End of an era in Toronto

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to the anonymous poster who pointed out the incorrect date I wrote regarding the sign-on date on CITY-TV in Toronto. I wrote 1979. D’oh! The correct date was 1972. The post has since been corrected. If anyone spots an incorrect item, let me know by posting in the comments section, and I’ll correct it as soon as I can. Thanks! – T.H.)

CITY-TV in Toronto, as well as four other Canadian stations with the CityTV branding formerly owned by Chum, Ltd. were sold to Rogers Communications on Monday, marking the end of the Chum broadcast group, which launched the unconventional CityTV in Toronto on September 28, 1972.

Rogers, one of Canada’s biggest cable companies, is buying the CityTV stations from CTVglobemedia, which merged with Chum, but as part of the deal, had to divest the five City TV stations, since CTV already owns stations in Toronto and the four other Canadian markets.

Rogers owns several cable networks, radio stations, The Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre (formerly The SkyDome.)

However, the CRTC did allow to keep the A-channel (CIVI) in Victoria, British Columbia, which is adjacent to Vancouver, providing that the programming on the two channels are only duplicated no more than 10 percent of the time. CTV already has an O&O in Vancouver, CIVT (on analog over the air Ch. 32.) CTV affiliated with CHAN-TV (formerly BCTV), on Channel 8 from 1960 until 2001. CHAN is now with Global, which was on one of the stations Rogers is buying – CKVU-TV (Vancouver underwent a huge affiliation switch in 2001, similar to what happened in several U.S. markets in 1994 and 1995 when New World stations dumped their big 3 network affiliations to hook up with Fox.)

CityTV was noted for its large amount of local programming in Toronto, including groundbreaking shows including Breakfast Television (an unusual daily morning news show) Fashion Television, and SexTV (Yes, you heard me.) The format was the brainchild of Moses Znaimer, who imported the format to other stations in Canada.

CityTV also was the first broadcast station in Toronto to broadcast with a digital signal.

updated/corrected 2007-06-13 at 21:45


2 thoughts on “End of an era in Toronto

    • CITY-TV was not founded in 1979. CFMT-TV (now OMNI 1) launched in Sept. 1979, while CITY had already been on air for several years. Somewhere in there CHUM stepped in to help refinace the operation when the original investors faltered.

    • Whoops! You’re right! It was 1972. I’ll revise it as soon as I can. Thanks for the correction!

      Terence Henderson

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