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The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday July 3, 2009
The bid by Channel Zero to buy Hamilton's CHCH-TV from Canwest is being hailed as a "radical" move that is good news for Hamilton.

Carmi Levy, an independent technology and media analyst, said the purchase means Hamilton will end up with its own reinforced local station in a strong, sustainable business model.

"The Greater Hamilton area would have been the only city in Canada without a TV station," he said. "This is a good outcome."

Aug. 31 -- previously the date the station would have closed -- is now the closing date for the sale, pending approval by the CRTC and unionized staff accepting cuts to pensions and benefits.

All 120 staff positions are considered saved by the move.

Channel Zero also has a deal to buy Canwest's Montreal affiliate CJNT-TV and operate it as a multicultural station. The company did not disclose how much it paid for the station, but the Globe and Mail quoted an unnamed source who said the two stations went for less than $5,000.

Channel Zero plans to toss out CTV's model of local newscasts with purchased dramatic programming and introduce an all-day news station with movies at night.

As far as Levy is concerned, it's brilliant.

"The trend in media is hyper local. It's an interesting business model -- exploiting the local news angle, cutting costs and putting movies in at night. CTV has to be looking at this for its local stations." Source....

Hamilton gets 'completely local newscast'
Center lower