|City of license||Barrie, Ontario|
|Branding||CTV Two Barrie;
CTV Two (general)
CTV News Barrie (local news)
|Slogan||Closer To Home|
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 3.1 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||CTV Two (O&O since 1997)|
(Bell Media, Inc.)
|First air date||September 28, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||CK Valerie and Ralph Snelgrove|
|Sister station(s)||TV: CFTO-DT, CP24
Radio: CHUM (AM), CHUM-FM, CFXJ-FM (Toronto)
|Former callsigns||CKVR-TV (1955–2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 3 (VHF, 1955–2011)|
|Former affiliations||CBC (1955–1995)
|Transmitter power||11 kW|
|Website||CTV Two Barrie|
CKVR-DT, virtual channel 3 (VHF digital channel 10), is a CTV Two owned-and-operated television station located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada that serves as the flagship station of the television system. The station is owned by Bell Media, as part of a twinstick with Toronto-based CTV owned-and-operated station CFTO-DT (channel 9) and is also sister to 24-hour regional news channnel CP24.
CKVR maintains studios located at 33 Beacon Road in Barrie, and its transmitter is located near Essa Road/Highway 27 on the city's southwest side (which also houses a camera that overlooks the city of Barrie, Lake Simcoe, and its environs; a live feed from this camera is available on the station's website). The station has long been carried on cable providers across the Greater Toronto Area and most of Southern Ontario, and is available on Rogers Cable channel 5 in Barrie and channel 20 in the Greater Toronto Area. There is a high definition feed available on Rogers Cable digital channel 595 in both areas.
- 1 History
- 2 Newscasts and other local programming
- 3 Transmitters
- 4 Digital television
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The station first signed on the air on September 28, 1955; it was founded by Ralph Snelgrove, whose first initial and that of his wife, Valerie, form part of the station's callsign. It originally operted as a privately owned affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In 1969, the station was purchased by CHUM Limited, becoming one of the first television stations owned by the company.
On September 7, 1977, a private aircraft dropped altitude to 500 feet (150 m) in dense fog and struck CKVR's 1,000-foot (300 m) transmitter tower, killing all five people aboard the plane and destroying the tower and antenna. The station's 225-foot (69 m) auxiliary tower was also destroyed and there was some damage to the main studio building. The tower also supported the CHAY-FM antenna, CKBB-AM's STL, CBLFT-TV's channel 55 antenna, as well as paging and other communications systems. The CKVR antenna was a RCA six-bay turnstile. On the following morning, the CBC secured the use of a 400-foot tower for CKVR. The first sections of the new temporary tower were lifted into place on September 10. On September 19, CKVR's antenna was hoisted into place on the new tower, along with those for CBLFT and CHAY-FM, with the transmission line also being put in place. After work on the tower was completed, tests were made to the transmitter's signal. At 8:35 p.m. that evening, the transmitter was turned on with a colour bar test pattern being broadcast. At 8:55 p.m., CKVR vice president and general manager Jack Mattenley went on the air with a message of sympathy and words of gratitude. CKVR returned to the air at a reduced power of 40,000 watts until a new 1,000-foot (300 m) tower was built in 1978.
1985 Barrie tornado
On May 31, 1985, one of most powerful and devastating tornadoes in Ontario's history, an F4 tornado, struck Barrie, just a short distance from CKVR's studio facility and transmitter tower (the twister was among several spawned during a massive tornado outbreak that affected parts of Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States), killing 12 people, injuring 600 people and destroying many homes and businesses in Barrie. CKVR broadcast extensive coverage of the storm's aftermath for several days, and spent that summer helping the people of Barrie recover and rebuild. The station also held a day-long telethon in June in the same year to raise funds for the victims of the tornado outbreak.
Once the CN Tower in Toronto had been completed in 1976, atop which CBC flagship CBLT (channel 9) transmits from, the signal areas of CKVR and CBLT overlapped considerably. CKVR management began to consider a different course for the station.
Disaffiliation from CBC, The New VR
On September 1, 1995, CKVR ended its affiliation with the CBC and converted into an independent station as "The New VR", and began targeting its programming toward younger viewers. As part of the relaunch, newscasts were overhauled to be similar in format to Toronto sister station CITY-TV, classic shows were dropped in favor of newer programs, and the station became an official broadcaster of the Toronto Raptors NBA franchise.
The new direction was successful – as CHUM Limited began replicating CKVR's format on its other stations, including several stations that it had acquired from Baton Broadcasting in 1997 (which included CHWI-TV in Wheatley, CFPL-TV in London, CHRO-TV in Pembroke and CKNX-TV in Wingham), which formed the basis for a television system originally known as NewNet.
In February 2005, CHUM announced plans to consolidate the master control departments for CKVR, CFPL, CHRO, CHWI and CKNX at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto (which then housed the studio facilities of CITY-TV), and to consolidate the traffic and programming departments of the other stations at CFPL's facilities in London, resulting in the loss of approximately nine staff members from CKVR. The switch occurred on June 3, 2005.
