|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 is an independent television station serving the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario, Canada and is licensed to the city of Hamilton, it is the oldest privately owned television station in the Hamilton-Toronto area, having launched in 1954. It broadcasts a high-definition digital signal on VHF channel 11 from a transmitter near Glover Mountain and First Roads in Stoney Creek.
Owned by Channel Zero, its studios are located near the corner of Jackson and Caroline Streets in downtown Hamilton. This station can also be seen on Cogeco Cable channel 12 in Hamilton and Rogers Cable channels 11 and 121 in the Greater Toronto Area. 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.
CHCH has been an independent station for most of its existence, apart from its first seven years of operation when it was a CBC Television affiliate, and then from 2001 to 2009 when it was the flagship station of the now-defunct CH / E! system. Presently, it is a news-intensive independent station with 74 hours a week of locally produced newscasts geared primarily to the Golden Horseshoe region (including a prominent daytime rolling news block on weekdays), along with late night and weekend feature films, and first-run domestic and American entertainment programs during the evening hours.
The station began broadcasting in 1954 as a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) affiliate from the CHCH Television Tower, a transmitter located at 481 First Road West in Stoney Creek. At the time, all private stations were required to be CBC affiliates. In 1961, CHCH disaffiliated from the CBC and became an independent. 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 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 nationwide superstation on January 1, 1982, when Cancom began carrying the station and three others to cable television operators 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 TV 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. They 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 CHCH had been available on cable in many Ontario markets for years, the station'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 naming pattern of many of its other stations (such as BCTV, ITV, and RDTV).
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 re-focused on the Hamilton/Halton/Niagara region.
Despite the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)'s current TV station ownership restrictions (one station per owner per language per 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 systems 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.
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 having to cut budgets. After their departures, Annette Hamm began handling anchoring duties on a shortened CHCH News at Noon, as well as co-hosting Morning Live with Bob Cowan, while Nick Dixon took over anchoring duties on CHCH News at 6:00. 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 sister station CIII-TV due to low ratings leading to the cancellation of its own Global News Morning. The simulcast on CIII-TV 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.
Acquisition by Channel Zero
On February 5, 2009, Canwest (CHCH's parent company at the time) announced it would explore "strategic options", including possible sale or closure, for CHCH and its 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 is projected to lose nearly $30 million during the 2010 fiscal year, which begins 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 EDT 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 will launch a second series with Ed the Sock, the entertainment newsmagazine spoof I Hate Hollywood. Coinciding with the schedule changes was a return to an updated version of the classic CHCH 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, CKXT-TV Toronto 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, the company announced they would be adding the series Hart of Dixie and The Secret Circle, both of which premiered on The CW in the United States for the 2011-12 television season, on the CHCH primetime schedule, as well as the entertainment news show The Insider (with the station last aired under affiliation with the E! system between 2007 and 2009). The company also announced a programming deal with Twentieth Century Fox, that will allow CHCH and CJNT to show first-run exclusive broadcast movie premieres, most notably Avatar, which did broadcast in May 2012 on both stations, featuring the director's cut version of the film not shown in theatres. Other debut titles include 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, replacing the station's broadcast of the morning newscast with a hardcore gay porn film scene. 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 denies the programming came from its adult-oriented Category B specialty channels Maleflixxx Television, XXX TV and AOV TV. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has announced it will be investigating the incident as a cable transmission issue.
Newscasts and other local programming
CHCH currently airs 80 hours of local programming per week, more than any local television station in Canada or the United States. In contrast, CHAN in Vancouver broadcasts 45 hours of local news a week, WSVN in Miami airs 55.5 hours, WDAF in Kansas City runs 57.5 hours, WTVT in Tampa carries 60 hours and KRON in San Francisco does 60.5 hours of local programming each week. CHCH broadcasts 15 hours of local programming every weekday (4:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 5:00-7:00 p.m. and 11:00-11:30 p.m.) and two hours a night (6:00-7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.) on weekends.
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 4:00-5:30 a.m. The show expanded to a finish time of 6:00 a.m. on September 10, 2012.
