Bellingham/Vancouver/Fraser Valley (With files from Michael Godin, Robert Linden, Campbell McCubbin and Dianne Newman) – If there is one thing that is a sure sigh of the times, it’s major changes in Media.
This year alone, Bell and Newcap have cut radio jobs in BC. Postmedia and Torstar were involved in a major deal which saw many newspaper jobs lost back east.
The Vancouver Westender Newspaper has now ceased operation, in time for Christmas.
Now it’s Television’s turn.
When KVOS signed on from Bellingham in 1953, only those with tall antennas could pick up the signal, along with a couple of stations in Seattle. CBUT (CBC Vancouver) would sign on a few months after KVOS.
Micahel Godin was in media sales for KVOS TV in Vancouver (They had a sales office north of the 49th). Many years ago, when he was an talent scout and A&R man for A&M records, he discovered a kid named… Bryan Adams.
Mr. Godin took to social media stating that the end of an era in Vancouver TV history is coming. KVOS Television has been sold with the close being January 15, 2018.
The new owner is now Weigel Broadcasting, the owner of the MeTV Network.
They have made the corporate decision to no longer carry any local (BC) advertising.Many a Canadian store and company saw KVOS is an economical way to buy TV ads that would be seen in the States as well as the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.
As a result of this decision in the marketing plan, they have also decided to close the KVOS offices in Vancouver, Bellingham and Seattle. The ad sales will come from corporate HQ.
KVOS can afford to do this as they have over 1 million viewers every month. Once a CBS affiliate, KVOS has long been an independent station showing old reruns of MASH, All In The Family, Hogan’s Heroes and Andy Griffith.
KVOS also cyphened off advertising dollars from other Canadian outlets. For years, that was a bone of contention for BC Broadcasters.
Like Godin, all of the staff are being let go. Some have been with the station ranging from 18 years to 30 years.
But with this move, comes nostalgia for the good old days.
Robert Linden, the former News Director of the Original STAR FM in the Valley as well as the now defunct Radio Max noted: I don’t know where to start. Waayýy back in the day, KVOS would carry some CBS programming for people in Vancouver who’s rooftop antenna couldn’t get KIRO in Seattle. So things like “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” was there to see. But I most remember the station for Frisky Frolics or British Sunday Theatre (…which introduced us to the Carry On movies, Summer Holiday with Cliff Richards and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, etc.) Everybody has there own fond favorites on KVOS. I know it had a profound impact in shaping my cultural preferences. Lots of clips are available on YouTube. So long old pal.
Former JR FM News Director Campbell McCubbin added : Don’t forget Red Robinson’s Classic Movies.
KVOS was for many years, on basic “classic” cable channel 12 and over time, then Rogers and now Shaw, bumped it down the dial. It now sits at Cable Channel 82 and on air bills itself as a “Seattle” station for MeTV.