After CHUM's acquisition of Craig Media, its A-Channel stations in Western Canada were converted to owned-and-operated stations of the Citytv system on August 2, 2005. On the same day, the previous brand was transferred to the NewNet stations, resulting in CKVR rebranding under the A-Channel name.
Sale to CTV, economic issues
On July 12, 2006, CTV owner CTVglobemedia announced plans to purchase CHUM Limited for $C1.7 billion, with plans to divest itself of the A-Channel and Access Alberta stations. However, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said it would only approve CTVglobemedia's purchase of CHUM if it sold off the latter company's Citytv stations instead, while being permitted to keep the A-Channel stations (including CKVR). CTVglobemedia took control of the A-Channel stations and the rest of CHUM Limited's assets (excluding Citytv) on June 22, 2007. Richard Gray was named head of news for the A-Channel stations and CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba (another station that was included in the CHUM acquisition). Gray reported directly to the CTVgm corporate group instead of CTV News to preserve autonomy in news presentation and management. Gray began to oversee CKVR and the other news departments; CHRO, CFPL, CKX-TV, CKNX-TV, CHWI and CIVI in Victoria, British Columbia. On August 11, 2008, the A-Channel system (and the Atlantic Satellite Network, an independent cable channel in Atlantic Canada that was also acquired in the merger) were rebranded as "A".
Due to financial difficulties, CTVglobemedia canceled CKVR's morning news program A Morning, and the public affairs programs A News This Week and Ontario News This Week on March 4, 2009, laying off 24 employees at the station as part of a larger series of cutbacks and massive layoffs which axed 118 jobs at the A stations across Canada. The morning program was replaced by rebroadcasts of CKVR's 11 p.m. newscast.
A News co-anchor, Lance Chilton resigned from the station on June 14, 2010, to work in the real estate industry. In August 2010, Tony Grace, an anchor and national reporter for Ottawa sister station CHRO, was named the new weekday senior news anchor for A News at 6 effective September 20, 2010.
Sale to Bell
On September 10, 2010, Bell Canada announced plans to re-acquire 100% of CTVglobemedia, a deal which was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011; the deal was finalized on April 1, 2011 with CTVglobemedia being absorbed into Bell Media.
CTV Two Barrie
On May 30, 2011, Bell Media announced that the A system would be relaunched as CTV Two effective on August 29, 2011. Alongside the relaunch came the rebranding of CKVR's newscasts as CTV News (a brand already used for CTV's owned-and-operated stations, including network flagship CFTO in nearby Toronto), and the establishment of a news anchor desk as well as a high definition feed on its new digital signal.
Newscasts and other local programming
CKVR-DT presently broadcasts seven hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour each on weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the lowest local newscast output out of any English-language television station in the Toronto market as a whole (of the English stations serving the immediate Toronto area, CBC O&O CBLT-DT produces the lowest newscast output with 11 hours each week). In addition to CKVR-TV's news centre in Barrie, CKVR-DT also operates news bureaus in Collingwood and Muskoka. The station's newscasts are branded CTV News in line with other CTV and CTV Two owned-and-operated stations which also used that brand, presently the station's locally produced programs include:
- CTV News at 6:00 (weekdays) - anchored by Tony Grace and Jayne Pritchard (Bob McIntyre on weather)
- CTV News at 11:00 (weekdays) - anchored by Jayne Pritchard (Bob McIntyre on weather)
- CTV News Weekend Edition - (Saturdays and Sundays, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.) - anchored by Courtney Heels (Mike Arsalides on Sports, K.C. Colby on weather)
Past local programming
- A Morning (2008–2009) - anchored by K.C. Colby and Jennifer Buchanan
- A News This Week (1990s-2009) - a pre-recorded wrap of the week's top stories
- Ontario News This Week (2008–2009) - a pre-recorded wrap of the week's top provincial-related top stories
- At various times in the late 1990s and early 2000s, CKVR broadcast midweek games of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. These games were seen on all of the NewNet Ontario stations with the exception of CHRO-TV, which did not carry Maple Leafs games as CHRO is in the home market of the Ottawa Senators.
- During the latter years of CHUM ownership, CKVR carried Breakfast Television from CITY-TV in Toronto, but carried local news inserts covering stories in the Barrie area.
- Total News (1970s–1995)
- VR-Land News (1995–2000)
- VR News (2000–2005)
- A-Channel News (2005–2008)
- A News (2008–2011)
- CTV News (2011–present)
- "Television On Target" (mid 1970s–early 1980s)
- "Television To Explore" (1980s–1995)
- "We Are The New VR" (1995–2005)
- "A-Channel News, Just Above Toronto" (2005–2007)
- "Come Home To A-Channel News" (2007–2008)
- "Closer to Home" (2008–present)
- Tony Grace - senior anchor; weeknights at 6 p.m., also producer
- Courtney Heels - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also general assignment reporter
- Jayne Pritchard - weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Weather team
- Bob McIntyre - lead weather anchor; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- K.C. Colby - weather specialist; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m., also reporter
- Sports team
- Alastair Connolly - weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Mike Arsalides - sports anchor; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Rob Cooper - general assignment reporter
- Roger Klein - Collingwood Bureau chief and general assignment reporter
- Mike Walker - general assignment reporter
- Heather Wright - general assignment reporter
- Katherine Ward - general assignment reporter
The current CKVR Television Tower is a 304.8-metre (1,000 ft) high guyed mast for FM and television transmission located atin Barrie. It was built in 1978, after a light plane crashed into the smaller incarnation of the tower the previous year.
