Citytv Saskatchewan completes SCN takeover
By Emma Graney, Leader-Post
July 4, 2012
A makeshift Citytv Saskatchewan sign taped over a frosted glass SCN logo was the first clue things are a little different in what used to be the headquarters of the Saskatchewan Communications Network.
The giveaway, though, will come when viewers switch on their television sets.
Instead of the once-government-owned SCN gracing their screens, they will now see Rogers Media-owned Citytv Saskatchewan, which carries the likes of New Girl, Modern Family and Canadian Bachelor.
The channel officially launched on Monday, and Rogers Broadcasting president Scott Moore was in Regina on Tuesday to meet with his new employees for the first time.
While he says the company is "extremely proud" of its upcoming fall schedule, he admits not every viewer has been happy.
"One of the funny early complaints when we changed over on an affiliate agreement for prime time was that Bonanza, the hit series from the '60s, was no longer on the air," he said.
"Some shows have been replaced by programming which is, perhaps, a little bit more contemporary."
While prime time will look different, the commercial-free educational programming from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. will remain - one of the conditions of the SCN sale's thumbs up by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
Another big difference between Citytv in this province compared with other markets will be the lack of a local morning show and news service.
"If this was more like the licence we have in Winnipeg, Vancouver or Calgary, we would do specific local programming, but that's not the mandate of this licence," Moore said.
"We'll continue to source educational programming through Saskatchewan producers whenever possible, but educational programming, by its very nature, is not necessarily local. It's about education in general, so it has a pretty wide mandate it can run."
One the programs already commissioned by Citytv Saskatchewan to meet its mandate is a documentary about Saskatchewan's economy, called The Sky is the Limit, which will run in September. It's being made by Regina producer Stephen Onda.
Sportsnet - another Rogers-owned station - will also be in Saskatoon next year following the Blades in their bid for the Memorial Cup. That behind-the-scenes documentary will also be screened on Citytv Saskatchewan.
"It will turn out to be good for the Saskatchewan production community which, at this particular time, probably needs a little good news," Moore said.
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