|Branding||CTV Saskatoon (general)|
CTV News Saskatoon (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your World at Home|
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)|
Virtual: 8.1 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||CTV (secondary, 1969–1971; sole affiliate, 1971–present;|
O&O since 1997)
|First air date||December 5, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||Canada's Finest Quality Channel (unofficial)|
|Former callsigns||CFQC-TV (1954–2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
8 (VHF, 1954–2011)
|Former affiliations||CBC (1954–1971)|
|Transmitter power||13 kW|
CFQC-DT, VHF channel 8, is a CTV owned-and-operated station located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The station is owned by Bell Media. CFQC's studios are located on 1st Avenue North and 23rd Street East in the Central Business District neighbourhood, and its transmitter is located near Highway 41 and Burgheim Road, northeast of Saskatoon.
The station also operates rebroadcast transmitters in Stranraer and North Battleford. This station can be seen on SaskTel Max channel 4 and 304 in HD, Shaw Cable channel 9, Bell TV channel 249, Shaw Direct (channel 378 Classic Lineup, channel 66 Advanced Lineup) and in high definition on digital channel 210.
CFQC-TV first signed on the air on December 5, 1954; it was originally owned by the Murphy family along with CFQC radio (AM 600, now CKBL-FM at FM 92.9). The first program broadcast (other than test patterns) was a film of the 42nd Grey Cup game, followed by assorted entertainment programs and the station's first newscast. CFQC reported the next day that 40,000 viewers had tuned in, with the station's signal reported to have been received as far away as 40 miles south of Regina.
Initially a CBC affiliate, as early as 1967, the Murphys wanted to switch to CTV. However, these plans were put on hold in November 1967 when the federal government denied an application for a new CBC station, citing budget cuts, among other reasons. Eventually, however, Regina's CBKRT (now CBKT) won permission to set up a rebroadcaster in Saskatoon. CFQC-TV, meanwhile, started airing CTV programs on tape delay in 1969, becoming a full-time CTV affiliate on October 17, 1971 when CBKST signed on as a rebroadcaster of CBKRT.
The Murphy family bowed out of broadcasting in 1972 and sold CFQC-AM-TV to Baton Broadcasting, owners of CTV's flagship station, CFTO-TV in Toronto. There were some concerns that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) would not approve of one person owning two CTV stations, especially if that person was Baton, by far the largest and richest station owner. At the time, CTV was a cooperative based on the concept of "one owner, one vote." However, a provision in the cooperative's bylaws provided that if one owner ever bought a second station, the acquired station's shares would be redistributed among the other seven owners so that each owner would still have only one vote out of eight. The CRTC approved the deal in late 1972, and the Murphy family earned a handsome return on patriarch Pappy Murphy's original investment when he founded CFQC radio in 1923.
In 1986, Baton purchased CKCK-TV in Regina and CBC/CTV twinsticks in Yorkton and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Eventually, CFQC-TV became the centre of Baton's Saskatchewan operations. In 1987, Baton's six Saskatchewan stations began branding as the Saskatchewan Television Network, which joined with Baton's Ontario stations in 1994 as the Baton Broadcast System. Baton bought controlling interest in CTV in 1997, making CFQC-TV a CTV owned-and-operated station.
In the past, it identified itself as "CFQC", "TV8" and (during much of the 1970s and '80s) "QC8, Saskatoon Television." Although now known as "CTV Saskatoon", per the current branding standards for CTV affiliates, many longtime viewers in central and northern Saskatchewan still refer to the station as "QC" or "QC8".
A number of local programs were produced at CFQC's Saskatoon studios over the years. Children's television host Helen Lumby hosted a kindergarten-focused show at CFQC in her early career, before moving on to create Size Small. In the 1970s and 1980s the station aired a number of public affairs programs, often with titles playing on the "Q" element of the station identity, such as Big Q Country (political discussion) and Q-Line (a phone-in program where viewers could ask questions of civic leaders, among others). CFQC also produced a companion program to the national Canada AM morning show titled Saskatchewan AM, which combined local news with children's programming such as reruns of Rocket Robin Hood.
