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July 30, 2019 11:21 am  #1


Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

Frankly, I wasn't even aware there were any analog transmitters still up and running, but the CRTC has approved Bell's request to shut down its 28 remaining such sticks, located across the country. They essentially rebroadcast various local stations into more remote areas. But Bell indicates they weren't widely viewed, they weren't in HD, there were other ways to get them, and they were costing a lot of money to keep up and running.

There are five in Ontario, with the following list showing the location of the soon-to-be-turned-off TXs, the originating station and the date they're going to be turned off for good. 

CITO-TV-2 Kearns (CITO-TV Timmins, Dec. 3,  2021)

CJOH-TV-47 Pembroke (CJOH-DT Ottawa, May 2, 2020)

CJOH-TV-6 Deseronto (CJOH-DT Ottawa, October 9, 2020)

CKCO-TV-3 Oil Springs (CKCO-DT Kitchener, May 2, 2020)

CFNY-TV-11 Huntsville (CICI-TV Sudbury, October 9, 2020) 


Is that last one right? The call letters were CFNY-TV? How is that possible?

There was one interesting statement to me in the decision and it comes in these sentences.

"...Licences such as those held by Bell Media are authorizations to broadcast, not obligations to do so. This mean that, while the Commission has the discretion to refuse to revoke broadcasting licences, even on application from a licensee, it cannot generally direct a licensee to continue to operate its transmitters."

So why, exactly, did they have to apply to the CRTC to turn them off in the first place?

To see the complete list of what's being shut down, you can read the CRTC Decision here.

 

July 30, 2019 11:28 am  #2


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

That’s a mistake. The calls are CKNY-TV-11.
They have to apply to remove these rebroadcasters from the respective licenses.
Mystery though:  on another board someone at Bell is telling a contributor that Oil Springs will be converted to HD next May ?!?!

 

July 30, 2019 11:33 am  #3


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

andysradio wrote:

That’s a mistake. The calls are CKNY-TV-11.

So that explains it - it's a typo. I can certainly relate to those!

I will be surprised if they convert any of them into HD. There isn't a lot of cable access in remote areas. And you know what that means - satellite.

And guess who's heavily invested in satellite and has a financial interest in getting more subscribers? 

Exactly.

Hey, speaking of subscribers, these figures are very revealing. They're from the U.S., but they speak volumes about what's going on and where we're heading.
 
Cord-Cutting Runs Amok: Cable, Satellite Providers Hit by Record Subscriber Losses in 2nd Quarter  

     Thread Starter
 

July 30, 2019 12:13 pm  #4


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

I'm not surprised that CFNY isn't the real call sign of that transmitter. In Canada, I'm pretty sure it's one set to a location. I always thought it worked that way in the U.S. as well. But it doesn't appear that's the case. A perfect example:

WBEN-AM is located in Buffalo, as we all know. But there's a legendary rock station in Philadelphia whose calls are WBEN-FM. In fact, they brand themselves as "BEN-FM." They're not even owned by the same company. 

I wonder when that started to happen, why the FCC allowed it, and how widespread it is. 

WBEN-FM

     Thread Starter
 

July 30, 2019 12:32 pm  #5


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

andysradio wrote:

That’s a mistake. The calls are CKNY-TV-11.
They have to apply to remove these rebroadcasters from the respective licenses.
Mystery though: on another board someone at Bell is telling a contributor that Oil Springs will be converted to HD next May ?!?!

I heard this aswell but, if the transmitter was to be running this long already it should have been done back in 2011?  Im also suprised these transmitters made it this far. 

Best story though and sad because the loss of a #1 DX 100KW station was analog Ch 2 CKCO-TV-2  up on Bruce Peninsula/Hope Bay.  Its dismissal was due to a neighbour and trees.

https://blog.fagstein.com/2014/08/09/ckco-wiarton/
 

 

July 30, 2019 1:00 pm  #6


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

RadioActive wrote:

I'm not surprised that CFNY isn't the real call sign of that transmitter. In Canada, I'm pretty sure it's one set to a location. I always thought it worked that way in the U.S. as well. But it doesn't appear that's the case. A perfect example:

WBEN-AM is located in Buffalo, as we all know. But there's a legendary rock station in Philadelphia whose calls are WBEN-FM. In fact, they brand themselves as "BEN-FM." They're not even owned by the same company. 

I wonder when that started to happen, why the FCC allowed it, and how widespread it is. 
Another example: KCBS 740 is licenced to San Francisco. KCBS FM 93.1 and KCBS ch 2 are both located in L.A.
WBEN-FM

 

 

July 30, 2019 1:10 pm  #7


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

RadioActive wrote:

I'm not surprised that CFNY isn't the real call sign of that transmitter. In Canada, I'm pretty sure it's one set to a location. I always thought it worked that way in the U.S. as well. But it doesn't appear that's the case. A perfect example:

WBEN-AM is located in Buffalo, as we all know. But there's a legendary rock station in Philadelphia whose calls are WBEN-FM. In fact, they brand themselves as "BEN-FM." They're not even owned by the same company. 

I wonder when that started to happen, why the FCC allowed it, and how widespread it is. 

