CTVglobemedia

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CTVglobemedia, Inc.
Former type Private/Joint venture
Industry Media (television, radio, newspapers)
Fate
Founded 1960 (as Baton Broadcasting)
2001 (as Bell Globemedia)
2007 (as CTVglobemedia)
Defunct April 1, 2011
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people Ivan Fecan, President and CEO; CEO, CTV
Kevin Crull, COO; president-designate (mid-2011)
Owners The Woodbridge Company (Thomson family) - 40%
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan - 25%
Torstar - 20%
Bell Canada - 15%
Divisions The Globe and Mail, CTV, CHUM Radio (now Bell Media Radio)
Website www.ctvglobemedia.com

CTVglobemedia (often abbreviated "CTVgm" or CGM), was one of Canada's largest private media companies. Its operations include newspaper publishing (The Globe and Mail), television broadcasting and production (CTV), radio broadcasting (CHUM Radio), and their respective Internet properties.

Originally established by BCE and the Thomson family in 2001 combining CTV Inc., which Bell had acquired the previous year, and the operations of the Thomsons' The Globe and Mail, the group was owned by those two parties as well as Torstar and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

In September 2010, Bell announced plans to re-acquire full control of the group's broadcasting assets.[1] At the same time, it was announced that the Thomson family would regain majority control of the Globe and Mail Inc.; this part of the deal, which did not require regulatory approval, was completed in January 2011 (although the company name did not immediately change to reflect this).[2] The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the Bell/CTV portion of the deal in March 2011; it was then announced that the company will be renamed Bell Media once the deal closes in April, with Bell's sympatico.ca Internet portal becoming part of the group at the same time.[3]

Operations[edit]

CTVglobemedia's main asset was CTV Inc., a major Canadian broadcaster. CTV and its subsidiaries own the following broadcast television assets:

Along with broadcast television stations, CTVglobemedia also owned 30 cable television specialty channels, frequently in partnership with U.S. companies which operate similar channels, and primarily concentrated in the following genres:

Genre Key channels Foreign partner
Sports The Sports Network, Réseau des sports, TSN2, others ESPN (part-owner)
Music / youth (Much MTV Group) MuchMusic, MTV, MTV2, others MTV Networks (licensor – certain channels only)
Factual programming Discovery Channel and various spinoff channels Discovery Communications (part-owner or licensor)
News (CTV News) Business News Network, CP24, CTV News Channel n/a1
Comedy The Comedy Network and Comedy Gold Comedy Central (program supply)
Entertainment Bravo! and E! NBCUniversal (licensor)
Other Space n/a

In addition, CTVglobemedia owned television production studios and websites associated with all of the above properties.

History[edit]

Predecessor companies[edit]

Baton Broadcasting[edit]

"Baton Broadcasting" redirects here. For the defunct television system owned by Baton, see Baton Broadcast System.

For all practical purposes, CTVglobemedia is the successor to Baton Broadcasting Inc. (/ˈbtɒn/ BAY-ton), which by the late 1990s had become one of Canada's largest broadcasters.

Baton Aldred Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. was originally formed in 1960 to operate Toronto's first private TV station, CFTO-TV. The original investors included the Bassett and Eaton families, Joel Aldred and Ted Rogers, and Foster Hewitt in a much smaller role. Aldred sold his shares in 1961, followed by Rogers by 1970; with the Bassett and Eaton families firmly in control, the company went public in the early 1970s. CFTO was one of the charter affiliates of CTV when that network formed in 1961, becoming the network's flagship. In 1966, Baton became a part-owner in the network when it was reorganized as a station-owned cooperative. The Board of Broadcast Governors was initially skeptical about the proposal to turn CTV into a cooperative. Since CFTO was by far the largest and richest station in the network, the BBG feared Baton would take advantage of this to dominate the network. However, it approved the deal after Baton and the other owners included a provision in the cooperative's bylaws stipulating that the eight station owners would each have a single vote regardless of audience share.

In 1972, Baton began purchasing other CTV affiliates, starting with CFQC-TV in Saskatoon. This did not, however, give Baton a substantially higher investment in CTV, since its shares were redistributed among the other owners. As a result, Baton still had only one vote out of eight.

In 1987, Baton began a concerted effort to take over CTV. It started this drive with a further expansion into Saskatchewan, purchasing CKCK-TV in Regina, Yorkton twinstick CKOS-TV/CICC-TV, and CBC affiliate CKBI-TV Prince Albert. A twinstick CTV affiliate was soon launched in Prince Albert, CIPA-TV.

