, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
By the end of the year the CBC had chosen five sites for television stations and the CNR and CPR were working on a microwave relay system. The corporation had proposed two stations for Montreal and one each for Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton. TV programs from the U.S. would be piped into Canada via the Hamilton station. The first station would likely be in Montreal and there would be two outlets in that city because of the two distinct languages - English and French. One difficulty for the establishment of a Toronto outlet would be the use of 25 cycle power service which presented several technical issues. Ontario Hydro had plans for conversion to 60 cycles current to be implemented within a "few years".
The CBC announced television production centres would be established in Montreal and Toronto, and if possible, would be designed for progressive expansion if and when required. Each of the stations would be equipped with 5,000 watt transmitters with provision for a second one in Montreal to provide French language service. The CBC's plans for a television network would go ahead as soon as communications companies established links between different centres. The first link would likely be between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, through either coaxial cables or short wave.
The transmission and development department of the CBC's engineering division announced the findings of its study on possible television transmitter sites for Montreal. The nine month survey established Mount Royal as the most practical point from which to beam TV signals to local and outlying districts.
Fergus Mutrie and Aurele Seguin, two experienced CBC executives, were appointed directors fo the corporation's television activities in Toronto and Montreal respectively.
Montreal's Radio-Canada Building opened May 18. Dr. J.J. McCann cut the ribbon that officially opened the building, before more than a thousand guests. Speeches by Dr. McCann, CBC general manager Dr. Augustin Frigon and CBC Chairman Davidson Dunton were delivered during a 15 minute coast to coast broadcast. The building was the former Ford Hotel, purchased by the CBC in September of 1948. It took over two years to modernize and adopt the building to the demands of radio and television. The 12 storey building would be home to the French network, International Service, CBC Montgreal television, and the national offices of the personnel and administration division, the engineering division and the executive. Over 600 CBC employees and another 600 radio artists were required to produce the 18 hours of programming that would leave the building each day. The programs were in two languages for home listening, and 14 languages for the international service. When finished, the building would have 26 modern radio studios and three for television. Four 50,000 watt transmitters had already been installed - two FM and two for shortwave. The news rooms, recording rooms and large master control were already in place. The control room could handle five transmitters, eight outgoing and seven incoming networks and the 26 studios. It was an automatic operation to a great extent.
The CBC announced that television in Canada would be started sometime in January of 1952 in Toronto. It had earlier been hoped that September would see the first TV transmissions in Toronto. In Montreal, final confirmation of the use of the Mount Royal antenna site came in May. The Montreal station would likely be on the air next spring, but would be subject to change due to building shortages, particularly in steel. Toronto would have two studios - one with 5,000 square feet and one with 2,000 square feet - plus a film library and transmission rooms. The estimated cost was $2,000,000 for studios and equipment in Toronto. Toronto would be the main production centre in English at the outset, producing some three hours of programming per day, of which about two hours would have to be supplied to Montreal. The Montreal station would be bilingual, but most of its originations would be French. In the future, it was hoped that some English productions would be made in Montreal.
The CBC confirmed that it would use Mount Royal for a transmitter site and was submitting its plan to municipal officials. The transmitter building would have a basement and one story and would house the TV transmitter and two FM transmitters. The tower, less than 300 feet high, would have the antenna of the city's first TV station at the very top. The two FM antennae would be underneath and there would be room for TV expansion. Engineers felt Mount Royal was the only suitable location for TV transmission following almost a year of study of all possible sites. They said the mountain was the only location to guaranty complete coverage of the metropolitan area. Tower height would be limited by civil aviation authorities in order to avoid interference with air traffic.
The CBC and Bell Telephone Co. signed a five year contract for the establishment of a TV network service. The plan called for the extension of the existing co-axial cable in Buffalo to Montreal and Toronto. The project was announced jointly by the New York and Canadian Bell companies. The Canadian phone company would undertake to lay cable between the two cities and a border point, where it would be connected to the Buffalo cable.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced it would open a second television station in Montreal. CBFT went on the air in 1952 and had been airing programs in English and French. With the launch of the second station (CBMT), CBFT would switch to full-time French language programming. The new station would air English-language programs. A new transmitter had been ordered and would be installed along with the CBFT transmitter in the CBC transmitter house on top of Mount Royal. CBMT would use the same tower and studio facilities as CBFT.
Plans for the development of a national TV network composed of privately-owned and CBC stations were tentatively agreed to in June. Present licensees agreed to carry a minimum of 10 1/2 hours of CBC-produced programs weekly.
