30, CHEK News at Ten (Weekdays)
- Skye Ryan - BC News and Weather Update (Weekends), CHEK News at Five (Weekends)
- Tess Van Straaten - CHEK News at Ten (Weekends)
- Gordie Tupper - BC News and Weather Update (Weekdays)
- Paul Haysom (Full Time)
- Jeff King (Full Time)
- Mike Walker (substitute)
Past notable on-air staff
he following is a partial list of past CHEK on-air staff:
Notable past foreign programming
- From August 1995 to August 1999, CHEK carried the Late Show with David Letterman weekday afternoons at 4:30pm. Other channels which have carried the show, including originating U.S. network CBS, have aired the program in the late evening (11:35pm ET/PT).
Broadcast format and technical information
CHEK-TV on FM
Because the frequency range for analog television channel 6 is at the lower end of the FM broadcast band, CHEK-TV can be heard at 87.7 MHz on FM radios, though at a slightly lower volume than other FM stations - due to technical reasons.
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CHEK-TV-1||Sooke||13 (VHF)||0.01 kW||N/A||48°21′27″N 123°41′15″W / 48.3575°N 123.6875°W / 48.3575; -123.6875 (CHEK-TV-1)|
|CHEK-TV-3||Port Alberni||11 (VHF)||0.01 kW||N/A||49°17′4″N 124°43′20″W / 49.28444°N 124.72222°W / 49.28444; -124.72222 (CHEK-TV-3)|
|CHEK-TV-5||Campbell River||13 (VHF)||3 kW||455 m||49°44′54″N 125°14′58″W / 49.74833°N 125.24944°W / 49.74833; -125.24944 (CHEK-TV-5)|
|CHWM-TV-1||Whistler||18 (UHF)||0.001 kW||N/A||50°7′18.84″N 123°1′26.4″W / 50.1219°N 123.024°W / 50.1219; -123.024 (CHWM-TV-1)|
CHEK-TV uses shoots on DVC-Pro tapes for all its programming and pre-recorded parts of its CHEK News broadcasts.
Digital television and high definition
|Broadcasting in Digital||No, Industry Canada database notes that CRTC has approved digital transmitter|
|Programs in HD||No|
|News in HD||No|
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which takes place on August 31, 2011, CHEK-DT will broadcast on channel 49 at 28 kW. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display CHEK-DT's virtual channel as 6.1.
- ^ CRTC approves sale of WIC Western International to CanWest, Leanne Yohemas-Hayes, Canadian Press. Accessed online September 5, 2009 (via Friends of Canadian Broadcasting).
- ^ Public Notice CRTC 2000-94, July 6, 2000. Accessed online September 5, 2009.
- ^ "Canwest may sell TV stations". cbc.ca, February 5, 2009.
- ^ "Canwest closing TV stations in Alberta, B.C.". cbc.ca, July 22, 2009.
- ^ http://www.viewers.ca/discuss/showthread.php?t=3578
- ^ 'A' | NEWS | Victoria's Longest Running TV Station Fades to Black www.atv.ca, July 22, 2009.
- ^ 'A' | NEWS | Reaction To CHEK Closure Comes Swiftly www.atv.ca, July 22, 2009.
- ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20090814185047/http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2009/08/12/bc-ckek-tv-employee-offer.html
- ^ The Victoria Times Colonist: "CHEK TV employee bid fails to save local station", 8/28/2009.
- ^ Employees buy CanWest TV station in Victoria for $2
- ^ http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-699.htm
- ^ "Local investors, staff buy CHEK", from Victoria Times-Colonist, September 5, 2009
- ^ "CHEK employee group has plan to save local TV", from cbcnews.ca, September 9, 2009.
- ^ CHEK signoff - 10PM PDT - Liveblog
- ^ CHEK TV staying on air for at least one more day
- ^ Tony Parsons and Global News part ways - Vancouver Sun
- ^ Legendary broadcaster Tony Parsons makes his debut as an Island anchor Monday - Times-Colonist
- ^ Tony Parsons joins CBC News Vancouver
- ^ Channel Zero loads up on U.S. network series, THR, 14 June 2010
- ^ ed the sock
- ^ http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/oca-bc.nsf/en/ca02336e.html