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CFCF-TV (now identified on air as CTV Montreal) is a CTV-owned and operated station located in Montrealmarker, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker. CFCF broadcasts on channel 12 at a maximum ERP of 316 kW.


Canadian Marconi Company (1961-1972)

CFCF-TV was founded by the Canadian Marconi Company, after several failed attempts to gain a licence, beginning in 1938, and then each year after World War II. In 1960, it finally gained a license, and began broadcasting on January 20, 1961 at 5.45pm. The call letters stand for Canada's First, Canada's Finest, referring to CFCF-AM (now CINWmarker), the first radio station in Canada. It was the second privately-owned English-language station in Quebec; CKMI-TVmarker in Quebec Citymarker had signed on four years earlier.
Former CFCF logo used until it was bought out by CTV.
The station was originally located above the Avon Theatre. The first night on-air was fraught with problems. A power failure interrupted the opening ceremony, and later on, police raided the downstairs ballroom, with sirens blazing and a number of arrests made. The station's newscast, Pulse News, faced a few problems because of the noise from the ballroom. CFCF-AM-FM-TV moved into their own facilities at 405 Ogilvy Avenue in Montreal's Park Extensionmarker neighborhood on May 19, and channel 12 became an affiliate of CTV on October 1. However, its relationship with CTV was somewhat acrimonious over the years, in part because it felt CTV's flagship station, CFTO-TVmarker in Torontomarker, had too much influence over the network.

This rivalry even dated to preferred alliances with US Networks with CFCF preferring NBC (due to CFCF-AM's long-time co-affiliation with NBC Radio) and CFTO-TV preferring ABC (as ABC was an original junior partner owner of CFTO-TV, and John Bassett, Baton's owner, had trained with ABC's Detroit and New York affiliates). Both stations had some ties with CBS, not withstanding CBS' relationship with CBC/Radio-Canada for news.

Multiple Access (1972-1979)

In 1972, because of new foreign ownership guidelines implemented by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), CFCF-TV (owned by General Electric Canada through Canadian Marconi/The General Electric Company (UK), Ltd.) and its sister stations CFCF-AM, CFQR-FM and CFCX-SW were sold to computer and telecommunications company Multiple Access Ltd, owned by the Bronfman family.

Multiple Access bought the stations after the CRTC refused to approve purchase offers by Baton Broadcasting, owner of then co-flagship affiliate CFTO-TVmarker in Toronto (after other CTV partners rejected this sale, and Baton's not wanting to purchase the radio operations only--and due historical rivalries between Baton and CFCF), and by CHUM, Ltd. (because of indecision over which radio stations would be sold to meet radio ownership limits in Montreal). Multiple Access also was co-owner of CITY-TVmarker in Toronto (with CHUM) during this time. (Both Baton and CHUM-CITY became CTVglobemedia, the current owner of CFCF).

CFCF Inc. (1979-1990s)

In 1979, Multiple Access sold the stations and its production company, Champlain Productions, to CFCF Inc., headed by Jean Pouliot. Later on, the station began broadcasting a 24/7 schedule full of classic TV shows and movies on late nights, because of the popularity of VHS and Betamax VCRs by that time. As of today, the station now airs mostly infomercials on late nights.

This came after a deal by Baton (this time a willing partner) to purchase Multple Access' Montreal operations fell through. CHUM successfully purchased Multiple Access' Toronto operations (its share of CITY-TV).

CFCF Inc., expanded to include the assets of CF Cable TV, acquired by Pouliot in 1982,went public in 1985.

In 1986, CFCF gained a sister station: CFJP-TVmarker, the flagship station of Pouliot's new French language network, Television Quatre-Saisons (TQS) (now V). CFCF's profits were used to fund the ailing TQS. Two years later, the radio stations were sold to Mount-Royal Broadcasting, and moved out of the CFCF building a year later.

CanWest Global and Videotron (1990s)

Financial relief came to the company in the 1990s, thanks to CanWest Global. CanWest Global invested money into the station, in exchange for applying to the CRTC to operate a Global repeater station in Montreal. However, CanWest Global changed its mind, citing tax problems. It did, however, allow CFCF to carry some Global programs; it was already airing some programming from Citytv. This would not be the end of Global's influence at the station.

In 1997, TVA sold an interest in CKMI to Canwest. The two companies announced plans to turn CKMI into a Global station, along with a CKMI repeater in Montreal and a large studio complex in Montreal. Pouliot was scared by the prospect of new competition and decided to sell his assets to Vidéotron. However, Vidéotron also owned TVA, which retained a half-interest in CKMI. This would have resulted in one company having a significant stake in all of the private stations in Montreal--CFCF, CKMI, CFJP and TVA flagship CFTM-TVmarker.

