Fire de­stroys CJOH - tv news­room in Ottawa; archives lost

Cape Breton Post - - OUR COMMUNITY -

OTTAWA (CP) — An­chor Max Keep­ing usu­ally tells his au­di­ence about fires in his city, but Sun­day he found him­self re­port­ing on the blaze that gut­ted his own news­room.

The blaze early Sun­day morn­ing de­stroyed CTV’s Ottawa news­room at its lo­cal sta­tion, CJOH-TV. Dam­ages were es­ti­mated at more than $2.5 mil­lion, the net­work said on its web­site.

Among the losses were the lo­cal news archives of Ottawa’s his­tory and the 37-year video his­tory of Keep­ing, who is set to re­tire April 1, CTV said.

It could be days be­fore staff can re­turn to the build­ing, but plans to con­tinue pro­duc­tion from the A Chan­nel build­ing in the By­ward Mar­ket were mov­ing for­ward, CTV said.

News­room staff have al­ready held their first meet­ing about re­sum­ing broad­cast­ing, Keep­ing said in an in­ter­view with CTV News Chan­nel.

The sta­tion was to be on the air Sun­day evening with lo­cal news dur­ing the Su­per Bowl and would have its lo­cal news­cast Sun­day night at 11:30 p.m., he said.

CTV sta­tions in Montreal, Toronto and Saskatchewan were send­ing some cam­eras and edit suites to Ottawa, he added.

“ We have CTV fa­cil­i­ties down­town that we’re go­ing to im­me­di­ately move into and broad­cast. So we’re as­sur­ing the pub­lic that we’ll con­tinue to present our in­for­ma­tion pack­ages as nor­mally as pos­si­ble over the next cou­ple of days and weeks,” said Keep­ing.

It’s not known what caused the blaze, which be­gan on the sec­ond floor of the Merivale Road build­ing some­time be­fore 4:30 a.m.

It took 70 fire­fight­ers and 18 fire trucks more than two hours to bring the flames un­der con­trol.

No in­juries were re­ported how­ever a se­cu­rity guard was in the build­ing when the blaze broke out.

CJOH TV, which signed on back on March 12, 1961, broad­cast the first “Ques­tion Pe­riod” and was home to shows such as ” You Can’t Do That on Tele­vi­sion“ — which was Ala­nis Moris­sette’s first tele­vi­sion show — ” The Gal­lop­ing Gourmet“, ” The Amaz­ing Kre­skin,“ as well as two soap op­eras.

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