Since its beginning, Victoria’s CHEK-TV has been a trailblazer in the television industry. When it launched in 1956, it was the first television station to take to
the airwaves on Vancouver Island, the first independently owned station in British
Columbia, and the first station in Canada with colour telecasting capabilities.
A half-century later, in 2009, CHEK became the first employee-owned television
station in North America after corporate owner CanWest Global threatened to shut it
down. The David-and-Goliath story made national headlines and reawakened a belief
in local, independent broadcasting. In the five years since the employee purchase of the station, CHEK has weathered the challenges of independent ownership and remains
proudly local, in every sense of the word. While the future of media is unpredictable
and the feasibility of local television continues to be challenged, CHEK Republic is, at its core, a success story, chronicling the long history, near downfall, and rebirth of a truly one-of-a-kind media outlet.
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About the Author
In her 24-year media career, Diane Dakers has written for most of Canada’s major daily newspapers and a number of national and regional magazines and weekly publications. Her voice has been heard on local, national, and provincial radio stations, and she has been a television host, reporter, producer, and writer. Diane holds a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.