|Hamilton, Halton, Niagara and Greater Toronto Area|
|City of license||Hamilton, Ontario|
CHCH News (news)
|Slogan||Your Superstation (primary)
Great Movies Every Night (secondary)
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Independent (1961-2001, 2009-present)|
(2190015 Ontario Inc.)
|First air date||June 7, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||C Hamilton's CHannel|
|Former callsigns||CHCH-TV (1954–2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
11 (VHF, 1954–2011)
18 (UHF, 2008–2011)
|Former affiliations||CBC (1954–1961)
CH / E! (2001–2009)
|Transmitter power||6 kW|
CHCH-DT, VHF channel 11, is an independent television station located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The station is owned by Channel Zero. CHCH's studios are located near the corner of Jackson and Caroline Streets in downtown Hamilton, and its transmitter is located at 481 First Road West in Stoney Creek. The station can also be seen on Cogeco Cable channel 12 in Hamilton and Rogers Cable channels 11 and 121 in the Greater Toronto Area. On Shaw Direct, the channel is available on 345 (Classic) or 041 (Advanced), and in high definition on channel 036 (Classic) or 536 (Advanced). There is also a high definition feed on Cogeco digital channel 707 in Hamilton and Rogers Cable digital channel 521 in the Greater Toronto Area.
- 1 History
- 2 Programming
- 3 News operation
- 4 Transmitters
- 5 Digital television and high definition
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- 8 See also
CHCH-TV was founded by Ken Soble. A leader of Hamilton's urban renewal movement, and owner of CHML radio, Soble was regarded as a pioneer in all of his endeavours. The station began broadcasting on June 7, 1954 (making it the oldest privately owned television station in the Hamilton-Toronto area) as a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) affiliate. At the time, all privately owned television stations in Canada were required to be CBC affiliates.
In 1961, CHCH disaffiliated from the CBC and became an independent station. The reason for the disaffiliation from CBC was threefold. Toronto's CBLT already provided full network service to some of CHCH's viewing area, and a transmitter power increase and change of channels at CBLT (from channel 9 to channel 6 and eventually channel 5) would result in an overlap of nearly all of the CHCH and CBLT coverage areas. Additionally, the station's managers wanted to produce a larger amount of local programming, instead of being forced to carry CBC programming.
CHCH became the first (and for over a decade, the only) television station in Canada not to have any network affiliation, as the other private stations (which signed on the air in 1960 or early 1961) that were not affiliated with the CBC had formed the CTV network in 1961. CHCH became a national superstation on January 1, 1982, when Cancom began carrying the station and three others to cable television providers in remote regions of the country that had access only to the CBC.
The station also produced a number of important Canadian syndicated series, including The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Me & Max, Party Game and Smith & Smith, and was the original television home of The Red Green Show. Hamilton native Martin Short also had his television debut on the station. CHCH also produced local broadcasts such as Tiny Talent Time.
For a time, CHCH broadcast local mid-week telecasts of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs. It also produced a wrestling show called Ringside Wrestling. It was originally filmed in the Telecentre, later moving to the Hamilton Forum. The station later reproduced World Wrestling Federation programming for Canadian audiences before the company's focus shifted entirely to cable. For a number of years, CHCH also broadcast regular season Sunday afternoon coverage of the NFL's Buffalo Bills due to CTV (and later, the Global Television Network) having to choose the Detroit Lions for its Ontario stations as part of that network's NFL coverage (the Bills are now seen primarily on Sportsnet Ontario; the Lions have returned to CTV).
In 1990, Western International Communications (WIC) purchased CHCH. Although the station had been available on cable television in many Ontario markets for years, CHCH's broadcast signal coverage was expanded throughout Ontario with repeaters in 1997, in an effort to compete with the reach of Global's Ontario station CIII, as well as the Baton Broadcast System, a group of mostly CTV-affiliated stations which served most of the province. In turn, WIC renamed the station ONtv, as in "Ontario Television", in line with the branding conventions of many of its other stations (such as BCTV (CHAN-TV), ITV (CITV-TV) and RDTV (CHCA-TV)).
Local news shifted focus from the station's core market, the Hamilton area, toward Ontario as a whole, in an attempt to challenge what was then a regional news service provided by Global. However, with Hamilton now being largely an afterthought, and other local stations (in Toronto and elsewhere) already strong in the ratings, the shift was unsuccessful, and CHCH's ratings actually dropped. During the ONtv years, the station also aired WIC's nightly Canada Tonight newscast.
