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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 2, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Ex-Lelhbridgcile paves ivay for television first Phyllis Switzer's idea paid off The Canadian-Radio Tele- vision Commission has ap- proved establishment of To- ronto television channel 79, the first commercial ultra high-frequency television out- let in Canada. The driving force behind the successful bid for the licence was Phyl- lis Switzer, a former educa- tion writer with The Leth- bridge Herald, who con- ceived the idea of the station and is its vice-president. The following story appeared in The Toronto Star. By HELEN WORTIIINGTON Toronto Star Meet Phyllis Switzcr. And take note. You've probably never heard of her in the past; but you will be hearing from here in the future. Mrs. Switzer is, in her own feminine, lethal way, a giant killer. Over the opposition of two biggies, CTV television net- work and The Toronto Star, she was granted a licence by the Canadian Radio-Television Commission in Ottawa to oper- ate Toronto's fourth TV station. It's Channel 79 and it will differ from our oilier stations here in that it will be a low- budget effort aimed at local programming on a UHF outlet which reaches only owners of TV sets manufactured since 1969 or those with cable or a special converter. So who is this Phyllis Swit- zer and what's she all about? I phoned Phyllis, to find out just this, the morning after the announcement came from Ot- tawa of her success. "Well, I have a meeting at noon and I have to work with a client (she's in public rela- tions) this she said hesitantly. "How about if I come up to see you right now? Could you squeeze me in for an hour." "Okay if you promise riot to write about the mess of tins she answered. Judicial inquiry ordered TORONTO (CP) A judicial Inquiry headed by Judge An- thony Vannini of Sault Ste. Marie, Oat., will be held into the clash between police and citizens during a demonstration to protest the Oct. 25 visit here of Soviet Premier Alexei Kosy- gin. The announcement was made Wednesday by Attorney-General Allan Lawrence who said he was farced to take the action because of the reluctance of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission to investigate the incident. The terms of reference are as wide as they could be made but will be extended if the judge "wants them wider." The inquiry was requested by the Metro police commission, a move Mr. Lawrence said disap- pointed Mm, "because in my mind the local boards of police commissioners throughout this province are there to handle precisely Uicse kinds of complaints." He said if other commissions throughout the province adopt a similar attitude "changes will have to be made." Judge Vannini was selected as an outside investigator to avoid any question of partiality, Mr. Lawrence said. The county court judge is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie police commis- sion and recently conducted an inquiry into that city's parking authority. GM hikes price of vehicles OSHAWA, Out. (CP) Gen cral Motors of Canada Ltd. an- nounced Wednesday immediate increases averaging 2.5 per cent in suggested list prices of 1S172 cars, trucks and optional equip- ment. The increases ranged from for the Cadillac Calais to on the Oldsmobilc Delta Royalc. The Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird re- main unchanged. The increases arc below the average 3.7-per-cen! increase announced Aug. 5 and later re- scinded following tlie price freeze in the United Stales. President Nixon's price com- mission approved a GM request Tuesday to raise the price by 2.5 per cent, in the Uniled States on cars, trucks tmrt optional equipment. "I'm not interested in your i all younger and more success- mess, I'm only interested in ful than 1 am." your 1 replied. And so 1 ended up at her lovely Lawrence Park home witliin half an hour. Mess there wasn't; mind there was. This 40-year-old mother of three children, aged 15, lit and 5, is obviously with the help of a full-time housekeepr just as organized at home as she is on the job. "This is a crazy she said, in an unnecessary ef- fort at apologizing. "I'm the kind of woman who'll phone her housekeepr at 5 p.m. and say I'm taking off right now for Ottawa." The home itself is a tasteful symphony of walls, broadloom, sofa, love seats wherein Phyllis' den and office lie. The phone interrupted our conversation with startling reg- ularity every five minutes. "Now let's get this she started in right away. "I hate all the publicity, just be- cause I'm a woman. My asso- ciates are just as responsible for this as I am, and they're These associated are broad- cast lawyer Jerry Grafslcin, public relations ivhiz Ed Cowan and TV child prodigy Moses Znaimcr who will be general manager. Phyllis is vice-president; president is Ben Webster, a fi- nancier and nephew of the Globe and Mail's Howard Web- ster; and chairman of the board is former Loblaw presi- dent Leon Weinstcin. Nor is, she says in a self- deprecating way, the original idea hers. "It's my insists Phyllis, "who is a brilliant en- gineer (Israel Switzer is chief engineer for Maclean-Hunter Cable TV) and a philosopher of sorts." He didn't have time to carry out his idea, but she became obsessed with it and has been working on it steadily since 1089 to carry it out to fruition. The idea is this: Canada needs East-West TV communication. Okay, says Phyllis, but we need TV com- munic'ation right here in Metro. "We have such a glorious mix- ture right hare, and cable TV wasn't bundling the situation.' She plans to do 00 per cent local programming, goaig into the community for her scmccs "pieces like the theatres, the stock exchange, sports, Gros- m a n 's Tavern, community groups, things like that." When Phyllis latched onto this idea she was handling pub- lic relations for the Canadian Cable TV Association. A graduate in psychology ol the UniversKy of Alberta, she came by way of writing edu- cation for the Lethbridge Her- ald, then as women's editor of the Don Mills and Scarborough Mirrors, "after the Toronto dailies turned me down." After she WES given upon by one financial backer "because I was out of my depth at that she stuck with her idea and kept working it until she found new backers. "If it hadn't been for my husband and 15-year-old son egging me on, I would have given up long she says. Thursday, December 2, 1971 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID 9 Wheat 'C' quota opens WINNIPEG (CP) Three important (junta charges, in- cluding tla introduction of the wheat "C" quota, were an- nounced here by the Canadian Whei-t Board. J'lic first "C" quola for wheat,