After several delays, the second station for Montreal - CBMT - officially went on the air on January 10. The English-language station broadcast on channel 6. It became Montreal's first all English-language TV station, taking part of the programming load from CBFT which had been bilingual for the past sixteen months. CBMT was the country's seventh television station and the CBC's fifth. Studios and offices were in the Radio-Canada building along with the CBC's other stations. The transmitter was on the same Mount Royal tower as CBFT's. CBMT's programming would be filled largely with U.S. productions, supplied on film or over the microwave relay system from Buffalo through Toronto, and some CBC produced shows from Toronto. A few regular shows would originate in Montreal and be fed to the Ottawa-Toronto network, mainly children's programs, personality shows and a variety revue.
Gerard Lamarche was appointed CBC director for the province of Quebec. He had been with the CBC since 1942. In 1952, he was named program director of CBF and became provincial program director last year.
CBMT channel 6 was operating with an effective radiated power of 43,800 watts video and 26,200 watts audio. The transmitter was on Mount Royal.
CBMT's effective radiated power was now 100,000 watts video and 60,000 watts audio.
CBC Montreal was producing 50 hours of live programming a week for the English and French networks.
Montreal was said to be the largest television production centre in the world.
The CBC had 22 different owned and rented buildings throughout the city of Montreal. All of these facilities would come under one roof when Place de Radio-Canada was completed and in use by 1972. The building would be a 23 floor office tower, covering an area of 900 by 510 feet on a 25 acre plot of land in east-central downtown. Television facilities would include: six 3-camera production studios, one 4-camera colour production studio with audience capacity of 670, four presentation studios, one film studio, two sound dubbing studios, 15 rehearsal halls, telecine room, VTR room and other operations.
Leo Rampen, who created the CBC-TV network programs "Take 30" and "Man Alive" became director of CBC Television for Quebec.
On March 5, CBMT-4 Thetford Mines was authorized to decrease effective radiated power from 1,300 watts to 1,140 watts.
On March 16, CBMRT Fermont was given an extension of the interim authority to broadcast programs originating from CBNLT Labrador City instead of from CBMT Montreal.
On December 3, CBMT was authorized to add a transmitter at Rouyn-Noranda, on channel 38 with an effective radiated power of 1,100 watts, received via satellite.
On April 29, CBMCT Chibougamau and CBMYT Iles-de-la-Madeleine were authorized to change program source from the CBC Northern Television Service to CBMT, received via satellite.
On May 3, CBMT received permission to operate a transitter at Wakeham, on channel 24 with a transmitter power of 100 watts.
On February 10, CBMGT Fort George, CBMHT Fort Rupert, CBMDT Mistassini Post, CBMNT Nouveau-Comptoir (Wemindji) and CBVW-TV Waswanipi were authorized to change program source from the CBC Northern Television Service to CBMT Montreal, received via satellite. The CBC proposed the change in response to a request for more suitable programming by the Cree residents of these areas.
Denis Trudeau became CBMT's early evening news anchor after being co-host of CBC Radio's "As It Happens".
On April 21, CBVU-TV Maniwaki was given approval to change program source from the CBC Northern Television Service, received via satellite, to that of CBMT Montreal, received via satellite.
On September 13, CBMRT Fermont was authorized to change its program source from CBMT Montreal to CBNLT Labrador City, Newfoundland.
Roch Magnan was appointed senior producer of the evening newscast Newswatch.
Rene Bertrand was named sales manager at CBMT.
On October 7, the CBC received approval to amend the radiocommunication distribution undertaking licence for CBLIT Armstrong (ON), by changing the program source from the CBC Northern Television Service to CBMT Montréal. CBC North operated in the Atlantic time zone, whereas CBMT operated in the Eastern time zone. This proposal would enable viewers at Armstrong to receive the CBC's network programming in the Eastern time zone, which encompasses that community.
Lynn Desjardins became anchor of "Late Newswatch" on CBMT.
On November 23, CBMT received approval to delete transmitters CBMT-5 Sainte-Adèle, CBMT-6 Bolton-Est, CBMT-7 Ayer's Cliff and CBMA-TV Rouyn-Noranda.
On November 6, CBMYT Îles-de-la-Madeleine received permission to increase effective radiated power from 2,900 watts to 3,200 watts.
On September 5, CBMT was authorized to add a transmitter at Québec, operating on channel 5 with an effective radiated power of 13,850 watts. The new station was required because of the approved disaffiliation of CKMI-TV.
On May 1, approval was given for the relocation of the transmitter of CBMCT Chibougamau to the existing transmitter site of CBFAT Chibougamau and to decrease effective radiated power from 276 watts to 238 watts. The CBC would replace the existing antennas of CBFAT and CBMCT by a single omnidirectional antenna for both television services. The new antenna would be built on the site of CBFAT's antenna and use the same channels.