As a result, Vidéotron sold CFCF to Western International Communications (WIC), who also owned CHANmarker and CHEKmarker in British Columbiamarker, CHCHmarker in Ontariomarker and several stations in Albertamarker. TQS was then sold to Quebecor, and later to Cogeco and Bell Globemedia (now CTVglobemedia).

CTV (2001-present)

CFCF-TV's former logo (2002-2005).
As of October 2005 logos with the stations' callsigns are no longer used on CTV stations; instead they all use the main CTV logo.

CanWest bought WIC's television assets in 2000. However, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) would not allow CFCF to be twinsticked with CKMI because Montreal's Anglophone population was too small (though it allowed CanWest to keep CJNT-TVmarker, a multicultural station WIC had bought a year earlier). The station was placed under trusteeship, and had to be sold in short order. In 2001, amid all these wranglings over ownership, Bell Globemedia, owner of CTV, bought the station. With the opening of the Fall 2001 television season, CFCF officially adopted the CTV schedule and all non-CTV shows were dropped. The station also adopted a new golden call letter logo similar to all other CTV owned stations, as well as similar promo and newscast graphics. After 40 years of being master of its own house to a large degree, CFCF lost much of that independence and maneuverability through the CTV/Bell Globemedia deal.

With the exception of local newscasts, which all CTV stations have, CFCF's program schedule is virtually identical to every other CTV station. On October 3, 2005, the unique "CFCF" name used for the station ID and its local news, CFCF News (formerly known as Pulse News until the Bell Globemedia purchase), was abolished and simply renamed "CTV" and "CTV News". So strong was the "Pulse" brand-name that even years after it was eliminated, many viewers still refer to the newscast as "Pulse". This renaming to "CTV News" was done at all affiliates across the country — to provide a common brand for the entire network. In 2003, CTV Montreal moved to 1205 Papineau Avenue in the eastern part of downtown. The area has now become Montreal's (and French Canada's) main media district; CBC, Global, RDS, V and TVA are all within several blocks.

By 2005, Bell Globemedia was considered to be a non-core asset by parent company BCE (Bell Canada Enterprises) and was sold to a group of investors, which includes the Thomson family. The Bell Globemedia group (made up of the entire CTV Network, as well as the Globe and Mail newspaper and a variety of other channels and media assets) was renamed "CTVGlobemedia" in late-2006.

The new media giant also acquired CHUM Limitedmarker's holdings in 2006, including the A-Channel stations, MuchMusic and a variety of other specialty channels. But the CHUM deal has also raised serious questions about the high degree of media concentration in Canada. This new conglomerate now owns more than one TV station in several Canadian markets — increasing the worry about job losses and cutbacks.
A billboard advertising CTV Montreal's news at 6.
CFCF has always been the number one, top-rated television station for Anglophone Quebecers. As well, a significant number of bilingual Francophones also watch CFCF — for both programming and news — although CFTMmarker (TVA), CFJPmarker (V) and CBFTmarker (Radio-Canada) are the obvious market leaders for Quebec's French community.

CFCF's schedule is now very similar to flagship CTV station CFTO-TVmarker in Toronto, with the exception of Dr. Phil airing weekdays at 5:00 p.m. instead of The Dr. Oz Show. Another exception is when the Telethon of Stars (aired since 1977) airs during the first weekend of December.

Until March 10, 2009, CFCF aired a local 6AM morning newscast, First News, pre-empting the first half hour of Canada AM; anchored by Herb Luft, it was cancelled in favor of an early start for Canada AM, which will now be seen in its entirety starting at 6AM. Morning news briefs have also been cancelled. Luft will continue his role as reporter for the station. These cancellations are a part of continuing cutbacks made by CTV due to the economic crisis.

On August 5, 2009, CTV camera operator, 44-year old Hugh Haugland was killed after a helicopter crash near Mont-Lauriermarker about 240 kilometres from Montreal, Haugland was shooting footage of the destruction left behind by a tornado that touched down in the area on August 4, 2009. The other person killed in the crash was Roger Belanger, a veteran pilot and local businessman who was in his 60s.

Most recently, the station began airing promos for CTVglobemedia's secondary television network, A, despite being that there are no A stations in Quebec. Although A stations are available on satellite.