CKVR previously operated low-power rebroadcast transmitters in the communities of Parry Sound, Huntsville and Haliburton, respectively on channels 11, 8 and 5. The Parry Sound transmitter switched to channel 12 in the mid-1970s before CKCO-TV opened a rebroadcast transmitter in Huntsville on channel 11. The Haliburton transmitter was located very close to another CBC affiliate transmitter, CHEX-TV in Peterborough, located at Minden and broadcasting on channel 7. The channel 5 transmitter was shut down when Toronto's CBLT switched from channel 6 to channel 5, and became largely redundant as a result of CKVR's increased transmission tower height in the early 1970s. The Huntsville transmitter increased to full power in 1991 to better cover much of Muskoka and Haliburton County, but it was bought by the CBC in 1995 as part of the disaffiliation of CKVR from the CBC, and now rebroadcasts CBLT from Toronto. CKVR kept its Parry Sound transmitter, and CBC established CBLT transmitters in Barrie and Parry Sound at that time, on channels 16 and 18, respectively.
On May 30, 2011, Bell Media announced plans to add a rebroadcast transmitter in Southern Ontario in 2012, to allow new advertising opportunities in the Toronto/Hamilton market. An application was filed with the CRTC and Industry Canada on June 17, 2011, to allow for a digital repeater (CKVP-DT) on UHF 42 in Fonthill, serving Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and St. Catharines, and a repeater (CHCJ-DT) on UHF channel 35 on CHCH-DT's tower, serving Hamilton, Oakville, Haldimand County, Caledonia, Brantford, Milton and Cambridge. This application was approved on January 26, 2012. On May 17, 2012, Bell Media had announced to the CRTC that it was unable to negotiate a lease with Channel Zero, owners of CHCH-DT (and its broadcast tower). It requested and received permission to test its signal on one of its own towers, the Bell microwave tower located on Upper Wentworth Street at Fennell Avenue, for a period of one year. In addition to this technical amendment, the station's Hamilton transmitter is to be fed by fibre optic connection, instead of being satellite-fed, rendering it less suceptible to interference during thunderstorms. On July 8, 2013, Bell Media applied for a substantial increase in power for CHCJ-DT, from 5 kW to 150 kW average (390 kW maximum) with a slight decrease in height to 110.0 meters. This was approved on January 15, 2014, despite an objection from Rogers Media, with the addition of the transmitter site on Upper Wentworth Street be made its permanent site (to compensate for the loss of CHCH-DT's tower space).
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CKVR-TV-1||Parry Sound||12 (UHF)||0.007 kW||0.00 m|
Virtual: 35.1 (PSIP)
|390 kW||110 m|
Virtual: 42.1 (PSIP)
|5 kW||146.2 m|
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1||1080i||16:9||CKVR||Main CKVR-DT programming / CTV Two|
CKVR shut down its analogue signal, over VHF channel 3, 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 flash cut its digital signal into operation, broadcasting on channel 10. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analogue channel 3.
- "Bell Globemedia makes $1.7B bid for CHUM". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2006-07-12.
- "CRTC tells CTVglobemedia to sell 5 Citytv stations". cbc.ca via Yahoo! Canada News. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-08.[dead link]
- CTV press release, March 3, 2009
- Barrie A-Channel station in survival mode, Orillia Packet and Times, March 4, 2009
- /A\ News Anchor Lance Chilton Steps out of the Spotlight After 12 Years, CTVglobemedia press release, June 14, 2010
- Tony Grace Named Senior Anchor of /A\ News Barrie CTVglobemedia press release August 23, 2010
- Canadian Press (2011-03-07). "CRTC approves BCE's purchase of CTVglobemedia". CTV.ca. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
- Bell Media’s /A\ Network to Become “CTV Two” This Fall
- Bell Media Press Release: "Bell Media’s /A\ Network to Become “CTV Two” This Fall", May 30, 2011.
- The Hollywood Reporter: "Bell Media Unveils CTV Two For Fall TV Season", May 30, 2011.
- CTV Two Launches August 29
- CKVR Barrie Total News promo 1988
- VR Land News: Dangerous Needles In Flesherton
- CKVR- Last Ever /A\ News at 6 Open
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-11
- RabbitEars TV Query for CKVR
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)
- CTV Two Barrie
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CKVR-TV History
- Bright Lights, Small City, a critique of VR News (Ryerson Review of Journalism, summer 1999)
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKVR-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CKVR