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Friday, May 6, 2011

CTV makes do and programmes return to air

CTV makes do and programmes return to air

Last updated 05:00 03/05/2011
Canterbury Television (CTV) is back on air, despite an improvised studio and shortage of equipment.

The television station yesterday resumed programming after losing 16 staff members, including managing director Murray Wood, when its central Christchurch building collapsed on February 22.

Lifestyle show City Life, hosted by Kineta Knight, marked its return with Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker among guests at the studio.

CTV is being broadcast on UHF 44, Telstra 86 or Maori Television nationally, from 8am to 10am and 1pm to 3pm weekdays, and 8am to 2pm on weekends.

News broadcasts resumed from the station's new Wairakei Rd base last month.

Presenter Rob Cope-Williams said going to air yesterday was "exciting and humbling".

"A small group of people managed to put together in six weeks what would normally take six months. We're still well away from having what we want and what we should have," he said.

The station was operating "like MacGyver" after replacement equipment was delayed by the Japan tsunami. A control room was still being built.

"We are just making do with what can, but we're getting more and more like a television station," he said.

CTV chairman Nick Smith said he was impressed by the first-up effort, given the shortage of resources.

The arrangement with Maori Television continues until the end of July, but could be extended.

Broadcasting to a national audience for the first time had significant benefits, Smith said.

"I'm hoping [Maori Television] will find that we've added quite a few to their audience and they may continue it, or, if they don't continue it, we'll find another away of being up the top," he said.

Included in the new lineup is Susan Sells, with former host and Christchurch city councillor Sue Wells.

Cope-Williams' show Rob's Country and Pete Smith's sports programme will also resume.

"We're pretty pleased with what we've done thus far, but an audience is always fickle," Nick Smith said. "As long as we keep delivering new and different things, they'll stay with us."

Wells said she had mixed emotions.

"I'm looking forward to doing it, but, at the same time, it's going to be really hard looking down the barrel and knowing you're looking at friends and families of people who have lost people."

Items of interest could help

Photos, videos and first-hand reports on the condition of four buildings that collapsed or were seriously damaged in the February earthquake are being sought for a Government investigation.

Yesterday, the Department of Building and Housing appealed for public help with investigation into the Canterbury Television, Pyne Gould Corporation, Forsyth Barr and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings.

Items of interest include photos, video recordings, documentary evidence and first-hand accounts on the state of the buildings before, during and after February 22, and information about the buildings' foundations, plans, design, maintenance and alterations. The investigation will report on the construction and design of the buildings, the impact of any alterations, the buildings' performance during the September quake and aftershocks, safety or stability assessments undertaken, and why the buildings collapsed or suffered serious damage on February 22.

A spokesman said engineering consultants and experts would assist with the report, which would form part of the royal commission of inquiry.

- The Press

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