In the late 1980s, Baton applied for a high-power station in Ottawa on channel 60. The licence was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), appealed to federal cabinet by rival broadcasters, and ultimately sent back to the CRTC for review.[5] However the licence was surrendered when Baton was instead able to acquire the local CTV affiliate, CJOH-TV, from Allan Slaight's Standard Broadcasting.

In 1990, Baton purchased the MCTV system of twinstick operations in Pembroke, North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, and the Huron Broadcasting twinstick in Sault Ste. Marie. In 1993, Baton purchased CFPL-TV in London, CKNX-TV in Wingham and received a licence for a new independent station, CHWI-TV, in Windsor.

In 1991, the company launched Ontario Network Television, a secondary affiliation carried by Baton's CTV and independent stations in Ontario. This was expanded in 1994 into the Baton Broadcast System, or BBS, which included Baton's Saskatchewan stations. BBS was meant as a backup in case Baton's ongoing acquisitions did not translate into control of CTV itself. A year earlier, CTV had been recently restructured into a corporation, meaning that any future acquisitions by Baton would come with all of that affiliate's CTV shares. It was around this time that former CBC executive Ivan Fecan joined the company.

Baton-Electrohome alliance[edit]

In 1996, the CRTC approved two major deals involving Baton. First was the acquisition of CFCN-TV in Calgary from Rogers Communications, which had recently purchased Maclean Hunter. Second, Baton and Electrohome, owner of CKCO-TV in Kitchener and CFRN-TV in Edmonton, formed an alliance, under which the companies would share ownership of CFCN, Baton's stations in Saskatchewan and its independent stations in southwestern Ontario, and Electrohome's CKCO. The deals doubled Baton's own interest in CTV to 28.6%. However, as part of the deal, Baton took control of Electrohome's CTV vote, allowing it to command 42.9% of CTV's shares.[6]

In January 1997, Baton-Electrohome's "Vancouver Television" proposal emerged as the CRTC's choice for the new independent station in Vancouver, beating out four other competitors. The new station, CIVT-TV, would compete directly with Western International Communications's two CTV affiliates in the market when it was launched that fall.[7]

On February 25, 1997, the Baton-Electrohome alliance and CHUM Limited announced that several stations would be swapped between them. Baton-Electrohome would acquire CHUM's Atlantic Television System (ATV), consisting of four CTV affiliates in the Maritimes, the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN), and a further 14.3% in CTV. CHUM would receive Baton's independent stations in southwestern Ontario, as well as CHRO-TV in Pembroke, which had recently disaffiliated from CTV. The Baton-Electrohome alliance now held 57.2% of CTV.

Shortly thereafter, Electrohome announced it would sell its broadcasting assets – including CFRN its interest in the alliance and its CTV shares – to Baton in exchange for shares in Baton. These two deals were approved by the CRTC in August.[8] Baton now held controlling interest in CTV, triggering a put option that allowed the other owners to sell their stakes in the network while still keeping their stations. Accordingly, Baton acquired the remaining CTV shares from WIC and Moffat Communications, which remained affiliates for the moment, that fall.

The BBS television system was merged into CTV, with the company itself being renamed CTV Inc. the following year. The Eatons' remaining shares, representing 41% of Baton, were sold off to the general public in early 1998. By the end of 2001, nearly all CTV stations would be consolidated under network ownership (including one replacement).

CTV Inc. would be acquired by Bell Canada Enterprises in 2000 (as discussed below); the company continues to operate as the broadcasting subsidiary of what is now Bell Media.

NetStar Communications[edit]

NetStar Communications Inc. (previously Labatt Communications Inc., and currently CTV Specialty Television Inc.) was formed by Labatt Brewing Company to hold that firm's broadcasting assets, which included TSN, RDS, Viewers Choice and Discovery Channel. In 1995, when the parent company was sold to the foreign brewing conglomerate Interbrew, a consortium of four Canadian investors - Stephen Bronfman (22.5%), the Caisse (22.5%), Reitmans (16.5%), and senior management (6.5%) - along with ESPN, with 32%, took over the company.[9]

After a takeover attempt by CanWest Global that was vetoed by ESPN, CTV announced a friendly bid to take over NetStar Communications in early 1999, with CRTC approval on March 24, 2000.