In 2000, Canwest purchased WIC's television assets. Since Global already served the Hamilton area through flagship CIII-TV's transmitter in Paris, Canwest rebranded the station "CH" (or "CH Hamilton") on February 12, 2001 and subsequently launched the CH television system in September of that year. This move launched a secondary television system for Canwest's stations in medium-sized markets near larger markets. Local news coverage was revamped and refocused on the Hamilton/Halton/Niagara region.
Despite the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)'s current television station ownership restrictions (one station per owner, per language in each market), Canwest was permitted to maintain CHCH's coverage of other markets throughout most of Ontario. However, it could not broadcast to Thunder Bay, Peterborough or Kingston, due to opposition by local stations. Some cable providers outside of Ontario also continue to carry CHCH as a form of "superstation". Additionally, its over-the-air signal easily covers Buffalo, New York and Erie, Pennsylvania.
On June 7, 2004 at 8:00 p.m., CHCH-TV celebrated exactly 50 years on the air. At this precise time, the station aired a documentary profiling the station history, entitled The First 50 Years: A Half Century of CH and hosted by Matt Hayes. It was announced that the CH brand would change starting in 2007, however, it remained in use until September 7, 2007 when Canwest rebranded CHCH's local programming from CH Hamilton to CHCH News after the following the relaunch of the national CH service as E!. CHCH's non-news schedule was rebranded on the same day as "E! Ontario".
Acquisition by Channel Zero
On February 5, 2009, Canwest announced it would explore "strategic options", including possible sale or closure, of CHCH and the company's other stations in the E! system, saying "a second conventional TV network is no longer key to the long-term success" of the company. A grassroots group, fronted by Live @ 5:30 co-host Donna Skelly, surfaced with an intent to purchase CHCH from Canwest and return the station to its former local focus.
In March 2009, paperwork to the CRTC for a one-year renewal of CHCH's licence revealed that the station was projected to lose nearly $30 million during the 2010 fiscal year, which began on September 1, 2009 – the station would make $41 million, but the profits would be outpaced by costs of $69 million. John Douglas, a spokesperson for Canwest, said that CHCH, and its other stations in the E! group, were money losers during the last decade, coupled with the Canadian broadcasters' dependency on American programming for profits.
On June 30, 2009, Channel Zero announced that it would purchase CHCH and CJNT in Montreal from Canwest in exchange for $12 in cash and the assumption of various station liabilities. The CRTC approved the sale on August 28, 2009.
Channel Zero took control of the station's programming at midnight ET on the morning of August 31, beginning its tenure with a film from the 1980s. CHCH disaffiliated from E! (which shut down at the end of that day), adopted a new format consisting of local news all day on weekdays and movies at night (all day on weekends), and reverted to branding itself as simply CHCH. The first film broadcast in primetime that night was Rocky, signifying the new ownership's come-from-behind spirit. CHCH would add, in sparse amounts, additional programming during the 2009-2010 season, including Let's Get It On, a mixed martial arts program; Ed the Sock's This Movie Sucks!, a movie show featuring the former MuchMusic character alongside co-host Liana Kerzner and comedian Ron Sparks; and infomercials.
In September 2010, CHCH, for the first time since its purchase by Channel Zero, began airing American network television series; many of the added shows, including Smallville, Supernatural, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, 48 Hours Mystery, 20/20, Chuck, and 60 Minutes were previously seen in the Toronto-Hamilton market on CKXT-TV (that station's owner, Quebecor, was in the process of replacing it with an all-news cable channel). CHCH also debuted additional original local programs Sportsline with Mark Hebscher & Clint "Bubba" O'Neil, and launched a second series with Ed the Sock, the entertainment newsmagazine spoof I Hate Hollywood. Coinciding with the schedule changes was the introduction of an updated version of CHCH's classic multi-coloured logo used from the 1960s to the 1980s.
On April 10, 2011 Green party leader Elizabeth May participated in a panel interview on CHCH, which she was invited to attend, as were the leaders of the Bloc, Liberals, NDP and Conservatives, by Channel Zero, whose president was disappointed by May's exclusion from the 2011 election leaders' debates.
On April 18, 2011, Toronto's CKXT-TV switched from an independent station to a simulcast of the Sun News Network, leaving CHCH the only independent station in the Toronto/Hamilton area (the station ceased operations approximately seven months later on November 1, 2011). On June 8, 2011 at Channel Zero's upfront presentation for advertisers for the 2011-12 television season, the company announced a programming distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, giving CHCH and CJNT access to show first-run exclusive broadcast movie premieres, most notably Avatar, which first aired in May 2012 on both stations, featuring the director's cut version of the film not shown in theatres. Other debut titles included Crazy Heart, Taken and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
During a broadcast of News Now AM on April 20, 2012, Cogeco and Shaw Cable's transmissions of CHCH's signal were interrupted for approximately three minutes by the broadcast of a scene from a hardcore gay porn film from an unidentified adult-oriented specialty channel. The substitution appears to have been made by a cable operator during repairs of cut cable lines, not at CHCH, leaving CHCH's over-the-air viewers and subscribers of other cable and satellite providers unaffected. Channel Zero denied that the program in question came from any of its adult-oriented Category B specialty channels (Maleflixxx Television, XXX TV and AOV TV). The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission later announced it will be investigating the incident as a cable transmission issue.
