CIVT-DT

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CIVT-DT
CTV logo.svg
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada
Branding CTV Vancouver (primary general)
CTV British Columbia, CTV BC or CTV 9 (alternate general)
CTV News Vancouver (newscasts)
Slogan Your Home. Your News.
Channels Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 32 (PSIP)
Subchannels 32.1 CTV
Affiliations CTV (O&O; 2001–present)
Owner Bell Media
First air date September 22, 1997 (1997-09-22)
Call letters' meaning C
I
Vancouver
Television
Sister station(s) TV: CIVI-DT
Radio: CKST, CFTE, CFBT-FM, CHQM-FM
Former callsigns CIVT-TV (1997–2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
32 (UHF, 1997–2011)
Digital:
33 (UHF, 2006–2011)
Former affiliations Independent (1997–2001)
Transmitter power 33 kW
Height 740.3 m
Transmitter coordinates 49°21′26″N 122°57′13″W / 49.35722°N 122.95361°W / 49.35722; -122.95361
Licensing authority CRTC
Website www.vancouver.ctvnews.ca

CIVT-DT, UHF channel 32, is a CTV owned-and-operated television station located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The station is owned by Bell Media, as part of a twinstick with Victoria-based CTV Two owned-and-operated station CIVI-DT (channel 53). CIVT maintains studio facilities located at 969 Robson Street (alternatively known as 750 Burrard Street; the former site of the Vancouver Public Library's central branch) at the intersection of Robson Street and Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver (which also houses the British Columbia operations of the CTV network itself, including the CTV News Vancouver bureau), and its transmitter is located atop Mount Seymour.

On cable, the station is available on Shaw Cable channel 9, Telus TV channel 250 and Rogers Cable channel 112. On satellite, the station is also available on Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 321 or advanced lineup channel 004 and (corporate sister through parent company Bell Canada) Bell TV channel 250. There is also a high definition feed on Shaw Cable digital channel 210, Telus TV digital channel 1151, Shaw Direct classic lineup channel 004 and advanced lineup channel 504, and Bell TV channel 1151.

Station details[edit]

CIVT's 750 Burrard Street studios.

CIVT is the only full-fledged CTV station in British Columbia, as well as in the Pacific Time Zone. However, the station only maintains one terrestrial transmitter. Despite transmitting at an effective radiated power of 33 kW, it only reaches Vancouver, Victoria, and neighbouring Whatcom County, Washington. Accordingly, the station relies exclusively on cable and satellite distribution to reach the rest of British Columbia, making it something of a weak link in the CTV network. In the Mountain Time Zone portion of the province, CIVT is either carried on a higher channel number or is unavailable altogether. Calgary sister station CFCN is the default CTV station for southeastern British Columbia and has long operated rebroadcasters in this region, while Edmonton sister CFRN serves as the default CTV station for the northeastern part of the province. Until 2012, when CBC Television owned-and-operated station CBUT-DT (channel 2) shut down its rebroadcasters due to funding reductions, CIVT was the only Vancouver station out of Canada's three major television networks to be cable- and satellite-exclusive outside of the city.

CIVT was the only CTV network station to broadcast its primary signal on UHF prior to the digital transition. Although Industry Canada technically requires Canadian television stations to identify themselves over-the-air by their call letters, this rule is rarely enforced, and most Canadian stations identify themselves by their brand name rather than their callsign. On-air, CIVT identifies itself simply as "CTV". Where a channel reference is warranted, it uses "Channel 9", its primary cable channel number on most cable systems in southwestern British Columbia.

History[edit]

Licensing[edit]

The process that led to the launch of CIVT began when Rogers Communications and Canwest Global Communications filed separate applications with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), respectively in August 1995 and January 1996, to launch new television stations in the Vancouver/Victoria market. Following the commission's usual practice, the CRTC issued a general call for applications in March 1996, with a public hearing that September. In all, five applications were considered:

The commission's decision, released on January 31, 1997, approved the Baton application and denied the others. The prospective Rogers station was denied largely because it would have replaced some of Talentvision's existing ethnic programming with U.S. syndicated fare. Moreover, Talentvision's existing owner (the company now known as Fairchild Media Group) indicated there was "no plan to abandon [the current Talentvision licence] at this time". As for Canwest, the commission determined that the fact that one twinstick (CHAN/CHEK) already existed in the area did not justify licensing a new station to a company already serving the market.

