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This article is about the general Canadian Citytv brand. Individual stations are listed according to their call signs.
For the cable music channel in Bulgaria, see City TV.
Citytv
Citytv logo.svg
Type Broadcast television system
Country Canada
Availability Semi-national (most urban areas of Ontario and Alberta, and much of B.C. and Manitoba) and in parts of the northern U.S. via digital cable As well as a franchise in Colombia Citytv Bogota
Owner Rogers Communications
Key people Leslie Sole - CEO of Television for Rogers Media
Launch date September 28, 1972
Official Website Citytv

Citytv is a Canadian English language television system owned and operated by Rogers Communications. The system currently consists of five owned and operated television stations located in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as three affiliates located in smaller cities in Alberta and B.C. With the closure of Canwest's E! in 2009, Citytv is now Canada's most widely-available over-the-air television service without "network" status. The Citytv brand has also been licensed to television stations outside of Canada.

Citytv stations originally had an intensely-local format based on newscasts aimed at younger viewers, nightly movies, and music and cultural programming. Moses Znaimer, who developed the original format, once described the system's philosophy by saying, "It's not the show, it's the flow." However, particularly under Rogers ownership, the system has moved towards a more conventional network-style schedule, and in January 2010, the company announced cost-cutting measures at the Citytv stations including the cancellation of certain local newscasts.

Contents

History

The original Citytv station, granted callsign CITY-TV by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), was founded in Toronto in 1972 and began broadcasting for the first time on September 28 under the ownership of Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd; CHUM Limited acquired the station in 1981. Broadcasting on UHF channel 79 through its first decade, the station moved to channel 57 in 1983, where it remains to this day. In 1987, the station moved its headquarters from 99 Queen Street East to 299 Queen Street West (then known as the CHUM-City Building); one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. On September 8, 2009, Citytv moved to its current location at Yonge-Dundas Square on 33 Dundas Street East. [1]

Citytv gained a second station in Vancouver when CHUM bought CKVU from Canwest Global in 2001. The station became Citytv Vancouver on July 22, 2002. Prior to CHUM's acquisition of CKVU, some Citytv programming was syndicated to KVOS in nearby Bellingham, Washington.

In 2004, CHUM bought Craig Media Inc., parent of the A-Channel system in Manitoba and Alberta. The Craig-owned A-Channel stations were relaunched as Citytv on August 2, 2005; the same date when CHUM's NewNet stations were rebranded under the A-Channel banner.

On July 12, 2006, Citytv parent CHUM Limited announced plans to sell its broadcasting assets to CTV parent CTVglobemedia. CTVgm initially intended to retain CHUM's Citytv system while divesting CHUM's A-Channel stations and Access Alberta in order for the CRTC to approve the acquisition [2].

On the same day that the takeover was announced, Citytv canceled its supper hour, late night, and weekend newscasts at its local Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg stations, laying off hundreds of news department staff.

Citytv news vehicle in Edmonton

In October 2006, Citytv launched a daily national newscast, CityNews International. It is produced in Toronto for broadcast on the western Canadian stations, as well as on CHUM's Toronto news channel CP24. The Edmonton and Calgary stations also began broadcasting a daily 30-minute magazine show, Your City, instead of a full-fledged newscast. The Vancouver news operation, which had operated for 30 years under various owners and station identities, was not maintained aside from BT.

In the same month, Citytv Toronto began broadcasting local news in high-definition, becoming the first television station in Canada to do so.

On June 8, 2007, the CRTC approved the CTV takeover of CHUM. However, the CRTC made the deal conditional on CTV divesting itself of Citytv. CTV retained the A-Channel stations, and sold the Citytv stations to Rogers Communications for $375 million.[3][4] The transaction was approved by the CRTC on September 28 and was completed on October 31, 2007.

Programming

Old version of the Citytv logo. The red-blue version no longer appears on-air but it is still present on several Citytv vehicles.

Citytv is well known for its unconventional approach to news and local programming. There is no news desk (anchors read the news standing up, or on stools), and cameras are sometimes hand-held. Citytv also pioneered the concept of videojournalism, where reporters often carry their own cameras and report and videotape their own stories. Citytv calls its videojournalists "videographers", but unlike many American television markets that try to conceal the fact that reporters are so-called "one-man bands", Citytv embraced the use of video journalism by highlighting the use of technology; Citytv videographers often carry a second home video camera to record images of them videotaping on the scene. The low-grade video is then incorporated into the final story to show viewers how the story was recorded.

