CANWEST Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS) filed for bankruptcy protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act on Tuesday. Here are some highlights from the company’s history:
1970s: Israel (Izzy) Asper founds Canwest Capital Corp. and responds to call for applications for a new television station in Winnipeg. Asper leads financial rescue operation for near-bankrupt Global TV network.
1974: CRTC approves licence application for independent station CKND-TV.
1980s: Canwest adds Vancouver station and secures new licences for start-ups in Regina and Saskatoon. Acquires station in Halifax/Saint John. Secures 100 per cent ownership of Global in 1989.
1992: Buys stake in Australia’s Network Ten.
1997: Buys More FM, New Zealand commercial radio network. Launches company’s first specialty cable TV channel Prime TV in Canada. Further acquisitions in New Zealand follow over next few years.
July 31, 2000: Hollinger announces sale of its 13 major Canadian newspapers, 126 community newspapers, Internet properties, and half of the National Post to Canwest Global Communications for $3.2 billion — $1.8 billion in cash, $685 million in shares and $770 million in a Canwest debenture.
2000: Gets CRTC approval for purchase of conventional television assets of WIC Western International Communications, launching Global Television System.
Aug. 23, 2001: Acquires remaining 50 per cent stake in National Post.
2003: Canwest establishes Canwest News Service and a national news centre in Winnipeg to provide national and international news to its newspapers and television operations in Canada.
May 2003: The Asper family and O & Y Real Estate Investment Trust purchase the 33-storey TD Centre office tower at Portage and Main for $69 million. Rename it Canwest Global Place.
Fall 2006: Relocates its 20-person national news centre to Ottawa from Winnipeg and sells its Winnipeg-based FM radio station (99.1 Cool FM) and Kitchener radio station (The Beat 91.5) to Corus Entertainment.
January 2007: Canwest partners with U.S. private equity firm Goldman, Sachs & Co. to buy Alliance Atlantis specialty television channels.
February 2007: Canwest buys The New Republic magazine.
May 2007: Canwest MediaWorks Income Fund privatized.
June 2007: Canwest becomes majority and controlling shareholder of Ten Network.
September 2007: E! network launches in Canada.
January 2008: Announces plans to phase out its digital broadcast centre and an accompanying 50 jobs by October of that year as it consolidates those operations in Toronto.
September 2008: Relocates its Winnipeg TV station from its longtime home on St. Mary’s Road to the 30th floor of Canwest Global Place.
November 2008: Lays off 560 workers as it streamlines operations to save $61 million a year.
February 2009: Canwest’s lenders limit borrowing under Canwest Media division’s $300-million senior credit facility, sparking future discussions over borrowing conditions.
March-July 2009: Canwest sells numerous assets to appease creditors. Includes The New Republic magazine and E!-branded stations CHCH-TV in Hamilton and CJNT-TV.
September 2009: Canwest sells its stake in Ten Networks Holdings Ltd., the Australian TV network, for $634 million.
Oct. 6 2009: Canwest files for bankruptcy protection.
— CP / Staff