The remaining applications were all determined to be high-calibre; however, the deciding factor in favour of Baton/Electrohome was a commitment to air new Vancouver-produced programming (which ultimately manifested as, among other programs, the Vicki Gabereau Show and Cold Squad) across Baton's and Electrohome's stations, a promise that the smaller CHUM and Craig station groups could not match.[1]

As Vancouver Television[edit]

The station's logo as Vancouver Television or VTV, used from 1997 to 2001.

CIVT first signed on the air on September 22, 1997, under the brand "Vancouver Television" (or "VTV"). The station's newscasts initially emulated the format of CityPulse on Toronto's CITY-TV, with a morning programme (VTV Breakfast) and evening newscasts (Vancouver Live), in which the anchors stood up and moved throughout the studio. The Toronto station's founder, Moses Znaimer, went so far as to claim that his former protégé, Baton chief executive Ivan Fecan, had stolen CITY's format outright for CIVT.[2] The noon newscast that debuted with the station only lasted for several months after the launch. CIVT began moving towards a more conventional news operation in 1999, and retitled its newscasts to simply VTV News.

Upon launch, CIVT took over the provincial rights to programming from the Baton Broadcast System (BBS), some of which had previously aired on CHAN (such as Disney's One Saturday Morning). However, CHAN and CHEK retained their existing long-term affiliation agreement with the CTV network, meaning that CIVT had a 40-hour gap in its weekly schedule that other CTV-owned stations did not have to contend with. To fill these holes in the schedule, and because CHUM did not have a station in the market at that point, CIVT also carried some series and movies sourced from CITY-TV out of Toronto through the end of the 1999-2000 season. As well, some CTV-owned series that did not air nationally due to low expectations and/or scheduling constraints aired instead on CIVT (two notable examples were the first episodes of Ally McBeal and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, whose distribution expanded nationally by midseason). Previously cancelled Canadian dramas that had already aired on the main network were sometimes aired to fulfill Canadian content obligations.

By the end of 1997, Baton Broadcasting had bought out Electrohome's broadcasting operations, and gained full control of both CIVT and the CTV network. Indeed, CIVT had signed on just a few months before Baton closed on its acquisition of controlling interest in CTV, and as a result the "BBS" brand was not implemented locally in Vancouver. By early 1998, the BBS series had in effect become part of CTV's national schedule; CIVT would cover up the CTV bug at the lower-right corner of the screen with its own "VTV" logo. It soon became an open secret that CIVT would become Vancouver's CTV station at the first opportunity. However, the network's affiliation agreements with CHAN and CHEK were not scheduled to expire until September 2000; due to complications surrounding the breakup of WIC (including Canwest's acquisition of the CHAN/CHEK twinstick and the resulting sale of CKVU), this was later extended by an additional year.[3]

As a CTV O&O[edit]

The station's logo as BC CTV, used from 2001 to 2002.

On September 1, 2001, as part of a major network shuffle in the southwestern B.C. television market, CIVT became a full CTV network station, while CHAN became a Global owned-and-operated station (O&O) and CHEK joined Canwest's secondary system, CH (later known as E!). Since then, CIVT has not deviated significantly from the national CTV schedule (except for the issues with The Oprah Winfrey Show, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! discussed below). While CHAN had blanketed the province with a massive rebroadcaster network, CTV opted not to build any new rebroadcasters for CIVT outside the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and as of 2014 has no plans to do so (see above).

Upon becoming a full network station, CIVT adopted the brand "BC CTV". This caused some confusion among viewers with CHAN, then known as "BCTV", which had long been the province's dominant station. While the latter station changed its main on-air branding to "Global BC", it retained the "BCTV" name for its newscasts until 2006. Given CTV's desire to steal market share from CHAN, there was some speculation that the confusion was deliberate. Indeed, CIVT had just hired Pamela Martin and Bill Good, the respective former anchors of CHAN-TV's 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts, to co-anchor its 6:00 p.m. newscast.

