Mid-Canada Communications

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Mid-Canada Communications
Private (subsidiary of Northern Cable/CUC Broadcasting)
Industry Media
Founded 1980
Defunct 1990
Headquarters Sudbury, Ontario
Key people
George Lund
Products television, radio

Mid-Canada Communications was a Canadian media company, which operated from 1980 to 1990. The company, a division of Northern Cable,[1] had television and radio holdings in Northeastern Ontario.


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.

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. That "temporary" deal, however, would last 22 years.

The MCTV stations were:

All six stations were referred to on air as MCTV rather than by their callsigns. The stations were distinguished from each other by use of their network affiliation (i.e. "MCTV-CTV" and "MCTV-CBC".)

As well, MCTV owned CHRO in Pembroke, a CBC affiliate in a market with no other television stations. CHRO used the same logo and programming schedule as MCTV's other stations, but it used its own callsign, rather than MCTV, as its on-air identification.

Mid-Canada Radio[edit]

In 1985, Mid-Canada Communications also acquired the Mid-Canada Radio group of radio stations.[2]

The stations shared some news and sales resources, but were programmed independently of each other except for two shared overnight programs: one for the francophone stations (CFBR, CFLK, CFLH and CFCL), and one for the anglophone stations (all others).


In 1990, Northern Cable began divesting itself of its media properties. Pelmorex purchased Mid-Canada Radio,[3] and Baton Broadcasting acquired MCTV.[4] Baton also purchased Sault Ste. Marie's Huron Broadcasting in 1990, and converted CHBX and CJIC to the MCTV branding as well.[4]

Under Baton's ownership, the stations retained the MCTV branding, and became part of the Baton Broadcast System. The CBC stations were eventually sold outright to CBC in 2002,[5] while the CTV stations were rebranded as CTV Northern Ontario in 2003.


  1. ^ "Northern Cable seeks control of TV systems". The Globe and Mail, September 20, 1979.
  2. ^ Decision CRTC 85-146
  3. ^ Decision CRTC 90-676
  4. ^ a b Decision CRTC 90-1074
  5. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-303