Monday, March 09, 2009

Hamilton Movement to Make CHCH Community Owned

CanWest Global announced some time ago that they were looking for a buyer for Hamilton television station CHCH and it looks like they may have found one - Hamilton. The community is coming together in an effort to buy CHCH and make it community owned.

This Sunday, March 15, at Club Absinth, 233 King Street East in Hamilton a a fundraiser featuring 20 local bands is scheduled. Unfortunately according to their Facebook Event Page there are only 13 people who are 'definitely' coming. Still this may be more symbolic than anything. According to Suite 101:
The final structure would see the station’s broadcast license in the hands of a board of directors, made up of community members. For programming, it would rely on dramas and mostly local news.

Financial means for the station could come from the Canadian Radio Telecommunication Commission (CRTC). Skelly thinks the station would be a perfect candidate for a $40 million fund administered by the regulator. The funding recipients have yet to be determined.

If successful, the station still would have to raise $500,000 from the community in order to proceed with the bid. Local businesses could purchase space at a reduced cost because the station would be locally owned.
. It is unclear, given the financial problems the CBC and other private commercial broadcasters are having in making television financially viable whether or not the community of Hamilton would be able to make it work.

A Facebook Group for the cause is here.

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