On July 1, 2002, CIVT stopped using the "BC CTV" ID on-air, and began to identify itself only as "CTV," following the lead of several other CTV-owned stations (such as CKCK-TV in Regina and CFQC-TV in Saskatoon). The sub-brand "CTV 9" is often used to refer to CIVT informally, and was for a time incorporated into the station's website domain name (ctv9.ca), but it was never officially used as the station's on-air brand. In March 2004, CIVT became the first television station in Western Canada to operate a full-time news helicopter, branded as "Chopper 9". In January 2008, CTV began producing a Western Canada edition of Canada AM at the CIVT studios; however due to low ratings, it was cancelled in June of that year.[4]

Programming[edit]

For its first ten years as a CTV O&O, CIVT was the only such station not to carry The Oprah Winfrey Show, due to historical issues related to how Canadian rights to the programme were distributed. In the 1990s, almost all CTV stations acquired local rights to Oprah, as well as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! – however, the rights in each market were always held by individual stations, not the network. This meant that CHAN, which had acquired the B.C. rights to all three programs, was not required to give them up upon disaffiliation from CTV. CHAN would keep Oprah on its lineup until the programme ended in 2011. During this period, CIVT used a number of stopgap measures to fill this "hole" in CTV's national schedule, eventually resorting to airing The Ellen DeGeneres Show (now broadcast nationally by CTV) in the 4:00 p.m. timeslot instead.

Similarly, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! did not air on CIVT during the years that most other CTV O&Os carried the programs, even though CHAN elected not to keep them either as a Global station, initially relegating them to its then-sister station in Victoria, CHEK. The Vancouver-area rights to both series changed hands several times in the subsequent years before eventually returning to CHEK in 2012. CIVT was left out of that rotation, making it the only English-language, non-religious station in the market not to have carried the two game shows, despite the series' long association with CTV elsewhere.

CIVT now generally conforms to the standard CTV network schedule, aside from timeslot variances in the daytime schedule in order to maximize simultaneous substitution opportunities with stations in the adjacent Seattle market across the Canada-U.S. border. Since the 2011-12 season, there have only been two exceptions. First, one hour of the CTV network daytime schedule (currently The Dr. Oz Show) is not cleared on the station but is instead carried by CTV Two owned-and-operated sister station CIVI-DT (channel 53) in Victoria; this was done to accommodate a new lunch-hour newscast on CIVT (along with an existing 5:00 p.m. newscast, which most other CTV stations do not produce). As well, Canada AM was replaced with a new local morning programme (CTV Morning Live), as with other CTV O&Os in western Canada.[5] Canada AM remains available on CTV News Channel from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. local time.

News operation[edit]

A Ford Explorer vehicle from CTV Vancouver.

CIVT-DT presently broadcasts 38 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with seven hours on weekdays, and 1½ 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 CTV's television stations (either owned-and-operated or affiliated), and the second-highest among the Vancouver-Victoria market's television stations, falling behind Global O&O CHAN-DT's weekly news total by seven hours.

At its launch as "VTV," the station operated news bureaus in Victoria, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Surrey and Richmond, alongside its main studio in downtown Vancouver.[6] Most of these bureaus were closed by 2001, with the exception of the one in Victoria (which continues in operation to this day). On the other hand, the station added bureaus in the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan, and also operated a bureau in Whistler in the run-up to and during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

CIVT's news helicopter Chopper 9 (a Bell 206 L-4 Long Ranger IV) taking off from the Vancouver Harbour helipad.

