Affils to give equally to CTV cash infusion

CTV, Canada’s only private national net, yesterday finalized a restructuring agreement that quashed a 31-year-old cooperative management structure.

Under a new shareholders agreement, seven of the eight affiliate owners will contribute equally to a $ C14 million ($ 11.9 million) cash infusion.

That includes key player Baton Broadcasting, Vancouver-based Western Intl. Communications and CHUM. The Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. opted not to become a shareholder. The East Coast firm will remain a pure affiliate, but has revoked its say in boardroom affairs.

The newly clinched deal also eliminates the somewhat primitive management structure that gave each affiliate owner an equal vote with veto power regardless of the number of stations each owned. Over the years, that often meant boardroom affairs ground to a halt if owners were not able to reach unanimous agreement. Management recommendations will now require a majority support.

The deal likely will help pave the way for the renewal of CTV’s license, which expired last August.

The web was granted a temporary license extension until May 31, 1993, to sort out ongoing management disputes. Much of that attention was focused on internal power struggles between WIC and Baton.

The conflict seems to have been resolved as WIC’s focus turns to its new acquisition of Hamilton-based CHCH-TV.

And Baton–which owns 11 of CTV’s 25 stations–seems more focused on building on regional net Ontario Network Television through the acquisition of two Ontario stations. Two days ago, federal broadcast watchdog, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, greenlighted Baton’s application to purchase the stations.

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