In addition to its extensive amount of locally produced newscasts, which are geared primarily to the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario, CHCH also runs first-run domestic and American entertainment programs during the primetime and late evening hours, and feature films during the overnight hours and for much of the day on weekends.
CHCH-DT presently broadcasts 64 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with twelve hours on weekdays and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among all broadcast television stations in North America (in contrast, Vancouver's CHAN-DT broadcasts 45 hours of local news each week, WSVN in Miami airs 55½ hours, WDAF-TV in Kansas City runs 57½ hours, WTVT in Tampa carries 60 hours and KRON-TV in San Francisco airs 60½ hours each week).
Its weekday newscast total, which is also the highest of any North American station, is largely due to a prominent daytime rolling news block on weekdays (which originally ran from 5:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. upon the expansion of news programming after Channel Zero took over operations, though a few syndicated and non-news local programs have replaced some newscasts in sporadic afternoon timeslots). In addition, the station also produces a half-hour sports discussion program called Sportsline each weekday at 5 p.m., and a half-hour political discussion program Square Off, which immediately follows Sportsline.
In late 2008, Canwest retired CHCH's longest serving news anchors, Connie Smith (last day on air November 28, 2008) and Dan McLean (last day on air December 12, 2008), blaming money troubles and budget cuts. After their departures, Annette Hamm began handling anchoring duties on a shortened noon newscast, as well as co-hosting Morning Live with Bob Cowan, while Nick Dixon took over anchoring duties on the 6 p.m. newscast. Since being taken over by Channel Zero on August 31, 2009, Annette Hamm and Bob Cowan have co-hosted a restored hour-long newscast at noon.
In January 2009, CHCH's Morning Live program began to be simulcast on former Toronto sister station CIII-TV due to the cancellation of its own Global News Morning. The simulcast on CIII was dropped at the end of August after Channel Zero officially took control of CHCH. While the station continued to share helicopter traffic services provided by the Canadian Traffic Network, the arrangement between Canwest and CHCH ended on December 31, 2009 as Canwest held the exclusive rights to CTN services in the Greater Toronto Area.
On September 12, 2011, CHCH increased its local news programming by launching a 90-minute extension of Morning Live, called Morning Live First Edition, airing weekdays from 4-5:30 a.m., this made CHCH the first Canadian television station with a morning newscast that starts before 5:30 a.m. The show expanded to two hours, extending it from 4-6 a.m. on September 10, 2012. Meanwhile, the original Morning Live moved from 5:30-9 a.m., to 6-10 a.m. the same day.
- Newsroom 11 (1970s–1982)
- TV 11 Newsroom (1982–1997)
- On-TV News (Source) (1997–2001)
- OnTV News First Edition (6 p.m. newscast; 1997–2001)
- CH News (2001–2007)
- Live @ 5:30 (2005–2010; debate & talk program)
- CHCH News (2007–present)
- "Serving Hamilton, Toronto and the Niagara Peninsula. This is CHCH TV 11" (1970–1988?)
- "Join Us" (1988?)
- "Together, We're the Ones" (1988–1997)
- "There's Always Something ONtv" (1997–1999)
- "ONtv: Where You Are" (1999–2001)
- "Closer to Home" (2001)
- "Closer to You!" (2001–2010)
- "In Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, CH News is Closer to You!" (2001–2007; news slogan)
- "CH Has It All" (2001–2007; general slogan)
- "The Most Dependable Name in Local News" (2007–2009)
- "Everything Entertainment" (2007–2009; localized version of E! ad campaign)
- "Canada's Superstation" (2009–2010)
- "Your Superstation" (2010–present; general slogan)
- "Great Movies Every Night" (2011–present; slogan for movie programming)
- Taz Boga - weekdays on News Now (11 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.)
- Tim Bolen - weekday mornings on Morning Live First Edition (4-6), and News Now AM (10-11 a.m.); also sports reporter for Morning Live (weekdays from 6-10 a.m.)
