CTV saves Windsor TV station

Brandon, Manitoba station still in limbo

TORONTO -- Canada's broadcast bailout has saved a cross-border TV station in Windsor, Ontario from the chopping block, at least for another year, parent CTVglobemedia said Wednesday.

The loss-making A-branded channel had been scheduled for closure on August 31 owing to the current TV ad slump. But CTVglobemedia said it will now keep the station open, at least until its current TV license expires on August 31, 2010. The move follows the CRTC earlier this week ordering cable operators to pony up more money to subsidize local programming by over-the-air TV stations.

"Today's announcement about saving Windsor's only local private television station for one year is a direct result of the CRTC's one year LPIF enhancement," Paul Sparkes, executive vp of corporate affairs at CTVglobemedia said of the latest funding boost to get local TV stations here through hard times.

CTV also said it will apply to convert another A-branded TV station in Wingham, Ontario to receive a re-broadcast of its A London TV station signal.

At the same time, a third TV station in the CTVglobemedia stable, CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba, remains in limbo after the media group said it continues to "review its options."

CTVglobemedia last March first signalled that all three stations would close by August 31, 2009 if buyers were not found for them.

Calgary-based cable operator Shaw Communications in May proposed to buy the three TV stations from CTVglobemedia for $1 each, but pulled out of the deal last week.

And while rival broadcaster Canwest Global Communications has sold two of its E!-branded TV stations in Hamilton and Montreal, it has three remaining stations in Alberta and British Columbia that are set to close if buyers are not found by the end of the summer.