|Kitchener and Southwestern Ontario|
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13.1 (PSIP)
|First air date||March 1, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||C
|Sister station(s)||CFPL-DT, CHWI-DT, CKKW-FM, CFCA-FM|
|Former callsigns||CKCO-TV (1954-2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
13 (VHF, 1954-2011)
|Former affiliations||CBC (1954-1964)|
|Transmitter power||12 kW|
CKCO-DT (known on-air as CTV Kitchener) is the CTV owned-and-operated station serving the southwestern portion of the Canadian province of Ontario and is licensed to Kitchener. It broadcasts a high-definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter located in Baden between Snyders Road East and Highway 7, just west of the Kitchener city limits.
Owned by Bell Media, its studios are located at 864 King St West in Kitchener. This station can be seen on Rogers Cable channels 12 and 109, and in high definition on digital channel 518. It can also be seen on Shaw Direct channels 369 (classic lineup) and 67 (advanced lineup). As of November 29, 2012, CKCO can now been seen on Bell TV on channel 584.
Broadcasts began on March 1, 1954 from Baden Tower (a transmitter on Baden Hill), near Baden, just west of Kitchener. The transmitter has become one of the most identifiable landmarks for those who live in the area. Originally, like all private television stations in Canada from 1953 to 1959, CKCO was an affiliate of the CBC, but changed its affiliation to CTV in 1964. The station still broadcasts, on channel 13, from the Baden tower, although it increased signal power in the early 1960s to reach London, from which Kitchener then received CBC affiliate programs on CFPL-TV.
The station's founder was Carl Arthur Pollock. At one time CKCO was owned by CAP Communications, named after Pollock's initials. Pollock was also an executive with Electrohome, although his broadcast holdings — which also included CFCA-FM and CKKW — were operated by a separate company until a corporate reorganization in 1970 placed the stations directly under the ownership of Electrohome.
On October 3, 2005, CKCO ceased identifying by its call letters, adopting the local brand CTV Southwestern Ontario, with its newscasts branded as "CTV News". The local brand reflected the fact that, at that time, the station provided some coverage of news in areas southwest of Waterloo Region. Since then, however, CKCO's parent company has also purchased the former A-Channel (now CTV Two) stations in London, Windsor, and (formerly) Wingham, which since fall 2011 have also branded their newscasts as "CTV News". Accordingly, while it remains the CTV main-network station for all of Southwestern Ontario, CKCO now focuses its news-gathering resources exclusively on Waterloo Region and the Guelph area. In early April 2012, presumably to end any confusion about its mandate, the station changed its local branding to CTV Kitchener.
Viewing area and transmitters
In addition to the Baden tower, CKCO has two additional rebroadcast transmitters to extend its viewing area to cover most of Southwestern Ontario, with some exceptions such as Essex County and Windsor (which does not have a CTV station of its own, being served instead by CTV Two station CHWI), where it is available on Cogeco on cable channel 13.
CKCO's Sarnia rebroadcaster CKCO-TV-3, on Channel 42 and actually located at Oil Springs, was established in 1975. The station can be seen over the air and on cable in extreme eastern and southeastern Michigan in such localities as Port Huron and St. Clair Shores, and is on the channel lineup in Detroit-area TV Guide listings. The station's target audience is Sarnia, Chatham, and most of Lambton and Kent counties.
The station has a news bureau in Chatham, Ontario, and also had a news office in Windsor at the corner of Park Street and Victoria Avenue, on the ground floor of the Victoria Park Place apartments. This office closed up in 1994, shortly after the launch of Independent station/Semi-BBS affiliate CHWI. The spot was abandoned for several years, still showing the faded "CKCO-TV 42" banners atop its storefront for a few years. It is now a convenience store.
CTV also broadcasts to the Georgian Bay region on channel 2 from the CKCO-TV-2 transmitter, which has operated since 1971 in the town of Wiarton. Its terrestrial footprint reaches as far east as Toronto, where it is carried on digital cable (until recently, it was available on analog basic cable, but high up on the UHF dial).
Prior to 1999, the station also broadcast on channel 11 to the Muskoka and Parry Sound districts of Ontario from the CKCO-TV-4 transmitter near Huntsville. That year, that transmitter was changed to a rebroadcaster of CKNY in North Bay. (It has since become a rebroadcaster of Sudbury's CICI.) 