- Kate Carnegie - Evening News (weekends); also reporter
- Bob Cowan - Morning Live (weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m.), and News Now Midday (weekdays at noon)
- Nick Dixon - Evening News (weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.)
- Annette Hamm - Morning Live (weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m.), and News Now Midday (weekdays at noon)
- Matt Hayes - lead weather anchor; News Now Midday (weekdays at noon), and Evening News (weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.), also noon community reporter and 6 p.m. entertainment reporter
- Jaclyn Colville - weather and traffic anchor; weekday mornings on Morning Live First Edition (4-6 a.m.) and traffic anchor; weekday mornings on Morning Live (6-10 a.m.)
- Nicola Jones - weather anchor; weekday mornings on Morning Live (6-10 a.m.)
- Steve Ruddick - weather anchor; Evening News (weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.)
- Brian Wood (CMOS-endorsed weathercaster) - weather and traffic anchor; weekday mornings on News Now AM (10 a.m.-12 p.m.), and weekday afternoons on News Now PM (2-4:30 p.m.)
- Shelly Marriage - fill-in weather anchor
- Ken Welch - lead sports anchor; Evening News (weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.)
- Eric Gage - sports anchor; Evening News (weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.)
- Natalie Marconi - sports reporter
- Adam Atkinson - video journalist
- Sean Cowan - video journalist
- Cindy Csordas - video journalist
- Lori De Angelis - Morning Live community reporter (6-10 a.m.)
- Brittany Gogo - general assignment reporter
- Maria Hayes - health reporter
- Lisa Hepfner - general assignment reporter; also fill-in news anchor
- Lisa Knap - Morning Live design trends reporter/expert (6-10 a.m.)
- Sean Leathong - general assignment reporter; also fill-in news anchor
- Sharon McCulloch - general assignment reporter; also fill-in news anchor
- Phil Perkins - Morning Live overnight reporter (6-10 a.m.)
- Melissa Raftis - video journalist; also fill-in news anchor
- Alex Reynolds - entertainment reporter, film and theatre critic
- Lauran Sabourin - Niagara bureau chief reporter
- Lesley Stewart - Morning Live fill-in news anchor (6-10 a.m.)/reporter; host of Terra @ Home
- Al Sweeney - general assignment reporter; also fill-in news anchor
- Scot Urquhart - general assignment reporter
Sportsline (weeknights at 5 p.m.)
- Mark Hebscher - host
- Clint "Bubba" O'Neil - co-host and producer
- Robin Sawh - field producer
Square Off (weeknights at 5:30 p.m.) - repeats at 11:35 p.m.
- Mark Hebscher - host
- Liz West - co-host
- Lawrence Diskin - fill-in co-host (former Square Off producer, now retired)
Notable former on-air staff
- Michelle Dubé - co-anchor of Evening News (now noon and 6 p.m. co-anchor at CFTO-DT)
- Heather Hiscox - evening news anchor and executive producer (now morning news anchor for CBC News Network)
- Dan McLean - senior news anchor (at CHCH for almost 38 years; after leaving CHCH, was morning news anchor at Mix 106.5 in Owen Sound, Ontario)
- Jennifer Mossop - news anchor and executive producer (with CHCH for 20 years; was Liberal M.P.P. for Stoney Creek, Ontario; now a communications consultant)
- Sarika Sehgal - evening news anchor and executive producer (now news anchor for CTV News Channel)
- Connie Smith - news anchor (at CHCH for 32 years)
- Cathy Wegner - original co-host of Morning Live (now announcer at Country 107.3 Radio in Tillsonburg, Ontario)
|Station||City of licence||Channel||Virtual||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CHCH-DT-1||Ottawa||22 (UHF)||11.1 (PSIP)||25 kW||216 m|
|CHCH-DT-2||London||51 (UHF)||51.1 (PSIP)||190 kW||296.5 m|
|CHCH-DT-3||Muskoka||23 (UHF)||67.1 (PSIP)||63 kW||306.7 m|
|CHCH-TV-4||Sudbury||41 (UHF)||N/A||35 kW||171.9 m|
|CHCH-TV-5||Sault Ste. Marie||38 (UHF)||N/A||5 kW||112.5 m|
|CHCH-TV-6||North Bay||32 (UHF)||N/A||5 kW||116 m|
|CHCH-TV-7||Timmins||11 (VHF)||N/A||3.3 kW||142.2 m|
During the analog television shutdown and digital conversion in August 2011, CHCH's transmitters in Ottawa, London, and Muskoka (serving Barrie, part of the Toronto market) were converted to digital, since transmitters in or near markets that were mandated to do so. However, the transmitters broadcast in standard-definition 480i since they receive the CHCH signal via Shaw Broadcast Services, which does not carry CHCH's HD feed.