On cable, CFCF is seen on Vidéotron channel 11 in the Montreal area (channel 7 on digital cable), Charter Plattsburghmarker channel 13 and Comcast Burlingtonmarker channel 21; it is also seen on Bell TV and Shaw Direct systems on channels 205 and 312 respectively. Most cable distributors in Quebec also carry CFCF, as it is the only CTV station in the province. Despite having only one transmitter, its signal reaches all the way to the Laurentides and Lanaudière regions, and also decently covers the Champlain Valley region in Vermontmarker and New Yorkmarker.

Before 1997, when CHCHmarker and CITYmarker launched rebroadcast transmitters in the Ottawamarker region, local cable companies there carried CFCF as well. Because CHCH and CFCF were sharing some programs, CFCF was removed from these systems, except for Rogers Cable.


The station now airs virtually all of the standard CTV schedule, the with a few exceptions. Access Hollywood airs at 7 p.m. and eTalk airs at 7:30 p.m., opposite from most of the other CTV stations. In the past, some children's programming was pre-empted, because of provincial regulations on advertising; the station now carries CTV's few remaining children's programs with public service announcements during ad breaks. As well, CFCF did not carry either Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy! when these were part of the standard CTV schedule; both were picked up by CBC nationally in fall 2008.

As with most Canadian stations, the prime-time schedule is usually synchronized with the original Americanmarker airings of the same programs because Plattsburgh/Burlington's WPTZmarker, WVNYmarker, WFFF-TVmarker and WCAXmarker are all available on cable in Montreal. CFCF's ratings do generally top all of those stations, as well as the regional CBC Montrealmarker station.

Local News

CFCF's newscasts, CTV News (formerly CFCF News, formerly Pulse News), are headed up by the main weekday Noon and 6 p.m. anchors Mutsumi Takahashi & Todd van der Heyden, News at 11:30 with Debra Arbec, and Weekend News at 6 p.m. Tarah Schwartz & Paul Karwatsky and Weekend News 11:30 p.m. with Paul Karwatsky. CTV Montreal produces 24 separate newscasts each week. CFCF also houses CTV's National Montreal News Bureau. One of its most famous anchors, Bill Haugland, is now retired, his last show aired on November 30, 2006. Bill worked at CFCF for more than 40 years. He covered major stories in the 1960s and 1970s before becoming the lead anchor at CFCF in the late-1970s. Bill was an institution and in a special "Farewell to Bill" show broadcast on his final day, he was heralded by colleagues, viewers and former prime ministers alike. Another veteran newscaster, Brian Britt who replaced Bill Haugland in 2006 when he retired is now retired also. Britt's last broadcast was on July 24, 2008.

CFCF's newscasts, known as "CTV News", are shown at the following times:



  • 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.: CTV News at 6 with Tarah Schwartz & Paul Karwatsky
  • 11:30 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.: CTV News at 11:30 with Paul Karwatsky


  • Brian Daly (Web Journalist)
  • Annie DeMelt (Reporter)
  • Derek Conlon (Reporter)
  • Stephane Giroux (Court Reporter)
  • John Grant (Quebec Citymarker Bureau Chief)
  • Daniele Hamamdjian (Reporter)
  • Maya Johnson (Reporter/Web Journalist)
  • Paul Karwatsky* (Reporter)
  • Tania Krywiak (Investigative/consumer reporter - On Your Side)
  • Anne Lewis (Reporter)
  • Herb Luft* (Reporter)
  • Rob Lurie (Reporter)
  • Christine Long (Entertainment reporter - What's On)
  • Mose Persico (Movie reporter - Mose at the Movies)
  • Aphrodite Salas (Reporter)
  • Tarah Schwartz* (Reporter)
  • Catherine Sherrifs (Reporter)
  • Cindy Sherwin* (Reporter)
  • Caroline van Vlaardingen* (Reporter)
*Also replacement anchor.


  • Randy Tieman (main weekday anchor)
  • Brian Wilde (reporter/anchor)
  • André Corbeil (weekend anchor/reporter)
  • Paul Graif (freelance reporter/anchor)


  • Lori Graham (Weekdays at Noon, 6 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.)
  • Lise McAuley (Weekends at 6 p.m. & 11:30 p.m., Replacement for Lori Graham)
  • Randy Renaud (fills in whenever needed, also an announcer at CHOMmarker)

Digital television and high definition

As of January 2009, CFCF-DT has not yet signed on the air.

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on August 31, 2011 , CFCF-TV is required to begin digital broadcasts on its current assigned and analog channel number, 12, however should the station sign-on before the analog shut off date, the station will broadcast on channel 21. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display CFCF-TV virtual channel as 12.1.


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