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CTV logo.svg
Edmonton, Alberta
Branding CTV Edmonton (general)
CTV News Edmonton (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 3.1 (PSIP)
Translators see below
Affiliations CTV
Owner Bell Media
(Bell Media, Inc.)
First air date October 25, 1954
Call letters' meaning CF Rice & Nielsen
Sister station(s) CFCN-DT, CTV Two Alberta, CFBR-FM, CFMG-FM, CFRN (AM)
Former callsigns CFRN-TV (1954–2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
3 (VHF, 1954–2011)
Former affiliations CBC (1954-1961)
Transmitter power 25 kW
Height 228.1 m
Transmitter coordinates 53°22′57″N 113°12′59″W / 53.38250°N 113.21639°W / 53.38250; -113.21639 (CFRN-TV)
Website CTV Edmonton

CFRN-DT, virtual channel 3 (VHF digital channel 12), is a CTV owned-and-operated television station located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The station is owned by Bell Media, and is sister to CTV Two owned-and-operated cable channel CTV Two Alberta. Both television properties share studios (joined alongside sister radio station CFRN 1260 AM) located at 18520 Stony Plain Road in Edmonton, CFRN's transmitter is located near Highway 21, southeast of Sherwood Park.

This station can also be seen on Shaw Cable channel 2, and in high definition on digital channel 210 and on Telus Optik TV channel 612. On Shaw Direct, the channel is available on 318 (Classic) or 020 (Advanced), and in high definition on channel 013 (Classic) or 513 (Advanced). This station is also available on Bell TV channel 239 and in high definition on channel 1121.


The station first signed on at 3:00 p.m. on October 25, 1954, on VHF channel 3 with 27,400 watts of power, and one live camera presentation from the transmitter room; CFRN-TV was Alberta's second television station and the province's second CBC Television affiliate. The station was owned by Dr. G.R.A. "Dick" Rice’s Sunwapta Broadcasting Ltd. (Sunwapta is the Stony Indian word meaning “radiating waves”). Rice was a pioneer Edmonton broadcaster involved in putting CJCA, the city's first radio station, on the air in 1922;[1] Rice died at the age of 92 on February 25, 1992.

Longtime Edmontonians still reminisce about such programs as the Noon Show that aired during the 1950s and 1960s with Don Brinton, Ed Kay, Norris McLean and George Kidd. Morning Magazine debuted when the station went on the air in 1954 and was hosted by Laura Lindsay, who was later replaced by Virginia Macklin. The program later became Day by Day with host Terry Lynne Meyer, who was replaced in 1994 by Seanna Collins; the show ended its run on June 30, 1996. CFRN-TV was also the first television station to incorporate editorials, which were started by news manager Bill Hogle, and continued by Bruce Hogle.

In December 1956, two years after its inaugural telecast, CFRN-TV increased its transmitter's power to 180,300 watts. In 1958, CFRN-TV fed live the opening of the Alberta Legislature, by microwave to a five-station Alberta Network. In June 1961, rebroadcasting stations were established at Edson and Carrot Creek. CFRN disaffiliated from CBC Television on September 30, 1961, as that network established its own station in Edmonton, CBXT (channel 5). On October 1 of that year, CFRN-TV became an affiliate of the CTV Television Network, receiving its programming via microwave relay during hours when the CBC was not using it, and time-delaying programs via videotape. Two more rebroadcasting stations were added at Whitecourt and Ashmont in 1966.

In September 1966, network colour transmission started, with local colour facilities for program and commercial production being installed in 1970, and a mobile colour television unit became operational in 1975. More rebroadcasting stations were added at Lac La Biche (1968), Grande Prairie and Peace River (1970), Rocky Mountain House and Crimson Lake (1971), Red Deer (1973) and Slave Lake, Grouard and Lougheed (1979), Jasper (1992) and Athabasca (1993). In 1974, CFRN-TV moved its transmitter to a new site with a 915-foot tower, operating at 250,000 watts.

Logo used before Baton bought CFRN-TV in 1997

CFRN-TV was sold in 1988 to Kitchener, Ontario-based Electrohome Limited, which was founded by Carl A. Pollock. Starting in 1990, CFRN-TV established regional newscasts with reporters/photographers located in Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray and Red Deer. Twice each weeknight, regional newscasts within the Eyewitness News broadcasts were simultaneously directed to the three aforementioned areas of Alberta.

CFRN-TV's former logo (1998-2005). As of October 2005 logos with the stations' callsigns are no longer used on CTV stations; instead they all use the main CTV logo.