With Global station CIII-TV now licensed as a Toronto TV station and no longer licensed as a Paris, Ontario (a suburb of Brantford) station as of 2009, Kitchener continues to have two local TV stations outside of Kitchener rebroadcast transmitters of other Ontario television stations – Bell Media's CTV station CKCO-TV (channel 13) and CHCH-TV (channel 11) in Hamilton, now an independent station, because of Kitchener being closer to Hamilton in terms of distance.
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CKCO-TV-2||Wiarton||2 (VHF)||100 kW||286.1 m|
|CKCO-TV-3||Oil Springs / Sarnia||42 (UHF)||846 kW||303 m|
As of September 2009, CKCO-TV-3 ceased airing alternate local programming for the Sarnia and Chatham area. It is now a complete simulcast of CKCO-DT, and as of July 2013 is still broadcasting in analog (NTSC) format.
CKCO-TV-2 was among a long list of CTV rebroadcasters nationwide to shut down on or before August 31, 2009, as part of a political dispute with Canadian authorities on paid retransmission consent requirements for cable television operators. In addition, CKCO-TV-3 was scheduled to cease producing distinct local programming at the same time, but expected to continue operations as a rebroadcaster. A subsequent change in ownership assigned full control of CTVglobemedia to Bell Media; as of 2011, these transmitters remain in normal licensed broadcast operation.
CKCO was originally owned by Central Ontario Television, a consortium that included the Famous Players theatre chain (today owned by Cineplex Entertainment) and businessman Carl Arthur Pollock, president of the family-owned television manufacturer Electrohome.
Electrohome acquired control of CKCO in 1970 when Canadian broadcasting laws required domestic ownership of stations, ending the involvement of American-owned Famous Players, which at the time was owned by Paramount Pictures.
In the 1990s, Baton Broadcasting had owned competing local stations in southwestern Ontario (CFPL-TV London, CHWI-TV Windsor, CKNX-TV Wingham). A deal between Electrohome and Baton in 1996 resulted in each company owning half of these stations, plus CKCO-TV, among other Canadian stations.
The following year, another deal gave Baton control over CKCO-TV, while CHUM Limited took control over the other southwestern Ontario stations (today operating under the CTV Two brand). CTVglobemedia reacquired CFPL, CHWI and CKNX in 2007 as a result of a takeover of CHUM Limited.
In 1998, Baton changed its name to CTV Inc. after becoming the sole owner of CTV, ending the decades of co-operative ownership of the network. In 2000, BCE purchased CTV Inc. and combined it with NetStar Communications and The Globe and Mail into Bell Globemedia. The company changed its name in 2007 to CTVglobemedia after BCE reduced its ownership stake. But it was announced in September 2010, that BCE will once again acquire full ownership of CTV Inc. The company changed its name once again to Bell Media in 2011 when Bell finalized its acquisition of CTV.
At present the flagship newscast is called CTV News, replacing CKCO News. Prior to 1998, when Baton Broadcasting rebranded all the CTV stations identically, CKCO's newscast was called CKCO Action News. In the past, newscasts titles on CKCO included Scan NewsHour and Ontario Report.
The station continues to produce a limited amount of local programming in addition to its local newscasts. As of August 18, 2012, the Saturday edition of CTV News at 6 has been extended to one hour replacing The Beat. CKCO broadcasts the news and current affairs program Provincewide, anchored and produced by Daiene Vernile, on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. CKCO also broadcasts Church services at 10am Sunday mornings from two churches in Kitchener. St Andrew's Presbyterian Church and St. Peters Lutheran Church alternate services every Sunday. Before CKCO was a CTV owned-and-operated station, the station produced considerably more local non-news programming:
- Canadian Bandstand (1958-?, an apparent franchising of American Bandstand)
- Bowling for Dollars (1970s?–1992)
- Camp Cariboo (1985–1990)
- Romper Room, a children's program, was broadcast nationally on CTV from the mid-1960s to 1992
- Polka Time (originally Gemütlichkeit), hosted by Grammy Award winning polka musician Walter Ostanek
- Sunday AM
- Provincewide (1985–present)
- Tree House (children's program)
- Several programs hosted by Big Al, including the noon-time Big Al's Cartoon Capers, Big Al's Talent Showcase, and Big Al's Ranch Party in the late afternoon
CKCO was known for many years for the red jackets worn by news anchors on their newscasts, a practice that began in 1967 with the emergence of colour television and continued until 1989.
Newscasts and other local programming
News veterans who had their start at the station include Jeff Hutcheson, Lisa LaFlamme, Ross Hull, Dave Gerry, Kyle Christie and Ron Johnston. Bill Inkol was a long-time sportscaster for not only the station, but often for CTV's national sports broadcasts. He was also a host of Bowling for Dollars. "Big Al" ("Al" Elwood Jones) was the long-time host of after-school Big Al's Ranch Party, Big Al's Talent Showcase, Big Al's Cartoon Capers, Big Al and the Flintstones, as well as other children's programs at the station.
