Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Metro 14 TV makes presence in Montreal
Cable Channel 14 has gone through a few incarnations in Montreal. Originally known as
La Télévision Ethnique du Québec (TEQ), a public access and ethnic cable channel, it morphed into CJNT TV in 1997 – again focusing on mainly ethnic and multicultural content – before coming under the ownership of CanWest Global. It then also became identified as CH and E!
Very quietly, just two years ago, an Ontario-based outfit called Channel Zero purchased CJNT. Last winter it was formally rebranded Metro 14 and last week the Toronto/Hamilton-based group made a big splash at trendy Rosalie Restaurant on Avenue de la Montagne.
Metro 14 is owned by Channel Zero Inc., a private Canadian television broadcaster, has that purchased CHCH-TV in Hamilton and CJNT-TV in Montreal from CanWest Global. This deal ensured the continued operation and local focus of both stations and the employment of all employees.
While the main focus of Metro 14 involves 18 hours of American TV simulcasts, original and foreign movies, multicultural programming and music videos, Channel Zero President and CEO Romen Podzyhun said that he has given CJNT boss Isabella Federigi a mandate to seek out some local programming options. Metro 14 has also reeled in Brian Kenemy as a senior sales executive. Kenemy is a former general manager of The Q 92.5 FM and well connected in the community.
Among those at the launch was entertainment guru Sheldon Kagan. How about the Sheldon Kagan Show? The man in question kind of liked the idea. I suggested to Podzyhun that he introduce a once a week late night TV show similar to Leno and Letterman, hosted by Aaron Rand and Tasso. What about a provocative current affairs program, a Montreal version if you will of Radio Canada’s Tout le monde en parle?
Chris Fuoco, vice-president of sales and marketing for Channel Zero, says that Metro 14 plans to provide a local platform for Quebec bands to get airtime via their videos. Foreign films will get good exposure. “Often you will see a number of films nominated for Oscars, but you never know where you can watch them,” he said. “Metro 14 will provide that opportunity. The same goes for short films.”
In the spring of 2012 Channel Zero will present the television broadcast premiere of Avatar containing many elements which did not appear in the Oscar winning film version.
I have already been watching Sportsline, weeknights at 7 p.m., with provocative host Mark Hebscher (left). Many years ago Hebscher was a sportcaster on Montreal radio.
Metro14 Montreal is available in the Greater Montreal area over the air on channel 62 (UHF) and on cable on Videotron, on Rogers in Ontario and across Canada on satellite on BellTV.