From 1954 until 1991, CFQC-TV shared some on-air personnel such as newsreaders with CFQC-AM, as well as studio facilities. This ended when CFQC-AM was sold. The radio station continued to share the CFQC call letters after it moved to the FM dial in 1995 (though for promotional purposes it was rebranded Hot93). In 2007, CFQC-FM officially changed call letters to CKBL-FM, leaving the TV station the only user of the original call letters dating back to 1923.
Master control facilities for all CTV Saskatchewan stations including CFQC-TV were relocated to 9 Channel Nine Court in Toronto, home to longtime sister station and CTV flagship CFTO-TV at the turn of the 21st century.
Its official call letters, CFQC-TV, were modified to CFQC-DT in 2011 when it, along with other Canadian broadcasters, moved from analog to digital broadcasting.
CFQC's programming is aired in pattern with that of Winnipeg affiliate CKY-DT, with primetime programming running from 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. simultaneously with east coast stations, and CTV's 7 p.m. ET programming at 10 p.m. instead. However, as Saskatchewan does not observe daylight saving time and remains on Central Standard Time year-round, programming is delayed by an hour in comparison to CKY when DST is in effect, making CFQC air in pattern with that of Edmonton affiliate CFRN-DT.
CFQC-DT broadcasts 27 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). Alumni of CFQC's news department include Keith Morrison, who went on to become the weekend anchor of the CTV National News before joining NBC, and Don Wittman, who became a sports commentator for the CBC. Dawna Friesen, after a stint at CFQC, furthered her career in U.S. broadcast journalism before becoming anchor of the Global network's national newscast Global National in 2010. Jim McCrory worked for CFQC in various capacities from 1963 to his retirement in 2001; McCrory died in January 2012. One of the longest-serving alumni of the station was Greg Barnsley, who joined CFQC when it first went on the air in the 1950s and remained as a general-duties host and weather forecaster until his retirement in the mid-1990s.
Newscaster Rob MacDonald was the longest-serving on-air personality, being part of CFQC from March 15, 1976 until his retirement on January 20, 2017. Sportscaster Kevin Waugh worked at the station for close to 40 years, prior to his election as a Member of Parliament for Saskatoon—Grasswood in the 2015 Canadian federal election. Waugh and Barnsley "flipped the switch" that officially transferred CFQC to digital broadcasts in 2011. As of 2018, sportscaster Craig Wilson is currently the longest serving on-air personality active at the station.
CFQC's newscasts are also broadcast by CIPA-TV in Prince Albert, since that station does not broadcast a local 6:00 or 11:30 p.m. newscast. As a result, CFQC's program regularly includes reports from Prince Albert.
The CFQC call letters were originally assigned to an AM radio station that began broadcasting in Saskatoon in 1923 under the ownership of the Murphy family. From 1953 to 1991, the television and radio stations were under common ownership (first the Murphys, then Baton), for a time sharing broadcast facilities and on-air personnel. Baton exited radio in 1991, and CFQC radio moved into its own studio facility. In 1995, the station moved to the FM dial where it became CFQC-FM or "Hot 93". In November 2007, the station changed its call letters to CKBL-FM and it adopted the branding "The Bull".
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CFQC-TV-1||Stranraer||3 (VHF)||100 kW||268.1 m|
|CFQC-TV-2||North Battleford||6 (VHF)||30.3 kW||178 m|
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||1080i||16:9||Main CFQC-DT programming / CTV|
On August 31, 2011, when Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts, CFQC shut down analog signal and flash cut its digital signal into operation on VHF channel 8 at approximately 12:05 a.m. CT. The ceremonial switchover was conducted by longtime sports anchor Kevin Waugh and now-retired veteran CFQC broadcaster Greg Barnsley, who had been involved with the station when it first signed on the air.
- "TV Program for Sunday". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Dec 4, 1954. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- "Wide Area Covered in TV Debut Here". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Dec 6, 1954. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- King, Stirling (Nov 2, 1967). "Pearson sidetracks CBC for city". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- RabbitEars TV Query for CFQC
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) Archived 2013-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.