CHEK News: The Little Station that Could

CHEK News Studio1.JPG

In late 2009, a decision was made to shut down a number of tier 2 market
stations in western Canada. This included CHEK TV in Victoria which has been part of the the community for over 50 years. Management at CHEK approached the community and raised enough interest and investment to enter into negotiations to buy CHEK’s license and operate as an independent station. CHEK’s own employees, believing in the station’s future, invested their own money and together with the outside investors and the management team at CHEK struck a deal to buy the station. The CRTC gave an unprecedented boost to CHEK by not only granting the license in one short month as opposed to the normal six to twelve months, but also granted CHEK a seven year license - almost unheard of in Canada’s broadcast industry. The stage was now set for CHEK to become a self sufficient and self sustaining broadcast station.

CHEK approached Applied Electronics for help with the build in October 2009 to determine the look and deployment of the new station. The station required numerous items in a short amount of time. Among the required items were a self contained news production system and a rebuilt production control ready for air by February 15, 2010. Additionally, CHEK needed to implement a new master control which had been removed previously as part of a network centralization project. This new master control needed to be ready for air March 30, 2010. The entire new system needed to be built almost from the ground up, ready for the HD future of the station and be cost effective so that CHEK could sustain the costs of the build while ensuring its long term viability. As an added challenge, the build was required to be completed during the Olympic Games in February of 2010.

Applied Electronics designed and implemented the build on time and on budget. Among the proven technologies chosen was a Grass Valley Aurora news production system which has been in service at Global for a significant amount of time. CHEK chose for its master control system the Omnibus iTX system, a server based master control and automation system that is incredibly powerful.

On February 15, 2010, CHEK went on air with their own news system and production control. On March 30, CHEK will make history when they go to air with their own master control, becoming one of Canada’s only true independent broadcast stations. Applied Electronics is proud to be the chosen partner for CHEK’s launch of a truly inspiring and worthy enterprise. We wish CHEK every success in the future.

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