|Launched||January 1, 1993|
|Owned by||Tribune Broadcasting
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||Continuous Coverage - Around Chicago, Around The Clock|
|Broadcast area||Chicago metropolitan area, parts of northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana|
|Sister channel(s)||WGN-TV, WGN (AM), WGN America|
|Comcast Xfinity (Chicago area)||Channel location varies depending on area (SD only)|
|Comcast Xfinity (Rockford)||Channel 10 (SD)|
|Comcast Xfinity (South Bend)||Channel 53 (SD)|
|RCN||Channel 31 (SD)
Channel 616 (HD)
Chicagoland Television (branded on-air as CLTV) is an American regional cable news television channel located in Chicago, Illinois. The channel currently serves the Chicago metropolitan area, although it is available on cable television providers as far away as Rockford, Illinois and South Bend, Indiana. The channel, which is exclusive to Comcast Xfinity and RCN customers, broadcasts news programming 24 hours a day, with the exception of some locally produced non-news programs and special programming.
The channel has been owned by Tribune Media (through its Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary) since its debut; it is one of four flagship media properties owned by the company, alongside radio station WGN (720 AM) and CLTV's news partners, CW affiliate WGN-TV (channel 9) and the Chicago Tribune. Chicagoland Television operates from the studios of WGN-TV on Bradley Place in Chicago's North Center neighborhood.
The channel began operations on January 1, 1993, originally broadcasting out of studios located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook. On February 4, 2009, the Tribune Company announced that it would combine CLTV's operations with the company's flagship television station WGN-TV, though CLTV would continue to operate as a standalone cable news channel. As a result of the integration of the channel's operations, CLTV relocated from its Oak Brook studio to WGN's Bradley Place studios on the northwest side of Chicago. The move became official on August 28, 2009, when editorial control of the cable channel was also turned over to WGN-TV's news department.
Prior to this, Tribune integrated CLTV's weather operations with channel 9, and WGN radio entered into a content agreement with WGN-TV to provide weather forecasts for that station. Upon the completion of the merger, CLTV received a new on-air logo, implemented new graphics based on those used by WGN-TV for that station's newscasts and upgraded to high definition broadcasts.
CLTV focuses primarily on 24-hour rolling news coverage, with broadcasts structured into a traditional wheel format of news, traffic and transit reports, weather forecasts, sports, and entertainment and feature reports. The wheel format is subject to interruption due to breaking news events within the city or significant national events that necessitate longer-form coverage. Live news broadcasts on the channel begin daily at 4 a.m. and run in blocks of varying lengths until 11 p.m., with an additional half-hour news broadcast at 2 a.m.
Other programs featured on CLTV include:
- Politics Tonight, a nightly political discussion program hosted by WGN-TV political editor Paul Lisnek, airing Monday through Friday evenings;
- Midwest Outdoors, a syndicated weekly hunting and fishing series;
- Rebroadcasts of WGN-TV newscasts including that station's two-hour midday (repeating at 1 p.m. each weekday), weekend morning (repeating at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) and 9 p.m. newscasts (repeats at 11 p.m. nightly) and bi-weekly public affairs programs Adelante, Chicago and People to People;
- Special live half-hour editions of WGN-TV's 9 p.m. newscast that are broadcast exclusively on CLTV during instances in which WGN-TV telecasts an NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball event being held on the West Coast that is scheduled for a 9 p.m. CT start time locally (an additional half-hour newscast airs live on WGN-TV following the game). CLTV began airing these occasional broadcasts on July 8, 2010;
- Weekend rebroadcasts of non-news programs produced for WGN-TV including food and cultural program Chicago's Best, and lifestyle programs Living Healthy Chicago and Bring It Home;
- Limited paid programming during early overnight periods
Some sports programming also has been featured on the channel including:
- Chicago Rush Arena Football League games (until 2013)
- Telecasts of select DePaul University college basketball games
In addition, the channel has been used as an overflow feed for regional sports network Comcast SportsNet Chicago (branded technically as CSN+ in order to alleviate sports overflows with CSN Chicago's properties). CLTV was also used during the existence of SportsChannel and Fox Sports Net Chicago as the overflow feeds of those channels before the launch of CSN Chicago. By the second quarter of 2010, Comcast's Chicago systems transitioned to digital-only transmission of its channel lineup (requiring a digital converter box or CableCard-compliant receiver to receive programming), therefore on all providers – except those operated by Comcast, the CSN+ feed would likely have its own channel slot. A gametime-only CSN+ high definition feed is also used on Comcast systems, with cable provider tutorials filling the remainder of the network's schedule, while other systems substitute other programming in the interim.
Partnerships with other Tribune Company properties
Due to CLTV's ownership by the Tribune Company, the channel shares content and reporting from other news operations run by the company. News footage is shared extensively between CLTV and WGN-TV. All of CLTV's weather coverage is provided by WGN-TV. Columnists from the Chicago Tribune also provide in-depth reporting for many feature stories seen on CLTV. Metromix, a joint venture between the Tribune Company and the Gannett Company that provides local arts and cultural coverage and is available as the cultutal section in the Tribune, produced Metromix Weekend for CLTV. The primetime program initially aired on a nightly basis until 2008, when it was relegated to Thursdays and Fridays, with repeats during the weekend (the program is currently on hiatus).
CLTV reaches an estimated 1.8 million households, making it one of the most widely distributed regional cable news channels in the United States. The channel had been exclusively available on Comcast (and its forerunners AT&T Broadband, MediaOne and TCI) until October 2009, when RCN started to carry CLTV after Tribune struck a new carriage agreement with Comcast that removed the channel's exclusivity to that provider, enabling CLTV to appear on additional providers in the Chicago area. Three months later on January 19, 2010, Comcast began offering CLTV on digital cable in the company's Rockford and South Bend service areas. The SportsChannel/Fox Sports Net and Comcast SportsNet overflow content was not exclusive before October 2009, and was used on other systems that did not carry CLTV. CLTV currently remains unavailable to WOW!, AT&T U-verse, Dish Network and DirecTV subscribers in the Chicago market.
Notable current personalities
+ denotes personnel exclusively seen on CLTV
- Weather team
- Tom Skilling – WGN-TV chief meteorologist; weeknights
- Sports team
- Rich King – sports anchor; Fridays and Saturdays
- WGN-TV, CLTV to integrate operations, Chicago Tribune, February 4, 2009.
- Tribune Co. combining operations of WGN-TV and cable outlet CLTV, Chicago Tribune, February 5, 2009
- WGN News at Nine to Air on CLTV & Stream Live on WGNtv.com When Baseball on WGN-TV Starts at 9pm, Tribune Company. Retrieved 12-9-2010.
- RCN adds CLTV to channel lineup Chicago Tribune October 15, 2009
- Comcast and CLTV Announce Launch of CLTV in Rockford and South Bend Markets Tribune Company Press Release January 19, 2010