from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In shoe manufacturing, a machine for turning back the flap of the channel cut in the leather to leave it open for the sewing-machine; a channel-flap turner or opener. After sewing, the channel-flap is turned back and cemented down by a channel-laying machine.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Fact is, when there's not a war going on, overseas news is a channel-turner.