In 1995, Electrohome and Baton Broadcasting entered into a strategic alliance which saw both groups receiving CRTC approval to share ownership of the CFCN-TV operations in Calgary and Lethbridge, the six Saskatchewan television stations previously owned by Baton alone, and Southern Ontario stations in Kitchener, London and Windsor, all previously solely-owned by Electrohome or Baton.

Ownership of CFRN-TV changed in 1997, when Baton and Electrohome merged, with Baton assuming Electrohome's stations in exchange for Baton shares. In February 2000, Canadian telecommunications giant Bell Canada Enterprises, through its subsidiary Bell GlobeMedia, proposed to purchase CTV Inc. for $2.3 billion, the largest transaction in Canadian broadcasting. Later in March, the CTV board approved the deal, which required Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval. The CRTC hearing was held in September and was approved on December 7. Also in 2000, master control for CFRN was relocated to the CTV Broadcast House at 80 Patina Rise Southwest in Calgary, home to sister station CFCN-TV.

By 2001, CFRN-TV operated CFRN-TV-7 Lougheed; CFRN-TV-3 Whitecourt and its transmitters CFRN-TV-1 Grande Prairie, CFRN-TV-2 Peace River, CFRN-TV-8 Grouard Mission, CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake and CFRN-TV-11 Jasper; CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont and its transmitters CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche and CFRN-TV-12 Athabasca; and CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer and its transmitter CFRN-TV-10 Rocky Mountain House.

On July 21, 2006, the CRTC approved an application for ownership restructuring by Bell Globemedia, parent company of CTV, stemming from a deal in December 2005 that saw two new investors added to the company. The Thomson family's Woodbridge Co. Ltd. increased its stake in Bell Globemedia from 31.5 percent to 40 percent, while BCE Inc. reduced its holding to 20 percent from 68.5 percent. Two other investors were added to the deal, including Torstar Corp. and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, each with 20 percent. On October 3, 2006, the CRTC granted CFRN to change the licence for CFRN-TV-4 Ashmont by deleting the CFRN-TV-12 Athabasca transmitter and attaching it to CFRN-TV. This was due to a change in the method of delivering the signal, along with local relevance.

In February 2008, CTV Edmonton launched a new website as part of the Broadband Network, This brought the station in line with all the other broadcast television stations in Edmonton, as well as the other major market CTV stations, in terms of having a strong online news presence. In December 2008, the CRTC announced that it received an application from CTVglobemedia to create a direct to cable HD feed of CFRN-TV.[2]


CFRN airs the full CTV program lineup on a Mountain Time schedule. Current American programs, though, are often broadcast three hours after CTV flagship CFTO-DT/Toronto (effectively, one hour later in Mountain Time than CFTO in Eastern Time). This matches the Pacific Time Zone broadcast schedule of the Spokane, Washington-based U.S. network affiliates available on many Alberta cable systems and thus allows simultaneous substitution of CFRN over the American broadcasts.

News operation[edit]

CFRN-DT presently broadcasts 34½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). It also airs separate five-minute news bulletins for Red Deer during the station's 6 and 11:30 p.m. newscasts, available only on the over the air transmitters or through cable companies that pick up the over-the-air signal. CFRN also produces an hour-long provincial current affairs program called Alberta Prime Time, which airs weeknights on sister cable channel CTV Two Alberta.

According to the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement's (BBM) 2009 ratings, CFRN's 6 p.m. newscast regained its position as the most-watched 6 p.m. newscast in Northern and Central Alberta to Global Edmonton's News Hour, CBC, Citytv combined. However, the latest fall 2010 BBM ratings reflect that Global Edmonton has returned as the most-watched newscast.

CFRN-DT initially aired morning bulletins within the network's morning show, Canada AM, while re-running the previous evening's late night news before the morning program. In March 2009, CTV cancelled all local morning bulletins during Canada AM, including the Edmonton-based bulletins. Local news, weather and traffic reports continued to be featured during Canada AM through a graphical ticker at the bottom of the screen. On October 24, 2011, CFRN debuted a 3½-hour locally produced weekday morning newscast called CTV Morning Live, running from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.[3]

On September 12, 2011, CTV Edmonton expanded its evening news programming by adding a 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. newscast.[4] On September 30, 2012, CFRN-DT became the second television station in Edmonton (after Global-owned station CITV-DT) and the fourth CTV owned-and-operated station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, beginning with that evening's 6 p.m. newscast.[5] However, CTV promoted October 1, 2012, as its official "full day" of HD news broadcasts.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]


