Update: Owners Email About LARCAN Closure

UPDATE: After repeated attempts by TV Technology to get comments from the owners of LARCAN, we received the following email 37 hours after publication of the news that the operation had shut down—news confirmed by at least a dozen sources, including employees:

“Dear TVtechnology (sic), We are Sumavision from China. We saw news ‘LARCAN Closes Its Doors’ on your website, We formally notice you that this news is not true. Sumavision did not have any order to discontinue operations of Larcan, and Sumavision is still working on Larcan issues and no conclusion for now.
Please pay attention to truth of your report.
Sumavision Retain legal rights and interests.

The email was sent from a Linda Gao at Sumavision.com. TV Technology replied to Ms. Gao as follows:

“Are you saying that all LARCAN employees are still actively engaged in daily employment with LARCAN?”

This reply email bounced, and repeated attempts to call the number listed for Sumavision on the email did not go through.

TV Technology welcomes the opportunity to talk to representatives of Sumavision about its plans for LARCAN.

In the meantime, we stand by our reporting. ~ Deborah D. McAdams

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO, CANADATV Technology has learned that LARCAN, a Canadian television and radio transmitter manufacturer that has been in operation since the early 1950s, ceased operating on July 10, several sources familiar with the situation confirmed. One said the company shut its doors and dismissed the roughly 35-40 employees remaining at its Mississauga, Ontario and Lafayette, Colo. operations.

According to one source, employees were given no notice of the impending closure. They were told only that they were now without jobs and given orders to remove their personal belongings and turn in keys and company-issued credit cards.

Another source reported that the order to discontinue operations had come from Sumavision, Larcan’s majority owner based in China. LARCAN began a partnership with Beijing’s Sumavision Technologies Co., Ltd. in 2009, with that company acquiring a controlling interest in LARCAN in late 2013.

Multiple LARCAN executives did not respond to queries about the shutdown, which one source said came after orders for transmitters “dried up.”

LARCAN had a long-established global reputation in the field of both solid-state and vacuum television transmitters in all power ranges. The company also manufactured FM broadcast transmitters and translators, as well as mobile DTV products. LARCAN has also provided of a range of engineering services in connection with transmitter installations.

LARCAN was formally established in 1981 when employees of the Canadian General Electric and the LeBlanc and Royale organization purchased CGE’s broadcast operation. The name LARCAN is an acronym for LeBlanc And Royal CANada. Until recently, LARCAN has been Canada’s only manufacturer of both radio and television transmitters. (Editor's note: Nautel introduced its first DTV transmitter line at NAB last year, and Technaligix, which came to our attention in the comments below, was “derived from a major U.S. broadcasting company,” according to its website, and “incorporated in 1995.”

~Deborah D. McAdams contributed to this story.

James E. O'Neal

James E. O’Neal has more than 50 years of experience in the broadcast arena, serving for nearly 37 years as a television broadcast engineer and, following his retirement from that field in 2005, moving into journalism as technology editor for TV Technology for almost the next decade. He continues to provide content for this publication, as well as sister publication Radio World, and others.  He authored the chapter on HF shortwave radio for the 11th Edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook, and serves as editor-in-chief of the IEEE’s Broadcast Technology publication, and as associate editor of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. He is a SMPTE Life Fellow, and a Life Member of the IEEE and the SBE.