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CTVglobemedia (often abbreviated "CTVgm" or CGM), is one of Canadamarker's largest private media companies. Its operations include television broadcasting and production (CTV), radio broadcasting (CHUM Radio Network), publishing (The Globe and Mail), and their respective Internet properties.


CTVglobemedia's core asset is CTV Inc., parent of the CTV Television Network, Canada's oldest, largest, and most-watched private broadcast television network, including 21 owned and operated stations. CTVgm's other conventional television assets include A, a secondary television system which presently consists of five terrestrial television stations in Ontariomarker and British Columbiamarker and one cable-only channel in Atlantic Canadamarker; Accessmarker, an educational television channel in Alberta that carries much of the A primetime schedule.

Along with broadcast television stations, CTVgm also owns a number of various cable television specialty channels, including The Sports Network, The Sports Network 2, Réseau des sports, MuchMusicmarker, Star!marker, MTV, MTV2, CablePulse 24marker, CTV News Channel, The Comedy Network, Discovery Channel among others.

Through its CHUM Radio Network division, CTVgm is also Canada's fourth largest radio broadcaster with 35 radio stations across the country.

In addition, CTVglobemedia owns The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest national newspaper, television production studios and websites associated with all of the above properties.


Predecessor companies

Baton Broadcasting

For all practical purposes, CTVglobemedia is the successor to Baton Broadcasting Inc. (first word or BAY-ton), which by the late 1990s had become one of Canada's largest broadcasters.

Baton Aldred Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was originally formed in 1960 to operate Toronto's first private TV station, CFTO-TVmarker. The original investors included the Bassett and Eaton families, Joel Aldred and Ted Rogers, and Foster Hewitt in a much smaller role. Aldred sold his shares in 1961, followed by Rogers by 1970; with the Bassett and Eaton families firmly in control, the company went public in the early 1970s. CFTO became a CTV affiliate in October 1961, and soon after Baton became a part-owner in the network.

In 1972, the renamed Baton Broadcasting began purchasing other CTV affiliates, starting with CFQC-TVmarker Saskatoonmarker. This did not, however, give Baton a substantially higher investment in CTV, which was structured as a co-operative, not a traditional private company. Baton still only had one vote - as did every other CTV affiliate-owner.

In 1987, Baton expanded further into Saskatchewanmarker and into CTV, purchasing CKCK-TVmarker Reginamarker, Yorktonmarker twinstick CKOS-TVmarker/CICC-TVmarker, and CBC affiliate CKBI-TVmarker Prince Albertmarker. A twinstick CTV affiliate was soon launched in Prince Albert, CIPA-TVmarker.

In the late 1980s, Baton applied for a high-power station in Ottawamarker on channel 60. The licence was approved, appealed by rival broadcasters, and ultimately sent back to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for review, but the licence was surrendered when its owner, Allan Slaight's Standard Broadcasting, instead decided to sell the local CTV affiliate, CJOH-TVmarker, to Baton.

In 1990, Baton purchased the MCTV system of twinstick operations in Pembrokemarker, North Baymarker, Sudburymarker, Timminsmarker, and the Huron Broadcasting twinstick in Sault Ste.marker Mariemarker. In 1993, Baton purchased CFPL-TVmarker Londonmarker, CKNX-TVmarker Winghammarker and received a licence for a new independent station, CHWI-TVmarker, in Windsormarker.

In 1991, the company launched Ontario Network Television, a secondary affiliation carried by Baton's CTV and independent stations in Ontario. This was expanded in 1994 into the Baton Broadcast System, or BBS, which included Baton's Saskatchewan stations. BBS was meant as a backup in case Baton's ongoing acquisitions did not translate into control of CTV itself. CTV had been recently restructured as a traditional private company, meaning that any future acquisitions by Baton would come with all of that affiliate's CTV shares. It was around this time that former CBC executive Ivan Fecan joined the company.

