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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 Bulgariamarker, see City TV.

Citytv is a Canadian English language television system owned and operated by Rogers Communications, and is Canada's largest television system since Canwest's E! closed down on September 1, 2009 (the E! affiliates in Canada are now Citytv affiliates). The system currently consists of five owned and operated television stations located in Torontomarker, Winnipegmarker, Calgarymarker, Edmontonmarker and Vancouvermarker, as well as three affiliates located in smaller cities in Albertamarker and B.C.marker The Citytv brand has also been licensed to television stations outside of Canadamarker.

Moses Znaimer, who developed the original format, once described the system's philosophy by saying, "It's not the show, it's the flow."


The original Citytv station, granted callsign CITY-TVmarker 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 to the CHUM-City Buildingmarker; one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. On September 8th, 2009, Citytv moved to its current location at Yonge-Dundas Square .

Citytv gained a second station in Vancouver when CHUM bought CKVUmarker from 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 KVOSmarker in nearby Bellingham, Washingtonmarker.

In 2004, CHUM bought Craig Media Inc., parent of the A-Channel system in Manitobamarker and Albertamarker. 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 Limitedmarker 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 Albertamarker in order for the CRTC to approve the acquisition .

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, 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 CP24marker. 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 BTmarker.

In the same month, Citytv Toronto began broadcasting local news in high-definition.

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. The transaction was approved by the CRTC on September 28 and was completed on October 31, 2007.


Old version of the Citytv logo.
The red-blue version no longer appears on-air but it is still present on several Citytv/CP24 vehicles.
Citytv is best 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 videojournalism 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 now 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 recently reinstated on the CITYmarker and CKVUmarker stations 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 Squaremarker in downtown Torontomarker. The 2007 edition featured performance by the Grammy Award-winning group the Plain White T's which was broadcast on Citytv Toronto and OMNI 2marker.

In 2008, Citytv decided to drop its Great Movies movie block and replaced all of the movies with either reruns or reality shows.


Citytv Toronto's CityNews, formerly known as CityPulse, had developed a large following, but ratings have since been steadily declining. 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.


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 moving again to TSN in 2006.

With the sale to Rogers, Citytv Vancouvermarker carried 4:00 p.m. ET games during the 2007 season (as did OMNI.2marker 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 Calgarymarker 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 Media.

Citytv HD

2003, CHUM Limited launched an HD simulcast of its Toronto station CITY-TVmarker. In October 2006, Citytv installed a new control room, becoming one of the first fully HD broadcasters in Canada.

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

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 24marker, which was sold to CTVglobemedia as part of its $1.4 billion takeover offer of CHUM Limitedmarker in 2007. 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.

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, 2008, and the channel is slated to launch in late 2009 or early 2010.

Citytv stations

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. As these stations are not located in major urban centres, they do not carry Citytv branding. 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 Canadamarker: 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 KVOSmarker in Bellingham, Washingtonmarker, United Statesmarker, which is close to Vancouver, and CTV-owned CIVTmarker, during the 1990s and early 2000s when Citytv did not have a station in the Lower Mainlandmarker. The WIC stations in Alberta (including CITV and CICTmarker) bought provincial rights to some Citytv programs prior to the launch of CKAL/CKEM.


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

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

Current presenters

List includes presenters from all Citytv stations.

Past presenters

See also


  1. CRTC Notice 2007-12
  2. CRTC Notice 2007-12-8.
  3. CRTC Grants Citytv Licence For All News Channel
  4. [1]

External links

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