Toronto, - CHUM Limited has released details of its applications for new independent local terrestrial television stations to serve Calgary, Edmonton and central Alberta. The applications are designed to bring a new, local and vital voice to the province - reflective of the optimism, diversity and youth that define Alberta says CHUM.
The applications outline plans for CHUMTV Calgary, a local television station serving the greater Calgary area and the south end of the Calgary/Edmonton corridor and CHUM TV Edmonton, a local television station originating from Edmonton with a rebroadcast transmitter in Red Deer.
The applications include significant commitments to local and regional programming, the reflection of Calgary and Edmonton's increasing cultural diversity, Alberta's independent production community, support for local talent, and priority programming, particularly drama.
Considered the fastest growing urban region in Canada, CHUM believes that the Edmonton and Calgary markets can both sustain new local stations and benefit from new local service.
"Calgary and Edmonton audiences have fewer local television choices than any other major market in Canada. CHUM will fill that gap," said Jay Switzer, President and CEO, CHUM Limited.
Commitments to local and regional programming for each station include:
* A minimum of 27 hours per week of original local or regional programming, of which at least 20 hours will be local.
* A minimum of 14 hours per week of locally or regionally produced non-news programming focusing on business, entertainment, the youth culture scene, agriculture and recreation.
* Heightened coverage of Central Alberta news, issues and events from a permanent Red Deer Bureau using the latest in digital technology.
These commitments, combined with its distinct approach, will ensure that CHUM Television's Alberta channels serve a niche different from any other local broadcaster claims the broadcaster.
Multicultural and cross-cultural programming on CHUM Television Alberta will reflect the cultural diversity of Calgary and Edmonton, and delve into particular issues and interests of Ethnic and Aboriginal Albertans.
Commitments to multicultural/cross-cultural programming for each station include:
* A minimum of 15 hours per week of relevant quality cross cultural/multicultural programming covering ethnic or Aboriginal culture, entertainment, information and youth issues, at least 10 hours of which will be locally or regionally produced.
* Two new full budget culturally diverse one-hour dramatic series, at least one of which will be independently produced. These series will air in primetime on CHUMTV Calgary, CHUMTV Edmonton, Citytv Vancouver and Citytv Toronto.
The CHUM Alberta Indie Initiative
The CHUM Alberta Indie Initiative will total $15 million in license fees and development over the seven-year license term from CHUMTV Edmonton and CHUMTV Calgary. It will specifically target the development and production of Canadian independent productions from small and medium sized producers in the province.
Responding to the Canadian Drama Challenge
The addition of broadcast outlets in Calgary and Edmonton will equip CHUM with the necessary critical mass to step up its commitments to Canadian drama. CHUM is already Canada's number one private, over-the-air broadcast supporter of Canadian feature film. Less known, but increasingly important, is CHUM's commitment to serial drama. The broadcaster says it has already become the largest broadcast supporter of Canadian action/adventure series drama.
If its applications are approved, CHUM is committed to airing Canadian drama in at least 4 of the 8 hours of priority programming on CHUMTV Edmonton, CHUMTV Calgary, Citytv Vancouver and Citytv Toronto.
More details on CHUM's Alberta applications can be found at www.chumtv.com/alberta
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