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CTV logo.svg
Southwestern Ontario
City of license Kitchener, Ontario
Branding CTV Southwestern Ontario
Channels Analog: 13 (VHF)
Digital: allocated 7 (VHF)
Translators see below
Affiliations CTV
Owner CTVglobemedia
(CTV Television, Inc.)
First air date March 1, 1954
Call letters’ meaning C
Sister station(s) CKKW-FM, CFCA-FM
Former affiliations CBC (1954-1964)
Transmitter Power 325 kW
Height 291.9 m
Transmitter Coordinates 43°24′17″N 80°38′5″W / 43.40472°N 80.63472°W / 43.40472; -80.63472
Website CTV Southwestern Ontario

CKCO-TV is a television station broadcasting on channel 13 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. It is an owned and operated station of the CTV Television Network, and has been branded CTV Southwestern Ontario since 2005.



CKCO's-TV's logo under BBS affiliation, used from 1994-1997. The logo featured multicoloured rings around the word BBS. Although under the ownership of Electrohome, the station still adopted the BBS logo. Other BBS stations used a similar logo, the only difference being the call signs. The previous CKCO logo was dropped in 1994 which featured a horse-drawn wagon and the Electrohome logo. 50% of CKCO was bought by Baton in 1996 and one year later, Baton assumed full control of CKCO. The CKCO logo remained until 1997 when it was dropped in favour of a logo featuring "CKCO" in gold lettering and the CTV logo. [1]

Broadcasts began on March 1, 1954 from a transmitter on Baden Hill, near Baden, just west of Kitchener. The transmitter has become one of the most identifiable landmarks for those who live in the area. Originally, like all private television stations in Canada from 1953 to 1959, CKCO was an affiliate of the CBC, but changed its affiliation to CTV in 1964. The station still broadcasts, on channel 13, from the Baden tower, although it increased signal power in the early 1960s to reach London, from which Kitchener then received CBC affiliate programs on CFPL-TV.

The station's founder was Carl Arthur Pollock. At one time CKCO was owned by CAP Communications, named after Pollock's initials. Pollock was also an executive with Electrohome, although his broadcast holdings — which also included CFCA-FM and CKKW — were operated by a separate company until a corporate reorganization in 1970 placed the stations directly under the ownership of Electrohome.

As of October 3, 2005, CKCO no longer identifies by its call letters, and its newscasts are branded as "CTV News".

Viewing area and transmitters

CKCO's transmission tower on Baden Hill.

In addition to the Baden tower, CKCO has two additional rebroadcast transmitters to extend its viewing area to cover most of Southwestern Ontario, with some exceptions such as Essex County and Windsor (which does not have a CTV station of its own, being served only by the former CTV-turned-A station CHWI), where it is available on Cogeco on Cable Channel 13.

CKCO's Sarnia rebroadcaster CKCO-TV-3, on Channel 42 and actually located at Oil Springs, was established in 1975. The station can be seen over the air and on cable in extreme eastern and southeastern Michigan in such towns as Port Huron to St. Clair Shores, and is on the channel lineup in Detroit-area TV Guide listings. The station's target audience is Sarnia, Chatham, and most of Lambton and Kent counties.

The station also has a news bureau in Chatham, Ontario.

CTV also broadcasts to the Georgian Bay region on channel 2 from the CKCO-TV-2 transmitter, which has operated since 1971 in the town of Wiarton, Ontario. Its terrestrial footprint reaches as far east as Toronto, where it is carried on digital cable (until recently, it was available on analog basic cable, but high up on the UHF dial).

Prior to 1999, the station also broadcast on channel 11 to the Muskoka and Parry Sound districts of Ontario from the CKCO-TV-4 transmitter near Huntsville. That year, that transmitter was changed to a rebroadcaster of CKNY in North Bay. (It has since become a rebroadcaster of Sudbury's CICI.)

The station also had a news office in Windsor, at the corner of Park Street and Victoria Avenue, at the ground floor of the Victoria Park Place apartments, but closed up in 1994, shortly after the launch of Independent station/Semi-BBS affiliate, CHWI. The spot was abandoned for several years, still showing the faded "CKCO-TV 42" banners atop its storefront for a few years. It is now a convenience store.


CKCO-TV logo in 1977, indicating the Sarnia channel 42 transmitter
Station City of licence Channel ERP HAAT Transmitter Coordinates
CKCO-TV-2 Wiarton 2 (VHF) 100 kW 286.1 m 44°56′41″N 81°7′54″W / 44.94472°N 81.13167°W / 44.94472; -81.13167 (CKCO-TV-2)
CKCO-TV-3 Oil Springs / Sarnia 42 (UHF) 846 kW 303 m 42°42′53″N 82°8′11″W / 42.71472°N 82.13639°W / 42.71472; -82.13639 (CKCO-TV-3)

Currently, CKCO-TV-3 produces a very limited amount of alternate local programming for the Sarnia area.

CKCO-TV-2 is slated to be shut down on or before August 31, 2009.[2] CKCO-TV-3 is scheduled to cease producing distinct local programming at the same time, but is expected to continue operations as a rebroadcaster.[3] Both actions are pending CRTC approval.