Baton-Electrohome alliance

In 1996, the CRTC approved two major deals involving Baton. First was the acquisition of CFCN-TVmarker in Calgarymarker from Rogers Communications, which had recently purchased Maclean Hunter. Second, Baton and Electrohome formed an alliance, under which the companies would share ownership of CFCN, Baton's stations in Saskatchewan and its independent stations in southwestern Ontario, and Electrohome's CKCO-TVmarker Kitchenermarker. The deals doubled Baton's own interest in CTV to 28.6%, but also gave it control over Electrohome's shares, for a total of 42.9%.

In January 1997, Baton-Electrohome's "Vancouver Television" proposal emerged as the CRTC's choice for the new independent station in Vancouvermarker, beating out four other competitors. The new station, CIVT-TVmarker, would compete directly with Western International Communications's two CTV affiliates in the market when it was launched that fall.

On February 25, 1997, the Baton-Electrohome alliance and CHUM Limitedmarker announced that several stations would be swapped between them, giving Baton control of CTV. Baton-Electrohome would acquire CHUM's Atlantic Television System (ATV), consisting of four CTV affiliates in the Maritimes, the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN), and a further 14.3% in CTV. CHUM would receive Baton's independent stations in southwestern Ontario, as well as CHRO-TVmarker Pembroke/Ottawa, which had recently disaffiliated from CTV.

Shortly thereafter, Electrohome announced it would sell its broadcasting assets – including its interest in the alliance, its CTV shares, and CFRN-TVmarker Edmontonmarker – to Baton in exchange for shares in Baton. These two deals were approved by the CRTC in August. Baton acquired the remaining CTV shares from WIC and Moffat Communications, which remained affiliates for the moment, that fall.

The BBS name was discontinued in favour of CTV, and the company itself was renamed CTV Inc. the following year. The Eatons' remaining shares, representing 41% of Baton, were sold off to the general public in early 1998. By the end of 2001, nearly all CTV stations would be consolidated under network ownership (including one replacement).

CTV Inc. continues to exist as a subsidiary of CTVglobemedia.

NetStar Communications

NetStar Communications Inc. (previously Labatt Communications Inc., and currently CTV Specialty Television Inc.) was formed by Labatt Brewing Company to hold that firm's broadcasting assets, which included TSN, RDS, Viewers Choice and Discovery Channel. In 1995, when the parent company was sold to the foreign brewing conglomerate Interbrew, a consortium of four Canadian investors - Stephen Bronfman (22.5%), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (22.5%), Reitmans (16.5%), and senior management (6.5%) - along with ESPN, with 32%, took over the company.

After a takeover attempt by CanWest Global that was vetoed by ESPN, CTV announced a friendly bid to take over NetStar Communications in early 1999, with CRTC approval on March 24, 2000.

2000 to present

Under Bell Canada ownership - Bell Globemedia (2000-2006)

CTVglobemedia in its current form was masterminded by former Bell Canada Enterprises chief executive Jean Monty, largely as a response to CanWest Global Communications's purchase of the Southam newspaper chain as well as the trend of media convergence, particularly the AOL-Time Warner merger. Monty believed that, to survive in a changing technological landscape, and in particular to drive subscriptions to satellite television provider Bell TV and internet service provider Bell Sympatico, BCE had to have control over content.

In early 2000, under Monty, BCE acquired CTV Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.3 billion (CAD). Soon after, Monty arranged to have Thomson Corporation transfer control of The Globe and Mail, the Torontomarker-based national newspaper, to BCE in exchange for a significant (20%) interest in the merged CTV/Globe entity. The Thomson family, which originally held a direct 9.9% interest through The Woodbridge Company Ltd., later bought Thomson Corp.'s interests itself.

Formerly known as Bell Globemedia
resulting company, Bell Globemedia Inc. (hereafter abbreviated "BGM"), consisted of CTV, The Globe and Mail, and the internet portal then known as Sympatico-Lycos (Lycos was later replaced by MSN). Fecan was named the combined firm's president and CEO, a role he continues in today. After Monty resigned and was replaced by Michael Sabia in 2002, it became clear that Monty's vision was not producing anything near the desired results, notwithstanding the good results for the individual units, particularly the CTV network.