At its peak, Citytv Toronto produced more local programs than any other television station in Canada, such as Speakers' Corner, CityLine and was the original home of FashionTelevision, SexTV, and MediaTelevision. Many of these series were not strictly focused on Toronto – FT, for instance, consists largely of foreign runway footage – and are easily syndicated to other CHUM outlets. The latter three shows are owned by CTVglobemedia as a result of its takeover of CHUM and subsequent divesting of the Citytv stations.

The station also attracted attention and controversy by airing Baby Blue Movies, or soft-core pornography, on Friday nights after midnight. Although this programming strategy was discontinued in the 1980s, it was reinstated on CITY and CKVU for short time.

This, along with the 'hide away' place on the UHF dial formed the basis of fictional station "CIVIC TV" (Channel 83 Cable 12) in David Cronenberg's Videodrome, which is set in Toronto.

As well, CITY was one of the first television stations in Canada to implement a diversity policy in hiring its on-air staff. Znaimer originally described the policy as wanting the station to "look like Toronto".

Also, a show called Citytv New Year's Eve Bash, airs and is watched nationwide every New Year's Eve on the network. Since its debut in 1983, celebrations have been taking place at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto. The 2007 edition featured performance by the Grammy Award-winning group the Plain White T's which was broadcast on Citytv Toronto and OMNI 2.

In 2008, Citytv dropped its Great Movies block and replaced it with either reruns, reality shows or infomercials.

News

Citytv Toronto's CityNews, formerly known as CityPulse, had developed a large following, but ratings have since been steadily declining.[citation needed] Other stations around the world have tried to imitate its format to varying degrees of success. However, Citytv itself was unsuccessful in expanding its audience to other markets, as evidenced by the recent cancellation of the other stations' traditional newscasts.

Rogers Media announced cost-cutting measures at the Citytv stations on January 19, 2010[5] [6] [7], which included the cancellation of the following newscasts:

  • Toronto-based newscasts CityNews at Noon, CityOnline, CityNews at Five and CityNews Weekend,
  • Edmonton and Calgary newscasts at noon,
  • Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver newscasts in the evening,
  • Lunch Television in Vancouver, and
  • Citytv's national and international newscast, CityNews International

Citytv will continue to produce Breakfast Television and CityLine for all markets and CityNews at Six and CityNews Tonight in Toronto only excluding weekends. In total, 60 Citytv employees (including long-time Toronto news anchor Anne Mroczkowski) have been laid off across Canada.

Sports

Sports broadcasts on the Citytv stations have been sparse over the years. The predominant sports property in recent years has been National Football League football, but even this has been quite sporadic.

Craig Media (including the now-Citytv stations in Winnipeg and Alberta) owned the rights to Monday Night Football in the early 2000s, and these rights moved to Citytv for MNF's final season on ABC in 2005, before being moved again to TSN in 2006.

With the sale to Rogers, Citytv Vancouver carried 4:00 p.m. ET games during the 2007 season (as did OMNI.2 in Toronto), under sublicence from Rogers Sportsnet. For the 2008 season, all Citytv stations now carry 4:00 games. Sportsnet carries a different game than the game broadcast by Citytv. Citytv Toronto also airs selected Buffalo Bills preseason games (including those held at the Rogers Centre).

The Citytv stations in Alberta (while still branded "A-Channel") carried some regional NHL games during their first few years. The most recent hockey broadcast was on October 30, 2008, when Citytv Calgary broadcast a Calgary Flames hockey game due to a scheduling conflict on Rogers Sportsnet West involving the 2008 World Series.

Citytv Toronto had also broadcast some regular-season basketball games during the inaugural season of the Toronto Raptors. On March 2, 2008, Citytv Toronto aired its first known baseball game, a Toronto Blue Jays spring training game, against the Cincinnati Reds. Citytv and the Toronto Blue Jays share common ownership by Rogers.

Citytv HD

Citytv HD logo.svg

In 2003, CHUM Limited launched an HD simulcast of its Toronto station CITY-TV. In October 2006, Citytv installed a new control room, becoming one of the first fully HD broadcasters in Canada. On March 2, 2010 CKVU-DT in Vancouver launched its HD simulcast.

