CHAT-TV is a City-affiliated television station located in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The station is owned by the Jim Pattison Group. The station began broadcasting on September 14, 1957 under the ownership of Monarch Broadcasting Company which was co-owned with local radio station CHAT (1270 AM, now on 94.5 FM). CHAT-TV was the fourth television station in Alberta to sign on the air, and its launch was presided over by then-premier Ernest Manning.
In the beginning, the station began its daily operations at 5:30 p.m., with the only live programming being the 6 p.m. news bulletin, and the rest of the programming either on film or kinescope from the CBC. Around 10% of the local commercials were done live, with the announcers having to ad-lib enough to last the full 60 seconds.
In December 1957, the station joined the CBC’s microwave network, increasing the station’s broadcast hours to from 10:00 a.m. in the morning to 12:00 a.m. at night. In 1961, a full-power rebroadcast transmitter was installed near Pivot, near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, which improved the station’s signal reach. In 1967, colour programming from the CBC arrived on CHAT, and local colour programs started in February 1971.
In 1992, Monarch Communications expanded into other broadcasting and cable properties in Alberta and British Columbia. In 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the sale of Monarch’s radio and television holdings (including CHAT-TV) to the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, a division of the Jim Pattison Group.
On February 28, 2008, the CRTC announced the approval of disaffiliation of CHAT from the CBC effective August 31, 2008. Documents filed with the CRTC indicate the station would then receive programming from CanWest Global. Global’s Calgary station CICT-TV is available on cable in Medicine Hat; however, it does not reach the market over-the-air, while CHAT presently airs selected Global programs simultaneously with CICT.
On September 1, 2008, CHAT became the market’s E! affiliate. Medicine Hat was the only over-the-air market served by E!, where a Global affiliate was not available locally. It was announced that the transmitters of CHAT would not be replaced by the CBC. The market now receives CBC programming through CBRT, which is available on cable and satellite in Medicine Hat.
On July 14, 2009, Pattison announced that CHAT and its other E! affiliates would begin receiving programming from Rogers Media’s Citytv system starting September 1, although the stations did not begin to utilize any form of “Citytv” branding. Canwest had previously announced it would sell or close its E! stations, leaving the Pattison stations without a programming source. However, City was already available in Medicine Hat through the network’s Calgary owned-and-operated station CKAL-TV, which is carried on channel 11 on area cable providers. CHAT and CKAL continues to operate separately, and CHAT simulcasts CKAL’s primetime lineup (with programming in different timeslots) at times.
On May 3, 2012, Rogers announced the renewal of the Citytv affiliation agreement with Jim Pattison Group, originally slated to expire in August 2012. Under the agreement, CHAT began carrying 90% of Citytv’s primetime schedule and the majority of its morning and daytime lineup (including a simulcast of the Calgary edition of Breakfast Television), largely following CKAL’s schedule, with breakaways for CHAT’s locally produced midday and evening newscasts, on September 1, 2012.
Historically, CHAT aired Hockey Night in Canada dated back to the days of CBC affiliation. However, when Rogers bought the national rights to the National Hockey League in November 2013, the Pattison affiliates began to air Hockey Night once again in October 2014.
CHAT-TV News Operations
CHAT-TV presently broadcasts 15 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with three hours each exclusively on weekdays); the station does not produce any weekend newscasts. CHAT-TV’s local newscasts are titled CHAT News; the station carries a 30-minute lunch hour newscast at noon with a repeat from 12:30-1:00 p.m., and a two-hour early evening news block from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A half-hour review of the week’s news stories airs Saturdays at 6 p.m., with repeat broadcasts at 6 p.m. on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings at 6:30 a.m.
This past February, the station launched an online news portal powered by the CHAT-TV newsroom. In addition to local news, the website incorporates a community event calendar and a school event calendar. Check it out at: http://chatnewstoday.ca and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/CHATTV and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/CHATNewsToday.
CHAT-TV Newsroom Personalities
A Vancouver native, Michael graduated from BCIT two months after joining CHAT TV in 2012 as the Host of Late Night News. Before moving to Medicine Hat, Michael operated his own business consulting company before going back to school to realize his life long dream of being a television news anchor. When not behind the anchor desk, Michael can be found pursuing his love of history, long distance running and dogs. He’s also a long suffering Vancouver Canucks fan
Calgary born, Matt spent his childhood and formative years totally immersed in sports. Starting with soccer as most do, Matt then went on to Hockey, Baseball, Football, and Basketball, in that order. When he was 12 he was fortunate enough to represent Canada, along with his Father as a Coach, at the Little League World Series in Williamsport PA. When his aspirations of becoming a CFL Linebacker didn’t pan out, Matt returned to St. Mary’s High School. During that time, his Mother showed him the description of the Broadcast News program at SAIT. He applied and was accepted in 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.
Born and raised in Calgary Leah graduated from Mount Royal University’s Broadcasting program in late 2013. Her first start in the industry was right here in Medicine Hat where she interned for three months. After going out and exploring the broadcasting world in Airdrie as a morning radio news anchor she moved up to Fort St. John where she worked as a TV News reporter and videographer for CJDC TV. Leah Also became the morning show co-host for the local rock station 101.5 The Bear in her time there. Her love of TV News has brought her full circle and she happily returns to Medicine Hat to work as a TV News Reporter.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Ashley began her broadcasting career after graduating from the Creative Communications program at Red River College in 2012. She spent two years at Global Winnipeg and worked behind the scenes at Breakfast Television before moving across the country to become the anchor at CJDC TV in Dawson Creek, BC. Having always had a passion for storytelling and reporting, she’s excited to have the opportunity to do exactly that in Medicine Hat.
Mitch comes to Medicine Hat after beginning his broadcasting career in Fort St. John, BC. There he spent a year and a half as a weekend reporter/videographer for CJDC-TV News in Dawson Creek, BC. Born in Olds, and raised in Sundre, Alberta, Mitch grew up the same way many young Canadian’s grow up; at the hockey rink. Prior to enrolling in the RTBN program at SAIT Polytechnic, Mitch studied sciences at the University of Calgary for a year before taking a 7 month solo-trip to Australia. As a news reporter, Mitch enjoys covering hard-hitting stories that directly affect Hatters.
Bob graduated from the Radio and TV journalism program at Mount Royal College which led to him eventually coming back to Medicine Hat.Shortly after arriving on the CHAT scene, the Medicine Hat Tigers joined the Western hockey league with Bob as the play by play broadcaster, a job that he has held ever since. He has broadcast all games but one and has witnessed the team winning five championships and two Memorial Cup Championships. Trips to the Memorial Cup and broadcasting at that high level are the highlights of his career.
See more about CHAT-TV at: http://chattelevision.ca