Oopsy the Clown, a children's performer portrayed by St. Thomas, Ontario native Bob McNea (1929–2005), moved to CKCO after appearing for several years on Detroit, Michigan NBC affiliate WWJ-TV (now WDIV-TV). Bob was the Detroit "Bozo the Clown." During the seventies it was found that the Bozo cartoons were too violent and WWJ executives offered Bob the opportunity to create a new clown show. During a Bozo episode it was announced that Bozo was leaving TV to go back and join the circus. He phoned his clown cousin "Oopsy" and during a split screen conversation (with Bob playing both Bozo and Oopsy) Oopsy agreed to replace him. "The Oopsy the Clown Show" aired for a while on WWJ and then Bob decided to move back to Canada and joined CKCO-TV.
Gary McLaren worked in the news department for 39 years (1957–1996), spending most of that time in an on-air role, and also hosted Canadian Bandstand in the 1960s and the weekend news magazine show " Sunday AM." Daiene Vernile has anchored/produced the weekly program Provincewide since its launch in 1985, making it the longest, continuous-running locally produced news magazine show in Canada. Other personalities in the station's history included local daytime show hosts such as Elaine Cole, Betty Thompson and Johnnie Walters. Thompson was also a long-time host of Romper Room. Bob Bratina hosted Polka Time with Walter Ostanek and replaced "Big Al" as host of Talent Showcase prior to Oopsy the Clown and his talent show " Big Top Talent." Present-day 6 p.m. newscasters are Meghan Furman, weather anchor Lyndsay Morrison and sportscaster Randy Steinman.
CKCO's newscasts, known as "CTV News", are shown at the following times:
- CTV News at Noon – 12-1 p.m.
- CTV News at 6 – 6-7 p.m.
- CTV News at 11:30 – 11:30 p.m.-12:05 a.m.
- CTV News at 6 – Saturday - 6-7 p.m. -- Sunday - 6-6:30 p.m.
- CTV News at 11:30 – 11:30 p.m.-12:05 a.m.
- Abigail Bimman - weekends at 6 and 11:30 p.m., also general assignment reporter
- Rosie Del Campo - weeknights at 11:30 p.m.
- Meghan Furman - weeknights at 6 p.m.
- Nancy Richards - weekdays at noon
- Lyndsay Morrison - lead weather anchor, weeknights at 6 and weekdays at noon
- Tom Knowlton - weather anchor; weekends at 6 and 11:30 p.m.
- Jennifer Fergusson - weather anchor; fill-in
- Randy Steinman - sports anchor; weekdays at noon and 6 p.m.
- Darren Stevenson - sports anchor; weeknights at 11:30 p.m., also sports reporter
- Jamie Killingsworth - sports anchor; weekends at 6 and 11:30 p.m.
- Lee Boyadjian - general assignment reporter
- Braden Dragomir - general assignment reporter
- David Imrie - general assignment reporter
- Nicole Lampa - general assignment reporter
- Frank Lynn - general assignment reporter
- Priya Mann - general assignment reporter
- Nadia Matos - general assignment reporter
- Carina Sledz - general assignment reporter
- Max Wark - general assignment reporter
As part of Canada's transition to digital television, CKCO flash-cut to digital on August 31, 2011. While originally allocated channel 7 for its digital signal, CKCO-DT was established on channel 13 instead in order to avoid interference with the digital signal of Buffalo, New York's WBBZ-TV.
CKCO-DT also operates an ATSC-M/H feed at 2.75 MBps at their Baden Hill transmitter.
- "BBS logo on Canadian Trademarks Database". Ic.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "Tweet from @CTVKitchener". Twitter. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- "Decision CRTC 99-163". Crtc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2005-57". Crtc.gc.ca. 2005-02-14. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "CTV list of transmitters to be shut down" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- CTV "List of Affected Markets Where We Are Applying To No Longer Offer Separate and Distinct Local Programming"
- "CRTC renews licences of most English-language television services: New licence terms to bolster funding for original Canadian programs". Crtc.gc.ca. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "Industry Canada: "DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan", December 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- Official website
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CKCO-TV History
- Exchange Magazine article on CKCO's 50th anniversary (Jul/Aug 2004)
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKCO-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CKCO
- Early history of CKCO-TV Kitchener, Ontario