WBEN-FM

it's still allowed.  the only current example off the top of my head is CKSA FM and CKSA TV in lloydminister.  there must still be others.  years ago in the soo, there was CJIC AM/TV.  Of course, in both these cases, radio and tv were under the same ownership.
 

 

July 30, 2019 1:17 pm  #8


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

There's CFPL AM/FM and TV in London, where the TV station isn't co-owned with the radio stations. Also, CKWS TV/FM in Kingston.

Don't know of any in different markets though, as I believe RA was wondering about.


 
 

July 30, 2019 1:42 pm  #9


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

RadioAaron wrote:

There's CFPL AM/FM and TV in London, where the TV station isn't co-owned with the radio stations. Also, CKWS TV/FM in Kingston.

Don't know of any in different markets though, as I believe RA was wondering about.

I don't think it's surprising when they're in the same market and were maybe sold off to another owner (like the CFPL example.) I'd forgotten about the ones in L.A. and Frisco, but at least they're owned by the same company. Still, I always found that odd.

But the WBEN one is very strange. Different owners. Different cities. Same medium. Call letters used to be sacrosanct, one to a customer, even if they I.D. themselves by a slogan or rarely used them. Apparently, not any more.

And didn't U.S. stations have to identify their studio-to-transmitter link at least once a day? Most stations got it out of the way at midnight and ignored it for the next 24 hours. I never figured out the point of it, and I'm glad they stopped. There's a perfect example of it at the tail end of this WYSL aircheck (around the 27:10 minute mark) as featured on Dale Patterson's Rock Radio Scrapbook. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 30, 2019 3:47 pm  #10


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

RadioAaron wrote:

There's CFPL AM/FM and TV in London, where the TV station isn't co-owned with the radio stations. Also, CKWS TV/FM in Kingston.

Don't know of any in different markets though, as I believe RA was wondering about.

In the current CKWS-FM's case, it dropped the CKWS call letters when it was an AM station in 1987, then readopted them in 2010, three years after moving to FM. The former CKWS-FM became CFMK-FM in 1976.

Also, there's WHAM-AM and WHAM-TV in Rochester - there, a case of "combine, rebrand and divest".

Last edited by gloryosky (July 30, 2019 3:54 pm)

 

August 2, 2019 9:23 am  #11


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

The FCC started to allow "same base call, same owner, different city" around 1983. I think the first examples were KCBS(AM) in San Francisco, KCBS-TV Los Angeles (you get zero credit for guessing who owned them!), and then Gannett (which owned USA Today) using KUSA-TV in Denver, WUSA-TV in Minneapolis (and later DC), WUSA-FM in Tampa and KUSA(AM) in St. Louis. 

"Same base call, different owner, different city" came later in the 80s, or maybe early 90s. 

It's important to note three things: first, the FCC treats "KCBS" and "KCBSTV" as separate call signs. You still can't use "KCBS" on two different AM stations, or "KCBSTV" on two different TV stations. Second, the suffix is an integral (but optional) part of FM and TV callsigns, and there is never a suffix on AM callsigns. Our TV station in Rochester started as simply "WXXI" in 1966, added "WXXIFM" in 1974 - and then, when we bought an AM station in 1984, the AM station became "WXXI" and the TV station had to become "WXXITV" as a result, since you can't be simply "WXXI" on both AM and TV. And third, the callsign is NOT the primary way the FCC identifies stations internally these days. Every station has a unique facility ID number that never changes. "WXXI" (the AM station) is always "74220" to the FCC, no matter how often the calls might change. 

 

March 14, 2021 2:12 am  #12


Re: Bell To Shut Down 28 OTA Analog Transmitters Across Canada - 5 In Ont.

RadioActive wrote:

Frankly, I wasn't even aware there were any analog transmitters still up and running, but the CRTC has approved Bell's request to shut down its 28 remaining such sticks, located across the country. They essentially rebroadcast various local stations into more remote areas. But Bell indicates they weren't widely viewed, they weren't in HD, there were other ways to get them, and they were costing a lot of money to keep up and running.

There are five in Ontario, with the following list showing the location of the soon-to-be-turned-off TXs, the originating station and the date they're going to be turned off for good. 

CITO-TV-2 Kearns (CITO-TV Timmins, Dec. 3,  2021)

CJOH-TV-47 Pembroke (CJOH-DT Ottawa, May 2, 2020)

CJOH-TV-6 Deseronto (CJOH-DT Ottawa, October 9, 2020)

CKCO-TV-3 Oil Springs (CKCO-DT Kitchener, May 2, 2020)

CFNY-TV-11 Huntsville (CICI-TV Sudbury, October 9, 2020) 


Is that last one right? The call letters were CFNY-TV? How is that possible?

There was one interesting statement to me in the decision and it comes in these sentences.

"...Licences such as those held by Bell Media are authorizations to broadcast, not obligations to do so. This mean that, while the Commission has the discretion to refuse to revoke broadcasting licences, even on application from a licensee, it cannot generally direct a licensee to continue to operate its transmitters."

So why, exactly, did they have to apply to the CRTC to turn them off in the first place?

To see the complete list of what's being shut down, you can read the CRTC Decision here.

RadioActive wrote:

The call letters were CFNY-TV? How is that possible?

It was a typo error mistake. It was recently corrected on the CRTC Decision as CKNY-TV-11.