On November 23, 2009, beginning with its 5:00 p.m. newscast, CIVT became the first television station in Metro Vancouver and the fourth in Canada (after Toronto-based stations CITY, CBLT and CFTO) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; with the upgrade, the station renovated its existing news set.[7]

On March 18, 2010, CIVT unveiled a new set for its news broadcasts, using elements from the set built by CTV for its coverage of the 2010 Olympic Games. CIVT's newsroom was redesigned using the news desk, interview area and large screen monitors that were previously installed in the International Broadcast Centre.[8] On December 7, 2010, Bill Good and Pamela Martin announced their resignation as anchors of the 6:00 p.m. newscast.[9] Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart were announced as their replacements the next day, and took over as anchors of the broadcast on January 3, 2011.[10]

CIVT debuted an hour-long lunchtime newscast at noon on October 31, 2011. Two weeks later on November 14, the station debuted a 3½-hour weekday morning newscast under the CTV Morning Live banner. With the latter addition, CFCF-DT in Montreal and CTV's Toronto flagship station CFTO-DT are now the largest CTV owned-and operated stations that have yet to carry locally produced weekday morning newscasts.[11]

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Vancouver Breakfast / Vancouver Live (1997–1999)
  • VTV News (1999–2001)
  • CTV News (2001–present;[12] the BC CTV logo was used on the opening sequences and displayed as an on-screen bug between 2001 and 2002,[13] but the newscasts were already referred to as CTV News in voiceovers and reporter out-cues during that time)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "BC's Best Newscast" (2009–2010)
  • "Working for You" (2010–2013)
  • "Your Home. Your News." (2005–2009 and 2013–present)

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[14][edit]

Anchors
  • Keri Adams - weekday mornings on CTV Morning Live (5:30-9:00 a.m.)
  • Michele Brunoro - weekends at 6:00 and 11:30 p.m.; also Fraser Valley Bureau reporter
  • Coleen Christie - weekdays at noon and weeknights at 5:00 p.m.
  • Mike Killeen - weekdays at noon and weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
  • Norma Reid - weeknights at 11:30 p.m.; also 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. breaking news anchor
  • Scott Roberts - weekends at 6:00 and 11:30 p.m.; also weekday reporter
  • Brent Shearer - weekday mornings on CTV Morning Live (5:30-9:00 a.m.)
  • Tamara Taggart - weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
Weather team
  • Michael Kuss (CMOS-endorsed meteorologist) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:30 p.m.
  • Marke Driesschen - weathercaster; weekday mornings on CTV Morning Live (5:30-9:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Zahra Alani - weathercaster; weekends at 6:00 and 11:30 p.m.
Sports team
  • Jason Pires - sports anchor; weeknights at 11:30 p.m., also sports reporter
  • Perry Solkowski - sports director; weekdays at noon and weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
  • Kelcey Brade - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:30 p.m.
  • Farhan Lalji - sports anchor; fill-in
  • Christina Heydanus - sports anchor; fill-in
Chopper 9
  • Gary Barndt - pilot/reporter
  • Pete Cline - pilot/reporter
  • Murray Titus - photographer
Reporters
  • St. John Alexander - general assignment reporter
  • Penny Daflos - general assignment reporter
  • Kimberly Davidson - general assignment reporter
  • Dave Gerry - human interest reporter (The Last Word)
  • Brent Gilbert - general assignment reporter
  • Peter Grainger - general assignment reporter
  • Scott Hurst - general assignment reporter
  • Nafessa Karim - CTV Morning Live and general assignment reporter
  • Mi-Jung Lee - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Ann Luu - weekday morning traffic specialist
  • Mike McCardell - human interest reporter (The Last Word)
  • Kent Molgat - Okanagan Bureau reporter
  • Shannon Paterson - general assignment reporter
  • Lisa Rossington - general assignment reporter
  • Lynda Steele - consumer reporter (Steele On Your Side)
  • Ed Watson - Legislative Bureau chief
  • Maria Weisgarber - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Jon Woodward - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[15]
32.1 1080i 16:9 CIVT Main CIVT-DT programming / CTV

Analogue-to-digital conversion[edit]

CIVT's digital signal, sometimes known as CTV HD West, began broadcasting in 2005. CIVT shut down its analogue signal, over UHF channel 32, on August 31, 2011, the official 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 33 to its analogue-era UHF channel 32 for post-transition operations.[16][17]

On February 19, 2009, CIVT-DT was approved to increase its maximum effective radiated power from 2.2 kW to 12.6 kW due to poor reception throughout the Greater Vancouver area, including Vancouver proper.

References[edit]

External links[edit]