Station City of licence Channel ERP HAAT Transmitter Coordinates
CFRN-TV-1 Grande Prairie 13 (VHF) 64 kW 309 m 55°27′57″N 118°45′37″W / 55.46583°N 118.76028°W / 55.46583; -118.76028 (CFRN-TV-1)
CFRN-TV-2 Peace River 3 (VHF) 4.3 kW 170 m 56°8′47″N 117°20′20″W / 56.14639°N 117.33889°W / 56.14639; -117.33889 (CFRN-TV-2)
CFRN-TV-32 Whitecourt 12 (VHF) 17.9 kW 399 m 54°1′58″N 115°43′7″W / 54.03278°N 115.71861°W / 54.03278; -115.71861 (CFRN-TV-3)
CFRN-TV-42,3 Ashmont 12 (VHF) 26.65 kW 194 m 54°8′7″N 111°36′20″W / 54.13528°N 111.60556°W / 54.13528; -111.60556 (CFRN-TV-4)
CFRN-TV-5 Lac La Biche 2 (VHF) 8.656 kW 104.1 m 54°45′13″N 111°56′30″W / 54.75361°N 111.94167°W / 54.75361; -111.94167 (CFRN-TV-5)
CFRN-TV-62 Red Deer 8 (VHF) 71 kW 289.8 m 52°19′10″N 113°40′41″W / 52.31944°N 113.67806°W / 52.31944; -113.67806 (CFRN-TV-6)
CFRN-TV-71 Lougheed 7 (VHF) 21 kW 220 m 52°32′15″N 111°31′10″W / 52.53750°N 111.51944°W / 52.53750; -111.51944 (CFRN-TV-7)
CFRN-TV-8 Grouard Mission 18 (UHF) 10 kW 167.3 m 55°32′26″N 116°7′30″W / 55.54056°N 116.12500°W / 55.54056; -116.12500 (CFRN-TV-8)
CFRN-TV-9 Slave Lake 4 (VHF) 0.84 kW 335.6 m 55°28′18″N 114°47′9″W / 55.47167°N 114.78583°W / 55.47167; -114.78583 (CFRN-TV-9)
CFRN-TV-101 Rocky Mountain House 12 (VHF) 1.6 kW 168.5 m 52°31′21″N 114°52′45″W / 52.52250°N 114.87917°W / 52.52250; -114.87917 (CFRN-TV-10)
CFRN-TV-11 Jasper 11 (VHF) 0.05 kW NA 52°52′42″N 118°4′27″W / 52.87833°N 118.07417°W / 52.87833; -118.07417 (CFRN-TV-11)
CFRN-TV-121 Athabasca 13 (VHF) 3.3 kW 96 m 54°42′14″N 113°17′23″W / 54.70389°N 113.28972°W / 54.70389; -113.28972 (CFRN-TV-12)

1These and a long list of CTV rebroadcasters nationwide were to shut down on or before August 31, 2009, as part of a political dispute with Canadian authorities on paid fee-for-carriage requirements for cable television operators.[6] A subsequent change in ownership assigned full control of CTVglobemedia to Bell Media; as of 2011, these transmitters remain in normal licensed broadcast operation.[7]

2Semi-satellite status (i.e. distinct local programming and/or advertising) to cease on or before August 31, 2009, pending CRTC approval.[8] It is expected that the transmitters themselves were to remain on the air. However, it is unknown if any local programming changed following the ownership change.

3CFRN-TV-4 in Ashmont focuses on Fort McMurray with local news and commercials; however, that transmitter is available in Fort McMurray only on cable, as this transmitter does not reach Fort McMurray.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[9]
3.1 1080i 16:9 CFRN-DT Main CFRN-DT programming / CTV

Analogue-to-digital conversion[edit]

On August 31, 2011, when Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts,[10] the station's digital signal remained on VHF channel 12. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display CFRN's virtual channel as 3.1.


  • Stemming from a 1990s era station commercial featuring Ellen DeGeneres, the station acquired the nickname "C-FERN" (pronounced "See-Fern"). The nickname originated from an improvised promotional clip where the comedian/actress lightheartedly took liberty with the call letters, joking that the station was "television for ferns".
  • CFRN's signoff announcements until the late 1990s were notable in that the station played a God Save the Queen film in place of O Canada. At the time most Canadian television stations played the Canadian National Anthem and sometimes both anthems.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°32′30.5″N 113°38′29″W / 53.541806°N 113.64139°W / 53.541806; -113.64139 (CFRN)