As of 2000, CBMT operated the following transmitters in Quebec: CBJET-1 Alma, CBMIT Baie Comeau, CBMST Blanc Sablon, CBVB-TV Chandler, CBMCT Chibougamau, CBJET Chicoutimi, CBMGT Chisasibi (Fort George), CBVA-TV Escuminac, CBVG-TV Gaspé, CBMUT Harrington Harbour, CBMYT Iles-de-la-Madeleine, CBMLT La Tabatière, CBMET La Tuque, CBVD-TV Malartic, CBVU-TV Maniwaki, CBMDT Mistassini, CBMMT Murdochville, CBVN-TV New Carlisle, CBVR-TV New Richmond, CBMVT Old Fort Bay, CBVP-TV Percé, CBVF-TV Port Daniel, CBVE-TV Québec, CBMPT Rivière-Saint-Paul, CBMXT Saint-Augustin-Saguenay, CBSET-1 Schefferville, CBSET Sept-Iles, CBMT-3 Sherbrooke, CBMT-4 Thetford Mines, CBMT-1 Trois-Rivières, CBVH-TV Wakeham, CBMHT Waskaganish, CBVW-TV Waswanipi, CBMNT Wemindji; Ontario: CBLIT Armstrong; Manitoba: CBDE-TV Brochet, CBDI-TV Poplar River and CBDG-TV Shamattawa.
On February 12, CBMT-1 Trois Rivières was given approval to move its antenna to a site 1.9 km northeast of the authorized site and to increase effective radiated power from 13,000 watts to 14,000 watts.
On October 19, CBMT-1 Trois-Rivières was authorized to increase average effective radiated power from 14,000 watts to 15,200 watts. The change would reflect the actual technical parameters following construction of the transmission facilities.
On November 12, CBMT received a transitional digital television licence for operation from Mont-Royal on channel 20VU with an effective radiated power of 107,000 watts.
CBMT began digital operations. The inaugural weekend schedule on March 5 and 6 included a premiere of the Nature of Things: Nature Bites Back – The Case of the Sea Otter. CBC HD then broadcast highlights from past and upcoming HD projects, including Hockey: A People's History (still in production). HD programming is based on the regular network schedule, with HD and wide-screen programming simulcast when available.
On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBMT's licence, including the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBMT-DT Montreal, CBJET Chicoutimi, CBJET-1 Alma, CBMCT Chibougamau, CBMDT Poste-de-Mistassini, CBMET La Tuque, CBMGT Chisasibi (Fort-George), CBMHT Waskaganish, CBMIT Baie-Comeau, CBMLT La Tabatiere, CBMMT Murdochville, CBMNT Wemindji, CBMPT Riviere-Saint-Paul, CBMST Blanc Sablon, CBMT-1 Trois-Rivieres, CBMT-3 Sherbrooke, CBMT-4 Thetford Mines, CBMUT Harrington Harbour, CBMVT Old Fort Bay, CBMXT Saint-Augustin (Saguenay), CBMYT Iles-de-la-Madeleine, CBSET Sept-Iles, CBSET-1 Schefferville, CBVA-TV Escuminac, CBVB-TV Chandler, CBVD-TV Malartic, CBVE-TV Quebec, CBVF-TV Port-Daniel (Eastern part), CBVG-TV Gaspe, CBVH-TV Wakeham, CBVN-TV New Carlisle, CBVP-TV Perce, CBVR-TV New Richmond and CBVV-TV Maniwaki and CBVW-TV Waswanipi...Manitoba: CBDE-TV Brochet, CBDG-TV Shamattawa and CBDI-TV Poplar River...Ontario: CBLIT Armstrong.
On July 28, the CRTC approved the applications by the CBC to amend the licenses for CBLT Toronto by adding the transmitter CBLIT Armstrong and for CBMT Montréal by removing the transmitter CBLIT. CBLIT will rebroadcast the programming of CBLT instead of that of CBMT in order to adequately serve the population of Armstrong.
On July 30, the CRTC approved the applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the broadcasting licences for CBWT Winnipeg and CBMT Montréal in order for CBWT to replace CBMT as the source of programming broadcast by the rebroadcasting transmitters CBDE-TV Brochet, CBDI-TV Poplar River and CBDG-TV Shamattawa. The licensee stated that the proposed licence amendments would allow it to better serve the populations of Brochet, Poplar River and Shamattawa. As a result of the approval granted in this decision, the Commission revoked the authority granted to CBMT to broadcast programming on the rebroadcasting transmitters CBDE-TV, CBDI-TV and CBDG-TV.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated January, 2011
Source : http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/index3.html