By Diane Dakers
In 2009, Victoria's CHEK-TV turned the 1st employee-owned tv station in North the United States after company proprietor CanWest international threatened to close it down. The David-and-Goliath tale made nationwide headlines and reawakened a trust in neighborhood, self sufficient broadcasting. within the 5 years because the worker buy of the station, CHEK has weathered the demanding situations of self sufficient possession and continues to be proudly neighborhood, in each feel of the observe. whereas the way forward for media is unpredictable and the feasibility of neighborhood tv remains to be challenged, CHEK Republic is, at its center, a hit tale, chronicling the lengthy historical past, close to downfall, and rebirth of a very exceptional media outlet.
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Extra resources for CHEK Republic: A Revolution in Local Television
On the subject of CHEK, CHBC and crimson Deer . . . to maintain them rolling, a shopper must give you the chance to get distant studio keep an eye on, which we didn’t have. We simply checked out it and acknowledged, “that’s going to be particularly difficult. ” although Channel 0 made up our minds to go on procuring CHEK, Millar stated he famous the station for the “gem” it used to be. “If there has been a station we'd have enjoyed to have received, it was once Victoria, since it was once so just like the Hamilton–Toronto marketplace, the way in which Victoria works with Vancouver. CHEK can serve Victoria as neighborhood, and it could possibly additionally serve Vancouver while it does primetime programming. ” as a result of that potential—and due to the enthusiasm, conviction, and dedication of CHEK’s employees—Channel 0 didn’t stroll clear of the Victoria station completely. the 2 businesses could interact and go paths repeatedly throughout the subsequent numerous years. Channel 0 could have been the biggest association to reflect on paying for CHEK, yet not less than 3 different teams additionally thought of making proposals. One used to be a bunch out of Kelowna, which declined to be interviewed for this ebook. one other power patron used to be longtime BCTV information anchor Tony Parsons. “I thought of creating a bid, yet I didn’t truly do it,” he acknowledged many years later. “I notion it was once worthy saving the station if i'll get a couple of humans jointly and do it . . . I talked to a couple of those that i presumed will be moneyed adequate to join it, yet I didn’t discover a lot of enthusiasm. So I allow it cross. ” in the meantime, “Canwest bought a whiff of what i used to be considering about,” he acknowledged. “I heard back—through the grapevine, now not directly—that they wouldn't think about a bid from me at least. ” that very same grapevine handed the notice that every one events drawn to purchasing CHEK will be “dissuaded via Canwest,” acknowledged Germain. yet in keeping with Canwest records, there has been one customer who used to be given “an particular interval of negotiation to make a proposal for CHEK, [a interval that] expired with out the receipt of any provide. ” That strength patron was once CHEK administration. CHEK common supervisor John Pollard acknowledged that, within the spring of 2009, he and a colleague thought of purchasing the Victoria television station. to review the feasibility of the acquisition, Pollard first signed a non-disclosure contract with Canwest so he may possibly look at the books. “I had entry to every thing, so i'll see the place they have been, what they’d performed, and what were taking place during the last few years,” he stated. “I may possibly comprehend there have been a few large monetary matters. ” He and his accountant, Rod Munro, “put jointly a few enterprise plans and a few programming innovations. the simplest lets get a hold of was once a first-year lack of $2. five million, which didn’t make any experience simply because we didn’t have $2. five million to lose . . . At that time, it didn’t glance stable. ” Pollard and Munro had established their proposals on a standard tv model—local information and in-house productions slotted right into a agenda packed with bought programming. after they learned this wouldn’t paintings financially, they dropped the assumption of changing into television station proprietors, conserving out wish that one other buyer might come alongside.