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Kingston, Ontario
Branding CKWS Television
Channels Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11.1 (PSIP)
Translators see below
Affiliations CTV
Owner Corus Entertainment
(591989 B.C. Ltd.)
First air date December 18, 1954
Call letters' meaning Kingston Whig-Standard
Sister station(s) CHEX-DT
Former callsigns CKWS-TV (1954–2013)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 11 (1954-2013)
Former affiliations CBC Television (1954–2015)
Transmitter power 9.4 kW
Height 312.5 m
Transmitter coordinates 44°9′59″N 76°25′28″W / 44.16639°N 76.42444°W / 44.16639; -76.42444
Website CKWS Television

CKWS-DT is a television station serving Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It broadcasts a digital signal on VHF channel 11 from a transmitter near Highway 95 in Wolfe Island, south of Kingston and operates UHF rebroadcasters in Brighton on digital channel 30 (virtual 66.1), Spencerville on channel 26 and Beckwith Township (Smiths Falls/Perth) on channel 36. Its signal covers portions of Eastern Ontario from Campbellford to Morrisburg and from Perth to Oswego, New York in the United States, and is available on many cable systems throughout Eastern Ontario, and Northern and Central New York.

Owned by Corus Entertainment, its studios are located at 170 Queen Street in downtown Kingston. From 1954 through 2015, CKWS was an affiliate of CBC Television. CBC chose to end its affiliations with Corus's privately-owned affiliates effective August 30, 2015. Beginning the following day, CKWS began carrying programs from the CTV Television Network.


1987 logo of CKWS-TV

CKWS signed-on December 18, 1954, as an affiliate of the CBC network. It was originally a joint venture between Roy Thomson and the Davies family, owners of the Kingston Whig-Standard (the source of its calls). The station has been sold three times: to the Kanatec Corporation, bought by Power Corporation in 1977 and to Corus in 1999.

Children across the country were exposed to CKWS programming in the late 1970s and 1980s by the Harrigan series - a particularly innocent and low budget show about a leprechaun, starring Barry Dale.[1] Shelagh Rogers of CBC Radio fame started out presenting the weather for the station's newscasts.

Until the arrival of CTV affiliate CJOH-TV's Deseronto repeater on channel 6 in 1972 and cable television in Kingston in 1973, CKWS had very much a captive audience, as the only other station reliably available over-the-air was Watertown, New York's WWNY-TV.

During its days as a private CBC affiliate, it aired the minimum amount of CBC programming (40 hours per week).

On May 20, 2015, Corus and Bell Media announced an agreement whereby Corus' CBC affiliates, including CKWS, would leave the public network and instead "affiliate" with CTV. The switch took effect on August 31, 2015.[2] Most TV service providers serving the region also carry CBC owned-and-operated station CBOT Ottawa, and any that do not will have to add a CBC affiliate such as CBOT to their basic services to comply with CRTC regulations.[3] Legally, the affiliation is described as a "program supply agreement", and not as an "affiliation" (a term with specific legal implications under CRTC rules), as Corus maintains editorial control over the stations' programming and the ability to sell local advertising, and is not delegating responsibility for CTV programs aired by the station to Bell Media.[4]

The switch was approved by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission on August 27, 2015, when it dismissed objections by Rogers Media (who argued that the change was an "affiliation" and thus required CRTC consent to implement, and was not in the public interest because it created duplicate sources of CTV programming), and by a resident who complained that as he only received television over the air, he would lose his ability to receive CBC Television as a result of the disaffiliation.[5]

Notable current on-air staff[edit]


Station City of licence Channel ERP HAAT Transmitter Coordinates
CKWS-DT-1 Brighton 30 (UHF)
Virtual: 66.1 (PSIP)
0.938 kW 158.6 m 44°2′40″N 77°47′35″W / 44.04444°N 77.79306°W / 44.04444; -77.79306 (CKWS-TV-1)
CKWS-TV-2 Prescott 26 (UHF) 7.2 kW 118.2 m 44°49′55″N 75°31′16″W / 44.83194°N 75.52111°W / 44.83194; -75.52111 (CKWS-TV-2)
CKWS-TV-3 Smiths Falls 36 (UHF) 10 kW 100 m 45°0′42″N 76°3′16″W / 45.01167°N 76.05444°W / 45.01167; -76.05444 (CKWS-TV-3)

Although CKWS-TV's Smiths Falls repeater overlapped its signal with that of CBC owned-and-operated station CBOT Ottawa while CKWS was a CBC affiliate, CKWS-TV-3 usually serves the Brockville area, along with the station's Prescott rebroadcaster.[6] Following CKWS's switchover to CTV, its transmitters now overlap the coverage area of CJOH from that station's main Ottawa transmitter, as well as its rebroadcasters in Cornwall and Deseronto.

Digital television[edit]

In January 2013, CKWS applied to the CRTC to convert its Kingston transmitter to digital.[7] The station has not announced plans to convert its transmitters in Prescott and Smiths Falls to digital,[8] but did convert its Brighton translator CKWS-TV-1 to digital channel 30 on August 31, 2011 as its former analogue UHF channel 66 is now out-of-band. The Brighton digital signal was not initially broadcast in HD as it went on-air before CKWS converted its cable TV feed (and, later, its main signal) to high-definition digital TV.[9]

The main CKWS transmitter at Wolfe Island/Kingston flash cut to digital on July 5, 2013 on its existing frequency, VHF channel 11. [10] The station was not obligated to convert this transmitter, as Kingston was not one of the 31 markets in which the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) imposed a mandatory analogue shutdown on August 31, 2011.[11]

CKWS is also available as part of the Bell TV and Shaw Direct satellite pay-TV packages.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]