CKCO was originally owned by Central Ontario Television, a consortium that included the Famous Players theatre chain (today owned by Cineplex Entertainment) and businessman Carl Arthur Pollock, president of the family-owned television manufacturer Electrohome.

Electrohome acquired control of CKCO in 1970 when Canadian broadcasting laws required domestic ownership of stations, ending the involvement of American-owned Famous Players, which at the time was owned by Paramount Pictures.

In the 1990s, Baton Broadcasting had owned competing local stations in southwestern Ontario (CFPL-TV London, CHWI-TV Windsor, CKNX-TV Wingham). A deal between Electrohome and Baton in 1996 resulted in each company owning half of these stations, plus CKCO-TV, among other Canadian stations.

The following year, another deal gave Baton control over CKCO-TV, while CHUM Limited took control over the other southwestern Ontario stations (today operating under the A brand). CTVglobemedia reacquired CFPL, CHWI and CKNX in 2007 as a result of a takeover of CHUM Limited.

In 1998, Baton changed its name to CTV Inc. after becaming the sole owner of CTV, ending the decades of co-operative ownership of the network. In 2000, BCE purchased CTV Inc. and combined it with NetStar Communications and The Globe and Mail into Bell Globemedia. The company changed its name in 2007 to CTVglobemedia after BCE reduced its ownership stake.


At present the flagship newscast is called CTV News, replacing CKCO News. Prior to 1998, when Baton Broadcasting rebranded all the CTV stations identically, CKCO's newscast was called CKCO Action News. In the past, newscasts titles on CKCO included Scan NewsHour and Ontario Report.

The station continues to produce a limited amount of local programming in addition to its local newscasts. CKCO broadcasts the current affairs program ProvinceWide, anchored and produced by Daiene Vernile, on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m., it also broadcasts What's Your Point?, which features a four-member panel debating current issues, and is hosted by Brent Hanson.

Before CKCO was a CTV owned-and-operated station, the station produced considerably more local non-news programming:

  • Canadian Bandstand (1958-?, an apparent franchising of American Bandstand)
  • Bowling for Dollars (1970s?–1992)
  • Camp Cariboo (1985–1990)
  • Romper Room, a children's program, was broadcast nationally on CTV from the mid-1960s to 1992
  • Polka Time (originally Gemütlichkeit), hosted by Grammy Award winning polka musician Walter Ostanek
  • Sunday AM
  • Provincewide (1985 - present)
  • Tree House (children's program)
  • Several programs hosted by Big Al, including the noon-time Big Al's Cartoon Capers, Big Al's Talent Showcase, and Big Al's Ranch Party in the late afternoon

CKCO was known for many years for the red jackets worn by news anchors on their newscasts, a practice that began in 1967 with the emergence of colour television and continued until 1989.


News veterans who had their start at the station include Jeff Hutcheson, Lisa LaFlamme and Ron Johnston.

Bill Inkol was a long-time sportscaster for not only the station, but often for CTV's national sports broadcasts. He was also a host of Bowling for Dollars.

"Big Al" ("Al" Elwood Jones) was the long-time host of after-school Big Al's Ranch Party, Big Al's Talent Showcase, Big Al's Cartoon Capers, Big Al and the Flintstones, as well as other children's programs at the station.

Oopsy the Clown, a children's performer portrayed by St, Thomas , Ontario native Bob McNea (1929-2005), moved to CKCO after appearing for several years on Detroit, Michigan NBC affiliate WWJ-TV (now WDIV-TV). Bob was the Detroit "Bozo the Clown." During the seventies it was found that the Bozo cartoons were too violent and WWJ executives offered Bob the opportunity to create a new clown show. During a Bozo episode it was announced that Bozo was leaving TV to go back and join the circus. He phoned his clown cousin "Oopsy" and during a split screen conversation ( with Bob playing both Bozo and Oopsy ) Oopsy agreed to replace him. "The Oopsy the Clown Show" aired for a while on WWJ and then Bob decided to move back to Canada and joined CKCO-TV.

Gary McLaren worked in the news department for 39 years (1957-1996), spending most of that time in an on-air role, and also hosted Canadian Bandstand in the 1960s and the weekend news magazine show " Sunday AM."

Daiene Vernile has anchored/produced the weekly program Provincewide since its launch in 1985, making it the longest, continuous-running locally produced news magazine show in Canada.

Other personalities in the station's history included local daytime show hosts such as Elaine Cole, Betty Thompson and Johnnie Walters. Thompson was also a long-time host of Romper Room. Bob Bratina hosted Polka Time with Walter Ostanek and replaced "Big Al" as host of Talent Showcase prior to Oopsy the Clown and his talent show " Big Top Talent."

Present-day 6:00 o'clock newscasters Kyle Christie and Janine Grespan, weatherman Dave MacDonald and sportscaster Randy Steinman have a combined 90+ years experience working for CKCO.

Digital Television

As of 2009, CKCO-DT has not signed on the air.

Due to the analogue over-the-air television shutdown in Canada which is expected to take place on August 31, 2011, CKCO-DT will move from channel 7 to 13, the station's current analogue channel number,[4] as a result of avoiding interference from WNGS in Buffalo, New York, which will broadcast on channel 7, when the station resumes broadcast.


External links



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