Citytv HD is available nationally via satellite and on digital cable as well as for free via DTT using a regular TV antenna and a digital tuner (included in most new TVs) on the following channels:

  • Toronto: 53
  • Vancouver: 47

CityNews Channel

Shortly after Rogers' takeover of the Citytv stations was complete, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission published an application under which Rogers would have acquired 20% of CablePulse 24, which was sold to CTVglobemedia as part of its $1.4 billion takeover offer of CHUM Limited in 2007.[8] It is not clear from the available evidence whether this was directly tied to the sale of CHUM as opposed to any pre-existing rights Rogers may have had. In any event, the application was withdrawn prior to the scheduled hearing.[9]

In July 2008, Rogers filed a new application with the CRTC to launch a separate 24-hour news station to be known as "CityNews Toronto". That application was approved by the CRTC on December 10 of that year, and the channel was slated to launch in late 2009 or early 2010.[10]

Citytv stations

299 Queen Street West, the headquarters for CTVglobemedia, formerly the home of Citytv Toronto. The CHUM and Citytv signs were removed after CTVglobemedia acquired control of CHUM Limited.

Individual stations are normally branded on-air as "Citytv"; the location may be added if disambiguation is necessary.

Citytv affiliates

The Jim Pattison Group announced in July 2009 that its three television stations in western Canada, formerly affiliated with E!, would broadcast the entire Citytv program lineup starting on September 1, 2009.[11] As these stations are not located in major urban centres, they do not carry Citytv branding; instead, they opted to keep the same names and logos used as affiliates of the E! system. Moreover, they do not produce their own versions of Breakfast Television like the Citytv O&Os do.

Past output deals

Prior to 1997, CHUM owned two television outlets in Atlantic Canada: the ATV system of CTV affiliates, and cable-only channel ASN. Many Citytv programs were aired on either ATV or ASN during this period. Both ATV and ASN were acquired by Baton Broadcasting (now CTVglobemedia) in 1997; ASN continued to air much of the Citytv schedule until it became part of the A television system in 2008.

In the past, local rights to individual Citytv programs were sold to stations outside of the Toronto station's coverage area. In Vancouver, programs were split between KVOS in Bellingham, Washington, which is close to Vancouver, and CTV-owned CIVT, during the 1990s and early 2000s when Citytv did not have a station in Vancouver. The WIC stations in Alberta (including CITV and CICT) bought provincial rights to some Citytv programs prior to the launch of CKAL and CKEM in 1997.

International

The Citytv brand has been licensed to local television stations in Bogotá, Colombia (Citytv Bogotá) and Barcelona, Spain (Citytv Barcelona). The latter station's licence agreement expired in 2006, and the station was renamed TD8.

Additionally, Toronto's CITY-TV is broadcast on a number of cable TV systems in the Caribbean. In Barbados, Citytv is on channel 507 of the terrestrial subscription service known as Multi-Choice TV.

In March 2006, CHUM signed an agreement with WRUA channel 34 in Fajardo, Puerto Rico to establish a Citytv franchise on that channel—a first in the United States.[12] Rogers Media discontinued the licensing for WRUA, and the station now serves as a translator for WECN in Naranjito.

Current presenters

List includes presenters from all Citytv stations.

