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The St. Catharines Standard
Tuesday, February 8, 2005

CRTC begins reviewing applications for proposed Niagara TV stations

By ERIK WHITE Standard Staff

Those wishing to start a Niagara television station have spoken.

Monday was the last day for groups bidding for a broadcasting licence to submit their applications to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The names of the bidders have not been released, although Wendell Wilks and his Television Niagara (TVN) group have said their application, filed in October 2003, set off the process.

The CRTC will now begin reviewing the applications and ask clarifying questions to make sure the documents are complete enough to release to the public.

Depending on the number of bids, this can take several months. While itís not required to, the commission often posts a list of the applicants on its website at www.crtc.gc.ca a few weeks after the deadline.

Once the review of the applications is finished, they are made available to anyone who wants to read them and a date is announced for a public hearing, where the proposals and challenges from existing media will be considered.

The hearing can be held anywhere in the country, but Wilks has requested his case be heard in Niagara.

The CRTC has made it clear it may decide not to grant a broadcasting licence to any of the bidders.

After a long career in television production and management, Wilks moved to St. Catharines in 2002, pitching a TV station that would serve an area historically carved up between signals from Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo.

The TVN bid calls for 95 employees putting together 40 hours of local programming every week from studios in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, as well as smaller operations in Welland and on the Six National reserve near Brantford.

Wilks has said he hopes the station will sign on by the end of the year.

Listen to TVN's CEO Wendell Wilks on a radio interview from CHSC.
A terrific interview in MP3 format, which you can stream from our site or download in four segments.

To download these files, please RIGHT-CLICK on the link and select "Save Target As" to save the MP3 files onto your computer.
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