CIVI commits to Van. Island

Vancouver: Because the crtc gave it only a four-year licence instead of the more customary seven-year operating licence, civi has scaled back its funding commitment to British Columbia-based television producers....

Vancouver: Because the crtc gave it only a four-year licence instead of the more customary seven-year operating licence, civi has scaled back its funding commitment to British Columbia-based television producers.

Owned by chum and operated like a toned-down version of Citytv, civi will fund up to $3.5 million in production from producers on Vancouver Island and another $3.5 million in production from producers in the rest of the province over the initial four-year licence term. Originally, the station – which won approval July 6 to start a new signal on the West Coast – promised $12 million over seven years.

civi is the first new Victoria station in 25 years and programming for the provincial capital is the first priority, says incoming president and gm David Kines. A bureau in Nanaimo will also be in place by next September when the station goes live.

Local production will total 26 hours per week, only 6.5 hours of which will be non-news programming such as magazine shows on aboriginal affairs, ecology, sports and ‘life-long learning’ for seniors.

At press time, civi was in final negotiations to buy a downtown Victoria heritage building – part of a $20-million capital investment in plant assets. The civi signal will extend throughout Vancouver Island and in the Greater Vancouver region as far as Chilliwack. *

-www.chumlimited.com