- 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 - News Now (weekdays 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-4:30 p.m.)
- Tim Bolen - Morning Live First Edition (weekday mornings, 4:00-6:00), and News Now AM (weekday mornings, 10:00-11:00 a.m.). Sports reporter Morning Live (weekdays, 6:00-10:00)
- Kate Carnegie - Evening News (Saturdays/Sundays, 6:00-7:00 p.m. and Sundays, 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.; also reporter)
- Bob Cowan - Morning Live (weekday mornings, 6:00-10:00 a.m.), and News Now Midday (weekdays at noon)
- Nick Dixon - Evening News (weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.)
- Annette Hamm - Morning Live (weekday mornings, 6:00-10:00 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 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.), also noon community reporter and 6 p.m. entertainment reporter
- Jaclyn Colville - weather and traffic anchor; Morning Live First Edition (weekday mornings 4:00-6:00 a.m.) and traffic anchor; Morning Live (weekday mornings, 6:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Nicola Jones - weather anchor; Morning Live (weekday mornings, 6:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Steve Ruddick - weather anchor; Evening News (weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.)
- Brian Wood (CMOS-endorsed weathercaster) - weather and traffic anchor; weekday mornings News Now AM (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.), and weekday afternoons News Now PM (2:00-4:30 p.m.)
- Shelly Marriage - fill-in weather anchor
- Ken Welch - lead sports anchor; Evening News (weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.)
- Eric Gage - sports anchor; Evening News (weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 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 (6:00-10:00 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 (6:00-10:00 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 (6:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Melissa Raftis - video journalist; also fill-in news anchor
- Alex Reynolds - entertainment/theater/arts reporter
- Lauran Sabourin - Niagara Bureau Chief Reporter
- Lesley Stewart - Morning Live fill-in news anchor (6:00-10:00 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 5:00 p.m.)
- Mark Hebscher - host
- Clint "Bubba" O'Neil - co-host and producer
- Robin Sawh - field producer
- Candace Devai - feature reporter
Square Off (weeknights at 5:30 p.m.) - repeats at 11:35 p.m.
- Mark Hebscher - host
- Liz West - co-host
- Lawrence Diskin - producer and fill-in co-host
Past notable on-air staff
- Michelle Dube, Co-Anchor of Evening News - Now Co-Anchor of CTV News at Noon & 6pm on CTV Toronto
- Dan McLean, Senior News Anchor (at CHCH for almost 38 years) - Now Morning News Anchor at Mix 106.5 in Owen Sound, Ontario
- Connie Smith, News Anchor (at CHCH for 32 years)
- Jennifer Mossop, News Anchor and Executive Producer (with CHCH for 20 years) - Was Liberal M.P.P. for Stoney Creek, Ontario. Now Communications Consultant
- Sarika Sehgal, Evening News Anchor and Executive Producer - Now News Anchor for CTV News Channel
- Heather Hiscox, Evening News Anchor and Executive Producer - Now Morning News Anchor on CBC News Network
- 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) 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 HD.
Digital television and high definition
During the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which mandated stations in mandatory markets to shut down their analog signals before August 31, 2011, CHCH-DT moved from its pre-transition channel number, 18, to the channel position formerly occupied by its analog channel 11, on August 15, 2011. The analog signal was discontinued immediately preceding the switch. CHCH-DT is available on digital cable as well as for free over the air using a regular TV antenna and a digital tuner, included in most new TVs. Reception of CHCH-DT on channel 11 has been difficult for some people in the GTA.
As of September 12, 2011, CHCH is now offered in HD on Bell TV via 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 11 to UHF 15 (which was recently 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 analog service on VHF 11 and transitional digital service on UHF 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, but does not address potential frequency conflicts and co-channel interference with pirate broadcaster, VX9AMK ("Star Ray TV"), broadcasting in analog on UHF 15 in Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood, or WBNF-CD, which operates on UHF 15 in nearby Buffalo, New York.
- "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
- "Canwest Broadcasting Launches Three New High Definition Transmitters In Major Canadian Markets". Canwest Broadcasting. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CHCH-TV History
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CHCH-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CHCH