CHEK TV to go off the air August 31, as Canwest rejects employees’ offer

Canwest Global Communications has rejected a second proposal from a group of CHEK TV employees attempting to purchase the station. CHEK TV, which has been on the air since 1956, will last broadcast on Monday (August 31).

Canwest spokesperson John Douglas told the Times-Colonist today (August 28) that the employee-owned initiative failed to meet guidelines set out by its parent corporation, which included securing advertising dollars and programming. “Canwest cannot assume the risk for costs that may be incurred” during the transfer of the station from Canwest to the employees, Douglas told the Times-Colonist.

A group of 40 employees and private investors raised $2.5 million toward the purchase of the station. Employee spokesperson Richard Konwick told the Times-Colonist that the employee ownership group had developed a three-year operating plan, which included syndicated and paid programming as well as local news coverage.

CHEK TV employees submitted a bid to buy the station on August 22, which was rejected by Canwest on similar grounds.

Earlier this year, Canwest announced the closure of the Victoria-based station as well as affiliates in Kelowna and Red Deer, Alberta.

Canwest Global, Canada’s largest media company, closed at 13 cents a share today on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Follow Miranda Nelson on Twitter @charenton_.




Aug 28, 2009 at 4:53pm

The bid didn't meet certain criteria my ass. Who does Canwest think it's kidding? They didn't accept the bid because they didn't want the station's advertising to fall into an instant rival's hands. Instead, they'll keep it and redistribute it to it's other assets to buoy them. And I see Canwest receieved yet another extension from its senior note holders to come up with a recapitalization plan. They now have until Sept. 11, which is ironic considering that's the anniversary of the World Trade Centre bombings.

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Aug 28, 2009 at 11:32pm

Good point, Salty.

Something tells me they also don't want an independent News Media outlet that just might get the truth out vs the sanitized version dished out by Canwest to fit their and their poltical pals agenda.

This employee bid is exactly what the Doctor ordered for the public's best interests. All good wishes to the Employees of Chek and their backers.

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Dennis-Lee: Barker (TM)

Aug 28, 2009 at 11:37pm

Salty is right, it's all about the money, it is too bad that such deception has to be employed in order for those in power to stay in power and control.

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Evil Eye

Aug 29, 2009 at 7:01am

CanWest should be forced to sell by the CRTC. Including the above, could it be that the employee venture would provide a better product?

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Rudy Haugeneder

Aug 29, 2009 at 10:23am

It's time to go "pirate" broadcast. Use whatever equipment can be bought or "borrowed" and keep broadcasting on the CHEK band from another location, no matter how small.

Eventually, the legal mess this would cause will be sorted out, probably in favour of the ex-CHEK staff, including advertising salespeople.

It's happened in many places around the world albeit usually in radio. But it worked. Look at what happened to British radio when pirate stations broke the BBC virtual monopoly a few decades ago by broadcasting from ships.

Hey CHEK staffers: Go Pirate. You've got nothing to lose and can make North American television broadcast history.

As for CanWest Global television: eat crap!

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