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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Battered CTV returns to screens

Battered CTV returns to screens

Last updated 05:00 19/04/2011
Canterbury Television (CTV) has returned to the region's screens after February's deadly earthquake put the station's future in doubt.

CTV lost 16 staff members, including managing director Murray Wood, when its central Christchurch building collapsed on February 22.

It screened a news bulletin at 5.30pm yesterday.

News editor Rob Cope-Williams said the CTV "family" would celebrate being back on air with a bottle of bubbly.

The 12 staff members had been "working their little hearts out" to resume broadcasting.

"It is very exciting – exhausting, but exciting. We have come back through buckets and buckets of enthusiasm," Cope-Williams said.

CTV staff members were working from the Mainland Press building in Wairakei Rd, he said, and they had been running on adrenaline since the quake.

"Everybody is very emotional, but because we have been so busy we have been on a high," he said.

"What happens in about two months when we come off the high, which we will, then I don't know.

"It's going to be scary.

"We are family and I am going to have to be very careful and look after everybody and make sure they are all OK.

"When my wheels fall off, I think we will find there will be 11 people who will bolt them back in again."

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman paid tribute to CTV's return.

Brownlee said it marked a significant point in Canterbury's recovery.

CTV was honouring the lives of the people it lost by resuming, he said.

"We've got a big job ahead of us but we are a resilient community and CTV is very much leading the way in what will be a bigger, better and brighter Christchurch future," he said.

Coleman said it was a great feat to be back on air.

"It will also be a poignant and sad occasion after 16 staff ... lost their lives when the CTV building collapsed.

"To rebound so quickly and provide Cantabrians with their television station again shows great spirit and real grit," Coleman said.

CTV News will run daily bulletins at 5.30pm that will be repeated at 9.30pm.

The station plans to resume full transmission on Monday, May 2.

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