The following years provided a few cosmetic changes in BGM's assets. In 2001, CTV acquired CKY-TVmarker in Winnipegmarker and CFCF-TVmarker in Montreal, and moved the CTV affiliation in British Columbia to CIVT, replacing two affiliates that had been purchased by CanWest. That fall also brought the launch of the first digital specialty channels, including several owned by CTV.

The company acquired partial ownership in TQS in 2002, the Sympatico portal was sold back to Bell Canada, while a further investment from the Thomsons (whose ownership increased to 31.5%) funded the acquisition of 15% of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. However, since BGM was first termed a non-core asset by BCE management in 2003, much attention was given to its likely sale, and a possible breakup into several different pieces.

Reorganization and CHUM Limited merger

On December 2, 2005, Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) announced it would sell an 8.5% interest to Woodbridge (increasing their total ownership to 40%), a 20% interest to Torstar, and a 20% interest to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. BCE retained 20% of the group - a condition that ensured that Bell TV, Sympatico, and other Bell units continued to have access to Globemedia content. The transaction closed on August 30, 2006.

This deal suggests any breakup is unlikely in the near future. However, Torstar's involvement led to additional media concentration concerns, mainly from media union. Torstar insisted it was committed to maintaining the editorial independence of the Globe and its own Toronto Star, and ultimately there were no major regulatory hurdles due to this.

On July 12, 2006, BGM announced a friendly bid to take over CHUM Limitedmarker for an estimated $1.7 billion. The acquisition would bring the secondary broadcast system (Citytv), other stations including CablePulse24marker, MuchMusicmarker, Star!marker, Bravo!, and Spacemarker, and all of CHUM's radio stations, into the BGM fold. BGM originally announced that CHUM's A-Channel stations, Accessmarker, CKX-TVmarker, MusiquePlus, MusiMax, Canadian Learning Television, SexTV: The Channel and BGM's own OLN would not be retained.

On September 7, 2006, in order to pay for the CHUM acquisition, BGM sold additional shares to its existing shareholders. BCE did not participate in the refinancing; the net effect was an increase in Teachers' ownership to 25%, while BCE's interests are now 15%.

On December 14, 2006, as a result of BCE's reduced ownership Bell Globemedia announced that the company's name will be renamed as CTVglobemedia as of January 1, 2007.

On April 9, 2007, Rogers Communications announced a tentative deal, to purchase A-Channel, CKX-TV, Access Alberta, Canadian Learning Television, and SexTV: The Channel from CTVglobemedia as part of its pending takeover of CHUM Limited.

On April 11, 2007, Astral Media announced that they will acquire CHUM's 50% interest in MusiMax and MusiquePlus from CTVglobemedia.

On June 8, 2007, the CRTC approved the CTVglobemedia takeover of CHUM Limited, but it added a condition that CTV must sell off the Citytv stations, because they already have CTV O&O stations in those same markets. (CTV ultimately chose to keep the A-Channel stations along with the rest of CHUM assets it had previously said it would sell, except for MusiquePlus/MusiMax.) Rogers Communications was announced as the buyer of the Citytv stations on June 11, 2007, and the CHUM acquisition was finalized on June 22.

On November 16, 2007, CTVglobemedia and Comcast (the owners of the Americanmarker Cable Channel, Versus) announced that it would sell the remaining interest of OLN to Rogers Communications.

On March 7, 2008, Corus Entertainment announced that it will acquire CLT from CTVglobemedia for an estimated worth $73 million.

On July 14, 2009, Corus Entertainment once again announced that it would acquire SexTV: The Channel and Drive-In Classics from CTVglobemedia for an estimated $40 million.

On July 16, 2009, it was announced that CTVglobemedia would be selling CKX-TVmarker in Brandon, Manitobamarker to Bluepoint Investment Corporation for a dollar. But that station was closed down on October 2, 2009, after Bluepoint rejected the deal the day before.

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