CHEK checks out


Unless there is some sort of miraculous save, the nearly 53-year-old CHEK-TV in Victoria BC is going to turn off the lights and turn in its license. Not even a substantial takeover offer by employees has been able to save it.

In fact, cross-ownership with the Vancouver Sun and Times Colonist in the Canwest Global Communications portfolio hasn’t been enough, according to an article in that newspaper.

Not even an interesting geographical position has been enough – Victoria is part of the Vancouver market, and you could either say its straight across from that city or across the Strait from that city. It has boat access not only to Vancouver but to Seattle WA in the USA as well.

Global says that efforts to make the station more profitable, or to sell it to a qualified buyer, have all failed.

Employees managed to come up with $2.5M to buy the station and pooled personal resources to come up with another $500K to operate the station for a few months, but management saw only continued bleeding of cash, which it feared it could be liable for, and therefore rejected the offer.

RBR/TVBR observation: Is this where the US is headed? Are long-term secular problems with the broadcast business coupled with current economic woes going to force US licensees into taking the euthanasia option? And note how cross-owned entities facing similar secular and the exact same economic woes cannot save one another.