Past presenters

  • Richard Madan, now Parliamentary reporter for CTV News in Ottawa
  • Aisling Slattery, laid off January 2010
  • Farah Nasser, laid off January 2010, now with CP24
  • Lara Di Battista, laid off January 2010
  • Marianne Dimain, laid off January 2010
  • Merella Fernandez, laid off January 2010
  • Michael Serapio, laid off January 2010; now with CBC Toronto
  • Anne Mroczkowski, laid off January 2010
  • Jim McKenny, retired late 2009
  • Ann Rohmer, former BT Toronto host, former CityNews Toronto Anchor and City OnLine host. Now on CP24 as a lead Anchor
  • Dr. Karl Kebasele, former CityNews Toronto Medical Specialist. Now on CP24 as Medical Specialist
  • Muhammad Lila, (joined CBC and reports for CBC Toronto and fills in for Diana Swain)
  • Bob Hunter. He was a founder of Greenpeace and then later died after a prolonged battle with cancer on May 2, 2005
  • Thalia Assuras, who later moved to ABC and then CBS
  • Bill Cameron, who later moved to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Denise Donlon, later CEO of Sony Canada
  • Mary Garofalo, who later moved to WNYW-TV in New York; now hosting 16x9: The Bigger Picture on Global
  • Avi Lewis, who later moved to CBC and is now with Al Jazeera English
  • Stephen Lewis who provided a commentary for the program until his appointment as Canadian ambassador to the United Nations
  • David Onley, science and technology specialist, CityNews; anchor, CP24; host, Homepage; became the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in September 2007.
  • Beatrice Politi, former CityNews A-Channel, CP24 political specialist (Ottawa specialist), now with Global Ontario.
  • Dini Petty, later a talk show host (The Dini Petty Show)
  • Tonya Rouse, former CityNews/CP24 fitness specialist and host of CP24's Perfect Fit.
  • Lance Chilton former CityNews/CP24 reporter now with A-Channel in Barrie.
  • Alex Pierson former reporter now with Global News in Toronto
  • John Roberts (credited as J.D. Roberts), an entertainment reporter and weekend anchor now with CNN's American Morning News program weekdays
  • John Saunders, a sportscaster who later moved to ESPN
  • Russ Salzberg, a sportscaster who later moved to WWOR-TV in New York
  • Tracy Moore, former reporter, BT-Breakfast Television and CityNews; now hosting Citytv's CityLine
  • Lorne Honickman, former CityNews (before called CityPulse) Legal Specialist. Now on CP24 as Legal Specialist and host of Legal Briefs.
  • Omar Sachedina, former CityNews reporter. Now on CTV as a national news reporter.
  • Melissa Grelo, former CityNews anchor/reporter. Now on CP24 as co-host of CP24 Breakfast and weekday anchor.
  • Chris Potter, former Meteorologist for CityNews on weekends. Now on CP24 as weekday afternoon meteorologist
  • Nalini Sharma, former CityNews weather/entertainment specialists at noon. Now on CP24 as a weather specialist on CP24 Breakfast and a weekday morning weather specialist.
  • Amber MacArthur, former CityNews new media specialist. Now on CP24 as a new media specialist.
  • Zuraidah Alman, former CityNews reporter. Now on CTV TORONTO as a reporter.
  • Peter Silverman, n/a
  • Jojo Chintoh, n/a
  • Mika Midolo, former Toronto Transit Commission Specialist & CityNews Transit Specialist. Now at CP24 as Transit Specialist.
  • Julie Nolin, former anchor, CityNews at Six, now 5pm anchor, CHEK News
  • Elaine Yong, former anchor, CityNews Weekend, now consumer reporter, CHAN-TV
  • Jennifer Martin, former anchor, CityNews at Six, now morning news anchor, CISN-FM
  • Kristi Gordon, former meteorologist, CityNews at Six, CityNews Tonight, now weekend meteorologist, Global BC
  • Jamie Thomas, former sports anchor, CityNews at Six, now sports anchor, Sportsnet
  • Kris Laudien, former sports reporter, CityNews, now at CurlTV
  • Christine Chorley, former sports reporter, CityNews
  • Scott Fee, former reporter, CityNews, now 5pm anchor, CHEK News
  • Sudha Krishnan former Legislative reporter, CityNews, now OMNI News: South Asian anchor, OMNI Edmonton
  • Ted Henley, former anchor, CityNews at Six, CityNews Tonight, now morning anchor, 660News algary's All News Radio, and freelance contributor to Your City
  • Rob Gibson, former sports director, CityNews at Six, now weeknight anchor, CHCA News
  • Tim Butcher, former sports reporter, CityNews Weekend
  • Derek Bidwell, former sports anchor, CityNews Tonight
  • Leah Sarich, former anchor, CityNews, Your City
  • Bryan Labby, former reporter, CityNews, Your City, now reporter, CBC Calgary
  • Christine Osunde, former reporter, CityNews, Your City
  • Glen Kirby, former anchor, CityNews at Six
  • Lisa Saunders, former anchor, CityNews at Six, CityNews Tonight
  • Ashlea Kay, former anchor, CityNews Weekend, now producer, CP24
  • Bill Fortier, former reporter, CityNews, now weekend 11:30pm anchor, CTV Edmonton
  • Meera Bahadoosingh, former reporter, CityNews, now Prairie Correspondent, Global National
  • Derek Taylor, former sports anchor, CityNews
  • Bridget Brown, former morning anchor, now reporter for A Barrie
  • Moira McLean, former Legislative reporter, CityNews
  • Dag Sharman, former senior reporter, CityNews, now sports anchor, CBUT
  • Leigh Morrow, former reporter, CityNews, now realtor
  • Marke Driesschen, former weather specialist, CityNews, now weather specialist, CTV Vancouver

See also

References

External links








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