2000 to 2011[edit]

Under BCE ownership: Bell Globemedia (2000-2006)[edit]

At the beginning of the 2000s, CTV (including the NetStar assets) was folded into a new media venture, Bell Globemedia Inc. (abbreviated "BGM"). This was masterminded by former Bell Canada chief executive Jean Monty, largely as a response to Canwest's purchase of the Southam newspaper chain as well as the trend of media convergence, particularly the AOL-Time Warner merger. Monty believed that, to survive in a changing technological landscape, and in particular to drive subscriptions to satellite television provider Bell ExpressVu and internet service provider Bell Sympatico, BCE had to have control over content.

The transaction was structured as follows: In 2000, BCE acquired CTV Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.3 billion (CAD).[10] Soon after, Monty arranged to have Thomson Corporation transfer control of The Globe and Mail, the Toronto-based national newspaper, to BCE in exchange for a significant (20%) interest in the merged CTV/Globe entity. The Thomsons' family holding company, The Woodbridge Company Ltd., invested in the company directly to obtain an additional 9.9% interest, and later bought Thomson Corp.'s interests itself.

Bell Globemedia logo, in use 2001-2006

The resulting company, Bell Globemedia, consisted of CTV, The Globe and Mail, and the internet portal then known as Sympatico-Lycos (Lycos was later replaced by MSN). Fecan was named the combined firm's president and CEO, a role he remained in for the duration of the BGM / CTVgm era. After Monty resigned and was replaced by Michael Sabia in 2002, it became clear that Monty's vision was not producing anything near the desired results, notwithstanding the good results for the individual units, particularly the CTV network.

The following years provided a few cosmetic changes in BGM's assets. In 2001, CTV acquired CKY-TV in Winnipeg and CFCF-TV in Montreal, and moved the CTV affiliation in British Columbia to CIVT, replacing two affiliates that had been purchased by Canwest. That fall also brought the launch of the first digital specialty channels, including several owned by CTV.

The company acquired partial ownership in TQS in 2002, the Sympatico portal was sold back to Bell Canada, while a further investment from the Thomsons (whose ownership increased to 31.5%) funded the acquisition of 15% of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. However, beginning in 2003, BCE management began to refer to BGM as a non-core asset; as a result, much attention was given to the likely sale of the company, and potentially a breakup into several different pieces.

Reorganization and CHUM Limited merger (2006-2010)[edit]

See also: CHUM Limited

On December 2, 2005, Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) announced it would sell an 8.5% interest to Woodbridge (increasing their total ownership to 40%), a 20% interest to Torstar, and a 20% interest to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. BCE retained 20% of the group - a condition that ensured that Bell TV, Sympatico, and other Bell units continued to have access to Globemedia content. The transaction closed on August 30, 2006.[11]

This deal put to rest any rumours about a possible breakup of the company. However, Torstar's involvement led to additional media concentration concerns, mainly from media unions. Torstar insisted it was committed to maintaining the editorial independence of the Globe and its own Toronto Star, and ultimately there were no major regulatory hurdles due to this.

On July 12, 2006, BGM announced a friendly bid to take over CHUM Limited for an estimated $1.7 billion. The acquisition would bring the secondary broadcast system (Citytv), other stations including CablePulse24, MuchMusic, Star!, Bravo!, and Space, and all of CHUM's radio stations, into the BGM fold. BGM originally announced that CHUM's A-Channel stations, Access, CKX-TV, MusiquePlus, MusiMax, Canadian Learning Television, SexTV: The Channel and BGM's own OLN would not be retained.

On September 7, 2006, in order to pay for the CHUM acquisition, BGM sold additional shares to its existing shareholders. BCE did not participate in the refinancing; the net effect was an increase in Teachers' ownership to 25%, while BCE's interest was reduced to 15%.[12] As a result of BCE's reduced ownership, the company was renamed as CTVglobemedia as of January 1, 2007.

In April 2007, Rogers Communications announced a tentative deal to purchase A-Channel, CKX-TV, Access Alberta, Canadian Learning Television, and SexTV: The Channel from CTVglobemedia, if its purchase of CHUM was approved. Astral Media made a similar deal for CHUM's 50% interest in MusiMax and MusiquePlus.

That June, the CRTC approved the CHUM takeover, on condition that CTV sell off the Citytv stations, because of the CTV network's O&O stations serving the very same cities. CTV ultimately chose to keep the A-Channel stations along with the rest of CHUM assets it had previously said it would sell, except for MusiquePlus/MusiMax. Rogers Communications was announced as the buyer of the Citytv stations on June 11, 2007, and the CHUM acquisition was finalized on June 22.

