CTV Northern Ontario

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CTV Northern Ontario
Type Broadcast television system
Country Canada
Availability Most communities in Northeastern Ontario, also available nationally via satellite
Owner Bell Media
Parent Bell Canada
Key people
Scott Lund - President
Launch date
Former names
MCTV (1980 - 2005)
Official website
CTV Northern Ontario

CTV Northern Ontario, formerly known as MCTV, is a system of four television stations in Northern Ontario, Canada, owned and operated by the CTV Television Network, a division of Bell Media.

These stations are:

All four stations refer to themselves on air as CTV, not by their call letters, and have common local programming; however, they remain legally licensed as separate stations as of 2013. Station information and history is discussed on each station's own page. All four stations are available on Bell TV as of November 2012.

  • CICI (CTV Sudbury) on Ch. 221
  • CKNY (CTV North Bay) on Ch. 588
  • CITO (CTV Timmins) on Ch. 589
  • CHBX (CTV Sault Saint Marie) on Ch. 590


MCTV's BBS logo, used from 1994-1997. Under the ownership of Baton Broadcasting, the MCTV branding still remained. The previous MCTV logo was dropped in 1994 when all of the other Baton-owned stations adopted a similar logo, the only difference being the call letters. Unlike other Baton-owned stations, the MCTV stations didn't use their call signs on their logos. The logo featured multicoloured rings around the word BBS. [1]

Mid-Canada Television, or MCTV, was created in 1980 when Cambrian Broadcasting, which owned the CTV affiliates in Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins, merged with J. Conrad Lavigne's CBC affiliates in the same cities to create Mid-Canada Communications. This twinstick structure was permitted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission because both companies were on the brink of bankruptcy due to their aggressive competition for limited advertising dollars in small markets. In its decision, however, the CRTC explicitly communicated the expectation that this would exist only as a temporary arrangement, to end as soon as the CBC could afford to directly acquire MCTV's CBC affiliates.

The CBC twinsticks in the original MCTV system were:

All of the stations were also referred to on air as MCTV — the stations were distinguished from each other by use of their network affiliation (i.e., "MCTV-CTV" and "MCTV-CBC"). Sault Ste. Marie's CHBX and CJIC were owned by Huron Broadcasting, and remained under different ownership and branding until 1990.

As well, MCTV owned CHRO in Pembroke, a market with no other television stations. CHRO used the same logo and programming schedule as MCTV's other stations, and changed its affiliation from CBC to CTV during its time in the MCTV group, but it always used its own callsign, rather than MCTV, as its on-air identification.

MCTV logo under CTV ownership from late 1990s to 2005.

Baton Broadcasting acquired both Mid-Canada and Huron in 1990, and converted the Huron stations to the MCTV branding. As well, Baton reaffiliated CHRO with CTV. Baton eventually became the sole corporate proprietor of CTV, and sold CHRO to CHUM Limited in 1998; at the time CHUM acquired CHRO, it disaffiliated from CTV and became an independent station for a short time before joining the NewNet system (now CTV Two).

Baton retained the CBC twinsticks until 2002, when it sold them to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[2] When the deal was finalized in early 2003, the CBC converted them to retransmitters of CBLT, Toronto's CBC owned-and-operated station. All four stations surrendered their old call letters. In 2003, MCTV's master control operations were transferred to the CTV facilities in Toronto.

News operations[edit]

In 2002, CTV merged the news production facilities of the MCTV stations into a single regional newscast, with only short inserts for each city's local coverage. The regional newscast is produced at CICI. This created extensive controversy, with many public interest groups across Canada raising concerns about the disappearance of local news coverage in small markets. Organizations in Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Timmins began to call for a boycott of MCTV news, and local companies began offering web-based sources of local news, weather and sports information, most notably the Village Media network of internet properties.

In October 2005, MCTV News was renamed as CTV News, in line all other CTV owned-and-operated stations. CTV News uses WSI's TrueView Max Weather Technology to broadcast weather reports during all its newscasts.

Notable personalities[edit]


External links[edit]