Digital television and high definition
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|11.1||1080i||16:9||CHCH-DT||Main CHCH-DT programming|
The station's originally launched its digital signal on UHF channel 18 on April 18, 2008. CHCH shut down its analogue signal, over VHF channel 11, on August 15, 2011, two weeks prior to the official August 31 date in which Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 18 to VHF channel 11. The analogue signal was discontinued immediately preceding the switch. CHCH-DT is available on digital cable and over-the-air through digital tuners and converter boxes. As of September 12, 2011, CHCH's HD feed is carried by satellite provider Bell TV on channel 1057.
On March 9, 2012, 2190015 Ontario Inc. (Channel Zero, owners of CHCH-DT) were granted permission to move the station's broadcasts from VHF channel 11 to UHF channel 15 (which had recently been vacated by CKXT-DT-1), in response to poor reception of CHCH-DT along its fringes in the Greater Toronto Area, compared to its former analogue signal on VHF channel 11 and transitional digital signal on UHF channel 18, however as of October 2012, the technical changes have not been implemented and the station remains on channel 11 with an ERP of only 6 KW. During the application process, the station also claimed that Mobile DTV services perform better in the UHF band, and this move would allow the station to plan for a potential Mobile DTV feed. Industry Canada stated that this application is technically feasible, though pirate broadcaster VX9AMK ("Star Ray TV"), broadcasts in analog on UHF channel 15 in Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood. Tri-State Christian Television's WNYB from Jamestown, New York also has a Buffalo based translator, WBNF-CD, on UHF Channel 15, which would require addressing by the CRTC due to the closer location of CHCH's transmitter to WBNF-CD.
On November 12, 2013, CHCH began transmitting a test signal on UHF channel 15. Colour Bars and tone with text message reading "CHCH-DT RF15 Testing"
On Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 13:00 EST, The channel 11 transmitter was permanently shutdown, ending a long history on RF channel 11, since June 7 1954 when the station first signed on. The change in channel will allow CHCH an increased RF power, from 6kW on RF 11 to a considerably higher power on RF 15 of 132,000kW ERP. The ATSC digital virtual channel will remain the same 11.1
- "Hamilton Spectator: "The Greatest Hamiltonian". (II)". Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- ONtv trademark data on Canadian Trademark Database
- "CHCH-TV Seeks Ontario Expansion" (Press release). Niagara Television Limited. January 30, 1996. Archived from the original on January 3, 1997. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- "Canwest may sell TV stations". cbc.ca, February 5, 2009.
- "CHCH staff launch bold bid" The Hamilton Spectator (2009-02-26)
- "Will townsfolk save the House of Frightenstein?" From Toronto Star, March 15, 2009.
- Broadcaster Magazine: "CHCH-TV, Hamilton Projected to Lose $30-million", 3/18/2009.
- Channel Zero Inc. agrees to purchase CHCH-TV Hamilton and CJNT-TV Montreal from Canwest CNW Group (2009-06-30)
- Channel Zero Inc. agrees to purchase CHCH-TV Hamilton and CJNT-TV Montreal from Canwest (Video News Coverage) (2009-06-30)
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-536
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-537
- Channel Zero loads up on U.S. network series, THR, 2010-06-14
- ed the sock
- Source: CHCH Fall 2010 press release
- CHCH 2010 Fall Preview - New shows, new logo and more
- "CHCH-TV to Broadcast "Elizabeth May, For the Record" Live this Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 8 pm ET". CNW Group. CNW. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
- CHCH and Metro 14 Announce Fall Line-Up
- Gay Porn Interrupts Canadian Local TV Newscast, The Hollywood Reporter, April 20, 2012.
- Hamilton, Ont., news station broadcasts gay porn, Toronto Sun, April 20, 2012.
- movie interrupts morning news broadcast at Hamilton TV station, The National Post, Apr 20, 2012.
- CHCH-TV To Launch Canada's Earliest Morning Show
- CHCH Hamilton - "CH" News at Six Open
- CHCH News Now Open - Monday, August 1, 2011
- CHCH Evening News At 11 Open - Thursday, July 14, 2011
- CHCH Hamilton 11 Together We're The Ones 1988
- CHCH Closer to you Station ID Set of 5 extended Aug 31 2009
- Our On-Air Staff
- Decision CRTC 96-544
- RabbitEars TV Query for CHCH
- "Canwest Broadcasting Launches Three New High Definition Transmitters In Major Canadian Markets". Canwest Broadcasting. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)
Media related to CHCH at Wikimedia Commons
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CHCH-TV History
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHCH-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CHCH