Since then, CTVglobemedia has sold off its interests in various non-core channels. Rogers has purchased several of these assets, including CTV's 33% interest in OLN in late 2007, as well as radio stations CHST-FM in London, Ontario and CHBN-FM in Edmonton, Alberta in 2010.[13][14] Corus Entertainment would acquire Canadian Learning Television, SexTV: The Channel, and Drive-In Classics for a combined $113 million. TQS entered bankruptcy protection and was ultimately acquired by Remstar (which renamed the network "V"). Meanwhile, Glassbox Television acquired travel + escape in late 2010. In two cases where operations were closed down, specifically CBC affiliate CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba, which left the air in October 2009 after a deal to sell that station to Bluepoint Investment Corporation fell through and the A station in Wingham, CKNX-TV which left the air one month prior to CKX and is now a rebroadcaster of the A station in London, CFPL-TV.

CTVglobemedia has only announced one major purchase since its acquisition of CHUM, namely Toronto station CFXJ-FM from Milestone Radio, which it announced it would purchase in June 2010 (pending CRTC approval).[15]

BCE reacquires CTVglobemedia (2010-present)[edit]

On September 10, 2010, BCE announced plans to re-acquire 100% of the company's broadcasting arm, including CTV Inc. Under the deal, Woodbridge, Torstar, and Teachers' will together receive $1.3 billion in either cash or equity in BCE, while BCE will also assume $1.7 billion in debt (BCE's existing equity interest is $200 million, for a total transaction value of $3.2 billion). Woodbridge will also regain majority control of the Globe and Mail Inc., with Bell retaining a 15% interest. The overall deal is expected to close by April 2011.[1] However, the sale of the Globe, which does not require CRTC approval, was completed in late December 2010.[2]

Shortly after the deal was announced, CTVglobemedia president Ivan Fecan said he would retire once Bell's acquisition is completed. On October 6, 2010, the company announced that Kevin Crull, previously an executive with Bell Canada, would join CTVglobemedia as the company's chief operating officer, he was initially expected to assume this role on January 1, 2011, however, according to CTVglobemedia's website, this date was moved up to November 1, 2010.[16] Crull will become CTV's new president upon Fecan's retirement (it has since been announced that most of the CTV executives will be resigning as well) when Bell completes its purchase of CTV in late March or early April 2011.[17] The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011.[18]

CTVglobemedia ceased full operations on April 1, 2011, and was replaced by Bell Canada's new business unit, Bell Media. On that same date CTVglobemedia's television divisions such as CTV Limited, CTV Television Inc. were replaced with CTV Inc, while its radio division, CHUM Radio, became Bell Media Radio.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Torstar completes first stage of CTVglobemedia sale". Toronto Star. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  3. ^ BCE Inc. (2011-03-07). "Bell welcomes CRTC approval of CTV acquisition". CNW Group. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  4. ^ 21 is CTV's official count, which includes all stations in the CTV Atlantic and CTV Northern Ontario groups, as well as the CFCN-TV semi-satellite in Lethbridge, but not any other semi-satellites.
  5. ^ Order Referring back to the CRTC a Decision Respecting Nation's Capital Television Incorporated, 28 April 1987
  6. ^ Decision CRTC 96-251, June 21, 1996
  7. ^ Decision CRTC 97-39, January 31, 1997
  8. ^ Decision CRTC 97-527, August 28, 1997
  9. ^ Broadcast Dialogue newsletter, January 21, 1999
  10. ^ BCE announces $2.3 billion bid for CTV, CBC.ca, February 25, 2000 (modified November 11, 2000); accessed August 9, 2006
  11. ^ "BGM Ownership Deal Closes", BGM press release, August 30, 2006
  12. ^ Bell Globemedia Completes Financing to Pay for CHUM Limited Shares, BGM press release, September 7, 2006
  13. ^ Canada's Rogers Radio acquires Edmonton top 40 station 91.7 The Bounce -- Retrieved 2010-06-22
  14. ^ Canada's Rogers Radio acquires 102.3 Bob FM in London, Ontario -- Retrieved 2010-06-22
  15. ^ Toronto`s rhythmic station Flow 93.5 is sold to CTVglobemedia -- Retrieved 2010-06-24
  16. ^ "Kevin Crull, Chief Operating Officer, CTVglobemedia". CTVglobemedia. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  17. ^ Kevin Crull to become head of CTVglobemedia CTV.ca, published October 6, 2010.
  18. ^ CRTC approves BCE's purchase of CTVglobemedia

External links[edit]